Sunday, June 29, 2008

Work Smarter not Harder for Real!

I went to a class the other day that was centered around working smarter....great class, great presenter. The instructor Bill Jensen, has a very informative site, SimplerWork. The focus area that I liked the most was centered around writing effective and consise emails. He emphasized that all emails should: know, feel and do....tell me what I need to do, acknowledge how I might feel about this especially b/c emails can be so impersonal and tell me what I need to do. Also emails should fit on a 3x5 card, as culturally we don't have the attention span for super verbose emails. Pretty simple, and I must admit I have used it and it works...I even encouraged my husband to use my advice..ha-ha and he too admitted it's success! Imagine?!

Quick Weeknight Salad for Summer

Corn is also everywhere right now!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups fresh corn kernels (3-4 ears)
1 1/2 cups diced avocado (1/2-inch pieces)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper. 2. Add the corn, avocado, tomatoes, and onion and toss to mix. Serve at room temperature. Serves 4 to 6.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blueberries everywhere!

It's definitely blueberry season so of course they are a steal at the grocery store. This was a simple recipe and great for a weeknight treat.

3 c. blueberries
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2/3 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. all purpose or whole wheat flour
2/3 c. quick cooking oats
1/3 c. butter, softened
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
Spray dish with non-stick spray and spread blueberries in 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix brown sugar, flour, oats, butter, cinnamon and salt. Sprinkle on top. Microwave, uncovered on high (100%) until berries are hot and bubbly, 7 to 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream or cream. If you are not inclined to use the microwave, the oven works at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Travel Essential

As I mentioned I am travelling this week and I have had to bring 3 business suits with me. For the most part, my suitcase kept my clothes pretty wrinkle free, but I am convinced that the real trick is plastic dry cleaning bags covering my clothes. Essentially the bags rub together and prevent my clothes from becoming a wrinkled mess!

Anyone for a Velvet Margarita?

I am travelling this week and I had the opportunity to visit the Velvet Margarita near Hollywood, CA. Other than being seriously jet-lagged, fun place, very LA, good food and a fabulous organic margarita!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer Hash from Rachael Ray

I haven't talked much about Rachael lately, and this recipe is definitely a keeper year-round.
I cheat a bit and sometimes use store-bought salsa and I often poach my eggs instead of frying them. I also like to top with guacamole.
Chili Sweet Potato Hash with Fried Eggs and Fresh Tomato Salsa
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
1/2 pound bulk breakfast sausage ~ Bob Evans Hot Italian or maple sausage
1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed clean, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, thinly sliced into 1/2 moons
1 large red onion thinly sliced, divided
2 teaspoons chili powder,
2/3 palm full
1 teaspoon ground cumin,
1/3 palm full
2 teaspoons ground coriander,
2/3 palm fullSalt and pepper
3 yellow vine ripe tomatoes seeded and diced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro,
a palm full 1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, a few handfuls
1 cup grated manchego or extra-sharp Cheddar
1 tablespoon butter
4 large eggs
Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat with 2 turns of the pan of olive oil, about 2 tablespoons. Add the breakfast sausage and break it up with the back of a wooden spoon into little chunks, brown sausage for 3 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and 3/4 of the chopped red onion to the sausage, season with chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper, stir frequently and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are nice and tender. While the hash is cooking, in a small bowl combine the tomatoes, jalapeno, and the remaining chopped red onion, cilantro, lime juice and a little salt and pepper. Once the hash is cooked, add the chopped parsley, stir to combine and transfer hash to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the cheese and cover with aluminum foil, the cheese will melt while you make the fried eggs. Wipe clean the skillet you made the hash in, return it to the cook top over medium-high heat and add the butter. Once the butter has melted, crack each of the eggs into the skillet, season with a little salt and pepper and fry to desired doneness. Eggs may, of course, be scrambled as well. As you like! Transfer the fried eggs to the top of the hash, sprinkle with the fresh tomato salsa and serve.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Take me glamping! ~ Migis Lodge

I like to day dream about vacations even if they are somewhat out of reach. I found this place recently and I am somehow going to make it happen in the next 2-3 years, as I think my husband and son would LOVE it. It's an all-inclusive rustic~luxurious Maine lodge.

Top Chef Finale

Okay..I am psyched that Stephanie won, although I would have also been happy for Richard. I defintely thought Lisa was a 1st class pain in the ass, who I wouldn't want in my office/kitchen/etc. Then...I found out Stephanie graduated from none other than the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN...AHHH!!!!
Okay, I can get past that...she was actually quite nice and certainly not arrogant. Imagine that?!

Friday, June 6, 2008

HOT Day Cocktail

6pm on a Friday is probably my favorite hour of any week. The weekend is in front of me and it's time to figure out what will be my beverage of choice. It's been a super hot week and I have been extremely busy teaching Fierce out in the field for my company. Anyway, hot means either cocktails, corona or white wine. Tonight I am having a gimlet...the one with lime juice and it has hit the spot!
2 oz. gin or Vodka
1/4 to 1/2 oz. simple syrup
1/2 oz. lime juice
Garnish with a lime
Served over ice in a short glass

What's your favorite summer cocktail for a really HOT day?