Whole Foods

Thanksgiving Menu

charliebrownthanksgiving

Hope everyone is geared up for Thanksgiving.  I am just recovering from three weeks of bronchitis and flu (on my last day of antibiotics) and it feels great to be blogging, again.  For those of you who have never tried Breathe Right nose strips, I highly recommend them (you can buy the regular version at any drug and/or grocery store but I’ve only seen the menthol version online).  They might even make great stocking stuffers and/or holiday gifts.

As for Thanksgiving, it will be a quiet one for us (with only a few weeks until the baby arrives).  This year, the menu will be provided by Whole Foods and a local Chinese restaurant:  Peking duck with scallions, Szechuan string beans, chicken corn soup, mashed maple sweet potatoes, mixed fruit platter, and strawberry cream cake.  Short, sweet, simple, and hits the spot.

Posts Update

writer

Funny how I go to Whole Foods for one thing (milk) and come out with ten other things (including pumpkin pie, banana loaf, guacamole, etc.).  I  even made a point to eat before my trip.  Such is the marketing genius of the grocery store.

My first real attempt at alleviating some of my back pains–just purchased the Belly Bandit Support Belt (along with another tube of CD lipstick). Will update and provide a review once I get it.

Now that I’m settled in at WordPress.org (from WordPress.com), I’d like to make the following resolutions for this blog going forward:  (1)  More reviews (restaurants, hotels, and baby/mommy gear, etc.),  (2) More poems (this is a favorite, I know, for most of you and me),  and (3) More recipes/food ideas.

Chia Seed Pudding

chiaseedpudding
Organic chia seeds (mix of black and white varieties)
1 can of organic coconut milk (sweet or unsweetened)
Boiling water
Cereal bowl
Cut mixed fruit or berries
Sliced and blanched almonds
 
Fill cereal bowl with 1/4 chia seeds
Add boiling water (enough to cover chia seeds)
Stir
Add entire can of coconut milk
Stir
Let stand until cool
Refrigerate until firm
Top with cut fruit and almonds
 
(Optional:  Drizzle with organic honey)

 

 

Holiday Menu

complacency

So, it’s that time of year, again–Passover (and Easter).  Hubby and I are looking to a have a quiet evening and Seder for two on Monday and then are entertaining and hosting the second Seder for 8-10 people next Saturday.  Thank goodness for online ordering and food-to-go.

Everyone knows that we don’t keep kosher.  It’s just never been my belief that the path to salvation is through the food you eat (or don’t eat).  With that said, I am respectful of the high holidays by eating “neutral” foods (i.e., fish, fruit, and veggies, as well as anything else that’s not on the “black list” such as pork and shellfish).  So, this year (which will be my second time hosting Passover Seder [as I have been lucky enough to go to other people’s seders and just sit back and relax in previous years]), I’ve come up with the following menu (with the help of Whole Foods, Lotte, and Charlie Chiang’s):

Ginger matzah ball soup, Chopped chicken liver, Fresh celery (Seder plate), Fresh Parsley (Seder plate), Cut tropical fruit with sliced and blanched almonds,  Coconut macaroons, Chocolate covered matzah, Fresh clementines, Stir-fried spinach with garlic and shitake mushrooms, Hardboiled eggs, (Seder plate), Lettuce (Seder plate), Wasabi (Seder plate), Sashimi platter, and Roasted (Peking) duck

Not traditional (Ashkenazi or Sephardi) Jewish fare, but Chinese American Jewish fare :).  Lets face it–there’s a reason Jews eat lots of Chinese food.  Could it possibly be that (traditional) Jewish food doesn’t quite measure up?

I wanted to write this post today to inspire those who celebrate Passover and Easter (and/or other holidays) to do something different and create your own traditions.  Don’t be afraid to think and step out of the box and be creative and imaginative, and, most of all, be yourself!

Shrimp and Pasta with Butternut Squash Sauce

butternutsquashsauce
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1 Jar of Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce (preferably by Dave’s Gourmet)
1 Cup of Red or White Onions
1 Tablespoon of Chopped Garlic
2 Cups of Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
1 Teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper
1 Pound of Jumbo Shrimp (Peeled)
Spinach fettuccine or linguine (enough for 3-4 people)
 
Cook pasta until al dente and drain immediately
Mix pasta sauce, onions, garlic, tomatoes, pepper, and shrimp in sauce pan and simmer until shrimp turn pink
Serves 3-4 people

Schlub

griffin

So, I have completely fallen off the wagon in terms of keeping my gym/workout resolution.  And, of course, I’ve been using every excuse in the book to rationalize my not going to the gym lately (AVIVA events, consulting, period/time of the month, etc.).  I just don’t get that “runner’s high” or any other high associated with working out.  If working out felt as good as shopping, eating, and/or sex, hell, I’d do it all the time!  But, unfortunately, it doesn’t for me.  I hate it so much (but know that I have to do it for my health) that I think I’m going to start working out in the morning (versus mid-day or evening).  Get it the hell out of the way first thing.  And, as a matter of fact, I did go for a swim about an hour ago (first time in two months, I think–it’s been a while…  *SIGH*).  So, there–I’ve redeemed myself  :).  And the feeling of having accomplished something this morning makes my breakfast (apple sausages, home fries with onions, and sunny side up eggs) taste all the better.

In other news, I’m organizing another event for April 20–mimosas and trunk show for a jewelry store that recently hired me as a consultant (this is not related to AVIVA but if anyone would like more info on it, feel to drop me a line).  Anyone have any tips on making mimosas?  Being allergic to alcohol, I have no idea.  Although I ‘m sure I can find something on Google and/or a “kit” at one of these food/cooking stores (World Market, Sur la Table, etc.).   That and another (AVIVA) event for the week of Mother’s Day.

Remember the days when we would all get tons of Bed Bath & Beyond coupons?  Now, I have to scramble around trying to find just one.  And, in case you haven’t noticed, each coupon is only for one item–what the hell?

 

Afternoon Tea

Teavana

So I’m a regular customer of Teavana (which is a chain tea shop located in many malls across the country).  I like its tea.  It’s basic loose leaf tea but very overpriced (perhaps due to the fact that the stores pay mall rents).  During my visit to the store today (and every other time), I noticed that the salespeople intentionally over scoop when selling loose teas (funny how they don’t do that when you order by the cup as their hot teas were so light that I stopped buying them).  The question is where the hell are Teavana’s competitors?  It would be nice to have other local options to purchase bulk loose leaf tea.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked in sales my entire career so I “get” the whole sales and marketing thing.  Trying to close a deal is one thing but blatantly ignoring your customer (scooping 5 oz. when the customer requests 3 oz.) and being overly pushy (describing the “benefits” of a more expensive tea when the customer requested a less expensive kind) is another.  Teavana needs to invest in more sales training for its employees (who need to learn the concept of the soft sell and the using education/information as a marketing tool).  Because of my experience at Teavana (again, this has nothing to do with the teas themselves) and various reviews on the treatment of customers and employees, I am making it a mission to find good alternatives and will keep you all posted.