Monday, May 24, 2010

pine nut mouth & pesto

Last week I made this lovely pesto with a big handful of gorgeous fresh basil, a beautiful bunch of curly parsley, 2 cloves minced garlic, a few generous swishes of olive oil, some salt and pepper... and about a half cup of pine nuts (take note of this, it's what the rest of the story will be about). Blended it all very nicely in my sweet food processor, and served it a top some brown rice pasta, with a few halved cherry tomatoes and hot italian sausage. It was delightful. Absolutely wonderful... it is a perfect time to make pesto.

The issue came when I noticed about 3 days later that I had a strange bitter/metallic taste at the back of my mouth. When M came home from work I mentioned it to him... which to me meant that it was really something if I was bothering to remark. To my surprise, he had noticed the exact same thing... an odd bitter aftertaste that would happen every time he ate or drank anything. And, with all of my experiments in the kitchen... he was now convinced that I had poisoned him :). Soooo not the case here.

We also agreed that it was unlikely that we both developed diabetes on the same day with the exact same symptom... and thanks to google it was not to difficult to figure out what happened. We had contracted "Pine Nut Mouth". And, as it seems from our quick search that many others had too... especially from pine nuts from Asia. The ones I had "poisoned" us with came from Trader Joe's... so, I would not recommend those for your next pesto. If you want a medical opinion on the subject, click here.

As for my pine nut mouth... it is less and less as the days go by, working itself out of my system. Not too worried but it sure is weird. Hope you are well, xoxo tbone

Thursday, May 20, 2010

so cool it's illegal

I am very happy to report that I will be the *featured health & wellness expert* at the upcoming Illegal Wedding Fair here in NYC on June 6th. Please join me in supporting our friends who are lucky enough to find that very special someone with whom they wish to spend the rest of their lives. It is going to be a really fun event with a lot of cool people. Get your tickets early, you don't want to miss this!

Come by and say hi. I am happy to share some tips to help you look great, feel great and be great. Plus, I'm hand-making raw chocolates for the occasion... that alone is reason to put on a party dress. hope you're well, and hope to see you on June 6th, big hug xoxo tbone

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

so crazy it just might work

I just found this wacky "recipe" for a tan from Vitaljuice, sounds like a fun project and tea smells way better than those bottled tan creams.

I love the idea of putting cocoa in my body lotion... need a fix for that sweet tooth? lick my arm :)

Let me know if you try it. hope you're well. big hug xxtbone

Your Best Tan Recipe

This technique is so easy, you won't be-leaf it.

Required time: About 30-40 minutes
Skill level: Goof-proof

4 black tea bags
2 cups boiling water
Sponge or spray bottle

Body lotion
Pure cocoa powder

When water has boiled, add the tea bags to steep. Leave in for 10-15 minutes, or until tea is dark and cool enough to touch.

In the meantime, take a shower to ensure your skin is oil- and sweat-free. Afterwards, make sure skin is completely dry.

Stand on something you don't mind getting dirty. If using a sponge, drench it in the tea and wipe all over your body. If using a spray bottle, fill it with tea and spray evenly. Let skin air-dry and apply another coat for a deeper shade.

Tea will stain clothes if wet, so make sure you're all dry before dressing. The "tan" should last 3-4 days.

Optional: For bonus color, mix cocoa powder into body lotion until you reach desired color and apply for an all-over bronzing boost.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

adventure date

Happy Spring friends... the weather has been incredible here in NYC. And, I would love to share a fun idea with you. Book an adventure date with yourself. You can invite others along as well, but the most important person to show up is you.

I just recently had a really fun afternoon in the Brooklyn Botanical Garden... with my camera. No plans, no expectations, just fun. A great reason to get myself out, get a nice walk in, surround myself with nature, and gain inspiration.

I really find that when I change my situation I feel energized... and that can mean taking a new dance class, putting on an outfit that makes me feel good, shaking up my routine by walking a different route than usual, anything that awakens my physical senses. It is how I energize my resources so I feel more resourceful.

I would like to invite you to see what makes you feel energized. Shake things up. Take a walk with yourself, see something new... it doesn't mean you have to travel to Tahiti (although, sounds like a great idea!). Challenge yourself in a new way. Have fun. Play. Hope you are well. big hug xxtbone

here's a couple more pics for you... enjoy :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

satisfied and satiated

As I was enjoying my lunch today and the exciting flavor combinations that were dancing in my mouth, I was reminded of a set of guidelines for cooking that I learned from Chef Rocco DiSpirito when I worked at Rocco's in NYC. Perhaps you remember it as The Restaurant reality tv show from 7 or 8 years ago, starring Mamma's Meatballs and a whole mess of drama. It's funny how and where we pick things up.

I learned a lot of things working at that place (I could be found in the front of the house not in cooking in the kitchen) and some of those lessons continue to inform my thinking about food, creativity, experimentation, taking chances with flavor combinations, and the importance of a satisfying sensory experience.

Try out this tip to exercise your creativity, and turn the contents of your fridge and pantry into a delicious and personal meal. They are the ones I was first introduced to by Rocco but as it turns out also have roots in the ancient tradition of Ayurveda.

It is all about balance, and if you think about it, I think it makes a lot of sense. In your dish you want to hit each flavor that your tongue can taste... that way you are left satisfied and not suffering an imbalance (read: craving).

Sweet- fruit, sweet veggies, natural sugars
Sour- sour fruit, fermented foods, even a squeeze of lemon will satisfy this one
Salty- sea salt, seaweeds
Bitter- leafy greens, herbs and spices like mustard
Pungent- things that are spicy like chilis and garlic
Astringent- legumes, herbs like sage
Umami- the Japanese term for a flavor that hits at the back of the tongue, like edamame or mushrooms... not everyone can taste this

In your next creation try to include as many of these flavors as you can. It can feel bold or against what you may normally think goes together but your taste buds will be delighted.

My lunch, the picture above, was made from things I had on hand today. Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it or use it as inspiration to come up with your own combination. The amount is for one serving, but you could easily multiply to make it for more people... it would also make a great breakfast!

Sausage and Kale

In a frying pan, heat a good dash of olive oil.
  • Add 1 minced garlic clove, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add 1 sliced pre-cooked sausage (I had an organic chicken & apple sausage left over from the weekend, so that's what I used)
  • Add 2-3 leaves kale, rinsed and chopped (I actually just tore it into bite sized bits and threw it into the pan)
  • Give a few shakes of sea salt, and red/cayenne pepper as desired
  • Stir and cover for 2-3 minutes, until bright kale is bright green
  • Add a half bunch chopped green onions
  • Add a small handful of currants (or raisins)
  • Add a small handful of sunflower seeds
  • Mix until all heated through
  • Enjoy!
If you want more inspiration on this topic Rocco actually has a cookbook called Flavor, that came out in 2003, check it out it is a beautiful book (thanks Rocco for my copy xoxo). He also has a bunch of other great cookbooks with quick meals. I'm actually looking forward to checking out his newest book, Now Eat This!, where he makes low calorie versions of American comfort food, it sounds very cool... I'll let you know when I try it.

Well Rocco, I guess I'll wrap up this love letter by sending you a big hug and a huge THANK YOU for your inspiration and fearlessness. It was nice having lunch with you today, even if it was only in my mind :). hope you are all well, big hug xxtbone

Monday, March 29, 2010

a brownie that's good for me? yes please!

I have been doing a lot of experimental baking lately and love this recipe. I find that I feel better when I'm not eating gluten and so I have wanted to find alternative ways to bake treats without using white or wheat flour. These brownies are a great example, I can enjoy chocolatey chewy goodness and still do something nice for my body. In this recipe, which seems like a miracle the way it works, there is a high amount of protein... like a powerbar masquerading as a brownie. They make a great snack, afternoon pick-me up, treat for the kids, and I would venture to guess they make a delicious breakfast on the go. Plus, they are super easy to make. You are only about a half hour away from home-made brownies that support your health. How cool!


preheat oven to 325 degrees

In a large bowl combine:
1 jar natural peanut butter (or other nut butter of your choosing)
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1.25 cups agave

Then add:
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Pour into greased (try using coconut oil) 9x9 baking dish. Bake 30 minutes or so, until the edges look done. Test it with a toothpick, it should come out clean. The middle may take a few more minutes to set once out of the oven, but don't let the edges get overcooked.

They have a really nice light, almost cake-y texture. I hope you enjoy them, or use this as a jumping off point for your own experimental baking. Hope you are well. big hug xxtbone

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

i heart deepak chopra

Hi friends, enjoy this treasure from The Dr. Oz Show website. In this video the very sparkly Deepak Chopra gives a great overview of what meditation is, why it can help us, and leads a great healing meditation. The video concludes with an easy meditation to help manifest your desires... so, here you go, it's super easy and totally awesome. Meditate and Manifest to your heart's content. hope you're well, big hug xxtbone