Oscar Party 2014

The Academy Awards are coming up, so you know what that means: getting together with your best friend to watch the big event, of course! It's time to start the party planning for a night you'll always remember by cooking, drinking, eating, voting, and dressing like the celebrities you love to watch. Get dressed up If the celebs are getting dressed up for the big night, there's no reason why the two of you shouldn't either. Maybe you don't have thousands to spend on an outfit, but chances are you already have something fabulous in your closet you can sport, so slip it on and get fancy! Fill out a ballot You and your best friend can chip in and buy a prize, then each of you can fill out a ballot. Whomever comes out the winner gets to keep the goody. Drink champagne Guests at the Academy Awards are going to be drinking their fair share of champagne, so you should as well. There's plenty of incredible champagnes that cost under $50 for those of us who are on a budget. […]
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Cooking Secrets

I’m usually the one who cooks dinner in our house, since my boyfriend gets home a lot later from work than I do.  ….And also because in his culture, women are the ones who cook. Although there is legal gender equality in France, traditions die hard.  Statistics show that, regardless of how many hours they work outside the home, French women are usually left with most of the chores; only 30% of French households report a fair division of labor. I don’t blame French men, so much as their culture, which is pretty old-fashioned when it comes to domestic life. Take my boyfriend, for example.  He actually likes to cook.  He’s got an innate talent for it, too, instinctively blending flavors to create delicious, complex sauces and seasonings that are an essential part of French cuisine.  But while I’ve always admired his culinary skills, it took a long time and a bit of a trick for his mother to acknowledge them. Whenever we’d visit her house in the French […]
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Sophie & Zoey Cafe: Coffee Can Shenanigans

Every once in awhile I come across a video that makes me smile continuously  for over a minute.  So, in honor of National Coffee Ice Cream Day, on September 6th, I share Sophie and Zoey's take on how to make ice cream using a coffee can. Sophie, a blonde pigtailed moppet who can barely contain herself,  has star power.  After a quick sound check, "check-check, check one-two," the video begins with introductions and an enthusiastic "Let's Make Ice Cream!" as only children can deliver.  I don't know what's cuter.  A three year old saying 'duct tape' or the mini fridge and stove.  Oh, and don't miss the family dog drive-by.  […]
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Coffee Ice Cream Dinner Party

I love ice cream.  Coffee Ice cream with hot fudge is the best - a lovely combination of buzz and sugar.  My friends are ice cream cool like me.  They like Pistachio, Jamoca, Pralines ‘n Cream and Rocky Road.  We often break bread together and of course end the meal with a scoop or two of our favorite or even a new flavor.  We are not, however, adventurous enough to try some of the flavors served by Ripley’s Believe it or Not on National Ice Cream Day.  At that event, Vera Chinese of the New York Daily News tried pizza, mustard and corn, and lox and mustard ice creams.  She reported that she and other brave tasters were not able to finish a cone of any flavor.  What a surprise. Back to Earth.  Back to my dinner parties. As I think about my dinner parties, I realize that I never invite vanilla or berry ice cream lovers or rainbow sorbet lovers for that matter.  My guess is that they would be hum-drum conversationalists.   Baskin Robins agrees.  They approached […]
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A Loaf of Bread, a Jug of Wine and Thou

Ah, the joy of eating “en plein air”, as the French say. The warm sun, a gentle breeze, a carefully packed picnic lunch, a bottle of something delicious, and of course the right company make for a perfect romantic interlude. I can think of no better way to spend a summer day then lying with my husband, away from telephones and computers, free of all the daily bothers that test our patience and fray our nerves in quiet, gentle lassitude. Nothing is more indulgent, simpler or sweeter than eating outside. It just feels so good. My husband and I have a long history of making the outdoors our dining room. When we were younger it was a stolen lunch hour in a city park on a bench under a tree. It was a chance to connect during our busy day, to talk and laugh about our work, our plans, our dreams. A short respite from deadlines and obligations had a rejuvenating effect and somehow the afternoons would be easier and less exhausting. We would kiss each other goodbye as we flew back to our […]
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Chicken & Waffles

There's no doubt about it.  Chicken and Waffles are on my top ten favorite foods list.  Stuck on a deserted Island I would have a waffle iron in tow as I hung onto the life saving driftwood.  As I paddled my way to shore there would not be a rationale thought in my head about an electrical source.  Of course I would peddle a rigged electricity-generating bike Gilligan’s Island style.  Oops!  Telling my age again. I was initiated in the fine art of this delectable dish when living in NYC.  Melba's in Harlem servers up perfection on a plate.  As I traveled, I was surprised that tot every restaurant gets right the union of the sweet from the maple syrup with the salt of the fried chicken, the soft airiness of the waffle with the crunchy fried skin.  Ah, heaven.  You should give it a go if you’ve not before.  I’ve tried quite a few recipes looking for the quintessential home cook version.  After ten or so experiments I found that Bobby Flay has the best recipe.  […]
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I’m Grilled

I was engaged once … poor guy. His hobbies of choice were, and continue to be, camping and fishing. While dating, he insisted on our making a trade. I had to go with him on two camping trips each year if I wanted him to join me for anything resembling culture, such as plays, dance performances, museums, and the like. We were the perfect cliché. He was country and I was city. My almost-forgotten sole camping expedition took place in the wilds of my childhood living room. My sister and I, ages 10 and 8, decided to have a pajama party. We strung and secured a medium weight rope onto the railings, which we then swung over a cotton sheet with a pattern of yellow ducks. Two dining room chairs created the sidewalls. Our tent complete, we snuggled in with books, chocolate chip and tuna sandwiches. There were no decisions for us to make. Mom was the provider of all, including a dessert of kitchen stove s’mores. So, this was sort of the picture I had in mind when he talked about […]
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