not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sisters and Swine

I've noticed that the past few blogs have mentioned Nellie and Kelly, two of my dads (seven) sisters. Heres a funny photo from back in the day, about 20 years ago. We named our pigs after his sisters, then my neighbors, and of course- after my preschool teachers. Some might not have understood at the time, but a pig being named after you was a sign of affection....

Attack Chickens!

Making their way into our pool area....

I woke up at 6am this morning to start a catering order. Cissie was not far behind, coming downstairs to have a cigg outside, and to demand one of my (world-famous) coffees. Shortly after stepping out back for a smoke she came dashing through the door, hair flying like a crazy lady, with fright in her eyes. "ATTACK CHICKENS", she screamed. Well I looked out the kitchen window and sure enough, there was a flock of chickens. They were fat bastards too, but they didn't look like ferocious man-eaters (as Ciss had described them...). I went outside to get a better look at them and then they waddled off to terrorize the innocent old lady next door...

Fleeing the house....

Friday, July 29, 2011

Coffee Queen

I'm always up for a coffee challenge, because it's a tried and true fact that I make the best cup of coffee ever. Hands down. Fact. So when Kelly complained about the crap coffee served up at the diner, I said "I'll make you some coffee when we get home, I make the best." "Oh no no no, uncle Rick makes the best", she replied. Ha. We bet a dollar and shook on it. Tonite, when I asked her what she thought about the coffee I crafted her, she silently reaches into her purse and then handed me a buck. Ha! Victory! I am the queen of coffeeeeeee!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Loud Family.

Kelly, Dad, Cissie, Nellie and Sarah @ Marge's Diner.

The Callahan's...also known as the "Loud Family", and rightfully so. I have met many loud families in my day, but we take the cake - by several decibels. Right now Aunt Kelly and her daughter Sarah are visiting, along with my Aunt Cissie. This morning, we all went out for breakfast - and Jesus H. Christ was it an event! At the restaurant I just kept shooting apology smiles to our very patient waitress, and tried to shake off the rest of the restaurant go-ers, who were staring at us like we were animals in a zoo. I'm pretty sure that they initially looked our way because we were so goddamn loud, and then continued staring at us because of the obscene amounts of food on the table, wondering if all of that food was just for us. My Aunt Kelly and Aunt Nellie both have M.S., a truly awful disease. Kelly just finished up chemo a few days ago, and Nellie finished about 2 weeks ago. Dad is currently half way through his. So here we were, chemo-ed up and steroid-filled, laughing and talking over one another...telling many funny, and totally inappropriate stories. And instead of being embarrassed like most sane people would be, it filled me with a great sense of pride. All of my fathers family might be completely insane, but they are good people with lots of heart. They love, and hate, fiercely - but it's their passion that I admire. Their constant enthusiasm. Particularly that of my Aunt Kelly. She has been suffering, and I mean it in every sense of the word, for over 15 years now. MS has kicked her ass from here to kingdom come, and then back again - but she never complains, and she manages to smile and laugh her way through her sickness, which I don't think is always easy to do. And that's just like my Dad -- never a boo-hoo, poor me. I may have gotten my loud voice and fat ass from the Callahan side...I got their tendency to interrupt and talk-over....I got their habits of over-indulgance...but goddamnit I also got their heart and passion that is larger than life. At times like this, it's family that gets you through, and I'm grateful to have such a noisy bunch in my corner.....

The 10 Loud and (at-times)Obnoxious, (but always) Totally Epic Callahan's:

1. Thomasine
2. Cissie
3. Mary
4. Nellie
5. Paul
6. Michael
7. Kate
8. Megan
9. Kelly
10. Sean

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Family.

My family: Mom, Dad, Me and LP (Little Paul...because my dad is big paul).

Honestly, I don't know what we'd do without him. LP adopted us when he was about 18. That was 14 years ago. He has since spent birthdays and holidays with us, gone on family vacations with us, and is usually at the house for our nightly family dinners. He drops me and picks me up at the airport, he shovels out my parents driveway during blizzards, he let's me cry on his shoulder- and it's the one person who mom will break down and cry to. He's fixed things at the house. He's put on our roof, put up our pool, and has stacked our enormous wood pile. He takes me out on date nights...fancy dinners always followed by drinks. He opens the door of the car for me and never let's me pay. He is more than a friend, he is a brother- and I usually introduce him so. More than anything he knows how to just "be" with my Dad. They sit on the couch and watch Cops, or Repo. There's some small talk, but mostly they just sit. LP GETS it. Life without him would just be impossible. My parents didn't give me any biological siblings, but in my heart- LP is my brother. I couldn't have wished for a more understanding, accepting and wonderful human being to adopt us: someone who I never have to apologize to or explain myself to. We love you LP, and I know I speak for mom and dad as well when I say that each day is made better by you being in our lives.

"Are you upset little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well, don't worry...I'm here. The flood waters will recede, the famine will end, the sun will shine tomorrow, and I will always be here to take care of you. -Charlie Brown to Snoopy."

H2O2 for your Health!

I've been seeing Dr.Jonuzi at the Integrative Medical Center in Pleasantville for a month now. The Ayurvedic centers that I want to go to are in Kerala, India-- so since I'm Jersey bound for a while, and have heaps of free time because of my knee injury, I've decided that treatment here will have to do. Since the second I walked in Dr.J's office I have been super satisfied with the treatment I've received. Dr. Jonuzi is a naturopathic doctor. He went to med school but didn't buy into all that they were saying, and that sent him to naturopathy. There's an MD in the building who writes your scripts and because he's here, everything done here is covered by my health insurance. My main reason for coming is to treat my Lymes Disease. It has fatigued me and affected me for far too long now, and since "regular doctors" refuse to treat me (they don't know how to make $$ off it yet)- I've decided to take my mothers advice and become my Own Advocate. Dr.J is treating the Lymes and also addressing the overabundance of Candida yeast in my body. The cleansing for these will also clean out any other random shit that's in my body (that isn't supposed to be), as well as cleaning out any and all parasites that I've picked up abroad. Side note: I eat everything, anywhere. Street food in Cambodia, in a remote village?! YES Please. Hence, parasites.

My treatment consists of IVs twice a week, and regular colonics. Yep, colonics. I was going to write a blog about just the colon hydro therapy- afterall I Always include my poo-capades with all of you- but it's better for everyone if I just work them into This blog entry. The titles I thought of ranged from; bum gun, pooped out, holy shit, so on and so forth.... Anyways, colonics. I'm such a sissy. I dropped my pants and then Drena pushed the "bum gun" up my bum. I'm sorry- but when something's up your ass, everything inside of you is saying PUSH. It's a tough sensation to cope with for the 35minutes youre on the table. My hands were clammy and I rambled through the whole treatment, I can't help it- the more nervous I get, the more I ramble. After the treatment Drena told me that she was going to remove the insert (bum gun). I was so nervous and I said "bah! Are you sure?" After having FORTY GALLONS of water entering and exiting my ass I thought for sure there would be some remains. She assured me that I WOULD make it to the bathroom, and I made her pinky swear- saying that I'd be devastatingly embarrassed if I didn't make it the 3 feet to the bathroom. Ha. Drena always looks at me with a look that says "ha, this crazy little fucking white girl, full o' parasites. Ha. Scared of needles and scared of guns up her bum!". She loves me. Really. Anyways- I SURVIVED. I thought I was going to faint a few times when I was on the table, but I made it. And then I did it again the following week. At this point I feel like a seasoned pro...clean and healthy and Cambodia-street-food-parasite-free!! Drena's the best, and I'll never trust anyone but her with my backside...

The IV. The IV's less interesting, and therefore comes without a funny story. The needle is administered by the amazing Monica. She's awesome. Mon works the desk and also works in the office. She's very gentle and makes the whole I'm-deathly-afraid-of-needles thing bearable. I put on my iPod, and for nearly three hours I sit in a comfy lazy boy reclining chair and get a drip of 3 bags. 1: hydrogen peroxide. 2: a bright orange bag of vitamins. 3: antioxidants and a flush. Monica makes me a cup of ginger tea, because she's amazing, and then I'm on my way.

I have to say- im already feeling better. The fatigue has gone away, and for that I am SO thankful. Hopefully the upcoming weeks of treatment leave me Lymes-free! So next time you have a cold or backache- don't head to your MD, head to Dr.J, you will not be disappointed...

Dr. Jonuzi


201 East Blackhorse Pike, Pleasantville NJ

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pie Cry.

I love to cook- especially when I'm happy, and also sad. It's a bit of therapy. I can take a handful or raw materials and create a delicious that I share with my family and friends. So cooking, for me, is very rewarding. Its something that I'm good at. And though baking isn't really my specialty (you have to FOLLOW recipes, not CREATE them...and you have to use exact measurements, bleh!), I've managed to have great success with fruit pies and key lime pie. So, when I was picking up some ingredients for dinner and saw the cover of this months Bon Appetit magazine, I figured 'what the hell!'! A Blackberry Lime Meringue pie!! I could do's a combination of my two favorite things to bake- key lime and berry pie. Easy peezy. Or so I thought...

On a side note, I've been crying alot- but this is pretty much reserved for the car. It's nothing crazy, but lately the sadness And stress of our current lives situation needs a release. I cry, and then feel a bit of the sadness and anxiety leave, and the weight in my chest gets lighter.

I had a good cry on the way home from the supermarket, but was prepped with my Bon Appetit magazine and a list of yummy things to make for the hoard of family and friends that were at our house- so my feelings were optimistic. I whipped up a bunch of amazing dishes (read the blogs below), and then- the pie. The fucking pie. The insanely-impossible-suicide-inducing fucking pie. You need to be a rocket scientist to decipher the recipe listed in the magazine...and I (naively) attempted. Recipes like this should come with a warning: only to be attempted by expert bakers and people who are 100% emotionally-rock-solid. The kitchen was in shambles, I was covered head to toe in flour and egg, and my arm aches from "vigorously whipping" my lime curd over a "steam bath" for 20minutes. Tired and frustrated, I abandoned my curd and turned my attention to the crust. As I rolled out the dough and laid it in the dish, I began crying. Then sobbing. Then convulsing, buckets of tears poured out of my eyes, caught by my beautifully constructed pie crust. This went on for some time before I got it together and went on to finish this (stupid-goddamned) pie.

Well, it didn't turn out looking ANYTHING like the cover of Bon Appetit, but it tasted alright. The moral of the story is that sometimes ya just need a good cry. Whether it's in your car, or into your pie crust- holding in stress, anger, sadness or any kind of negative emotion will only make matters worse. So cry it out, and then enjoy a happy meal with the people you love. Oh yeah- moral #2: don't attempt any pies in Bon Appetit, no matter how enticed you are by their beauty....

MY Blackberry Lime Meringue....

Bon Appetit's Blackberry Lime Meringue.

FYI: Here's a much easier, and just as delicious way to make this pie (minus the frustration):

Cailin's Suicide and Swear Free Blackberry Lime Pie (meringue optional):

  • pie crust (i made mine from scratch, but you can use store bought) *if you want a crispy crust, bake the crust for about 10 minutes @ 350
  • at the bottom of the pie crust toss in 2 containers of blackberries (bout a cup and a half), then drizzle with agave nectar, depending upon their tartness
  • top the crust and berries with this mixture: 5 egg yolks, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 2/3 cup lime juice
  • Bake in oven at 375 for 25 minutes.
  • If you want to put the meringue on top, be my guest, but as far as im concerned meringue can kiss my ass....I'd just top it with some delicious whipped cream! garnish with blackberries.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sweating, and Singing and Sweating.

Every Sunday night in the summer I play at the (private) Stone Harbor Golf Club. It's a great gig: I make great money, I play for a wonderful crowd, they feed me delicious food, I sing mellow acoustic music for three hours and the people that work at SHGC are absolutely amazing. It's a weekly gig that I definitely look forward to playing. Anyways, I got a call from them earlier this week, asking if I'd play at one of the men's golf events on Saturday night. Obviously I said "absolutely!". Well, as much as I love the club- I have to say that tonites gig doesn't go down in history for my most favorite gig ever. Ha. I played out on the porch, in 98% weather (with 85% humidity). And the icing on the cake were little black flies! Those bastards were relentless! Bah. Thank God I chose a short, thin dress with a slip- because one song into the set list and I was already dripping sweat. I don't need to go into detail about my sweat-factor two hours later, but it certainly wasn't pretty. Hopefully it'll be a bit cooler for tomorrow's gig....

Friday, July 22, 2011


Figs, stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped in bacon...drizzled with a balsamic reduction...BOOM!

I cut a dozen figs in half, scooped out a little bit of the inside, stuffed it with some goat cheese, and then pushed the halves back together. I partially cooked the bacon, and then wrapped bacon slices around the stuffed figs. I secured the salty-pork-goodness around the fruit with a toothpick. I put them under the broiler for just under two minutes, then drizzled them with a balsamic reduction before we all devoured them. FYI: you can purchase pre-made balsamic reduction, but it's easy to make on your own. To make, simply pour 1 cup of balsamic vinegar into a sauce pan over medium heat, and let it cook down until there's about 1/3 cup left...the remaining bit is a thicker, sweeter tasting balsamic!

Roasted Pepper + Raisin Dip

When you read the ingredients in this dish, you're going to be a bit puzzled, but I assure you- I swear to you- that this easy-to-assemble app will rock your world.

-6 red bell peppers
-1 cup of golden raisins
-Small handful of fresh oregano, chopped
-1/4cup E.V. Olive Oil
-3 tablespoons of SALT-PACKED capers, rinsed well
-Tiny sprinkle of salt
-Splash of red wine vinegar

1. Roast the peppers over a flame, or under the broiler. You want the peppers to be completely charred, if they don't look burnt all over then you won't be able to peel them. If they look like the ones I posted in the picture- then the skin will come off in TWO seconds. Easy peezy.

2. When peppers are done roasting, set them aside and let them cool.

3. Peel and seed the roasted peppers. Put them in a food processor and pulse a few times.

4. Now add raisins, EVOO, capers and oregano to the processor, pulse some more.

5. Enjoy!!

I highly recommend slicing a cibatta loaf thinly, drizzling with EVOO, putting under the broiler for minute- flipping it- browning the other side, and then scooping this amazing deliciousness onto the toast!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bursts of Love.

Everytime I pop one of these into my mouth I know I'm in for a treat. Our garden has been producing the most spectacular, flavor-full, and juicy cherry tomatoes that one has ever had. Stupendous! A great way to enjoy these sweet in-season treats is to cut them in half, toss with a handful of fresh basil (that's been torn up into pieces), sprinkle of sea salt, a few shakes of a light vinegar (champagne or white balsamic) and a few thin slices of red onion. Badabing, badaboom....enjoy.

Name Game.

Okay, let's play the name game. My gimpy-ness has forced me back into the field in which I was educated, Graphic Design. I KNEW that this injury would be a blessing, and indeed it has! I'm so excited to be back in front of the computer designing, and I need your help with coming up with a name. My bestest friend Julisa sent me a list of ideas she quickly came up with : so take your vote on which is your favorite. Send me an email (, write it on my facebook page, or simply comment underneath this blog. Below is some design work to show you so you can get a feel for it.

*A poster I designed yesterday for Eileen B's Hobie Regatta....

*The cover of a promotional postcard for my yoga classes

*A promotional postcard for Seattle restaurant, La Medusa, to promote their weekly menu that's based around what's fresh at the farmers market....

*A large poster to promote a wine event at Seattle restaurant, La Medusa

*My current business card

So here are some names that Julisa came up vote for one of these, and if you have an even better idea, send it my way!!
Farmer's Daughter Design Co. 
Farm Daughter Design
 Sweet line designs 
Sun life arts
 Ohm arts design co. 
 Travel arts design co. 
 There and back design 
 Domestic daughter designs 
 Sea walk designs 
 Fortune femme arts project 
 Sweet leaf graphic design 
 Home life design co. 
 Glimmer graphics 
 Sowing dreams design co. 
 Poppy revolt graphics

the Diving Horse.

Last night, LP and I had one of our epic nights out. We headed into Avalon, stopped at Fred's and picked up a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, then we strolled across the street to The Diving Horse. I ate there once last year with Mom and remembered it being good, but last nights experience was outstanding. Let me begin by saying that the service was really spectacular, which to me is just as important as the food itself. Our waiter's name was Nick, and he was able to answer every question I had to ask (and there were many questions). The atmosphere in the Diving Horse is super's one of the only restaurants in all of South Jersey that has a comfortable ambiance. No cheesy shore decorations, no stuffy 80's-esque decor...just sturdy wooden tables, clean lines, pews for seating along the walls, and super hip graphic design {their logo, menu and website are amazing}.

The Diving Horse


Avalon, NJ / 2109 Dune Drive / 609.368.5000

Dinner Served Nightly 5pm-10pm

**Reservations are highly recommended.

The dinner began with the most delicious dinner rolls ever: a hybrid between a soft pretzel and a really yummy, moist bun. Along with the warmed rolls was a red pepper whipped butter, topped with sea salt. Boom! Paulie and I agreed that we have never enjoyed the complimentary bread anywhere as much as this!

LP had the Watermelon, Tomato and Feta salad. I didn't order this because it's something that I make at home. But lucky for me LP doesn't like olives or tomatoes.... :) This was pretty good, but the one I make is better. I'm glad that I didn't order it, saving room for the divine plates that were yet to come...

Holy Good God Almighty. I have never like oysters on the 1/2. I'll eat a thousand raw clams, but oysters just never vibed with me. That was UNTIL I had them at La Bete, a fabulous french restaurant in Seattle. They were tiny, juicy, salty raw bits sent from heaven. Nick, our server, assured me that this were the perfect size (not too big), and he told us that the oysters from the west coast {if you're looking at the above photo, they are the 3 on the left} were creamy, smooth and a bit less salty. The ones on the right, from the cold waters of the North East were a bit more acidic and salty. Though they came with cocktail, freshly made horseradish, and vinegar - none of this was necessary....these were best enjoyed au-naturale. Pardon my language for a moment, but fucking fuck holy hell -- this put a smile on my face that lasted throughout the evening. Though LP and I both agreed that the East AND West Coast oysters were delicious, the best were the ones from the NE. I could have eaten about 30 more and called it a night, but $22 for 6, this extravagance was simply not in the budget. I'm telling you, these were so good, I would buy them again if they were DOUBLE this price (but please diving horse, don't do that to me...).

Thursday nights they have a double cut porkchop, but this evening for special there was a Seared Pork Loin done with a chipotle watermelon sauce and accompanied with a cucumber slaw. Again, profanities are the only way that I can imagine to do this dinner justice: HOLY SHIT! The pork loin was done TO PERFECTION {unlike most places that cook it too much and send it out dry}. You can tell that after it was seared it was given enough time to rest and absorb the juices. Then this buttery pork goodness was finished off with a just-the-right-amount sprinkling of sea salt. The chipotle watermelon sauce was outstanding - the perfect combination of sweet, salty, tangy, and spicy. And the icing on the cake was the cucumber slaw! When most sides are just some thoughtless vegetable or starch thrown on the plate, this MADE the dish. The fresh acidity cut through the heaviness of the pork and just made me want to do backflips through the restaurant. I won, hands down. LP got the tuna (boring), which he enjoyed...but I've never ever ever been one to order tuna out at a restaurant - again it's one of those things that I make really well, and growing up with a fisherman father it seems silly to order something that we constantly have in the fridge. Well, we also are pig farmers - raising, butchering, processing and eating our delicious organic piggies, so I usually don't order much pork out - but this dish was calling my name, and I'm glad that I answered.

My CLEAN plate.

Dessert was....alright. We had the key lime panna cotta with toasted coconut. The panna cotta itself was absolutely delicious...not too sweet, not too tart - just right. But the toasted coconut was chewy, which wasn't a nice texture when combined with the panna cotta. Oh well, just pushed the coconut to the side and dove into the yummy dome of deliciousness. And not to be forgotten was their perfectly brewed espresso. Yum!

All in all, the Diving Horse is NOT TO BE MISSED ...whether you live here, or your on vacation - make a point to have dinner at this Jersey gem. The prices are super affordable, especially for the quality of the food that you're getting. Better yet is that it's a BYO, which saves heaps of cash. The menu isn't pretentious, but it's still exciting -- not your average Spaghetti and Meatballs or Prime Rib with french fries that you get at every other half-assed restaurant we have here in South Jers. The staff is professional and well-educated about all that's on the menu, which makes your dining experience all the better. Be sure though to make a reservation for your next visit here, because they fill up quick. Go goddamnit, go already! You will not be disappointed.

I've already planned my next meal there:

oysters on the 1/2

ratatouille (poached hudson canyon lobster, farm stand vegetables, saffron + zucchini dressing)

fried willapa bay oysters

and whatever pork they have on special!!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mazzy Surfboards

Introducing....Mazzy Surfboards. Beautiful, hand crafted longboards for women. Yours truly will be their ambassador, yeeeeewww!!! And not only that, they got ahold of me while their logo design was still in shambles, so I'm also their graphic designer. Here's the logos that I came up with, and our final choice. Stoked to be a part of this awesome new company -- from riding for them, to designing for them. I'll keep you all posted....

Monday, July 18, 2011

Flowers + Friends

I love fresh flowers...whether they are in a field, or in a vase - they always bring a smile to my face. Recently I've been buying a bunch about once a week for my mom, but this can get expensive! Luckily I've discovered this road-side stand that's on RT.9, inbetween my house and Ocean City. A bunch of flowers is only $2!! They always have fresh sunflowers as well as some other cute, colorful kind. So I have been buying atleast 3 bundles every time that I drive past.

I was running errands all over the place today, and since last weeks flowers were fading I picked up a few bundles to add some love and cheer to the house. Then when I got home I was greeted by one of Julia's "Care Packages" from Seattle. Julisa is the best -- whenever I'm having a rough time, or even when I'm not for that matter, Julia ships off random mixes of randomness that really make your day. In today's Busted Knee Care Package were the following needed for a speedy recovery:

  • one bag of wheat berries
  • one bag of fava beans
  • container of imported salted capers from italy
  • organic lemon and maple green tea
  • organic vanilla & sweet orange facial mist
  • organic "love + toast" gin blossom hand creme
  • DELICIOUS biscotti's from Columbia City Bakery in Seattle (my fave!)
  • 4 magazines: la Cucina Italiana, Urban Farm, Lucky and OUI french wedding magazine
  • and a very beautiful card, with some very beautiful sentiments written inside....

The fava beans and capers are heavily used in Sicilian cooking, and FYI Julia and her man Gordon run a Sicilian restaurant. I'm always bugging her and Gordon for yummy recipes and new approaches to traditional and sometimes boring ingredients, and they always come through with something new and exciting for me. I <3 biscotti,and I <3 anything from Columbia City Bakery, which is located next door to La Medusa: so these are an EXTRA special treat, which I will savor every morning with my cup of coffee. And finally, the wedding magazine? Definitely not for me personally, but Julia is getting married soon and I'm her maid of honor. So this will be of great help as far as visual inspiration goes.

At the end of the day, all that one really needs is some fresh flowers and a good friend -- they just make life better.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pirate Paul

Today a small child walked up to my Dad at the beach and asked if he was a pirate. He said "Yes, I am. Paul, Captain Paul Callahan." Cheers to my Dad, the Pirate....

Also a little tid bit "FYI"....inside my fathers wedding bang, my mom had "Son of Neptune" inscribed. When she gave it to him nearly 30 years ago, it wasn't until after the wedding ceremony that she told him about it....

Friday, July 15, 2011


I love my love love looove. Tierney (aka "TC"), Mags, and T's boyfriend David. I'm obsessed with David-- he is amazing and I can't wait for him and T to get married, have babies and live happily ever after. TC is equally epic, and when you put the two of them together it's just a winning combination! They rolled into town late Wednesday night, and then David woke the girls up and drug em to my early Thursday morning beach yoga class. We had a blast, and I was impressed with their balance abilities, despite their non-existent yoga practice.

David & T, laying in a supported, heart-lifting savasana, holding hands.

I had work to do, so while I was working hard they headed to the beach to soak up some rays. An epic dinner was in order, of course! I cooked up a feast: kale and mango salad, venison burgers on the grill, baked potatoes (fresh from our garden) on the grill, and a fresh blueberry pie. But yet another highlight were my homemade MOJITOS, with fresh mint from the garden!! At the family feast was mom, dad, me, LP, Billy Herr, David, TC and Mags. The Mojitos were deadly...sending all of us into a drunken stupor. Even Billy Herr was sipping on them, and he NEVER drinks- so he was sent into a numb-face drunk-coma after only one and consequently spent the night on our couch.

T and David, picking off fresh mint leaves for our cocktails....

As if we hadn't already had enough fun - then TC, David, LP and I headed into Sea Isle to my beloved bar, the Dead Dog. We continued the debauchery, laughed a ton, and even danced a bit to the good live tunes.

Home, sleep, wake, hangover. Took Dad for his bloodwork and out to breakfast, scrap metal with David, sushi and chop-stick-fiasco (hahahahha), a bit of catering and graphic design work for me- then back to slaving in the kitchen. Tonights menu is black bean soup, fish tacos with fresh mango salsa and guac, grilled Mexican corn and fresh peach pie!! All homemade of course! And the poison: fresh Margaritas.

I am so happy that my family is here. Bah. So happy. Despite being horribly hungover today, I was so satisfied and bubbling over with joy that I nearly exploded. G'damn, there is nothing better than eating good food and being surrounded by people that you love <3

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Food Porn, that is. My dear friend / blog-reader / wine-extraordinaire / fellow foodie, Liz Boden-Hamer (of California), just turned me onto "What Katie Ate : a Foodie Photography blog". All I gotta say is - everyone should send Liz a thank you note or candies or something, because this is my new obsession and will be yours pretty soon as well....

Katie loves food, taking mouth-watering pictures of everything-food-esque, and posts some damn delicious recipes for food AND COCKTAILS, check this chick out:

Quinoa Crack.

I have never been a drug user. I do love alcohol {beer, cocktails, wine and CHAMPAGNE please!}, but as far as pills, weed, organics and the hard stuff is concerned - it has never interested me at all. I can count the amount of times I've puffed the ganja on one hand (okay, realistically I'd probably have to use both hands), and I've never enjoyed it. My addictions are no joke - I'm heavy into my 'drugs' of choice, but they are of a different nature than your average substance abuse. The one thing that I'm crazy addicted to right now is QUINOA. I'm assuming that the emotions I've been experiencing towards this Incan grain is how a rampant drug-addict would feel for their crack. I hear it calling my name everytime my belly growls...and after consuming it I feel a full body high, complete satisfaction. Aside from my super epic Quinoa Porridge, I have yet to come up with any other interesting ways to consume these little fluffy bits of whole grain heaven. I've done them up in a Mediterranean style and have thrown them onto of salads - but that's about as creative as I've been able to get. They are a difficult grain to incorporate due to their (totally spectacular and) unique texture. Well, after scouring the web and fusing together several different quinoa recipes, I have developed the WINNER. Though I do believe that I should deliver this recipe with a warning: after your first bite, you will become addicted. It's not a "heads up", it's a signed guarantee.....

Lemon Garlic Quinoa with Roasted Beets

Here is what you'll need:
  • Quinoa (I use a 14oz bag of Arrowhead Mills Quinoa, it's about 2 full cups)
  • 3 1/2 cups of Vegetable Stock (Always cook your grains with flavor, hence the vegetable stock - or chicken stock if you're not a veg. Also, cooking quinoa calls for 1 part grain, 2 parts liquid BUT this results in heavy, mushy quinoa. I always use a little bit less liquid than it calls for, because after all, you can always ADD water but you can't take it away. Hence this recipe, 2 cups grain and instead of using 4 cups liquid, I'm only using 3.5)
  • 5 beets, as well as beet greens (Beets come in all sizes, so for me to give you a number would be difficult. Also, when you buy them in a bunch sometimes there are 3 and sometimes 5...who knows. Buy enough for you and who you're cooking for)
  • Pinch of Saffron
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 cloves fresh Garlic
  • Shallots (1/3 cup)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
How it's done....
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees f
  2. Peel beets and wrap individually in tin foil. Place in PREheated oven and let them roast for about 45minutes. While these are roasting, go ahead with the following:
  3. QUINOA: Soak, rinse, and then rinse again. You'll need a fine mesh strainer. This is very important. *The outer part of quinoa is coated with saponin- a sticky, bitter tasting substance that protects it in growing but can cause indigestion, as well as ruining the taste of the grain. The only way to rid the grain of it is to rinse it.
  4. After soaking the quinoa, add the grain and the vegetable broth (3.5cups) to a pot, along with the pinch of saffron, and bring to a boil. I let it boil for about 2 full minutes before turning it down to a simmer. You can cover it or leave it open - but it takes about 20 minutes for all the water to be absorbed and for the grain to become light and fluffy (as opposed to dense and crunchy).
  5. Now just leave your quinoa be -- you'll be coming back to that.
  6. Beet greens: don't use any bit of the stem, just the greens. Rip them up a bit (after washing them of course) and toss into a skillet with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Since greens cook down so very much, I'd recommend adding a heapful of spinach to fill it out at bit.
  7. In the same skillet , sautee your thinly sliced shallots in a bit of olive oil - basically doing a quick-caramelizing-job on them. Set aside.
  8. Mix up a dressing of: juice of 1/2 a juicy lemon, along with zest of half a lemon, 2 cloves of fresh garlic that have been grated on the zester, your 1-2 teaspoons of cumin, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Whisk, whisk, whisk, whisk. Add 3/4 of the dressing to your quinoa and mix, mix, mix.
  9. Remove beets from foil, thinly slice, and then toss in the remaining bit of dressing. Voila!
A beautiful way to plate for an individual serving: cooked greens on half the dish, quinoa in the middle, and then a half moon of beets on the right. Sprinkle your sauteed shallots on top.

A beautiful way to plate for a dinner party: beets covering the bottom of the serving dish, quinoa just in the middle, held in a circle by the beet greens - then finished with the shallots.

ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY -- this recipe is sure to blow your skirt up and get you totally hooked!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Just a reminder to everyone that my beach yoga schedule is BACK in action!! I'm still hobbling a bit in my knee brace, but after the success of this mornings class I can confidently say that class is ON and better than ever! I hope to see everyone on 41st street beach in Ocean City on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays for the rest of the summer! 7-8am...$10. ;)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sleepovers and Steamed Milk

Still have a few more days of not driving, so instead I'm being chauffeured. Had an amazing afternoon down in Cape May with my friend Jennifer Boyce, followed by a dinner at Thai Basil with LP. Then LP dropped me at my Aunt Nellies house, which is just around the corner from where he lives in Northfield. She made up the guest bed for me, but I slept in her bed anyways. A true sleepover!! Woke up this morning and I made us coffees with the Bialetti I gifted her for christmas. But the highlight was that she has a milk frother contraption for the steamed milk!!! It was so exciting! I felt like a true barista. Now we've had some breakfast and we are getting ready to head to my doctors appointment. So much fun to have a sleepover with my awesome Aunt Nell!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Know about My Knee.

Well, after what seems like ages - I finally sat down with my Ortho this afternoon to discuss the MRI (I got on Saturday) from my injury (that I got the previous Saturday). Turns out that I have a bone contusion and a strained ligament. This sounds like bad news - but it coulda been worse - I could have torn a ligament and needed surgery. A contusion is another name for a "bruise", so really I have a bruised bone - which doesn't seem too serious, but it's super painful. The doctor gave me strict orders to TAKE IT EASY for the next 8 weeks (well, technically 7 because my injury happened a week ago...). Absolutely no surfing and no long walks on the beach. He said no yoga, but there is still heaps of yoga that I can do that doesn't involve the function of my right knee. I plan to go back to teaching yoga this weekend, though I will be doing less demonstrating - and more hands-on corrections and very specific cues as I'm guiding. It's going to be a learning experience for myself as a teacher, as well as a more attentive class for my students. Waitressing is out of the question, which though I'm devastated by the lack of income this will cause, my soul is ecstatic for the time away from the madness. It's a difficult time now -- my body has been programmed for the past 7 years to WORK LIKE A LUNATIC during July, August and naturally, my limbs are anxious, my wallet is crying and mind is running a mile a minute. But, with time {and meditation} my body and mind will eventually catch up with the reality at hand - which is a very low-key summer. I'm thankful for the time I'm now able to spend with my family; it's as though it's a sign from above, allowing me, giving me permission, NOT to work. Stay tuned for how it all pans out....

And just incase you happen to hear of catering jobs, graphic design work, or entertainment gigs...I'm all ears......!

Monday, July 4, 2011


Just incase you have failed to notice, let me bring to your attention a new feature to the blog...a tool which makes navigating my site much easier. If you begin to scroll down the page, on the right hand side under the Blog Archive is a box that says,


>>> Listed underneath What Are You Looking For is a link to some of the more popular subjects, ideas, recipes and destinations that I have blogged about over these past few years. So next time you are in need of a delicious salad recipe, just click on SALADS and you'll be taken to all of the salad recipes I have posted on Nose Walkin' and Trash Talkin'. Eating out and need a destination? Click on the eating out link and see if there are any restaurants listed in your area. Click. Explore. Enjoy.

“What is more refreshing than salads when your appetite seems to have deserted you, or even after a capacious dinner - the nice, fresh, green, and crisp salad, full of life and health, which seems to invigorate the palate and dispose the masticating powers to a much longer duration.”

Alexis Soyer 19th century French chef.

Hobble and Harvest

I have been on crutches for 9 days now. Well, I guess that I was on them for only about 6 days, the past three I have been hobbling. I don't hobble far, just around the house, always rest, ice and elevation between the hobble sessions. I've been hobbling mostly around the kitchen - my favorite place in the house. To say that I'm stir crazy would be an understatement, and the only thing I can think to do is cook and create. Lucky me - I've had lots of vegetables to work with! My mom has enlisted my (handicap) services this week as she harvested radishes and string beans after the big rains that we had. She has been super busy working as well as with taking care of Dad and me - so she hadn't gotten around to thinning the radishes, or even picking any at all. SO, she brought in armful after armful of inedible radishes with green stalks about the size of a tall midget. Not to worry though, because the greens are edible and not only that, but they are delicious!! So she set me up a station, one seat for sitting and one to elevate my leg - with a huge bucket of water to prewash the picked greens in.

Also harvested this week were mounds and mounds of string beans...enough for a small army. Lori King showed up earlier in the week, picked heaps of the SB's and then went home-- it was a huge help and a super kind gesture that my exhausted mother and her invalid daughter appreciated. After another big summer shower the other day, Mom put on long sleeves and long pants to ward off the mosquitoes and spent nearly two hours picking bucket after bucket after bucket of SB's. I was inside, again set up with a seat for seating and a seat to elevate my leg (with ice on my knee of course!), cleaning up the harvest. I picked the ends off of nearly 5,000 of those little green bastards. But despite the tedious work, I'd do it all again -- because you simply CANNOT beat something that is fresh from the garden, grown with love. It just tastes BETTER.

“The difference of a single day is perceptible. Vegetables can only be tasted in perfection, gathered the same day.”

John Pintard (1759-1844)

We had so many that we obviously couldn't eat them all or give em all away -- so we froze a bunch. But you can't just throw them into the freezer, there are steps to take. Onions, peppers and herbs do not need to be blanched. Squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkin should be fully cooked before freezing. All other vegetables need to be BLANCHED...

Why Blanching Vegetables is Important

Enzymes are necessary for plants because they cause them to grow. But after a plant is harvested, those previously beneficial enzymes continue to work their magic to the plants’ detriment. If left to their own devices, plant enzymes will quickly cause the plant to lose its color, flavor and texture.

The purpose of blanching vegetables is to slow the action of the enzymes for freezing or freshness:

  1. Freezing – it is often a necessary step prior to freezing your market-fresh or home grown veggies for longer-term storage (not over 6 months).
  2. Freshness - it will cause vegetables to keep their color, texture and flavor longer… a nice trick for leftovers such as salads. It’s also a good way to quickly cook vegetables without sacrificing texture, flavor and nutrition.

How to Blanch Vegetables

Proper blanching is specific to each vegetable, and it is not necessary for all vegetable:

Here is a high level overview of how to blanch vegetables:

  1. Add a little salt to a pot of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Prepare vegetables as described for that specific veggie.
  3. Boil or steam veggies until they are tender but still crisp. The boiling time required is specific to each vegetable.
  4. Drain the vegetables.
  5. Fully submerge vegetables in cool water for the same amount of time that they were boiled or steamed.
  6. Drain, and your fully blanched vegetables are ready to go.

Note that vegetables can either be steamed or boiled. While blanching time typically takes a little longer using steam, it may preserve more of the vitamins and nutrients.