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Chicken Parm for Anyone

21 Apr

Today, I got an email from my darling Christiana about a “dish” we used to make when we were in New York. She reminded me of how easy it was to make really good, healthy meals, in about 20 minutes. I decided to share our recipes with you, in hopes that when you’re in a bind, you’ll be able to make something simple and delicious for you and your family.

Now, the idea of this method is all about cooking in foil. Don’t laugh. What you’re going to do is make a little “pocket” for your meat to cook in, that will force your food into maximum flavor, with minimal effort.

Chicken Parm

1. Chicken Breast (preferably organic/free range)

2. Fresh Garlic

3. Tomato Sauce

4. Fresh Basil

5. Bread crumbs

6. Tin Foil (1 piece per breast)

Start by preheating the oven to 350*.

Take a piece of tin foil large enough to wrap around a chicken breast with room to spare. Slice fresh garlic and place on the foil. Layer in the fresh basil, then the chicken breast, topped with some tomato sauce and finally, the bread-crumbs.

Wrap the foil up and over on the top, folding the four edges of the foil into a “gift wrap”.

Place the “pocket” into an oven-safe dish (so if it leaks, your oven doesn’t catch fire), then pop it in the oven for 20 minutes.

Voila! You have a nearly FAT FREE Chicken Parmesan in 22.5 minutes.

You can also do the same thing with a Halibut steak, sliced onions, sliced garlic and cilantro! Deeeeelish.


Crazy Oversized Egg!!!

15 Apr

This is amazing. What I like best is the lady’s reaction to what happens when she cracks the “jumbo” egg.

Tapped. A Challenge to Myself.

13 Apr

Last night I watched a life-changing documentary, called Tapped. Documented by Stephanie Soetchtig, the film addressed the questions of big business in the bottled-water industry. “Is clean drinking water an inalienable right, or is it a privilege like every other commodity?”

I was really moved by the film’s expert sources, including chemists, biologists, humanitarians, professors, doctors, and those impassioned by the state of our environment.

It moved me (like so many good documentaries do) to be better, to protect myself and my family from the harmful chemicals in bottled water, and to be better about recycling, even though I currently live in a state that doesn’t have a Bottle Bill and makes little effort to educate the public about recycling, making it difficult to do so.

It also made me really mad at the way our society works. We are told that we need things and we buy it. It’s called “advertising” the exact field I work in. The problem is that these massive companies move into these little towns, rob them of their water, sell their water for 1900% of the costs of bottle packaging, then leave the town high and “dry” (pun absolutely intended), and don’t return any responsibility onto their buyers by aiding in  recycling efforts. Even cigarette companies have to educate smokers about the harmful effects of smoking, but water companies, which are viewed as healthy, don’t educate people about where the water was pulled from (typically TAP water), how (if) it was treated, or what chemicals are in bottle packaging that are also found in cancer tissues (also a leader in poor reproductive health).

Lastly, the documentary doesn’t even touch the surface of the bottled soda industry, but based on the statistics of the “blue gold” industry, I can’t imagine the effects our habitual soda consumption is having on our people and our environment. It’s disturbing.

The strongest point in the film though, was only briefly touched on. We as a society are so much more concerned with convenience, that “we don’t take the time to care for our belonging, cleaning them and reusing them” in order to save our earth and ourselves. We are so spoiled and adjusted to getting what we want, when we want it, then throwing it out, because it’s useless to us when we’ve used it all up. There’s a great correlation between our usage of bottled water and the way we treat everything else in our paths… seeking to get what’s good for now and throwing it out when there’s something better or the need changes, with no regard for what happens next. We treat everything like this, from celebrities to relationships, to trash…

This doesn’t mean that there’s no good in bottled water when it comes to emergencies, drought, or disasters, but we over-use our disposable products and pay for free commodities, just because it’s somehow more convenient.

I’m making a challenge to myself. Stop taking 2 minutes more to be lazy and create 2 minutes more to be productive. I’m going to do my best to save bottled water for extreme circumstances, wash my reusable containers (instead of leaving them in the car), fill them with filtered water from my sink and plan my days better, so I avoid self-induced “extreme circumstances” better. I can’t change the world by myself, but I sure can save my own money, and release myself of the personal responsibility that I could be contributing to a health / earth destroying bad behavior.

The Beachcomber Cafe – Newport Coast, CA

16 Aug

Quite possibly the best French Feta plate on earth. Baked Feta, roasted tomatoes, olive tempanade and garlic crostini for an app.

Gyro ‘n’ Kabob – Tustin, CA

27 Jul

Our first trip to Gyro N Kabob was an adventure all it’s own. Starving and in Tustin at 11:00pm on a Saturday night, Grant and I headed to the grocery store to buy some wine. Leaving the store (still starving), we saw a sign that said “OPEN”. Nothing is open at 11:00pm in Tustin (except for overly processed chain restaurants). We went over to the little “hole in the wall” called Gyro N Kabob and started drooling, it smelled so good. When we walked in however, we were 100% out of place. The restaurant had been rented for a private party, all of whom stared us down as my tall, long-haired Grant and skinny-jean wearing me walked in, completely unaware that we weren’t welcome. The security guy stopped us and told us that they were closed for the private party. We kindly left, feeling the stares on our backs as we walked out. Seconds after starting to drive away, the same security guy came running after us. I reluctantly rolled my window down to hear him say, “The owner (pant, pant). She wants to see you (pant, pant).”


We decided to welcome the adventure, re-parked the car and walked back into the room full of awkwardly staring guest. We respectfully (and slightly nervously) walked towards the owner in the back of the restaurant. She looked at us and said, “Here. You take this and eat.” She handed us 2 togo boxes and ushered us to the buffet line, where the food was out for her private event. We filled our boxes, slightly confused by how much it would all cost us. We offered to pay her and she said, “No. You have your food. Come back sometime and you eat for free.”

Oh happy day. We thanked her, ran back to the car (all the while enduring more painful stares), hopped in the car and drove home. We sat in our living room in shock. Not only was the gesture incredibly kind, the food was remarkable. Koobideh, Filet Mignon, Chicken Tikka, Rice Pilaf, Salad, a green sauce (that I crave now), some veggies and kindness.


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