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August 22, 2014

My favorite fruit: Avocados

                         


I was a lucky duck when I lived in California. Avocados trees were a plenty. I'd just pick one and eat it. We used to just cut them in half and put some vinegar or olive oil on it and scoop it out. Now I used them in smoothies, salads, as well as sandwiches and the most famous; guacamole.


If you've always been unsure of how to choose or take care of an avocado, well here are some tips:


   

What to Look For:

      Choose heavy, undamaged fruit. An avocado that yields slightly to pressure is best for slicing and dicing; if pressure leaves a small indentation, the avocado is best mashed. Avoid very soft avocados, as they will be overripe and unusable.

 

How to Store: 

       Keep unripe avocados at room temperature. To speed ripening, place in a paper bag with an apple or banana; to stop ripening, refrigerate for up to two days.



Try these:


Grilled Avocado on Toast

Brush 1/2 avocado (pitted and peeled) with fresh lime juice and olive oil. Grill, cut side down, for 1 to 2 minutes, creating grill marks. Turn to create crosshatch marks, and grill for 1 minute more. Meanwhile, brush 1 side of a slice of bread with olive oil, and grill, about 30 seconds per side. Top bread with thin slices of parmesan and the grilled avocado. Mash with a fork, brush with olive oil and salt.

Avocado-Pear Smoothie


    • 1 ripe Hass avocado (about 7 ounces)
    • 1/2 cup silken tofu drained
    • 1 cup pear juice
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 2 cups ice

Directions

Quarter, pit, and peel avocado. Process avocado, tofu, juice, honey, and vanilla in a blender until smooth. Add ice; blend until smooth. Divide among 4 glasses.

Avocado Smoothie

    • 2/3 cup avocado
    • Lemon juice
    • Honey
    • Ginger
    • 1 cup ripe mango
    • 1 cup ice
    • Soaked chia seeds (optional)

Directions 

For a lusciously creamy smoothie, blend avocado (full of healthy fats and potassium) with lemon juice, honey, ginger, mango and ice. Extra credit: Stir in soaked chia seeds for an omega-3 boost.

Lemon Tuna Avocado Snack

Ingredients

    • 1 ripe avocado
    • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 six-ounce solid albacore tuna, in spring water
    • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Halve avocado lengthwise, and remove the pit. Scoop out 2 tablespoons avocado flesh from each half, and leave the shells with the remaining flesh intact.
  2. Mash the 4 tablespoons avocado with lemon juice and olive oil until smooth. Toss with tuna, sunflower seeds, half the lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Fill halves with tuna mixture, and garnish with remaining lemon zest and basil, if desired. Serve immediately with a spoon.

Mango Guacamole


Ingredients

    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
    • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, (about 2 limes)
    • 1 serrano chile, minced (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired)
    • 2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1 mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces (below)
    • Coarse salt

Directions

  1. To prepare mango: Hold mango with a paper towel (to avoid slippage). Using a vegetable peeler, remove skin and discard.
  2. With a knife, slice off wide, flat part of fruit on both sides of pit. Trim flesh from pit (discard pit).
  3. Place parts cut side down; slice in half horizontally. Cut crosswise into thin strips; cut strips lengthwise into pieces.
  4. To make guacamole: In a medium bowl, combine avocados, mango, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and serrano chile; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Fold gently, leaving texture chunky.


To get more delicious recipes, go to: http://www.marthastewart.com/274790/avocado-recipes/@center/276955/seasonal-produce-recipe-guide#31832
8

December 21, 2013

Aging Gracefully... most of the time



This past October–drum role please–I turned 48.  I still can't really put my head around that number.  I still remember when I was in my 20's, and my girlfriends would always joke, "Your'e pushing 30!"  Then eventually it was, "Your'e pushing 40!" Now? where are they now?   The silence is thick with fear.   But a few of my friends have surpassed me and reached the next glorious double didgit of 50.  And you know what?  It's really not so bad.  Sure, when your 45, and under, you cringe when you think of turning 50. But as the years go by, and you see little changes, but nothing too dramatic, and you still feel fabulous, sexy and alive, 50 just seems like another number.  One to just go, "oh boo. You don't scare me!"   50 is actually kind of sexy now.  Because it's broken the stereo type.  And people who are still stuck in the middle ages who refer to "middle age" as 40, have another thing coming.  Well maybe if they are sitting around eating donuts, doritos, lot's of fried fats, don't excersice or socialize. Then, yes they will look like the old fashioned 50.  But these days, it doesn't take much to keep your youth. The very most important ingredient to staying young looking (IMHO), is to be young thinking. Open minded.  Open to all.  To love fully, and to give fully.  To embrace life.  To forgive, and to let go.  To just be yourself.  Don't get stuck.  Find your way out of those sticky places with the right, positive attitude.  Hey, it's not easy. And not every day is easy. But more times than naught, it is.  Just some gentle reminders needed.  Good friends, and people around you that you love and love you.
I have the best group of friends EVER.  They are near, and they are far. But only far geographically. They sit so close to my heart, sometimes it hurts when I miss them. But I know something for sure now–and this is a benefit of age–the friends you have now, will be with you forever.  We're in that unconditional love phase of our lives. And it's glorious!

 So here are some photos from this year, of me. I'm proud of me. Proud of my body– with stretch marks, a few sags, cellulite and fat. (Yes, we all have to have fat!)   I'm in love with my family, friends, and my life.   I'm very, very lucky. Even with a few wrinkles to go with the smile.


July, Amagansett

If i stand just so...

With fellow sex pot mommy, Hannah.  Yeah, but she's still in her 30's or something

My Birthday Weekend: London (zoom in for crinkles

With the Family on our German Thanksgiving

With the man in my life.  But I have to admit, I think he softened the lens on this.



Celebrating Christmas with Wanda (my mom, who just turne 78!)

I love you mom. Your an inspiration!



December 20, 2013

Sewing Precious Pants


These are the silk pants I made last spring. I'm pretty sure I posted this photo of me modeling them, but not sure if I posted the few photos I took while constructing them.  What I usually do, is take a pattern, and then customize it.   A lot of the instructions on these patterns aren't very clear, so I improvise anyway.  Recently, I learned how to do a double welted pocket, which I'll show in another post.  But these call for standard side pockets, zipper and my addition, tuxedo stripe.   I have a few problems when I'm sewing.  I don't have a Serger, so my edges are not the prettiest.  That's on my wish list for next year.   And, I don't always choose the most forgiving materials.   For example, these pants would be better if they had just a slight stretch.  But, they still look hot.



After adding the tuxedo strip.

Getting ready to bring the together...



Crappy edges

Getting ready to add zipper

Basted for a change. It really helps keep things in place!

Perfectly alighted zipper. Sucky edges.

closed

tadda!



waist band being added