Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Do you need an energy boost? Try this stretch. It calms the mind, relieves stress, stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings, and back;, stimulates the kidneys and adrenal glands, improves digestion, and reduces fatigue.
1. Sit with your legs extended straight in front of you, feet parallel with toes pointing up. Press the back of your legs into the floor.
2. Inhale deeply and lift through the upper body. With your spine straight and shoulders back, pull the navel in slightly toward the spine, creating space in the abdomen. Exhale, release, and lean forward, bending from the hip, not the waist.
3. Fold forward only as far as you can (keep your knees bent if that's more comfortable). With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso slightly; if you feel able to go further, release a little more fully into the bend on an exhale. Try not to crunch; maintain length through the spine.
4. Hold for a few breaths, allowing your body to open up. Direct your breath toward the kidneys, breathing deep into the lower back. Then inhale and sit up slowly, lifting your torso away from the thighs until your back is straight. Repeat 2 to 3 times.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
As I've mentioned over and over again, Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love the scents, the crisp air, the colors, the feel of cozy clothes and throw blankets and the comforting feeling the season seems to bring.
While browsing MarthaStewart.com I came across this really neat, and really easy, do it yourself pumpkin incense burner. Hello yummy smell of pumpkin, cinnamon and FALL!
Here's how to make it:
Cut off the pumpkin's top and scrape out the innards; carve round vents with an apple corer. Rub cinnamon or pumpkin-pie spices onto the lid, or push cloves into it. With a lighted tealight candle inside, the pumpkin will give off a lovely fragrance for about six hours.
I wish I could think of things like this. Thank goodness we have Martha!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
- 1 (2-pound) sugar pumpkin, trimmed, quartered, and cleaned
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 10 fresh sage leaves
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Pasta Dough
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place pumpkin in a roasting pan; rub cut sides with 3 tablespoons butter and place one sage leaf in the cavity of each pumpkin quarter; season with salt and pepper. Cover pan with parchment paper-lined aluminum foil. Transfer to oven and bake until pumpkin flesh is easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.
3. Remove from oven and discard foil. Let pumpkin stand until cool enough to handle. Discard sage leaves. Using a spoon, scoop out pumpkin flesh and transfer to a large bowl; discard skin. Using a fork, mash pumpkin until smooth; add mascarpone, Parmesan, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; stir to combine. Set filling aside.
4. Divide pasta dough into 4 equal pieces. Set the rollers of a hand-crank or electric pasta machine at their widest opening. Working with one piece at a time (and keeping the remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap), generously flour dough and run it through the pasta machine. Dust dough again with flour and fold into thirds like a letter. Run dough through pasta machine again. Repeat process 2 to 3 more times until smooth.
5. Now change the rollers of the pasta machine to the next decreasing setting, and roll out the dough once without folding. Keep rolling the sheet through the machine on decreasing settings until you have rolled it through the second to last setting. Transfer pasta to a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat process with remaining pieces of dough.
6. Working with one pasta sheet at a time, cut into 3-by 3-inch squares. Place 1 tablespoon pumpkin filling toward the middle of the top half of each square. Using a wet pastry brush, brush edges of pasta to moisten. Fold bottom half of square over filling. Press air out and pinch dough together, working from the middle outwards to remove any air pockets. Seal edges with the ends of the tines of a fork; fold edges over filling and pinch together. Transfer cappellacci to a lightly floured baking sheet as you work.
7. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; generously salt water and return to a boil. Working in batches, add cappellacci; cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid.
8. Meanwhile, tear remaining 6 sage leaves into small pieces. Heat 4 tablespoons butter and torn sage in a large skillet over medium high heat until aromatic and browned, taking care not to burn, about 3 minutes.
9. Reduce heat to low and add reserved pasta cooking liquid to skillet along with remaining 4 tablespoons butter; cook, stirring, until butter is emulsified. Add cappellacci to skillet and gently stir to combine. Serve in warmed bowls sprinkled with Pecorino Romano.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
In case you don't know, my mother is a fabulous food photographer (SaloPhotography) and she brought to my attention that October is National Cheese Month. Well, I love October and I love cheese, so THAT must be why Autumn is my favorite time of year :)
In keeping with the cheese theme, I thought you would enjoy this yummy twist on mac 'n cheese:
- 1 pound purchased or homemade gnocchi
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded Fontina cheese
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Basil leaves for garnish, optional
1. Preheat oven to 375. Prepare gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and place gnocchi in a single-layer in a 1-1/2 quart shallow baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in flour until it thickens and bubbles, then whisk in milk and Dijon. Continue to whisk mixture and cook until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
3. Combine Gruyere and Fontina, then add by the handful to milk mixture, stirring until melted before adding the next handful. Once all cheese is melted, season sauce with salt and pepper.
4. Pour sauce over gnocchi and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano over top. Bake gnocchi until they puff and the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Let gnocchi rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Now I can't say this is a lite recipe like you're used to me posting, but hey, we all need some good comfort-food every now and then, don't you agree?!
Monday, October 17, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
It's coming! Chalene's book is coming! And she's giving it away for FREE! Yes, I said it. FREE! Are you as excited as I am?!
Join me on 11.11.11 for the PUSH PARTY to reserve your FREE copy! Here's how to register:
Go to http://www.ChaleneJohnson.com/pushjumpstart
Team Name: Fit For Life!
Team Leader: Taryn Talbott
Chalene is going to PUSH us to reach our goals and it all begins on 11.11.11.
I don't know about you, but I'm certainly all for a banging body and living the life I deserve! :)
Monday, October 10, 2011
I apologize for my mia status last week my dear friends and followers. I had a migraine that was kicking my booty and severely hindering my creative thinking. It's still pounding in my head, but I'm not going to let it get me down this week.
I found this quote and photo a couple weeks ago and saved it to my desktop knowing I would be sharing it with you on a motivational Monday.
Enjoy your day. Have a great week. And tackle that thing that you've been dreading. You can do it!
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
- 2 tablespoons apple-cider, balsamic or red-wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup candied walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 shallot, minced
- 6-8 medium-size beets, tops removed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A few handfuls of torn arugula leaves
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Wrap beets individually in foil, twisting the ends, and place on a baking sheet. Bake 60 to 90 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the flesh.
3. In a small bowl, combine the shallot, vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let stand for at least 5 minutes; whisk in olive oil to make a vinaigrette.
4. Remove beets from oven and unwrap them. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin with your fingers or a small knife. Slice into wedges or 1/3-inch-thick rounds and place in a serving bowl.
5. Add vinaigrette and toss to coat evenly. Top with cheese, walnuts and arugula leaves.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Where are you? Inside or outside of the circle?
Now let me rephrase the question - where do you want to be? Step outside of your comfort zone. When you do, that's when you will experience the good stuff that life has to offer.
Go on, get a little uncomfortable!
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Saturday, October 1, 2011
My newest little obsession: Dior Airflash Foundation
Oh. My. Gosh. This little can of spray foundation is powerful and fabulous! Hello feeling like a runway model...
Applying foundation has never been easier for me and the coverage is fantastic. Plus, my skin feels like it can BREATHE which is something I have yet to find with other foundations.
Now I just need to find another way to earn money so I can afford my new expensive obsession. Perhaps the Dior counter is hiring??? :)