Nothing like the thrill of attending fashion week in Paris and Milan, including the heavenly Couture Shows! What a treat and a privilege to spend intimate time with these incredible designers who are true artists, and to see their spellbinding creations (designed and stitched in their ateliers and, then finally, the finished confections making their long awaited debuts on the runway). A few magical moments to share. Ooh la la…
Wining & Dining
Wine & Dine:
I’ve always loved CPK. Tough to resist their wildly gourmet pizzas, supreme light bites (those shrimp lettuce cups) and their primo salads (who hasn’t indulged in that heavenly Barbecue Chicken?). As a mom, I’m also a big fan of their very kid-friendly menu and have frequented this forever-a-favorite dining destination on a regular basis with the kids in tow. Now, with the launch of their new seasonal menu items at the original Beverly Hills location on Beverly Drive, I’ve been hitting CPK for many an adults-only outing — and, we grown-ups are loving every bite (and sip) of it. These divine menu additions along with the artisanal cocktails, which are expected to roll out in all CPK’s very soon, have me hooked! A few of my favorites:
Lobster Roll Flatbread
OK, need I say more? The authentic taste will have you thinking you’ve just landed on the shores of Maine. I could easily eat several orders of this.
The new cocktail additions alone are worthy of a visit. This refreshing concoction is made with Fresh Avocado & Mint, Agave Sour, Fennel, Vodka and Salt Rim. Fancy right?
Talk about a sophisticated dish. I devoured every morsel of it.
Give me strength here! This slice of perfection must have come straight from Cloud 9. I’m weak even thinking about it.
Enough of the daydreaming. I know exactly where I’m having dinner tonight…
You’ll love this chicken tender recipe not only because it’s ridiculously easy to make, but it’s also crazy good, and I have yet to meet a kid (or adult for that matter) who hasn’t flipped over it. The sweetness of the jam mixed with the savory mustard is irresistible. And, who doesn’t appreciate guaranteed ease in the kitchen?! Convenience is my mantra and this tasty dish never disappoints – talk about a non-stop crowd pleaser. My style in the kitchen is winging it; that’s how I prefer to cook cuz it’s more enjoyable that way for me (I’m not into following recipes, at least whenever possible), and this one is such a cinch you’ll have it down by the time you’re at the end of my post! Start by pre-heating the oven to 350. This is all you need:
1 pound of chicken tenders
4-6 oz Dijon Mustard
10 oz Jar Of Apricot Jam
Of course, a nice big pot to cook in
Rinse off the tenders, shake off any excess water and place in the pot. Pour in the the mustard and jam. Mix it up nice and good with a spoon until the tenders are coated (see above photo).
Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 35-45 minutes. I say “about” because all ovens are different. You know these babies are cooked simply by slicing one open. There shouldn’t be any pink. The sauce keeps them moist so even if you happen to overcook them by a few minutes they still come out juicy and delicious.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
Prepare for an ambush of oohs and aahs!
P.S. If you want to whip up more than a pound amp up the mustard and apricot jam accordingly. Just make sure the chicken tenders are coated.
Whipping up tasty meals at home just became a cinch! Gourmet Garden is my new bestie in the kitchen – fresh, organic herbs and spices all chopped up and ready to go in the convenience of a tube. Just squeeze and prepare to please! From basil, parsley, dill and garlic to more exotic delights like lemongrass and cilantro, these babies will instantly punch up any meal. I simply boil some pasta then squeeze in some of the Basil, a touch of the Garlic, mix it up and voila… in less than 10 minutes a supremely tasty meal is ready to be served – and no rinsing, no chopping, no slicing, no dicing required! My other favorite is creating a salad dressing by stirring the Basil into a little bowl of olive oil, a few squeezes of lemon and a dash of salt – this award-worthy concoction always generates many oohs and aahs. Take boring steamed veggies to new heights by tossing them with a few squeezes of the Dill. The ideas and possibilities are truly endless! They last several months in the frig and are gluten-free. For those with dairy sensitivities, know that one of the ingredients lower on the list is whey. Available at supermarkets across the country (click HERE for all locations). Bon Appetit!
Should you be whooping it up with friends and loved ones in celebration of the 65th Primetime Emmy® Awards this coming Sunday evening (set your DVR’s – that’s September 22nd!), why not do it up exactly like your favorite Emmy® nominees by offering guests a glass of wine by Beaulieu Vineyard®. That’s right… moments after the highly anticipated awards ceremony (go Breaking Bad, House Of Cards and Game Of Thrones!), those designer-clad TV stars glide over to the party that trumps all others, The Governors Ball, where I hear they’ll be served gourmet delicacies by Patina Chef and Founder Joachim Splichal and primo wines from Beaulieu Vineyard®, the famed Napa Valley winery. On the menu – the 2009 BV Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2011 Beaulieu Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay. So even if you don’t have the Armani duds and Louboutin hoofs you’ll certainly be toasting in A-List style!
These instantly caught my attention – ips All Natural Egg White
Ch(ips). Clever spelling there, right? We’re talking devilishly tasty, hearty chips that aren’t fried and loaded with 7 grams of protein per serving (thanks to those wholesome egg whites). They’re available in such mouth-watering flavors as Aged White Cheddar, Barbecue, Sea Salt/Black Pepper and even Cinammon Sugar to help satisfy your sweet tooth. They’re also gluten-free, contain 50% less fat than regular potato chips and are all natural (meaning no fake stuff). I don’t know about you but I’m squirreling away a few bags of these ips for myself since the kids are quickly gobbling them all up. Dig in!
Looking for a supreme bottle of vino to knock them socks off? The 2009 “Critical Mass” Zinfandel from Nadeau Family Vintners (located near Paso Robles, CA) will do the trick. Priced at a very reasonable $28 a bottle, Critical Mass is described as a “big, over the top” Zinfandel. Now, I’m not a wine connoisseur or anything like that. I just know that I’m picky and this stuff is a winner in my book. It’s a winner according to many other friends and family who have tried it too. Available through the Nadeau Winery. Cheers!