Friday, February 27, 2009

Guava Mama

I love a good cheese board. One of my favorite local sources is Cheesetique. Jill Erber, the owner, does marvelous classes if you haven’t tried them out. The classes typically consist of 10 cheese with a glass of red and white wine to accompany them. It's always fun seeing what goes best with different cheeses. Blue Cheese goes well with a Port. Camembert pairs nicely with Pinot Noir. Of course, it's really up to your palette. One of my fabulous friends just turned me onto another good cheese accompaniment, guava paste. This delicious treat can be found at Whole Foods or your local Latino markets. Rumor has it that this stuff is even delicious in bread pudding!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Heavenly Honey Rolls

There's a definitely difference between cooks and bakers. Cooks can throw together a good dinner with a little dash of this and a hint of that. Bakers are a little more precise with their concoctions. I consider myself a cook. I will happily peruse my larder and whisk up something for dinner, but a baker I'm not...or at least I'm working my way up the ranks to that classification. I've got a few great sweet dishes in my repertoire, but bread and I have had a rather tumultuous affair. Late last summer, I decided to mend this relationship. Poor Mr. Diva had to try some less than savory loaves of bread and lots of dry rolls. Thankfully, I found a good go to recipe for both homemade white and wheat bread, so yesterday, I decided to take on rolls. Let me tell you that this recipe smells, looks and tastes delicious. It was almost like the Hot Doughnuts Now sign was on when I popped these out of the oven. The honey butter accompaniment drives this recipe out of the park. It makes a whopping 28 rolls, but you can freeze whatever you don't eat. I suggest giving them to your friends, but like a Pringle once you pop, you just can't stop!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Spring Reawakening

I'm a huge fan of all things beauty...skincare, lip glosses, you name it! My favorite local source for trying new products is Bluemercury. Their staff is always top notch and loaded with lots of good beauty intel. They have just announced their Spring Makeover Parties to help you get a fresh face palette for the new season ahead. It's a great way to get ready for the season of patio drinks and sandals.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Get in Shape Girl

As a Tiger Beat reading school girl , I was obsessed with Get in Shape Girl's ribbon bands and hand weights. Who didn't love to twirl around their room pretending to be Olympic bound! Sadly, my talent should have been left at home. Thankfully, workout gear has come along way since then. Over Christmas, my sister introduced me to 10 minute solutions DVDs. Each DVD includes 5-10 minute sections, so you can either do all 5 or mix and match segments. My favorite is Slim and Sculpt Pilates, which comes with a resistance band that mimics the reformer and cadillac machines found in a pilates studio. Now, I doubt a Wheaties box is in my near future, but hey girl's got to aim high, right?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chinese Take Out at Home

Mr. Diva and I had searched high and low for quality Chinese food delivery, but came up empty handed. So of course I went in search of a good a way to craft a quality staple dish, but found that most recipes were either a little runny or just lacked any zing. Lucky for me, I found the start to the recipe on and then tweaked it to fit our taste. I hope you guys enjoy it!

Classic Chicken and Broccoli


12 oz boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

3 T oyster or hoisin sauce

6 T soy sauce

3 T vegetable oil

2-4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large onion, diced

½ c water

1 t ground black pepper

1 t white sugar

1 small head of broccoli, chopped

¼-1/2 red pepper chopped

Mushrooms, chopped

1 T cornstarch mixed with equal parts water

Sriracha to taste


In a large bowl, combine chicken, 2 T oyster sauce and 4 T soy sauce. (I like to add a little Sriracha sauce at this point). Set aside for 15 minutes. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion until soft and translucent. Increase heat to high. Add chicken and marinade, then stir fry until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in water, pepper, sugar, 1 T oyster sauce, 2 T soy sauce. . Add broccoli, red pepper and mushrooms. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Pour in cornstarch mixture, and cook until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Friday, February 13, 2009

One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila...Floor!

I'm a connoisseur of all things delish. I'm always on the prowl for a fun new food or booze inspired class. Last year, I was lucky enough to attend a tequila class at Oyamel. Now to some the word tequila evokes images of spring breaks gone bad, Jose Cuervo or rubbing alcohol, but let me tell you there's a world of sipable Mexican spirits out there. From March 2-15, Oyamel will be hosting their annual tequila and mezcal festival with tequila tastings, dinners, and cocktail specials. I'm all about hitting the mezcal tasting on March 5. Now don't ask me what mezcal is...just go taste it and see if it's worthy of your liquor cabinet.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Banana Banana calling Yum Yum!

Who doesn't love Banana Pudding? If you answered no, proceed to jail and do not collect your $200 bucks if you pass go! I'm a big time fan. It comes as no surprise that when I found this little gem inside my favorite magazine, Southern Living, I had to give it a try. Let me tell you I wasn't disappointed. I could easily make the Vanilla Wafer crust my go to staple for lemon bars, key lime pie, you name it! I'll warn you that this recipe is like making takes some serious dedication, but unlike bread, not as many mad skills. There's just a lot of cooling and chilling time, so plan it for a weekend or a day off. When I made this pie for Mr. Diva, he was very pumped. It made up for a week of bad recipe trials! This recipe gets high marks for finger lickin' good food and is definitely home in the winner's binder.

Indian Stew Blues

So after much deliberation, here I am...rocking the blogspot like a hurricane. At the moment, I'm enjoying fun-employment, which means I've got a lot of time on my hands. I decided to tackle the ever growing, ridiculously large amount of recipes in my trial binder. Yes, I'm a little Monk-like and have a carefully organized binder full of big time hit recipes (Ruth Reichl's Channing Way Shrimp Curry, Cook's Illustrated Lemon Bundt Cake, Martha's Pork Tenderloin, just to name a few). Then, there's the other fat guy that is busting at the seams full of all the recipes that I've been meaning to try. Some are as old as my Cooking Light subscription. I kicked that guy out a long time ago and continually shock myself that there are some recipes still lingering. No offense to all you avid CL fans, it's just not for me. I'm more of the Paula Deen the butter, love the fat. I just remember everything in moderation as my Dad always tells me!

So what recipe to start with? Well, I'll begin with the most recent. I'm on a big kick to ramp up my Indian cuisine. I'm lucky enough to have some great go to spots here in DC. Rasika being at the top of that list. I can't get enough of the curries, naan, and chutneys...yum! So when I saw this recipe in Everyday Food, I had to give it a try. I made it for lunch the other day and found myself ravenous after a few hours. The prep and cooking process were fairly easy, but the end result wasn't anything to share. So this recipe gets low marks in my book for flavor and sustainability! I'm sure that I could tweak the recipe a little bit to make it more to my liking, but why try, I've got a long list to work through and only winners will make it to the final round...the organized binder!
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