Archive for August 2009

Pussy Collage made by meHi Everyone!  Several weeks ago while at a local Starbucks, I was looking at their merchandise and saw this cool box of cookies. Initially my eye was drawn the artwork on the box; an owl and a cat. As I examined the sides of the box, I saw it had the famous children’s poem ” THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT” by Edward Lear. I was kind of shocked as the poem uses the word ” Pussy” several times. Yes I know back then pussy meant cat and gay meant happy but oh how times have changed. I actually giggle when I hear the word pussy. It does not offend me. But I am surprised there hasn’t been an uproar from some right wing group  over  the package .

The OWL AND PUSSY CAT cookies are  made by Artisan and the exact name for this product is called TWO BY TWO NATURAL VANILLA BISCUITS. They are handmade in the UK in the shape of an owl and cat. I am hooked on these cookies (or biscuits). They are incredible! Two cookies contain about 130 calories and you can taste the butter. But as I always say, “butter makes it better!”

The company has two other flavors- a Toffee cookie and a strawberry cookie which I will be ordering on line. These cookies aren’t cheap. They are about $6.50 for a package of eight but what a wonderful splurge. I LOVE them!

Despite my new found cookie obsession, I have managed through the use of creative visualization and exercise (I kid you not), to lose about 15 lbs in the last 6 months and reshape my body. Slowly, I have weaned myself off soda and have been drinking a tea which is sweet without sugar. GOOD EARTH ORIGINAL SWEET & SPICY HERBAL TEA is a cinnamon lover’s dream. It is sweet from the cinnamon but is also considered a “love” tea because of the herbs and roots in the mixture. I ‘m not claiming this tea will help your love life. I am claiming it is sweet with sugar or artificial sweeteners . There is a GOOD EARTH restaurant in Palo Alto (where I grew up) and they would serve this tea. It is fantastic as an iced tea. Zero calories.

I have been watching episodes of 30 ROCK on dvd and on www.hulu.com. What a great mood lifter. I waited and did not watch 30 ROCK until now so I could fulfill my craving for laughter in one big dose.

My other favorite show is LOVE STINGS SEX DECOY ( Fox Reality). I feel this show is screaming to be re-invented as a gay, campy off -Broadway show. The mother, Sandra Hope and her three daughters are just as questionable ( morally) as the men they are trying to entrap. I’m especially fond of Kashmir, the oldest daughter who is a stripper ( or was). It is raunchy, kitschy and deplorable all rolled into one show. Fabulous!

And last but not least is the show OBSESSED which begs the question who is crazier? the patient or the therapist. In one of the beginning episodes, a young woman is afraid she will hurt someone with her “bad thoughts”. During her “treatment” in therapy, the therapist urges her to pick a knife and hold it against the therapist’s throat. ” Push it against the cartilage.” the therapist says loudly over and over. Then she asks the patient on a scale of one to ten how much she wants to slit her throat. The patient replies “eleven”. I was on the floor wetting my pants. Yes I realize it isn’t supposed to be funny but I told a few of my friends to watch and they were crying tears of laughter. Yes it seems to be the summer of laughter. From pussy cookies to entrapping cheating men, life is good.

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I have  been loving this pasta dish with sausage, cannellini  beans  (white kidney beans) & escarole. Many  versions of recipes  of this dish exist .   This dish is  just as good the next day too.  It is  the definition of comfort food.  I like to make it with spaghetti but I am sure it would be great with linguine too.   I personally double the amount of cannelllini beans and escarole because  beans and greens are so nutritious and full of fiber.   You can make this recipe with half the beans and escarole and it will be great too.

Spaghetti with Sausage, Cannellini Beans & Escarole
*1 lb. spaghetti* 3 cloves of finely minced fresh garlic
*1 lb. Italian sweet, mild sausage or if you prefer turkey sausage or hot/spicy sausage  – cut into  1  inch sections
* 1/4 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil + 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil* 1 Can of Chicken or vegetable broth- (low  sodium is ideal)
* 1 to 2 cans of Cannellini Beans ( white kidney beans) drained and rinsed
* 1 to 2 heads of Escarole- leaves washed   and plucked off the head.  DO NOT DRY THE LEAVES
* 2 Tablespoons sugar*1 teaspoon red pepper flakes*fresh ground black pepper to taste
* approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano  cheese or any good hard Italian grating cheese

Follow the directions on the box for the pasta. Have the water going for the pasta.In a skillet , saute the garlic in  2 Tablespoons of olive oil on low to medium heat.

As garlic starts to brown, add sausage pieces.  Saute until fully cooked on medium heat.   Remove sausage after they are cooked .

Return  skillet ( do not clean or wipe out the sausage  grease) to heat and slowly add the escarole in shifts.   It will wilt and cook down.  This takes about 5 minutes.

Add beans,olive oil, chicken broth , red pepper flakes and the sugar.   Add the sausage and cook for about 10 to 20 minutes.

The longer the  sauce cooks the better as the beans will get soft and thicken the sauce.  When the pasta is ready, pour the  sauce over it, mixing thoroughly.

Add the grated cheese and  freshly ground pepper to taste. Serves 4.

Please note: It may seem weird that I added sugar as an ingredient in this recipe but the dish is naturally very salty and the sugar gets rid of the over-salty taste.

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O.k. instead of writing a new blog,  I am adding on to this one.  I discovered a wonderful food truck today while in my old neighborhood of W. Philly.  Saturday at Clark Park is the  Farmer’s market.  I was in W. Philly  for business reasons and decided to stop at the FM even  though I had already done my  food shopping at 2 other FM’s earlier.  CPFM is always crowded and so I ended up going around the corner and parking on Chester Ave.  I passed by a food truck with about 10 people waiting around.  Honest Tom’s Taco Truck is at CPFM every Saturday and they only make one thing: Breakfast Tacos. I ordered one breakfast taco and had to wait almost 15 minutes as the other 10 people were ahead of me.  It was FANTASTIC!  Everyone else had ordered a double. I wish I had.  Scrambled eggs, fresh salsa, fresh  guacamole, cheese and crispy roasted potatoes in two soft tortillas.  I talked to a few regulars who told me the truck stops serving when they run out of food.

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