The Death of a Sibling | Grieving

I am drowning in grief and experiencing emotional pain …shock, numbness, sadness, despair, loneliness, isolation, forgetfulness, anger, guilt, regret, depression, anxiety, crying, headaches, weakness, aches, pains, yearning, worry, frustration, detachment, isolation, questioning my faith…

When a person is estranged by a family member, they generally experience a range of immediate grief, loss and trauma responses. Responses such as crying and alongside emotional responses such as disbelief, denial and anger. People often ruminate over the estrangement event or the events that led up to the estrangement. Over time, most acute emotions and bodily responses seem to decrease in intensity, and generalized feelings of hurt, betrayal and disappointment might emerge. Even when the estrangement has continued for years or decades, many people suggest the pain persists or re-occurs at particular times. Some will call it “Triggers” which can sometimes cause a person to re-live and re-experience the initial grief, loss and trauma responses, while other times they can be managed.

…being estranged by a family member is one of the most painful events across the lifespan. I should know this and it is intensified by ten folds, its unexpectedness, its ambiguous nature, the powerlessness it creates, and social disapproval…

At first, when a person is estranged by another, they generally do not expect it to happen. Trauma is increased when it is enacted by humans rather than an act of nature and this is even more so when that human is a family member. We are biologically attached to family and socially acculturated into idea of family togetherness. We do not expect an estrangement nor do we?

Estrangement is ambiguous. It has lacks transparency, and it cannot be readily understood. It is not certain if the family member will ever return, so there is no finality or closure to the event. People who have been estranged by a loved one often describe feelings of incredible powerlessness. When someone has been cut off or like me I chose to be cut off; they cannot tell their side of the story nor ask questions or apologize. Without interaction the estranged person is often left wondering and ruminating about the truth, with no means of discovering it.

In the end, the pain of estrangement is often exacerbated because it is disenfranchised or poorly recognized by society. Many people who have been estranged feel an internalized guilt and shame about the situation, and this can affect the way that they interact socially. They might reduce or modify social interactions to avoid people finding out about their estrangement. This can be exacerbated by very real instances of social disapproval, misunderstanding and judgment, ranging from insensitive comments to actual exclusion from particular events.

If you have been through a personal loss you’ve probably experienced it firsthand. When your little sister, who was your bestie, is suddenly fighting you about everything, it can feel like your world is crumbling. Suddenly you’re trying to cope with the death and your support system is no longer supported, but a source of additional stress. You are grieving the death, while feeling like you are losing your family as well.

Let me be clear about one thing, what’s the number one source of conflict? Anyone want to take a guess? No, it’s not only money or material things! Its emotions and distance. As hard as it is for many of us to admit, countless families who never imagine there would be conflict over emotions are suddenly overwhelmed by disagreement and power struggles that are left behind, which leads to distance.

There are many other sources of strain and conflict that can also arise for families. There is no way I could cover them all here. There are many reasons that death can bring out the worst in people. But one important thing to know is that when we are under the stress and crisis of a death, our brains actually work differently. There are parts of our brain that think rationally and there are parts of our brain that think more on impulse and emotion (is it safe to say stupidly). When we are in a heightened state due to a death it is harder to think with that rational part of the brain. We default to using the emotional parts of our brains – parts of our brain that struggle with reasoning, memory, and long-term thinking.

Lost of LoveLosing and containing your control, one thing that is important to remember about death and grief is that it typically means a total loss of control. We all want so desperately to be able to control and change what has happened, but with death control is lost. This change, loss of control, and loss of stability can be terrifying. During this time certain family members will be seeking any way they can to regain a sense of control, and believe me it does happens to every family. This may take shape in immediately trying to plan the funeral without getting anyone else’s input, yep sad but true. It may mean immediately sorting through belongings or trying to take charge of finances. Understanding if desire for control is a factor in behavior can be important in how others in the family respond. Helping another family member to have a sense of control, while communicating how their actions are making others feel, can be helpful. If control seems to be a driving factor, other family members may be able to help guide this person’s energy into things that would be useful and that may cause less family strife.

missing you

I needed to take timeout and took a few steps. Grief makes us all do crazy, sometimes crappy, things that we often regret. It is important to cut people (and ourselves) some slack. People do all sorts of awful stuff when they grieve, so view these things as poor choices due to an impossible time in life. It doesn’t override the many years of wonderful things you know about the person. Try to remember that this may be the exception in their behavior, not the rule. Just like you need to be gentle and forgiving with yourself, you need to be gentle and forgiving with others. My search of mediation has helped me with my process of grieving and has helped me manage my inner conflicts because I could not do it on my own.

Carmen
My sister Carmen R.I.P. 07/04/17

Ethics | Relationships | Dating

Things I need to know. How many of you out there have had, or heard, horror stories from dating? Or, you may even be the one responsible for them! Yeah, I can’t believe I just said that ~ but it’s true!

I am asking you, because these past several weeks my personal life became unraveled because I lost control of my being. Lost control what I believe in….”dating” can be fun and yet it can have some hinder agendas’…

I, for one, am aghast at some of the things I encounter personally and know what’s out there: a date who spends the entire evening texting a friend; or a date that are, “Social Media Whores” who needs to reprise themselves constantly with a twice daily dose of selfies; and those dates who expects “payback” after three dinner dates; another who only calls at 3am – when they’re already outside your apartment; And of course, a million of those who don’t call when they say they would.

So, you all think you’re a decent person! Maybe and you probably are. So what about the people you dated? But if everyone is so good and ethical, where the hell do all these atrocities come from??!!! Why do generally good people treat their partners, however lengthy or temporary, with a completely different (or absent) set of ethical standards? Where are YOUR ethics when it comes to dating? I’m so confused!

My blog is meant to establish some bi-lateral standards of ethical dating, yes people Bi-lateral to include both men and women, in gay, straight or combination of relationships. Dating is a collaborative effort, and there should be a common set of standards within which we agree and operate. Would you do business with someone without signing terms and conditions? So why would you go out with someone without an agreement on ethical dating standards?

We all spend so much of our life dating, that it only makes sense for us to be more strategic about the process. All relationships go through that wonderful honeymoon phase, but what happens after good graces have faded? And it does! Many relationships may continue down that path of happiness and bliss, however, some couples’ bliss turns sour (worst than grapes) as they get to know each other on a more personal level. Trust me, been there!

Everyone has feelings!!! And everyone has hopes, dreams, ambitions, and passions. There is something deeper within all of us that totally begs for respect and honor no matter who we are. Being accountable for being honest with ourselves and one another about our contributions to both the problems and the solutions…it requires a deeper level of transparency . . . accountability starts with self, agreed?! . . .

Interacting through words and behaviors in a way that honors the other and respects difference, we are all human and respect is an honoring of the dignity and equality of all persons. It involves communicating with each other and behaving towards one another in ways that demonstrate the value of the other person.

We all have opinions, don’t we? I do, I believe there are dangerous warning signs of relationship issues such as having a hot tempered person can be admirable when they are is defending your honor, but a relationship with a person who has a short fuse can be dangerous. Abusive relationships are never worth staying in, however, unfortunately many women do not recognize – or ignore – the early warning signs in a relationship.

If your partner wants to know of your whereabouts at all times, their jealousy might be something in danger of spiraling out of control. It’s sweet when your partner is thinking about and wanting to be with you, however, it is unacceptable for your partner to expect you to punch a time clock all the time. Be wary of such possessive behavior, and don’t be afraid to ask others of their opinions. If your friends have not met your partner yet even though you’ve been dating for several months, this is another warning sign. Abusive relationships often start with a fair bit of antisocial behavior.

Can you figure out the “ending warning signs in your relationship”? I thought I did, but do you know sometimes, a warning sign you notice in a relationship has nothing to do with abuse or neediness, but rather quite the opposite as your significant other begins to “phase out” of the couple, wanting to move on to other things. While a lot of breakups are mutual and drama-free, there are some that get very ugly before reaching a conclusion. It happened to me not so long ago and it is important to show respect for each other when you are dating, however, when things get difficult, many couples forget this level of courtesy for one another.

Withdrawal and avoidance from activities you once enjoyed can be a first red flag. If your partner is simply unwilling to spend time with you like he once did, then you may begin to suspect he has either moved on or is seeing someone else. This can be a hurtful assumption, so be sure to have a basis for your accusation before making it, but know avoidance can definitely be the beginning of the end.

In general your partner do not want to spend a lot of time talking about their emotions, and when a relationship is turning sour, you will find they are making such a minimal effort it is as if they have already left. They may put off conversations or do their best to prevent them because in their minds they may already be planning a breakup.

If your partner is putting you down, this can be another sign of a waning relationship. Responding negatively toward you is a hurtful tactic sometimes used to push a significant other away when they are no longer wanted. It may, in your partner’s mind, be easier for your partner to hold you at a distance through causing the blame to fall on her/his shoulders than it is for her/him to outright say what she/he is feeling.

Many have difficulty expressing their feelings, and being cruel is one solution. Treating your passions as stupid, making fun of the way you look, or not allowing you to complete a thought out loud are just a few of the “put downs” that may take place if you are dating a disinterested person who no longer has any regard for your feelings.

Lastly, a couple may find that their biggest red flag in a relationship is due to a severe escalation in their amount of arguments. Suddenly they fight about anything and everything, making it difficult to function as a couple. Fortunately, most couples do not resort to verbal or physical abuse, but many breakups occur due to too much arguing. Couples drift, and this can cause their life ambitions to take off on divided paths, forcing them to leave a once valuable relationship behind. If your partner is being argumentative, try your best to open up the lines of communication. However, be prepared for a potentially disappointing response.

Warning signs in relationships are not always obvious, but when it is time for something to end, you will probably know it. Unfortunately many women act as if they do not know until things have escalated to such a point that leaving is a much more emotionally painful experience than what was probably necessary.

My advice to you, you have value and love to give, and it is a shame to waste it on someone who is just going to throw it away. Never stay in an abusive situation, regardless. Your life is too valuable, and somewhere out there is a decent person for you who will treat you right.

Keeping Love and Passion Alive. Just saying! Tell her you love her and tell her she’s beautiful and buy her flowers (you don’t need a special occasion) surprise her! Take her out on a date and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money! Cook for her; make it a romantic dinner, complete with candles, flowers and a nice bottle of wine. Have interests of your own!!! That’s right people! Don’t get it twisted but keep it real and do make time for her. Encourage her to follow her heart’s desire; do find a common hobby or interest. Listen with your ears and your heart. Let her know you’re paying attention. And by all means, ask her what she would like to make your relationship better. Be open to what she has to say. Follow up your words with actions, important!!! Give her space (we all need to it); and finally people, please communicate, listen with respect. Repeat what you heard her say. Validate her points. Validate her.

Chef EdieM

Celery Stalk Healthy Benefits | Wasabi Bloody Mary

Chef EdieM

CELERY

Apples walk away with most health accolades, and spinach leads the healthy veggie brigade. Compared to them, celery is somewhat unsung, but once you read it’s incredible–and nearly endless–list of health benefits, you will quickly join its growing list of lovers.

  • Celery is a great choice if you are watching your weight. One large stalk contains only 10 calories! So, add celery to your shopping list and enjoy it in your salads, soups and stir-fries.
  • Celery reduces inflammation. If you are suffering from joint pains, lung infections, asthma, or acne, eating more celery will bring much-needed relief.
  • It helps you calm down: Celery for stress-relief? Oh yes! The minerals in celery, especially magnesium, and the essential oil in it, soothe the nervous system. If you enjoy a celery-based snack in the evening, you will sleep better.
  • It regulates the body’s alkaline balance, thus protecting you from problems such as…

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Celery Stalk Healthy Benefits | Wasabi Bloody Mary

CELERY

Apples walk away with most health accolades, and spinach leads the healthy veggie brigade. Compared to them, celery is somewhat unsung, but once you read it’s incredible–and nearly endless–list of health benefits, you will quickly join its growing list of lovers.

  • Celery is a great choice if you are watching your weight. One large stalk contains only 10 calories! So, add celery to your shopping list and enjoy it in your salads, soups and stir-fries.
  • Celery reduces inflammation. If you are suffering from joint pains, lung infections, asthma, or acne, eating more celery will bring much-needed relief.
  • It helps you calm down: Celery for stress-relief? Oh yes! The minerals in celery, especially magnesium, and the essential oil in it, soothe the nervous system. If you enjoy a celery-based snack in the evening, you will sleep better.
  • It regulates the body’s alkaline balance, thus protecting you from problems such as acidity.
  • Celery aids digestion: some say celery tastes like “crunchy water,” and that is the reason it is so good for your digestive system. The high water content of celery, combined with the insoluble fiber in it, makes it a great tool for easy passage of stool. Note: because celery has diuretic and cleansing properties, those with diarrhea should avoid eating it.
  • It contains “good” salts. Yes, celery does contain sodium, but it is not the same thing as table salt. The salt in celery is organic, natural and essential for your health.
  • It cares for your eyes. One large stalk of celery can deliver up to 10 percent of your daily need for Vitamin A, a group of nutrients that protects the eyes and prevents age-related degeneration of vision.
  • Celery reduces “bad” cholesterol: There is a component in celery called butylphthalide. It gives the vegetable its flavor and scent. Guess what: this component also reduces bad cholesterol! A Chicago University research shows that just two stalks of celery a day can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) by up to 7 points!
  • It lowers blood pressure: An active compound called phthalides in celery has been proven to boost circulatory health. Raw, whole celery reduces high blood pressure.
  • It can amp up your sex life: and this is not just hearsay. Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, Director of the Smeel and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, says two pheromones in celery–androstenone and androstenol–boost your arousal levels. They are released when you chew on a celery stalk.
  • Celery can combat cancer: Two studies at the University of Illinois show that a powerful flavonoid in celery, called luteolin, inhibits the growth of cancer cells, especially in the pancreas. Another study suggests that the regular intake of celery could significantly delay the formation of breast cancer cells.

Useful Tips: Choose celery with upright stalks that snap when bent. The leaves should be fresh and crisp. When selecting celery, remember this rule of thumb: The darker the color, the stronger the flavor. Freshly chopped celery retains its nutrients much better than if you chop and store it even for a few hours. Steamed celery not only retains its flavor, but also most of its nutrients–up to 99 percent of them, in fact!

Sake Bloody Mary
Sake Bloody Mary

Making new traditions for the past two years with my sister, Felicia. Day trips at the beach are among the most honored family traditions with my sister. Excitement, with very little stress, and over all fun times at the beach. Our day starts at our favorite spot Pop’s Garage on the boardwalk in Asbury Park down at the Jersey Shore. Felicia will have her Mimosa and I the Bloody Mary. By the way Asbury Park is a great place to shop, dine, stroll the boardwalk or enjoy the beach and surf. The city has a wonderful downtown mixed with restaurants, clubs with a mix of art galleries, antique and retail shops. After several hours in the sun, we head out to McLoone’s Asbury Grille for our afternoon drinks and lunch with it’s fine casual menu in a relaxed atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor seating. Great!!

Bloody Mary | Two of my favorites

Drinks

Wasabi Bloody Mary

  • 1 OZ SMIRNOFF PROOF VODKA
  • 3 OZ TOMATO JUICE
  • 6 DASH(ES) WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
  • 3 DASH(ES) HOT SAUCE
  • 1 PINCH(ES) PEPPER
  • 1 SQUEEZE(S) WASABI
  • 1 Celery Stalk

Homemade Sake Bloody MarySake & Shōchū Bloody Mary

  • 3 cups tomato juice or V8
  • 1 1/2 cups Shōchū
  • 3 tablespoons Sake
  • 2 tablespoons Teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tablespoons pickled Ginger brine
  • 2 tablespoons Mso paste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice from 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons Wasabi powder, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Togarashi (red chili peppers Japanese condiment)
  • 6 lime wedges from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 12 pieces pickled ginger
  1. In a large pitcher, combine tomato juice, sochu, sake, teriyaki sauce, ginger brine, miso paste, lime juice, wasabi powder, and 1 tablespoon togarashi. Stir well until miso paste is fully dissolved.
  2. On a small plate, combine salt and 1 tablespoon togarashi. Run a lime wedge around the rim of 6 tall beer or Collins glasses and coat edge with salt-togarashi mixture. Place a lime wedge on the edge of each glass and fill with ice.
  3. Pour cocktail into glasses and garnish with a cocktail skewer threaded with 2 pieces of pickled ginger.

Peace and Mind

Chef EdieM

God’s Perfect Plan | Saving Your Life

I wrote and posted this article almost a year ago. Due to the strong contents and thinking of other people feelings I pulled it off immediately and being scared of rejection, unheard and misunderstood.  In recent weeks, I had given it some serious thoughts and realized in order to help others I need to help myself first.

 …dedicated to all Adult Victims of Child Abuse…

To my friend Rose Discroll, who has given me the courage, confident and inner strength to express myself freely and to love myself again.

If you’re an adult who experienced sexual abuse as a child, know that you’re not alone. In the U.S. alone, 44% of sexual assault victims are under the age of 14, and 93% know their perpetrator. No matter what, the abuse was not your fault. It’s never too late to start healing from this experience.

Exposing Truth, those that have faith vary in their intensity of belief.  Some are so convinced of the goodness of what they have faith in that, no matter what happens to cast doubt on their beliefs, they are determined to hold onto their faith for as long as they live. For them there is no alternative, they have faith that what they believe to be true is, if truth exists at all, true. Others have a faith that may be weakened by the conflicting beliefs of friends, or by the influence of unexpected events.

You cannot have faith in something or someone simply because there is nothing better to believe in. Faith cannot be based on negative choices, but must be based on a real, strong, and sometimes total; desire that what you believe should be true actually is true. You must want what you have faith in to be true. Since nothing can be fully proved or disproved, unless truth has been somehow revealed, that which people have faith in is, for them, that which is true…

This past 18 months my life has taken many twists and turns that I cannot keep up with; there are chapters in my life that are closing and opening both at the same time; people are coming into and out of life so fast that I can’t even catch a break. This past month has been the hardest for me,   my family and dear friends who know me could relate to all my endures of many years seeking the truth and the answers that were never available to me; the admission of guilt from another that I long awaited for which will never happen; and the final resting of confirmation of shame.   But today, as I rested and watched a film called Simon Birch, about a young boy with a stunted growth is convinced that God has a great purpose for him and heroic aspiration decides to seek out his destiny with the help of his best friend, but soon begins to doubt his faith after his long journey.  I began to realize the story line was so much related to me.   Do I have a purpose for God and what is it? When will I know or has it happen already.  The movie interprets what is our faith in life, the truth and what you strongly believe in.

For 50 years of my life I have kept a hidden secret in fear that I thought I was responsible for and that I would suffer dearly with my life.  Some changes and current events in my life in the past 18 months I’ve come to realize the only way I can help myself is to speak the truth.  I am a survivor of childhood abuse.  My story is my own and not my siblings (for they have their own story to tell).

Why now? Many reasons which I truly believe God has a plan.  Maybe from the very first day it all started.  I don’t know, but whatever it is, it has taken me on a journey doubting my Faith and why I was left behind by God (so I thought).  I need to share this because the world has to realize that children are born totally innocent. Children are not property; they are not objects. The damage done to them is not imagined by the child and it is not and well ever be forgotten by the child. Even if the child blocks it out, the damage is there, lurking and festering and causing all sorts of problems and struggle for the person that it happened to.

Give me Strenght
Give me Strength

It is not okay because it happened “in the past”, it is not excusable.  The abusers are the ones who are accountable for that damage; the guilt and shame belong to them and the only way for an adult child who grew up with abuse to overcome the belief system that manifested because of that mistreatment is to realize that first of all, it really happened no matter how many times or years gone by.  Those two things set me on the right road to emotional healing.

And I needed to talk about it. I needed to be heard, but not by the abusers.

Is there a place to hide?
Is there a place to hide?

Being a survivor of childhood abuse had left an experience an array of overwhelming and intense feelings of fear, guilt, and shame which I had suffered for the past 50 years.  It made me a lonely woman for many years, not trusting in anyone and very little hope Faith in God.  My head was never the same, I was careless, and cold hearted and strayed away from my other siblings for years.  I just didn’t care about anyone or anything!

My abuser was known to tell me that it was my own fault at that time and almost twenty-one years ago my abuser said it never ever happened and I just made it all up while he laid in death bed.  Typical shifting the blame away from him, where it belongs and placing it on me; along with this, my abuser made many threats to me into not speaking up; convincing me that he will bring harm and even death to my other siblings if I ever spoke about it.

“Child abuse damages a person for life and that damage is in no way diminished by the ignorance of the perpetrator. It is only with the uncovering of the complete truth as it affects all those involved that a genuinely viable solution can be found to the dangers of child abuse”.

When I was “in the fog” for many years which means not understanding exactly why some of the details about these situations were wrong, but having this “feeling” or suspicion that they were wrong,  I could never put all these “facts” together and therefore I was never able to see the real truth. When I first started this blog I was afraid to share too much, I thought it would turn people off.  Don’t get me wrong, the opening of my blog does mention there would be allot of interesting blogs but  I was afraid that I would be seen as a “another victim story”, that I would be seen as someone who was “stuck in the past” and unable to “get over it” and that I was somehow deficient in putting the past behind me, even though I already knew that the way that I recovered was by facing the past, realizing the lies verses the truth and changing my false belief system, I was still scared of rejection and of being unheard and misunderstood.   I was afraid that I was “wrong” even though this truth was what set me free.

I was also afraid that people would write comments sticking up for the abusers.  I lived in a world for such a long time where the abusers were protected and the victims were to blame, that it took a long time to sort it all out.  I could not go against that deeply ingrained teaching especially when it came to my parents. I still feared the same consequences that I feared when I was a child.  I was pretty confused. It isn’t that we don’t live in that same world now but the difference is that I no longer believe that abusers should be protected and I no longer discount myself.  I do not acknowledge that false system anymore.   There is no excuse for devaluing a child; there is no excuse for mistreatment, there is no excuse for abuse.   I don’t want to live in that insanity anymore.

The final outcome:  Presently I am face to face once again with my abuser, after many years since we last spoke I was told I need to make amends with him and try to forgive him for his sins because he has terminal cancer! I have Faith in God, and pray everyday that my abuser will tell me to forgive him, I highly doubt it!

I have written this passage on one of my pass blogs, I just wanted to re-share again, I feel no matter what happened in the past I need to keep strong and focus.

“Peace and Mind”, more often than not, being an older woman I’ve faced my insecurities and fears head on, and have dealt with them to the best of my abilities. I have had enough life experiences to know what matters and what doesn’t. Consequently, I am above the petty nonsense. I have figured out what makes me look and feel good in the inside and out, and knows enough about relationships to not bother with feminine trivialities.  I am self-confidence that could only come from experience and the knowledge whatever life has given me.

I realized that what I had been missing all of these years was a meaningful relationship with people. I re-connected with my family again; I made more time for my friends.  Life was and is great.  People notice this; they can see when you are happy on the inside because it shines through on the outside, this all comes from having inner strength and you can only achieve this by going within yourself and adopting strong values”.

Please, don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and feelings, because someone out there is going through the same thing.

If you are an adult dealing with the effects of childhood sexual abuse, please remember that you are not responsible for the abuse and that you are not alone. You can overcome the effects the abuse may have on your life. Please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) or visit the Online Hotline. It’s never too late to get help.

Chef EdieM

Chef EdieM

Why Do Restaurants Fail | The Common Mistakes

Closed

It is a fairly commonly known fact that the majority of restaurants that open will fail within three years or sooner.  However, some restaurants hype up their openings and then fail disastrously, which can be a lot more publicly humiliating. Restaurant failure is common among all types of restaurants, whether they are fast food joints, fine dining establishments, or everything in between. Most restaurants don’t fail because of just one problem. It usually a combination of problems that finally reach a head and the business can’t be saved.

Many people have the intention opening a restaurant and thinking they will hire a manager to run the front of the house and hire a chef to run the back of the house.  You feel everything will be taken care of and being there is not important.  Wrong, if you want to own a restaurant, but do not work in it, well then don’t expect to get paid!!  Restaurants can’t support that extra cost very long.  Besides weak management occurs when you hire someone who you think will be a great manager, since they have experience and excellent references. Then a few months down the road not only don’t they manage the restaurant, they alienate staff, drink away the profits and/or steal money. Who’s to blame? You!  Don’t ever trust anyone completely with your restaurant, money, and staff.  It’s your business reputation and you need to take care of your own business.

I’ve said it over and over again that a bad location is one of the biggest problem and reason a restaurant fails. It has poor visibility, no parking, no foot traffic, just a few of the problems associated with a bad location. Trust that’s not a good thing!

While I have your attention, lack of capital and negative perception of value is a huge problem when opening a restaurant.   Depending on the type of restaurant you want to open you will need at least $50K – $100K to start.   I’ve talked with many restaurant owners who have fallen into this trap.  Learn to be frugal with open credit and stop taking money you cannot pay back. Use your money as a savings and spent only in case of necessity.  The restaurant that runs out of working capital before it can start running to make a profit is doomed to failure.  So with that said, please by all means have enough cash in reserve for the first year to make sure that you have enough capital for all the uncertainties you‘re going to face in the initial period of operation. This is very important because in the first year you cannot predict the course of your financial operations.

One important issue concerning money is Taxes; both state and federal taxes come with hefty penalties, fees and other assorted fines when paid late. It can also cause the state or other local government to shut down a restaurant completely if taxes aren’t paid.

This is something that gets me upset, “The bad partnership relation”.  I’ve experience it, seen it with other associates and friends.  If you share ownership of the restaurant with a partner (s) especially if you are with your business partner in close friendship, kinship or had a romantic link.  You will share financial risks which can be very stressful.  Unfortunately, many restaurants fail because of the inability of partners to resolve their disputes.   Business partners must collaborate to resolve such issues. They need to objectively review the facts and analyze the situation. You should determine your common ground and value of the relationship for the sake of the business.  You must clearly recognize each party’s contributions to the restaurant business.  Functional roles should be clarify and distinct from equity ownership. It is increasingly important to separate these two concepts as the business grows.  The best solution is to formalize roles and duties or simply draw up a contract.

The restaurant business is tough, everyone in it knows it. Everyone looking to get in it ignores it. The cold fact of the matter is that opening up a restaurant may be one of the worst investments you could make with your money. That’s a horrible, sobering statement coming from someone like me, but it’s the truth.   Ugh! Why the hell would anyone want to get into this business with a failure rate like that?   Risk and reward my friend, risk and reward.

Take a look at the external issues that contributed to the failure and tackle those you can control, you can’t control the economy; you can control the people you hire.  Don’t blame other people – failure is an event, never a person, recognizes that failure is going to happen – if it doesn’t, it probably means you are not setting high enough standards or not taking enough risks.

Sorry, I failed!

Chef EdieM

Latin Fusion for any Party

Latin Fusion for any Party

I’ve complied all the fixing you’ll need for a very special Latin Fusion Party!  Invite your family and friends over and impress them with a Bistro-Chic Style

Latin Fusion Dinner Party

Arroz con Leche/ Spanish Rice Pudding

Arroz con Gandules/Spainish Rice

Pasteles/Latin Savory Cakes

Pernil/ Roast  Garlic Pork

Yucca con Mojo/Yuca with Garlic Sauce

Pumpkin & Spanish Flan

Clam Soup with Garlic & Shrimp

Deep Fried Peppers Stuffed with Cod

Mini Meatball Sliders

Ginger Holiday Martini

whole roasted pork
Roast Pork

 

Growing up and being Latina….
I was completely unaware that I was an American Latino until maybe the fourth or fifth grade. I realized it more and more during my lunch time, and while some of my classmates carried brown paper bags with them to the cafeteria, others got in line for the free lunch or ate at the corner deli shop. As for me, I had to walk home every day with my sisters back and forth for my lunch.

First, we were strapped for money (coming from large family of seven at the time) so I needed to go home and also the food was great especially the left-overs (e.g.) arroz con frijoles (rice and beans) and if there were no leftovers it was Jamón y queso y pan con mayonesa (ham and cheese sandwiches with mayo).

As my journey through school continued, my parents couldn’t help me with my homework the way other parents could because my parents lacked education. I was totally on my own when it came to my education. I lacked talent on building friendships during school yet strictly paid attention in class to avoid the risk of being a failure. I also had to translate for my parents, not like English to Spanish, but translate what was being said so they can comprehend the English language and as a young confused girl, this was the worst thing you could ask me to do since I had no idea what was going on!

I was bullied in school and in the neighborhood, because the way I looked, having pale skin, reddish blonde hair and green eyes – features people don’t typically identify as Latina. I was constantly asked and questioned, “Where are you really from?”, or “Can you speak Spanish, right”? Or constantly questioned why I looked different from my other siblings whom had dark skin and dark hair.

Indeed it was painful and rough for me growing up and did I mention it affected me socially, too. I couldn’t do a lot of things my friends could, such as sleepover or movies. Strict Latino up bringing parents or just punishment.

In the end “Yes, I am Latina,” proud of it and it was different and difficult then, but much, much better now.

Philippine Festival | Jersey City, NJ

The Philippine Festival Saturday, September 25, 2014 – 11am to 6pm down Newark Avenue in Historic Downtown Jersey City! http://jcdowntown.org/

A festival is usually an event ordinarily staged by a community, centering on and celebrating some unique aspect of that community and its traditions, festivals often serve to meet specific purposes, especially in regard to commemoration. Festivals that focus on cultural or specifically ethnic topics also seek to inform members of their traditions and the involvement of community elders sharing stories and experience provides a means for unity among families.
Food is so vital to many festivals that often highlight the output of producers from a certain region. I spent my Saturday by eating, walking and celebrating Jersey City’s own Philippine Festival which was in the heart of downtown. It had all the traditional food, dancing, martial art demonstrations, kids’ activities, craft vendors and more!
Hundreds of people had attended this year’s Philippine Festival to see the many vendors, shops, art and music; it was FUN FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY!

OH MY VINTAGE, Kimvee owner

Snatch up vintage threads from OH MY VINTAGE, Kimvee owner. Kimvee offers a wide variety of unique vintage clothing, jewelry and accessories.

http://omvintage.etsy.com http://www.ohmyvintage.com http://ohmyvintage.blogspot.com http://twitter.com/ohmyvintage

OH MY VINTAGE, Kimvee owner

OH MY VINTAGE has extensive collection of vintage goodies that are hand selected, affordable and will go well with anything in your wardrobe.

 

 

Cool down with home-made Buon Antipasto by Frank and Ira (originally from the Bronx).  BuonAntipasto@aol.com or on Facebook: BuonAntipasto  Buon Antipasto by Frank and Ira

 
Chow down some homemade “Pulled Chicken Adobo” by Manila Girl for only $5  Facebook.com/manilagirlnycwww.manilagirlinc.com   @manilagirlinc #manilagirlnyc   Facebook.com/manilagirlnyc

 

 

 

 

Downtown Jersey City had a many events going on that day and unfortunately I could not attend all of them by the two I did was extremely enjoyable.

Philippine Festival, Downtown Jersey City, NJ 1734 1735 1736 1737 1738

 

Enjoy

Chef EdieM

 

 

 

 

Can’t wait for your arrival…

We haven’t met yet, but I want you to know that I think you’re going to be awesome, so I’m making great plans for you!

I don’t want to appear presumptuous, but just so you know, I’m intending to enjoy every single day and hope that you’ll be kind enough to appreciate my positive attitude.
I plan to endure any challenging moments with grace and dignity, and beg forgiveness in advance for all the mistakes I’ll doubtless make.

I’m grateful for the opportunities you will afford me and value the people who will accompany my journey. I hope that together we discover wisdom, and that love and happiness abound, please let me be a kinder, gentler, more patient and accepting version of myself, and help me to empower other souls to discover their beauty.  Let us learn whatever lessons we need to make the world a better place, and give us courage to take steps in the right direction.

I hope you will be a year that people remember fondly, as one that lit the imagination, inspired gallant action, promoted peace and integrity, and is associated with many happy memories.

Well, I’m looking forward to greeting you, but meanwhile I must bid farewell to 2012 in  just two short  months and there is so much to do in little time.

Enjoy your arrival to celebrations around the globe, and I’ll be waiting as the clock strikes 12 in the longitude of my abode.

Hope

With much Blessings, Love, and Smiles in anticipation!

How to Help the Homeless This Holiday Season

Give back to your community this holiday season by taking the time to help people in need Contact local homeless shelters, food banks and soup kitchens to find out what they need most.  Helpful tips and using caution.

  • Help a homeless family transition from a shelter to their own apartment by giving them pots and pans and other everyday necessities that they’ll need to get started.
  • Hire a homeless person to help you with chores around your house. Ask a shelter to recommend someone who is willing to work for pay.
  • Volunteer your time to read or play with children living at a shelter.

Important Steps:

  • Provide warm coats, blankets and clothes for people in need.
  • Purchase gifts made by residents in a shelter so they’ll receive the proceeds.
  • Help wrap gifts that have been donated to the shelter so residents can have the fun of unwrapping a holiday surprise.
  • Buy canned goods and other nonperishable items and deliver them to a soup kitchen or food bank.
  • Teach a homeless person new skills to help him or her get a job.
  • Purchase nonprescription medicines such as allergy and cold pills, adhesive bandages and aspirin for residents.
  • Donate paper goods such as toilet paper and paper towels to the shelter.
  • Help shelter residents get into the holiday spirit by providing a Christmas tree, menorah and other decorations to liven up the place.
  • Bring cookies and punch to a shelter for an impromptu holiday party.
  • Hand out food vouchers to people on the street so they can get something to eat.
  • Order an extra meal to go when you eat out, or bring your leftovers home, and offer the food to someone hungry who is living on the street.

Deadlines are Approaching.  

Thank you and warm wishes to everyone,

Chef EdieM

Christmas

Halloween | Fun Party Pops

Halloween

is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31. The word Halloween is a shortening of All Hallows’ Evening also known as Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve.

HalloweenTraditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom as well as of Australia and New Zealand.

Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”). The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.

The festival would frequently involve bonfires. It is believed that the fires attracted insects to the area which attracted bats to the area. These are additional attributes of the history of Halloween.

Masks and costumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them.

Halloween

 

Halloween is one of my favorite fun past time, prep is super fun when you invite your little goblins to help decorate adorable cookies on sticks.

Halloween Fun Party Pops

What’s needed:

Ingredients
Cookies
1 roll Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookies
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
16 flat wooden sticks with round ends

White Frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened

Chocolate Frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
A of assorted candies (gumdrops, candy corn and licorice)

Let’s make this happen…

1. In a large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir or knead in flour until well blended. Reshape into log; wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze cookie dough 1 hour.
2. Heat oven to 350°F. Cut frozen dough into 16 (1/2-inch) slices; roll each into ball. On ungreased cookie sheets, arrange balls in circle, 3 inches apart and 2 inches from edges. Securely insert a stick into each ball with end pointing toward center of cookie sheet.
3. Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
4. In small bowl, stir white frosting ingredients until smooth. If necessary, add additional milk 1 drop at a time for desired consistency.
5. In another small bowl, stir together all chocolate frosting ingredients except assorted candies until smooth. If necessary, add additional milk 1 drop at a time for desired consistency.
6. Frost half of cookies with white frosting; frost remaining cookies with chocolate frosting. Arrange candies on frosted cookies to create jack-o’-lanterns, cats, owls or ghosts.

• In a large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir or knead in flour until well blended. Reshape into log; wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze cookie dough 1 hour.
• Heat oven to 350°F. Cut frozen dough into 16 (1/2-inch) slices; roll each into ball. On ungreased cookie sheets, arrange balls in circle, 3 inches apart and 2 inches from edges. Securely insert a stick into each ball with end pointing toward center of cookie sheet.
• Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
• In small bowl, stir white frosting ingredients until smooth. If necessary, add additional milk 1 drop at a time for desired consistency.
• In another small bowl, stir together all chocolate frosting ingredients except assorted candies until smooth. If necessary, add additional milk 1 drop at a time for desired consistency.
• Frost half of cookies with white frosting; frost remaining cookies with chocolate frosting. Arrange candies on frosted cookies to create jack-o’-lanterns, cats, owls or ghosts.
Note:  To make Black Cat Cookie Pops, for each cookie, slice a large black gumdrop into 3 round pieces. Use small end for head; use largest piece for body. Cut ears and tail from third piece. Frost cookie with orange frosting. Arrange gumdrop pieces on frosted cookie to form cat.

Happy Halloween!

Enjoy Chef EdieM

Restaurant Review – Europa South

Europa South | Corner of 35 South, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742

I cannot understand why this restaurant has 4 stars, when clearly it’s very underwhelming. I have to say after many meals at Newark restaurants the sangria at Europa South was watery lacking in taste. I have had many dinners at Iberia in Newark and the Barge in Perth Amboy and the paella at Europa South pales in comparison.  Plus at the Newark restaurants you are greeted with a salad as part of the meal. Europa South is a solid choice on the shore for this type of interpretive Spanish/Portuguese food but by no means the real deal.  Shadowy with all the original dark wood accents, chairs, tables and lamps, Europa South is that traditional, restaurant with a menu walking the fine line between Spanish/Portuguese dishes but at times not so successfully.

how-to-respond-to-a-bad-reviewDuring my Labor Day Weekend, I and several friends arrived at Europa South around 9:30ish on a Saturday.  We met up with another friend and her date; they were having the garlic shrimp appetizers. The shrimps were very small and slightly overcooked, but had good flavor, not great.

As we waited at the bar I noticed there were about four empty tables and not a waitress, hostess nor management was insight to greet us or suggest any seating accommodations to us.

However, I did noticed the available two empty bar stools next to where my friends were sitting. I was told by the bartender, “the customer sitting there was outside smoking”, I waiting for 15 minutes than decided to sit down until his return. I was entertaining myself with the live performance; my friends placed their drink orders. The bartender “RFB” (Rude Frustrated Bartender) was not attentive at the main bar and every time when one of my friends ordered a drink and walk away to dance the “RFB” would approach me with her slow, spacey voice, yelling why the tab wasn’t paid before their departure onto the dance floor. Really!

Completely unprofessional and not to mention just plain rude; as I was trying to explain to her, everyone was dancing she turned her back on me and walked off. At one point the “RFB” went off the charts and basically ignored anything that was said to her. I motioned with my hands as to say “so what are you doing?” and much to my surprise, she made the same motion back to me! Unbelivable! My friend put the “RFB” on check, “did you forget that you have my credit card and running a tab”. Awkward!!

Closing time: Half hour prior our departure my girlfriend’s boyfriend orders a round of coffee and Flan for the group. Talk about being nasty, the “RFB” began hammering me and forgetting her place in bartending, heard my comment, “…well the Flan is good…service sucks”, mangling the drink glasses, the “RFB” stated, “I was never given any indication that anyone was in any way displeased with my performance.”

“After those scathing comments, and speaking with the night manager regarding how we were being treated by his “RFB”, he clearly stated he was standing by her, when I asked about the incident, his responds was he could not comment. At that point I figured it was time to exit.

For her part, the “RFB” feels that both her comments and conduct were justified in her actions.  “Despite the fact that I said, “You should get a real job” was sort of ‘friendly and attentive,’ of me to say such was ‘well executed,’

My Final thoughts: Now, naming names is obviously not all that uncommon for a restaurant review, good or bad. What makes this situation odd is the rarity of not naming names, I could have placed both their names onto my website, but that will possibly preclude further work in the service industry. “With her slow, spacey voice, she seemed to forget her primary objective was to serve customers quickly and with respect.”

The staff is obviously immature and apparently hasn’t had any “customer service” training. This place has the most unfriendly bartenders and management of any kind. They never smile never carry on a conversation at all.

They will come around and take the chair from you and tell you that you can’t sit here because, “the person sitting there is outside taking a cigarette break for 20 minutes and I need to wait”.  They would rather have the underage college kids walking up and buying beers and not leaving a tip than to have adults who tip sit at the bar.

New staff needed badly!!!!!   You have a nice place with a decent menu but you need to hire some mature, conscientious, customer oriented staff or at the very least, tell the current staff that they are being paid to “serve” the customer which includes timeliness and respect.  The service was absolutely disappointing. The waiters had extremely good mood…so good that they were dancing, they were yelling each other and they generally made fuss annoying the customers. In addition they could hardly notice us when we wanted something (water, more drinks, the bill etc.).

My friends spend several hundreds of dollars within 2.5 hours but the price is not comparable to the food and service – too much money for poor service. In conclusion the whole experience was not good, a first for me “Nightmare”  I would never go again to this place for any reason and I don’t recommend this restaurant, not even to my worst enemy. OK, so it’s not Newark, head to the Ironbound for the real thing… It’s a haul but well worth it.

badreview

Chef Edie M

Couples Preferences | Dinner Conversation & Sex

Summer is just around the corner and you know what that means … dinner parties…time to party! And when you’re kicking up your heels ladies at all of the warm weather cocktail parties you’ll attend this season,  please do remember … don’t forget to dust off your cocktail party etiquette.

Let's party!!!!
Let’s party!!!!

A party is where people go to have fun and enjoy themselves spending time with friends or family, as well as good conversation and great food always gets the party going in the right direction. Unfortunately, there are things that shouldn’t be discussed at the dinner party table or is it?  Dinner parties are always great, but you have to consider the many taboo topics that have been banned by all of society. They aren’t illegal topics and you may get away with bringing them up depending on who you are with, but in most cases, you should just leave these topics to another type of gathering so you thought!

Sex, whether discussing your own sexual relationship, that of one of the dinner party guests, or that of anyone else, This is just not a conversation that should be brought up at the dinner table during any dinner party. This is a raunchy subject for any dinner and can quickly sour anyone’s mood, especially if they are offensive in this sort of conversation. I think that by far most important part of a great dinner party is a relaxed, hospitable host, one who’s game for whatever the evening holds, ready to enjoy the people around the table, literally. Whether you’re spreading a feast or a simple dish and are feeling stressed or utterly at peace, your guests are here to spend time with you in your own household. Great dinner party warmth begins and ends with the spirit of the host.

Well, if I may say I’ve had some interesting discussions over a dinner party recently.  Conversations among the guests were fluent and easy going, I listened and yet as I nodded my head to agreement many times-not realizing that I was not really part taking in any conversations.  Boring right!

That’s when I decided to spice things up a bit . . 

“Would you have an extra partner in your bedroom to help out with your relationship”?

To my surprise  the participants, whose average age was 40’s plus, responded to the question and added about their sexual self-esteem and their relationships.

“The most taboo elements of society are also the most misunderstood, and sex is no exception”.

A hard fact sexual compatibility in relationships is hugely important especially in an open extramarital affair — possibly even more important than we give it credit for, because we are terrible at crediting the right things. Obviously relationships come in all stripes, but generally speaking, one of the primary factors that distinguishes romantic love from platonic love is whether or not you and your loved one touch each other on the junk.

Communication is important.  Mutual generosity is important. Men’s inner emotional lives are important. Women’s sexual boundaries are important. And vice versa on all counts, of course. But when talking about sex, female trauma is not subordinate to male frustration. Men not “getting” enough sex from their partners  (as though partners couldn’t possibly want sex, or be justified in not wanting it) has been our oversimplified narrative for generations.  Prioritizing men’s sexual issues over women’s is not a revolutionary.  Exploiting one couple’s very specific emotional trauma and dysfunction in order to support sweeping, regressive generalizations about the sexual function of entire genders is utterly fucked up.

If you read any sex advice at all, you’ve probably been told that the hottest, safest, and most mutually fulfilling sex requires honest and open dialogue. But some things are easier said than, done. Some of us grew up learning that sex was very bad and would definitely kill us, which doesn’t exactly make it easy to talk about.  Some people, especially women, get the message that what matters is pleasing your partner, and that speaking up for what you want somehow detracts from that. Some are just shy. And even those lucky enough to have experienced a sex-positive upbringing can use some specific pointers from time to time.

Getting comfortable with communicating about sex may translate to benefits in the bedroom — especially if the lines of communication are open during the act.

How people talk about sex is an important topic.  Communication is also key to having enjoyable sexual encounters.  By all means, is Venus closer to Mars or Mars to Venus whatever it takes to make the relationship to work, than yes!  Most married couples often find themselves in a love triangle, no matter how happy they can be in their marriage there is the third person standing by.  

So you are in love with another and feel confused about certain issues in your life.    All seems fine in your relationship but the the third person is at your side too.

“A mistake for sure!”

The third leg is the awkward one, the leg that has to be removed to balance out the table.  The heart is open to one person and the third person becomes the painful one.  Hearts break there is no lying about that, remember you can’t have that third person.

Before the third one came along all was just perfect in your relationship, but things are gradually changing.  You are committed but can’t fix the problem so easily, the thing is your current partner doesn’t fulfill your every need and the other person fills the void that your partner doesn’t fill in your heart.  You find pleasure in the third person’s company, it makes you feel great while your spouse is happy with you, sex and your relationship but fails to understand what is going on in your life.

The situation becomes problematic, and in time it can destroy the relationship. Usually it is two women and a man involved, and coping with the third person is mind blowing.  You are committed but can’t fix the problem so easily, the thing is your current partner doesn’t fulfill your every need and the other person fills the void that your partner doesn’t fill in your heart, this is my opinion.

“Sometimes it can feel right to you when making such decisions but the problem can worsen.  Will he or she become closer”?

People grow and change all the time accepting these changes in a marriage that is difficult.  I’m not an expert here, I believe that disappointed marriages can make these faults, married women or men want to have different partners and having your wife or husband to go through these changes can have many effects in a marriage.

“Would you tolerate these changes?  I couldn’t, but than that’s me”!

I was speaking with a couple who has been married well over 30 plus years, they both stated the following.

“There are three of you, the husband wife and the other person who disturbs your marriageThe other problem is to the third person who is often left out of the triangle.  Issues arise the third person is not going to find the love he wants in a relationship, he is just wasting his time, and would only dream of something he can’t have with this woman.  Loving another man’s wife is an experience he may never have again and he has over come the fear of meeting someone with these little moments.  

The third person in my opinion shouldn’t get involved in a couple’s relationship.  It is painful, fearful, and not fair to the couple.  Something one can only dream of but won’t get further than that.  One person has to move out of this relationship and that is the person who got in last the third one.

The husband trusts his wife and he knows she won’t cheat on him with the third person, when he sees the changes in her he can feel a bit insecure about certain behaviors noticed.  If he knows she is cheating he could try to look away from the problem.  Instead he would love her more and still put her on a pedestal.  Not every man would see the situation in the same way.  

Accepting such issues can be more of a problem to deal with than an acceptance.  Recommit may or may not work in a love triangle, whereby, in certain circumstances the husband agrees for the wife to be with another”.

The good,the bad and the beautiful!
The good,the bad and the beautiful!

Threesomes, both men and women can find themselves fantasizing on what it would be like to have an extra person in the bedroom.   Sure, it sounds fun and exciting, plus a great way to add some spice into your sex life, but could it actually be damaging to your relationship?

As to my  closing remarks, these are my opinions…..Let’s  be open minded here, are threesomes great for some relationships?   They will either bring you closer or show you all the reasons why you shouldn’t be together.  They are great eye openers!  Threesomes can be a source of fun and spice up a relationship that may be getting a bit boring.

However, I’ve heard some mixed opinions I wouldn’t say there is a right or wrong answer.   Some say it’s awesome and everyone should experience it at least once in their lifetime,  and others say it has caused their relationships and some good friendships to go down the drain.  I personally never have done it, yet!   It’s not my cup of tea!   But here’s a question for you –

Are you willing to share your lover/spouse with another person and take the risk of losing love?

Chef EdieM

Life and Sorrows

Sorrow

“There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.”

 

LIFE AND SORROW

If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.  Lyndon B. Johnson

“Your dexterous wit will haunt us long, wounding our grief with yesterday, your laughter is a broken song; and death has found you, kind and gay. We may forget those transient things, that made your charm and our delight, but loyal love has deathless wings, that rise and triumph out of the night. So, in the days to come, your name shall be as music that ascends, when honor turns a heart from shame…O heart of hearts! O friends of friends!”  Siegfried Sassoon

 
Pain
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. So, with each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it, can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy it will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.  Anonymous

Sorrow
Sorrow

 Chef EdieM

Essence | Life | You

Time Clocks 

Time | We only have so many hours in a day, days in a week, and so on. Once they’re gone, there is simply no way to get them back. Scary isn’t it. So we schedule and plan according to time. We make appointments and arrangements. We calculate travel time, meeting time, mealtime, bed time and wake up time. We use a schedule because the last thing we want to do is waste time. We even try to schedule some down time and vacation time.

What does all this scheduling say about the value of time? Well let’s see we even buy it and sell it as if it was the same as any other commodity, but it’s not. We can change how we use it and who we spend it with, but once we run out there is no way to get more. So we use our clocks and our watches to keep track of this precious and limited commodity. On the surface, it all seems very reasonable, especially from a productivity standpoint. However, the trouble is, time is more than productivity. Time is not just something we exchange for money and I think it is absolutely vital that we fully comprehend that.

Time is the essence of life | There are plenty of things you can get by without, but time is not one of them. You can live at a week without food and maybe days without water. But you cannot live for one second without time, and that’s the true no matter who you are or where you are.  No amount of influence, power or money can change the fact that, when your time is up, you are done.

Time is not limited to the productive side of life because everything in life requires some of our precious time. Relationships are built from time. Every experience represents a certain amount of time. Amazingly, we spend about a third of our total time allotment sleeping. Our humanity is all about how we spend our time.

Is time management according to the clock beneficial to our quality of life or does it have an adverse effect? These are great questions to ponder because we have all been convinced that the clock is our friend, even though it doesn’t always seem that way. It is true that the most financially productive people on the planet are generally strong proponents of time management. The results they produce seem to speak for themselves, don’t they?

What about all the other aspects of their lives? Things like their family life, recreational activities, health and fitness levels, and sense of enjoyment and satisfaction. Well, for the most part we don’t know about those things. We just know that they have made a lot of money. 

So obviously, time management has its place in a balanced life.  We would never want to assume that being financially successful means neglecting other important areas of life. Many times, the exact opposite is true. The skills that lead to a successful mindset can be applied across the board. A truly successful life includes all those other aspects.

I think it is healthy to allow room in our lives for a more casual view of time. We all have natural rhythms and cycles, and living by the clock can cause us to lose touch with this part of life.

  • Is it better to eat when we are hungry or when the clock says it’s time?  Sure, we can condition ourselves to be hungry at certain times, but is that really the healthiest way to live?
  • Do we know how much sleep is actually best for us personally, or does the clock control our sleeping patterns?  Eight hours may work for the majority, but what does that have to do with your needs as an individual?

Summer has more hours of daylight and this affects everything around us; it is a time of increased activity. The amount of daylight has an undeniable influence on the natural world.

Is it practical to think that we can completely break free of the clock and let nature take over? Probably not, but is there something we can do to get more in touch with our place in the natural rhythm of life? If you can make room for it, why not try this. One day a week try to avoid letting the clock run your life. On that day, don’t set the alarm or wear a watch, and don’t make a schedule. Wake up when you feel like it, eat when you get hungry, and let your day unfold at its own pace.

Try to spend extra time in meaningful conversation and contemplation. Avoid the temptation to crowd your day with activities. Instead, relax and let go. The rhythm of life will make itself felt if you choose to allow it.

Essence | Life | You
Essence | Life | You

Who are you
Although I’m trying really hard to resist, but who are you?

No, it’s not a trick question and I am not asking you for a date nor your marital status, or you life history.  “I don’t give a shit about the trick question,” because it’s not the whole truth.   People, I’m asking how well you actually know yourself as a person. In other words, who are you underneath all the trappings and titles, make-up, life’s mask?

Who Are You
Who Are You

“Ok”, now I have your attention. What do you see when you look at your very inner core?

Why most people are not in touch with their true self and some are? From a very young age we are asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I think the true question and emphasis should be more on “WHO” you want to be when you grow up. Come on, people am I right or what?

How can we align our life with our true self if we don’t really know who we are?   How can we harmonize our environment with our deepest values and passions if we have never discovered our innermost true self?  Our ability to find meaning and purpose in this journey we call life hinges on how well we actually know ourselves. Discovering our true self can open the door to a life that feel fulfilling and exciting.

Discover yourself

  • Values, these are the things that matter most to you on the deepest levels. What are your personal values and your priorities and your beliefs?
  • Strengths, what natural abilities do you possess and which ones do you want to cultivate and develop? It becomes your personal assets.
  • Passions, what are you passionate about? What is it that gets you excited or demands your undivided attention? Making sure that your passions align with your values and standards is vital when trying to create internal harmony.
  • Identify your tendencies; your tendencies often become habits, either good or bad. Knowing your habitual tendencies can help you to analyze areas that need some improvement. It can also help you identify which tendencies most contribute to your strengths and successes.
  • Acknowledge your limitations; you will never be the very best at everything. It’s better to know which skills or activities are beyond your ability for now. That way you can delegate those things to others while you focus your energy where it’s the most effective.
  • Set your goals, goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic. Clarity is a key ingredient when it comes to setting your goals. Clarity leads to action, lack of clarity leads to confusion and inaction.
  • Establish your direction, once you understand your values, strengths, passions, tendencies, limitations and goals – you need to have a destination to move toward, a direction.

“Take the time to know yourself; you are a beautiful inside and out, you are unique ”.

Chef EdieM

Plantains | Plátano

Welcome! Jillian and Peter:

My lovely niece, Jillian is getting married this May.  My son, Peter gave his girlfriend, Lauren a ring this past winter.  I am very excited and blessed to have such a beautiful family.  Welcome!

A plantain to the untrained eye could easily be mistaken for a banana. It looks and smells like a banana, but if you ever bite into a raw plantain (plátano in Spanish), you’ll know it’s not.

Plantains are bigger than bananas, harder to peel (especially when green), and cannot be eaten raw. They must be cooked for consumption. So, why are they so popular in Latin cuisine? Plantains are very versatile. They are always ready for cooking no matter what stage of ripeness – green, yellow or black, and plantains are used in different dishes from appetizers to desserts.

Stages of Ripeness
A plantain is a fruit, but considered a vegetable. When green, they are bland and starchy, much like a yucca root or potato. Medium ripe plantains are yellow or yellow dappled with black, and they are slightly sweet. When the skins have turned almost black, the plantains are fully ripe, aromatic and sweet.

How to Peel a Plantain
Peeling a plantain can be tricky. Ripe plantains peel easily, like a banana. Green plantains are very difficult to peel.   Before you begin peeling a plantain, bring it to room temperature. If you’ve store your plantains in the refrigerator, the cold temperature can make it twice as hard to peel. One trick I use is to soak the plantains in hot tap water for a few minutes to warm them up.

  1. Slice off the ends
  2. Use a sharp knife to slit the skin from tip to tip.
  3. Peel under cold running water to keep your hands from becoming stained.
  4. Peel the skin sideways in one piece.
  5. Place the peeled fruit in salted water to keep it from discoloring before cooking.

Buying Plantains
Plantains are widely available throughout the U.S. and can usually be found in the produce section of your local supermarket. At the grocery store, look for firm plantains. Avoid shriveled, squishy, or moldy fruit. You can ripen plantains by storing them at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Turn them daily. It will take seven to ten days for green plantains to fully ripen. If you aren’t ready to use them when they’ve reach the desired stage of ripeness, you can peel and freeze them for up to three months.

I like to buy a bunch of plantains while they are green. This way, I can enjoy them over several days and at each delicious stage of ripeness. When still green, I prepare tostones or plantain chips seasoned with salt and pepper.  They go well as a side dish with rice and beans.

Plantains are a staple in the Latin diet. They are prepared many different ways, but tostones is the quickest and easiest. It’s a perfect recipe for beginners. You can serve the tostones immediately while they’re warm as a side dish or as a snack with garlic dip.

Tostones or Plantain Chips 

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 11 minutes

Ingredients:  2 green plantains, Oil for frying, Salt to taste

 Preparation:  Heat the oil to 375 degrees.

1.  While the oil is heating up, peel the green plantains and then cut them into 3/4 inch slices.  Fry the slices in the hot oil for 3 minutes. They should be a light golden color and semi-soft.

2.  Remove the plantain slices with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Tip: Maintain the oil’s temperature.

3.  When the plantain slices are cool enough to handle (about 1 minute), smash them into flat rounds. 

4.  Fry the rounds in the hot oil for 3 minutes. They will turn crisp and golden brown.  Remove the tostones with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Salt to taste.

Serves: 3-4 people

 Garlic Dipping Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

 Ingredients:

1 cup olive oil, warmed

1 head of garlic peeled, crushed and finely chopped

3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lime

salt to taste

 Preparation:

1.  Use a blender or food processor to mix the ingredients; Blend all the ingredients together in a bowl.

Hello again….

image

Its great being back home, work and families schedules have kept me home bound. Painstakingly!
 
     Always remember “The future is yours for the taking!” is an often quoted expression of hope passed onto everyone.  Yet we all know that while some people grab life with enthusiasm and take control of their futures, such a grandiose promise doesn’t always pan out for everybody!!
     No matter where you are or what challenges you face, enjoy your life right now.  Because today is the only day we have. We can’t do anything about the past, and we don’t know what the future holds. But we can live at our full potential right now!

Miss you all,
Chef Edie M

Dinner and a Movie

Several weeks ago I ran into an old college friend while I was in the city for an article writing; I suggested that we head over to Union Square Café, for those who may not know its’ location – 21 E 16th Street, Union Square Cafe serves Chef Carmen Quagliata’s American cuisine with an Italian soul, using fresh ingredients from the local Greenmarket.  My friend and I had the Chickpea & Chicken Minestra (Escarole, Corn Flour Pasta, Pecorino Romano) and Sunny Side Up Knoll Crest Egg (Pork Butcher Polenta, Wild Mushrooms) to my surprise three hours has passed so I called it a day.

The weather was holding up perfectly! What more can a gal ask for, had a great lunch with an old friend and landed a catering job “A Dinner & Movie” for 100 people in Brooklyn. Nice!!! Filled with excitement I was following my heart to one of my many favorite places in the city, the old Meatpacking District. New York City has slowly been gaining a reputation as a bastion of food innovation. I have been dining in some of New York City’s best-kept secrets for many, many years now, and I must say it’s quite an experience. This so-called food revolution happening in the Meatpacking District has seen many of the country’s best new restaurants sprouting like mushrooms in this city. I’ve traveled back and forth for many years, finding myself back home again in the big easy!  And for those of you searching for a culinary experience like no other, look no further than Spice Market, 403 W 13th Street, NYC.

Nestled amid the lofts in the trendy Meatpacking District, Spice Market is the brainchild of Star Chef Jean-Georges and Executive Sous Chef Anthony Ricco. Though Jean-Georges is one of the world’s most famous chefs, his skills extend far beyond the kitchen. A savvy businessman and restaurateur, Jean-Georges is responsible for the operation and success of a constellation of three and four star restaurants worldwide.  Jean-Georges developed his love for the exotic and aromatic flavors of the East. His signature cuisine abandons the traditional use of meat stocks and creams and instead features the intense flavors and textures from vegetable juices, fruit essences, light broths, and herbal vinaigrette’s. Jean-Georges’ culinary vision has redefined industry standards and revolutionized the way we eat.

Executive Sous Chef Anthony Ricco
Executive Sous Chef Anthony Ricco

When Spice Market opened its doors in the fleetly evolving whirl of Manhattan’s meatpacking district in early 2004, it was something else, the structure of its menu and many of its dishes are pretty much unchanged from the early days. The restaurant transports you to Southeast Asia, touching down in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and India. It envelops you in the flavors and perfumes of those lands — in lemon grass, ginger, coconut, Thai basil. And it celebrates the sweet heat of the region’s cooking.  The decor allows the simplistic beauty of the food to really shine, though beauty isn’t the only thing bringing folks to Spice Market. The restaurant buzzed with excited energy and was comfortably full with seemingly satisfied patrons.

One of my favor dishes, Crispy pork belly with tamarind herb salad and Thai chili sugar at Spice Market.
One of my favor dishes, Crispy pork belly with tamarind herb salad and Thai chili sugar at Spice Market.

Though I would love to be selfish and keep Spice Market all to myself, is too good to stay hidden for long. What defines a trendy restaurant?  Why don’t you ask all of the people who are waiting hopefully at the bar despite the slim chance that a table will open up?  New or old, these Big Apple restaurants consistently pack in a crowd and the food ain’t too shabby either. Whether you’re looking to impress some out-of-town guests with a cool New York scene or need a place to hit before you head to the club, drop by one of these trendy haunts – if you can get a reservation, that is.

Latest Updated: 1/26/13  I received a phone call last night from my college friend and due to the unpredictable forecast of snow the “Movie & Dinner Event” in Brooklyn was put on hold (for now).  However, last week I had made backup plans for my closet friends tonight, same menu but only for a party of five. Till then, Enjoy!

Dinner & A Movie
MENU

White Wine Sangria: The beauty of the simple White Wine Sangria recipe is that it is as delicious as it is easy, and it only gets better as you add your favorite fruits!

Let’s make this happen…
• 1 Bottle white wine (Riesling, Chablis, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc)
• 2/3 cup white sugar
• 3 oranges (sliced) or may substitute 1 cup of orange juice)
• 1 lemon (sliced)
• 1 lime (sliced)
• 2 oz. brandy (optional)
• 1/2 liter of ginger ale or club soda (ginger ale for those with a sweeter tooth!)

Preparation: Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the orange, lemon and lime into the wine, add brandy if desired. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and add sugar. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale or club soda just before serving. If you’d like to serve right away, use chilled white wine and serve over lots of ice.

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
Let’s make this happen…
• 3 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled
• Kosher salt
• 1 1/2 cups milk
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• ½ tablespoon fresh chives

Directions
1. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place them in a large pot. Cover the potatoes with cold water and add enough salt so the water tastes quite salty. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the potatoes fall apart easily when pierced with a fork.

2. Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan, making sure it doesn’t boil. Set aside until the potatoes are done.

3. As soon as the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander. Place a food mill fitted with a small disc/blade over a glass bowl. Process the potatoes through the food mill, turning the handle back and forth to force the potatoes through the disc. As soon as the potatoes are mashed, slowly whisk in enough of the hot milk/butter mixture to make the potatoes very creamy. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, chives and the sour cream and pepper and whisk to combine. Taste for seasoning and serve hot.

Beef, Pork & Veal Meatloaf
Let’s make this happen…
• 1 pound ground veal (preferably naturally raised)
• 1 pound ground pork (preferably naturally raised Berkshire)
• 1 pound ground beef (preferably naturally raised)
• 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh chives, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
• 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh thyme leaves, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
• 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh Italian parsley, plus 1 teaspoon for the sauce
• 3 large eggs (preferably organic)
• 1 1/3 cups finely ground Panko
• 2/3 cup whole milk (preferably hormone and antibiotic free)
• 2 tablespoons kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
• Olive oil
• 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
• 1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
• 2 cups chicken or beef stock
• 8 to 10 cloves roasted garlic
• 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1. Place the veal, pork, beef, chives, thyme, parsley, eggs, Panko, milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.

2. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and film it with extra-virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the celery and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until softened. Remove the celery and onion from the pan and let cool. When the mixture is cool, add it to the mixing bowl with the other ingredients.

3. Using clean hands mix the ingredients until well combined and everything is evenly distributed. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan (it should have sides at least 1 1/2 inches high to prevent grease runoff from the pan). Place the meat on the sheet pan and pat it and punch it down to remove any air pockets. Shape the meat into a loaf (about 14 1/2 inches long by 5 inches wide by 2 inches high). Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a meat thermometer indicates an internal temperature of 155 to 160 degrees. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, for the sauce, combine the broth, roasted garlic and butter over medium-high heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly thickened. Add 1 teaspoon of each of the chopped thyme, chives and parsley. Slice the meatloaf into serving portions and spoon the hot sauce over the meatloaf and serve.

Chef EdieM

Grace, Compassion and Facing Hard Times

I never understood the true meaning of the word humble; I personally have taken this word for granted, until this past week. I found out that it means insensitive or obtuse. I also found out that obtuse is to be slow in understanding and feeling; and insensitive means to be deficient in acuteness of feeling.

Humility is also defined as the condition of being humble. When I look for the word humble, it means not proud or arrogant; (2) feeling insignificant, inferior or subservient. Proud means overbearing, haughty. Arrogant means (1) making unwarrantable claims to superior importance; (2) haughty or overbearing. Haughty means disdainfully proud. And disdain is to look upon or threat as beneath oneself.

Now that we have a basic understanding of the intricacy for the meaning of the word humility, where am I getting at? My main concern is to try to find out and understand the best I can what God means when He speaks about being humble. His word already says that I can only know in part because of my finite mind.

Times like these require us to show compassion and altruism to others; exhibit patience; and provide “teachable moments” to ourselves, to others and our children. Even in the face of events which are often beyond our control. I don’t know about you or what’s happening in your world, but my world I’ve seen, hunger, loss of jobs, and homes and senseless death and illnesses. We must show our family, friends and children that we can remain strong, and if we can, how can we do so with compassion and grace? We need to: listen; remain optimistic and calm; protect them; and, if possible, try to maintain normalcy. We also need to outreach to them and teach them about those who have overcome obstacles.

I, for one, also need help from time to time. I believe strongly in prayer. I found some of the answers I was looking for from family members, friends and a few from total strangers. However, it all came down to the same answers to helping others in need, no matter what that “need” might be.

…Create safety. The most important thing you can do is offer the person a safe place to fall apart. Be trustworthy, be present, be available, and be soft. Give them the warmth of your touch, the comfort of your words, and the gift of your listening.

…Refrain from offering advice until you know they’re strong enough to receive it (and/or they’ve asked for it). When a person is feeling vulnerable and broken, unsolicited advice can make them feel like they’ve failed or they’re not as good as you are at handling difficult times. Your advice may be valuable, but don’t offer it if it will make them feel small.

…Withhold judgment. Nobody who’s going through a difficult journey wants to be judged for their weakness, their tears, their messy home, or their indecisiveness. Bite your tongue even if you think they’re being foolish or immature. Let them be weak if they need to be weak. There will be time for strength later.

… Be an active listener. Let the person suffering do most of the talking and be fully present for what they are saying. In the middle of the struggle, there is nothing quite as powerful as knowing that you are heard and seen. Don’t try to fill the silences with platitudes or solutions. Leave as much space as they need to share their stories and work through what they need someone to hear.

…Offer empathy, not sympathy. Empathy lets a person know they’re not alone, sympathy leaves them feeling inferior. Empathy builds bridges, sympathy builds walls. People who offer sympathy (“poor you”) instead of empathy are usually doing it because they feel some need to elevate themselves above the other person.

…Share your stories to make them feel less alone, but don’t overshadow their stories. Stories are really important in times of grief or stress, but the most important stories that need to be shared at that time are the ones that belong to the person going through the trouble. Offer your own stories in a respectable manner, but only after they’ve had a chance to share theirs.

…Do not pretend to know EXACTLY what they’re going through. You can’t possibly know just what they’re experiencing because you are a different person carrying different baggage. You may have been on a similar path and felt similar pain (and that’s worth sharing), but each person’s path is his/her own. Let them describe what they’re going through rather than assuming you know.

…Let them cry and cry with them if that is what emerges. In any means, do not try to end their grief or fix their pain. Sit with them in the middle of that field of grief and just let what is being done what it needs to be. Nobody can take a shortcut through pain, so don’t pretend you’ve found one. Watching a loved one cry feels excruciating and you really want to fix it for them, but to show them the kind of love they need, you need to let the tears flow and simply bear witness.

…Let them know that they are courageous, even if their courage only shows up in very small ways. When the road is hard, just putting one foot in front of takes courage. Sometimes getting out of bed in the morning takes courage. Help them discover their own basketful of courage stories – memories of the times when they have shown courage that will help them rise to the challenges ahead.

…to my closing remarks, I want to thank God everyday for my son, Peter. Thankful for another day to live and to share my thoughts! Thankful that I know the true meaning of being humble!…

Christmas, with my son Peter 1990.
Christmas, with my son Peter.
Sharing special moments 121212....
Sharing special moments….

Food & Clothing Drive for the Rabinowitz Family

Hurricane Sandy the Aftermath

On October 31 Lauryn Rabinowitz wrote on her Facebook wall,

“Today finally made it all real that I no longer have a house 😦 sorry for everyone else who has to go through the same thing”….

In the following days to come Lauryn wrote again on her Facebook wall,

…“Even though I no longer have a house or clothes or anything along those lines I’m so thankful to have my family and boyfriend and happy that we are all safe thank you everyone who has been there for us it really means a lot”….

The aftermath of Sandy has left many homeless and helpless, please I am asking my friends, family members and co-workers, and to those on the social network to join me and to help out the Rabinowitz Family.

Lauryn Rabinowitz and my son, Peter a month prior Hurricane Sandy in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

I am organizing a charity clothing drive for Lauryn Rabinowitz and her Family. I am collecting old, never used or gently used clothing from around the New Jersey area in hopes of helping the Rabinowitz Family. The Rabinowitz family lost everything; they had fled from their home during the storm with only the cloths on their back. The family includes both parents, three girls and a 24 month old baby boy.

Articles of clothing most needed are: Jeans, sweaters, undergarments, shoes, warm coats; shoes female 7 ½ – 9, male 10-11 ½, baby boy 24 months old. Blankets, sheets or anything that can keep them warm would be a great help also.

Food needed: I am gratefully accepting food donations also, any type of store cards (i.e. Target, Shop Rite, A&P, Kids R Us, CVS, and Walgreen). Dry and canned goods are best for the family; as for the baby I strongly recommend store food cards since I am not sure what the baby needs are at the moment (eating habits or needs).

The economy’s fragile condition has eliminated many jobs in the area, leaving more and more local families like the Rabinowitz to fall into financial ruin. Then this storm “Sandy” comes and has made it worse than ever. The small task of donating your unused or old clothing can go a long way in the lives of the Rabinowitz family.

Please Donate to the Rabinowitz Family

If you wish to make a donation of any kind, clothing, food or stores cards, please mail them directly to the following:

Iris Marin C/O Rabinowitz Family
224 71st Street, Ground Level Rear
Guttenberg, NJ 07093

Your contribution would be greatly appreciated. All donations of any kind must in before the next storm.  Pick up will be made by the Rabinowitz. If you have any further questions please contact me at ediem22@yahoo.com.

Chef EdieM

Having the Weekend off…and then some

There are times when you just need to get away and do nothing but relax, maybe read a book, take a long walk, fall asleep for the day. No tours, no museums, no wondering where to eat each evening. Or, there are times when you need a change of scenery, when you want to be pampered, when you want to think about nothing but the next marvelous meal. What’s great about it when a friend offers the great weekend escape, just because you need it? My friend, Arlene extended her home and hospitality to me this past weekend. I’ve had a long week at work and not feeling fabulous didn’t help at all. I was looking forward for these three days to relax my stress away. I’ll admit at first I did have reservations and hesitation was settling in. Then I’ve decided and reconsidered going off the grid completely.

TGIF, my friend had made reservations at the Chart House at Lincoln Harbor, located on the Hudson River directly across from Manhattan. The spectacular panoramic view of the glittering New York City skyline and the exceptional service, from top-of-the-catch seafood to succulent steaks, while introducing a hint of the exotic (i.e. East Meets West Tuna) an appetizer made with a zesty tuna tartar drizzled with wasabi cream paired with seared peppered tuna & avocado, with kim chee slaw & plantain chips. The ambiance, decorations, and seating all are well-arranged for its purpose, to promote the panoramic view of NYC.

My friend and I both had the Mocha Martini from the beginning to wrapping things up. The slight bitterness of mocha and sweet taste of Martini and a slight of chocolate actually complements very well with its diversity of taste.

 

 

 

Saturday morning… Message at Massage Envy in New Brunswick provided the most relaxing, therapeutic massage experience I ever had.

Afterwards, we drove down to Asbury Park for the Zombie Walk and an early dinner at Stella’s.

 

Sunday…slept in late and it was the best night sleep of my life! I was awaken by the tunes of Esperanza Spalding, I know you Know! Then I heard Dinah Washington, Cassandra Wilson and Nina Simone. I was curious to find out where this music was coming from and being perplexed I decided to follow it.

The music was coming from Benson’s Barbecue tent. Which is a part of the Edison Farmer’s Market that sets up in a parking lot on 925 Amboy Avenue, beginning in July and ending in October every year? I spotted the big oil drum BBQ pit; I don’t particularly care for smoked ribs but I was getting a good feeling about things watching the patrons that were lined up.

I mean these folks were ordering double racks and raving about the sauce so I ordered a dinner with sides of potato and bean salads for my friend.

BBQ sauce made the ribs, however it was the salads that made this road side pit something to write about. I liked all the salads. Found out these guys got a following for their summer corn salad, a mix of corn, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, onions and peppers that was being brought by the pound.

 

Life, Owner of Benson’s Barbecue

 

They served ribs, chicken and pulled pork, which I tried before they shut down for the day, but do go for the salads. You got about 2 weeks left to catch them. Hours are from 8am to 2pm, Sunday only.  One of the many reasons for the popularity of Benson’s Barbecue style is its unique blend of the greatest barbecue traditions. Here you will find seasonings that are neither too sweet, nor too hot. Traditionally, ribs are smoked “dry”, meaning that only a dry rub is applied and the rich southern style wood smoke BBQ. I highly recommend Benson’s Barbecue to all.

Enjoy!

Personal Glimpse on the Single Life…

You’re Single.    Make the best of it.    It doesn’t mean you’re not good enough for anyone,   it means no one’s good enough for you!

______________________________________________________________________

 

 

When I left South Jersey a year ago I knew I had to make serious changes in my life.  Which including taking time off from dating and work on me! Best advice ever. Being single can be hard at some points and relatively lonely.   However, at this stage in my life, I have decided to put much needed energy and passion into my business, which sometimes I just don’t have the time to give to someone else.  Is it selfish of me, yes, but if I want Chef EdieM to be a success, it’s a sacrifice I will have to make. Don’t get me wrong I do go out on dates, try to have fun, and definitely keep an open mind.  Sometimes it’s hard especially when you deal with a lot of flakes and weirdo’s.  I do surprise myself at times; I cannot believe some of the things that I have dealt with.

…it really is magical…sometime we really don’t know how to slow down. We walk down the same blocks on a daily basis; use the same bus routes and buy cigarettes from the same bodega, and we can do this all on autopilot without absorbing anything that goes on around us. But when we’re on a date with someone we’re different. We suddenly become aware of hidden restaurants and alleyways we’re certain didn’t exist until five minutes ago. When you’re with someone new it feels like you’re seeing everything for the first time. In some ways, you are.

…is it really worth it…truth be told should a good date have a price tag on it? Well let’s break it down. It seems like a date that requires an exorbitant budget is typical!  Or is it? Only a shallow or boring person would think that an expensive dinner is “fun.”   But what about being on a date that makes you accidentally walk over the GW Bridge because you want to get closer to the moon; Being on beach getting cozy on brisk night sharing great conversations and wine.  Or even going to a dive bar and creating your own music together. Anyone worth dating knows this.

…to many singles…they all belong to one dating website or another, they’re out every night of the week, they’re going to the gym, and they’re sauntering up to you while you’re trying to get the bartender’s attention. Of course, this probably becomes discouraging and a bit sad when two decades have passed and the scene hasn’t changed.

…to busy nonsense… everyone is either busy, a flake, or both. Even people who don’t have jobs are busy. “Oh, can’t today. I’ve got a launch party in the city; Maybe next week? Thanks for understanding.” You will utter the words, “just busy” so many times that even you don’t believe it anymore. Hey by the same token, you’ll get a text while you’re rushing from work to post-work drinks, and you’ll read it and make a mental note to answer it later, and later comes, and then three days later comes, and you realize you totally flaked out on someone. This is the nature of the game; you are a bad, busy, flaky person. And so is everyone you date. Embrace it or die alone.

…moving to never land and then some…have you ever hit it off with someone who seemed like they moved specifically just for you; But when you finally look them up on Facebook the reality is much bleaker than that and you have 22 mutual friends and it just doesn’t end.  The incestuous nature of dating has several repercussions: First, you will run into this person at least twice a year or maybe every week. Secondly, you will hear stories about this person that will likely do nothing to nurture your fondness for them and lastly, you will date people in each other circles.  But needless to say do look forward to this cycle until you move to another town, where social networking isn’t so prevalent.  I recommend planet Mars.

…the “baggage”… common sense dictates that you cannot be single, and not have a significant amount of baggage. Like your ex’s, spouses, children, pending divorces, business pressures and financial obligations can often be part of the package.  You must be ready and willing to accept this reality if you are going to get romantically linked.

…slump-ville…than sometimes we get in a slump and date the first person that seems like they’re interested – and then, perhaps around on your third date, you meet “their friend”. The one we should’ve been with our entire lives! They are perfect and so remarkable hot. The person you’re dating is always friends with your future spouse.

…memory lane…Or how about when you have a favorite restaurant, or lounge, or neighborhood, it’s expected that you’ll share them with the person you’re dating. In turn, they’ll take you to their places. And you’ll create memories in those places. It’s all very romantic eventually, you’ll break up!

Peace and Mind ~ More often than not, being the woman that I’ve become I’ve faced my insecurities and fears head on, and have dealt with them to the best of my abilities. I have had enough life experiences to know what matters and what doesn’t. Consequently, I am above the petty nonsense.   I have figured out what makes me look and feel good inside and out, and knows enough about relationships to not bother with feminine trivialities.  I know that  self confidence could only come from experience and the knowledge whatever life has given me.

I realized that what I had been missing all of these years was a meaningful relationship with people.  I re-connected with my family again, I made more time for my friends, and that Life was and is great.  People notice this; they can see when you are happy on the inside because it shines through on the outside, this all comes from having inner strength and you can only achieve this by going within yourself and adopting strong values.

Can a Woman get a Break!

This past Labor Day weekend I was asked why a woman like me Blogs. At first I was taken back ‘than I decided to embrace the question.

Well people blog for different reasons and I personally just like writing. It is my retrospective diary, which I like to include many personal stories and experiences that I would not otherwise share with anyone or even mutter out loud. It is my calm after the storm.

In many ways being a blogger is like writing your life story, but thinking of it that way can be intimidating to others wondering if they are being included in my blogs! What will I write!? Should they be on their best behavior around me? For goodness sake, people please I am harmless.

OK, sure I would love to reach a popular audience to capture their hearts with my life experiences. Like anyone else. I enjoy the reaction and feedback. But ultimately, plain and simple I am doing this for me. I want to share with everyone that my life stories is no difference than theirs.

I have feelings, I hurt and cry. I am humble, open-minded and well grounded. I share heartaches like everyone else out there and I have my moments of drama.

With that said “Drama”, let me share with you what happened to me this past weekend about dating.

I was set up through a friend to meet someone and hopefully maybe get a date out of it. I was reluctant and defiantly! However, I caved in and exchanged numbers. Friday afternoon we spoke and I really had a great conversation. An invite for breakfast was extended to me. I was asked to call back before retiring for the night, which I did and no one answered. I received a text minutes later stating breakfast was cancelled. Yet in the text I was told to make it up we would be having dinner in the Tribeca area than a drink in my neighborhood lounge. OK, what the hell maybe something came up I thought and I need to be patient since I haven’t been in the dating scene in a while. When we date we tend to view our compatibility with others as obviously subjective: do we have similar lifestyles? Senses of humor? Are our schedules complimentary? I figure why not give the benefit of a doubt and respond back saying yes!

Saturday came and ended! I reached out by text and would you believe I just got dumped again and we never met! Ouch. That hurt. Now take a deep breath and get over yourself. We’ve all been dumped — and we’ve all dumped someone else — but really, can a woman get a break!  Ugh. Now you know why I blog!

Chicken Cacciatore

This weekend was a “working and fun weekend”, the breakdown, business traveled on Tuesday, worked Monday and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday was a nightmare at home for me! Awaken from a deep sleep from sounds that was coming from my bathroom; I walked into an inch of water that was backing up from the street mainline. Well, 20 hours later and three plumbers the problem was resolved.
That Friday afternoon I was on the road again to meet up with a friend, three hours later we’re in Atlantic City to meet with up with the girls for the Marc Anthony GIGANT3S concert.

After the concert, we had a quick dinner and after an hour on the slots we decided to return home.
Slept only four hours and that Saturday morning I started to head out to run errands, when a phone call was received for an invite to a BBQ.
It was crunch time for me; I needed to bring something to the BBQ. What was fast, simple and tasty? I decided to make two Coconut & Strawberry flans.
I did the jam for six hours at the BBQ and coming back home I was so exhausted that I crashed on the sofa.
Sunday, early part of the day was filled with a few more errands; I made brunch for three (which was not planned), cooked two dishes for the week for my friend (Chicken Cacciatore and Chicken Marsala) did some grocery shopping and had another late lunch…what a weekend!!

Let’s make this happen…

3/4 cup uncooked converted white rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tablespoon EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz small fresh mushrooms, quartered
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into large dice
3/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 t dried tarragon, crumbled
1/8 t salt
1/4 cup Chardonnay
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes in puree, drained, reserving 1/2 cup of puree
2 T tomato paste
12 oz skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1) Combine rice and water in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside, covered (rice will stay warm).

2) Meanwhile, in a large heavy non-stick skillet, warm the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic, stir to coat well with oil. Stir in the mushrooms, bell peppers, black pepper, oregano, tarragon and salt; sauté, tossing the vegetables, for 3 minutes or until they start to soften. Stir in the wine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are tender.

3) Coarsely chop the tomatoes, and add with their reserved puree and the tomato paste to the skillet. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes longer.

4) Stir in the chicken and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes longer, or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice.

Enjoy!

My Traditional Coquito Recipe

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Coquito as a Gift~Coquito  can be poured into glass bottles (wine bottles) and given as a gift to the host/hostess of a party. The bottle can be decorated with ribbons and bows or painted using glass paints or wrapped in pretty Christmas paper. Just remember to keep it cold.

This holiday season surprise your friends with something different by making some coquito.   The recipe is fairly simple and a bottle of coquito will keep well refrigerated for up to three weeks, at least.  Now the only thing left is a roasted Baby Pig, Pasteles, and Spanish rice with pigeon peas to make this a complete holiday feast.

Coquito, which literally means small coconut, is the Caribbean version of the American eggnog. Coquito is the typical Christmas drink in the Latino Community. It is similar to the American eggnog but can be made with or without eggs and with rum instead of cognac.

Let’s make this happen…

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon of Nutmeg Ground

2-15 oz can of cream of coconut (Goya)
1-12 oz can of evaporated milk, 1- 14oz sweetened condensed milk
6 cinnamon sticks
6-8 egg yolks, (discard the whites)
1/2 a fifth of dark or light rum (Bacardi Rum, add more to taste)

Preparation

1) Combine the creams of coconut, condensed sweetened milk in a bowl and set aside in the refrigerator.

2) In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine evaporated milk and cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract and nutmeg bring to a soft boil, and let simmer until the milk turns light brown, about 10 minutes. Remove it from the heat, and let cool to room temperature.

3) Using a wire whisk, whisk the yolks very well in a large bowl until they’re thoroughly mixed. Add the cream of coconut mixture, cooled cinnamon mixture and rum and mix well. Taste it and add more rum according to your liking.

4) Transfer or divide between cleaned empty wine bottles or design holiday bottles! Please refrigerate immediately. Before serving shake and serve chilled.

By Chef EdieM

Distinct Cuisine

Spanish food consists of freshly prepared dishes made with locally produced and fresh ingredients such as extra virgin olive oils (EVOO), wines, cheeses, chick peas, rice almonds, garlic, saffron, and fresh fruit. Add to these more olive oil and wine, very fresh fish, seafood, game, cured hams, sausages like chorizo, chicken and fresh breads and you get a whole list of popular Spanish foods, mildly spiced yet full of flavors.

Spain has a rich and diverse cuisine, reflecting its extensive history and culture. It is a country where each of the 17 Autonomous Communities, valleys, and villages has a distinct cuisine of its own and takes pride in its way of preparing simple dishes that can provide you with the unique experience of consuming Mediterranean food.

The Paella’s, Tortilla Espanola de Patatas and Gazpacho’s dishes are Spain’s national food which is infused sometime with Chorizo (Spanish Pork Sausage).

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Paella de Marisco (Paella Seafood)  Originated in Valencia, where villagers mixed rice with snails or game and vegetables and cooked it in a large pot over an open fire. Today Paella is Spain’s most well-known national food, where shellfish, seafood, meats and vegetables may be used.

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Tortilla Espanola de Patatas (Spanish omelet) Here is no doubt about it, the Tortilla Espanola or Spanish Omelet of potatoes and onions is the most commonly served dish in Spain and it is served as a breakfast, a “tapas or appetizer or dinner in ever café, diner and Spanish home.

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Gazpacho (Cold Soup) This refreshing cold soup originated in the region of Andalucía, but is popular all over Spain, especially in summer.

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Chorizo (Spanish Pork Sausage) Spanish chorizo is a red, pork sausage seasoned with paprika and garlic. It is a staple of the Spanish diet and considered a Spanish national food. It comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from fresh and “soft” to semi-cured and even dry and cured.

…” I remembered as a child growing up in Hoboken, Carmen, my oldest sister had a friend from Spain who came to family outings once in a while.  I remembered her only dishes she would bring were Octopus Pies and Cochinillo Asado (roasted baby pig).  My tastes buds were not developed yet and I must confess to you all out there I threw away my share when no one else was looking.  I thought to myself, oh God how can anyone eat this poor little animal?  My sister pleaded with me to eat and enjoy the food. I think to myself now how I made a fool of myself by crying to avoid eating it all together.

Moving forward twenty years later I met someone who came from Spain to attended NYU; I was invited to one of her dinner parties; I had no idea what would be served, I thought maybe cheese, wine, fruits or lamb. I brought over a bottle of red wine and an empty stomach.  Her place was old, small and over crowed.  Yet, her table setting was elegant and food presentation, perfect.   I must say, the aroma was out of this world and the food tasted so good.  Two hours and four bottles of wine later I was told Octopus Pie and Cochinillo Asado was the main course. Go figure! Cochinillo Asado is one of the most typical dishes in the cuisine of Castilla, especially the city of Segovia. It is roast baby pig. Its fatty outside is crisp and perfect for those who like pork rind, while its meat is tender and juicy”…

Let’s make this happen…

  • 6 lb. suckling pig
  • 1/2 cup EVOO, 1/2 cup butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 medium carrots; 1 yellow onion

Preparation:  Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

1)  Season the piglet with salt and pepper, inside and out. Wrap the ear with aluminum foil to prevent them from burning. Then, place the piglet in a large, open roasting pan. Baste with EVOO and dab with butter all over.

2)  Place in oven and roast, basting often with the pan drippings for about 2 1/2 hours.

3)  While the piglet is roasting, peel the carrots and the onion. Slice the carrots into 4 pieces each. Coarsely chop the onion. About 10 minutes before removing the piglet from the oven, place the carrots and onion in the pan with the piglet.

4)  Remove the piglet from oven when it is fully cooked. (Check meat and make sure that the juice is clear and not bloody.) Remove the aluminum foil from ears and place on a serving dish. Keep warm in a warming drawer or under heat lamps.

5)  Pour juices from roasting pan into a sauce pan with the vegetables and heat over medium heat on stove. When the juices start to sizzle, skim fat off top. Add 2 cups of water. Increase heat to high and boil rapidly to thicken. Strain through a strainer or cheesecloth.

6)  Serve the piglet on a large platter with the warm gravy on the side, roast or fried potatoes and a simple green salad.

Octopus Pie Recipe – Ingredients for Pastry

  • 2 eggs
  • 7 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon melted lard
  • 7 tablespoons milk
  • 12 ounces flour

Mix together in a large bowl eggs, salt, milk, olive oil and lard.   Add the flour, little by little, so as to form soft dough.  You will know when it is right because the dough will no longer stick to your fingers, although it will still be quite moist. Knead the dough very little. Let it rest, rolled out, while you cook the octopus and prepare the rest of the pie filling (see below).

Making and baking the pie:

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound cleaned octopus, chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 large peeled tomatoes (or 2 tomatoes and 1 tablespoon tomato puree)
  • 1/2 to 1 mild red pepper, seeded and chopped

Have a casserole with boiling water and 2 bay leaves in it.   Take a cleaned octopus by one end and lower it 3 or 4 times successively into the water, which must continue to boil hard, until the octopus curls. It will curled, leave it in the water to continue cooking for about half an hour. Towards the end of the cooking, add a little salt.

Remove the octopus, let it cool, and then cut it into small pieces. Meanwhile, chop onions and fry them very gently, covered, taking care that they do not brown. Add tomatoes and let them cook too. Add mild red pepper and the pieces of cooked octopus, and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes more.

Note: Let the mixture cool.

Divide the pastry dough into two.   Take a wide and shallow baking tin (round 11-12 inches) diameter or a rectangular one 9 X 13 inches. Roll out half the dough so that it will cover the bottom of the chosen tin.   Lightly oil the tin. Cover the bottom of it with the pastry dough, so that the dough comes up the sides and overlaps the edges.

Spread the filling over this. Roll out the rest of the dough to make the top of the pie, and put this in place, rolling the edges over and crimping them to make a tight seal all the way round.

Cook the pie in a moderate oven 350° for approximately 30 minutes, until it is a light golden-brown.

Chef EdieM

Señores y Señoras, Puerto Rican Rice & Beans

Here is a very tasty and simple good dish that is commonly made in every Latino  household any given day of the week. Traditional this dish is served with Pork Chops and a salad.  Do you know this actually tastes better after the beans have sat in the fridge for a day or two.  *NOTE: Your Pork Chops can be fired, baked or BBQ. Then placed them in a very lightly papered greased crock-pot using EVOO along with 1 cup water and 1 tbsp of the sofrito; cooked until the Pork Chops becomes tender; Served with Red Kidney Beans, White Rice and Salad.

Let’s make this happen,

1 (16 ounce) Goya bag of Red Kidney beans (rinse and boil for an hour, drain put aside until ready to use)  or for a quick fix you can use a  can of Red Kidney beans.

Use natural seasonings people, cumin, cilantro, sea salt, and peppercorn (Stay away from the adobo it is high in sodium).

1 tablespoon EVOO (extra virgin Olive oil)

½ can of Goya tomato sauce; 1 Peeled, diced potatoes

½ cup of slice cooked ham or ½ cup pork grinds (small cubed)

2 cloves of fresh crushed garlic; 1 (5 g) packet sazon con azafran seasoning (commonly used in the Latino kitchen, it has such good flavors)

1 to 2 tablespoons of sofrito (homemade~see receipt below) it also comes pre-made in freezer or jarred, a necessary ingredient in the Latino cooking community)

2 cups of white rice, uncooked

Directions:

1) Made by Goya products & brand can be found in the Spanish/Latin section of your grocery store; Cook white rice follow instructions on package.

2) In deep saucepan, place ham or pork grinds into low-medium heated olive oil.

3) Once it starts to sizzle, add the garlic and seasoning, simmer low.

4) Then add the potatoes, sofrito and sazon con Azafran seasoning, stir.

5) Next add red beans and add one cup of water into mixtures.

6) Let it cook for another ½ hour, serve over white rice and side it with Pork Chops and salad.

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Puerto Rican Sofrito

2 bunches Cilantro
2 bunches recao
1 head of garlic
3 large red onions
3 large green or red bell peppers
2 tbsp. crushed oregano
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

Prepare the ingredients – peel, wash, and seeded and coarsely chop; place into food processor, chop for 2-3 minutes; Storage/Freezer: You can use old ice-cube trays (to be used for smaller dishes) or place into medium sized Tupperware. Leave one in your fridge for the week.

Enjoy,

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dedicated to my friend, Silvy: It has been just a few short months, but feels like a lifetime of  infinity.   I just thought I’d write to let you know you’re an amazing friend and hope our memories will continue to grow. You lift my spirits when I am down and showed me you are always there when no else is.  You’re not afraid to speak your mind and let me do the same. You’re a fun person to have around and help keep my feet firmly on the ground…someone special in my past life had pasted this poem onto me and said someday I would do the same, so I am pasting this on to you my friend….

A friend is someone with whom, your thoughts,
dreams and secrets you can share.
And no matter what you say or do, you know
that they still care.

A friend is always ready to laugh
with you when you are glad.
But has shoulder for you to cry on
at those times when you are sad.

A friend always want the best for you
And they are not happy until you are too.

A friend is never jealous
of the things you may attain.
And if you are the winner you will
not hear them complain.

A friend is a person who could spend every day
with you, from beginning to end.

When you find someone like this they are more
than a friend they are a …BEST FRIEND

Positive Start

God knows’ that I try every day to get a positive start by accomplishing couple of important tasks which I might have been putting off for sometime. But as usual, things just don’t turn out that way for me. For instant last night I had set my alarm for 5:00am so I can have enough of time to write a small passage for my blog. The alarm went off as planned, however my bed sheets were so ‘comfy’ which kept me in bed another forty-five minutes.
One of the problems when I keep postponing tasks that need to be done is that I get the ‘guilt’ feeling that I am shirking my responsibilities. This guilt brings in stress and fills me with negative feelings.
Needless to say to bring in positive energy into my day, I do a task that I’ve been putting off for quite some time as first task in the morning (that is my motto).

Think of things that make you feel positive. Add at least one such task to your daily routine. I am sure when you start a day in this manner you are likely to accomplish more in that day.

and by the way….
A Happy life consists of many happy days. So make each day count in your life. Stop dedicating your time on individuals that drain you. Wasting your time, thoughts and energy on people that don’t matter is just a huge negative in your life. Make room for the ones that DO matter!! Or to put it in a nutshell… people that will NOT cause problems in your life!! Sometimes, you have to do major “spring cleaning” not just in your home but in your personal life and clear out those people that are NOT pushing you forward in your life. Or that do NOT create a positive light in your journey!

Somethings to Think About

 

“There’s a time when a woman needs to fight, and a time when she needs to accept that her destiny is lost…I live a simple life, I am nothing special, just a common woman with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived: I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.”

I question the reason for existence only when alone & feeling down, pondering a God that loves to be cruel, or a cruel universe without one. Death is likely the final ending – so its best to live life to the fullest, no matter the bruises you get along the way!

 

“Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul”

Chef EdieM

Goals and other things to be happy….Success & Inspiration

What does success look like and feel like to you? Inspiration for success in your career and life is here. Make money, have more time, invest your time and money in activities that bring you success. Find success and inspiration.

Setting goals is an integral component of career and life success. You don’t always need to write down the goals you set, although goal setting gurus say you should for best success. But, set firm goals in your mind so you always know where you are going and what you plan to achieve. I’ve always set goals and believe they’ve been a cornerstone for my accomplishments.

When we decide to set a particular goal most of us do so with the expectation and intention of achieving it!

Our enthusiasm and motivation to achieve our goal is usually very high. We may take the appropriate action to achieve our goal for a while… after a while, however, things change.

Setting goals is one thing… actually achieving them is something entirely different! We’ve all done it, we’ve all set goals and then at some point our goals are no longer our focus.

It is important to become aware of the reasons our goals become abandoned rather than allowing it to happen without much thought. Knowing why we let our goals go can often give us useful information for setting our goals in the future.

Smile a lot – If smiling is too hard for you, take a pencil and hold it with your teeth. There are enough smiling muscles involved for your brain to think you are smiling and start producing “happy” chemicals.

Sing! – Singing works just like smiling, causing your body to produce “feeling good” chemicals. Sing in the car, sing in the shower, sing when you prepare dinner and sing when you feel frustrated and notice how the negative feelings melt away.

Hang around positive people – Having happy people around you will make it easy to learn happiness. Happy people have fun around them and their ability to overcome challenges is higher than that of unhappy people who tend to lay blame and feel victimized. Choose the people you hang out with to suit your needs.

Laugh – Much like smiling, laughter is a great way to overcome physical and emotional challenges. If it does not happen naturally, try laughter therapy.

Get a move on
– Being physically active makes you happy. Find some activity you like to do and notice how it changes your mood: sex (yes, of course!), any kind of sport, dance and yoga. Make a habit of being active in any way you feel like.

Get creative – Creativity is a great way to find happiness. Think of creative things people do for a living or as hobby and notice how much happiness it gives them. Paint, draw, dance, sculpt, do some craft, invent a gadget, cook something new, write poetry or tend the garden. Tap into your creative abilities and find your “happy spot”, just as I did with my love for food!

Chef EdieM

Auditions….

Another day in the world of auditions….

 

Hi Everyone, Once again I am off for another open call!!! Yeah! Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson have teamed up with Producer Kinetic Content for a brand new cooking show for ABC that will pit America’s most skilled cooks against one another in a show unlike any other.

 

Let’s see what happens!!!