Category Archives: Who knew….

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

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

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!

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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.

Sweet Chili Salmon Hand Rolls

Japanese cuisine is one of the healthiest, most varied and beautifully presented in the world. Its dishes are characterized by delicate flavors and fresh ingredients. These tenets are most important to the meals that accompany the tea ceremony, or cha-kaiseki, but are applied throughout Japanese cuisine. The use of hashi (chopsticks) dictates that many ingredients are cut into bite-size pieces. It is said that if food cannot be drunk from a bowl or eaten with chopsticks, then it is not Japanese.

Makes 6 pieces
1 skin-on Salmon fillet, about 5 ½ oz
1 tbsp EVOO
3 large sheets of toasted nori, halved
¼ quantity freshly cooked Sushi rice
2 Scallions, halved and shredded
4 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
Salt and pepper
Thin cucumber sticks to serve

Let’s make this happen…

1. Season the salmon with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Heat the oil in a skillet until very hot, add the salmon skin-side down, and cook for 2 minutes or until the skin is very crisp.

3. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Turn the salmon over and cook until it is cooked through.

4. Remove from skillet and let cool, then flake the salmon, keeping some pieces attached to the crispy skin.

5. Lay a piece of nori out on the counter and put some rice on the sheet and spread the rice out evenly so that it takes up the bottom two-thirds of the sheet.

6. Lay a sixth of the salmon, salmon skin and scallion of the rice, then drizzle over a little mayonnaise and dot on a tiny amount of the sweet chili sauce.

7. Roll the nori into a cone, folding the bottom corner in as you roll (you will have to paste the join together with a couple of crushed grains of rice).

8. Repeat the remaining ingredients.

Serve with thin cucumber sticks and the remaining sweet chili sauce.

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