Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Five (+2)...Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I can't wait for this weekend to begin! I am looking forward to a trick or treating with Kiki, slow(er) mornings... time to catch up on the little things that were sacrificed during a busy workweek, like sitting in my back yard, sipping coffee and chatting with my favorite girl, reading, and a few domestic things. 

This weekend is definitely going to be devoted to some re-energizing. Next two weeks will be a marathon session work wise, and EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING needs to be done before I board that plane for Argentina. That vacation can't come soon enough! 

In a Faux Foodie tradition of interesting reads from the net, I couldn't just post top five, well I never can because there's just so many things I want to here are some of my favorites...the ones that stopped me in my tracks! Enjoy reading and have a safe and fun Halloween!

1. I've always been a huge Reese Witherspoon fan and this video just confirms how cool and delightful she really is! #teamreese 

2. An inside look at Michelle Williams’ super-cool Brooklyn townhome. That library! Yes, please. I am such a library nerd, to have one in my home would be the ultimate dream.

3. I've been reading a lot of business books, get better books, etc....My favorite career book by George Lois, the real Don Draper, which has 120 valuable nuggets about career and life. Smart, funny and no-nonsense.

4. What kids around the world eat for breakfast.

5. Shine Theory: Why Powerful Women Make the Greatest Friends. I've heard variations on this theme a lot lately (as friendship has been on my mind a lot lately), but this is a good read. 

6. The best dating advice...."They either like you or they don't!".....Dating really is simple, we should embrace it for what it is and not try to read in between the lines.

7. I am guilty of few of these.... 10 words to ban from your emails

Friday, October 10, 2014

Five on Friday

Hello Strangers!

I come and go just like good restaurants in Miami...if you live in South Florida you will definitely understand this the mean time...let's talk.

Not sure that I have any earth shattering "Five on Friday" reads for you, but I have six things on my mind to share on this Friday.

1. Life hasn't been easy... there's been a lot of pain, too much loss to even comprehend. A very dear friend of mine is no longer with us, and I still can't wrap my head around it...sadness is unbearable.

2. I was out of town a few weekends ago and while walking the streets of a city very dear to my heart a thought came to me...."I do not belong to the city where I live now"...I am not sure what city I belong to, but certainly not where I am now.

3. My best sleeping baby has turned into an insomniac toddler. And I've been following in her footsteps. A vicious cycle that I don't know how to break.

4. Someone recently asked me how do I feel about being a working mom...The best thing is that being at work is really rewarding for me on a personal level. I feel challenged and smart and ready to kick ass. I love the example it sets for Kiki....I hope she sees a strong woman who has a life and enjoys it.  The hardest thing is balance. I am not sure what balance is...especially not today when I am doing all of this on my own.....urgh, I think I hate word balance. Balance, balance, balance. My work brings me tremendous joy and I have to work to balance that with the joy my family brings. I think that just about sums it about...

5.'s a tough job and there are days when I think I won't make it, and then she smiles at me and puts her hands around me, and I know it's all worth it.

6. I can't say enough about the advice given here: 15 CareerTips from Smart Women

Well, this is all I have for this Friday....spoken from my heart.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Five on Friday

This week nearly "killed" me. Nothing was particularly terrible, it was more of a feeling of must get this and this and that done and then this; never ending to-do lists; looming deadlines; boss in town; getting ready for some upcoming travel; big-kid bed sleep training or should we call it deprivation; day care drop-offs and pick-ups (Because we've transitioned to 5-days a week day care, which I know was necessary and good for Kiki but terrible for me), and not nearly enough hours in the day to do it all or at least the way I would like to get it done. C’est la vie… must accept that there is only time for those things that I really want to get done!

So in the "terror" of not getting it done, somehow I still had time to browse the internet, read, watch, relax and find these "fascinating" five items. OK maybe not fascinating, but at least interesting enough to make the cut for "Five on Friday"....because we all know I always have a lot to say than five things...

1. Kitchen Hacks - I absolutely must use these!!!!

2. To all of my mamma friends - simple but yet so eye opening read! or maybe just a reminder.

3. What a BRILLIANT Friday dinner ritual.

4. Have you see the "Gone Girl" trailer? I’m so excited, can not wait!!!

5. Are you addicted to your smartphone? Without even looking at the results I know I am, but I am not really bothered by that notion. Are you?

Bonus: I read this quote last night and I couldn't stop thinking about multifaceted ways that it spoke to me....

"...To know someone is to know how they eat; food is the best, most universal way to tell a story without words."
 - Marcus Samuelsson

Happy Friday!!!! Hope it's filled with delicious eats!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"If you take pichures, I know I will like it!"

"What's for dinner?" how often do you hear that either from your child, your significant other, your friend... Someone is always asking "what's for dinner"? and they are always looking to you to give them that answer.

The first thing Kiki asked me today when I picked her up from day care was "what are you making for dinner?" I never want to disappoint her so I told her "herb skillet pork chops, mashed potatoes and  pan sautéed veggies". I knew I lost her at herb skillet....but to my surprise as soon as we walked in the house she asked "will I like that 'erby' stuff you're making?" "Yes Kiki! You'll love it!"...and then she said the best thing ever "If you take pichures, I know I will like it!" [pichures is misspelled on purpose bc that's how Kiki says pictures]. And there you have it...if the meal makes it on camera, it's definitely good. 

Cooking on school nights is still somewhat challenging for me. I need something quick, easy, healthy, satisfying, and Kiki approved of course! Some time ago I received a cookbook from "Cooking Light" magazine called "Fresh Food Fas - 5 Ingredients 15 Minute Recipes" Now that's my kind of cooking. Especially on the weeks when Kiki is with me, this cookbook is my salvation. I love it because it uses fresh ingredients paired with pantry staples to create a fresh take on any recipe. 

Dinnertime stress is over!!!! This recipe was really simple and straight forward and really done in 15 minutes, clean up included. 

This recipe could have been easily done with chicken, but I am getting a little tired of chicken, so I used the center cut pork chops. This cut of meat was quite lean for pork and pretty thin so it cooked up quickly. I dusted them in a light coating of seasoned flour with paprika and thyme and pan fried. The pork turned out crispy and golden brown, yet still juicy. As as side dish I made mixed veggies sauté toss. I absolutely loved it! I always steam the mixed veggies, but not sure why I decided to change things a bit tonight and it was well worth it. Probably my favorite new way to make mixed veggies. When it was all done, I squeezed some fresh lemon over pork and veggies and it provided it with a hint of tartness. I made some mashed potatoes, but they are not worth while talking about...I am yet to figure out how to make them like my mom's.
And then it was picture time!

Of course I had to use the opportunity of "picture time" for a small photo shoot, which Kiki happily obliged to with approval of every picture and then it was "No more picture. Enough". 

Herb Skillet Pork Chops with Mixed Veggies Sauté Toss

4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 lemon wedges

1. Sprinkle both sides of pork evenly with salt and pepper. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients in a shallow dish. Dredge pork in flour mixture.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 4 minutes on each side or until pork is done. Serve with lemon wedges.

This post contains Affiliate Links to products I like or use.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Kitchen Dance

Before I ever knew how to cook, I secretly imagined myself in a kitchen with a glass of wine, music blasting and effortlessly moving around - cutting, dicing, sautéing, tasting, what I call "The kitchen Dance"...and voila, tonight was the night.  

I found this recipe years and years ago, and kept it around for this exact occasion - comfort of cooking a meal...and enjoying every bite of it. 

So tonight I came home with a million thoughts on my mind, running through my never ending to-do list and the only thing that could quiet my mind was to do some cooking. As per all of Faux Foodie Girl recipes, this one too was quick, simple, healthy, and delicious. 

The bay scallops had a slight sweetness that was perfectly balanced by the acidity of white wine sauce. Of course for anyone obsessed with photographing their food photos, I loved the colorful red bell peppers, corn, scallions against perfectly al dente orecchiette. The key in cooking pasta is exactly 8 minutes!

Orecchiette, Bay Scallops, Vegetables with White Wine
4tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large red bell pepper
6 scallions
1 cup frozen corn
1/2tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 lb bay scallops
1/2 cup white wine
8oz whole wheat orecchiette
3tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high, heat 1 tsp oil. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly browned and tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Add scallions, corn, 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until scallions are tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside
  • Keep skillet on medium-high and heat remaining 1 tsp oil. Add scallops, remaining salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until scallops are slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add wine and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about 3/4. Reduce heat to low. Add bell pepper mixture and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside
  • To boiling water, add pasta and cook al dente according to instructions. Before draining, reserve about 1/2 cup liquid into a heat-proof measuring cup and set aside. Return pasta to pot, off the heat. Add scallop mixture and 1/4 cup reserved pasta water and stir to combine. Add additional pasta water to moisten, as desired. Divide among serving bowls and sprinkle with herbs