Elect More Women

July 27, 2012

I went to a cocktail party that Mayor Bloomberg’s girlfriend, Diana Taylor, hosted last night at their home on the Upper East Side. (More on that later…) The cocktail party was for the Women’s Campaign Fund, an organization that encourages and helps female candidates to run for office at all levels of the political spectrum, on both sides of the aisle, as long as they are for reproductive choices and options (i.e. pro-choice). Right now in the U.S., Congress is made up of 17% women. 17%! For a constituency that makes up 51% of the population! So to say the work of the WCF is needed is an understatement. And it isn’t just women who need women in office. On issues many people care about, male or female, women representatives have a better voting record — things like the environment and wage parity. And they call people out for sexism instead of letting it slide.
Their She Should Run program lets anyone nominate someone to run for office, whether it’s a school board position or a Senate race. WCF supports women early on in their races, and tries to remove barriers to them being elected.

As for Mayor Bloomberg’s house, it’s not my taste, and very decorated, if that makes sense. Lots of 19th century artwork and chairs and sofas I would never dream of sitting on. Vases that must be expensive because they are there, perched elegantly on marble tables. Bowls of fresh flowers everywhere, and a billiards room with what looked like an antique foosball table. I described it to my husband as feeling like you’re walking into the rooms at the Metropolitan Museum where you think, “Who lives like this anymore?” Well, Mayor Bloomberg, apparently. It was interesting to see, and it was incredibly nice of them to open up their home to the organization.

As for Women’s Campaign Fund, check out their website wcfonline.org and see for yourself why you need to support a female candidate…or nominate yourself to run!

Greek Yogurt Goes Frozen

I’ve already jumped on the Greek yogurt bandwagon, so when I saw Ben and Jerry’s has a new line of frozen Greek yogurts, I had to check them out. They are a bit tangier than their regular frozen yogurts — the Peanut Butter Banana one was quite tasty. Thumbs up for this new addition to the Ben and Jerry’s family!

Olympic Fever

In honor of the 2012 Summer Olympics, here’s the US Swim Team doing “Call Me Maybe.” Ryan Lochte even shows up to blow a kiss. But where’s Michael Phelps? Oh yeah, probably practicing…swimming.


Etc.

This wacky weather is starting to freak me out. I never remember so many harsh storms where so many people lost power. The lightening in NYC last night was crazy.

Hope you’re all doing well…enjoy the weekend!

It’s a rainy afternoon so why not bake a little? It’s certainly cool enough to do it — which is odd since just a couple of days ago it was over 100 degrees.

Friends of ours came to visit recently and they came with fresh baked cookies. Oatmeal raisin, to be exact. And every time our friend offered my one, I politely declined. What I didn’t mention, being the hostess that I am, is that I do not like oatmeal raisin cookies. In fact, I do not like cooked raisins in just about anything.

When our friends left, they were nice enough to leave more of the cookies. At some point, I tried one. And guess what? These things are good. A good salty/sweet things happening. So I twisted Larry’s arm and now I am passing his recipe on to you. Here’s another idea from Larry: he said he found this by adding the word “best” to his Google search for “oatmeal raisin cookies.” So there’s another tip for you, courtesy of our pal Larry, and food.com.

Ingredients

Whisk together and set aside

      • 2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Cream wet ingredients

      • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
      • 1 cup sugar
      • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
      • 2 large eggs
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Then stir in

    • 3 cups oats ( not instant)
    • 1 1/2 cups raisins

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients; set aside.
  3. Combine wet ingredients with a hand mixer on low.
  4. To cream, increase speed to high and beat until fluffy and the color lightens.
  5. Stir the flour mixture into the creamed mixture until no flour is visible.
  6. (Over mixing develops the gluten, making a tough cookie.) Now add the oats and raisins; stir to incorporate.
  7. Fill cookie scoop with dough.
  1. (Use a #40 cookie scoop; it measures 2 tablespoon of dough) Press against side of bowl, pulling up to level dough.
  2. Drop 2-inches apart onto baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray.
  3. Bake 11-13 minutes (on center rack), until golden, but still moist beneath cracks on top.
  4. Remove from oven; let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

George is Back

Last week I brought you the teaser, this week, the whole dang video. It’s George Michael’s new song, and all Kate Moss can manage is to stand around and shake her hair. of course.

Etc.

I’ve had a zit all week and I am way over it. I used to have this great charcoal mask that I got in Napa that would dry everything right up, but I couldn’t find it. I need to figure something out.

On a much more serious note, sending positive thoughts out to Colorado. Not sure how many people have to die before someone stands up to do something sensible about all of the gun violence. Kudos to Mayor Bloomberg, who seems to be the only politician not afraid to speak out.

Peace to all!

Goin’ Coconuts

July 13, 2012

Whether you are near a beach or not, that coconut smell always makes you feel like it’s a day at the beach. So why not indulge? It’s a low cost way to take a vacation!

Organix makes a great coconut milk shampoo — and its got no parabens or sulfates, so it’s safe to use on the kiddies. I keep some in the outdoor shower to keep the beach smell alive! ($6.99)

Pacifica makes a heavenly-smelling Indian Coconut Nectar line. There’s body butter but I’m mad for the shower gel — and it’s another line that has nothing nasty in it, so it’s fun for the whole family! ($10 for the smaller bottle, $16 for 17 ounces)

Burt’s Bees makes a coconut foot creme that gets your feet sandal ready. The trick with it — or any foot cream — is to slather it on at night, before you go to bed, on clean feet, and then put some thick cotton socks on while you sleep. It helps the moisturizers really go to work.  And again, all natural! ($9)

Let’s not discuss that the mother of all coconut products, Hawaiian Tropic oil, is probably responsible for all of the sunspots on my body from my misinformed youthful escapades in the sun, with a reflector. Ah! These are much kinder, gentler coconut alternatives.

White Light

George Michael is soon blessing us with a new video for a new song, celebrating the fact that he didn’t die during his recent medical troubles. There’s a teaser! Kate Moss, a coin, a gun — this is gonna be good, people!! ha ha

Etc.

I received the catalog for Nordstrom’s annual sale in the mail this week, and I was irritated because nothing kills the summer vibe than fall! But they actually had some cute things, so I perked up a bit…the sale starts July 20 (for the uninitiated, they put everything on sale, before the season.)

Hope you all have a super fab weekend!! I think I am going to make some fish tacos.

 

Summer Salsa

July 5, 2012

Happy 4th week everyone! Hope you are enjoying some fun time this week, even if the holiday does fall on a Wednesday. (Boo!) We have the week off and are enjoying seeing family and friends, celebrating our daughter’s 5th birthday, lounging on the beach and of course, eating ice cream! (The official food of summer, really.) The only downside is that I think I have lost the ability to sleep late, which is a bummer, but what can you do. (And I am not blaming my kids here — I just keep waking up by 6:30. :()

Anyway, the other official food of summer is anything grilled, and we have been doing a lot of that too. Fish on the grill is especially tasty. Just pick any thicker, heartier fish so it doesn’t fall apart on the grill — salmon, tuna or mahi mahi are all good. And to make it really come alive, I do a lovely summer salsa:

My Summer Salsa

Mango, Red Onion, Jalapeno Pepper, Tomatoes, Fresh Lime Juice, Salt and Pepper.

Chop in bite sized pieces and mix together in a glass bowl. Serve over fish.

How much of each thing, you ask? That’s really up to you. I typically use a whole mango, half a large red onion, 1 pepper, 2 – 3 medium tomatoes, and the juice from half a lime. BUT if your guests don’t like spicy, I omit the jalapeno and use a green pepper. You can also substitute a couple of peaches for the mango. Two other tips: don’t use fruit or veggies that are overripe and thus too soft. you’ll get mushy salsa. (Frankly, it will taste ok but have horrible presentation.) You want it just before it’s ripe, but of course not too hard because then it will taste bad. And I find it tastes best if you make it an hour or so before and let it co-mingle in the fridge. The flavors really come out.

My other favorite summer foods? Peel and eat jumbo shrimp with cocktail sauce with a generous amount of horseradish, steamers, watermelon and plums. Try eating any of them and not feeling like it’s summertime!

Get naked

I had a facial recently and one of the things she told me was to use higher SPF. She was talking about my face but I am taking it to heart all over. SPF 30 at minimum, and I even got some 50. The sun is strong. And I have come to the conclusion that the only way to truly get it everywhere it needs to be is to put it on when you’re naked, before you put your bathing suit on. This goes for your kids too. That way you don’t worry about it getting on anything, and all the nooks and crannies are protected. Do it with a friend!

Etc.

I still find it odd that the DC area as well as Southern NJ were hit with such an awful storm last Friday night with no warning whatsoever. Some people still don’t have power, almost a week later. With the ferocity of storms growing, one would hope with all of the technology out there, someone could come up with a better alert system. And maybe they should start thinking about how to better preserve the electrical grid, but I know this country doesn’t like to invest in infrastructure…but I digress.

Anyway, Happy Birthday America!