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May 2012

Skinny Sexy Beauty: GirlTrunks!


My friend Debbie Kuhn isn't one to sit around to bitch about a problem and wait for someone else to create a solution. Finding herself on a whitewater rafting trip, but not wanting to bare all she walked into the nearest big box store and found a pair of mens swim trunks and a gym tank top. She had a blast, got soaking wet, worried not at all and totally enjoyed herself! Later on while walking around the town she realized that,

 a: she was dry

 b: she felt a sense of freedom around her body that she hadn't felt in forever! 

Debbie came home from her trip happy and rested and that's when girltrunks was born! I love girl trunks...It's an important woman owned company whose time has come. To be sure, there are plenty of companies out there who have begun to address the sexy lingerie market for all sizes of women, but girltrunks addresses the issue of comfort.  

From :

"girltrunks were designed with the everyday woman in mind. Impeccably tailored for your shape, girltrunks provide a comfortable confidence not often found in women's swimwear. 

Matching the superior functionality of fast-drying bottoms in two lengths and well-fitting tops in two styles, girltrunks will forever change the way you look and feel at the pool, the beach, the gym, or on the go."

There are two styles of tops (halter and tank)  to go along with the 2 lengths of womans shorts and the patterns are sassy and absolutely adorable! Paired with a floppy hat, your favorite shades and a fabulous book you'll be totally comfortable and completely set for the beach! 

Go to and get yourself a pair for this weekend. It's not too late and you'll definitely thank me.  Check out Debbies blog too....she's one totally fun & inspiring gal!


Skinny Sexy Dessert: Banana Raspberry No Cream Ice Cream !



 ice cream
Banana Raspberry Ice "Cream"


I love Ice cream...who doesn't really? There's actually no lovelier treat on a hot summer's day than a huge bowl of homemade ice cream, but if you're anything like me, the cream will get you a stomachache everytime. So tonight when my poor husband needed something cool and silky to soothe his canker sores  instead of rushing to give him the Ben and Jerry's I decided to make him a homemade treat. If you've got a Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt maker this sort of thing is a snap! Just keep the cannister in the freezer at all times and you're ready to go. If you don't have an ice cream maker you can freeze this mixture in a deep pan and scrape it to serve , but it will be more like granita than ice cream because it's not a true custard. 


 Ice cream maker
Becoming Ice "Cream"


For this healthy lovely skinny sexy treat I just took 2 ripe bananas and put them into my vitamix with about 3 cups of almond coconut milk. I added agave nectar to taste,a teaspoon of peach bitters, a teaspoon of vanilla and a teaspoon of Penzeys cake spice. Then I blended the whole thing until it was creamy. I poured it into my ice cream maker and switched it on. Within minutes it was beginning to freeze so I added 1 cup of raspberries and two tablespoons of fig jam. It swirled and swirled until the whole thing was frozen to the consistency of soft serve ice cream and then I gave him a bowl. Bye Bye pain...Huge grin...Happy husband. Nice and Vegan for me!

Tomorrows flavor? Lavender Chevre! Day after that? Homemade mint chocolate chip using an infusion of my homegrown chocolate mint...The possibilities are endless!

Don't ever worry again when guests show up'll be prepared!


Today I’m thinking about my mother, who died three years ago but is still very present in almost everything I do. I hear her voice when I’m cooking and can’t find the right spices and I cook her specialties regularly. I totally miss her mashed potatoes, a secret that she took with her to the great test kitchen in the sky. She was a really great cook , nothing fancy, just simply gorgeous food and she WAS the Barefoot Contessa long before Ina Garten even thought about picking up a chefs knife. She could throw a party for 50 without a fuss with 24 hours notice. My mom was a working woman but it was her way to have dinner every night at the dinner table, with candles, wine and cloth napkins. By the way did you know that if you want to use cloth napkins but dread ironing them that all you need is a brick? This was one of my mothers best tricks…she kept a brick right by her dryer and when the napkins came out she’d fold them while still warm, stack them and then place the brick on top leaving her with perfectly pressed, ready to use napkins at anytime!

My mother is the reason that I can cook and I loved watching her in the kitchen. She could throw a dinner party on a moments notice because she was always prepared to entertain. She had one part of her freezer and pantry stocked especially for such occasions and always kept her bar ready for drop- in guests. I still do too because you never know who’s coming through the door and for me just like my mother before me, Food= Love. She taught me that entertaining well didn’t have to do with how grand a spread you put out, but everything to do with how welcome you make your guests feel. A wedge of runny Brie with fresh fruit and a tin of smoked oysters and a bowl of camponata  (eggplant appetizer) were her staples, she always had them around as well as a loaf of thin white Pepperidge Farm tea sandwich bread. A simple tomato bisque, usually from a can (but now with so many good organic varieties in a box you won't need Campbells!), enriched with a touch of cream or coconut milk, flavored with a touchof sherry and served in her mothers demitasse cups, became another great conversation starter. When you have an entire roomful of people who don't really know each other well, talking about the different cup patterns really does work as an ice breaker!


Mom also always kept a bag of shrimp in her freezer which she could thaw in an instant. Take those shrimp, mix them up with about 1Ž/2 a cup of vegannaise (she used Hellmans!) and a 1Ž/2 a cup of sour cream, add about 5 tablespoons of chopped fresh chives and season with cayenne, Worcestershire sauce and a dash of salt and pepper. Stir and serve with little forks or toothpicks and buttered toast points. Those 5 things, arranged graciously and set on her coffee table with pretty little plates a good bottle of wine or champagne and a vase of flowers were simple, delicious and satisfying. If you don’t have flowers, walk out into the garden , scoop up a few posies that you’ve planted dirt and all and repot them in some pretty tea cups. I promise that they’ll never notice that they’ve been gone for the short time that you’ll have them inside! When I’m teaching people to plan simple parties I always encourage them to have a signature cocktail that they can throw together at the drop of a hat. Mine is a delicious mixture of things that I always have around, lemon soda, Crème de violette (this is succulent heady stuff all you perfumistas!), limoncello, citron vodka, peach bitters and blackberries, fresh when in season, frozen when not! Just take a tall glass, fill with ice and a few of the blackberries. Then pour a jigger of citron vodka into it, and a tablespoon each of the crème de violette and limoncello. Top off with the lemon soda, a dash of the blood orange bitters and garnish with some fresh thai basil. That’s all! A signature drink that you can whip up in an instant kicks off the conversation on a surprise evening beautifully!

I guess that I’m saying all of this because to me it’s more important with whom you’re eating than what you’re eating and I want you to always feel comfortable having people in your home and enjoying their company. My mother had tricks that made it easy to entertain well and she was always prepared to use them. I think that we miss a lot of opportunities for relatedness because we’re so concerned more with what it looks like instead of simply just enjoying ourselves and life’s just too short. The world is spinning faster than ever before and now more than ever we need to sit down , break some wonderful bread together, drink some excellent wine and really talk about what matters. Don’t be intimidated, just try it! Trader Joe's is a great source for healthy appetizers that you can keep in your freezer and serve at a moments notice. Go to TJ Maxx and get a few good glasses, some pretty little plates and some napkins. Keep it all in a special place and don’t touch it except for occasions like these. You’ll thank me, I promise.

Nafamily_t440 (1)

I hope that you had a wonderful Mothers Day!  All of us are mothers to something or someone. If you’ve ever given birth to a great idea, or a project you’re a mother. If you’re gay and you have a child , you’re a mother. If you’ve got a dog, cat or even a chicken you’re a mother. You don’t need a uterus to celebrate this special day , just a whole lot of love!



Photo of Crème De Violette from Photo of Camponata from

Photo of Family from source unknown


A Delicious Panzanella Salad is a Perfect Summer Supper!


I don't know about you but when springtime begins to look more like summer I begin to crave tomatoes and basil and plant way more of it than I could ever use. Thankfully, one of the most delicious salad recipes that I know uses both of those ingredients in abundance and is an inexpensive and delicious way to feed your family on a warm spring night. Panzanella is a traditional Florentine torn bread and tomato salad and it's base is usually tomatoes , cucumbers, basil and a day old baguette. However I've taken a few liberties with the original recipe and the results are wonderful. You can make this delicious salad in less than 10 minutes if you've got the ingredients on hand. Let it sit for another 1/2 hour and voila! You've got dinner!

For my Panzanella salad I cube as many tomatoes as I want and at least 1 whole English cucumber. If I've got them I add some herb roasted potatoes and/or fresh green beans. Then I thinly slice alot of red onion and toss the whole of it into a bowl. Then I add at least 2 cups of Genovese Basil leaves, a cup and a half of fresh cubed mozzerella, a cup of shaved parmesan and at least 3 cups of  DAY OLD bread that I've torn into pieces. Season with salt, pepper ,  fresh (if using dried herbs use less) oregano, rosemary, parsley, sage and thyme.

Then make a dressing of fresh olive oil, champagne or red wine vinegar, and about two tablespoons of minced garlic or garlic paste and one half teaspoon of dijon mustard, whisk it all together and pour about 1 and a half cups of the dressing over the salad, toss the whole thing and let it sit for a while. If you don't have dressing use a good organic olive oil vinaigrette and add extra minced garlic! 

Serve this salad with a lovely glass of rose' or iced herbal tea. If you want, you can also add some tuna fish or hard boiled egg, turning the whole thing into a lovely modified Nicoise salad and adding a bit of extra protein for those who want it!