Monthly Archives: August 2010

Brined Pork Chops With Grilled Onions

This recipe is my adaptation of a dish published in the July 2010 Bon Appétit.  It was simple and delicious.  I served it with a grilled potato salad (recipe to follow).  Click on the link below to get the full recipe at epicurious.com.

Pork Chops Yucatán Style

  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 4 large bone-in rib pork chops
  • 1 large white onion with skin, quartered through core with some core still attached to each piece
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro plus 1/4 cup fresh cilantroleaves

Stir water, kosher salt, bay leaves, allspice, and black peppercorns in medium bowl until salt dissolves for brine. Arrange pork chops in 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Pour brine over. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Grill onion quarters until browned (skin may burn), about 3 minutes per side. Cool and peel. Thinly slice and place in bowl. Add orange juice and lime juice. Season onion mixture to taste with salt. Mix in chopped cilantro.

Remove pork from brine; pat dry, then grill but do not overcook, 4 to 6 minutes per side depending on thickness. Transfer to plate and let rest 10 minutes.

Top pork with onions. Sprinkle chopped cilantro leaves over.

Serves 4

Enjoy!

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

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My Favorite Products: A Top Six

We all try to buy countless products on the market today, hoping to find the perfect merchandise to satisfy our every need.

I am no exception and although I’m happy with what I use, I’m the ideal consumer, always searching for something better.

These are some of my favorite products:

Hi Pro Pac Conditioner

You don’t need extremely damaged hair to enjoy this super hydrating conditioner.  It’s a 60-second Godsend.

CHI Shine Infusion

CHI’s hair shine spray is the best spray-on hair shine I’ve ever tried.  It leaves your hair looking silky and brilliant.

Serious Skin Care Super Mel C

A berry antioxidant cocktail for the face that seems to renew and repair skin.

Bare Escentuals

Bare Escentuals Mineral Makeup is great.  It’s light, natural and offers layerable coverage.  I love the powder foundation, the mineral veil and the faux tan, not to mention any of their blush, face color or eyeshadow.  B.E. rocks.

Philosophy Amazing Grace

Not only do I love Philosophy’s Amazing Grace Firming Body Emulsion but I love the shower gel as well.  The scent is fantastic – not too overpowering.

Nina by Nina Ricci

I first discovered this parfum while vacationing in Paris in 2007.  It wasn’t even available in the States yet.  With hints of lemon, vanilla, apple and cotton musk this feminine fragrance is soft yet alluring.

So there you have it… my product picks just in case you were looking.  What are some of your faves?

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Journal of a Dieting Diva: A New Page

The right way to diet is to change your eating regime.  Eat healthier.  Eat smaller portions.  Count your calories.  It’s always worked for me.

When I count my calories I take the weight off quickly and it stays off as long as I continue to eat right.  The only problem is that I get completely obsessed.  I am an all or nothing person with no happy medium and after about 6 months of dieting I have to get off it because I seem to develop an eating disorder.

The vicious circle continues when I start eating like a pig and gain some weight back.  Then I start over.  Eat healthier.  Eat smaller portions.  Count calories.

So on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 I went back to square one.  I weighed myself and measured every inch of my body so I can get an accurate reading of what must be done.  It wasn’t pretty.

It’s amazing.  I gained 26 pounds since I jumped off the calorie caboose.  Being 5’2″ tall my body does not like extra weight and when I carry something… forget it.  My back hurts, my knees hurt – you name it.

I’ll start out with 1400 calories per day and gradually decrease as needed.  It’s a scientific formula.  In the past year I’ve gone from a size 4 to a 10 and everywhere in between.  I need to get back on the train for my health.

Check back on my page Journal of a Dieting Diva to follow my progress!

Image: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Mommy & Me… True Twins

Two people have never been so much alike.  My mom was / is my soul mate.  When I saw these two pictures side by side, I knew…

Mom 1930's

Me 1960's

that if there were no words, you would still hear me.

I miss you Mommy.

Do you resemble your mom or dad past, present or future?

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Back To School / Work Shopping: The Initial Purchases – Part One

September always reminds me of back to school shopping even though I’m no longer a student, I am a teacher.  Before my mom passed away she took me clothes shopping every year when I was a student (1972 – 2007 with a short break in there of 3 years) and when I became a teacher.

I looked forward to it every year and cried like a baby the first few years after she was gone.  I still get melancholy to date.  Maybe that’s why I use my credit cards as weapons, never able to get the safety back on.

Here are some things that made it into my Fall 2010 Collection:

Warning:  Some items are not work-friendly but I’m sure I’ll find a use for them!

Jewelry

Adia Kibur Earrings

Just Cavalli Ring

Leslie Danzis Ring

Miriam Salat Resin Ring

Chamak by Priya Kakkar

Accessories

Valentino Sunglasses

Dior

Elemento by Monserat De Lucca

BCBGMAXAZRIA Beaded Metal Clutch

Junior Drake "Lorri" Leather Satchel

Etienne Aigner

Blue Steve Madden

Clothes

Ravon Convertible Dress

The Reformation Black Lace Dress

Vivienne Tam

Casual Couture

Jessica Simpson

Shoes

Miss Sixty

Oh… Did I mention that I love labels?  On my clothes anyway.  Happy Shopping!

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

A Heap of Handbags, A Pool of Purses, A Potpourri of Pocketbooks

Those of you who know me or read my blog regularly, know that I love to shop.  I have shoe addiction – a clothing addiction and a purse problem.

I haven’t finished Shoe Shock quite yet and in true ADD fashion I’m moving on to my handbag habit.  I never realized how many bags I actually have.  It’s pretty sickening.  They reside all over the house including the attic – which I haven’t even attempted yet.

So here is the damage so far:

Red Hot

Silver

Accessory Array

Black & Gold

Black & White

Feeling Blue

Fun Bags

Soft & Furry

Green & Yellow

Neutral like Switzerland

Pinks

Leftovers

A Pile of Purses

There are more but that’s all for today – I’m exhausted.

Oh – just a note…  I found so many things just thrown in my handbags:  Valium, jewelry, cash, nasal spray – you name it, it was in there.

I think I’m ready to start my own Bag, Borrow or Steal.  Anyone up for it?

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010

What’s HOT For Fall…

Fashion has a tendency to repeat itself with new updates that make the trend more modern.  This year’s Fall Collections are no exception.

Scouring sample sales, fashion magazines and any online fashionista jabber I focused in on a few trends that I like for Fall 2010.  Most of these are in a normal fashionista’s price range except for my Military pick – but I couldn’t resist.

  • Boots:  Thigh-high boots seem to be making a comeback.  They appeared on the fashion scene a few years ago but the runways are loaded with them this Fall.  Must have:  Report Winston

    Miriam Salat*

  • Statement Jewelry:  This jewelry takes bling to a new level.  Classy and fun pieces will round out your wardrobe.  Must-have:  Try a piece by Miriam Salat or Alex & Ani.
  • Thigh-High Socks:  Last seen in the movie Clueless, these retro-modern “leg-warmers” are a hot pick for fall.   Must-have:  Knee socks – but read this first.
  • 70’s Inspired:  Silks, neutral accessories and an oversized pair of sunglasses rounds out seventies style.  Must-have:  a nude shoe  – my fave L.A.M.B. Gale.
  • Fur:  Not very politically correct but always HOT.  Whether it real or

    Elemento*

    faux – go for it!  Must-have:  Pick any accessory fur or faux.

  • Chains:  Edgy metal on handbags, clothes or jewelry are in vogue maintenant.  Must-have: Elemento by Monserat De Lucca.
  • Military Inspired:  No!  It’s not your 80’s military jacket – it’s more modern and more wearable.  Must-have:  Balmain navy silk blend tweed military jacket. Totally out of my price range but if you can find a knock-off, let me know!
  • Lace:  Lace truly never goes out of style.  Must-have:  Loretta Tunic Dress*.  Great for a night out.
  • Pops of GOLD:  Whether you’re flaunting a gold sequin mini, elegant cocktail dress or brilliant baubles, gold is IN.  Must-have:  Kenneth Cole Gold Cuff Bracelet.
  • Platform Stilettos:  Who knew when platforms appeared on the scene so long ago that they would constantly be reinvented in more modern pieces again and again.  Must-have:  Kira Peep Toe Pump by Marciano.

These finds combine multiple trends:

The most important thing in fashion is to HAVE FUN.  If you love what you’re wearing you will exude confidence and strength and others will notice.  I love creating my own looks.  It’s an art.  Putting together just the right pieces – perfect harmony.

Shop smart at sample sales, Marshall’s or TJ Maxx.  It’s better to buy better, cheaper than to buy JUST cheap.  You DO get what you pay for – trust me.

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

* In my closet.

Why WORDPRESS Sucks…

I am so aggravated and thoroughly disgusted this evening.  It’s 1:09 am and I have been tirelessly researching information for my blog while I type away about what’s hot for FALL.

Thumbs DOWN WordPress

After 4 hours my blog is almost done with breaks from time to time.  I hit save draft and at the same time I see ALERT:  You are not logged in.  Please login to save your draft.  Or something like that….

Needless to say I LOST hours of work and have no idea where to start over.  I couldn’t even retrieve it from HISTORY.  If I only saw the alert before I pressed SAVE!

What the hell happened to the auto save feature?  Was it on a break?  Perhaps in the restroom?  Maybe out sick?  @#*!!!!!XXXX^%!@*#!

What The ________!  You fill in the blank – I already did.

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Online Sample Sales: I ♡ Them!

I love shopping as many women do.  It’s addicting, thrilling and satisfying on every level – until you get the credit card statement.

Alex & Ani

Shopaholic or not (definitely the former) I try not to overindulge or spend money foolishly.  Although I can never that I haven’t committed these “wallet” crimes, I do try to shop for designer clothes and accessories at discount stores when at all possible.

Some time ago I discovered online sample sales and have been enjoying them ever since.  The pricing is great but quantities are limited.  You can go crazy, so be smart.  The keys to these sales are SPEED, NEED, HEED.

  • SPEED:  Grab it before anyone else does – but realize there is a cart time-limit.
  • NEED:  Do you need it or really, really want it?
  • HEED:  Pay attention to return policies, shipping costs and research your purchases prior to making them.

Feel free to use the links and invites below so you can start shopping SMART.

Try them out and let me know what you think.  The photos are items I’ve recently purchased at Gilt.

Happy Shopping!

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Monserat De Lucca
Miriam Salat

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Online Sample Sales: I ♡ Them!

I love shopping as many women do.  It’s addicting, thrilling and satisfying on every level – until you get the credit card statement.

Alex & Ani

Shopaholic or not (definitely the former) I try not to overindulge or spend money foolishly.  Although I can never that I haven’t committed these “wallet” crimes, I do try to shop for designer clothes and accessories at discount stores when at all possible.

Some time ago I discovered online sample sales and have been enjoying them ever since.  The pricing is great but quantities are limited.  You can go crazy, so be smart.  The keys to these sales are SPEED, NEED, HEED.

  • SPEED:  Grab it before anyone else does – but realize there is a cart time-limit.
  • NEED:  Do you need it or really, really want it?
  • HEED:  Pay attention to return policies, shipping costs and research your purchases prior to making them.

Feel free to use the links and invites below so you can start shopping SMART.

Try them out and let me know what you think.  The photos are items I’ve recently purchased at Gilt.

Happy Shopping!

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Monserat De Lucca

Miriam Salat

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.