Monthly Archives: September 2010

Here Comes The Snake…

Animal jewelry has become a must-have in every woman’s wardrobe.

Snakes

I love my new snake pieces pictured above – especially my new serpent ring by NOIR.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces….

Fig The Flying Pig

Goldie The Elephant

Phillipe The Parrot

Betsy Johnson Jungle Cat Bracelet

Have a little fun and enjoy!

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

No Wonder I Have NO Money!

If you have read my blog before, you know I’m a raving shopaholic.  Not shopping all summer long has recently sent my shopaholism into an online feeding frenzy only hindered by the fact that I have no money.

Looking good is important to me.  Comfort is an option as it should be.  Your body acclimates to style if you persist long enough.

I’ve persisted.  Here are some of my recent purchases… I love them!

BCBG

Betsy Johnson

Cara Couture

BCBG (encore une fois)

Isharya Nizam

Report Signature

Robert Rodriguez

Report Signature

Pleasure Doing Business Rubber Skirt

“Fashion fades.  Style is eternal.” – Yves Saint Laurent

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Stracciatella: A Quick Alternative To Canned

I hate canned soup!  The sheer metallic flavor assaults my refined taste buds.  I’m a fan of homemade everything!  No jars or cans for me.

This is a great recipe for Italian egg drop soup – or Stracciatella.  It’s quick, easy and delicious!

Stracciatella

1 qt chicken broth
4 eggs
1 ½ tbsp semolina or flour
2 tbsp grated romano cheese
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
½ c cooked chopped fresh spinach or 2 cup fresh raw
chopped parsley

Boil the chicken broth.  Beat eggs in a small bowl until thick.  Add spinach to broth.  Mix semolina, cheese, salt and pepper into eggs.  Slowly pour egg mixture into boiling broth, stirring constantly.  Continue stirring and simmer 5 mins.  Top with chopped parsley.
Serves 4.

So unless you’re really sick and can’t stand for 5 minutes, try this homemade soup and you will not be disappointed.

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Filet Mignon and Hot Peppers

Since no one wanted to go out to play and have some Sangria I came up with this recipe as I cooked.

1 lb Filet Mignon cubes
steak seasoning
1 bottle of beer
3 large cloves of garlic, sliced thin
a mix of long hot and sweet peppers from the garden
5-6 small tri color potatoes, sliced thin
salt
extra virgin olive oil

Sprinkle meat with steak seasoning and marinate in 1/2 to 1 beer, turning occasionally – about an hour.

Add olive oil to pan, heat to high.  Slice tops off of peppers and add to pan – lower heat.  Add potatoes and some salt and cook until potatoes are almost cooked and peppers start to brown.  Add garlic cook until peppers, potatoes and garlic are done.

Remove and drain on paper towels.  Add a little more oil to the pan and turn up to high heat.  Remove meat from marinade and dry off with a paper towel.  Brown meat to desired doneness and add the pepper mixture.

Stir and cook a little longer.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Fashion Faux Pas: At Least In My Book Anyway

Nothing distresses me more than people who leave their houses without looking in the mirror.  They scream MAKEOVER and I always want to give them one.

I understand that not everyone is a fashion plate who just stepped off the pages of Vogue, but come on….  Style is personal and even when I don’t like someone else’s fashion sense, if it’s put together well, I can appreciate it.

I have been an offender of a”what was she thinking” moment when I’m so sick I can barely stand, had to run out of the house in 5 seconds flat for some emergency or when I am enjoying summer-mode sans maquillage et soutien gorge while on a 4 day rotating shower schedule.

That’s about it.

I don’t know why I care what other people look like but the following Fashion Faux send me into a head-shaking tizzy:

  1. Leggings, Jeggings or Stretchy Pants: NO WOMAN over the age of 25 should be wearing leggings.  It’s a sure way to be a camel toe offender.  I don’t care if you have the skinniest body or the perfect body, once a woman finishes college she should leave behind or better yet, burn her stretchies.
  2. The Prairie Skirt: Enough said – just stay away.
  3. Ill-Fitting Shorts: Too tight, too loose, pulling crotch, repeating wedgies, wrong length, etc.  I just stay away completely and opt for a skirt.
  4. Dressing Too Old: What is it with these young girls dressing like old farts?  Why are even the maturer women dressing like grannies?  There are ways to dress appropriately and not look like you’re wearing your nonna’s moppine.
  5. Dressing Too Young: When you’re 60 please refrain from ass cheek peek-a-boo, inch thick makeup that looks like 2 inch thick makeup and any clothes bought at Express or in the Junior department at Macy’s.
  6. Low Rise Jeans on a High Rise Woman: Muffin Top is not an attractive look.  Yes, we’re all guilty of it after a small weight gain or a night of partying but please buy pants that fit.
  7. Granny Panties & Saggy Bras: Every woman has shape wear in her wardrobe but Grandma’s underwear are just a no-no.  Bras that don’t hold up your boobs make you look older and shapeless.  Go get measured properly.  I guarantee you’re probably wearing the wrong size.

I’m sure that there are a ton more but I’ll address them in part two.  Happy Shopping and better dressing!

You Know You’re A Shopaholic When…

You know you’re a shopaholic when:

  1. You hide your purchases in the trunk of your car until it’s SAFE to take them inside.
  2. You throw out your bags and boxes in neighbors’ garbage cans.
  3. You actually shop in the 3 minutes you have in between classes.
  4. You are obsessed with QVC and HSN.
  5. You rationalize that you saved $700 instead of spending $200.
  6. You love to shop for clothes, shoes, purses, cooking stuff, household items, candles, soap, vases, makeup, cat paraphernalia, music, software, food, etc.  There are no limits.
  7. If caught with a new item, you say that it’s old and you brought it home from your parents’ house.
  8. You start buying meat on HSN.
  9. You have 10 tabs open… 1 Facebook and 9 online shopping sites.
  10. You buy things you don’t need with money you don’t have.  The obvious.
  11. You have moved into every closet in the house and taken over.
  12. You build a BIG shoe closet and can only fit 1 season at a time.
  13. Your jewelry armoire weighs 101 pounds empty.  God only knows when it’s full.
  14. You have to buy every new gadget and electronic available in due time.
  15. You have way too many things with tags still attached.
  16. You can dress for an entire year without wearing the same outfit more than once.
  17. You own an olive pitter, a butter curler, a crumb cleaner, an egg yolk piercer – among other things…
  18. You have over 10 different sets of dinnerware, over 16 types of vodka behind your bar, every piece of exercise equipment made and over 15 comforter sets stuffed in your attic.
  19. You possess over 300 pairs of shoes, about 150 handbags, over 100 dresses and gowns and list goes on.
  20. You always looking for a new venture to support your habit.

Pray for me please!

O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E

After sitting on my ass all summer I decided, 1 week before I started work again, to organize my purses, closets and drawers.

Purses & Some Jeans

This is an endless feat not to be taken lightly.  Once you start 1 mess another creeps up on you.  I started with my infinite collection of handbags.

The problem I have is that I don’t know what I have.  They’re in my closet, under the bed in boxes and in the attic in Rubbermaid tubs and I still can’t get my hands on everything.

Purses - There are 3 more places.

Even after purging my closets I still have a lot of shit – good shit (because I do throw the old and tattered out).  Now I’m in the process of putting it all back – and you know how that goes… there are always a few parts leftover!

Next I tackled, or tried to tackle the sock/stocking drawers.  Since thigh high socks are in this season I separated them from the massive ball of nylon and spandex and I folded them neatly into a drawer that was not using

About Half of My Dresses

space wisely.  I’ll deal with the rest of them another day.

Then I moved on to the lingerie consisting of panties, bras, corsets, garter belts and Spanx.  No easy task.  Only time will tell how well I did.

My dress/gown closet was a toughie.  I still haven’t managed to fit all the pieces back!  My shirt closet multiplied into shirt closets and I still need more space!

The sunglasses were easy… Dior, Valentino, Armani, Michael Kors and Apple Bottoms.  I have a well-rounded collection.

Finally I straightened out my scarves, gloves (naughty and nice ones), hats, various shoe cushions paraphernalia.  This was an easy one – but why are all “the good ones” Dry Clean Only?

Skirts

I still have a long way to go but I’m confident that I can make it work.

Now only if I can get into my sizes 6 & 4 again….  I’m overwhelmed storing sizes 4-10!

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Grilled Beef Brasciole

My grandmother’s beef brasciole in Sunday gravy was the ultimate food.  Bobby Flay‘s grilled version tastes very similar (in a grilled way) sans the pignoli nuts that Grandma used to use.

This is a great summer dish that uses all the great ingredients in your garden.  Click below to get Bobby’s full recipe on Food Network.

Grilled Beef Brasciole with Grilled Tomato Relish

For the grilled tomato-basil relish:

  • 8 plum tomatoes
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves

For the beef:

  • 1 (2-pound) round steak, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

3 (8-inch) pieces butcher’s twine, soaked in cold water

  • Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish

For the grilled tomato-basil relish:

Heat the grill to high.  Cut the tomatoes half, then brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the tomatoes on all sides until slightly charred and soft. Remove the tomatoes from the grill, chop and place in a bowl. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, onion, vinegar, basil and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

For the beef:
Heat the grill to high.  Place the steak on a flat surface. Combine the cheese, parsley, oregano and garlic in a small bowl. Brush the steak on the side facing up with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cheese mixture evenly over the steak, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the sides.

Starting with the long end, tightly roll the meat up like a jelly roll and tightly tie with the butcher’s twine on the ends and in the center. Brush the entire outside of the steak with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill, seam-side up and grill until golden brown on all sides, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the grill and let rest 10 minutes before slicing into 1/2-inch thick slices. Serve several slices per person topped with some of the relish.

Serves 4.

Thanks Bobby Flay!

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Pasta Caprese

It’s really hard for me to stay away from pasta completely.  I’m always looking for a light dish so I can eat my macaroni and not feel guilty.

This is my twist on a Pasta Caprese.

  • 1 pound linguine or spaghetti – 1 c pasta water reserved
  • 1 -1/2 c – 2 c tomatoes, diced – preferably heirloom of different colors and types (cherry, grape, plum, etc.)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/2 c  fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Mix the diced tomatoes and cubed mozzarella in a large bowl. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, oregano, basil leaves, and salt, to taste.

When the linguine is ready, reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain pasta and add it to the bowl with approximately 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Mix well, adjust seasoning and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

This no-cook, warm weather friendly sauce makes a great salad too!

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Screw The Award Shows and Show Me The Dresses

I never watch award shows like the Emmys or Oscars.  I don’t care much for “Hollywood” people but love to see what they are wearing.

So fast forward to blogs, television and other media to give me insight into the fashion showcased at the Emmys for example.

The Worst Dressed

Anna Paquin in Alexander McQueen

Anna Paquin’s Warrior Princess look just rubbed me the wrong way.

Christina Hendricks in Zac Posen

What was she thinking?  A horror show through and through.

Heidi Klum in Marchesa

The proportions here are all wrong.  Where is the rest of the dress?

Best Dressed

Claire Danes in Armani Prive

Claire Danes was golden in this look.

Eva Longoria in Robert Rodriguez

Eva looks beautiful and elegant in Robert Rodriguez.

Kelly Osborne in Tony Ward Couture

This is another fave of mine.  Kelly looks gorgeous!

Nina Dobrev in Zuhair Murad

This gown fits Nina like a glove.  Beautiful!

Maria Menounos in Ralph & Russo

Maria looked absolutely HOT in this gorgeous creation.

Well, these are my picks for what was hot and not at the Emmy Awards.  Watch out Hollywood, we’re all watching.

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.