Diva Tasting: Deconstructed Enchilada …

Deconstructed Enchilada 
3 Tablespoons Butter
3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1 (4 Ounce) Can Chopped Green Chilies
1 (4 Ounce) Can Sliced Black Olives
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/8 Teaspoon Chipotle Chile Powder
4 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Halves
1 Cup Sour Cream
12 (6 Inch) Corn Tortillas, Cut Into Bite-Size Pieces
2 Cups Shredded Colby-Jack Cheese, Or To Taste
1 Cup Cheddar
  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour; cook for 1 minute. Whisk in chicken broth; cook and stir until sauce is smooth and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Stir green chiles, olives, salt, oregano, and chipotle chile powder into the sauce. Add chicken breasts and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
  3. Remove chicken from the skillet, leaving heat on low. Place chicken on a plate; shred into bite-size pieces.
  4. Stir sour cream into the sauce. Return chicken to the skillet; add tortilla pieces. Stir until combined and top with Colby-Jack cheese. Cover and cook until bubbly and melted, 5 to 8 minutes.

Diva Musing: This Hit a Note….

How does overcoming your fears, concerns, your limitations, and your what-ifs give you access to step out of your comfort zone and will empower your life? If you come from a place of anything is possible, anything is possible 
This very question was asked by Leandra Antonutti, who led a Baptiste Yoga Assisting Course in Yoga Lab, Singapore, end May 2019. I was quite hesitant in writing this article because I was ashamed; ashamed of the thoughts that came up from that weekend; that never surfaced past my journal pages.
When Your Start Overcoming Your Fears and Limitations Anything Is Possible!
And since ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE especially in sharing my fears and my insecurities, I am doing this.
Before the weekend of the Assisting course (which was amazing), I was battling the stories in my head and my fears of being forgotten because I wasn’t asked to help out aka be an assistant to the facilitator. 
Being an assistant in a Baptiste Yoga program is important to me as I am passionate about building a Baptiste yoga community here in Singapore and being one of 3 certified Baptiste Yoga Teachers, I want to be a stand for the community.
I did make a request for the assistant’s role however they asked someone else and I made it mean that I’m not important nor good enough.
The truth was I was concerned about looking good.
The Importance of Overcoming Your Fears and Limitations
Even writing this – I was worried others may think that I’m vain, too full of myself. The “who am I?” question comes up.
And I know those who know me are going “Pfft!” on me and ask what the hell am I talking about.
Hang on a minute. I’m not asking for pity or empathy. Just for you and I, to acknowledge that we can’t run away from our thoughts.  We’re only human. 
The first thing we usually do is to put on our armor. 
One of my armors (I have many) is to hide and pretend everything is ok when it’s not.
I pretended I was ok that I’m not assisting the course. 
And you know what happened? Last-minute, they asked me to come on board something came up with the selected assistant. 
The Kind and Loving Person in me said Yes of course. 
Be a Yes.
Give up what you must.
Come from a place you are ready now.
However, the child in me was feeling rather grumpy. 
What came up for me then was the Baptiste Yoga methodology of Coming from a place of love and support (there’s nothing to fix).
This methodology had helped me in getting over the fear of teaching a yoga class. It never dawned upon me that it is possible to also come from a place of love and support off the mat. 
Why Not? 
I have been holding back in my interaction with others. There’s something in the way of me creating this way of being. Like I’m generous to a certain point. I’m kind to a certain extent. I’m loving to a certain extent.
There is a ‘but’.
My 8-year-self showed up – the middle child who has to compete with the elder and younger sis for attention; she has to give in to the younger and take 2nd place to the elder. 
The 8 -year-old girl tells herself “I’m never going to be good enough.”
The feeling of “what about me”, even whilst I was assisting; in fact in many instances of my life. 
Now that I wrote that down – it sounds silly and childish.
I’m not 8 years old anymore. I’m an amazing human being with lots of heart to give. I want to lead a life from a place of loving-kindness and I want to give back by sharing more loving-kindness out there to the world.
I’m DEFINITELY good enough.
What’s possible when overcoming your fears and limitations?
And it starts with me interacting with every human being as if they are whole and complete, with 100% compassion and zero judgment.
It sounds tough, but I’m ready to try. 
Life is better without your fears and limitations.
Be in the Now and you will know How

Diva Tasting: Bayou Muffuletta….

Bayou Muffuletta
Olive Salad
1 Cup Pimento-Stuffed Green Olives, Crushed
1/2 Cup Drained Kalamata Olives, Crushed
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/4 Cup Roughly Chopped Pickled Cauliflower Florets
2 Tablespoons Drained Capers
1 Tablespoon Diced Celery
1/2 Cup Pepperoncini, Drained
1/4 Cup Marinated Cocktail Onions
1/2 Teaspoon Celery Seed
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
3/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Canola Oil
2 (1 Pound) Loaves Italian Bread
8 Ounces Thinly Sliced Genoa Salami
8 Ounces Thinly Sliced Cooked Ham
8 Ounces Sliced Prosciutto
8 Ounces Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
8 Ounces Sliced Provolone Cheese
8 Ounces Sliced Monteray Jack
  1. To Make Olive Salad: In a medium bowl, combine the green olives, kalamata olives, garlic, cauliflower, capers, celery, pepperoncini, cocktail onions, celery seed, oregano, basil, black pepper, vinegar, olive oil and canola oil. Mix together and transfer mixture into a glass jar (or other nonreactive container). If needed, pour in more oil to cover. Cover jar or container and refrigerate at least overnight.
  2. To Make Sandwiches: Cut loaves of bread in half horizontally; hollow out some of the excess bread to make room for filling.
  3. Spread each piece of bread with equal amounts olive salad, including oil. Layer ‘bottom half’ of each loaf with 1/2 of the salami, ham, prosciutto, jack, mozzarella and Provolone. Replace ‘top half’ on each loaf and cut sandwich into quarters.
  4. Serve immediately, or wrap tightly and refrigerate for a few hours; this will allow for the flavors to mingle and the olive salad to soak into the bread. Serve with sweet potato fries, or chips.
    Suggestion: Since you’re going to all the trouble of making the olive salad, consider doubling the recipe so you’ll have some extra waiting around for when you get another muffuletta craving – it keeps for at least a month! Note: Recommend round bread loaves for authentic muffuletta.

Diva Rambling: Emily Post on Manners…

Emily Post to me epitomizes manners in the day when they meant something.  OLD School for sure but she is my guru on all topics manners and entertaining. I have a first edition copy of her book I cherish.  Here are a few of the tips attributed to her.  Enjoy….More to come….

Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Emily post on manners
Emily Post was a prolific American writer best known for writing about etiquette. In her early years, she received education at her home and later she finished her schooling from Miss Graham’s New York. She began her writing career after her sons were old enough to attend the boarding. Her writing, thoughts, articles and posts were about interior designing and architecture, serials and stories for famous magazines including, ‘The Century’, ‘Harper’s’ and ‘Scribner’s’. Her notable novels include, ‘Woven In The Tapestry’, ‘The Eagle’s Feather’, ‘Purple and Fine Linen’ and various others. Early in her career she also wrote humorous travel books. However, she is most renowned for her first book on etiquette titled, ‘Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home’. Following is a compilation of quotable quotations and sayings by Emily Post which have been curated from her writings, thoughts, books, novels, articles, work and life. Read through the famous and motivational quotes and thoughts by Emily Post.
Emily Post quotes Showing 1-23 of 23. “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” “Good manners reflect something from inside-an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self.”
Any child can be taught to be beautifully behaved with no effort greater than quiet patience and perseverance, whereas to break bad habits once they are acquired is a Herculean task
Nothing is less important than which fork you use. Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honor.
Manners are made up of trivialities of deportment which can be easily learned if one does not happen to know them; manner is personality – the outward manifestation of one’s innate character and attitude toward life…. Etiquette must, if it is to be of more than trifling use, include ethics as well as manners. Certainly what one is, is of far greater importance than what one appears to be.
f you are hurt, whether in mind or body, don’t nurse your bruises. Get up and light-heartedly, courageously, good temperedly get ready for the next encounter. This is the only way to take life – this is also ‘playing’ the game!
To make a pleasant and friendly impression is not only good manners, but equally good business.
If God had intended for women to wear slacks, He would have constructed them differently
Manner is personality—the outward manifestation of one’s innate character and attitude toward life.
Houses without personality are a series of walled enclosures with furniture standing around in them. Other houses are filled with things of little intrinsic value, even with much that is shabby and yet they have that inviting atmosphere…
Manners are like primary colors, there are certain rules and once you have these you merely mix, i.e., adapt, them to meet changing situations.
The joy of joys is the person of light but unmalicious humor. If you know any one who is gay, beguiling and amusing, you will, if you are wise, do everything you can to make him prefer your house and your table to any other; for where he is, the successful party is also.
Never so long as you live, write a letter to a man – no matter who he is – that you would be ashamed to see in a newspaper above your signature.
Custom is a mutable thing; yet we readily recognize the permanence of certain social values. Graciousness and courtesy are never old-fashioned.
A lady never asks a gentleman to dance, or to go to supper with her.
An overdose of praise is like 10 lumps of sugar in coffee; only a very few people can swallow it.
Jealousy is the suspicion of one’s own inferiority
The letter we all love to receive is one that carries so much of the writer’s personality that she seems to be sitting beside us, looking at us directly and talking just as she really would, could she have come on a magic carpet, instead of sending her proxy in ink-made characters on mere paper.
To tell a lie in cowardice, to tell a lie for gain, or to avoid deserved punishment–are all the blackest of black lies.

Diva Tasting: Let’s Picnic 1…MENU…

Let’s Picnic 1 Just keep scrolling…..
Savory Cheeseburgers
2 Lb Pounds Lean Ground Beef Chuck
1 Dash Hot Pepper Sauce, Or To Taste
2 Avocado – Peeled, Pitted And Sliced
6 Slices Monterey Jack Cheese, Cut Into 2 Inch Wide Strips
6 Foccacia Rolls, Split And Toasted
6 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  1. Divide the ground beef into three even portions. Season each one with some hot pepper sauce. I ball up the meat, and poke my finger into it, then fill the hole with hot sauce. Flatten into patties just a little larger than the English muffins.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Cover, and cook the beef patties for about 4 minutes per side, or until well done. Top each patty with two pieces of cheese in an criss cross pattern. Cover, and turn off the heat.
  3. Arrange the toasted English muffins on a serving plate. Spread the bottom half with a thin coating of Dijon mustard. Place a few slices of avocado over the mustard, and use a fork to mash into the nooks and crannies. Place the beef patties on top of the avocado, . Plop the other halves of the English muffins on top. Serve and enjoy!
Picnic Slaw
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag coleslaw mix
  • 2 tablespoons diced onion
  • 1 cup creamy salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Pineapple Juice from Can
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 Can Pineapple Chunks in Juice Drained 2 Tablespoons Reserved
  1. Combine the coleslaw mix and onion and pineapple in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the salad dressing, vegetable oil, sugar, vinegar, pineapple juice salt, and poppy seeds in a medium bowl; blend thoroughly. Pour dressing mixture over coleslaw mix and toss to coat. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.
Picnic Corn
1/2 Cup Butter
2 Tablespoons Prepared Mustard
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Pepper
2 Teaspoons Prepared Horseradish (Optional)
8 Ears Fresh Corn
  1. Preheat grill for medium heat.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter or margarine. Stir in mustard, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon pepper seasoning.
  3. Place each ear of corn on a 13×12 inch piece of HEAVY DUTY aluminum foil. Drizzle with butter mixture. Wrap loosely, leaving space for the expansion of steam, and seal.
  4. Grill over medium coals for 15 to 20 minutes, or until corn is tender. Small ears will take less time, and larger ears may take more. Carefully unwrap foil, and serve. If roasting in oven bake at 400 degrees until golden.
Macaroni Salad Picnic
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1/4 Cup White Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt, Or More To Taste
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Cup Finely Diced Celery
1/2 Cup Chopped Green Onions, White And Light Parts
1/8 Cup Diced Jalapeno Pepper
1 (16 Ounce) Package Uncooked Elbow Macaroni
1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise (optional)
1 Tablespoon Water (optional)
  1. Whisk 1 cup mayonnaise, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl until well blended. Stir in celery, onions, and jalapeno. Refrigerate until macaroni is ready to dress.
  2. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain but do not rinse. Allow macaroni to drain in a colander about 5 minutes, shaking out moisture from time to time.
  3. Pour macaroni into large bowl; toss to separate and cool to room temperature. Macaroni should be sticky.
  4. Pour dressing over macaroni and stir until dressing is evenly distributed. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or, ideally, overnight to allow dressing to absorb into the macaroni.
  5. Stir salad before serving. Mix 1 tablespoon mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon water into salad for fresher look.

Diva Musing: Mindfulness …

I struggle with this each day. I’m always searching for provocative tips on Mindfulness. I thought I should share this one school of thought. Props to the Purpose Fairy for helping us.
Namaste, The Queen Cronista
What Does Practicing Mindfulness Actually Mean?
Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.”
We live in an era where it’s critical to be self-aware, empathetic, and tuned into the emotions of both ourselves and those around us. While this has always been an important part of life, the sheer quantity of distractions in the digital era can complicate the issue. 
The simple act of being aware, of practicing mindfulness has a host of different benefits and side effects that trickle down into our daily lives, enhancing our minds, physical bodies, emotions, and attitudes.
What Does Practicing Mindfulness Actually Mean?
The term “mindfulness” is often brought up in a variety of contexts that can make it difficult to pin down just what the word actually means. It’s key to managing anxiety, and the term can be defined as “ an awareness and acceptance of your thoughts, feelings, and environment.”
The truly mindful person isn’t interested in figuring out the “right way” to feel as much as simply understanding how they feel in the first place. Feelings are valid in and of themselves. The feeling of anger, for instance, is typically a secondary emotion that stems from a deeper concern like fear or anxiety. Bottling it up hardly makes it go away. Acting out on it isn’t healthy either. Trying to understand it, though, can provide a path to a healthy solution.
When you take a purposeful approach to mindfulness, you are attempting to experience and understand your thoughts, emotions, and environment rather than stuff or control them. This allows you to make a thoughtful decision about what to do next.
Needless to say, the side effects of this approach are nothing short of profound.
The Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness to Your Physical Health
There are many physical effects of mindfulness. For instance, being mentally aware can help you cope with chronic pain or improve your sleep. It has also been shown to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety levels — all of which can have a dramatic effect on physical health.
In addition, practicing mindfulness and meditation on a daily basis can increase your brain’s ability to learn. One study, for instance, showed that subjects who spent 27 minutes a day practicing mindful meditation had increased grey matter density in their hippocampus, which directly translates into an improved ability to learn and memorize information.
Improvements to Your Mental Well-Being
While the physical effects of mindfulness are impressive, the influence it can have on your cognitive abilities is arguably even greater. 
As educational consultant Gina Belli says, the simple act of finding time for meditating and practicing mindfulness is naturally beneficial “as allowing for mindfulness can help you achieve better focus and great purpose later on.” In other words, giving yourself time to mentally rest can increase your focus and drive. Doing so also helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression levels, which can have a powerful impact on how you think and cope with the often incessant pressures of daily life. 
Practicing mindfulness also allows you to observe your thoughts rather than obsess with or straight-up avoid them as is too often the case.
Understanding how and why we think in certain ways is a powerful tool and one that has found tremendous success in areas like cognitive behavioral therapy. Taking the time to thoughtfully consider things like cognitive distortions can radically influence the way we perceive the world around us. 
Gaining Perspective
Finally, being mindful can simply help you gain a better overall perspective of life itself. Being aware of yourselves, others, and your environment can encourage you to turn off your screens, occasionally separate yourself from constant information overload, and simply find the time to just be.
In short, the act of being aware often leads to an overtly grateful attitude towards life and a desire to weed out unhealthy distractions. 
Practicing Mindfulness
As is so often the case, being aware of the benefits doesn’t automatically mean you can partake in them. Being mindful can take a great deal of focus and commitment. This isn’t because it’s difficult to actually be mindful, but because it’s difficult to break our own habitual thought processes. 
But you don’t need to sell everything you own and move to a monastery in Tibet in order to begin to feel the effects of a thoughtful life. If you find that you’re struggling to maintain a mindful attitude, consider ways to start implementing smaller baby steps towards that goal.
You can start, for instance, by simply looking for time in your daily routine to meditate and focus on your mindset, even if it’s just five minutes a day
However you choose to go about it, it’s important to remember that it’s worth the investment. It’s easy to lose sight of what truly matters in our busy modern lives.
However, a genuine effort to find mindfulness is an excellent first step on the road to a true appreciation of the act of living life itself.

Diva Tasting: Muffuletta Role Ups …

Muffuletta Role Ups 
1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Pimento-Stuffed Green Olives
1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Black Olives
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 (8 Ounce) Packages Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Pinch Dried Oregano
1 Pinch Garlic Powder
5 (10 Inch) Flour Tortillas
1/4 Pound Thinly Sliced Ham
1/4 Pound Thinly Sliced Provolone Cheese
1/4 Pound Thinly Sliced Salami
1/4 Pound Thinly Sliced Mozzarella Cheese
  1. Combine green olives, black olives, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, and oil in a small bowl. Set aside. Beat together cream cheese, pinch of oregano, and pinch of garlic salt. Spread the mixture onto tortillas. Sprinkle olive mixture over the top of each. Starting at the top of each tortilla and about 1/8 inch down place a slice of ham, provolone, salami, and mozzarella slightly overlapping each slice.
  2. Roll the tortillas up and wrap in foil. Chill for at least 2 hours.
  3. Remove the foil and slice on a 45 degree angle into 1-inch pieces.