Monthly Archives: September 2016

Diva Rambling-Nature

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I read an article this morning about nature walks and how they are now being looked at by main stream medical professionals as healing….duh!!!!  How long have we known this?  How long have our own spirits been telling us this?  Me, since childhood.  How about you?

Connecting with Mother Nature is one of the best medicines one can give the spirit.  Love her, enjoy her, absorb her in every way you can.  DO NOT ABUSE HER!  The Karma Cops have a special way of rewarding dick heads that abuse nature. 

Take a healing walk into the wood (not alone these days) but take the walk this weekend…weather permitting.  Happy Healing for the weekend. 

Namaste,

The Queen Cronista

Diva Tasting-Lemon Lime Chicken

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Oven 375° Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Lime Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • ½ Cup Flat Leaf Parsley Chopped
  • 6 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Halves – Cut Into Large Pieces
  • ½ Cup Italian Dressing
  • 1 Tsp Seasoned Salt
  • 2 Tsp Garlic Minced

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lime juice, parsley, garlic and oil. Then add Italian Dressing, season salt and blend again. Place chicken pieces in the mixture, and marinate at least 1 hour in the refrigerator (preferably 2 hours).
  1. Grease a baking sheet
  1. Remove chicken from marinade, arrange on the cooking sheet. Transfer remaining marinade to a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer.
  2. Bake chicken 20 minutes in the preheated oven, basting frequently with the boiled marinade. Turn chicken, season again with marinade and continue and basting 10 minutes, or until well browned and juices run clear.
  3. Serve over Rice with a spinach salad with lemon vinaigrette.

 

Diva Musing-The Children

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How to start your day. I took my 6 year old great-niece to breakfast this morning. She had her favorite; pumpkin pancakes. There is no better way to make sure you have a good day than to take quality time with a little one. The sparkle in their eyes, the belly laugh at every stupid thing we say, the giant smile when the pumpkin pancakes arrive at the table. Do yourself a favor… spend extra time to love a little one today, and see how much better your life goes all day.

The Universe knows and will reward you; but the reward of just doing it is healing and ethereal. My only regret was her mom had no sense of humor when I suggested she skip school and help me in the office all day. Bummer! Bad Auntie! LOL, I tried.

I’m already looking forward to fall break and the Divafest we are planning one day. I feel a Diva Tea Party Coming on! How is your fall going?

Nameste,

The Queen Cronista

Diva Tasting-Beef Bourguignon

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Pounds Cubed Stew Meat
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Clove Garlic, Minced
  • ½ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Cups Beef Stock
  • 1 Lg Bay Leaf
  • 3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 Lg Pkg Cremini Mushrooms
  • 1 Pkg Frozen Pearl Onions

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and ground black pepper. Coat the beef cubes with this mixture.
  2. Melt the butter or margarine in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the meat and brown well on all sides. Pour this into a 2 quart casserole dish.
  3. Return the skillet to the heat and add the onion, and garlic to it. Saute for 5 to 10 minutes, or until onion is tender. Add the vinegar and broth, bay leaf, parsley, thyme, and the mushrooms and onions. Pour over meat.
  4. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 3 1/2 hours.
  5. Serve over Jasmine Rice

Diva Musing-Kick Start the Day

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Shana Lebowitz

Spend five minutes on a habit that will leave you refreshed and ready to go.

If you feel a twinge of jealousy each time you read about another successful person who wakes up at 4 a.m. to meditate, jog, read a novel, and eat two grapefruits, take heart.

You don’t have to add three leisurely hours to your morning routine to be happy or productive.

In fact, plenty of the habits that can help you start your day takefive minutes or less.

Several of those habits are listed under the Quora thread, “What can I do in 5 minutes in the morning to make my whole day better?”

Below, find some of the simplest routines to tackle your day feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever challenges come your way.

1. Write down three things you’re grateful for

Quora user Nela Canovic suggests writing down three things you’re grateful for every morning.

“Think about what you already have in your life,” she writes. “Don’t focus only on material things (such as a car or computer), but rather think in more simple or basic terms.” For example, you might express gratitude for friends, family, or your education.

This strategy is similar to the “three good things” exercise recommended by Martin Seligman, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the founders of the positive psychology movement.

Seligman and colleagues advise people to take time each night to write down three positive developments that happened that day, along with an explanation for why they did. You can, however, easily adapt this exercise for the morning and think about three things you’re grateful for in general.

 

2. Think about what would make today great.-Canovic recommends another, more prospective exercise: “Write one sentence about something that, if it were to happen, would make you feel like today will be a positive, productive, unique day.”

It can be something as simple as going to bed before midnight or spending an hour doing something you love, she says.

Once you figure out exactly what would make you feel happy and accomplished, you can go about making it happen.

 

3. MeditateScience suggests meditation has myriad benefits, from helping you deal with stress and negative emotions, to boosting your memory, to strengthening your immune system.  But meditation doesn’t necessarily mean sitting in silence for hours on end. As Ariel Banayan points out, “sitting for five minutes to detach from the thoughts of your mind will have a profound impact on your day.”

If you’re unsure how to get started, the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center offers some free guided meditations, some of them five minutes or shorter.

 

4. Exercise-Minh Killy Le recommends five minutes of exercise right after you wake up. His favorite is planking, which is similar to a push-up.

Research suggests that working out before you eat breakfast can help you lose weight and boost your energy levels — though the workouts in these studies lasted about an hour, or until the participants had burned 400 calories.

Regardless of how long you choose to exercise, be sure to warm up beforehand, since your muscles will likely be stiff from sleep.

5. Make your bed-Raviteja Chirala says he loves coming home to a neatly made bed.

Meanwhile, journalist Charles Duhigg writes in his book “The Power of Habit” that making your bed can help increase your productivity for the rest of the day. That’s because it’s a “keystone habit” that can “spark chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.

6. Prioritize-Chirala also suggests writing a list of things you want to accomplish that day. That way, you’ll have a clear set of priorities to guide your work for the next few hours.

Psychologist Travis Bradberry says this kind of careful planning boosts your chances of achieving your goals. He personally likes to set his daily goals after his mindfulness practice

7. Visualize the rest of the day-Harrison Thorne recommends a morning visualization routine: “Simply picture your short- and long-term goals, and affirm your abilities to complete these goals.”In his second book, “Smarter Faster Better,” Duhigg outlines a similar technique: Tell yourself stories about how the day will unfold.

Duhigg writes about researchers at MIT who studied the most productive people at a recruiting firm and found that they were “obsessive, in fact, about trying to explain the world to themselves and their colleagues as they went about their days.” For example, they might ask colleagues to help them imagine how a future conversation or a pitch meeting might go, so that they were more prepared when the events actually happened.

He recommends making a habit of this strategy by spending your morning commute telling yourself a detailed story about the rest of the day.

Diva Tasting-Vegge Tots

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By replacing the potato with broccoli or cauliflower you cut back on carbs and calories without sacrificing texture and flavor. This recipe will set you back only 100 calories (per 5). Go ahead and serve up this healthy side dish. I promise even the kids will ask for seconds.

Ingredients

    • 4 Cups Broccoli Florets
    • ½ Cup Diced Yellow Onion
    • 2 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten
    • ½ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs (preferably Whole Grain)
    • 2/3 Cup Reduced-Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese
    • ½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
    • 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
    • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
    • 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper and set aside.

2. Blanch the vegetables in boiling water for 1 minute then remove and immerse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well (I typically use a paper towel to dry them).

3. Chop the vegetables finely and mix thoroughly with the egg, onions, cheddar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Add the breadcrumbs last – and combine everything. Place in fridge for about 15 minutes to firm up the mixture a bit (this will make it easier to work with). Using your hands, scoop up small portions of the mixture (about 1-2 tablespoons), form into tater tot shapes and place them on the baking sheet.

4. Mist the tops with oil spray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip them over, mist tops, and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the outsides are golden brown and crispy. 

 

Diva Musing-When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

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I’ve always loved this one.  Someone sent it to me when I was 28 years old and told me I behaved like that already!!! I took it as a compliment.  I may have posted it before but I’ll post it again.  It is Diva rich in humor and personality.

Jenny Joseph’s “When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple”

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Diva Tasting-Almond Crusted Chicken Paillard with Tomato Salad

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A Friend sent me this and I thought I’d share.

Ingredients

  • ALMOND-COATED CHICKEN BREASTS
    • 4 6-ounce boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 2/3 cup sliced, unblanched almonds
    • 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • TOMATO SALAD
    • 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
    • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved (red and/or yellow)
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

Preparation

1. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and place each breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, opening out the fillets. Pound gently with a mallet or rolling pin to an even thickness. Do not make them thinner than 3/8-inch. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

2. Pulse almonds in a food processor until coarsely chopped. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped nuts with the panko breadcrumbs.

3. In a shallow bowl, lightly whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt. Dip each piece of chicken into the eggs, let the excess drip away, the press both sides of the chicken into the panko coating. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes until the crust sets.

4. Meanwhile, make the tomato salad: Combine the tomatoes, scallions, olive oil, and lemon juice (optional) into a bowl.

5. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the chicken into the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, turning once until the crust sets and turns golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.

6. Cut the paillards in halves or thirds, arrange on a platter, and serve immediately with tomato salad spooned on top. Garnish with lemon wedges (optional).

Diva Tastings-Enchiladas and Cake

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CHICKEN ENCHILADAS-   Oven 350° 9×13 inch baking dish Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 6 Cups Rotisserie
  • 1 Med white onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced stewed tomatoes
  • 12 small chile peppers, diced (optional)
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • ½ Cup Sour Cream
  • 8 (8 inch) corn tortillas
  • 4 cups shredded 2 cheese
  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce

Directions

Brown all Onions in a large skillet add shredded chicken and mix well. Stir in diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, stewed tomatoes, chile peppers, soup and broth. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover skillet, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Allow skillet mixture to simmer and reduce to about 2 1/4 cups. Grease 9×13 inch baking dish.

Cheese Sauce:

In a second skillet, heat cream, 3 cups cheese and sour cream over low heat, being careful not to boil.

Spoon about 1/3 Cup chicken mixture onto each tortilla. Top chicken mixture with a third of the remaining shredded cheese, and roll up tortillas. Place rolled tortillas in baking dish, seam side down. Cover with remaining shredded cheese, and sprinkle remaining chopped green onion over cheese, and drizzle with enchilada sauce. Pour the melted cheese sauce over the top Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbling.

Tres Leche Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
  3. Cream butter or margarine and the 1 cup sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat well.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork.
  6. Combine the whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.
  7. Whip whipping cream, the remaining 1 cup of the sugar, and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla together until thick. Spread over the top of cake. Be sure and keep cake refrigerated, enjoy!