Diva Tasting: SUMMER MENU….

SUMMER MENU

Really Good Egg Salad Main

Ingredients:

  • 6 Hard-Boiled Eggs, Peeled
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Celery
  • 1/4 Cup Diced Onion (optional)
  • 2 Teaspoons Prepared Yellow Mustard
  • 1/4 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium bowl, chop or mash eggs to desired consistency with a fork.
  2. Mix in remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with pita bread or favorite crackers.

Summer Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16-ounce) Package Shredded Coleslaw Mix

  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise

  • 3 Tablespoons Italian Dressing
  • 2 Tablespoons Pineapple Juice From The Can

  • 1 Can Pineapple Chunks Drained; Juice Juice Reserved

Directions:

  1. Place coleslaw mix a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together Italian dressing, mayonnaise and pineapple juice; pour over coleslaw mixture, tossing to coat completely. Refrigerate until used.

Cannoli Parfaits Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1 Cup Short Bread Cookie Crumbs
  • 1/2 Stick Butter, Melted
  • 1/4 Cup Canned Peach Slices, Drained And Chopped

Directions

  1. Stir together ricotta cheese, sour cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla and almond extracts in a bowl until smooth.
  2. Pulse about 20 Cookies until 1 cup; Mix short bread cookie crumbs and melted butter together in a separate bowl. (1/4 Cup Short Bread Cookie Crumbs For Garnish)
  3. Spoon about 1/4 of the short bread cookie crumbs mixture into 2 wine or parfait glasses.
  4. Layer about 1/4 the cheese mixture on top, then repeat the layers with the remaining cracker crumbs and ricotta cheese.
  5. Top with chopped peaches and grated chocolate. Chill until ready to serve.
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Diva Melting: Southern Humidity….

As usual it’s been a steamy summer in the South.  My make up melts like crazy and I end up looking like a refugee from the band “KISS” by noon.   My clothes are pitted out and my allergies are rabid.  Yet, the beauty that was once a Southern comfort culture, is struggling to stay alive.  

I don’t see families picnicking in the parks as much, I don’t see boys on the ball courts and fields as much.  It is just not politically correct to be sociable any more????? Heck, we don’t even sit at the table and have dinner together at home anymore.  Is it just me or did we all seem to have more time, more laughter, more of the non-tangible joys in yesteryear?  

Now all we have going is text, video games, movies on line, no cruising the mall for good deals…buy that online.  I mean as societies we use to family more.   A few culture still do bu they seem to be mostly in impoverished areas, where family is all they have. I truly think these family cultures have a lot going for them.  The old adage… “it takes a village to raise a child” is now gone from our world.  

Stop take a breath, fix the family a non-nuked meal, play checkers on the table, play go fish or old maid.  Sit for the weekend and keep a monopoly board going or make popcorn and fudge to watch a movie together. It takes a family to make a home.  

 

Diva Tasting: Pear And Feta Spring Salad…

Pear And Feta Spring Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 Bag Baby Spinach Or Spring Greens
  • 4 Pears – Peeled, Cored And Chopped
  • 6 Ounces Feta Cheese, Crumbled
  • 1 Avocado – Peeled, Pitted, And Diced
  • 1/2 Cup Thinly Sliced Green Onions
  • 1/4 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons White Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Prepared Mustard
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper To Taste

Directions

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, stir 1/4 cup of sugar together with the nuts. Continue stirring gently until sugar has melted and caramelized the nuts. Carefully transfer nuts onto waxed paper. Allow to cool, and break into pieces.
  2. For the dressing, blend oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a large serving bowl, toss lettuce, pears, feta cheese, avocado, and green onions. Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle with nuts, and serve.

Diva Rambling: It’s all up to you…

It’s all up to you…

I saw a quote the other day ….”The Universe Responds To Everything You Think and Feel.” Author Unknown. This is completely in line with my rantings about “Form Follows Thought”… a basic physics concept, we, as humans, do not seem to grasp!

Think about it. You are in control of your future every waking and sleeping moment of the day and night. Change your thinking positive or negative and watch the Universe start to unfold those thoughts into your personal reality. WOW! I know, because I have been on the receiving end of “Stinking Thinking” and “Love and Light” thinking my whole life. Trust me the later is much better.

If we get alone, settle down, get quite and find the gap between all the chaos around us we gain better control. It takes effort and practice….like anything worthwhile. The good news is you can begin right now, this instant. Again, its all up to you. Love and Light. Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Tasting: Spring Rolls and Dipping Sauce…

Vietnamese Spring Rolls With Dipping Sauce Appetizer

Ingredients:  Asian Noodles and Rice Papers can be found on the ethnic isle at most supermarkets

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup white rice vinegar

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce

  • 3 tablespoons white sugar

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Rolls:

  • 2 ounces Cellophane or bean curd noodles

  • 8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 4 rice wrappers (8.5 inch diameter)

  • 2 leaves lettuce, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped Thai basil

Directions

  1. Whisk vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes together in a small bowl. Set the dipping sauce aside.

  2. Fill a large bowl with room temperature water. Add Asian noodles and soak for 1 hour.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in shrimp and cook until curled and pink, about 1 minute. Remove the shrimp and drain. Slice each shrimp in half lengthwise. Transfer rice vermicelli noodles to the pot of boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Remove and drain in a colander. Immediately rinse the vermicelli with cold water, stirring to separate the noodles.

  4. To assemble the rolls, dip 1 rice wrapper in a large bowl of room temperature water for a few seconds to soften. Place wrapper on a work surface and top with 4 shrimp halves, 1/4 of the chopped lettuce, noodles, and 1/4 each of the mint, cilantro, and Thai basil. Fold right and left edges of the wrapper over the ends of the filling and roll up the spring roll. Repeat with remaining wrappers and ingredients. Cut each roll in half and serve with dipping sauce.

Diva Rambling: Diva Brigade….

The Diva Brigade….

I have been so blessed in my lifetime to have had such a diverse group of intelligent, creative, compassionate, loving women in my friendship circle. It didn’t happen until I moved away from my village and traveled the world. Women in my village (and perhaps you see this in your village as well) rarely leave their zip code. They usually only talk about their own families, church events, shopping incessantly, and their own woundettes (illnesses)…and everyone has at least two, including all the whiny men about town. You can’t have morning coffee at the watering hole without hearing the sad tale of a knee or hip replacement or cancer, or surgery of some sort. Not a good way to start the day.

When I got into the real world the universe showed me a different side of life. These angels in my circle all over the world are a delight to be with just because they are themselves. We laugh, we cry, we rush to each others side in trials and illness, and we stay in touch in some way all the time. We are women of the world in all shapes, sizes, colors a nationalities. There is no age limit or fitness judgment. To me all are brilliant and savvy divas. They are a comfort and golden threads to the tapestry of my life. They are the grist to the mill of human awareness.

Loyalty among people in a non-romantic context is a paramount to our existence. Friendship that is invested in the long term relationship has a totally different impact on our life.  There are the superficial acquaintances we may put down when they no longer serve a certain purpose. We move from place to place (or not), we change jobs, take up different interests, and the acquaintance we had with a peripheral person does not last, because we were never that entrenched with their lives anyway.

I think, sometimes we should make a commitment to those rare and sparkling gems of our life. We sparkle because they sparkle in our lives. Is there a right time to say to someone ‘I intend on being your friend for as long as we both shall breathe’? In the absence of any kind of social framework supporting such a declaration, it can seem pretty weird. It may even feel strange or oppressive to a person on the receiving end. Is this simply because it’s not what normally happens or they don’t feel the same about life as we do? It doesn’t matter we should tell those we love everyday they are important to us. Time is short we shouldn’t miss that opportunity ever.

Most women put all of their dedication into a romantic relationships, this can leave one out on a limb. That is all I saw in high school females and, therefore, all of my best friends were male. I could hunt, shoot, dance, sing, work on cars, go to museums or theater with these secure males in my life.

It was hard for young women to spot toxic relationships when they had no others for comparison. It is harder to function socially and emotionally when you don’t have multiple people that you can count on to be in your life for support. Psychology tell us repeatedly we need close human ties to stay healthy both mentally and physically.  

I have known women who did not know that friendship is a remarkably rewarding thing, and who only looked for romance… needing a man to complete them. I was lucky, I always knew that you miss out on a lot, and can feel incredibly alone when not in a romantic relationship.  This often worried my father, LOL!  I always had a model prince charming in mind but he still hasn’t shown up! At the same time, if one makes the romantic relationship the main goal, they seem needy and high maintenance. This puts unwanted pressure on the partner. Most men/humans will not long tolerate this behavior.

So, go tell your favorite divas, friends how much you care about them. Be committed to all of your friends in an existential way that they know you are there for them. I have always referred to my favorite divas as  “The Queens Diva Brigade”. Whether at work, or in my personal life, they are the glue to my collage of life. The Diva Brigade always support and uplift each other and we know everyday, no matter where we are the divas are there for each other. Start your own Diva Brigade or Diva Squad of tough cookies.  Secure friends who can rule their own world and help each other all the time. It brings great meaning to your life.

Diva Tasting: Foil Baked Salmon…

Foil Baked Salmon Main

Ingredients

  • 4 Sheets (12×12 Inches Each) Non-Stick Aluminum Foil

Asian Sauce:

  • 1/2 Cup Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Ginger

Fish:

  • 2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • 4 (6 Ounce) Salmon Fillets
  • 1 (8 Ounce) Package Snow Peas
  • 1 (8 Ounce) Package Sliced White Mushrooms

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high or oven to 450 degrees F. Mix Teriyaki sauce, honey, rice vinegar, minced ginger, sesame oil and red pepper flakes in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Place a sheet of Non-Stick Aluminum Foil on counter with non-stick (dull) side facing up. Place a salmon fillet and 1/4 of the vegetables in center of foil. Spoon 1 tablespoon Teriyaki mixture over fillet.
  3. Bring up sides of foil; fold down two times. Double fold both ends of foil to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Repeat to make four packets. Reserve remaining Teriyaki mixture to serve with salmon.
  4. Place packets on baking pan with 1-inch sides to transport to grill or bake in oven.
  5. Slide packets onto grill.
  6. Grill 8 to 10 minutes in covered grill – OR – BAKE 15 to 20 minutes or until salmon is desired doneness. If grilling, use tongs or oven mitts to slide hot packets back onto pan and transport. Open packets carefully by cutting along top folds with a sharp knife, allowing steam to escape. Serve with hot cooked rice, drizzled with remaining Teriyaki sauce if desired.