This weekend we are going to see the Great Gatsby. I’m wondering how different DiCaprio will play Gatsby versus Robert Redford. Redford is close to eighty; so this remake is a long time coming.
My daughter Lilly saw it the other night at a special screening and she emailed me the following about her evening. Wish I had been invited! She wrote, “As an elite member of “The Gilt Groupe” I was treated as a V.I.P. this past Wednesday evening at a premiere screening of “The Great Gatsby.” If you don’t know what The Gilt Groupe is, you are in for a treat.
Gilt provides their members with today’s top designer labels at up to a 60% off retail. Becoming a member is free and you are notified daily of deals on apparel and accessories for women, men, kids and home goods as well as exclusive local happenings and events and one-of-a-kind travel packages.
Gilt is currently expanding their market and trying to establish a more visible presence in the Atlanta area. I was one of the lucky ones and was treated to a ticket to an exclusive advance screening of “The Great Gatsby”. It was a private pre-screening preceded by a wine and beer reception. I was instructed to wear a Gatsby themed costume and maybe win a prize.
Unfortunately, I came straight from work, so didn’t have the opportunity to get a costume together; but many people went all out! First, second and third place winners all received prizes which I believe included a gift certificate to a local spa. It was an all-around wonderful experience. The screening took place at one of my favorite theaters ( lazy boy recliners) and the movie was in 3D. Between the movie, a little libation and sitting and visiting with a great friend, the event was a great ‘hump day treat”. Thank you to the Gilt Groupe.
To find out more information about The Gilt Groupe, visit their website at: http://www.gilt.com
As we approach Passover I can’t help but think about my wonderful father and how much he is missed. It has been over ten years since he passed away and every time Passover rolls around I am reminded of his favorite dish.
My father did not cook. I do not remember him in the kitchen ever, except during this eight day holiday where he only made one dish. He made it every day for breakfast and all four of his children couldn’t wait till it was ready. I served it to my kids growing up and they loved it as well.
The health conscious world that we live in may not appreciate it; but I was raised with it and it is delicious.
The Fried Matzo Sandwich
For the most sensuous foods to serve this coming Valentine’s Day, think those that incorporate all five senses in your menu and by all means pick those you can eat with your fingers. Valentine’s Day is for love and lovers; think sound, sight, touch, smell and of course taste. The goal is to increase relaxation and promote sociability if you catch the flow.
Start by opening a bottle of champagne. Whatever your pocketbook can afford determines what you buy. Just make sure, the spirit is effervescent and feels good in the mouth when imbibed. Offer a bite of chocolate to drink with the bubbly and savor the two together.
Oysters on the half shell come next. A few years back a team of American and Italian researchers analyzed bivalve mollusks – a group of shellfish that includes oysters – and found they were rich in rare amino acids that trigger increased levels of sex hormones. That is what you are looking for.
Your next course is a medley of raw fruits and vegetables known for their aphrodisiac qualities. Present each side by side on a large platter and let the eyes luxuriate on the feast while the mouth juices excite at the prospect of taste.
Include the following: the avocado is a silky, mild fruit that has a reputation as an aphrodisiac extending back to ancient Aztec times; figs have long been a symbol of love and fertility; add asparagus whose shape contributes to the belief in this vegetable’s aphrodisiac properties and is both tactile and delicious; include a pomegranate. It has 613 seeds and can be fun watching your partner savor each seed-one at a time; almonds are an ancient symbol of fertility extending back to Biblical times. Their sweet fragrance may also serve as a sexual attractant.
And then there is chocolate again, the most sensual of all on your menu. The creamy sweet taste left on the palate makes for a grand finale and sets the stage for the rest of the evening.
I sometimes order a cocktail or a glass of wine when out to dinner. Depending on my mood, if it’s a cocktail it is often a “sweet old fashioned”. The ingredients call for rye, brandy or bourbon; but my favorite liquor of choice is bourbon. Jack Daniels is the brand I use and I won’t kid you, this is a very strong drink….not for the weak! It is also a delicious alternative from another of my favorite cocktails, the Sazarac.
My husband and I were out to dinner recently at one of Atlanta’s finest restaurants and before being seated, I checked with the bartender and asked if he knew how to make this drink. He assured me he did, but I guess I must wait to get back to New Orleans for my girlfriend to make me a great one. Joe Ann, look for me real soon.
Every year when Chanukah rolls around the excitement builds for a Jewish holiday that is traditionally celebrated with family.
In Judaism, Chanukah is a holiday celebrating the re-dedication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem in 164 BC, after its desecration three years earlier by order of Antiochus the IV. The Maccabees recaptured Jerusalem and re-consecrated the Temple after leading a successful revolt against Syrian rule. The lighting of the menorah recalls the story that a one-day supply of oil burned miraculously in the Temple for eight days until new oil could be obtained. Sometimes called the Feast of Dedication or Festival of Lights, it is celebrated for eight days in December, during which time the ceremonial candles are lit and children play games and receive gifts. The Jewish holiday of Purim is the holiday when gifts are usually exchanged, but as a result of its proximity to Christmas Chanukah, originally a minor holiday has become more lavishly celebrated.
A few weeks prior to Chanukah our family meets together to draw names for gifts for the annual Chanukah party. The party begins with the lighting of menorahs and a blessing. If multiple families are in attendance each family can light their own menorah. On the first night one candle is lit and, on each subsequent night of the holiday another candle is lit, until the holiday ends on the eighth day.
Dinner is usually served next and fried foods are the star of the menu. Potato pancakes called latkes are served with sour cream and applesauce. At our house this year we served potato latkes and parsley latkes as well as zucchini latkes. We served bowls of sour cream, applesauce and cinnamon sugar to go with them and everyone was happy.Every family member brought a dish and the party was one of the best Chanukah’s ever.
Right before everyone opened presents we served dessert. This year dessert was very special. We brought the carnival to our house and made banana split funnel cakes…… and then the paper started flying, as the older grandchildren started passing out the gifts. We had a ball!
It is not too late to try any of the following recipes: You won’t be disappointed. Potato pancakes are a great side with any meal and the funnel cakes were delicious and so much fun!
BANANA SPLIT FUNNEL CAKE Recipe
Happy Chanukah and Happy Holidays to all!
I had friends for lunch recently and served a salad that I literally created from memory. I originally had ordered this salad at a nearby diner and had enjoyed it so much that I wanted to re-create it. It was dressed with balsamic vinaigrette that had been whipped in a blender.
The salad reminded me of the Club Salad served at Houston’s restaurant I have been enjoying for many years; so, when I spied it on the menu, I ordered it. Actually the only similarity was the fried chicken bits on the top of the salad, as this salad would be considered a chopped variety. Anyway, the bottom line is that it is different and very good.
Mix ingredients using a blender.
When guests drop in I always put something out to nibble on. It is usually cheese and crackers; but often I like to add a spread or two. The easiest and one of the fastest spreads to make is this recipe for an olive spread. A blender and some olives and in ten minutes it is ready. Talk about tasty, if you luv olives, garlic and a little citrus, you’ll be making this one over and over.
Imagine yourself sitting on a sun drenched deck of an uber modern five star resort overlooking the cool waters of the Caribbean. You are sipping a crisp glass of white wine, maybe Pinot Grigio and the server has set down a plate of the freshest and most colorful fruit you have seen in a long while. Topping the fruit are tender slices of chicken breasts and the server is drizzling a creamy orange dressing over all.
Wake up! Sounds good doesn’t it? It “is” extremely good and it doesn’t disappoint. I know it is just a salad; but trust me it is lite, refreshing and delicious. It is perfect for a summer afternoon or dinner entree; when face it, you would rather be at that resort!
Tropical Island Chicken Salad and Vinaigrette
Recipe courtesy of Lynda Mahana