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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

12 Pomegranate Seeds for Good Luck

copyright 2011 Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati Italian tradition says that you must eat 12 pomegranate seeds at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve. Here's a tasty salad for a New Year's Eve appetizer using my special blend of Tuscan spices (only available at
Walnut, Pomegranate & Tuscan Picnic Salad *4 handfuls mixed salad greens (arugula, romaine,baby spinach) *1 lb gruyere cheese *2 hard boiled eggs *3 tblsps extra virgin oilve oil *4 tblsps shelled walnuts *2 tsps Sempre Sapori spice blend (Tuscan Picnic flavor) *2 tblsps pomegranate seeds Wash, dry salad greens. Slice cheese into very thin,transparent slices. Boil eggs for 8 minutes, peel and chop. Fold cheese, eggs, walnuts,pomegranate seeds into salad in a large bowl. In small bowl whisk together lemon juice, 3 tblsps extra virgin olive oil, Sapori. Pour over salad, toss and serve.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Christmas in Italy and Panettone

copyright Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati Christmas in Italy would not be the same if it did not include panettone, the traditional sweet bread that is prepared and enjoyed during the holiday season. Although its origins are said to be from Milan, Italy, its immense popularity has made it a requisite treat throughout the world. Panettone is no longer prepared by the Italian nonna (grandmother); in today's global society, the sweet bread is also made in many non-Italian kitchens, as well as being a favorite item to buy in the stores. The word panettone derives from the Italian word panetto, which means a small loaf of bread. The traditional version of panettone contains orange and lemon zest, as well as raisins, which are added dry and not soaked. However, as a means of appealing to a widely diverse consumer market, other versions of panettone have been made available, such as plain or chocolate. For many panettone aficionados, however, the traditional versions remain the favorite. Most panettone breads have a cupola shape, and are served in slices that are vertically cut. A sweet hot beverage or a glass of sweet wine usually accompanies panettone. Although the process of making panettone can be a very time consuming affair, numerous recipes have been amended to make it less laborious, so that it may be enjoyed by all during the holiday season. These much easier recipes still retain the bread's delicious taste, just whennonna made it. With its origins dating back to the Roman Empire, its popularity has made panettone a timeless classic. This recipe is for a simpler version of panettone. You can bake this in a high but small cake pan lined with parchment paper. Or a 1 lb coffee can lined with parchment paper. Many gourmet cooking stores now carry the distinctive brown paper that commercial panettone is baked in-if you want that distinctive look. Ingredients
2 eggs 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 stick unsalted butter - (softened-left out at room temperature) 1 teaspoon orange or lemon peel 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon orange oil 3 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons salt 1 cup buttermilk 2 cups slivered almonds 2 cups golden raisins (optional) 3 cups chopped mixed dried fruits (optional) Method: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Take either a small high cake pan or a clean, empty 1-pound coffee can. Line either with a parchment paper, cut to fit, and butter paper. Some paper should be overlapping top of pan or can so you will be able to take bread out when finished by lifting on edges of waxed paper. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick and pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Beat in softened butter, lemon peel and extracts. In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt and blend into egg mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in almonds, raisins and dried fruit. Pour batter into prepared pan or can and place on a baking sheet. Bake 55 to 60 minutes, or until bread is golden on top and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool bread in can for 10 minutes. Lift bread out of pan by parchment paper edges on top. Turn out onto a rack to finish cooling. To serve, cut into thin wedges.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Guest post by Gerard Mcdaniel

When I decided that it was time to redecorate our bedroom, I never dreamed what all would be involved. The first thing I had to do was to prepare the walls for painting. I already knew what color I wanted to paint them so all I had to do was to get my husband motivated enough to go to the Home Depot to buy the paint, new brushes and rollers, and all the other stuff that goes into painting a room. Of course I had to go with him or else he would have spent the whole day there. We got the painting done in one weekend while my husband watched many football games along with the painting. I am sure that is why it took a whole weekend. Anyway, when it got down to buying draperies, a new comforter, and bed linens, I started going to various stores that I like to shop in to try to find the perfect ones for our bedroom. After a weekend of shopping, I was getting very disheartened because I could not find what I wanted. A friend suggested looking online to see if I could find what I wanted there. Since we had signed up for Yakima wireless internet I had no problem shopping on the internet. It took no time at all for me to find exactly what I was looking for. We just got everything delivered yesterday, and I cannot wait to set everything up.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Blue Sky Scrubs Are Stylish

Scrubs for women have sure changed No more drab greys and greens. Women have so many more choices now. For busy women this is great! Throughout history women have gained many freedoms, now you have the freedom to choose a stylish scrub.

Not too long ago, women were stuck with unflattering scrubs. Now you can go from work to a night out with some of these styles and you can choose your own designs. I love the scrub tops So colorful and fun to wear. You can brighten up your work day by wearing one of these tops. But you may be even tempted to wear them when not working or to a pair of pants to make a great ensemble, colorful and stylish.

Now you have a reason to look forward to your work day, picking out and wearing your favorite scrub colors.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cymax and a Gift Shopping Experience

Gift shopping for that difficult person in your life? The easiest solution is to find a retail outlet with endless choices for shopping, in that way you are sure to be able to find something that will please this difficult person. Cymax will also make things easier on you.if you can't find what you are looking for, their excellent customer service will find it for you. They aren't called award winning retailer for nothing! It's as simple as sending an email to customer service for your request. And don't forget about all the top brands you can choose from in your quest for an award winning gift.

Cymax and Customer Service

Ever had a shopping experience ruined by terrible customer service? You go to the customer service desk only to find that you must wait an hour in line to be waited on by a rude salesperson. Cymax, is the solution. It was voted one of the Top 500 online businesses by Internet Retailer, not only because of it's wide selection but also because of it's superior service. You may think that selection of items is the most important thing when selecting a retailer, but without superior customer service that shopping trip becomes one nasty experience. You can bet on their customer service reps to assist you every step of the way.


Holidays are my favorite time of the year when I can practice my favorite 'sport'-shopping! And Cymax provides an excellent shopping experience from excellent customer service to an endless possibilities of shopping finds. Think of it as your shopping heaven! Being able to experience world class, award winning shopping from the comfort of your own home or computer wihtout having to get in your car and fight the crowds.
Now you can enjoy the Holidays and enjoy the shopping experience of it all as well. And you can count this as your first stress free Holiday. You won't have to spend aimless hours wandering around a big box store .to find that perfect gift.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


The Holiday season is here and shopping is on everyone's mind. Cymax provides the ultimate shopping experience online. If you are looking for anything,they have it. If they don't they will get it for you. And quality of goods is not a question here, they carry the top brands from manufacturers all over the world. But the one thing that has put them at the top of the list of online retailers is their superior customer service.
Imagine being able to get unparalleled customer service, top brands all from the comfort of your own computer while shopping at your own convenience, day or night!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Traveling the Right Way on a Bus, Limousine or Air Charter

Guest Post by: Margot M

Charter travel has become very popular in recent years. Years ago, it seemed that only extremely wealthy people could travel on private buses, jets, and limousines. Now regular, everyday people have the opportunity to travel on a bus charter, air charter, and limousine charter.
Flying on a jet charter is a great way to treat yourself to a wonderful traveling experience. Jet charters are extremely comfortable. And, more importantly, they are private. You can ride on them alone or with a group of people you know. Either way, you won’t have to sit next to a bunch of strangers like you would on an ordinary plane. Jet charters also provide you with more options for flight times. Essentially, you can fly on a jet charter any time of the day, on any day of the year. You get to pick. Because of this, jet charters are great for last minute flights or weekend trips you decide to take with a group of friends on a lark. There are particularly small jet models that are designed for individuals and small groups to charter, and these types of jets are often offered at lower prices than larger jets.
Bus charters are buses that are chartered to a group of people. Depending on the occasion, you could charter a bus for days or even weeks. An advantage you can have with a bus charter is that you don’t have to drive at all. Bus charters have one bus driver that can drive your entire group to their destination. These drivers are well trained and instructed to take you whenever you want to go. They keep track of how many miles the bus travels throughout the journey, and the price you pay is often based on the number of miles. So, you have the freedom to enjoy your trip without having to worry about driving. When large groups take road trips, bus charters are ideal because they can accommodate a large a number of people, and none of them have to drive. Keep in mind that bus charters must be booked at least a week in advance.
Limousine charters are another charter travel option. They are ideal for going to weddings, graduations, proms, and other special occasions. Wouldn’t you rather pull up to an important event in a limousine? These luxury cars are available to rent on an hourly basis, and they are very popular for celebrations like weddings. Although most of us couldn’t afford to own a limousine, many of us can afford to charter one for a few hours. Depending on your budget, you can choose among a variety of available limousine models.
Charter travel has certainly changed the way we take trips. These days, travelers have the option be in a comfortable and private setting on the way to their final destination. Charter travel may cost you a little bit more than ordinary travel, but it can be well worth the extra cost.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Embryonic Stem Cells Differentiation

Embryonic stem cells differentiation to make sure your research is successfully completed. With 6 specialized cell culture media you are well on your way to a successful outcome in compiling research, experiments. But the importance of research is also achieving consistent results and having superior technical assistance is absolutely necessary.
Stemcell certification is a key component for a facility to have to distribute fully qualified medical devices, research related products, laboratory equipment. Of course quality control of processes as well as raw materials also insures that variability of results are minimal.
A match of passion for science and technical excellence makes this an optimum company for all research needs.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Mining Company in Canada

A mining company in Canada has taken on a project in the Phillipines, inthe island of Luzon in the Batangas Province to be exact. The project sounds like an very interesting one with years to 1-2 expected to have very low production costs and a potential payback of 1-3 yrs.
There is a rich mineral content in that area of the Phillipines and it has been explored for that very reason since 1968 for that very reason, under many different joint ventures, especially since the are is kown to be rich in copper and gold deposits. Now is the time to begin bringing to value all the past explorations

Monday, September 5, 2011


I must admit I am a collector of recipes and cookbooks from anywhere in the world, new and old. I have a special affinity to cookbooks from other parts of the world and ones that contain recipes for foods that I am not familiar with.
Cookbooks that contain Japanese and Indian recipes have been filling up my shelves recently. I am not familiar with Japanese and Indian cooking, but love to eat Japanese and Indian,so one of these days when I get some time to actually read the cookbooks I will try to cook Japanese and Indian.
Other favorites of mine include cookbooks that have healthy recipes, vegetarian recipes, gluten free. My shelves do hold more cooknbooks than I could read in one lifetime, but I try to at least glance through each one so I cna get an idea of what they hold inside since each recipe book is like its' own little treasure

Friday, August 26, 2011

High Efficiency Furnace

Sometimes we take the simplest things for granted. For instance, being able to feel comfortable in our own homes with warm heat in the winter and being able to easily cool down in the summer and clean ambiance in our dwelling does not just happen. You need to choose a high efficiency furnace that will do that. And it is also can provide an economical solution since a high efficiency furnace will utilize most of the fuel you pay for efficiently. Just think of all the money you are throwing out the window by not having a high efficiency furnace. It's that time again to insure that you will have a comfortable fall and winter season that you can enjoy in your own abode by upgrading to a high efficiency furnace.

Victoria Hotels

One of my favorite things about Victoria Hotels is that they include a complimentary breakfast in the morning. It is so convenient to be able to wake up in the morning and grab your breakfast without having to think about where to eat. You can spend time during a leisurely breakfast to plan out the sights to see and things to do during your day, since the Victoria Hotels are in convenient locations. For those that love to cook and try out local foods themselves, they even have kitchen studios . The only difficult part will be deciding on which of the spectacular sites to see or things to do while in British Columbia since Victoria Hotels provides everything else- spectacular accomadations, delicious breakfast, gated parking and convenient location.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Eating Healthy on The Road

Guest blogger: Karissa Martin

Summer’s coming to a close, so it’s time to go on that vacation you promised yourself you would take. It’s time to get bronzed and fit on your trip and come back ready to face the fall. There’s only one problem: healthy eating isn’t always on the menu on vacation―it seems like the perfect time to take a break from your usual healthy eating habits. To prevent yourself from gaining those extra pounds while having fun in the sun, try some of the following tips to return home feeling refreshed and thin!

Be aware of what you are eating! This is very important because sometimes foods have a lot more calories than you think. Go for vegetables and fish and skip fried or greasy foods. If you want to count your calories, there are a lot of websites that have the calories of various restaurants and their foods. Websites such as CalorieKing, DietFacts, and Calorie Count can be useful, and there are applications for smartphones to help you keep track of your calories. Some restaurants even have the nutritional values of their foods available on their menus.

Don’t be afraid to share your food. Share a meal with a friend or family member, or share an appetizer and get a side salad. Some meals are available in half or lunch-sized portions. If you want to get your own meal, you don’t have to finish it. If you have a refrigerator in your hotel room or wherever you’re staying, take the leftovers and eat them the next day. If you are drooling over the desserts, it’s okay to splurge a little, but eat a light meal. Go for a side salad, soup, or an appetizer instead of a heavy, large entrée. You can always share the dessert with your fellow vacationers or get a children’s sized or smaller dessert if they’re available.

Check out the local grocery store and get a picnic lunch to enjoy a low calorie meal on vacation without going out to eat. Whether you’re on the beach, on a boat, or in a park, a picnic lunch is the perfect way to share a healthy meal with your family and friends without breaking the bank―or packing on the pounds.

For healthy recipes get your copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking and/or The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Shopping at

Everyone knows that one of my 'hobbies' is shopping for my kitchen, but with a busy work and travel schedule there is not always enough time, however, today I found a great solution to my dilemma. Shopping for kitchen sink mats ,a much needed item, was quick and effortless today with my online shopping find

Now that I know I can easily shop online for my newly acquired kitchen, the next badly needed item was a rustic wine rack complete the rustic look of the kitchen and of ocurse to store all those beautiful wine bottles.

I do get carried away and sometimes shop for things that I don't really need, but I must admit today I was able to comparison shop for things that I really do need. And what a diverse selection of things I found. The lat item that has been on my wishlist has been a coffee mug rack

I was able to find a great deal on one that stylishly fit into the kitchen and best of all, I found it from the comfort of my own computer,relaxed while shopping effortlessly online.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Bit of Carpaccio in Tuscany

Guest Blogger: Lisa Zatulovsky

It is no wonder that the beautiful scenery of Tuscany’s lush greenery and regal mountains inspired Italy’s rebirth. From the Renaissance birthplace of Florence, to the rolling meadows of Siena, the region of Tuscany is a bustling center of architecture, arts, and cuisine. Producing some of the finest foods and wines of Italy, while housing some of the world’s most incredible artists and sculptures like Michelangelo’s David, Tuscany is arguably one of Europe’s most thriving regions.
Art tours, cooking classes, and wine tours are only a few of the incredible experiences offered in Tuscany, allowing you to get a feel for the flourishing region. Wine Tours in Tuscany provide a magical setting among grandiose Medieval Castles and aromatic vineyards. Tuscany offers exciting tours including an opportunity to see where and how their famous red wine Chianti is produced. Between Florence and Siena the picturesque vineyards, wine cellars, and ancient castles weave fascinating history with delicious wine, unique to the region ranging from lunch wine tasting tours with an opportunity to go horseback riding, to romantic evening wine dinners with savory antipasti like regional cheeses and prosciutto.
For a Tuscany inspired antipasto, pair Tuscany’s rich Chianti with Carpaccio, an elegant dish of thinly sliced meats. Chianti and Carpaccio is a wonderfully flavorful appetizer that romances the palette. Chianti is a fuller bodied red wine characterized by a velvety burgundy color. The skins of the grapes remain when undergoing fermentation, producing a bitter strong taste with cherry and floral notes. Chianti red wine pairs well with a red meat antipasto. Essentially a meat and cheese platter, Carpaccio has countless variations. Named after Renaissance painter, Vittore Carpaccio, the antipasto is reminiscent of his red-hued paintings. Enhanced by a rich Chianti, the meat platter is made with paper thin slices of meat like beef tenderloin or prosciutto, drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice and garnished with parmigiano reggiano shavings and capers. Experience the delight of a Tuscany wine tasting in your own home with Chianti and Carpaccio, perfect for an outdoor meal with a dreamy warm summer breeze.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Leonardo DaVinci & The Basic Art of Italian Cooking

Guest Blogger: Dan Rahim

Born out of wedlock in the middle of the Renaissance one of the world’s greatest minds rose to prominence and world-wide fame. He was a man, whose genius is still being fully understood today. Not merely a painter or a scientist, he broached every field, the sciences, engineering anatomy and every possible subject imaginable. He was as broad and diverse as Italy itself. He studied all across the country from Rome to Bologna to Venice.
Leonardo da Vinci is the most iconic painter of Italy. He is perhaps the most iconic person of the entire Renaissance. Paintings like the Mona Lisa have become so ingrained in our popular culture that they do not require an explanation. A simple look at the curving smile and everything is clear. The Last Supper as well is so ubiquitous, that references are found in movies, TV and even in children’s cartoons.
But Leonardo’s talents were not restricted to these magnificent works. In fact most of his artistic endeavors are not paintings, but his sketches contained in his many journals. Many find it shocking that a man with so much talent found it difficult to focus and finish a single task. He completed only a few dozen paintings in his life time, but hundreds of smaller drawings. In fact, some of his casual sketches have gained great fame. The Vitruvian Man (the naked splayed out man) is one of the most famous drawings of all time, copied time and time again in books and movies.
The Vitruvian Man is a testament to detail in drawing. In fact Leonardo drew the man as an example of how proportions of the body should be laid out. This came from Leonardo’s great experiences as an anatomist. Leonardo actually exhumed corpses and studied and drew the bodies. He was given permission by a hospital eventually to dissect the bodies and draw the bones, muscles and organs inside them. This provided some of the best representations of the human body up to this point. Leonardo is also the first to make drawings of the fetus in various stages of development.
But besides his schemes and drawings of the human body Leonardo was very interested in the physical world as well. His engineering feats were well ahead of his time. Leonardo da Vinci came up with the concepts and designs for many things that would not be built for a few hundred years, the most famous of which include the tank, the helicopter and hydraulic pumps. His imagination was boundless and his skill was almost as vast. Leonardo made his mark on the world in many realms and is still remembered today as one of the greatest men who ever lived. And if you are interested in DaVinci's influence on food and the Mediterranean Diet, look for the upcoming release The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: DaVinci Style (release date October 2011) and follow DaVinci's travels throughout charming towns in Italy, his culinary related inventions, poetry and recipes that were influenced by his love for simplicity. Get a free pre release mini version of the book by sending an email to the publisher:

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Mysterious Vatican

Guest Blogger: Dan Rahim
copyright 2011 art of living, PrimaMedia,inc

What is the Vatican?
Many people don’t realize the there is still a monarchy in Rome. But it is not of an Italian King. In fact the monarch at this point is of German descent. But he doesn’t rule Italy, or Even all of Rome for that matter. He rules a small walled of section inside the city. This man is known by many as the Pope.
One of the smallest independent states in the world is Vatican City. There are very few permanent residents. Only the Pope and his officials are actual citizens and the Pope rules the city with an iron fist. This is only a slight exaggeration. The Pope is an elected official, but he still serves as a monarch of the city. The pope does have an assembly of Cardinals, however, to run the day to day operations of the city.
The city is protected mainly by Italy as Italy surrounds it entirely. There are, however, conspicuous guards within the city. They dress in rather old fashioned clothing and are known as the Swiss Guards. These guards are actually only the body guards of the Pope himself, but they function in protection of the city as a whole, but more on the level of police rather than actual military.
But when you think about the Vatican you don’t imagine this small bureaucratic government running a miniature country, you imagine the great cathedrals or the Vatican Museum, one of the world’s most visited Museums. This small government, though, is what makes all the sites accessible and is primarily responsible for the upkeep.
Everything from the Botecelli’s to the Da Vinci’s are kept within the city and maintained. A trip to the Vatican when in Rome is mandatory.

For more info on Italy and award winning recipes join 100,000 worldwide subscribers at The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm BLOG

Overdose on the Magnificence of Rome

Guest BLogger: Dan Rahim
copyright 2011 art of living, PrimaMedia,inc
The dark night sky is lit by small pin pricks in the heavens. Closer you can see the small lamps and large marble buildings. The buildings glow like giants under the lights of the moon reflected in the river below. The air is warm as the warm Mediterranean breeze tickles over you. The scents of the nearby restraints titillate your nostrils, teasing them like a warm lover through the night air. The air is humid but not so much so to be uncomfortable, more like a warm blanket covering the city. Pregnant with possibilities you walk along the streets of Rome.
The large marble buildings, the slow trickle of European time, a deep history, these are the things that make Rome a city of the giants. Once the seat of the world’s greatest empire, Rome is now one of the most visited cities in the world and for good reason. Nowhere else in the world can you experience all the great sites of Rome.
All the major sites should be seen. The Colloseum is perhaps one of the most famous. It is nothing but a spectacle in the night. It looms above the city like something from a movie. The white outside gleams a yellow from the city lights outside. The pictures you see in movies and on TV can not quite capture the majesty of the building.
The Pantheon is another of the greatest sights to see. The pillars of the ancient temple are astounding. A site where the Gods stood for the Romans, even today inspires awe. The white marble, looming steps are part of the grand design of the building. Not everything worth seeing in Rome is from the age of the empire however. There are a great many buildings worth seeing from the medieval age as well.
The Basilica of Saint Paul or Basilica di San Paulo as the Italians know it is one of these famous pieces. Though some see it as a religious site where the remains of St. Paul are said to have been covered by the Emperor Constantine, the site is of great beauty. The history of the site alone is overwhelming , though it has been rebuilt time and time again refinishing and fixing small cracks and replacing entire walls at times, the building was first completed more than 1600 years ago in about 370.
As far as the mystery of St. Peter’s body, there have been recent findings in the area. In fact, the sarcophagus was found underneath the basilica and recent carbon dating, which most historians find very reliable date the bone fragments remains to the first or second century, which places the bones at the time of St. Peter’s death.
There are many more fantastic pieces of history and mystery that lie beneath the city. Those can only be found by those who search. Rome as the vibrant heart of Italy is a must see for anyone wishing to truly experience the beauty that is Europe.

For more travel information and stories about Rome Italy join 100,000 worldwide subscribers at

A Recipe & A Movie-Eat, Pray, Love, Fettucini Alfredo

Guest Blogger: Karissa Martin
copyright 2011 Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc
Liz Gilbert is suffocating in her marriage and her life in the opening of Eat Pray Love (2010). She “just wanted to slip quietly out the back door, and then not stop until [she] reached Greenland.” Her life was basically perfect, but she just didn’t feel anything anymore. She talks to a toothless medicine man in Bali while working on an article, takes a look at her life, and she decides that it’s time to get a divorce. After a quick fling with a younger man, David (James Franco), Liz decides to travel the world and find herself. She jumped from her painful divorce right to David, and she barely even had time to take a breath.

First stop: Italy (or eat). The beauty and the food envelop Liz and make her feel warm and a little happy again. With the help of her new Swedish acquaintance and an Italian tutor, Liz starts to feel comfortable and almost like she’s at home in Italy. After eating a lot of amazing food, embracing her new, bigger pants, and spending time with her new Italian family, Liz decides it’s time to move onto the next phase of her journey: pray.

India is the next stop, and it is all about meditation and prayer. After some “selfless, devotional work” and a nervous breakdown in the meditation room, Liz meets Richard from Texas. He becomes her mentor of sorts and encourages her, even when it may look like mockery. He knew that deep down she had “the capacity to somehow love the whole world.” Among other advice, Richard ordered her to stay in India until she forgave herself, and that’s exactly what she did.

Final stop: Bali. Liz makes her way back to Ketut, the toothless medicine man, and he doesn’t recognize her after her complete transformation. She was a sad, old woman, but now she is radiant. After nearly hitting Liz in his car, the beautiful Brazilian Felipe (Javier Bardem) starts falling for her. They both had a divorce in their pasts, and they understand what the other went through. Liz feels herself losing her internal balance while she’s falling in love with him, and she breaks it off with Felipe. She doesn’t know if she can keep herself happy and focused and love him, too.

Liz learned a lesson on her journey: “If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting…and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.”

Through the laughter and the tears, the pangs of hunger may present themselves. If you don’t want to have to buy bigger pants like Liz, go for the healthier version of fettuccini alfredo to whet your appetite. You can eat alongside Liz while she’s in Italy, minus the guilt of eating fattening foods. Your eyes and stomach will be thoroughly satisfied after the delicious, light dish.
Healthy and Light Fettuccini Alfredo
Excerpted from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm BLOG at, copyright 2011 art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati
1 lb whole wheat fettuccini alfredo
1 lb chicken tenders(or chicken-soy based substitute)
2 heads of broccoli
2 tbsps butter
1 pint of fat free half-and-half
1 cup pecorino romano cheese
1. Boil water and add fettuccini. Cook until al dente
2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then sauté in olive oil. Once cooked, drain the oil, add the butter and half-and-half. Pour everything over the fettuccini.
3. Steam the broccoli for 4 minutes and add to the mixture once the pasta is cooked. Add black pepper to taste.

For more recipes, get your copy of the award winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

Make Your Dish Into a Masterpiece with Oregano

Guest Blogger: Karissa Martin
copyright 2011 art of living, PrimaMedia,Inc

Oregano is a staple herb that is used in many recipes, especially when it comes to Italian and Greek cooking. It can be used fresh or dried, and it can be used in pasta, meat dishes, sauces, salad dressings, and even salads. It is an excellent, flavorful addition to a meal, and it is a great herb to keep on hand in your garden or kitchen. Easy to grow and delicious with a fresh scent, oregano is a perfect addition to any herb garden, indoors or out.

First step: go get some seeds or a seedling from your local plant nursery or garden center, or even search online. There are different types of oregano to choose from, Greek and Italian oregano being the most common. Once you’ve obtained the plant or seeds, choose your planting spot. Choose a place with plenty of sunlight and good water drainage. Oregano likes sandy soil, so, for best results, mix a little sand in your soil. Dig a small hole and insert your plant, or, if you are using seeds, place the seeds on top of the soil and do not cover them with soil. Water the soil until it is just damp―do not overwater.

Oregano does not need much water―only water your plant when the soil surrounding the plant begins to look dry. When the plant is about four inches tall, you can begin cutting it back and using the leaves for cooking. Cut it back periodically to keep the plant more compact and to encourage growth. When the flower buds begin to show, pull them off to keep your oregano’s flavor strong. Watch out for spider mites and aphids―they like oregano and will destroy your plant if they are left to feed. Try to use more organic methods of insect repellant because, remember, you will be eating this plant.

With its antioxidants and health benefits and ability to make any dish into a masterpiece, oregano is the perfect herb for any kitchen or herb garden. Dry it, freeze it, or use it fresh to add a touch of taste to your meal anytime.

For recipes using oregano get your copy of the Gourmand World Cookbook Award Winning Cookbook The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cheap Flight Deals

Summer is just about here and everyone seems to be scurrying searching for cheap flight deals. Nothing is more frustrating than not only trying to find a good deal but also finding the right companies for the deals. And you can focus on one company to provide you with not only cheap flight deals but great service and assistance also. But not to worry the website is easy to navigate so you don't have to be an internet expert just to look for travel deals here. Think of a whole vacation maybe to that resort you have wanted to take a break and get away to. With this service your dreams may be more than possible!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kitsilano Real Estate

When looking to move into a new neighborhood , look for real estate experts that know not only about real estate but about the area. Kitsilano Real Estate can not only find you a house to move into but also get you pertinent information that you may need to know. If you have kids did you think about finding out about the schools in the area? They can get you all that information.
You should also know about home values in specific neighborhoods and outlook for your area. Having an expert on your side makes for a a successful search.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rosemary: The Dew of the Sea

Guest Blogger: Karissa Martin
copyright 2011 Art of Living,PrimaMedia,inc
Rosemary, or “dew of the sea,” can be used in many different dishes or simply as decoration. Depending on what you will be using the herb for will determine what type of rosemary you will want to use. There are two main types of rosemary: creeping rosemary (low growing/prostrate) and common rosemary (upright). Each type has several variations, but the tastes and smells are very similar.

Creeping rosemary is not as resilient as common rosemary, but it is still fairly easy to grow. This particular plant grows out rather than up, so you have to leave plenty of room for it to expand. The leaves and stems are green, and the buds are generally blue, though there are exceptions.

Irene: This low growing variety has blue-violet flowers that cascade over the limbs of the plant for a beautiful addition to any garden. It is one of the most attractive of the low growing varieties.
Huntington Carpet: This creeping variety has darker leaves than other types, has much larger branches, and light blue flowers. It can spread to as much as eight feet wide and about two feet high.
Corsican Prostrate: This low growing rosemary has dark blue flowers and a silvery hue to the stems and leaves that give it a very unique look. It has arching branches similar to those of Huntington Carpet.

Common rosemary tends to grow up rather than out, and it is very hardy. As with the creeping rosemary, the leaves and stems are green, and the flowers are usually blue.

Tuscan Blue: This particular upright variety has dark blue flowers, and the flowers are larger than most other types of rosemary. This herb’s lemon and pine flavors are not as harsh as other varieties.
Majorca Pink: This upright rosemary has pink flowers, which is very unusual for this herb. This graceful plant has an aesthetic appeal.
Albus: This semi-upright variety has thick, short leaves and white flowers. It is not as aromatic as some of the other types. Generally peaking at three feet, this upright variety does not grow as tall as many of the others.

For great recipes to use those herbs like Rosemary get your copy of the award winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

A Roman Feat of Engineering -Aqueducts

Guest Bloggerr:Dan Rahim
They stare at you straight in the face. It is hard to ignore them if you ever travel to Rome. They tower over the towns, big stone monoliths. They look like huge bridges. In fact they were perhaps the greatest feat of Roman engineering and one of the greatest feats of engineering in the ancient world. The water flowed around simply with the power of gravity. No pumps or other devices were used to get the flow moving.
The aqueducts were one of the first grand scale construction projects to move water through the ancient Roman Empire. Essentially they were just large channels along which water would flow. This facilitated getting water to large sites usually mines but sometimes into the cities.
Though the most visible parts are those above the ground most of the aqueducts ran underground. This was done mainly because it was easier to build underground and they would be less vulnerable to both attack and contamination. These aqueducts were not isolated in Rome; in fact anywhere the Empire spread the aqueducts spread as well. The largest system of this pre-medieval plumbing is found in Constantinople.
The aqueducts eventually stopped being used and went out of service. Some were destroyed by the invaders who wished to starve out the Romans. However, most were destroyed through time and corrosion, because of the large volume of water going through the aqueducts they needed constant maintenance without which they collapsed with the fall of the empire.

Blue Sky Scrubs

Ever want to go from work to dinner without worrying about going home to change well you can find the perfect and stylish scrubs to take you from work to a night out at it is absolutely incedible how the cut, shape, style and color of scrubs have eveolved into these colorful, fashionable outfits

Go to their scrubs and more store and that is just what you will find, even more than just scrubs. The colors are amazing and they look absolutely comfortable as well. That is what is important for a day at work and an evening out.No matter which style, cut or color you choose you will always make a fashion statement of your own in a blue sky scrub

Monday, May 30, 2011

Marco Polo, Adventures, Food Discoveries

Guest Blogger- Dan Rahim
Copyright 2011 Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc.
Marco Polo is probably best known today as a game played in the swimming pool. But behind the game lies a great history of discovery and adventure. Marco Polo traveled across Europe through Asia and went all the way into china for the chance to discover riches and new worlds.
With all these travels and tales of the orient Marco Polo became the most famous person in Europe in the 13th century. At a mere 24 years, he traveled to discover and reorient Europe with the rest of the world. This was not only because he had this incredible journey but also because he was the first person to publish a book about it and able to disseminate the knowledge across Europe.
In fact Marco Polo’s impact was so great it influenced European explorers for years to come. The most famous of which was Christopher Columbus who is credited for the European discovery of the Americas. In fact due to reading Marco Polo’s book Columbus believed that the New World was either India or the eastern Isles of Sumatra or Java.
Marco Polo did in fact did bring back many different thing back from his trip. Most are documented in his book Il Milone. The problem with documenting this introduction is that there are hundreds of versions of this book and no definitive version. In the era before the printing press it is hard to distinguish which version is most authentic. Therefore attributing anything to Marco Polo is quite dubious and there are several critics of his contributions.
Marco Polo is most famous for his introduction of the idea of ice cream. The Chinese had been making ice cream for nearly four thousand years before Marco Polo arrived. The Chinese were able to make this sweet, creamy drop of heaven thanks to the use of large pots of ice and salt. Many western scholars dispute this claiming that ice cream in the West has purely western origin, but it’s pretty silly to argue that the idea or concepts of ice cream had no influence from the Chinese or Marco Polo’s book. Regardless, there is no definitive proof one way or another on the origins of ice cream.
But Ice Cream was not Marco Polo’s most controversial contribution. In fact the idea that spaghetti noodles came from the orient is highly debated. Some coarse forms of pasta had existed since Roman times and perhaps even before. But pasta which is the main staple of Italian food is completely different. Many claim that modern Spaghetti was brought to Italy thanks to Marco Polo’s introduction to the Chinese through Kublai Khan. This claim has come under criticism due to the fact there are documents that describe “long pasta” before Marco Polo was born. This does not prove spaghetti is a western invention as there have been traders between east and west before Marco Polo, but it casts into doubt whether Marco had truly brought spaghetti to Italy.

Italy's Beaches & Their Flavors

Guest Blogger: Lisa Zatulovsky
Copyright 2011, Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc.
Nestled amongst four seas, the grandiose beaches of Italy look like storybook paintings come to life with water infused sapphires and emeralds, amidst imposing mountains and sherbet colored sunsets. Artfully sprinkled with natural rock formations and crashing waves, Italy’s breathtaking beaches look as though a hypnotic mermaid might sit atop a rock at any moment, waiting for her next sailor to enchant.
Aside from having some of the most popular historical sights in Europe, Italy presents some of the worlds most incredible beaches, frequently populated during peak summer season. Visiting one of Italy’s beaches not only has unreal picturesque sights, but light, appetizing and healthy Mediterranean cuisine. Fresh fish, colorful salads and delectable fruits and vegetables are everywhere you turn. The idyllic serenity of Italy’s coastlines is perfectly reflected in the Mediterranean cuisine. Take notes from the healthful Mediterranean diet and let it play a starring role in your cooking this summer.
Visit the Island of Capri and you may feel like an extra on the set of the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. Located off of Southern Italy’s Amalfi Coast, tourists flood Capri every summer taking in all that this magical Island has to offer. From white sand beaches to mild 70-degree temperatures, the Island of Capri has remained one of Italy’s most popular beach destinations. Seaside restaurants line the edges of the island, with locals and tourists enjoying the island’s delicacies, while swirls of salt-kissed breezes gracefully dance through the air. Order from one of Capri’s many restaurants and try authentic stuffed Calamari with a Caprese salad. Taking advantage of the bountiful amounts of fish, chefs will often times serve you fish caught a few hours beforehand. The pairing of Calamari stuffed with mushrooms, garlic and creamy cheese with a light Caprese salad made with whole slices of tomato, mozzarella, and basil, drizzled with olive oil completely embody the flavors of Capri.
Even further south, the island of Sicily has an overwhelming selection of beaches to choose from. From fine white sand to black sand volcanic beaches, small fishing towns to glamorous resorts, this large island rich in tradition has a personality all its own. Like Capri, Sicily uses many of the islands amazing fruits, vegetables and fish into their diet. However, Sicilian cuisine also merge’s hints of neighboring countries and Middle Eastern spices, nuts and fruits into a cuisine all their own. To soak up the special flavors of Sicily, try pasta with prawns and pistachio pesto. This dish incorporates Arabic influences with rich pistachios, a hint of Spanish spice and the heartiness of prawns. Cooked with penne and a garlic tomato sauce with white whine and olive oil, this Sicilian pasta dish represents the variety of flavors and distinct tastes of the island.
Whether you bask in the sun at your neighborhood pool, float down a lazy river in an innertube, or have a chance to experience Italy’s many beaches for yourself, incorporating a Mediterranean diet into your summer meals is a healthful and fresh way to celebrate a season full of life, warmth and sun. From a Caprese salad to Sicilian pasta, dishes inspired by the plentiful resources off of Italy’s coasts can be easily transported from the Mediterranean Sea to your kitchen.

Get your copy of the Gourmand World Cookbook Award Winning Book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions

A Roman Holiday & a Recipe for Tramezzini

Guest Blogger: Karissa Martin
copyright Art of Living, PrimaMedia,inc
Princess Ann, played by Oscar-winner Audrey Hepburn in her first starring role, screams and becomes hysterical one night in Rome, the last stop on her European “Goodwill Tour” in Roman Holiday (1953). Weary from her princess duties and public appearances and stressed from her meticulously scheduled days, the princess can no longer handle the constant pressure. The doctor is called in, and his brilliant solution is to inject a new medication that will help her fall asleep. Feeling no side effects from the medication, Princess Ann sneaks out into the night in a delivery truck. When the excitement from escaping begins to wear off, the drowsiness from the medication sets in, and Princess Ann carelessly dozes on a bench.

After a night of poker, Joe Bradley, an American reporter played by Oscar-winner Gregory Peck, finds a girl snoozing on a bench on his way home. Not knowing what to do, he unsuccessfully attempts to wake her up, while she constantly mutters “so happy.” Unwilling to leave her asleep and alone at night, Bradley takes her to his apartment to keep her safe. Unaware of her identity, Bradley refuses to let Princess Ann sleep in his bed and proceeds to dump her onto the couch with a lift of the mattress.

The next day, Bradley sees the girl’s picture in a newspaper and realizes who is sleeping on his couch. He sees the potential for a story and contacts his editor. Princess Ann mutters in her sleep, unaware of where she is, “I dreamt and I dreamt. I was asleep in the street and a young man came. He was tall and strong, and he was so mean to me! It was wonderful...” After opening her eyes to find Bradley staring back at her, she realizes her dream was actually reality. A few explanations and a surprising run-in with the maid in the bathroom later, Princess Ann sets out to return home. However, she gets a little sidetracked and chops all her hair off instead and begins to explore the city. Bradley follows her and convinces her to take the day off, pretending that he is unaware of her identity. He asks her what she would do and she replies, “I'd do just whatever I liked all day long. I'd sit at a sidewalk cafe and look in shop windows. Walk in the rain, have fun and maybe some excitement.” Bradley does his best to make her wishes come true and calls his photographer friend, Irving Radovich, to help him get the story on the princess.

Unlike Princess Ann’s usual schedule, this day is full of surprises. After being taken to the police station for erratic driving, some late-night dancing, and an all-out brawl with the secret service (in which Princess Ann bashes someone with a guitar), Princess Ann knows it is time for her to return to the palace. It was “the end of the fairy tale.” Though she had to go back to her duties, Princess Ann would never be the same again.

"Life isn't always what one likes, is it?" But, you can pretend, if only for a little while. Try the elegant tramezzini sandwiches, and you’ll feel like royalty. With the gooey, fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, and tasty basil, you may as well be sitting at an outdoor café in Rome with Princess Ann. Take a break from your life and try this tasty little food with the movie.

(4 persons)


12 slices thinly sliced white bread (with crusts removed)
3 tblsps of extra virgin olive oil
½ lb of fresh mozzarella (sliced)
3 grape or cherry tomatoes (sliced)
½ cup of fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons of freshly grated parsley to decorate plate


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off crusts of bread then cut slices in half, then slice in half again till each slice has been cut into 4 small triangles. Place slices of bread on baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Use about one half of quantity of olive oil. Place in oven for about 4-5 minutes until golden brown.

*Prepare 16 mini tramezzini. Start with one small triangle of bread, then a slice of mozzarella, then top with tomato slice and then 1 basil leaf, top with a mini triangle and repeat with cheese, basil tomato and then top with one mini triangle. Place small shish kebab stick or cocktail stick through tramezzini to hold it together. Place all tramezzini on baking sheet. Drizzle rest of olive oil on top. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes until cheese is beginning to melt. Garnish with a basil leaf on top and dust plate with grated parsley.

Get your copy of the gOurmand World Cookbook Award Winner The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:Holidays & Special Occasions

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Julie and Julia and Crepes Italian Style

copyright 2011, Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc

Guest Blogger: Karissa Martin

Julie Powell, portrayed by Amy Adams in Julie and Julia (2009), lies on the floor amidst the stuffing from a roast chicken, crying uncontrollably. Her life has spiraled out of control, and, now, food isn’t even a sure thing anymore. This, among other similar meltdowns, was how Julie coped with stress, unlike Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep), her idol and inspiration. When Julia was stressed or feeling inadequate, she simply tried harder. When the men in her cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu were eyeing her slow onion chopping, she went home and, with a fire in her eyes, chopped a mountain of white, eye-stinging onions in record time. Nothing could keep her down.

Julie was working at a depressing job for Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, spending her days answering phone calls, getting yelled at, and living in her new, drab apartment with her husband, Eric, over a pizzeria in Queens. Food was the only sure thing in her life. “I love that after a day when nothing is sure, and when I say "nothing" I mean nothing, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It's such a comfort.” This fact, on top of her depressing life and prodding from her husband, was why Julie decided to write a blog about Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

This “Julie/Julia Project” brought Julie out of the dark hole she had been digging in her life. She said of her cooking, “And it was like she was there, like Julia was there in the room.” Julia helped her to enjoy life and food again. Those 524 recipes in 365 days were a constant in Julie’s life and made it a little easier to wake up every morning. Though the project may have stressed her marriage and stretched Julie thin, there were lighthearted moments with Eric whispering “lobster killer” in her ear and the entertainment of reading about Julia’s feisty moments in history. Julie needed this project.

While Julie’s life was falling apart in the film, Julia was living in Paris, just steps away from delicious markets, and her marriage was well intact. Her only problem was lack of work in this foreign country. While her husband was at work, Julia tried her hand at making hats, playing bridge, and learning French. But, nothing caught her interest until she started taking cooking classes. She met people, felt challenged, and ended up collaborating on a cookbook.

Through marriage, work (or lack thereof), and life, food saved them both: Julie from her miserable life and Julia from her feeling of worthlessness in France. Julie said, “Both of us were lost and both of us were saved by food in some way or other.”

While daydreaming about the food in France, why not make an Italian version of crepes called Crespelle alle Zucchine (crepes with zucchini)? You can ponder which came first, the French or the Italian crepe, while creating this light food. If you’ve never made crepes before, you may share in Julie and Julia’s cooking frustrations, but it will be well worth it when you can relax and enjoy your final product while watching delicious food dance across the screen.

Bon appétit!

Crespelle alle Zucchine (Crepes with Zucchini)
2 zucchini grated
¼ cup hard ricotta cheese grated (known as ricotta romana)
2 eggs
1/3 cup Swiss or Fontina cheese grated
2 tablespoons Parmigiana cheese grated
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste

For the béchamel sauce:
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour
2 tbsps butter

For the Crespelle:
1/3 cup flour
1 cup milk
pinch of salt
Blend all ingredients in bowl with wire whisk. Heat non-stick crepe pan. Place approx ¼ cup of batter in crepe pan (place batter in center of pan and move pan so that batter rotates around and covers pan). Turn over and cook on other side. Batter makes about 6 Crespelle.
Wash and clean zucchini. Dry and grate using a grater with large holes. Place in bowl and set aside.

In saucepan, place milk for béchamel. Place on low heat and whisk in, a little at a time, flour and butter so that mixture remains smooth. When boiling and thickened remove from heat.

Cool for 5 minutes and place into béchamel the grated zucchini, half of grated Parmigiana cheese, 2 eggs, ricotta romana, grated Swiss or Fontina cheese. Mix and add in pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Cut sides of Crespelle so that each Crespelle forms a rectangular shape. Place in the zucchini filling and roll the Crespelle up. Wrap in aluminum foil and continue till all Crespelle are filled. Place Crespelle wrapped in aluminum foil separately in buttered casserole dish and heat in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven, eliminate aluminum foil and place a small knob of butter on Crespelle and remaining grated Parmigiana reggiano cheese, place under broiler until brown on top (about 5 minutes) and serve hot.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Vegetables of Summer

Guest Blogger: Lisa Zatulovsky
copyright 2011 Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc

Saturated hues and bold color blocking are a dominant fashion trend for summer 2011. Fashion is celebrating the vibrancy that the season has to offer in their clothing and accessories. From a tangerine colored blouse paired with white denim cropped pants, to gold bangles and lapis colored earrings, the last few echoes of winter’s reign are nowhere to be found in the latest summer trends.
Take a nod from fashion and incorporate fun exotic colors into your cuisine this summer. A surplus of seasonal Italian vegetables such as peppers, squash, eggplants, tomatoes and zucchini should be readily available. Vibrant reds, greens, yellows and purples will transform your cooking into visual and delicious delights. Loaded with flavor and nutrients, Italian summer vegetables are wonderful for lighter yet flavorful options that allow you to feel guilt-free and satisfied.
Take advantage of the variety of summer vegetables by incorporating them into a simple Panzanella Salad. An Italian chopped vegetable salad is an easy and fresh alternative to a traditional greens salad. Basic Panzanella salad uses chopped tomatoes and any vegetables you may have at hand like peppers, olives or zucchini, lightly tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. You can add your favorite day-old crusty bread and add mozzarella for more heartiness, season with basil for added flavor.
For an appealing appetizer, bake stuffed Italian peppers or tomatoes with breadcrumbs, mozzarella, and oregano. For more ideas, replace hearty meat dishes by making eggplant parmigiano with a fresh tomato sauce. Or make your own pizza with fresh sauce and top with ripe peppers and zucchini. Experiment with these summer vegetables by grilling, baking or frying and experience their unique flavors for yourself. Whether you go out and buy yourself a chic colorful blouse, or make a bright Italian dish, allow yourself to be inspired by the beauty of the warm summer months to come.

For recipes join 100,000 worldwide subscribers at The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm

Get your copy of the Gourmand World Cookbook Award Book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edit.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Growing Your Own Basil to Add FreshFlavor

Guest Blogger: Karissa Martin

copyright 2011 Art of Living, PrimaMedia,inc

Basil can be found in many Italian dishes and can be used to add flavor to many recipes.. You can find it at your local grocery store or buy it dried for easy use throughout the year. However, what could be better than fresh basil every day of the year in the comfort of your own home?

The first step to growing your own basil is to decide whether you want to grow it indoors or out and decide on seeds or a starter plant. If you live in an area with temperamental weather, you may want to grow your basil indoors in a small pot. If you are an inexperienced gardener or want to use your basil quickly, a starter plant is the way to go. There are different types of basil to choose from. Sweet basil is commonly used in Italian cooking, but if you’re looking for something a little more exotic, try one of the other types, such as African Blue. Garden centers carry plants and seeds, and your local plant nursery should have what you’re looking for. Some seeds and starter plants can be found online if you are willing to pay the shipping costs. Don’t forget to get soil and a small pot if you are planning to grow your basil indoors.

After obtaining your seeds or starter plant, you must plant your basil. Make sure your basil plant will have plenty of sunlight wherever you decide to plant it, and don’t plant it in an area prone to flooding. If you’re planting in a pot, allow for water drainage using small rocks or gravel at the bottom of your pot. Add potting soil, creating a hole near the top that is big enough to contain the plant or dig a hole if you are planting outside. Insert the plant or scatter the seeds and top with an inch or two of soil.

Water the plant at the base every day or two to keep the soil moist. When the plant begins to flower, remove the buds to prevent the flavor from decreasing. When the leaves are large and the plant gives off an aroma, you can pick off the sweet, peppery leaves to use at your leisure. Enjoy!

Get your copy of the award winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions 2nd edition

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tiramisu, the Italian Fast Food Pick-Me-Up

Guest Blogger: Lisa Zatulovsky
copyright 2011 Art of Living, PrimaMedia,Inc

Fast food joints are at practically every intersection splattered across America, satisfying those unbelievable cravings within minutes. Sometimes it’s too difficult to resist a cheeseburger, fries and milk shake and all of their addicting greasiness. After a long stressful day’s work, occasional pick-me-ups can be the perfect cure to get through the day. Americans aren’t the only ones with their go-to indulgences or love of fast food. Italians have pick-me-ups of their own, an addicting delight loaded with caffeine and : Tiramisu, a dessert staple for Italian cuisine, which is literally translated into “pick me up” in English.
Traditionally Tiramisu is a chilled dessert with alternate layers of cake, and cream. Basic Tiramisu consists of ladyfingers soaked in rum and/or espresso, ultra creamy mascarpone cheese and shavings of dark chocolate sprinkled with cocoa. The moistness of the coffee-soaked cake along with the richness of the whipped custard makes for a rich yet light treat. All ingredients, delicious on their own, create a mouth-watering dessert when paired together. Tiramisu has found its way into many homes and bakeries with countless variations. Some may choose to add raspberries, almonds or hazelnut cream while others cut the sugar by replacing the ladyfingers with fruit, or by substituting the mascarpone for low-fat cream cheese. Whether in its original form or not, Tiramisu can morph into a tailor-made treat that satisfies a sweet tooth, or a friendlier waist-watching version, which may be why it has become such a widely embraced dessert.
The history of Tiramisu is somewhat of a mystery. Some argue that the dessert is actually of Greek origin, and it is served in many Greek restaurants as well as Italian. Others believe that a similar custard creation, which may have inspired the modern-day dessert, was created in the 17th century in Siena, Italy. Others suggest that Tiramisu is a fairly young dessert, which was recorded in cookbooks in the 1980s. However, one of the most common beliefs is affirmed by food critic and author Giuseppe Maffioli, who reviewed the restaurant Le Beccherie, in Treviso, Italy. In 1981 Maffioli wrote an article saying:

“Tiramisu’ was born recently, just 10 years ago in the town of Treviso. It was proposed for the first time in the restaurant Le Beccherie. The dessert and its name became immediately extremely popular, and this cake and the name were copied by many restaurants first in Treviso then all around Italy.”

It wasn’t long before the dessert found its way to America. Tiramisu became popular in the San Francisco area. Places like “Café Tiramisu” create authentic Italian cuisine much like “Le Beccherie.” Now over the course of a debatable 40 years, according to Maffioli, the dessert can be found in just about any cookbook, or Italian or Greek restaurant, and the irresistible flavors have breathed new life into traditional pastries or other sweets like cupcakes, ice cream or even Tiramisu- flavored popsicles.
Maybe the next time you find yourself needing a well-deserved pick-me-up, instead of ordering from your favorite fast food restaurant, go to your local café, order a steaming hot cappuccino and a generous piece of Tiramisu, and take time out of your day to enjoy a little pick-me-up, the Italian way.

Find recipes for Tiramisu and other Italian delights at The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati tm

Get your copy of the GOuramnd World Cookbook Award Winning book: The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Original Black Swan:Marie Taglioni

copyright 2011 art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc

Guest Blogger: Lisa Zatulovsky

She never danced in Swan Lake and all but for that, she could be considered the Original Black Swan for her magnificent technique...On March 12, 1832 at the Paris Opera, ballerina, Marie Taglioni captivated audiences with her portrayal of the delicate yet flirtatious spirit known as La Sylphide. Taglioni danced the role of a Sylph- a fairy-spirit who distracts a Scottish man, James from marrying his fiancée. Chasing the elusive Sylph, James unintentionally destroys her when he tries to capture her with poisonous scarf. Dressed in a white corset, long tulle tutu and sheer wings covered in peacock feathers, Taglioni looked as though she had no flesh or bones, practically floating across the stage. The pearls that adorned her neck and wrists looked heavier than she.
Taglioni was born in Stockholm, Sweden to Italian choreographer Filippo Taglioni and Swedish dancer Sophie Karsten. Marie moved to Vienna at a young age with her family. Taglioni rigorously studied ballet in Vienna with her father Filippo, a dancer and ballet choreographer. Filippo created La Sylphide, specifically for her to showcase her ethereal dancing and strong technique, which allowed her to dance on her toes. By putting cardboard and glue in her satin ballet shoes, Taglioni transformed herself into an otherworldly being. Although the minimal amount of support is far different than modern day pointe shoes, Taglioni helped to renovate ballet to a serious work of art that elevated dancers to another dimension.
The creation of Filippo’s ballet and his daughter’s gifts set the groundwork for a new genre of ballet romanticism. Famous romantic ballets such as La Sylphide, Giselle, and Pas de Quatre are very recognizable by their movements and costumes. Characterized by exaggerated forward tilts of the torso, and soft rounded arm movements, the dancing is understated and elegant. Like Taglioni’s costume, most dancers in romantic ballets wear long tulle skirts that stop below the middle of the calf. This gives the illusion of transparency and showcases the dancers’ feet and fluid arms. Filippo unknowingly epitomized the famous arm movements to cover up what he though was one of his daughters unattractive qualities, her long thin arms. In order to hide this apparent unsightliness, (which was not considered desirable at the time) Filippo had his daughter continually round her arms and cross them in front of her body displaying her delicate wrists in order to give the appearance of shorter arms. This famous position is now quintessentially used in all romantic ballets.
After the premiere of La Sylphide, the ballet was widely received as an instant success. Ballet was still primarily used to showcase men’s talents and female dancers were not the main attraction. Taglioni’s 26-year career gave ballerinas widely deserved recognition with their spellbinding dancing and femininity. Her performance made art lovers realize that ballet was a legitimate art and not just entertainment. Taglioni excited audiences with her dancing and performed extensively throughout Europe. As one of the first documented ballerinas to dance on pointe in a full-length ballet, Taglioni influenced dancers for generations to come through her use of pointe shoes, romanticism and artistry.
She retired and spent some of her retirement years living on the Grand Canal in Venice. However when she performed her last ballet in Russia in 1842, she had somewhat of a cult following with the 'ballet maniacs' of that time. Her pointe shoes were auctioned off for 200 rubles and legend has it that they were cooked, served with a sauce and eaten by 'ballet maniacs”.

For more info on Italian culture, culinary events go to
Upcoming appearances of Award Winning Author Maria Liberati
May 14th-Fante's Kitchenware store on 9th street in the Italian Market-1-3 PM Maria will be doing a book signing of her latest award wining book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions- winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Award

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cantucci ..Signal the End of a Tuscan Dinner

Here they are ,so many have been emailing about these little gems, they are typical of Tuscany..whenevr you are having dinenr in Tuscany and someone brings out the cantucci and Vin Santo (a sweet wine)..that is the signal that dinner is over..enjoy...

Cantucci Biscotti
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup whole almonds
4 whole eggs beaten
1 tsp of grated orange peel
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place whole, unpeeled almonds on cookie sheet, place in oven and toast for 3 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and chop in large pieces.
Sift flour into a bowl. Place inside sugar, eggs, baking powder, orange peel, pinch of salt. Blend well till dough is smooth, but not too soft., then add in  almonds and blend in.
Cover cookie sheet with baking paper. Form dough into a long roll, the form of a long finger. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and cut diagonally to form biscotti. Cover cookie sheet with baking paper, place single biscotti on baking paper and bake for approx 25 minutes or until crispy and golden. Remove.

100 Dogs

This is an actual news story that broke in Canada regarding an outdoor aventures company that offers dog sled rides being accused of having up to 100 of their sled dogs killed to cut costs following a downturn in business.The owner of the Whistler company that allegedly had 100 sled dogs slaughtered to cut costs after the Olympics will speak for the first time following reports of the tragedy. Outdoor Adventures Joey Houssian has scheduled a number of media meetings Monday along with his lawyers, and had a “letter to the editor” published in this morning’s Vancouver Sun. Joey Houssian, in his first sit-down interview since news of the killings sparked headlines and outrage around the world, told The Globe and Mail that his company knew nothing about the scale of the slaughter, when the dogs were killed, or the manner in which they were killed until late last month.Houssian points to “discrepancies” in the WorkSafeBC reports filed by the employee who allegedly completed the “execution” of the dogs.Houssian adds he can’t say much about what happened as investigations into the case move forward.“While the facts and legal responsibility for them is being investigated, I take moral responsibility for everything that happens within my company,” Houssian wrote.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Steam Team

You know by now one of my favorite hobbies is restoring old houses.
Power washing houses austin is one of the first steps in doing outside renovations of a building. It cleans away so much grime that has built up over the years. Get it done first before painting or redoing the surface of any building.

A home carpet cleaning service austin comes in handy if you want to salvage your carpeting and sometimes it can be salvaged so you don't have to replace and use that extra money for something else.

be sure to do your carpet cleaner comparisons austin before you decide who will clean your carpeting. You'll be surprised how much services differ in price and price shouldnlt be the only deciding factor. Reerences, and quality of work shoudl also be used to decide.

Rug cleaning tips come in handy when cleaning up minor spills and for regular maintenance

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Scrubs Go From Work to Leisure

Nursing Scrubs allow the hard working nurse to go from work day to night out with practically no hassle. So fashionable now that you can take your day wear into night wear. You can also have fun choosing colors and styles to fit you.

Today's uniform, like many of us are multi taskers. Doubling as day wear and wear for a night out,or form work to leisure. Not only is style important but comfort is important and both of those important factors are emphasized inthe 'double duty' uniform of today's modern woman.

Who knew that your choice of scrub tops can make your day by choosing bright vivacious colors? No more only the dark sullenn green of dreary hospital wear. Today'a scrub tops brighten up your day with their wide range of colors. No need to dread going to work these colors and styles are sure to put a smile on your morning face.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Making Mayonnaise & Limoncini with Creamy Tuna

copyright 2011 art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati

Quote of the Day:
“We all spend our lives living under the same sun, no matter where we are”

Did you know that...
When you make your own mayonnaise at
home, the lemon and oil do not mix or blend in together, but when you
add in egg yolks, because of their lecithin content they act as a
natural chemicals needed. If you have ever made
mayonnaise at home, share your tips and recipes here for home made

Lemons pair so well  with seafood and
this recipe combines both.. I use this dish as an appetizer or
sometimes as a main course for a light dinner meal. Either way, it is
easy and quick to make and will impress your guests. Serve with a
glass of chilled white wine.

Limoncini with Creamy Tuna

4 lemons

12 ounces of tuna packed in olive

2 hard boiled eggs

4 ounces of green olives

1 tsp capers

3 tablespoons olive oil

Cut lemons lengthwise and 'clean out'
the pulp inside. In the food processor, place drained tuna, pitted
green olives, hard boiled eggs, capers. Blend until creamy
consistency. Placei n bowl and dilute with olive oil and juice of one
lemon. Fill 8 lemon halves with this mixture. Place a bed of salad
greens on a plate and place 2 lemon halves on top of greens on each
plate, serve.

For more great recipes get your copy of the award winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking : Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cocktail Meatballs with Saffron Sauce for a Spring Soiree

Cocktail meatballs are such a staple for cocktail parties and happy hour events. They pair so well  with those dry martinis, dry white  wine, or Champagne or Prosecco.  Try this Italian version of these little gems made wtih a saffron sauce.
Cocktail Mini Meatballs with Saffron Sauce (Polpettine allo Salso di Zafferano)
from the award winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition, copyright  2011 art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 slice bread without crust
  • 1 thinly sliced garlic clove
  • ½ cup peeled, chopped, and shelled almonds
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped parsley
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 envelope saffron
  • Serves 6.
    • 1 pound ground beef or soy substitute
    • ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
    • 1 chopped garlic clove
    • 1 chopped scallion
    • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
    • 1 large egg
    • Pinch of salt
    • Pinch of nutmeg
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • ¼ cup flour
    • Juice from 1 lemon
    • In a bowl, mix ground meat or substitute with breadcrumbs. Add in garlic, scallion, pars ley, beaten egg, pinch of salt, and pinch of nutmeg. Mix with hands until ingredients are well-blended. If mixture is not firm enough, add in extra breadcrumbs until firm. Form mix into small meatballs. Each ball should be the size of a walnut. Place meatballs on large dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. For the sauce, place extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan and heat. Add in slice of bread, garlic, and almonds. Heat until bread is brown and garlic is golden, then remove. Place in food processor with parsley, pinch of cloves, wine, vegetable broth, and saffron. Pu ree. Place in sauté pan and heat for five minutes, stirring with wooden spoon. Remove meatballs from refrigerator. Heat olive oil in separate sauté pan. Roll meatballs in flour, then fry in heated olive oil until golden. Place on plate coated with a paper towel. Place meatballs in sauté pan with sauce and cook 15-20 minutes. Add in lemon juice and serve.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rachel Ray Inspires Me To Bake

Guest post by Gerard Mcdaniel

I use my DVR to record the Rachel Ray 30 minute meals show. I love this show it helps me cook healthy meals for my family very quickly. I don't love to cook, but I love watching cooking shows they inspire me to get into the kitchen and make meals from scratch for my family.

Rachel showed me how to make a chorizo macaroni and cheese meal that my kids were crazy about. It definitely added a twist to a mainstay meal in my household, and now we have the option of regular mac and cheese or the stepped up Rachel Ray version.

She showed me how to bake an apple pie for dessert and I found it to be simpler than I had expected. My husband is happy that I started watching her show because I tend to cook at home more often instead of our family eating out at restaurants all the time. It has saved my family budget and we are able to go to the movies more often and entertain the kids easily during the weekends.

Rachel's recipes are easy to follow and don't require a lot of ingredients. She cooks a variety of foods and this encourages me to try different dishes. I always watch her show on my BESTCHOICETV My new HDTV gives me amazing crystal clear programming.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Stay Warm with a Hot Bowl of Porcini Mushroom Soup

While there is a chill still in the air, don't miss out on a scrumptious, yet healthy, bowl of hot soup! Porcini mushrooms, not always easy to find fresh, make a flavorful broth. You can make this one using dried Porcini and still get their aromatic flavor. This soup can be served as a first course dish, or you may want to make a meal of it.

Rustic Porcini Mushroom Soup

(copyright 2011 art of living,PrimaMedia,Inc/Maria Liberati from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

4 ounces dried porcini mushrooms

1 cup dried chick peas (that have been soaked overnight and cooked in boiling water till tender) or use 32 ounces of canned chick peas that have been rinsed)

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 scallion

1 tsp thyme

1 tablespoon flour

4 tablespoons + 2 tsps extra virgin olive oil

pinch of salt and pepper to taste

4 slices crusty thick, day old Italian bread

Place dried mushrooms in 1 cup warm water and let sit for 20 minutes. Drain chick peas. Puree 1 ½ cans in food processor. Place in a pan with vegetable broth. Stir with wooden spoon.

Puree remaining chick peas, finely chopped scallion, thyme, and drained mushrooms, then add to pan. Place on low to medium heat and bring to a boil. Stir with wooden spoon every so often. When boiling, lower heat and continue cooking for 30 minutes.

Add in flour and 4 tablespoons olive oil and stir with wooden spoon. Add in pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.

Preheat oven to broil. Place bread on cookie sheet and drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. When golden, turn over and repeat.

Remove slices and cut each into 4 squares. Place 4 squares on bottom of each soup bowl and ladle soup on top.

Serve hot.

For more great recipes get your copy of the award winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

Monday, February 21, 2011

Presidents. Day, Jefferson & Tortino di Pappardelle

Happy Presidents' Day! it is no secret that one of my favorite Presidents was Thomas Jefferson! he was a Renaissance  man, far ahead of his time, and the person responsible for bringing some of the first formal Italian langauge programs to Universities. He was also a true connoisseur of  Italian wines, architecture and food. He brought the first 'maccherroni' machine to the USA from a trip to Naples.. So in honor of The Prez and a day to celebrate all Presidents here is a recipe for wine and pasta that I know he would have loved. There is historical  documentation at Monticello (Jefferson's restored residence, now a museum)  that shows that he frequently purchased  Nebbiolo wines from Italy for his dinners

Tortino di Pappardelle

4 zucchini flowers
2 zucchii flowers for decoration
1 onion
2 tblsps extra virgin olive oil
1 lb of pappardelle pasta
1 tblsp nebbiolo
1 tblsp butter
1 small packet saffron
1.5 ounces cream
salt and pepper to taste

Place oilve oil in saute pan, warm and add in chopped onion. Saute till just golden. Add in zucchini flowers and wine. Saute for 3 minutes. One moinute before removing from heat add in saffron and cream.Place pappardelle in salted, boiling water. Cook till al dente. Drain
Place in cream sauce. Butter a ceramic or aluminum round casserole dish. Place in pasta. Place in  pre heated oven to 400 degres oven for 3 minutes. Remove ,decorate with zucchini flowers. Serve this with a Nebbiolo wine.

For more great recipes get yor ucopy of the book seected for the Gourmand Word Cookbook Awards-
The Basic Art of Italian  Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011