Macy’s Culinary Council Event with Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Next week, I am invited to attend Macy’s Culinary Council Cooking event with Chef Marcus Samuelsson. And, you can come too! [ RSVP here] If you watch a lot of Food Network you will probably recognize Chef Marcus Samuelsson from Iron Chef America and Chopped.

I am sad to report that I haven’t had the opportunity to eat at Red Rooster in Harlem, but attending this event may just top that!

On February 22, at 6pm at Macy’s in Costa Mesa Chef Marcus Samuelsson will be showing us how to make some of his favorite dishes. How amazing is that?

What a way to get inspired in the kitchen again. Lately, I feel like all of  meals have been on repeat. I’m in this culinary rut with a few regulars on the rotations, and I’m so craving some new spices and flavors. I hope Chef Marcus makes some dishes from his latest book based on the his Red Rooster restaurant.

Not a bad night off for me, since Macy’s will also be offering a $10 gift card with any purchase of $45 or more from their Home Department. Plus, you’ll also receive a special gift, as well as a copy of Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s The Red Rooster Cook Book! Maybe, we’ll even get a photo with the Chef.

If you are in SoCal, this event shouldn’t be missed. RSVP for the event here!

If you can’t make it, make sure to follow me on Instagram. I’ll definitely will be storying all of this for you!

Cheers to getting inspired,

Alina

5 things I do to get in shape before vacay

ways to get in shape before your vacay

 

I’m definitely the type of person that performs better when I have a goal in mind. In general, while I try to eat healthy and exercise regularly  something about having a vacay on the horizon helps kick my enthusiasm up a notch. So, as soon as we booked our next little vacay I knew it was time to get a bit more serious, so that I could truly indulge and not think about squeezing into my summer clothes. So, here are 5 things I do to get in shape before vacay. Continue Reading…

Five Ways to be Your Own Valentine

Easy, everyday style with a chic YSL bag, flattering peplum top and great booties

In the spirit of focusing on self-care this year, I thought it would be appropriate to write a post that focuses on ways to show yourself love and care. If you follow me on instagram, you may have caught that last week I got a massage. It really forced me to think about how important it is to take the time to do something nice for yourself. (Even when someone else forces you.) It shouldn’t feel wrong to treat yourself, as much as you treat others. So, here are five ways to be your own Valentine, because when we feel happy and cared for, we are much better people, partners, parents, workers, citizens, humans—right?

Continue Reading…

Sunday Football Apps for the Win

easy super bowl appetizers

   This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of RAGÚ®

While I am definitely less football and more there is a JT concert in the middle of this sporting event type of gal. I’m also all about snacking and getting together with friends and family. And isn’t that exactly what football Sundays are all about? Besides, as a Philly girl, I couldn’t resist jumping on this EAGLES train! Which got me thinking that my East coast heart needs to have everyone over for the big game and serve up some Philly inspired Sunday football apps for the win! Here are my best appetizers for the Big Game!

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Better Self Care in the New Year with Philosophy’s New Ultimate Miracle Worker Fix for Eyes

new year new self care

Thank you to  Collective Bias, Inc. for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine alone. #YourFix #CollectiveBias

Now that I’m in my mid-thirties, it seems most of my conversations with other women turn to talk about products and creams meant to combat wrinkles and aging. We’re all trying to preserve our youth and find the new miracle product. I’ve written a few posts now about skin care routines, but the most difficult part of taking care of my skin hasn’t been finding the perfect treatment. [Check out more about my skincare routine for a woman in her 30s ] That part is over thanks to Philosophy’s New Ultimate Miracle Worker Fix for Eyes. It’s actually taking the time for self-care. I want to be the kind of woman that sits at her vanity in the evenings meticulously applying creams and lotions. Instead of barely brushing my teeth before collapsing into bed. Read on for my plans for better self-care in the New Year.

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Ringing in the New Year | Our Trip to Mexican Wine Country

visit ensenada

 

To ring in the New Year we took a three hour drive across the border to Ensenada, a coastal city in Mexico. We stayed at Coral Marina Hotel and celebrated the New Year with a beautiful sit down dinner and a live band. We also spent a day wine tasting in Valle de Guadalupe— Mexican wine country. As well as visiting some of the most celebrated eateries in Ensenada. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite moments from our trip. Here is more on ringing in the New Year in Mexico. Continue Reading…

Winter White

the perfect date night look and white coat for winter

Something about wearing a white coat in the winter makes me feel the most put together. Even when I’m wearing a basic black sweater, jeans and a pump. It’s so regal and wintery white, that it immediately feels dressy, without even trying.

Continue Reading…

Parmesan Chicken with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Mushroom in a Creamy Sauce over Jasmine Rice

parmesan chicken with sundried tomatoes and mushroom

Not to brag or anything, but Mauricio called this top favorite dinner, which over the years is a pretty big statement, he is my guinea pig after all. This  delicious dinner has all the makings of a perfect fall meal, creamy without using cream, earthy because of the mushrooms and nourishing. Parmesan chicken with sun dried tomatoes and mushroom in a creamy sauce over jasmine rice for a weeknight win.

Ingredients

  • 2 large boneless and skinless chicken breasts , halved horizontally to make 4 fillets ( I buy the Organic and Kosher Chicken at Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • Salt &  pepper

For The Sauce:

  • 1 cup of sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (reduced fat or full fat milk)
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch  mixed with 2 tablespoons of milk
  • ⅓ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (do not include for dairy free option)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh shredded basil, to serve

Directions

  1. If you didn’t already make the rice while roasting the veggies as a prep, make the rice according to the package before starting dinner.
  2. Mix flour, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture; shake off excess and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Fry the chicken until golden on each side, cooked through and no longer pink (about 5-6 minutes each side, depending on the thickness of your chicken). Transfer onto a warm plate.
  4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet and  sauté the garlic until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms; fry until the mushrooms are just soft.
  5. Reduce heat to low-medium heat, add the milk and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to your taste and add the milk/cornstarch mixture to the centre of the pan. Continue to simmer while quickly stirring the mixture through until the sauce thickens.
  6. Add in the parmesan cheese; allow sauce to simmer for a few more minutes. Add the chicken back into the pan; sprinkle with the fresh basil and serve over the rice you already made.

This recipe is part of my four weeknight meals series. You can find a shopping list and other recipes here.

Sweet Sausage with Onions and Peppers and Fingerling Potatoes topped with Arugula

healthy one skillet dinner

Sweet sausage with onions and peppers and fingerling potatoes topped with arugula. Sounds like a lot of work, but I promise this one is the easiest and also gets top marks from my little crew. A simple play on an Italian sausage and peppers, this spin gets pesto and arugula, which feels modern and a bit more sophisticated—meanwhile the entire thing just happens in one skillet.

Ingredients

  • 4 sweet sausage links ( or tofu sausage or whatever you like!)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 yellow pepper sliced into stripped
  • 1 red pepper sliced stripped
  • 1 package of fingerling potatoes
  • 1/2 package of baby arugula
  • 1/2 container of pesto
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • handful of dill
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, use a skillet that has a lid. Add sausage links, brown on all sides, 3-5 minutes and then remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, boil a pot of water. Add potatoes and boil for 20 minutes. Strain the potatoes, add one tablespoon of olive oil, chopped garlic, dill and toss all together. ( I recommend  doing this step in the beginning of the week, and have the potatoes ready to add to this dinner and available for lunch)
  3.  Add another tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onions and peppers until translucent.
  4. Slice the sausage and add to the onions and peppers. Slice the potatoes and add those to the skillet.
  5. Add one to two  tablespoons of pesto—optional, it tastes  just as delicious without it.
  6. Turn off the heat, add the arugula and toss everything, then serve.

This recipe is part of my four week nights dinner series. Here you can find other recipes and a shopping list.

 

Pesto Grilled Shrimp Over Spinach & Chive Linguine Pasta

shrimp quick and easy pasta dinner

The frozen raw shrimp with tail are a staple in my freezer. They are such a great, quick and easy dinner because they defrost incredibly well and fast! Of course buying never frozen, fresh shrimp is ideal, but we are talking about quick, family dinners without stopping at 4 supermarkets on your way home. So here we are. Easy and simple pesto grilled shrimp over spinach & chive linguine pasta, or any pasta you like, or even rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen shrimp package
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of pesto
  • 1 package of linguine ( I used the spinach & chive linguine pasta, because FLO likes it and I pretend that’s a vegetable serving!)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

Directions

  1. Ideally, you would defrost the shrimp in the morning, by taking them out of the package and leaving them in cold water. Then patting them completely dry. Once dry, I like to take a tablespoon of pesto and chopped garlic and marinade them for as long as possible.  Sometimes that means while the pasta is cooking!
  2. Cook the pasta according to package.
  3. Drizzle olive oil on a skillet and wait for it to get super hot. Add shrimp, wait a minute for them to turn pink, then flip over. Lower heat and remove the shrimp from the skillet, and set aside. Note, shrimp cooks super fast, so remove it before you think it’s done!
  4. Drain the pasta and then add to the skillet, on low heat. Drizzle additional olive oil into the pan. Add the remaining pesto.
  5. Take tails off the cooked shrimp, and add them to the skillet. Toss everything once again and serve immediately.

This dinner is part of my four weeknight recipes for easy and quick meals. [ Check out the rest of the recipes here + shopping list]

 

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