Friday, April 30, 2010

Summer Slim Down with Jennifer Aniston's Private Chefs
Jewels & Jill Elmore




Scenario: It's a Friday night and you're just not in the mood to get dressed, put on makeup, and go out.  Other than laying on the couch watching the latest episode of Glee, what is there to do?  I recently picked up "The Family Chef" by Hollywood private chefs Jewels and Jill Elmore and I have been addicted to the recipes ever since.  This is a cookbook that brilliantly meshes together trendy dishes with how to to apply it to a family life.  Not to mention, how to make everything with fresh, organic produce (Jamie Oliver endorses and loves these ladies).  They include chapters with recipes for baby food, how to slim down, and what kind of breakfast food to make for your man-piece.  They both have young kids, so it was interesting to read their recipes for healthy baby food, since I'm a firm believer that kids need to eat the most healthiest since they are developing.

I have to admit that as a 24 year old woman, I get intimidated by stiff, pretentious cookbooks (and I read recipes on a daily basis).  Jewels & Jill have set up intense recipes in such a way that you can dive right in.  This truly is the best cookbook I have come across in a while.  Fun Fact: They have worked for Jennifer Aniston (who even wrote the forward for the book!).  Let's face it, Jennifer Aniston continues to have a gorgeous, fit body.  I'll admit I was curious to get my hands on all of the recipes that her private chefs use!  Heck, before you know it, we'll be in bikinis!  I do want to say that the book has its own flare; it will keep your interest WAY past the fact that they have cooked for some of your favorite celebrities. 


Aniston is never caught by the paparazzi looking bad in a bikini. 

One of my favorite things about soup is that while it takes basically hours upon hours to make, it makes your entire home smell warm.  You know how nice your house always feels on Thanksgiving when you have things roasting, baking and boiling the entire day? 

I'd like to share a recipe that I fell in love with and am making as I'm writing this blog:

Directly out of "The Family Chef" Page 111
"Cool, Cleansing Celery Soup- Jewel's Version
Serves 6-8



extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, cut in medium pieces
1 leek, whites only (optional)
1/2 fennel bulb (optional, but I think fennel makes this soup deliciously unusual; I use fennel almost every day in something)
6 cups (1 1/2 boxes) chicken stock
1 potato, cut into medium pieces (You can also use cooked white beans or even rice!)
salt and pepper
12 stalks of celery, cut into medium chunks
1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 handfuls of frozen peas
a pinch of nutmeg, cayenne and/or white pepper

This soup can be served hot or cold.  If cold, prepare a refrigerated bowl or gill a pot with ice water to strain the soup into; this helps to cool the soup quickly and retain its beautiful bright green color.

1.  Heat a dry pan on the stove top.  Once warm, add a splash of olive oil or butter and throw in the onions, leeks and fennel.  Stir to release flavor.  Do not brown. 

2.  Quickly add chicken stock and potatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until potatoes are tender.

3.  Add celery and cover.  Cook just until tender.

4.  If serving cold, fill a large bowl with ice and rest another empty bowl on top of ice.

5.  In about two batches, put the soup in the blender.  Add a handful of parsley and handful of peas to each.  Blend well. "

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pittsburgh's Andy Warhol Museum pays tribute to the Playboy Bunny

Tara McPherson's "Bunny Love" is a part of "Playboy Redux: Contemporary Artists Interpret the Iconic Playboy Bunny", an exhibit currently at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.
Photo courtesy of taramcpherson.com

If you're in Pittsburgh and looking for something to do, The Vintage Rush suggests a trip to The Andy Warhol Museum. The museum's current exhibit is titled: "Playboy Redux: Contemporary Artists Interpret the Iconic Playboy Bunny."  This exhibit began on March 28 and will run until June 20, 2010.

Featured Artists Include:
Scott Anderson
Gary Baseman
 Tim Biskup
 Shag
 Zoe Charlton
 Ain Cocke
 Brian Ewing
 Brendan Fernandes
 Jeremy Fish
 Moyna Flannigan
 Latoya Ruby Frazier
 Chitra Ganesh
 Ludovica Gioscia
 Jeremy Kost
 Frank Kozik
 Simone Leigh
 Kalup Linzy
 Tara McPherson
 Hiroki Otsuka
 Seth Scriver
 Andrew Schoultz
 SEEN
 Vadis Turner
 Saya Woolfalk
O Zhang

As taken from the website, "for Playboy Redux: Contemporary Artists Interpret the Iconic Playboy Bunny, artists were asked to create a new look for the Bunny, a veritable makeover to create the Bunny of the future. The selected artists have presented a number of new takes on this iconic image, and works ranges range in medium including photography, painting, sculpture, drawing and video."

For more information and directions to the museum, please visit The Andy Warhol Museum's website, at www.warhol.org.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Feeling Sorry For Yourself Is So Last Season.
This is a repost of my very first blog, which is one of my favorite pieces.  I hope you enjoy it. 

1. What is your problem?
So, you've been dumped. You've lost your job? Someone stole your identity? The initial blow of all these events, and many more, never fails to resemble a bomb exploding in your face. Over and over, and maybe over again. It does goes away, though. Try to see yourself in a month when this initial blow has been smoothed away. For those of you who have been dumped, were you really happy anyway? Are you mourning the actual removal of this person from your life or are you mourning the loss of an idea of a relationship you may have manifested in your head?

2. Rely on yourself.
I know a lot of you are wondering what you have to offer in the midst of this mess? When the world breaks you down, what do you do? What do you do when you don't know how to do anything else? It could be painting. It might be cracking jokes. Maybe writing. We all do something. No matter how mundane you might think it is, it's worth something. That something, is you.

3. Hang out with some kids.
A couple nights ago, I was sitting on my front porch painting. A little girl came walking down the street, a bit ahead of her family. In my front lawn sits a huge patch of sunflowers. When the little girl reached this patch, her jaw dropped. "Mom! This is the perfect-est sunflower ever!", she screamed. Do you remember when you were little and things like this could make you the most ecstatic person....ever? Try to take yourself back to being young and innocent-eyed.

4. Be an asshole.
Now, I'm sure most of you think that I mean be an obnoxious person who does whatever they please. Now, now, silly's, that's not what I mean. However, let's take a look at what those people have to offer. The fact that they don't care about what anyone thinks is an essential trait we can use for our healing process. What holds most of us back? Fear. More importantly, fear of what other people might think about us when we go out there to pursue our dreams. What if we fail? What if we give up everything to take a leap of faith and then fall flat on our ass? Well, what if those people ceased to exist in our minds? What then?

5. Give peace a chance.
When we think about peace, we usually think hippies and world peace. The concept of world peace is so vast, it makes peace look hard. Yoko Ono once said that "each one of us has the power to change the world. Just start thinking peace, and the message will spread quicker than you think." We all can offer the world our own inner peace. No one can ever take you inner peace away from you, unless you let them! When you're in a bad mood because someone in this world has wronged you, you spread that negative energy like a lethal poison. Remember that everyone is dealing with problems. Sometimes it takes seeing one person deal with their problems in a peaceful manner to radiate a new trend. When the radar is looking suspect, take a stand a create a new frequency!

6. It's like lifting weights.
Whether you realize it or not, you're getting stronger. This is a test. Pull through it and you'll be a better, stronger person. It's like lifting weights in a gym. It's never easy at first. It's hard and it hurts like Hell. The more you do it and the more time you give it, the easier it gets. More importantly, you grow stronger. Any time any part of you strengthens, it boosts your morale to strengthen other parts. It's a chain reaction. If any part of you grew, wasn't it all worth it? Life is a series of chain reactions. So, once you do one good thing for yourself, no matter how small or large, it will ricochet.

You will be better.



Saturday, April 17, 2010

Get Naked With Your Health.
The Vintage Rush explores some natural options for health issues that affect women, such as stress, PMS and preventing cancer.


Has your life been ever so stressed lately? When dealing with things like work, relationships and car maintenance, it is common to feel anxious. Theanine is a healthy, all natural way to calm your nerves. What is theanine? Well, it can be found in TEA! Green Tea, in particular, has the one of the highest amount of theanine. Aside from the many health benefits, this is just another reason why green tea is so great for your body.

If you have been feeling a bit anxious lately, you might just need to add a few cups of tea to your diet. So, what is it about theanine that makes it really work? According to “The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth” by Jonny Bowden, theanine is known to “block the binding of L-glutamic acid, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter to glutamate acid receptors in the brain”. Basically, it makes it harder for your brain to get excited. So, if you have a lot going on, this is a good thing! It helps your brain to just chill out, or take a breather!

Studies prove that while it calms your brain, it also improves your memory and learning skills!


TIP: If green tea is this healthy, why are vintage girls still drinking coffee? Green tea is fully caffeinated! It is also amazing in weight loss and keeping your immune system in outstanding condition! Additionally, it has been proven to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Not to mention, it is great for the complexion of your skin!

A very good ORGANIC green tea, which I love, is by Harney & Sons Master Tea Blenders. They have it available at every Coffee Tree Roasters. Remember, if it is available, organic is always the way to go! You can also buy any tea by Harney & Sons at www.harney.com.

Ever wonder why wild salmon have that red pigment? It’s because they eat tiny crustaceans known as KRILL. These little nutritious bad boys contain a powerful antioxidant known as astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a fighting force in arthritis, lowering cholesterol and something younger women can relate to, PMS. If you are opting to take krill oil, which can be found in select vitamin stores or online, it is recommended that you take 3 grams every day for 10 days prior to each cycle. Or, you can eat a few cuts of wild salmon. Wild salmon has krill oil in its most natural form.


TIP: Just another reason why eating wild salmon over farm raised salmon is because wild salmon are red because of astaxanthin, which they are rich in since they eat krill. Farm-raised salmon are red because they get astaxanthin supplements. Now that we know that, who wants to eat a fish that is full of supplements?


 
Krill: This nutritional bad boy is a tasty meal for a salmon on the prowl. He's also the reason why salmon is so good for us. 


Krill eat red algae, which is why they are red. This is the same reason other crustaceans like shrimp and lobster are red.

Why is Krill Oil better than Fish Oil?
Krill oil, like Fish Oil, is rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, but also is high in astanxathin.  Astanxathin offers many health benefits, including replenishing skin that has been damaged by the sun.  (My next blog is about how to avoid sun damage all together!) I'm sure you might be wondering why we can't just eat krills, since they are so nutritious for us.  They are too small!

FUN FACT: Do you know that krill have light organs? Due to the fact that they crawl on the ocean floor, they can produce their own light through bioluminescence. (Bioluminescence can occur either from symbiotic bacteria living on a fish or self luminous cells called photophores). In fact, these little guys are often called light-shrimp.

Every time I go to Whole Foods, I pick up a Kombucha tea. My preferred brand is GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha. TIP: Kombucha is pronounced Kom-Boo-Cha.

The taste of it isn’t as pleasant as some of the other things that are on the market, but the health benefits are worth it. Raw Kombucha has been known to actually kill free radicals in the body. Kombucha is mushroom-like growth of yeast and bacteria that grows in water. The water that it soaks in over a period of time becomes Kombucha tea. I know, it sounds like it would taste terrible, but it actually just tastes like vinegar. It also comes in many flavors, such as Ginger and Citrus.


Under the mushroom mass, is the "Remedy for Immortality", as the Ancient Chinese believed.


-Kombucha Tea alkalizes cells in your body. (This helps to balance the ph and get rid of extra acids in the cell system which can be damaging, i.e. allergy conditions, heart attacks, fatigue.)

-Kombucha aids in weight loss and can mega-boost your immune system.

-People that have cancer and liver diseases have actually been cured, as in the disease vanished, by drinking this tea. This drink is full of thousands of living organisms.

 
-Also, kombucha has been known to lower cholesterol, blood pressure & anxiety! (Another way, besides theanine, to relieve stress.) It can prevent cancer and get rid of cancerous cells already forming in the body. 

Kombucha tea originated during the China Tsin Dynasty in 212BC. It was known then as the Remedy of Immortality. A lot people today debate if it actually works or not, but in my experience, it has. I recover from colds faster and it makes my skin glow.



Monday, April 12, 2010

"The Day I Shot Cupid": REVIEWED.
...what a cute, waste-of-time book.

Jennifer Love Hewitt says she was inspired to write this book while talking to her girlfriends over drinks in Cabo.  I think after watching an episode of Sex and the City, she thought "I can do that". 

While it is cute and funny, it lacks a lot of meat!  Some of the pages have one or two sentences on them, while others have about 7.  It's basically the equivalent of having ONE martini with Jennifer Love Hewitt, or the conversation about dating that you could squeeze in while sipping it down.  She covers topics already covered in every single issue of Cosmo (ever) like the types of men, how having a mani/pedi for the first date will make you feel way more confident and why texting can be deadly.  Ladies, what's new about those topics?  However, those topics never get old, right? 

Yeah, we know that our boyfriends will look at other women.  Yeah, we know to never ask our boyfriends if we have cellulite.  Thanks for the friendly head's up, JLH. 

As women, we can all relate in that we love to bitch about men! Which, she says, was her inspiration behind writing a "book" about relationships. 

Towards the close of the book, it takes a wierd turn and becomes a self interview in a section titled "25 Things They Haven't Written About Me In The Press".  It's cool, but, uhh, isn't this a book about dating?  The self described book "that deserves a place tucked inside every woman's designer oversized handbag"? 

"It's only fitting that I end this book where I started. I am back in Cabo four years later, with a lot of water and dating under the bridge. So let's recap.  I came here the first time with a broken heart, my girlfriends, and an idea for this book.  Since then, I've dated a little, had a boyfriend, gotten engaged, had a fiance, planned a wedding, had to say good-bye and ended up not getting married, am still storing a wedding dress in my closet (ouch!), grieved, turned thirty, laughed, cried, and finally finished this book!"

One question:  FOUR YEARS??  Reading a magazine with Jennifer Love Hewitt on the cover would leave the same feeling in your brain as reading her book.  Not bored with it, but not stimulated either.


Photo courtesy of NBC Universal
Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt

Girl on the Go Finds Inspiration in Random Hallway Conversation

"What do you do when you're struggling to make a name for yourself?"  (I was feeling bummed about the struggles of getting a book published & tweeted that to @MVoltaggio). 

Michael Voltaggio:  I just put my head down and cook, the inspiration or reward is making people happy through food.
Image courtesy of The Dining Room at the Langham

While he is talking about food, I think the message is worth blogging about.  When making a name for yourself, you can't focus on yourself.  You surely can't focus on your fame or how many people know your name.  It doesn't matter if you are a librarian or a janitor or the president of the United States, without other people, you wouldn't have a job.  You need to focus on your craft. 

One of the reasons why I loved watching MV on Top Chef was because of his (cough, tattoos, cough) dry sense of humor.  I always find a dry sense of humor to be as refreshing as a dry martini after a long day.  (I'm a positive person, but I don't like fake peeps!) Plus, I miss Los Angeles and he lives there. Wierd, I know.

So here's the tale of the day I met him...

*

As the story of my life goes, I got stuck working on a Saturday.  Running a bit late, I was in the process of jumping off of an elevator, when I found an unexpected group meeting.  As you all know, I have a knack for running into important peeps, full speed.  Everyone was staring at me since I happened to be on my cell phone and they were quietly listening to someone rattling off words I'll never remember.  I made eye contact, like the kind that kind of makes your head spin because it's awkward but you aren't embarassed, with some random blonde guy.  In a white V-neck and jeans.  Many tattoos.  As I quietly ran away from the scene hoping my boss a. wasn't in the crowd and b. did not see my cell phone session, I wondered who the heck that was. 

I was vaguely aware that the Voltaggio Brothers were doing an appearance where I work that day but I figured there was no way they'd be there so early in the day.  I mean, celeb chefs don't help out with their own prep, right?  They, however, were.  The day progressed, the sun was beaming and I missed their live demo.  This live demonstration was the reason they were in Pittsburgh.  Afterwards, though, I snagged MV on a staircase.  I asked him for an autograph.  I wasn't quite sure why, since I'm a huge advocate of the whole 'celebrities are just people' thing.  Needless to say, he asked me for a pen.  I didn't have one, so he said, "Wanna walk with me?"

What the heck else did I have to do?  So, we walked for about five minutes in the back hallways of the largest grocery store in um, America, maybe. 

Me:  "Wow, it's so awesome you won Top Chef."
 Michael Voltaggio:  "Yeah, I'm pretty excited about it."

MV:  "Did you see the demo?"
Me:  "No! I'm so sorry, I've just been running around like a crazy girl!"
(Note:  This actually took place a few months ago, so I'd like to mention that if this were to have occurred in the present day, I would have had the chance to spend mega time with him & not just in a hallway.  Girls on the go make the best of what they have to work with, though!)

His assistant(or wife, or someone, that is yet to be deciphered) even stopped him to tell him he had things to do and he said "I have to get an autograph for her first".  Then he went on to joke about how his picture (that the store mass produced for him to autograph) was terrible. 

MV: "This is the worst picture ever taken of me, so do you mind if I sign over my face?"

I found him to be one of the most relaxed people I've ever met.  That's why I love Los Angeles.  Successful people are relaxed and tattooed.  He didn't have a personality that suggested "I just won Top Chef", it was more like "I just really love to be doing what I love, which is cooking."  You can honestly read that about him in just a few seconds after meeting him.  That was very refreshing.  After winning Top Chef, he went back to the same restaurant and worked crazy, long shifts.  In fact, after making an doing a live demonstration, he hopped on a plane back to LA to cook dinner at The Dining Room!

I gained a lot of respect for food in those minutes walking with him.  Food is art in it's most alive form.  A chef can create artwork that sustains a human body.  That's pretty damn admirable.  Food, itself, represents the areas of the world.  It can heal, it can kill, it can make you happy (when eating healthy) and can make you sad (when eating unhealthy). 

Food is a neccessary supplement to life.  Not just to staying alive, but living a fulfilled life.
I never really understood why food was so amazing because I never thought about it.  It always amazes me at how many worlds exist within just this one, how meeting someone new can open your eyes up to so much more than you thought existed.  So, that's the day Girl on the Go found inspiration in a random hallway conversation with Michael Voltaggio. 

TIP:  If you are in Pasadena, California, Michael Voltaggio is Chef de Cuisine of The Dining Room at the Langham
1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91106

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Girl on the Go meets Gourmet Cooking

Lately, I've had the opportunity to pick up a few Gourmet Cooking tricks.  I'm going to try to post recipes of things that any girl on the go can make (If I can do them, you can do them!).  So, I'd like to introduce a hopefully reccurring article titled "Girl on the Go Meets Gourmet Cooking".  Though, any established chef would laugh at what we call gourmet cooking.  It's time to break out of the meal on the go routine, with items like Cottage Cheese Doubles, Yoplait Yogurt & Balance Bars.  There is an entire world of food out there, let's explore it! Love who you are, love others and most importantly, love what you eat!

The day before yesterday, I bought 2 cuts of wild salmon.  Everyone loves salmon because it is healthy for your skin, hair and most importantly, your beating heart.  Not realizing that 2 cuts was more than enough to serve 2, I had one to save.  I stuck the first cut on the grill in aluminum foil and seasoned it with only salt and pepper.  Of course, it was more bland than a piece of cardboard, so I asked a chef at work how to make the second piece better.

"Cut it in half, flatten it, then layer the two slices", he says.  "In between the two layers, stick lemon zest and cilantro, then do standard breading procedure and pan fry it."

I'm sure a few of you might be wondering, "what is standard breading procedure"?  It's simple enough, but the title can make it sound way more badass than it really is.  Dip the fish in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.  TIP:  The best bread crumbs around are Panko Bread Crumbs. 

To pan fry it, the oil in the pan should be high enough so that half of the fish is submerged.  When you flip it, it will evenly cook. 

So, after I make it, I will post whether or not I set my kitchen on fire! 

(TIP:  Try to buy wild salmon, as farm raised salmon will always have more fat on it.)

“The only thing that I have ever successfully made in the kitchen is a mess. And several little fires."- Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

Whoa, Babies.

Maci from MTV's 16 & Pregnant
It seems like every girl you meet is prego, was just prego or is brainstorming a pregnancy.  Pregnancy is the latest target in reality television with shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Kendra accentuating celebrity pregnancy.  Everyone wants to see what the children of their favorite celebs will look like.  Not to mention, we all get a kick out of seeing these glamorous women being forced to be real with fat bellies and out of control cravings. At the end of the day, though, what are these shows promoting? Are these reality shows promoting healthy pregnancies in loving environments? 

MTV is making profits off of teen pregnancy with 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom.  A girl has to wonder if MTV is really trying to show the hardships of having a baby so young or if, really, they are saying teen pregnancy is cool because you might get to be on MTV. 

Why is pregnancy suddenly so cool?  It's been around since the creation of man.Why are young women behaving like they do in the movie "The Pregnancy Pact"? 
Is there a baby boom going on?  Are these reality shows healthy for teens and young women to be watching?  From the teens of today to the twenty-somethings, we all fall into the "Age of the Broken Home".  A fair majority of our parents are divorced and/or remarried.  Studies, as well as common sense, prove that the trauma of a divorce on the kids of the two fallen love birds is a terrible thing.  Quite a few of the teens on 16 & Pregnant can be heard saying something like, "hopefully my boyfriend and I can start a new family, one that is better that his or mine." 
At the end of the day, kids watching MTV idolize it and hear those lines.  Wanting to start a family better than the one you were raised in is a common thought that a lot of young people can relate to.  Teenage girls who are locked in their room watching MTV, attempting to zone out their problematic home-life can relate to these girls. 

Even for a more mature younger woman, watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians, there can still be a dramatic effect on a young woman's mind.  These days, you are what you watch on TV, apparently.  When Kourtney Kardashian found out she was pregnant, her first thought was to get an abortion.  She wasn't married or even in a relationship at the time.  Now, I'm sure many could say that she was in a situation that people "could relate to" so the show (Kourtney & Khloe take Miami) should be commended in that sense.  However, what ever happened girls in the limelight being positive role models?  Whatever happened to God?  Why is it socially unnacceptable to stand alone and say "I want to do the right thing"? Why has religion been completely uprooted from the media?  By even mentioning the fact that she might have had an abortion, Kourtney Kardashian told thousands of young women that worship her that abortion is an acceptable option. 

At the end of the day, Kardashian is just a girl and "Keeping Up With The Kardashians", while crazy, demonstrates a healthy, strong family life.  Plus, the girl wore pumps  throughout her pregnancy, which is admirable.  However, girls see celebrities like Kardashian making pregnancy a fashion statement with things like pumps and designer dresses that hide baby bumps and want to be just like her. 

The media can influence a child or a person more than ANY class in school.  It is EXTREMELY important to only watch TV shows that promote healthy activities.  Reality TV should be a serious concern for parents, as it would be a travesty for young, eager eyes to watch shows like "Bad Girls Club" and begin to think that life is how those young ladies behave. 

(Obviously, this is my own blog so I will say I don't support abortion but I don't judge anyone who has ever had one.) 
A Pregnant Kourtney Kardashian
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