Archive for September, 2009

Eat.Sweat.Blog.

September 30, 2009

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Eat. Sweat. Blog.

Now that sounds like something we can relate to!
The Socialworkout.com is serving up a challenge that incorporates all of the aspects of healthy living. The challenge, beginning October 1st and running through the entire month, encourages you to work out 20 times, achieve 10 of the many “food feats” they list, and blog about it on their site.

Food feats include simple lifestyle changes, such as going soda free for the month, dairy free for the week, being a localvore for the day, or working a shift at a food bank.

The site plans to post a daily food/ exercise pairing to help you get started.

Log onto The Socialworkout.com today to sign up for the challenge, and follow indigojones on their site, as we eat, sweat and blog throughout  the month.

The Social Workout Fall Challenge is sponsored by City Harvest, Equinox, Whole Foods, The Kitchn, Cleanplates and Rouge Tomate.

photo: Spencer Jones/Glasshouse Images

Larger Than Life

September 25, 2009

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Faces, and the anomalies and characteristics that make each one individual have always captivated Victoria Selbach. Her strikingly modern, larger than life portraits truly capture each subject’s depth and inner beauty, as seen in her most recent body of work entitled “Friends”.

A fashion design executive currently on hiatus, Victoria has taken the opportunity to pursue her passion for painting. Her eye for color, texture and style clearly radiates in her work, as she captures the subtleties of her models. Her strong use of shadow and light, as well as scale, takes her work from the realm of traditional portraiture, into the world of contemporary art.Liv-424x291-2-1

Next up for the artist is a series of nudes, the first of which is featured in her current gallery show.

Victoria Selbach’s work can be found at Martha de Groot in Port Washington New York.

It is also featured on Absolute Arts and the artist’s own site.

Unrecipe of the Week

September 23, 2009

Chicken Soup

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The first cold of the season has officially infiltrated our home, signaling the time is right for homemade chicken soup.
It’s simple to make, and soothes our stuffy noses and our soul.

Take a whole chicken and have it cut in quarters.

Put the chicken into a large stock pot, fill it 3/4 way up with water and bring it to a boil.

When the mixture starts to boil, skim off the foam that rises to the surface.

Add a large onion cut into quarters, a handful of parsley, and carrots, celery and one or 2 parsnips, all cut into 2″ chunks.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Reduce the heat so that the soup is gently boiling.

Cook for 3 to 4 hours.

Strain the soup to remove all of the chicken and vegetables. Refridgerate the broth until the fat comes to the top and solidifies. Skim this off  before serving.

To serve, reheat the broth until boiling. Shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones and add it to the soup. The carrots can be diced and added back in as well. Discard all of the other vegetables. Add cooked noodles or matza balls as desired,

The soup freezes well and can be used as needed. The plain broth is a great base for all kinds of other soups.

Enjoy!

Hint: Did you know that some chickens are better than others for soup making? Ask your butcher for a “soup chicken” which is specifically an older hen. Free range chickens, although great for roasting, don’t have enough fat to make a tasty soup.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Art and Industry

September 21, 2009

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Art meets industry in these necklaces designed by newcomer, Marla Aaron.
A communications executive by day, jewelry designer by night, Marla mixes industrial or found objects with semiprecious stones to create a range of mix and match necklaces, that are truly one of a kind.

Inspired by her grandmothers’ mutual, yet very different love of jewelry, Marla has merged these diverse influences in her work.

The necklaces, which start with a sterling silver lock, (cast from an industrial lock) allow the wearer to personalize their piece with chains, stones or pearls that can be worn long, or wrapped as chokers and bracelets. Prices range from $150 for the lock, to as much as $1500, depending on the materials.

Currently, Marla is evolving the collection to include some gold items, as well as bringing her locket designs to market. She is also working on a line of men’s cufflinks that combine resin and stones and stay true to her industrial sensibilities.   IMG_9201

Marla Aaron’s collection is available at Plum on Ludlow Street in New York City, or directly through the designer at: tastefairy@gmail.com

Photos: Joseph Meloy

Unrecipe of the Week

September 16, 2009

1279800115.JPGChicken with Dried Apricots and Thyme

As autumn approaches, it’s nice to change up the ingredients and create dishes that feel more in keeping with the season. The dried apricots, balsamic vinegar and woodsy thyme make this chicken dish a perfect entrée for fall.

Sprinkle skinless, boneless chicken breasts with salt and pepper and sauté in olive oil until browned on both sides.

Add balsamic vinegar (a few tablespoons) and chicken broth (about a cup or so) to the pan. The breasts should be almost covered with liquid.

Add dried apricots and several thyme sprigs (stems removed) to the pan.

Cook on medium heat until the chicken is cooked through and tender, and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 20 minutes. The sauce should start to caramelize slightly.

This is great when served with cous cous or brown rice.

Enjoy!

Helpful hint: To easily remove the leaves from fresh herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, simply run your thumb and forefinger down the stem, grabbing the leaves as you go. They should fall off easily!

photo: Glasshouse Images

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

September 14, 2009

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What is going on in the world lately? It seems that good manners and respectful behavior have gone the way of the Walkman!

This week, we saw South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson interrupt the President of the United States by calling him a liar during his speech on healthcare reform, tennis star Serena Williams had a very public meltdown at the US Open, and Kanye West grabbed the microphone out of Taylor Swift’s hand during her acceptance speech at the VMA’s, to talk about fellow nominee, Beyonce.
It doesn’t get much ruder than that!
We all have bad days, and sometimes say things we regret. These cases go much further than that. The ego, rudeness and audacity that these supposed role models have shown us, is unacceptable. To add insult to injury, each one has issued a self-serving and insincere statement justifying their behavior.
Hey Kanye, take a lesson from the grace and dignity that both Taylor Swift and Beyonce demonstrated last night. Make a real apology, mean it, and then quietly go away.
Sometimes you have to eat a little crow. We hear it tastes like chicken.

artwork: Courtesy of Perez Hilton

Smart Choices?

September 13, 2009

2117900437.JPGA new food labeling program called “Smart Choices” is designed to help shoppers easily identify smarter food and beverage choices.

The green label with a large checkmark is appearing on hundreds of food items, much to the chagrin of many nutritionists.

It is no wonder that obesity and diabetes run rampant in a country where the Food and Drug Administration has deemed sugar laden Froot Loops and Cocoa Krispies healthy grains, and full fat mayonnaise and artificially sweetened Fudgesicles as “smart choices”.

Yet these foods fit within the FDA guidelines of not exceeding the very generous limits of sugar, fat and sodium per serving.

It seems to me that the real healthy choices come in nature’s own packaging. If it made it into a box, chances are pretty strong that it has been processed and refined. Call me crazy, but it would be tough to print check marks on the real “smart choices” such as fresh fruits (even the spelling of Froot has been altered in the cereal version) vegetables, lean meats and seafood. Have you ever tried to hold a live fish, let alone print a check mark on its side?

Once again, industry is preying on the poorly educated consumer, who believe that endorsement from the FDA and approval from the Smart Choices program is helping them make informed and positive choices in the food they buy.

Dr. Eileen T. Kennedy, president of the Smart Choices Board and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, defended the program in the New York Times, stating that “consumers are smart enough to deduce that if it doesn’t have a checkmark, by implication it’s not a “better for you” product.” She cited the example that given the choice between Froot Loops and a donut, the cereal is a better choice. But what about whole grains, such as oatmeal and low fat dairy, such as yoghurt instead? Aren’t they MUCH better for you products? The comparisons are relative. Two bad choices don’t make a good one.

We believe that educating the American public on the benefits of good nutrition and physical exercise is a much more noble and useful deed for our government to indulge in than this misguided labeling effort.

photo: adapted from Glasshouse Images

Words of Wisdom Never Get Old

September 10, 2009

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Here I sit in utter disbelief, as I read that a large number of parents chose to ban their children from hearing the President of the United States speak to them about focusing on their education.

This man, who “we the people” elected into office, is not spreading Socialist propaganda, nor is he using our youth to further his own personal agenda.

He is, however, trying to make a difference and instill strong moral values and a sense of hope into kids who are struggling with the fall out of our current economy.

What kind of values are we teaching our children, when we tell them that the most powerful leader in the world should be ignored? Is that not teaching them to be disrespectful of those in positions of authority?

It seems to me, that the Conservatives are so caught up in their own personal prejudices, that they are unwilling to embrace any ideas that are not their own.

Perhaps we should all step back and take a lesson from Eleanor Roosevelt, who seemed to possess an uncanny understanding of the world as it is today.

Sometimes I wonder if we shall ever grow up in our politics and say definite things which mean something, or whether we shall always go on using generalities to which everyone can subscribe and which mean very little.”

“It takes as much energy to wish, as to plan. It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.”

“ Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both. Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.”

“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. What is to give light must endure the burning.”

“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.”

Perhaps it is time for all of the great minds to come together to find solutions for our country’s woes. Perhaps it is time for our leaders to have the courage to “light a candle”, and “endure the burning” for the greater good of our country. Perhaps, in using our energy to plan, we can fulfill the universal wish for health and prosperity, and world peace. Surely we can all agree on that.

Photo: Spencer Jones/Glasshouse Images

Fashion’s Night Out

September 9, 2009

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Join the global celebration of fashion by participating in the first ever “Fashion’s Night Out” event, being held September 10th, in New York City, and major fashion capitals worldwide.
The event is co-sponsored by Vogue, the CFDA and The City of New York, and features over 700 participating retailers. From 6pm to 11pm on Thursday, stores will feature music, hors d’ oeuvres, and special appearances capped off by Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Michael Kors appearing with the cast of “Hair” at the Macy’s in Queens!!

Masterminded by Ms. Wintour and spearheaded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the evening is intended to enliven the consumer spirit that churns our economy.

As fashion week approaches and the weather begins to cool, we are all itching for something new. Fashion’s Night Out is the perfect excuse to get out and shop while enjoying all of the great activities taking place around town.

To find out up to date information on special events and appearances, log onto http://www.fashionsnightout.com/timeline.php and shop til you drop!

photo: Glasshouse Images


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