Thursday, March 25, 2010

DOPE: Turn Me Away (Get MuNNY) - Erykah Badu

I am so looking forward to this album dropping!! This is the second song I've heard from "New Amerykah Pt. 2: Return of the Ankh" and I think it's awesome!!!





The album drops next week, but the cd is available for preorder through Amazon.com --


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yummm! Neneh & Andi Dish It Up : Sunday Lunch

Here's a little secret about me (and the folks that know me from way back can vouch): When I was 11 or 12 years old, I wanted to be Neneh Cherry. So much so, that I almost got a Wave Nouveau for my 6th grade graduation, after showing my stylist a picture of her. Fortunately, I realized what she was trying to do in time and it never happened!!!

Imagine my joy years later when I discovered (courtesy of YouTube) that Neneh Cherry is a Foodie, like I am... and in fact actually had her own cooking show with BFF Andi Oliver? This show is dope, nuff said. The few episodes I've been able to see online were great. I wanted to share one of my favorite episodes, along with the recipes. Enjoy!!!





Balsamic, maple and molasses-dipped roast lamb
Ingredients

For the liquid marinade
splash olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ (75cl) bottle red wine
100ml/3½fl oz balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp molasses
3 tbsp maple syrup
For the dry marinade
small handful rosemary, chopped
small handful thyme, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
splash olive oil
For the lamb
1 x 2kg/4lb 6oz leg of lamb
1-2 sprigs rosemary (optional)
1-2 sprigs thyme (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the gravy
splash olive oil
½ onion, finely chopped
all the lamb marinade and pan juices
½ (75cl) bottle red wine
lamb stock, if needed
knob butter (if necessary)
1 tsp flour (if necessary)

Method

1. For the liquid marinade, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a low heat. Add the red onion and garlic and cook until softened.
2. Add the remaining liquid marinade ingredients and simmer until the mixture takes on a slightly syrupy consistency. Leave to one side.
3. For the dry marinade, crush the rosemary, thyme and garlic in a pestle and mortar, along with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a splash of olive oil.
4. Run the lamb under cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place the lamb on a baking tray.
5. Using a sharp knife, make incisions in the lamb, deep enough to pierce the fat, but without cutting through the flesh.
6. Push pinches of the dry marinade down into the incisions in the lamb, reserving a small amount. You can use the handle of a teaspoon to push the marinade into the lamb, or alternatively use your fingers.
7. Pour over the liquid marinade, taking care to cover all the lamb. Sprinkle over the remaining dry marinade. Cover the lamb with cling film and set aside.
8. If you like, you can drop in a sprig or two of rosemary or thyme to the marinade surrounding the lamb. Leave the lamb overnight (or about two hours if you don't have time).
9. When you are ready to cook the lamb, preheat the oven to 220C/400F/Gas 7. Spoon the marinade surrounding the lamb out of the tray and into a bowl. Sprinkle the lamb with more sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
10. Place the lamb in the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes.
11. After 20 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180C/350F/Gas 4. At 30-40 minute intervals, remove the tray from the oven and baste the lamb with the marinade liquid in the tray and any reserved liquid from the bowl.
12. After two hours coking time, remove the lamb from the oven and let it rest in a warm place for at least ten minutes before carving.
13. For the gravy, heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook until the onion is softened, but not coloured. Add what is left from the lamb marinade in the bowl, any juices that have collected in the tray and the wine. If you feel there is not enough liquid, add some lamb stock.
14. Boil the gravy vigorously for a few minutes and then turn down and simmer until you are ready to serve - the liquid should reduce and thicken. If the gravy appears too thin, make a paste in a small bowl by mixing together a small amount of butter and flour with your fingers. Whisk the paste into the simmering gravy to thicken the gravy.
15. Serve the lamb in slices with the gravy poured over.



Callaloo-inspired greens
Ingredients

5 handfuls spring greens or fresh callallo or spinach
dash olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
100ml/3½fl oz chicken stock (vegetarians can substitute with vegetable stock)
salt and freshly ground black pepper (or substitute the salt with soy sauce or tamari)

Method

1. Wash the greens under a cold tap. Drain them well, then chop roughly and set aside.
2. Pour the olive oil into a heavy-based pan, add the crushed garlic and the spring onions. Cook for a few minutes until softened but not coloured, then add the chopped greens, a handful at a time.
3. If the pan starts to overflow, leave the greens for 1-2 minutes to cook down, then add the remainder.
4. After a few minutes of cooking, gradually add the vinegar and stock - don't add so much stock that the greens become soaked. Add salt (or soy sauce or tamari) and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
5. When the greens are tender and shiny, remove from the heat and transfer to a serving dish. Serve hot.



Roasted vegetable stack on griddled halloumi cheese with minted grapefruit dressing
Ingredients

1 each red, green, and yellow sweet peppers, quartered, seeds removed
1 medium aubergine, sliced in half lengthways
1 medium courgette, sliced in half lengthways
olive oil
1 x 250g/9oz block halloumi cheese
courgette flowers, for garnish (if available)
4 mint sprigs, to garnish
For the dressing
1 x 200ml/7fl oz pot low-fat crème fraîche
½ handful fresh mint, finely chopped
½ ruby grapefruit, juice and flesh
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. Place the prepared peppers, aubergine and courgette on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast for about half an hour, until the vegetables are tender and slightly crusty on the outside. Place the vegetables to one side.
3. Cut the halloumi lengthways into eight slices. Brush a griddle pan with oil and place over a medium heat. Place the halloumi on the griddle pan and cook until golden-brown on both sides.
4. Place a slice of halloumi on each of four plates and stack alternate slices of the vegetables on top. Finish with another slice of the cheese on top.
5. For the dressing, place the crème fraîche, mint, grapefruit juice and grapefruit flesh in a bowl. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
6. Serve the dressing alongside the vegetable stack garnished with courgette flowers (if using) and mint sprigs.

Hibiscus sorbet cocktail*
Ingredients
1 x 75g/2½oz sorrel
Honey, to taste
Maple syrup, to taste (alternatively replace the honey and maple syrup with sugar to taste)
Large handful ice
4 shots vodka
1 punnet frozen raspberries
1 punnet frozen tropical fruit
1 bottle rosé champagne or cava
1 bunch fresh mint
Dash lime juice
A few mint leaves
Angostura Bitters

Method
1. Boil a medium-sized kettle of water.
2. Place the sorrel in a large pan and pour in most of the kettle of boiled water.
3. Let the water cool, strain the flowers and discard them. Sweeten with honey and maple syrup to taste (or, if you prefer, just use sugar to taste).
4. Fill a blender with the ice, vodka, raspberries and tropical fruit and about 300ml/½ pint of the brewed hibiscus-flavoured water, then blend. (You can add a tablespoon of honey, syrup or sugar to the remaining brewed hibiscus and keep it in the refrigerator for a refreshing drink.) At this point it should have a slushy consistency.
5. To serve, pour the blended mix into a Martini glass until half-full, then top up with champagne (or cava). Add a dash of lime and garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve with a small spoon if desired or drink it like a frozen Margarita.


*For some reason, the link on BBC isn't working, but I found the recipe here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

DO SOMETHING: Hold the Republican Party Accountable


You've probably heard about Tea Party members shouting "N****r!" at Black Congressmen during a protest in Washington, D.C. last weekend. One of the protesters spat on Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver, while another called openly gay Representative Barney Frank a "f****t" as the laughing crowd imitated his lisp.1

But Saturday was just the most recent example of the intolerance and hate coming from right-wing extremists this past year. At times it's been instigated by Republican leaders. When not, it's usually condoned and seen as part of a strategy to score politically. Either way, it's completely unacceptable and has to stop.

It's time to confront Republican leadership and force them to take responsibility for the atmosphere they've helped create. Please join me in signing ColorOfChange's petition confronting Republican leaders about hate and fear-mongering in their party, and ask your friends and family to do the same:

http://colorofchange.org/hate/?id=2026-910062

We're calling on RNC Chair Michael Steele, House Minority Leader John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to publicly do two simple things:

- Unequivocally condemn bigotry and hate among their supporters, and make clear that those who embrace it have no place in their party.

- Make clear that they will not tolerate fear-mongering and coded appeals to racism from officials in the Republican party, at any level.

Republican leaders publicly denounced Saturday's ugly scene, but they failed to acknowledge that this is only the latest incident in a pattern of violent rhetoric, racially charged imagery, and paranoid conspiracy theories at Tea Party rallies.2 Many Tea Partiers aren't simply about dissent -- they use fear and hatred to assault the very legitimacy of our elected leaders. It's the worst America has to offer. Despite this, Republican leaders court the Tea Party movement while methodically supporting, exacerbating and exploiting their fear and anger for cynical political ends.3 This is nothing less than a betrayal of American values, and it's up to us to force the Republicans to stop aiding and abetting this enterprise:

http://colorofchange.org/hate/?id=2026-910062

The Tea Party movement has been marked by racially inflammatory and violent outbursts since its inception a year ago. GOP leaders are trying to pass off this weekend's assaults on Congressmen Lewis, Cleaver, Clyburn and Frank as isolated incidents. But when so-called "isolated incidents" crop up again and again, a pattern starts to emerge. The examples are numerous.

At rallies held to protest tax day last year, Tea Partiers carried signs that announced "Obama's Plan: White Slavery," "The American Taxpayers are the Jews for Obama's Oven," and "Guns Tomorrow!"4 The Republican National Committee had endorsed the rallies, and RNC Chairman Michael Steele encouraged Tea Partiers to send a "virtual tea bag" to President Obama and Democratic Congressional leadership.5 After reports of the fear-mongering signs surfaced, Steele did nothing to distance his party from the lunatic fringe. He has even gone so far as to say that if he didn't have his current position, he'd be "out there with the tea partiers."6

The Tea Party's venomous rhetoric picked up steam over the summer, when angry mobs flooded town hall meetings legislators had organized as sites for rational, civil debate on health care reform. After one meeting in Atlanta, a swastika was painted on the office of Congressman David Scott (D-GA), who had also received a flier addressed to "ni**a David Scott"7 Some protesters showed up at town hall meetings carrying guns, including at least one man who was armed at an event where the President was speaking.8 Again, Republicans responded to these tactics with silence, doing nothing to denounce them.

Our country deserves better than this. No matter what party one supports, we should all take strong action to support civil, honest, and respectful public debate. Please join me in calling on Republican leaders to denounce racist rhetoric and fear-mongering, and reject it from their party. And when you do, please ask your family and friends to do the same:

http://colorofchange.org/hate/?id=2026-910062

Peace from Brooklyn!!!!

References
 1. http://huff.to/atRmru
2. http://huff.to/9Sgf3S
3. http://huff.to/c4ZOH4
4. See Reference 2
5. http://huff.to/3nzZE
6. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0110/31177.html
7. http://bit.ly/8YInIb
8. http://bit.ly/LV1wb

Monday, March 22, 2010

Music Therapy with Miss Moon

Everybody needs a good anthem. For the past decade, mine has been "32 Flavors" by Alana Davis. Written by and sung beautifully by Ani DiFranco originally, Alana's version (imho) is a bit more anthem-y!





Squint your eyes and look closer
I'm not between you and your ambition
I am a poster girl with no poster, I am 32 flavors and then some
And I'm beyond your peripheral vision so you might want to turn your head
'Cause someday you're going to get hungry and eat all of the words that you just said
I am what I am, I am 32 flavors and then some
God help you if you are an ugly
Course too pretty is also your doom
'Cause everyone harbors a secret hatred for the prettiest girl in the room
God help you if you are a phoenix and you dare to rise up from ash
A thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy while you are just flying past
I am what i am, I am 32 flavors and then some
I'm taking my chances as they come
I am 32 flavors and then some, I'm nobody but I am someone, someone...
I'd never try to give my life meaning by demeaning you
And I would like to state for the record...
I did everything that I could do
I am beyond your peripheral vision so you might want to turn your head
'Cause someday you're going to be starving and eating al the words that you just said
That you said
I am what I am, I am what I am
I am 32 flavors and then some
I'm taking my chances as they come
I am 32 flavors and then some
I'm looking for truth and there is none
32 flavors and then some
I'll never forget where I came from
32 flavors and then some
I'm nobody but I am someone
32 flavors and then some
I'm taking my chances as they come
32 flavors and then some
Looking for truth and there is none

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Be Blessed: Two Families



Most of us are very very fortunate to have two sets of familys to guide and love us through life: Our Blood family and our Spiritual family.

Our Blood family is there from the beginning, teaching us right from wrong, through lesson and example.
Our Spiritual family are those we meet along the way in our journey called life. We choose them as Spiritual family based on trust, love, and the utmost respect.

I have discovered that the benefit of having these two sets of family is that you never really feel alone. You never feel unloved or uncared for. There is always someone there with a shoulder, sage advice and a laugh. And how fortunate are you if you have both Blood and Spiritual family combined.

This week I will show appreciation to all of my family: They have helped me become the woman I am today. And I am pretty awesome, if I do say so myself, so that is definitely a good thing!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Little [BLUES TRAVELER] for a Saturday Night




The Mountain Wins Again "Blues Traveler"

Yummm! Picnic in the Park!!!!

Around New York City, the evidence suggests that Spring has OFFICIALLY sprung!!! And I am sure that I am not the only New Yorker that says, "It's about time!!!" lol

I cannot wait until the weather is warm enough to spend the entire day at the park (or the beach!), with friends, great music, and of course... a picnic feast!!!



Iced Tea with Grenadine
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis, Food Network



Ingredients
4 cups iced tea (homemade or store-bought)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
1/4 cup grenadine
Ice, for serving
Directions
In a large ball jar (or other transporting container), mix together the tea, lemon juice, and grenadine. Pour over ice when ready to serve.

Zesty Chicken Salad Spread Recipe
Recipe Courtesy of About Home Cooking



Ingredients:

3 ounces (small block) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup ranch salad dressing
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 (12.5 ounces) can chicken, drained (see Notes)
1/4 cup minced sweet onion
1/4 cup minced roasted red pepper (jarred are fine)
1-1/2 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 to 3 drops liquid smoke, optional
1 Tablespoon chopped chives
Minced parsley for garnish
Preparation:

Whisk together cream cheese, ranch dressing, and Dijon mustard until smooth.

Mash chicken with a fork in a medium bowl until it is shredded. Add dressing mixture, sweet onion, roasted red peppers, and relish. Stir to combine. Taste and add salt, pepper, and liquid smoke, if using. Fold in chives. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight to allow flavors to meld.

Use as a spread for crackers or as a sandwich spread.

Yield: about 2 cups
Notes: Feel free to substitute chopped rotisserie chicken or albacore tuna for the canned chicken.

Spicy Hummus
Recipe Courtesy of Big Oven



INGREDIENTS
1 can Garbanzo Beans drained, reserve 2 tbls. of liquid
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. paprika

PREPARATION
Place all ingredients in food processor or blender, including the 2 tbls. reserved liquid. Puree until smooth. Serve with warm pita, raw veggies, veggie or rice chips. Can also be used as a sandwich spread or on chicken.


Tomato and Garlic Pasta Salad
Recipe Courtesy of Big Oven



INGREDIENTS
1 pound Medium shells
1/3 cup Extra-light Tasting Olive oil
2 can (12 oz) Tomatoes whole peeled
1 can (16 oz) Black olives sliced
1/2 cup Fresh Parsley chopped
1 1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper
1 clove Garlic (Use two if cloves are small)

PREPARATION
Prepare shells according to package directions; rinse in cold water until shells have cooled, then drain.

Meanwhile drain tomatoes, reserving liquid. Cut up whole peeled tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Mince garlic very finely (or press) and add to tomatoes. Add sliced black olives, chopped fresh parsley, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Stir to combine.

Add cooked and drained shells. Mix gently to combine. Add a tablespoon or two of the tomato juice to moisten. Chill for at least an hour, longer is preferred. Stir in a little more tomato juice before serving if pasta seems dry.

Herb Potato Salad
Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten, Food Network



Ingredients
3 pounds small white boiling potatoes
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons good dry white wine
2 tablespoons chicken stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Directions
Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot off the heat and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Leave the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender but firm.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the wine, chicken stock, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Set aside.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters or halves, depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl and pour enough dressing over them to moisten. (As the salad sits, you may need to add more dressing.) Add the onion, tarragon and parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Barbecue Chicken
Recipe courtesy The Neelys



Ingredients
2 lbs chicken wingettes
1 1/2 cups Italian dressing, recipe follows
1/4 cup Neelys Barbecue Seasoning, recipe follows
1 cup Neelys Barbecue Sauce, recipe follows

Directions
Rinse chicken in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken in a large bowl or baking dish, coat with Italian dressing and evenly season with Neelys seasoning. For best results, allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

If Cooking Inside:
Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and brush chicken with Neelys Barbeque Sauce.

Place into a preheated 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes. The wings should become very tender and will easily pull away at the joints. Brush the chicken with Neelys Barbecue sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Neely Italian Dressing:
2 tablespoons ground mustard
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Neelys Barbecue Seasoning
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup canola oil
Salt and pepper
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, except the oil and salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Neelys BBQ Seasoning:
1 1/2 cups paprika
3/4 cup sugar
3 3/4 tablespoons onion powder
Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until combined. Keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Neelys BBQ Sauce

2 cups ketchup
1 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons light brown sugar
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Miss Moon's Musing About: My Top 5 Chocolate-Covered Remakes*

* Chocolate-Covered Remakes: Songs originally sung by white performers and remade by a black one.

I started thinking of my favorite Chocolate-Covered Remakes and thought I would share my Top Five list. I started the list on my FaceBook page and decided to do it here instead. Not only did some of these songs take me back to my late teens and early twenties, but it made my poor sore throat come back singing along! LOL Enjoy!



#5 Divine, "One More Try" (Originally sung by George Michael)





#4 The Braids, "Bohemian Rhapsody" (Originally sung by Queen)





#3 Destiny's Child, "Emotions" (Originally sung by The BeeGees)





#2 En Vogue, "Yesterday" (Originally sung by The Beatles)







HONORABLE MENTION Erykah Badu, "Melissa" (Originally sung by The Allman Brothers)



This would've been my hands down #1, but Erykah never released this as a single! And as far as I know, there is no soundtrack to the David Duchovny film "House of D" in which she sang it...Boooo!



#1 Brownstone, "I Can't Tell You Why" (Originally sung by The Eagles)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

DOPE: "Window Seat (Teaser Video)" Erykah Badu


I am so excited about Erykah Badu's newest album,"New Amerykah Part II: Return Of The Ankh," (Which will be released on March 30, 2010) based on this video. This song is... simply put... DOPE! LOL



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Miss Moon's Musing About: Overstock OverSucks!

This weekend there was an electrical fire in my office building. As a result, the building has been closed and I've been working from home. Rumor has it that it will be a few weeks before I'll be able to get back in the building. And *The* Bag was scheduled to be delivered Monday from Overstock.com... Oy!I contacted UPS to explain the situation and they suggested I contact Overstock to see if a replacement bag can be sent out. Mind you, my bag is in a box on its way back to their fulfillment center. They said they couldn't ship a replacement because the bag is out of stock. They can refund my card and I can place an order for a different bag and once again pay shipping and handling.

Both representatives that I spoke with were apathetic and not willing to go above and beyond. Any plausible work-around was first suggested by me. And I shouldn't have to offer suggestions (based on my Customer Support background) on how THEY can assist ME, the customer! But I did and they were unwilling to ensure that I don't have to pay more money to get a bag within the date range I should've gotten the first one. And to make matters worse, when I voiced my dissatisfaction with the company and requested that someone in management be given my feedback along with the promise that I will not be ordering from Overstock.com again, the representative said "Oh this was an isolated incident and it doesn't happen all the time".... I don't really care if this happens 3 to 4 times a week. It happened to me!

But you know what this whole thing has taught me? Things happen for a reason: I was able to find a similar bag on Ebay for less money, and I will be getting this bag with a free Dust Cover, Shopping Bag and Purse Hook. And I should get it by next week! So Overstock.com? Not so much with me anymore!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Be Blessed: Finding Our Own Paths (Courtesy of the Daily Om)

Finding Our Own Paths
Entering Awareness

Entering into our own spirituality is a private journey. Each of us will be drawn to a different gateway to begin on our personal path to awakening to a greater experience of ourselves. Even though we may be taught certain philosophies or beliefs as children, we still need to find our own way of understanding and applying them in our lives. For those who are raised without a spiritual framework, they may not even know their process as a form of spirituality. But at some stage in their lives, whether in youth or adulthood, they are likely to recognize the resonance of their beliefs, the ring of truth in their philosophy, and their dedication to their chosen purpose.

Our inner guidance will lead us, so that we will be drawn to the right doorway for us--a doorway that only we can recognize by the way it makes us feel inside. It could be a picture of an angel or the gift of a crystal. We may meet someone special who shares their experiences with us in a way that we find intriguing. While visiting the home of an admired friend, we may notice a book or statue of a diety, and ask why they chose those tools. Or a word or phrase may catch our attention in a song, or a lecture. For some they may find their way by walking through the experience of illness before they begin the search for what will help them to truly heal, while others may seek physical improvement and stumble across yoga or meditation--only to find that it leads them to an unexpected place beyond the body.

As we awaken to ourselves and to life, we will become more attuned to what is right for us. The universe speaks to all of us through infinite channels, but we each have our own frequency. Others may share what worked for them, but only we can decide what truly makes us feel inspired, awakened, connected, fully conscious, aware and alive. Whatever our path, it is perfect and is meant especially for us.





The Daily Om is a great website that (in their own words) nurtures the body, mind and spirit. For more information, click here or visit http://www.dailyom.com/

Thursday, March 11, 2010

:::drools::: Heavenly Hoop Earrings from Etsy!!

I've been experiencing the worst luck with earrings lately. Since 2010 has begun, I've lost over 3 pairs of earrings I normally wore in heavy rotation. It culminated this week with losing one half of my favorite pair of sterling silver hoops.

One of the best places to search for unique and inexpensive jewelry is on Etsy... Here are some beautiful baubles I've found in the past few days!!


From 2TrickPony these hammered sterling silver hoops are A STEAL at $33.00


These Cold Forged Green Turquoise Hoops from LisasLovlies are totally drool worthy! And for $32?!?

There are a few more, but I am presently getting my tuchus whipped by a cold, so I am going to cut it off short! More to come!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Music Therapy with Miss Moon

This week's song is one that comes straight from my childhood. I call songs like this "Mix 105 Songs", after the now defunct radio station here in NYC. My Mum used to play Mix 105 in the morning, so my time spent getting ready for school was seasoned with the hits from the "70s, 80s and today" (Mix 105's old tag line)


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

DO SOMETHING: Stop Violence Against Women

From the International Rescue Committee (IRC):

In the chaos of conflict and disaster, women and girls can suffer unspeakable violence, exploitation and abuse. The odds are against them as they struggle to survive and protect themselves and their families.

Urge Congressional leaders to support the International Violence Against Women Act and ensure that Congress passes it without delay. This legislation will empower women to claim their most fundamental human rights. With the necessary resources for medical care, counseling, economic opportunities and education, women and girls can win in the fight against violence.





To read and sign the petition, please go to https://www.theirc.org/campaign/women-vs-violence?ms=cm_bust_mar_zzzz_kg_10zzzz

Quest for *THE* Bag: Is OVER.... For Now!

I found a site online that sells designer replicas and managed to find a knock off of *THE* Bag.... but I decided not to get it.

Armed with a 15% off coupon, I ended up purchasing the BCBG Max Azria 'Urban Rock' Leather Hobo Bag from Overstock.com

I fell in love with this deep dark chocolate color and came to the conclusion that this will be *THE* Bag of my dreams... until I hit lotto! LOL

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Be Blessed: Making Mistakes

" Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes." Confucius

This may come as a great surprise... but I'm far from being perfect! LOL

I've discovered that when I make mistakes, no consequence is more difficult to endure than the negative talk that goes on within. A simple human error becomes an inner dialog in which all the things I feel inadequate about are brought to light and presented... my failure being the proof of it all.

Forgiving myself for making mistakes is something that I am working on, so I knew that I wanted to share this process because I am sure many of you are like me in this regard. One minor error, one failure to communicate and your self esteem is in the cross-hairs.

We forgive the people in our lives: friends, family, co-workers, significant others for same things we continue to beat ourselves up about. Something that "isn't that big of a deal" when done by others becomes seemingly catastrophic when we make that same error.

Alexander Pope's famous quote is "To err is human, to forgive is divine". Very true, especially, I believe, when we forgive ourselves.

Forgiveness Affirmation

I approve and love of myself, I am heathy, beautiful, loving, giving, I give thanks for all that I have and all that I shall be. I am open to all possibilities. I have abundance in all areas of my life,I begin again and again, to reinvent myself daily.




This week I am going to remember that when I make a mistake, I am being given a lesson in forgiving myself, and in doing so, I am given a tremendous a blessing.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Little [NIKKA COSTA] for a Saturday Night

I dare you to deny the "Shake Your Ass" awesomeness of "Like a Feather".... This song would make a paraplegic booty pop!





Yummm! SPICY Mac and Cheese, please!!

Who doesn't low the comfort food AWESOMENESS that is Macaroni and Cheese? I am a pretty good cook (my friends and loved ones can co-sign on that one for me) but I have yet to mastered the fine art of mac and cheese... which is such an epic fail for me. One of my unofficial NYE resolutions for 2010 was to master the fine art of making it.

So for the past few weeks, I've been assembling macaroni and cheese recipes that I fully intend on trying. And because I am truly one for a challenge, instead of starting with the simple recipe.... of course these are the recipes I choose to begin with:

Spicy Smoky Macaroni and Cheese with Turkey Bacon
Recipe Courtesy of AllRecipes.com

This isn't a baked mac and cheese recipe, but it definitely peaked my interest!


* 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked shell pasta
* 10 slices turkey bacon
* 1 (1 pound) loaf processed cheese food (such as Velveeta®), cubed
* 3/4 cup heavy cream
* 1/2 cup fat free half-and-half
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 3/8 teaspoon smoked paprika

Directions

1. Bring a large pot with lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Stir in the shell pasta and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 13 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.
2. While the pasta is cooking, place the turkey bacon strips between two paper towels on a microwave-safe plate. Cook in the microwave on High until the bacon is crispy, 4 to 6 minutes depending on the microwave. Allow the bacon to cool; crumble and set aside.
3. Once the pasta has cooked and is draining, combine the processed cheese, cream, and half-and-half in the pot that was used to cook the pasta. Cook and stir over medium heat until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbly. Remove from the heat; stir in the paprika, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and crumbled turkey bacon. Stir the cooked pasta into the sauce until evenly coated.

Spicy Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson, Food Network


This doesn't seem too complicated. I love Sunny Anderson's show, Cooking for Real, because she really takes all the intimidation out of cooking!

Ingredients
2 cups elbow pasta, cooked until almost al dente
16 ounces Cheddar cheese, 1/2 cubed, 1/2 shredded
8 ounces Monterey pepper jack cheese, cubed
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
4 slices bread
1 tablespoon butter
Special equipment: 2-quart baking dish

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss together pasta with the cheese cubes and pour into the baking dish. In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, nutmeg and sour cream, egg, heavy cream and half-and-half. Pour over the pasta and cover with shredded Cheddar. Bake uncovered until top is just beginning to brown, about 35 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the bread into crouton-sized squares. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter, add cubes and toast until golden. Sprinkle the bread cubes on top of the macaroni and cheese and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes more.

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe Courtesy of Epicurious


I am not going to lie.. if I could find some lobster meat right now, this would be tried tonight! lol

Ingredients:
1 1 3/4- to 2-pound live lobster

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
12 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, shells reserved
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped peeled carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
1 Turkish bay leaf
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
3 cups water

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cups grated Fontina cheese (about 6 ounces)

8 ounces shell or gemelli pasta
6 ounces fresh crabmeat, picked over
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
print a shopping list for this recipe

preparation

Plunge lobster headfirst into pot of boiling water; boil 4 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to cutting board. Cut off tail and claws. Crack tail and claws and remove meat. Cut meat into 1/2-inch pieces. Cut body and shells into 2-inch pieces. Chill meat; reserve shells.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lobster body, lobster shells, and shrimp shells to skillet and sauté 4 minutes. Add onion and next 4 ingredients; sauté 6 minutes. Add tomato paste; stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in Cognac. Add 3 cups water; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.
Strain mixture into bowl, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids. Set stock aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; sauté until just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Cool slightly. Coarsely chop shrimp.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Add stock and cream; simmer until sauce is reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes. Add cheese; stir until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Stir lobster, shrimp, pasta, crab, and 2 tablespoons butter into sauce. Stir over medium-low heat until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with chives.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, Food Network



Alton Brown is the man! This recipe is the closest to conventional mac & cheese!

Ingredients
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
Topping:
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it's free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Remember to save leftovers for fried Macaroni and Cheese.

What's fried Macaroni and Cheese you ask? I was wondering myself!!! Check out this video!

Friday, March 5, 2010

DOPE: The Original "Roses" - Georgia Anne Muldrow

A few weeks ago I posted the Mos Def/Georgia Anne Muldrow collaboration of her song "Roses", as a Music Therapy with Miss Moon blog....This song is my favorite one that album

I was so happy to hear the original song and see the original video courtesy of This is Real Music!! I am definitely going to have to visit iTunes for this song today! Enjoy!

 
 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

:::drools::: Sweet Spring Dresses!!!

Although we are several months away until Spring (Damn you, Punxsutawney Phil!), I've been checking out Spring fashions with excitement at the thought of warmer weather. This will be a new fashion blog for me, as I will be showcasing dresses in all sizes! Enjoy and remember... try to drool AWAY from your keyboard! lol



















Alyssa Shirt Dress ($44.50, Delia*s)

I love this dress for it's simplicity!! Swiss-dot cap-sleeved shirt dress with shirring and button detail. Be sure to check it out in Purple and Teal!!!!



Mlle Gabrielle Daffodil Dress ($39.00, Alight)

This dress is SOOOOOOOO on my "to buy" list for the Spring! Surplice neck runs into empire smocked elastic waistband. Lined.



Boho Dress ($79.20, ShopBop.com)

I am loving this gorgeous asymmetrical maxi dress. I'm actually jealous of my slimmer sistren because this is not in my size! LOL


















 Denim Puff-Sleeved Dress ($48.00, Torrid)

I call these "Weekday Dresses": Nice enough to wear to work and cute enough to wear After 5 pm.

SIDE NOTE: I am not obsessed, but I am little bit dorky about this Torrid model. She is pretty much my weight loss and hair growth goal in human form! lol

And I love this last dress primarily because it comes in sizes XS through XXXL.... so my girls big and small can rock this!




























Embroidered Empire-Waist Dress ($39.90 - $41.90, Alloy)

This is number two on my "Must Buy" list.. I'd like to get them in two of the three colors this dress comes in (Black, Ivory, & Purple)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Music Therapy with Miss Moon

This week's Music Therapy goes out to Keith Elam, aka Guru.


The internet is currently buzzing with the news of his death. Until this is confirmed, I will continue to pray for him and his family. I will also be rocking the best of GangStarr, starting with their collaboration with Neneh Cherry, "Sassy"





UPDATE 3/2/2010 - From mtv.com

Gang Starr MC Guru underwent successful surgery on Monday, according to DJ Premier. Premier, Guru's partner in the long-running hip-hop outfit, tweeted the news Tuesday morning (March 2), writing, ("good news: Guru surgery was successful, keep sending him love." Premier did not specify what the surgery was for or what the MC's current condition was, and spokespeople for Guru could not be reached at press time for further information on the rapper's medical condition.

Guru suffered what has been described as a massive heart attack over the weekend, and according to reports was in a coma as of Monday. Premier began offering updates on the surgery late Monday night, writing, "Guru still in surgery, keep on praying people, he will make it."

An unnamed source told AllHipHop.com that the rapper was doing "fine" and is expected to make a full recovery. "Guru is alive and recovering from his surgery. Doctors are expecting a full recovery luckily."