Food – Grilled Mediterranean Chicken Salad

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Grilled Mediterranean Chicken Salad

Note: I’m not a fan of balsamic vinegar (or vinegar of any kind) so I would substitute the dressing for an Italian one.

Ingredients
For the salad:
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 small squash
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 1 large red pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 20 kalamata Olives, about 5 per salad
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly into rings and separated
  • 10 ounces cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 4 ounces French Feta, crumbled (regular feta if preferred)
  • 5 ounces mixed lettuce greens
For The Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing:
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 3 tablespoons aged Balsamic Vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper and spray with Canola cooking spray. Cook on a 450 degree grill for 6 minutes on the first side and 5 minutes on the second. Be sure to temp the chicken to be sure it reads 165 degrees.
  2. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes, slice width-wise into ¼ inch slices.
  3. Cut squash, zucchini and red pepper in half lengthwise. Salt and pepper liberally and spray with canola cooking spray. Grill for 4 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the other side. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Slice squash and zucchini on the diagonal. Cut pepper into long one-inch wide slices and then cut each slice on the diagonal into ½ inch pieces.
  5. Mix all the ingredients together for the vinaigrette dressing.
  6. Place a bed of mixed greens on each plate, then layer on grilled veggies, onions, olives, and feta. Top with you grilled chicken slices and drizzle with the vinaigrette.

recipe courtesy of tasteandsee.com

Food – Roasted Butternut Squash, Cranberry and Spinach Salad with a Cran-Cabernet Dressing

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Cranberry and Spinach Salad with a Cran-Cabernet Dressing

Ingredients
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 tablespoon (+ 1 teaspoon) maple syrup
  • 1 cup cabernet sauvignon wine, or a full bodied red wine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon (+ 1/4 teaspoon) salt and pepper
  • 1 medium butternut squash, skinned, seeds and innards removed and chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 3 ounces shaved Parmesan
  • 2 ½ ounces toasted, salted pepitas
Instructions
  1. Add 1 cup cranberry juice, red wine, maple syrup, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to a saucepan over medium high heat.  Simmer for 15 minutes or until the mixture reduces by half. Then set aside.

  2. While that is cooking, add chopped butternut squash to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Roast on 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until squash is fork tender.

  3. Add 1 cup cranberry juice and the dried cranberries to a microwavable bowl and heat for 2 minutes.  Place on the counter and allow to sit for 10 minhttps://sophiajd.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.phputes, then drain discard the liquid and set the cranberries aside.

  4. To assemble the salad, place spinach on a platter or in a large bowl, add squash, cranberries, Parmesan, pepitas and drizzle with dressing.

    recipe courtesy of tasteandsee.com

Food – Chicken Parmesan Sliders

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Chicken Parmesan Sliders
Ingredients
  • 15 Slider Buns
  • 1 lb Breaded Chicken Tenders * *These should be cooked already** (weight is approx.)
  • 2 c Pasta Sauce
  • 2 c Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
  • ½ c Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder (more to taste)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the bottom half of the slider buns in a greased casserole dish.
  3. Place cooked chicken tenders on the bottom buns and then cover them in sauce.
  4. Combine the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and sprinkle it over the sauce.
  5. Place the top buns on the sliders.
  6. Melt the butter and mix the garlic powder until it is thoroughly combined. (feel free to add more garlic powder if you like garlic as much as I do!)
  7. Pour the melted butter over the buns and then sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  8. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

recipe courtesy of homemadeinterest.com

Around the World – Italy

I have not posted in a while and so please forgive me.  I will also post several new blogs in the next few days.  I spent a good deal of the previous year traveling around the country and the world and I have enjoyed every single moment of it.  I would like to share some of my memories from these travels with you.  I hope I inspire you as much as you inspire me.

So I finally made it to Italy.  It’s a place I’ve wanted to go for most of my life.  I was in Milan, Bologna, Rimini and the Italian Coast.  Portofino, Sante Magherita, Rapallo as well as a few other places.  I loved the Italian Coast for its beauty, people and food.  It is so charming, romantic, stunning and lovely!!!

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While in Portofino, one of the hotels I stayed at was the Excelsior Hotel.  A 5 star hotel located at the top of the hill with such a spectacular view, I could barely say goodbye to when it was time to leave.  While you have a meal, you can take in the most magnificent ocean views.

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I will never forget my time spent here and the wonderful, people, food, wine and time we had here.  I will be returning to the Italian coast again later this year, but will check out different towns and villages next time.  I suggest you get out there and see the world.  Don’t worry about language barriers.  Someone always speaks your language.

Events – A Taste of Tennis

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A Taste of Tennis is an event featured annually that showcases the world of Tennis in New York City.  Tickets usually sell out quickly and the proceeds benefit a charity of choice by the organizers.  I attended the event last year and was invited back again this year by one of the sponsors of the event, The Jamaica Tourist Board.  I gladly accepted the invite and would like to say the event is always a must attend if you can get tickets.  One of Jamaica’s chef’s contribution for the night was the dish Escovitch Fish, which was spicy and delicious. They also contributed an unrivaled Rum bar which served delicious rum based drinks.

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Some of the other culinary delights being offered up where Key Lime Truffles, Steak Tacos and Shrimp dishes.  The choices were many and most did not disappoint.  I have a shellfish allergy so I do not eat any dishes that contain shellfish, however those who did swore they were yummy!!

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Since they event is actually called A Taste of Tennis, it would be lacking it’s star power without the Professional Tennis Players that make this game so popular.  Venus and one of the Chef’s partake in a cooking demonstration.  These are images I captured are from last year’s event.  Once again this year, Venus did attend, however I was unable to get a good picture of her.  She moved quickly and was surrounded by security.

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During US Open Week here in NYC, there are tons of things going on and lots of parties.  A Taste of Tennis wasn’t the only party I was fortunate enough to attend.  I was also in attendance at the Deniham Hotels party they held the night before.  One of the guests of the party was John Eisner, who also signed my tennis ball.  It was a lovely evening as well.  There was food, drinks and even hotel stay giveaways.

I love this city.  There is always something going on here.  I feel blessed and privileged to be a part of this wonderful, beautiful, crazy, insane city we call home, New York!!!!

 

 

Accessories – Shoe of Summer

I know it is a little late in the season for those of us who live in turning seasons, but better late than never.  It’s time to look at some fashionable summer shoes.  If it’s too late to wear them where you are, there’s always next year.

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These Christian Loubotin’s are so damn sexy.  You just can’t help but be hot when you step into these!!! Available at net-a-porter.com.  $745

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For those of you who want to look like a million bucks, but don’t actually want to spend a million bucks, I’ve got you covered.  These are just as sexy and sophisticated as the shoe above, but for a lot less.  Available at misguidedus.com, the Lace Up Tassel Block Heel Sandals Block for $48

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This adorable Sandal is by Emanuel Caruso are just the must have for summer, whether walking on the boardwalk or just sitting pretty, these are the shoes to be seen in.  Check out emanuelacaruso.com/en for her sandals.

 

Around the World – Antigua

I recently returned from a trip to the beautiful Caribbean island of Antigua.  What a wonderful time had by all. It is a breathtakingly beautiful island.

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The beaches are wonderful, the people are friendly and the food is good.  I had so much fun.  We took a boat ride around the island.  it makes two stops to give you beach time and while you’re on the beach, they prepare a delicious lunch for you.

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I will not forget the time I spent there and look forward to returning!!

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The next time you’re looking for a tropical getaway, I suggest you try Antigua!!