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Mission:  a 2 week vacation in a beautiful part of Florida.  Goal:  do nothing.

It sounds easy, but it takes a lot of practice and a good, quiet place to do it.

It’s ok to do some shopping…if you can bend down to pick up priceless objects of art for no price at all.

And it’s fine to make a new friend, especially a native.

And if you see something that will amuse someone back home, go ahead and press the shutter button.  Gently.

To truly get away and come home relaxed…see if you can try really, really hard…to just take it easy.

OK, I admit it – as much as I’m into healthy food I wanted everyone to STOP already with the “dark leafy greens”.  I hate the way they look in the market – large unwieldy bunches, rugged and raw, tough to chew.  Not appetizing…pass.

However, the health benefits are undeniable and no, you’re not going to get too much dark leafiness from your occasional side salad.

Happily, there are lots of recipes online for a little miracle called KALE CHIPS.  Not to be confused with the revolting bagged varieties in health food stores, yuck.  The homemade version is. however, delicious!  And easy to make.

1.  Try to find Lacinato kale, it’s nice because it doesn’t have the big tough stalk in the center.  This is the one I buy.

2.  Rinse it off in the sink and shake it a bit.  Don’t dry it, don’t spin it, don’t take the label off.  Just rinse and shake.  Put it on your chopping block and revel in the ease of cutting the stems off…the nice farmers made it easy!  Chop off a couple inches above the label and voila, all the tough stems are gone in one swipe, toss it out.

4.  Chop the kale into bite sized – or bigger – pieces, don’t be too perfect about this.

5.  Worthy of another blog post, but for now, my roasting fat of choice is GHEE.  Ghee can be heated at a very high temp and not turn into a trans fat.  Olive oil…the jury’s out.  Until they decide, save good olive oil for cold eating – salads, etc.  Ghee and coconut oil are safe at high temps plus ghee is a clarified butter so it’s good for lactose intolerant people (the milk fat is removed).

6.  Dot some ghee – I just dug a teaspoon into the jar and pushed little bits off with my fingers.  Sprinkle kosher coarse salt liberally.  These are going to be potato-chip like, so go for it with good salt.

7.  Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 10 minutes.  Pull out and stir – use tongs to get the ghee moving around.  See how they’ve reduced in size?  That’s why those great big bunches shouldn’t scare you, soon you’ll be wishing you had more.

8.  Roast another 10 minutes.  There will be brown, crispy crunchy pieces and tender dark green pieces.  The picture might not do justice to the crispy crunchy/tenderness of these chips, but just trust me on this.

They are addictive and incredibly nutritious, fast, cheap, and ridiculously easy.  Enjoy!

People always ask me what I eat.  Even Mike, my blog’s main only fan, said he wanted to see my “healthy food”. OK, here is a typical snack/light lunch.

1.  Start with the best yogurt you can find.

(This doesn’t include Dannon or really anything that comes from the grocery store.  I get mine at a lovely cheese store in Carroll Gardens aptly named Stinky Brooklyn.  Cheese shops have high-end, local dairy products. This yogurt is from Evan’s Farmhouse Creamery (upstate NY).  I love the lemon flavor, it’s just AMAZING; subtle and sweet.  Their milk is also great…cream on top, delicious.  Yes…you pay more for these products but no…they are not as expensive as your trips to the doctor if you keep eating grocery store junk. :-)  )

2.  Add some fruit – I love berries.

3.  Toast your nuts!!

(It’s easy if you use a toaster oven.  I toasted these shelled pistachios (buy them shelled in a container, they may seem expensive but all you need is a handful, the container will last a long time!).  They are nutritious and delicious.  3 minutes on a pan in the toaster oven makes them crunchy and enhances their pistachio-ness.  Toast all your nuts – trust me they are much better! – then chop them or eat whole.  3-4 minutes will do it, you’ll know it’s time to pull them out if you can smell a nutty aroma, then move FAST, they burn in a flash.)

4.  Survey your pantry for any nutritious bonus add-ons.

(I sprinkled a bit of unsweetened coconut over my masterpiece…just because I had it leftover from a recipe and I’m trying to use it up.  Necessity is the mother of delicious invention.)

What snacks do you eat that are quick, easy and nutritious?  I love to hear your ideas.  xoxo

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I am one lucky SugarCookie to be friends with the gorgeous and talented beauty expert LDiva and thoroughly enjoy providing her with my photography whenever possible.

 

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She hosts the blog Divalicious; chock full of beauty tips (and not the same old tired ones) and product recommendations of only her tried and truly-tested best. 

 

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There is also plenty of fashion talk – 10 Commandments of Leggings  is her most hit-up story for us perplexed females and her observations on city girls strutting their stuff (sometimes unwisely) are no-apologies accurate:  it’s tough love from your spot-on beauty sister – not bitchy, just real. 

 

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LDiva is now providing house-call beauty makeovers; helping women to toss, retain and rethink their own cosmetics while introducing updated tips and tricks for making the most of the products and their looks. 

 

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We recently teamed up to makeover and photograph the lovely LK, a pretty girl with lots of personal style.  If I saw her on the street I would think this girl didn’t need to learn a darn thing about looking good. 

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However, LDiva was able to teach her a completely new approach to her eyeshadow technique with outstanding results!  LK went from pretty to pretty spectacular!   Here you see 2 different looks, LK chose the neutral look.

 

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And because I need to play too…here’s a glamour shot of Miss LK with her finished look…in much sexier lighting!

 

Ahhh…this is fun.  My path through life has taken me down some very interesting roads – amazing experiences, profound teachings, loving relationships and…as the case with me and LDiva…beautiful friendships.

 

PS – all photos are property of SCB.  But that doesn’t mean that I won’t share…please ask first.  :-)

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I visit Belmont Park every summer and I always have a great time!

 

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For one thing, these jockeys are really intense.  Just check out this guy’s expression, he’s really stressing.

 

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And this jockey, look at that body language.  Such focus…amazing!

 

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This jockey didn’t too well in the last race…so sad.

 

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I love to scope out the horses in the paddock - this filly caught my eye – Canadian Ballet.  I love Canada and the ballet!  She’s the one for me, lucky 7.

 

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Hello Ma’am, $10 on Number 7 to Win please!

 

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As you might have suspected, your girl is a very big spender. ;-)

 

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And they’re off!!

 

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Canadian Ballet is in a dead heat!  And the happy ending…she won!  And I’m $34 richer!

 

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A day at the races with my good friends, the beautiful athletic horses, many lovely terminologies (quinella, exacta, trifecta – oh my) and all manner of racetrack characters to scream and cheer along with us – a perfect summer’s day.  :-)

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