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Tuesday, 11 October 2011 10:42

Orange Week: Orange Can Make Us Healthier AND Happier

When I told Jana that "Orange" was the theme color for this week, she was less than enthused. Apparently Jana holds quite a disdain for the color. But then she remembered, that to a yogi, such as herself, the color orange is actually quite important as it represents an important chakra (she'll explain later) and that keeping it healthy can keep you healthy and happy, too. (As someone who is just getting back into yoga, I find this very interesting!)

So look at that, not only is orange the official color of fall:













image from mademoiselledianne.com

and very in style right now:



















couch image from design*sponge. Olsen image from the web.

...it's also good for you! Yay! Jana tells you more below.




This week’s color theme had me stumped.  Orange is probably my least favorite color.  It reminds me of felt and carpet wall art.  Yet, orange is the color associated with one of my favorite chakras – the Svadhisthana or 2nd chakra.  It’s a super appropriate chakra for me at the moment, since I’m a new mom, and it governs the womb, among other things.orangechakras_2_orange0509

You might be wondering what a chakra is exactly.  Picture a chakra as a circle of energy that flows throughout our bodies.  Although there are hundreds of chakras in our bodies, we commonly reference seven major chakras that start at the base of the spine and move upwards to the crown of the head.  Every organ, gland and body system is connected to a chakra and each chakra is connected to a color vibrational frequency.  If a chakra is not performing correctly, this could cause our physical, mental and spiritual health to suffer.

The 2nd chakra is located in the lower abdomen behind and approximately two inches from the belly button, in the area of the womb.  It rules the reproductive organs, all the liquids in the body, the hips, sacrum, low back and kidneys.  It is associated with creativity, procreation and the emotional and sensual aspects of our lives.  A balanced 2nd chakra leads to feelings of wellness, plenty, pleasure, and joy, whereas signs of deficiency are fear of pleasure, being out of touch with one's feelings and resistance to change.  An imbalance in the 2nd chakra may be experienced as an eating disorder, drug or alcohol addiction, depression, and intimacy issues.

To focus on balancing the 2nd chakra, try to wear orange clothing.  Orange is a very stimulating color because of its vibrational energy.  In yoga, do backward and forward bends and squatting moves to strengthen the 2nd chakra.  Some of the foods associated with a healthy 2nd chakra are: water, healthy oils and fatty acids, fish, seeds, tropical fruits, nuts, and orange-colored food.

Below, you’ll find a tasty recipe to help feed your 2nd chakra from the book, Chakra Foods for Optimum Health, by Deanna M. Minich, PhD, CN.  Enjoy!

 Grilled Salmon with Apricot Orange Sauce and Baby Carrots

What you need: 

  • 1 and 1/2 lbs salmon
  • ¾ cup apricot preserves
  • 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 small bag baby carrots

What to do:

Cut salmon into four 6 oz servings and set aside in a 9x13” baking pan.  In small saucepan combine apricot preserves, teriyaki sauce, vinegar and ginger. Stir over low heat for about a minute or until preserves become liquid. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Add sesame oil, orange juice and orange zest and mix well.  Pour ¾ of mixture on top of salmon.  Cover with foil and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until ready to grill.  Keep remaining sauce on side in a small bowl. Meanwhile, allow baby carrots to steam until they reach soft consistency.

Preheat grill to medium. Grease grill. Remove marinated salmon and place on grill. Cover grill and cook 3-4 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Serve salmon with warm apricot sauce and baby carrots.

Serves 4.



Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 09:35

Outdoor Entertaining Recipe: Honey Balsamic Grilled Nectarines

Our lovely Jana's little girl just celebrated her one month birthday, so Jana and her husband had a little family backyard BBQ to celebrate. Jana used this yummy recipe at the gathering and wanted to share with all of you. Try it out at your next backyard get together! 

Happy cooking & crafting!



I used to live next door to a friend who managed one of the best farmer's markets in Los Angeles.  She'd often come home after the market with boxes of bounty, and she would host amazing weekly dinners in the summertime.  It was during one of these dinners that I was introduced to one of my favorite recipes ever.  This recipe gives the nectarines a great carmelized glaze, and they soften up so nicely that you'll want to eat them with a spoon.  Using peaches is perfectly fine as well, I'm just not a fan of peach fuzz, and I love the way the grilled nectarines taste.


 Grilled Honey Balsamic Nectarines
by Jana Bonderman

What you need:grilled-nectarines-ay-l

  • White or yellow nectarines, not too soft, about one nectarine per person (you'll want to buy extra just in case you mangle them during pitting, like me)
  • A decent balsamic vinegar
  • Honey or Agave syrup
  • Vanilla
  • Large ziploc bag
  • Vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream

What to do:

Pit the nectarines.  I like to cut in half (around the pit), and cheat over to one side a bit, so one half is slightly bigger than the other.  Then twist to try and get the halves to separate, and cut the pit out carefully with a paring knife from the half that still holds the pit.  This is the part where it's easy to mangle and mush the nectarine (not desirable). Put the pitted nectarine halves in a large ziploc bag. Pour in balsamic vinegar - not too much, but enough to give the nectarines some liquid to sit in. Add agave or honey to taste.  Again, you don't need too much, just squirt it in the bag. Add a dash of vanilla. You'll probably be good with 1/2 tsp, but adjust for your own quantities and tastes. Mix everything up in the baggie, making sure the nectarines are coated and put in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour. Grill untill nectarines get soft and have a nice charred glaze. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream
Photo: Kate Mathis; Styling: Paul Grimes


Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 01 September 2011 10:06

Thursday Night Dinner: A Family Favorite Recipe

waterfront_wedMost weeks when I go to post my Thursday night dinner blog, I'm thinking, "Man, I can't believe it's Thursday already!?" But this week, I'm feeling like there's no way today isn't already Friday. This week is a' draggin'. It might also feel like Friday because this week the Louisville crew did Thursday night dinner on Wednesday. During the summer months, 91.9 WFPK- our really cool, local radio channel- does outdoor concerts on the waterfront the last Wednesday of the month. So we girls love putting together some snacks, laying out a blanket and listening to music while watching the sun set over the Ohio River.  (That's Emily and me taking some snaps between sets.)

In honor of Labor Day weekend, I'm sharing with you my family's #1 summer holiday recipe-- Haystacks. For as long as I can remember, we've been having Haystacks at most of our summer family get-togethers. Assembly line-type meals like this one are great for serving lots of people because you just line up all the fixin's (as we say here) and let everyone pick and choose what they want.  One recommendation: take only a little bit of each fixin' because your plate fills up quickly! My dad notoriously always has the largest of all the haystacks. The amount of each ingredient will vary with how many people you have at your gathering and how many other side dishes you have. The amounts I have here should easily serve 10 people.

Happy Labor Day weekend cooking & crafting! 


by the reilly family

What you need:

  • 3-4 bags Fritos
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 2 bags Morningstar Grillers (for your vegetarian contingency)
  • 4 packets low-sodium taco seasoning
  • 3 28 oz cans vegetarian baked beans (so everyone can eat them)
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves pulled from stems
  • 1 small jar green olives, sliced
  • 1 large green pepper, diced
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 1 8 oz block sharp yellow cheddar, shredded
  • 1 8 oz block sharp white cheddar, shredded
  • Jalapenos
  • Sour cream
  • 1 8 oz bottle Ortega Mild taco sauce
  • 1 8 oz bottle Ortega Medium taco sauce

What to do:haystacks

Dice, shred and/or de-stem all ingredients that require it and place into little bowls (red onion, cilantro, olives, green and red peppers, cheese). Keep in refrigerator until ready. Heat baked beans in a large pot over low/medium-low heat until they are heated through. Stir occasionally. You can keep the beans on the stove over low heat for as long as you need to really, just remember to stir every once in a while.  (If you want to get fancy with the baked beans try our Very Veggie Baked Beans recipe). Cook meat and fake meat with taco seasoning according to directions. Place all ingredients into appropriate containers (or leave in the one they already come in) and line up on a table-- starting with Fritos at the beginning of the line, followed by meat/fake meat, beans and all the other toppings. Put sour cream and sauces at the very end.

For each haystack, the typical order of ingredients is: a layer of Fritos, meat/fake meat, beans, cheese (to get it melty), lettuce, and all other fixin's as desired. Your plate will look something like the photo shown (from Drick's Rambling Cafe)

Some optional topping options: avocado slices or guacamole, fresh tomato slices, fresh corn grilled and de-cobbed, and really anything you can think of.



Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 25 August 2011 09:12

Thursday Night Dinner: Stuffed Poblano Peppers & Beaded Leather Bracelet

Ever since we got home from Disney World, I have felt a new burst of energy to get in the kitchen and cook away! I love eating out and trying new restaurants, but after awhile I start to miss that sense of creativity that you get from making your own dish.  It has been quite some time since we've had Thursday Night Dinner at the Brooklyn house and tonight I am going to try out a recipe that I learned from the wonderful Emily Ross when I was in the Midwest for Colleen's wedding.  I didn't write it down, so this will be by adapted version of her recipe.  For the craft I am sharing this new beaded leather bracelet that I made while I was in Saugatuck with my family.  

Happy cooking & crafting! 


 Beaded Leather Bracelet beaded_bracelet-9385
by Stephania Stanley

What you need:

  • leather cord
  • beads 
  • jewelry making thread
  • needle
  • toggle clasps

What to do:

This is a great craft to really get creative! I chose to make three different strands to make one bracelet, but you can make them all of the same, add more, add less, etc.  The first strand I braided.  The second strand I used all small beads and strung them onto jewelry making thread.  The third and final strand I used a combination of knots and bigger blue beads.  To finish, tie each end to one set of toggle clasps.  


 Grilled Stuff Poblano Peppers
adapted from Emily Ross

What you need:

  • 10 poblano peppers
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

Start the grill. In a medium sized skilled heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and saute for 2 minutes.  Add green bell peppers and continue to saute for another two minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Next drain the black beans and put them into a medium sized skilled.  Cook over medium heat.  Using a fork, gently mash some (not all!) of the black beans, add cumin, and saute for 2 minutes.  Add the onion mixture and fresh cilantro and stir to mix and set aside.  

Next cut off the stems of the poblano peppers and remove the insides.  Stuff the peppers with bean mixture and place them on the grill.  Grill for approximately 3 minutes, turn them to the other side and then grill for an additional 3 minutes.  Serve with guacamole and sour cream! 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 21 July 2011 07:08

Vacation Week: Thursday Night Dinner

Happy Vacation Week Thursday Night Dinner! When you're on vacation (and you're lucky enough to be staying somewhere with a stove), you want most of the meals that you do cook to be as simple and as low-key as possible (you are on vacation, after all).

This 5 Minute Grilled Shrimp recipe is absolutely perfect for vacations-- very few ingredients and very little time required. And check out the cute, handmade cards below to make before you go on vacay and to fill out while you're chilling poolside.

Five Minute Grilled Shrimp grilled_shrimp

What you need:

  • 16 jumbo shrimp, deveined in shell, raw
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, for brushing
  • Coarse salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 lemons, halved

What to do:

Ready the grill or preheat griddle or grill pan over high heat. Butterfly shrimp by slicing nearly all the way through them lengthwise. Leave the shell on. Brush the shrimp with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill two minutes on each side until the shell is opaque. Squirt with lemon wedges to serve.  Serves 2-4, depending on what you’re serving them with.

If you’ve got the grill going, throw some olive-oiled veggies such as assorted bell peppers, bell mushrooms and onion slices onto some foil and grill ‘em up to serve as a side (veggies will take longer to cook than the shrimp, 12-15 minutes.)  Or serve with Goat Cheese, Please!!! Salad.

Serves 3-4.  (photo from kitchenscoop.com)

Handmade Cards

When I'm on vacation and finally have some down-time, I love to catch up on my Thank You's and Birthday cards. I usually make these before I leave, and then write them up and address and mail while I'm on vacation. But you can also bring the supplies with you to make while you're there.















Tied Up Cards
by Colleen Reillycard_items_needed

What you need: 

  • Rectangular card stock (mine was 5 1/2" x 7 1/2")
  • Tissue paper
  • Thread and needle
  • Wraphia or ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Elmers glue

What to do:

1.  Fold up the card: Fold in the two long sides an even amount (for this size paper, I fold in about 1 3/4"-2".  Measure to be exact, but I just eyeball mine.














2.  Cut out decorating elements: For this card, I cut out a square of card stock  in a contrasting color that will fit on one of the folds.















Next I cut out a smaller square of tissue paper that will fit inside the yellow square.















3.  Sew together decorating elements: In a contrasting color, hand sew the tissue paper to the yellow card stock square.















4.  Finish up: Glue the hand sewn decorating elements to the card, write your thank yous and then tie up with a piece of wraphia or ribbon! Experiement with different colors, different shaped and colored decorating elements. (May require extra postage. Check before sending!)











Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 19 May 2011 10:22

Grilled Fish and Flowers

Happy Thursday everyone! Colleen is officially here and we are just about to start our big photo shoot with the help of our new NYC intern, Shana! We are looking forward to big dinner tonight with Miss Michelle Hainer, Shoko Wanger, Sara Lowman, and our favorite Daily Candy gal Lauren Lumsden.  

Today I'm going to share my thrilling fishing adventure in St. Petersburg, FL.  We had an absolute blast on the boat and ended the day with a fabulous grilled fish dinner.  A big thank you goes out to Gary, our favorite fisherman in St. Petes.  


This guy is Gary.  He is my old tennis instructor, Jill's,  husband and was tennis buddy of my dad's.  They moved down to Florida about five years ago and we love going down for a little visit and sunshine.  I figure I'm finally a grownup now that I have a glass of wine with Jill rather than gatorade.  Gary is quite the fisherman and was kind enough to take my mom, my sister, Hillary, and I out on the boat for an afternoon. 


The bait! 


Hillary learning how to cast...


My beautiful mom...




Hillary getting the first catch of the day!!! 



And dinner...




 Grilled Sheepshead
by Stephania 

What you need: 

  • 2 lbs sheepshead fish (or another white fish
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 dash oregano
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 dash pepper 

What to do:

Start up the grill.  Spread olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper over both sides of fish.  Squeeze lemon over fish.  Place a piece of foil on the grill and then put the fish down on the foil.  Grill for about 10 minutes on each side or until fish is flaky.  Sprinkle a little lemon juice and serve immediately! 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 12 August 2010 10:58

Back to the Midwest

Back Home Again in Indiana...

This week I'm back home visiting my family.  My mom will be doing the cooking this week, which is such a treat! Colleen is driving in for a visit and we'll be making Pretty Pretty Flower Pots for my mom's backyard.



stephaniaCherry BBQ Chicken

Cherry BBQ Chicken

by Pam Christy

What you need:

  • 6 chicken legs/breasts
  • Cherry BBQ Sauce (we bought American Spoon)

What to do: 

In a large baking dish, marinate chicken with Cherry BBQ Sauce about two hours before grilling.  If you can’t find Cheery BBQ Sauce premade, pick up about ½ cup of red tart cherries at the grocery store.  Mash them up using a food processor so that they are nearly liquefied and mix it with a jar of regular BBQ sauce.

Grill chicken for about six or seven minutes on each side, or until the chicken is cooked.

Remove from heat and serve.


My mom is a master at the grill. It is a goal of mine to one day become as talented as she is at the grill. Every time I come home she grills out nearly every night and her BBQ chicken is one of my favorites. The Cheery BBQ sauce was a new try this time and it was delish! She serves it with corn on the cob, salad, and green beans.




Pretty Pretty Flower PotPretty Pretty Flower Pot

by Colleen Reilly

What you need:

  • Terra-cotta flower pot
  • Sandpaper
  • Polyurethane
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes or sponges

What to do: 

Seal the inside of your terra-cotta flower pot with 2 to 3 coats of polyurethane and let dry completely. Clean the outside of the pot, sanding away any rough spots so you have a smooth surface for painting. Using a paintbrush or a sponge, apply a base coat of acrylic paint to the outside of the pot. Using white or a light color is your best bet so you can decorate over it with bright colors. Once the base coat has dried, decorate the outside of the flower pot to your desire. Stripes and polka dots are particularly striking. Let the paint dry completely. Seal the outside of the flower pot with at least 2 coats of polyurethane.

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