Monthly Archives: June 2014

Racy Summer Beach Read

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Is sex with a Hologram safe?
I seriously get asked this all the time. Ok, I’m not serious but maybe it is the future of safe sex. I do get asked about sex all the time so I think that makes me qualified to review a sexy book.

Virtually sexy Hologram
Samantha learns the dangers of virtual sex when she enters a hologram world of sexy intrigue in Hologram, the novel. She takes us on a risky romp with the men, yes men, of her dreams. The virtual sex on the surface seems harmless: No condoms required. But hold on, this novel is racy so be prepared for a little blushing and a libido boost. Who doesn’t love that? (Individual results may vary. Batteries not included.) Keep reading, because the real danger comes to Sam when she can’t tell the real from the virtual. Watch out for the villains who are very real and very dangerous.
Hologram , by Nancy Miller is a great beach read so grab a beach towel and kick back for a safe and sexy ride.

Wrap it up
I’m sure you’re wondering why Nancy asked me to do a guest post for California Muse since I’m a gynecologist and not a book critic. I suspect it is because I have been badgering her to put condoms at the bedside of every character in the upcoming sequel to Hologram. I understand that there’s a sexy new man who might engage in hot sex with someone in the sequel. That’s all she’s telling me so don’t even try to get more details out of her. She’s stingy like that when she’s writing a book.

Safety First
I am affectionately known as the “Safety Queen” in my lakefront community. At least I think it’s affectionate. I make you wear your sun glasses and sun screen as soon as you step outside. I always hold the orange safety flag while watching the water skiers closely for concussion. How many fingers am I holding up? I’ll put a life jacket on your grandchild if she brushes her teeth near the lake. I separate the raw meat BBQ tongs from the veggie tongs. No one has ever had a salmonella infection on my watch. I carry band aids and hand sanitizer. Don’t even think about running with scissors around me, just saying.

So of course I want everyone at risk to use condoms!

A Real and Present Danger
All joking aside, sexually transmitted infections are no laughing matter. I treat them every day and every woman who contracts an infection asks, “Why me Doc?” Please don’t get surprised by an STI. (STI is the new politically correct way to say STD) If you are in a new or casual sexual relationship then you have to talk about STIs and insist on condom use.

Did you know?
– Cervical cancer is a sexually transmitted disease caused by HPV, human papilloma virus, and there’s a vaccine to prevent it.
– The 4 H’s: HIV, hepatitis, herpes, HPV are viral infections that can’t be cured and some may even result in death.
– Syphilis is on the rise.
– Gonorrhea is resistant to most antibiotics.
– Chlamydia can cause sterility.
– Warts are sexually transmitted.
– These infections don’t care what age you are so protect yourself even in middle age.

What do you say Nancy? Will your new character be a Trojan?

And can you bring up an extra life jacket, and I think that orange flag is getting dull and do they sell gallon jugs of sunscreen in California…….

Go now and check out Nancy Miller’s blog, California Muse and Hologram, the Novel

In case you were counting… I wrote sex 12 times. My dear husband and blog proof reader counted. And “batteries not included” made him cringe. Oops, I might have lost my best proof reader.

Affectionately,
The Safety Queen

Ginger Salmon Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa Fiesta Friday #22

Welcome to the weekend!
I’m joining the party with mouth watering salmon and grilled pineapple salsa. Pass the margaritas please. Thanks to The Novice Gardener for hosting the Fiesta Friday blog party.

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I love fish tacos and salmon tacos should be in the Fish Taco Hall of Fame. The salmon in these tacos is marinated in ginger, honey, soy, and garlic chili sauce. The salsa is grilled along side the salmon for a quick and delicious summer meal.

The grilled pineapple is intensely sweet with a smokey char. Blackened onion, red pepper and Serrano chili bring the traditional salsa flavors to the party. The salsa is sweet and spicy. The creamy slaw balances the sweet heat with a cool tang. It’s a flavor explosion in every bite. I served mine with a crisp white wine but a margarita would be fabulous. Savor every bite.

Ginger Salmon Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients:

Tortillas
8 corn tortillas

Salmon Marinade
• 2 8 oz salmon fillets, 3-4 oz per person
• 1/4 cup soy
• 2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 teaspoon coriander
• 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Salsa
• 1/2 fresh pineapple cut into rings with rind. Wash well before cutting
• 1 red bell pepper cut into quarters
• 1 red onion sliced in thick rings
• 1/2 Serrano chili, more to taste
• 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
• salt to taste
• 1/4 cup rice vinegar

Cabbage Slaw
• 3 cups finely shredded cabbage
• 1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise
• 1/4 cup fat free sour cream

Directions
1. Preheat grill
2. Mix marinade and pour over salmon, don’t let it marinade over 30 minutes or the fish will get mushy
3. Mix slaw and set aside
4. Grill fruit and vegetables except the Serrano and cilantro on the grill or in a grilling pan until charred and semi-soft
5. Cut away pineapple rinds. Rough chop the fruit and vegetables. Combine with finely diced Serrano and cilantro. Add salt and vinegar. Set salsa aside.
6. Grill salmon on high with skin side down 7 minutes depending on the thickness. Turn and grill an additional 5 minutes. Flake for tacos, removing all bones carefully
7. Toast tortillas on grill until lightly charred.
8. Assemble taco with salmon, cabbage slaw and pineapple salsa.

Chickpea Salad with Cranberries, Toasted Almonds and Feta Cheese

I’ve been on a chickpea kick lately. I keep a can on hand at all times to add protein to my salads. They are also easy to cook in the slow cooker while I’m at the office. Chickpeas are a good source of protein and complex carbohydrate. They hold up well in salads and keep at least a week in the refrigerator when cooked. Try this great salad from Ocean View Kitchen.

Ocean View Kitchen

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Chickpeas are a great source of protein, and this easy chickpea salad is full of great flavor. I love having chickpeas in a salad as it makes any salad more filling. There is a little sweetness from the sauteed red onions with a light lime-herb flavor. Its super easy to throw together, and makes a fresh, protein-packed side dish.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chickpeas, cooked or 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2-inch fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro), chopped
  • green salad to serve
  • toppings: dried unsweetened cranberries, toasted almonds, and feta cheese

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Sesame Lime Confetti ZuNoodles

I love Asian inspired noodle dishes but I rarely eat pasta or rice noodles. I prefer to save my carbohydrates for fresh fruit and other unprocessed carbohydrates. As you can tell, I have been getting zucchini and carrots every week in my CSA basket from Mountain Bounty Farm. I also received fragrant cilantro. This is a delicious way to use zunoodles and still get a burst of fresh Asian noodle flavors.


Dinner with the Millers
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I used some of the sauce as a quick marinade for Alaskan halibut and then sautéed the fish while the salad rested. I steamed tatsoi, also known as spinach mustard, with sesame oil and served with the fish and confetti zunoodles to our good friends, The Millers. Not to be confused with The Millers from We Are the Millers, although I think Jennifer Aniston would have approved of this perfect meal. Just saying. Besides Nancy Miller is famous in her own right. See her blog at California Muse where you can read an exert from her book Hologram.

Sesame Lime Confetti ZuNoodles

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
Salad
• 1 each spiral cut yellow and green zucchini, or 2 green zucchini
• 1 medium carrot shredded
• 2 scallion sliced

Sauce
• 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
• 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
• 1 lime juiced, about 2 tablespoons lime juice
• 1/2 cup packed torn fresh cilantro
• 1/2 cup packed torn fresh basil
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
• 1 glove garlic minced
• 1 inch piece fresh ginger finely grated
• 1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce or minced Serrano chili
Directions

1. Combine sauce ingredients and muddle the herbs. Let sit for several minutes while you prep the salad. Double the recipe if you want extra for a fish or chicken marinade.
2. Spiral or julienne cut zucchinis and shred the carrot
3. Combine sauce and salad ingredients and microwave 2 minutes on high just before serving for crisp tender warm zucchini noodles or serve cold and raw for a more crunchy salad.
Serving size is 1 cup
kcal 122 Carb: 12 gm, Protein: 11 gm, Fat: 7 gm
Weight watchers 2 pp – points

Women and Weight, Let’s Be Honest

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Let’s be honest.

By way of a true confession, I indulged in this American Food Fiasco recently.   My excuse was that  I was with my family and we were drowning our mutual grief in grease and carbs.  The company and sympathy were most welcome but the caloric disaster and stomach ache that followed were not something I want to repeat.  I’m not perfect and I have as many excuses as the next girl, but I keep trying.  Just to be clear, this is NOT REAL FOOD!

Why me Doc?

Every day I hear my patients say, “I eat a great diet. I barely eat anything. I don’t eat any white food. I just drink wine on weekends.” These proclamations are usually followed by, “So, why can’t I lose weight? It must be my hormones, my genes, my thyroid, my ________ (fill in the blank with your personal excuse)”. When we really explore the reasons for weight gain and are honest we find that in most instances we are lying to ourselves about what we eat, how much we eat or drink and how little we exercise. And by We, I mean Me too.

Step1
Be honest with yourself.

I am in no position to judge anyone. I am overweight and I struggle to maintain or lose weight as much as any middle aged woman. I lost 30 pounds three years ago by changing my eating habits (getting the bad carbohydrates out of my life) and by joining a spin class. I have kept that weight off but I have to be vigilant in order to maintain so when I finally got on a scale in January and acknowledged a 10 pound weight gain, I took immediate action. I had to be honest. I had let the sugar and flour back into my diet, pretending that I’m not a carb addicted girl. “I can have cookies, candies, and cakes because I don’t really have an addiction.” What would you say to a friend if she were addicted to cocaine but had been clean for three years and she said, “I can have a little cocaine”? You would say, “That is crazy. Back away from the coke!”

Where does your problem lie? It’s just possible that you are carb addicted too or you drink your calories or you over estimate the actual time you spend exercising. I’m sorry to say that thinking about going to the gym does not burn calories, a bottle of wine contains 600 empty calories and you can eat 2500 calories a day of crap and feel like you ate nothing.

Step 2

Be accountable

Buy a scale and weigh yourself every week and write it down. Set a goal for yourself. I have accepted that a 1\2 pound of weight loss per week in middle age is a realistic goal.
Write down everything you eat with an accurate assessment of the amount eaten. I like Weight Watchers because the online program fits my lifestyle and it makes me accountable. My Fitness Pal and Fit day are also good smart phone apps to help you track your food intake.

Step 3
Eat real food

Clean out your cabinets and freezer. Restock with real food. Skip the carbohydrate laden American staples of processed foods. Stop buying the snacks, wine, high fat dairy or whatever else is a trigger for you to gain weight. I definitely know my trigger foods and I know you know yours.

We must be honest with ourselves.

Take this 14 question survey from WWW.FoodDay.Org and rate your diet. Then commit to improving your score.

 

Three-Ways Roasted Vegetable Soft Tacos

Here’s a great idea from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower. It’s a fabulous idea to use the CSA veggies. I was traveling this weekend so I came home to a refrigerator full of zucchini, carrots, spinach, arugula, lettuce and Swiss chard. I was scrambling to use as many veggies as possible when I found this post. I am blessed with an abundance of fresh produce and I’ll receive another box of fruit and veggies on Thursday. These tacos can be modified to include any veggie and I served mine with Cilantro Hummus to boost the protein.

Cooking with a Wallflower

Filled with sweet corn, diced zucchini, mushrooms, and grape tomatoes, these tacos are soft in the center with a slightly crunchy edge. Quick to make and customizable, this soft taco is delicious and perfect for a summer meal with your family.

 Three-Ways Roasted Vegetable Soft Tacos | Cooking with a Wallflower

Toasted soft tacos are a new fave!

View original post 525 more words

Crispy Zucchini Fritters

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Crispy Zucchini Fritters

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
• 2 zucchini, shredded
• 1 egg beaten
• 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs or crushed gluten free crackers
• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shredded
• Add any fresh herb or seasoning that you like. I used oregano, lemon zest, dill, salt and pepper for a Mediterranean flare.
Directions:
1. Shred zucchini with a food processor or cheese grater.
2. Mix zucchini with remaining ingredients.
3. Form into flat 4-5 inch patties.
4. Heat a griddle or frying pan with coconut or olive oil and fry patties until crispy brown on each side. About 10 minutes.
Serving size is 2 patties
Kcal 255 Carb: 15 gm, Protein: 19 gm, Fat: 14 gm
Weight watchers: 5 points plus

Feel free to substitute any cheese. Blue cheese makes an awesome addition. Add any spices that you like.
Serving suggestions:
Serve warm over a large green salad and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
I served mine with sautéed beet greens, radishes and
cilantro chipotle humus.