Eat as much “ice cream” as you want!

Guilt-free "ice cream" with an amazing cacao "chocolate" sauce is where it's at!!! Photo by Sarah via FitnHealthy Blog

Guilt-free “ice cream” with an amazing cacao “chocolate” sauce is where it’s at! Photo by Sara from the FitnHealthy blog.

Tell me what you see when looking at this picture. 

It looks like a creamy, cool bowl of ice cream with a velvety chocolate sauce, right? Wrong.

This entire dish is made out of bananas, almond butter, pure maple syrup, cacao powder and nuts. No processed sugar, no dairy, no chemicals and nothing but heaven in your mouth.

What I adore most about eating this on a 100 degree day, is that I can have one bowl. And then another. And one more if it suits the moment.  Continue reading

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Mimosas: saying goodbye to an old friend, and hello to a new one

A mimosa alternative, with grapefruit juice and orange zest.

The Canadian (aka husband) drinks a mimosa alternative, with grapefruit juice and orange zest.

We’ve been friends, close ones for many years. We have shared so many moments together. And its not as if this is an unhealthy relationship. This just isn’t working anymore. You’re uninteresting. A relic of the 80s and 90s. And it’s time for us to end things.

I remember when we met. I was 22-years-old, working at a restaurant where bottomless mimosas had people coming in and drinking you up like you were the best thing on earth, but were you mimosa?

I got used to you. I didn’t hate you, but I didn’t like you very much either. I would take a sip and say, “You’re alright.” But never anything above that. I liken my relationship with you to a blind, bubbly acceptance, because everyone else loved you too. Or pretended to. Throughout the years, I sipped an endless stream of pale orange liquid from champagne flutes. 

And then I started to realize that that you equalled complacency.  You weren’t bad with me, and I didn’t abuse you either. I became aware of those relationships my girlfriends had, where they couldn’t pinpoint a single problem, but they were simply bored to death. I’m just not into you anymore. I never was.

So now I ask each of you join me in bidding farewell to mimosas. It’s time to let this stale staple go.  Continue reading

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Where to find your next girlfriend, or the perfect date for your wife/girlfriend


A cooking class is the following: a place for you to meet a person with outside interests. OR a fantastic idea for those wanting to take your beloved to someplace new: a cooking class. Please don’t hate on the idea, so stay with me while I plead my case. Every time I recommend this to someone, a deeper conversation reveals that they have a preconceived notion of what a cooking class is and isn’t. They are not your typical kitchen or classroom. A cooking class is an experience. Consider it an amplified dinner party. 

There’s another element to think about. Even if she’s not remotely interested in cooking, there’s something enticing about a woman watching her man get his hands messy in the kitchen. I have the actual proof, as I watched five other couples do this a few weeks ago in Chef Eric’s Culinary Classroom.

My enthusiasm about Chef Eric’s class was also shared with a male friend who immediately rolled his eyes and replied, “I have other things I need to do.”

Nothing makes me more frustrated than seeing someone overlook an opportunity. This guy has been out on numerous and expensive dates, all unsuccessful. And since he came to me for advice, I didn’t hesitate by saying, “This is the perfect place for you to meet women, or take your girlfriend or wife. If you had one.”

Said guy hasn’t asked me for advice in awhile. I’m also working on my delivery skills. Continue reading

Posted in Appetizers, CTGL Tip, Dessert, Dinner | Tagged , | 3 Comments

RECIPE: Sun-dried Tomato, Feta, Basil & Black Olive Pasta Salad

A cold pasta salad with sundried tomatoes, olives, feta and basil. Gimme a plate, NOW.

A cold pasta salad with sun-dried tomatoes, olives, feta and basil. Gimme a plate, NOW.

It’s summer. Folks like me come up with reasons to get together and eat. And sometimes the food obsessed will ask you to bring something. Don’t go into a panic, and please don’t go to the largely uninteresting prepared food aisle of your grocery store. So here’s a go to recipe that takes only 20 minutes to complete, from start to finish. 

Here in LA, we have the Cinespia film screenings in a cemetery. That’s right, a cemetery. They play the best of old movies on a massive (unused) lawn just after sundown. But it’s all part of the the charm and fun. Provided you’re not too creeped out by dead bodies.  So we devoured this pasta salad while watching, “Coming To America” with a vocal and fun audience. And when it was time to leave the grounds, we happened to walked past the graves of Johnny Ramone, Jayne Mansfield and Rudolph Valentino with full bellies.

Cinespia summertime movie screenings. Reuse photo provided by Rachel aka

Cinespia summertime movie screenings. Reuse photo provided by Rachel Jackson via Flickr

Meals aren’t supposed to be complicated. I believe that you add elements to a recipe in order to make it beautiful and delicious. So I’ll keep this blog post in that same theme: easy and good.

Sun-dried Tomato, Feta, Basil & Olive Pasta Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
7 min
Cook Time
12 min
Prep Time
7 min
Cook Time
12 min
  1. 1 16 ounce package of rice pasta, preferably fusilli or spiral pasta (Trader Joe's has it)
  2. 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomato (or more if you love them like I do)
  3. 3/4 cup of good quality feta (my favorite is the Israeli sheep's milk feta from Trader Joe's)
  4. 1 handful of fresh basil, chopped
  5. 1 cup of pitted and sliced black olives
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Get your pasta water going, and fill a large pot full of water, then place on a high heat.
  2. While waiting for your water to boil, start prepping your ingredients. Remove the sun-dried tomatoes from their oil and let them drain in a sieve.
  3. Start pitting and slicing your olives. Or just buy them already diced and pitted.
  4. Chop the basil after cleaning and removing the stems.
  5. Once the water boils, add your pasta and follow directions on pack. All gluten-free pastas do not cook the same, so please pay attention to the instructions.
  6. Test the pasta. Taste it! When it's your favorite consistency, remove it and place under cold water.
  7. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. If your feta cheese is in a large block, use a fork to separate it.
  8. It is likely that you won't need any salt, as the feta has enough of it's own.
  9. Love it like we do!
Cook This...Get Laid


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Wonder if he/she likes you? Read on…

When I first started dating my then boyfriend, now husband, I played initiated a game. The, “I’m not gonna call him so much or be available,” game. After two days of ‘playing it cool,’ he called me up and said, “Are you okay?” My reply was as lame as my approach, and he read right through it with this reply, “Listen, I like you. I like hearing from you. We don’t need to do that thing. You know, that thing where we barely acknowledge that we like each other, play games and make it harder than it has to be. So if you want to do this, let’s DO this.”

And we’ve been doing it ever since. I was reminded of this when reading this article in Elite Daily about why we need a new game: HONESTY.

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Get Father’s Day Right

NSFW = NOT SAFE FOR WORK, this is a blog post for grown folks today. Just for you, some relationship and sex advice.

Let’s be real about regular holidays and events, most are geared towards women and kids. The result is something like this: men scrambling around every February 14th and Mother’s Day to make last minute reservations, or buy gifts. Easter has adults planting eggs all over the yard while stuffing entire bodies into Easter Bunny suits. And Christmas? Grown men and women wrapping gifts until they’re ready to fall asleep with a tape dispenser in hand.

I knows fathers everywhere enjoy these moments. But the other holidays are about someone else. And rather than doing what’s expected of them, let’s rebrand it altogether: Father’s Day should be about them. Continue reading

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RECIPE: Shakshuka what your mama gave ya!

Note: if you’re not a fan of eggs over easy, then Shakshuka just isn’t for you. Scrambled just doesn’t work in this dish. If you like your yolks a bit runny, then you’re in for an exceptional dish.

Poached eggs over a spiced tomato sauce makes for some savory, messy (in the best way) eating.

Poached eggs over a spiced tomato sauce makes for some savory, messy (in the best way) eating.

My husband has been working some very long hours in the last few weeks, so I’ve been left to fend for myself in the kitchen. So when my chef cousin walked in the door ready to recipe test, with all ingredients ready to go in this slowly cooked and slightly spicy tomato sauce topped with poached eggs, IT WAS ON. We didn’t know how amazing this dish would turn out, and shakshuka is the dish to impress someone.

I make dishes for myself regularly. But sometimes I try new ones because I want my husband to make them FOR me later. I don’t drop hints, I just say, “Honey, I want you to make this for me one day soon.” I’m never disappointed, and he’s never left to figure out what I want.

That last sentence can save a million relationships. Just ask for, or tell the other what you want. I hear it all the time, “He should know what I want.” Or, “She knows what she signed up for.” No more games. Just speak up and say what you want. Or even better, check in with the other to make sure both your needs are getting met. Continue reading

Posted in Breakfast, CTGL Tip, Dinner, Gluten-free, Late Night Snack, Lunch | 1 Comment

Show me how to make it for you baby

Gambas al Ajillo, or one of the 10 million ways the Spanish make their shrimp delicious.

Gambas al Ajillo, or one of the 10 million ways the Spanish make their shrimp delicious.

Mona came back from a trip to Spain, Germany and France recently. After three weeks, she returned with a glow in her face and also managed to even come back smaller.

Just so you know, I think Mona is the hottest thing in the entire world. I love her curves. My wife turns heads when she walks into a room wearing no makeup on those big brown eyes, baggy sweatpants and a 29-year-old t-shirt. She doesn’t even notice the effect she has on others. And that’s what makes her so sexy.

Back to her shrunken waistline. When she was gone, we’d check in every few days to see how the other was doing. All she spoke about was the food. Where she ate, what she ate, how she ate it, when she ate it and how the last meal was the best she’d ever had. And she was always video chatting with a big glass of red right next to her.

We all come back from vacation rested, empowered and inspired. And I love her, so I want to keep that vacation mind going. She’s a less worried, loose Mona. One that isn’t worried about the next client, slightly stressed and wondering if her work is done well. So when she got back, I asked her what her favorite dishes were. There were quite a few, but she turned into a different person when she said this:

“Gambas baby. A dish called Gambas al Ajillo! It’s shrimp with paprika, crushed red pepper, parsley, sherry and lots of olive oil. A waiter told me how to make it.” Then she made a sound that women do when they’re typically talking about chocolate. You know, that guttural noise that sounds slightly sexual. But she was only talking about gambas.

So I replied, “Show me how to make it for you.”

What happened next is none of your business. But let’s stay on point. Sometimes women must help men, so that you get what you want. So men, it doesn’t hurt to keep asking questions about what they want. Which requires you paying attention to the details. This took five minutes from prep to finish. Which translates to this: I take her to Spain every time I make this for her.

Gambas al Ajillo (Mona's favorite Spanish shrimp recipe)
Serves 2
Lightly sautéed shrimp with sherry, parsley, a healthy amount of garlic, lots of olive oil, salt and crushed red pepper.
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
3 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
3 min
  1. 4 cloves garlic
  2. 1/4 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1/2 pound of large shrimp, peeled
  4. Salt
  5. 1 teaspoon paprika
  6. A pinch red pepper flakes
  7. 2 teaspoons sherry (we've even used cognac or whiskey)
  8. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  9. A squirt of fresh lemon juice
  1. Assemble all of your ingredients on the counter closest to the stove.
  2. If you have a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic and parsley to a pulp and set aside.
  3. Add shrimp to a bowl with garlic parsley paste, or just garlic, pepper flakes and paprika. Toss until well combined.
  4. Turn on the heavy pan to a medium heat and fill with olive oil, wait a minute for it to warm up.
  5. Add the shrimp, lemon juice and sherry. Be careful not to crowd the shrimp, and cook them 2 minutes on each side.
  6. Remove from the pan, and season right away with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Serve this over bread, pasta, or just eat it with your hands as Mona does.
  1. Trader Joe's sells a pound of wild shrimp for under $10 dollars. Whatever you choose, make sure it's labeled "wild".
Cook This...Get Laid


Posted in CTGL Tip, Dinner, Gluten-free, Late Night Snack, Lunch | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A lime shortage on Cinco de Mayo? What about my margarita?

Margaritas! One for you, and another for me.

Margaritas! One for you, and another for me. (Photo by Franceasca Seiden)

You might have heard about the worldwide lime shortage. The timing of it couldn’t be any worse as Cinco de Mayo is here. What will we do without our precious and key ingredient: limes? 

Continue reading

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Where am I? On holiday


I just had a reader ask where I’ve been. I’m on vacation. ‘Nuff said. See you on May 10th.

Love, M.

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