New York International Auto Show {2015}

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There are not too many things that can get me more excited to be in New York besides Fashion Week and The Fashion Icon Series at 92 Y… than the New York International Auto Show.

Yeah…I’m a chick…but I love fast cars….and I don’t give a chic who knows it. Yes…I wrote “chic”…don’t worry…I have  auto correct under control.

I love cars… just as much as I love fashion…and nothing is sexier than a woman in a sexy car…Do I really need to say more?
Okay…I will…

Mark your calendar for the 115th Anniversary of the New York International Auto Show held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan….{Open to the Public}:
Friday April 3rd through Sunday April 12th, 2015
Monday – Saturday: 10am – 10pm *
(Sundays: 10am – 7pm)

{Press Preview}
Credentials required Wednesday April 1st & Thursday April 2nd
{Dealer Preview Reception}
Credentials required Thursday April 2nd from 5-10pm
Reception from 5-7 pm
By invitation only

Vegan Ice Cream [ThrowBack Thursday Cookbook Review]

I18339874 scream….. You scream…. We all scream….for “Vegan Ice Cream”

There is one thing I love….. and that is the perfect scoop of a unique flavored ice cream. The pursuit of ice cream has leaded me to some very interesting places. So imagine by delight when I received a copy of the cookbook “Vegan Ice Cream” on my doorstep gifted to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.

Of course winter is hopefully whining down and the cold air of those brisk winter nights will be replaced by hot summer nights, and with Spring right around the corner…Let’s be honest…the calendar says Spring but I’m still in my winter gear.  However, this ice cream cookbook is the perfect treat for any night..regardless if there’s snow on the ground or not.

Now before you start making excuses about not having an ice cream maker, there are several methods for making ice cream without an ice cream machine. My personal favorite I call “kick the can”, others may call it the “coffee can ice cream method”. There is also the stir every 20 minutes in the freezer method, but it holds you hostage to the freezer.

However, nothing beats the simplicity of the good old ice cream maker when it comes to making ice cream. Nonetheless, no matter what method you choose, the end result is yummy ice cream. However, please note some of the recipes require you to have a blender in addition to the ice cream maker. 

But if you are interested in learning how to make ice cream without an ice cream machine, this website http://www.kitchn.com explains all six techniques.

Just click here http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-ice-cream-without-an-ice-cream-machine-171060

The cookbook Vegan Ice Cream is completely diary free, however the base for most, but not all of the ice cream recipes, is organic cashews. I… an avid lover of nuts always have cashews around, but if you have a nut allergy this ice cream book may or may not be for you…like I said before….. most, not all, of the recipes uses cashew as the base. So there is something for everyone in the Vegan Ice Cream cookbook to keep everyone in the family happy and healthy.

The recipes in this cookbook most definitely made this island girl happy, with over 90 sinfully delicious ice cream recipes to choose from. Of course you all know I love coffee, just as much as I love ice cream, and so I had a few empty coffee cans waiting to be turned into my quick ice cream makers and I made three ice cream flavors from this cookbook…yes, that’s right….three (3). Vanilla Ice Cream

I started with the “Pineapple Mango” ice cream recipe that used coconut milk as the base and it was simple delicious and creamy. The second recipe I tried was “Banana” and this was my absolutely favorite and this one turned out to be the creamiest out of all. The third recipe I tried was “Raw Gingersnap” this recipe used almond milk and fresh ginger juice as the base and it was not my personal cup of tea (flavor wise), but my neighbor enjoyed it and it did have a silky texture like regular ice cream. However, I am willing to try the “Raw Gingersnap” recipe again, but with the addition of perhaps honey, this ice cream recipe was simply not sweet enough for me…. but that’s just my personal taste.

So if you are looking for a healthy alternative to traditional ice cream, vegan ice cream is definitely a good alternative. I enjoyed all three flavors, some more than others, and if you have time and the patience that is required to make the vegan ice cream properly, regardless of what method you choose, you will have a creamy textured vegan ice cream. I think this book is definitely worth adding to your cookbook collection.

Tim Gunn: The Natty Professor

You’ve probably experienced this at least once in your life…
That moment where you are reading a book…and that one sentence…those few words…leaps off the pages and gives you that warm hug and a pat on the back that lets you know that everything will be okay.

Well that’s how I felt when I read “Tim Gunn: The Natty Professor” it was these few words “So many people who do great things in life follow many different paths before ending up in the role that defines them, and none of that time is squandered if they’re learning” that let me know that I was about to embark on an amazing journey with this book.
To be honest, I expected this book to be all about Fashion and perhaps about the hit TV show “Project Runway or “Under The Gunn” after all who does not know the loveable mentor of the hit TV show Project Runway and the crème ah la crème of the spin off show “Under The Gunn”. However…Tim Gunn gives us more than Project Runway and Under The Gunn. He teaches us that life is our Runway… and everyday it’s a new project… and no matter how small or big the project… even when you are looking into the barrel of the gun …each moment is a learning experience.

For a few hours…
Those precious moments in time…
The book Tim Gunn: The Natty Professor let those of us who often feel alone, unheard, awkward in our skin, and sometimes invisible…know…that we aren’t so unique after all. A life lesson for many us out there who often feel alone on this runway called…Life.

Tim Gunn has an unbelievably passion for teaching and mentoring and it started years before Project Runway. Actually he was a classroom educator and a chair for Parsons Fashion Design Program, and although he is no longer in the classroom he stills considers himself a teacher. The book underscored many different aspects of life by categories with the clever acronym Teach;
(T)ruth-telling, (E)mpathy, (A)sking, (C)heerleading, and (H)oping for the best.

What I loved about this book is that it was cleared that the advice he was giving us was based on his own life lessons. When I finished reading this book I felt like I could take on the world. The book was a welcomed surprise, Tim Gunn let us see another side of him, the man beyond the Fashion…the educator….and the student.

To say that I absolutely love this book would be an understatement…this is definitely a book that you should add to your library. And if you are lucky enough to be in New York City on March 31, 2015 then head over to 92Y my favorite place to be… where Tim Gunn and Fern Mallis will be in conversation as part of the Fashion Icon series.
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Clean Slate

9780307954596Like a fine bottle of wine Martha Stewart only gets better with time…
And just when you thought Martha Stewart couldn’t get any better…
The Queen of the kitchen who brought us “One Pot” in 2014 brings us back to the kitchen one more time for the New Year with a “Clean Slate”.

This cookbook is no ordinary cookbook…then again…you should never expect just the ordinary from Martha Stewart. With a glossary of the best sources of health boosting nutrients, along with tips on stocking your pantry, this book is like having your own personal health coach at your finger tips.

Clean Slate made its debut December 16, 2014… just in time to help us usher in 2015. This cookbook is filled with mouthwatering recipes, menus for a simple 3-day cleanse and a 21-day whole-body detox, and beautiful food photography for inspiration. And to kick off the launch of Clean Slate… some of us had an opportunity to celebrate with the Queen herself for a kickoff party in honor of her newest addition to her cookbook family.

First we had a drink to our health…and rebooted with a “Green Machine Smoothie,” followed by a cooking demonstration, and a brief Q&A session. The highlight of my evening…besides being in the presence of Martha Stewart was this unbelievable Green Goddess Dressing…Absolutely…Delicious! This dressing had me licking my fingers…in Public! 

Now a cookbook review is not a review without a little kitchen testing of my own…
Ok…channeling my inner Martha Stewart…I head to kitchen and made two amazing dishes…One for my Vegan Lovers and One for my Non-Vegans. What recipes did I choose?
Drum rolls please…the winning recipes “wild salmon, asparagus, and shiitakes in parchment” and “roasted portobellos with kale and red onion.”

And the dishes were absolutely…Amazing!
All Hail The Queen!


Martha Stewart has done it again with her newest cookbook “Clean Slate.”
Do I recommend this cookbook?
Absolutely! Eating healthy has never been so finger licking good.

One Good Daughter (Book Review)

OneGoodDaughter“One Good Daughter” by author James Tucci is not new to the literary world, matter of fact this book made its debut in 2001.  So in honor of throwback Thursday, I think this book deserves a little time in the spotlight with a book review.  This book had all the elements that I look for in a good chick lit…mystery, suspense, an independent woman, a handsome columnist, a love story…and a walk on the wild side with the Mafia.

The author takes us on an amazing journey from the war ravaged Italy, to Miami Beach, to the most exciting place in the world…New York City.  John Vittone, a sixty-three year Sardinian native, is the mastermind of the drug arm of the Pucchini Family, one of the five crime syndicates in the New York area.

cityscapes weapons mafia artwork_www.wallpaperhi.com_64 (1)Life is wonderful for John Vittone until his only child, his daughter Pia, watches as her life and career in the elite world of Wall Street and International Law slowly disappear after being arrested.  What happens next will keep you on the edge of your seat with an amazing rollercoaster ride.  John Vittone’s nefarious ways have now come to the surface, bringing all the havoc he caused to the forefront, which can ultimately destroy the life of his daughter.

However, John F. Hampton the handsome Princeton educated…forty-six year old New York Daily News Columnist… has made it his mission to vindicate and salvage Pia’s career.  One Good Daughter is definitely a book that you will want to curl up with, this book will draw you in, and you will become immediately invested in the characters.  If you haven’t read this book yet…then what are you waiting for?

 

 

 

 

 

The Coffee and Tea Festival NYC (March 21-22, 2015)

NerisaSaturday2Every morning I long to hold you…
I need you…I want you…I have to have you…
Your warmth…Your smell…Your taste….
Oh…My…Goodness…Coffee!
I …absolutely…love you!
But I also love Tea…but not as much as you Coffee.
So what’s a girl to do?

Well if your only dilemma is deciding between Tea and Coffee then you might want to run over to the Brooklyn Expo this weekend for the Coffee and Tea Festival.

Now if you know me, then you know, I love coffee…I’m addicted.
However, I have a true appreciation for tea, the more exotic the tea, the more pleasure I seem to find from those little tea leaves. I don’t know when I had my very first cup of coffee, it’s funny you would think I would remember something like that.

However this is what I do know…
Coffee is good for you…and because of the high volume of coffee being consumed in America, it is the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet. The second higher source of antioxidants in the American diet is…black tea.  So which is better…Coffee or Tea?
Is one really superior to the other?  The Face Off…

AnimatedFight - 1

So whether it’s coffee or tea…there is definitely something for everyone to appreciate.

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The Coffee and Tea Festival:

Location: 79 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Hours: VIP Hour: 10:00AM – 11:30AM
(special ticket required; available both days)

General Public:
Saturday: 11:30AM – 5:00PM
Sunday: 11:30AM – 5:00PM

NYC Vegeterian Food Festival

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The NYC Vegetarian Food Festival is coming to town…well that’s if you live in the New York City area. This festival is your tour NYC V.egetarian Food Fest (black)jpgguide leading you to vegan heaven as your palate has one love affair after another.

Now if you follow me on my book blog “The Book Blog and Etc.” than you know I have kitchen tested more than my fair share of Vegan and Vegetarian Cookbooks.  I am a part-time vegan/vegetarian…I believe in the Vegan life’s philosophy but I practice a Vegetarian diet as much as possible.

First let’s talk about the ongoing debate of Vegan vs. Vegetarians.

Vegan is a life’s philosophy…while Vegetarian is plant base diet.

Vegans avoid all dairy products and their life’s philosophy goes against the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.  Vegetarians practice a diet that excludes meat…however the staples for both Vegetarians and Vegans are fruits, vegetables, and grains.

The NYC Vegetarian Food Festival is the love child of Sarah Gross and Nira Paliwoda, and the festival was created to bring awareness to the exciting, flavorful, and innovative Culinary World of Vegetarian and Vegan cuisines.

The NYC Vegetarian Food fest is two days of unbelievable vibrant food culture that is stepping out of the shadows and into the limelight.   It a combination trade show, restaurant showcase,  and educational experience. The doors opened to the public at 11 a.m.

With over 100 vendors this festival will inspire you to pack your suitcase and run to the airport.   There is more to being a Vegetarian or a Vegan than Tofu…

Meet local chefs, growers, restaurateurs, educators, authors, and a community of passionate and hard working people that care about making you aware about what you put into your body.  A three-course Vegan feast created by the one and only Chef Jay Astafa will kick off the 2015 NYC Vegetarian Food Festival on Friday, March 13, 2015 from 7:00-8:30pm, at the National Gourmet Institute in Manhattan.

Here’s a little FYI…

Kids 10 and under are absolutely free…And…reduced $5 end of day tickets will be available starting at 4pm for those interested in checking out some of the exhibitors before the doors close at 6pm.

The Healthy Mind Cookbook [The Review]

Authors of “The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen” Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson bring us back to the kitchen one more time with their newest cookbook “The Healthy Mind Cookbook.” The cookbook made its debut on February 10, 2015 and trust me….eating healthy has never tasted so damn delicious.

Gone are the days that the word healthy eating had you running for the hills.
Rebecca and Mat put an innovative twisted on nourishing the mind, body, and soul with mouthwatering recipes that will satisfy the pickiest eaters.

“With a culinary pharmacy listing the benefits of key ingredients, complete nutritional details for each dish, and flavored-packed recipes for every meal of the day” this book brings a whole new meaning to the statement… eating makes me happy.
The Healthy Mind Cookbook is like your personal nutritionist, and your mind and wellness coach assisting you in the elimination of depression, heart disease, diabetes and so much more by helping you boost your brain function and health.

I don’t know about you… but with all the snow in my neck of the woods… all I Stoupwant to do is curl up with a big bowl of soup. One soup recipe that caught my attention was the “Robust Chicken Soup”…not quite a soup… and not quite a stew… according to the author you can refer to it as a “stoup.” And whether you call it a stew…or a soup…I call it delicious.

Of course there is more to this cookbook then just soup, this book is divided into chapters from soups to sweet bites… and everything imaginable in between. The recipes are easy to follow, the ingredients easily accessible at your local supermarket and farmers market with beautiful food photography for inspiration.
Do I recommend this cookbook?
Absolutely!T

Throwback Thursday “Fifty Shades of Gray” Review:The Movie, The Books, and The Soundtrack

Say what you want about the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy, there are over 100 million people who purchased these books. I on the other hand reviewed The Fifty Shades trilogy, which was developed from a Twilight fan fiction series titled “Master of the Universe” . I think the Fifty Shades Trilogy is quite entertaining, and all though I gave them a high-ranking, I ripped the front and back covers off because I didn’t want anyone to know that I was reading it…And I never looked back.

There’s been a lot of talk about the content of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy and all I have to say is…if it’s not your cup of tea don’t drink it. Now this does not mean I support sexual violence…it means I support a writer’s right to exercise her healthy imagination on paper…and skip and sing all the way to the bank in the process. However, In January 2015, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation called for a boycott of the film, claiming that it was  really about sexual violence and sexual abuse.

Now here’s where things get a little tricky, when reading a book your mind auditions and places various people in the roles of the characters of the books. You determine how severe your ride will be on the emotional rollercoaster of your book. Now I didn’t run out on opening night to see this movie, I actually took my sweet time watching this movie, and like I said I don’t support sexual violence.  However, this movie is not really about sexual violence or sexual abuse, it’s about emotional abuse…And sex is the weapon of choice.

In this case, sex was not used as a healthy exploration of two willing adults in a relationship trying to get closer…the key word…relationship. Sex in this case was used as a weapon, a weapon in an exploration of a non-relationship where one is in love with the other, and the other is love with himself. To say this movie left me a little disturb would be an understatement… but not for the reasons you think. This movie was definitely a conversation starter…it had some interesting shadesparts…an other parts that just made me say…hmmm…alrighty then…let’s move along.

However, let’s start a conversation… To often women confuse having a sexual partner… for having a partner. The only message I think this movie was sending was…Dads please set the tone on how your daughter should expect to be treated by a man. And moms…lead by an example and set the tone on how your daughters feels about their mind, body, and spirit.  This movie was not about sexual positions or sexual brutality…it was about emotional abuse of a girl searching for her self-worth  through the eyes of a man.

The Lesson…The Moral of this story…No matter how much you love or care about a person, as long as you let your self-worth be calculated by another person, you will always be short-changed.  Trust is something that is earned and should not be giving away freely, and even those who earn your trust with the kindest of hearts and the best of  intentions can also fall prey to human nature. You know what I’m talking about, that one human flaw that seems to take down the best of us…the disease called “drunk with power”.  Remember, even Lucifer aka Satan was once an Angel.

The scene that really struck a chord with me, is the scene where she’s crying and upset and can’t tell anyone why.  This is a perfect example for our young women out there on why relationships that start in the darkness of the night will never survive the light of the dawn. You can’t make a non-relationship into a relationship where the only common denominator is sex…call it what is was…and move on.

Now here’s something  I didn’t take my sweet time doing…listening to this amazing…I mean…AMAZING soundtrack for this movie. It is actually one of the best movie soundtrack I’ve heard in a long…long time. With a compilation of new and old songs, there is something here for everybody. This is the kind of music soundtrack that kids years from now will say, my mom and dad conceived me the night they were listening to your cd. Let’s just be honest… this cd is for the grown and sexy. WARNING: you and your honey bear might not want to be stuck at home in a blizzard with this cd…or may you do…

But whether you do, or you don’t, this music cd is definitely an appetizer to the main course…the book.

Don’t get me wrong…I think this movie was okay… not great… but okay.
For me what determines if I’m going to like a movie is the first 15 minutes, and for the first 15 minutes I felt like I was watching a Batman Movie, I kept waiting for Bruce Wayne to put on his Batman costume.  I know, I know, but it’s true. The premise of a girl walking into an office of one of the most powerful man, frumpy and disheveled with all these beautiful and well groom women walking around the office just made this story a little bit unbelievable from the moment it started…sorry. Besides this seems like déjà vu…Where did I see this scene before of the frumpy girl walking into the office of the high power executive making a fool of herself…and then… finally getting that makeover that turns her into hotness…oh yeah… “The Devil Wears Prada.”

Of course, there were no bedroom play dates in Devil Wears Prada, but for that movie the entire transformation works. As for this movie, it just seem like a little girl playing an adult game without really knowing the rules.  This movie definitely did not live up to my expectations, and definitely did not do the trilogy justice.  However, I can’t help but think…if I never read the The Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy…And if it wasn’t for the endless promotions… I might have enjoyed the movie for what it was, instead of what everyone expected it to be.

So inclusion I will end this blog post by saying, if you and your sweetie want to watch a movie on Saturday night and maybe have an interesting conversation, then by all means check out “Fifty Shades of Grey,” I think it’s an interesting movie to say the least. If you want to get all hot and bother on a Saturday night with your sweetie, then lock the door, place the Fifty shades of Gray Music Soundtrack in the cd player and…push play.

So if you are trying to figure out if I recommend this movie or movie or not …I absolutely recommend this movie.   There’s always a lesson to be learned in life…as long as you are willing to learn it.

Blackface meets the Catwalk in Milan Fashion Week

Say it isn’t so…The Sparkly Black Face on the Catwalk.

Now I am all about creativity and pushing the envelope all in the name of Fashion…after all creativity is my middle name.  However…the only thing I want to give this designer is… my middle…glittered… finger. Now would it be pretty? Yes.  Offensive? Yes…But being offensive is not my intention.  Now…Did I make my point? I sure hope so…so let’s not have this conversation again.

Designer Claudio Cutugno sent his models down the catwalk with their faces painted black… with a touch of glitter. For the record this collection was inspired by the artist Emilio Isgrò, who regularly uses bees in his art…I’m thinking Claudio Cutugno should have just stucked to using…bees.

Now I really don’t understand this… The first time I saw this I was appalled. Blackface is more than makeup, it’s the ugliest stereotypes of African Americans, and it’s a characterization of slaves and free blacks during the era of minstrel shows (1830-1890).
Minstrel shows were designed to entertainment White America by imitating Black America.

Now I don’t want to beat a dead horse…but I always like to remind people that we are not that far removed from slavery and segregation. The scars from a time in America when equality was not so equal…hasn’t complete healed yet. Now throw some glitter on it as if it was a party… racist connotations or not… Nerisa has left the building.

Copyright Holder: Kit Parker Films