March 15, 2012

Turning Tricks Into Treats


Image courtesy of chilloutspots.com 
Once again I find myself at the tail end of planning a Summer vacation that may or may not happen. Oh, everything was prepaid many months ago and as long as I'm still on this earth, I will make it to the resort where we've rented a beautiful house, hoping beyond hope that we'll be able to stay for the entire 3 weeks as planned.  For the past two years, due to the demands of entrepreneurship, vacation has always amounted to any number of hastily strewn together long weekends which no matter how much I promise, swear and cajole myself into believing that I can leave the work behind, almost always ended up being 30% vacation, 70% business. Quite frankly that can never be a substitution for the complete detachment from the world that 2-3 weeks totally away from the distractions of work can bring.  It doesn't help that my significant other, also an entrepreneur, has no turn off switch.


So what will make this time different? I'm not sure yet but I do know that it's only March and I'm already looking ahead to a break in the action.  Maybe if I practice an adult version what my Mom used to do with my brother and I as kids to get us to go to sleep at night.  She would keep us so active during the day that we would tire ourselves out and our bodies would make the shut down decision for us. Sleep came fast and easy.  I won't work so hard that I damage my wellbeing but perhaps I can trick myself into letting go completely this year. Guaranteed I'll need help getting to the treat.  Can you relate?

March 8, 2012

Eat Good Food

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”
- George Bernard Shaw

Do you love food? I mean do you REALLY love food? Do you wake up and think not simply about what you will put in your mouth for breakfast but how you will plate it, how the smells will commingle in the air in your kitchen and waft through your house, how the tastes will coexist on your tongue? This is how I think of food and before you pass judgement, know that I come from a long line of foodies. Growing up, cooking was never just a function of eating in my family. It was a celebration of an edible art form. I was fortunate enough to experience fine dining at an early age as well as amazingly flavorful home cooking and tasty healthy fare. (Mom was a dietitian before she became a teacher.) I've learned to appreciate food not just as nourishment but as a gift to our palates. 

Since I'm fortunate enough to be able to enjoy good meals on a daily basis, I don't take food for granted.  I savor every bite and take the time to taste flavors and feel the textures of various dishes.  I LOVE to cook. It is one of the best stress-relievers.  I enjoy preparing meals with the best ingredients I can find, with a deep passion for dishes that satisfy and most importantly, with love.  Discovering a phenomenal new restaurant and revisiting old favorites is one of my greatest pleasures.  Here are 10 special eateries I can never get enough of: 

Gotham Bar & Grill, The Harrison and Red Rooster in New York City
Lighthorse Tavern in Jersey City, NJ
FIG in Charleston, SC
Alma de Cuba, Parc and Village Whiskey in Philadelphia, PA
Founding Farmers in Washington, DC
A Fish Called Avalon in Miami Beach, FL  

These choice few make my list because of their attention to small details (table settings, lighting), the incredible service and how each visit is consistently something to remember.  And of course, the food is always the brightest shining star.

Eating is a glorious experience but unfortunately, it isn't one that everyone in the world gets to partake in. Global hunger is a real epidemic and that's why I now support the efforts of such organizations as Stop Hunger Now whose mission is to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-saving aid to the world's most vulnerable and by creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.  Be grateful if you are able to appreciate food everyday and support efforts to feed those that can't. 

UPDATE: I'm also supporting the work of Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign.

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