Oh! It’s Polenta….my Darling!

29 Jan

Polenta is a dish of boiled cornmeal. It may be consumed hot as a porridge or allowed to cool and solidify into a loaf, which is then baked, fried, or grilled.

After making the polenta, yesterday I chose to cool the mixture on a cookie sheet for 30 -45 minutes in the fridge! After cooling, today using a turned over glass I’d made circles to fry in a sauté pan with a little extra virgin olive oil under medium heat (4-5 minutes)

I then I took a mason jar lid to make a quick guide to house my fresh egg in the same pan. Sea salt and coarse pepper added.  Once browned to my liking, I then took fresh arugula and chopped red pepper sautéed very lightly (less than 1/2 a minute).

To assemble place one polenta cake on a plate, then your egg, following are arugula and red peppers and topped with another polenta cake! A pinch of  freshly shaved Parmesan cheese and coarse pepper….and that’s a great Sunday breakfast; a hit this morning with a spot of Earl Grey tea!

Perfectly cooked egg, arugula, red peppers placed in between two  beautiful polenta cakes

I love the peppery taste of arugula, but any leafy green can be substituted…spinach, kale or even leeks!!  If not for breakfast, then as an appetizer with a seared scallop!  What you can do is endless!  If you have any polenta recipes, please  do share!

Here’s the recipe to make the cornmeal mixture; I created about 8 (4 servings).  Oh! You can keep the extra polenta in the fridge.

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Ingredients

5 cups Water

1 cup Fine Corn Meal (polenta)

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, Grated, More If Necessary (I didn’t add, opted to top …minding for those who didn’t want cheese)

Prep

In a large sauce pan, bring water to a rolling boil. Season heavily with salt.  Gradually, slowly add in the cornmeal and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until mixture thickens, stirring often. While polenta is cooking, spray a casserole dish or cookie sheet with a small amount of cooking spray. Line the dish with Saran wrap and set aside.

Once the polenta has thickened (approximately 30 minutes), check for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Then pour the mixture into a Saran type wrap lined dish or cookie sheet (I wanted them thin).  Add another layer of Saran wrap on top and smooth it down directly on top of the polenta. Place into the refrigerator to set up.

When you are ready to make the polenta cakes, lift the polenta out. Remove the Saran wrap and place onto a cutting board. Using a round cookie cutter or glass, make 6 polenta circles.

letia Mitchelll 403 Letia 😊

Photo by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design®

Living Room Style with Arhaus®

24 Jan

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living room: a room in a residence used for the common social activities of the occupants.

 

And we also know it’s so much more when you are decorating the space!  Usually it reflects the owner’s vision of the space where there are so many ideas and choices to set up this very important room in a home.

Recently asked, if I had been given a furniture item, what would be the style, the mood that would accommodate a beautiful living room.  Not just any furniture item, but from Arhaus!  One of my favorite stores; their sophisticated lines are beautiful in all categories for the home and their showrooms are spectacular!

Since 1986, Arhaus®  has been designing home furnishings!  Beautiful, high quality and so unique!  The company takes their customers seriously and ensures the Arhaus® furnishing meets their high quality standards.

What is the furniture choice? A sectional sofa!  Sectional sofas are meant to have seating without the feeling of restraints of designated seating with style.  There is nothing wrong with a beautiful sofa or a love seat; however sectional sofas give added room and allows the circumference of a room to be fully used when required for that extra seating.

When first introduced,  many thought the sectional sofa was for the lower level of a home; where a game room or bar might be!    Well that’s all changed and Arhaus®’s designers have a beautiful line of sectional sofa’s, over forty-two!  I’d reviewed each description and the steel suspension construction is so welcomed; quality at it’s best!  So it was very, very  hard to choose which one, but I think I got it!

My choice is Darrow, a crescent shaped sectional sofa!  I’d choose this style for it gave me ideas in a living room that would be peaceful,  a Feng-Shui scenario with a modern touch.    This sectional has three options; either 119″, 148″ or 152″, so if a living room could not hold the three sections, the 119″of two sections would comfortably fit in standard size living room.

Arhaus® Darrow Sectional with Design Choices by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design®

Arhaus® Darrow Sectional Sofa with design styles by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design®

Now, let’s dove in my excitement of my choices:

  • Arhaus® provides the Darrow sectional sofa in eight beautiful colors; however I was drawn to their custom colors.  One in particular, it’s name is Taranto Blue.  The fabric has look of a herringbone style pattern; which is quite attractive.
  • The paint, I’ve chosen Benjamin Moore’s Feather Gray to be the accent color in the room.  While the wallpaper choice is a shimmer of gold and a luster of gray by Fabricut.
  • Then there’s this gorgeous hand-knotted contemporary rug name Yiska, also by Arhaus® ; it also plays with the color scheme chosen.  It gives the look of reflected water.
  • Keeping with the curve pattern dimensions from the Darrow sectional sofa, I chose this electic Trocadero Kidney brass cocktail table by designer Jonathan Adler.  The table is covered in a pieced and lacquered inky charcoal goatskin and adorned with three, inset sand-cast brass medallions.
  • Next is a tall floor lamp. Also brass; with clear Lucite accents by Savafieh.  And yes, I would use two floor lamps in the far corners of the room (opposite the main window in the living room that allows sunlight to stream in).
  • For accent pieces, it can be limitless in ideas.  I chose white vases of different heights and shapes – giving some crispness.  As for greenery, little cacti plants to place throughout the room.  To scent the room, fresh flowers like colorful peonies, hydrangea and mulberries.
  • Lastly, a 3 panel painting of an inviting Buddha head that can be placed on the living room wall to also tie in the curveness of the Darrow sectional sofa and the color hues selected.

This was a pleasure to do!! You can get great ideas for your home.  Take a moment to view Arhaus®’s website, there’s something for everyone! Arhaus…your home!

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letia Mitchelll 403 Letia 🙂

Reference of choices: Arhaus®, Jonathan Adler, Fabricut , West Elm, and Savafieh.

Pump Up The Volume on Your Vegetables! 

8 Jan

img_1605Vegetables can be boring, if you don’t change up a bit! So starting off the New Year, I’m trying things new, being creative! 😊

So my cutting board was very useful this afternoon with all the chopping and julienning being done!

Fresh fennel, onions, kale, carrots!

Fennel, an acquired taste raw….however when roasted with virgin olive oil with sprinkles of Himalayan pink salt and coarse pepper; its wonderful! That’s how I prepared it!  Placed on the bitten rack of the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  It can be paired with a roasted pork loin and even accompany a broiled salmon.  I’m roasting them to be as a side to my arugula salad  for lunch today and add to my boxed lunch tomorrow ( that’s the plan…it’s so good)!

Beautiful fennel!

Then taking raw carrots, kale (remove middle stem) and onion, I’d julienned, then formed them together  in a palm size circle by taking a dip in a tempura batter of rice flour, tsp of soybean oil, Sea salt and cornstarch*!

* or a tempura batter mix from the grocery store will also do.

I’d settled twelve of them on a tray and placed in the fridge to get cold (1 to 3 hours ).  The little circles can be cooked in the oven at 350 degrees, on each side for 10 minutes.  Or you may pan fry in vegetable oil for 3 minutes until golden brown.  These will be my go to snack on it’s own!  

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Vegetable circles in a tempura batter, placed on a cookie sheet.

 

 

Taking arugula leaves washed and dried, tossed in a lemon dressing of extra virgin oil, Dijon mustard, fresh squeezed lemon with a pinch of sugar. Added diced tomatoes, olives was a winner!  You can even add some fresh shaved Parmesan cheese if you like for this beautiful salad!

Now taking the serving size in consideration, the calories can be low (for example the vegetable circles is 2 at 70 calories for each).

With changing the look of your vegetables can be really good!  The different ways can give the incentive to trying different vegetables and eat more of them for a healthy start to this new year!

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Arugula salad, vegetable circle snacks and roasted fennel.

letia Mitchelll 403 Letia  😊

The bulb’s foliage, and seeds of the fennel plant are used in many of the culinary traditions of the world. The small flowers of wild fennel (known as fennel “pollen” ) are the most potent form of fennel, but also the most expensive. Dried fennel seed is an aromatic, anise-flavored spice, brown or green in color when fresh, slowly turning a dull grey as the seed ages. For cooking, green seeds are optimal. The leaves are delicately flavored and similar in shape to those of dill. The bulb is a crisp vegetable that can be sautéed, stewed, braised, grilled, or eaten raw. Young tender leaves are used for garnishes, as a salad, to add flavor to salads, to flavor sauces to be served with puddings, and also in soups and fish sauce.

Photos by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design ®

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!!

24 Dec

 

Can your snowman do a merry handstand!

Can your snowman do a merry handstand!

 

It’s Christmas Eve and Hanukkah starts this evening!

I’ve poured a glass of egg nog with a touch of Amaretto and a slice of cheesecake!  Playing my Holiday CDs, the 1989 movie ‘Prancer’ is playing (Sam Elliot, Abe Vigoda and Rebecca Harrell) and I’ve been using entirely too much tissue paper while wrapping – for I just ran out!

Manolo my pooch, he is happy that I’d gave him his long awaiting Christmas gift early …..a bone marrow bone!   Later on dinner with friends for more laughing, piano playing and lots of calls to make!

This is the time to share and spend time with love ones!  It is also is the time to be thankful and wish the utmost best to others who may not be so fortunate, that they may find peace during this Holiday and the days ahead!

Wishing everyone a wonderful Holiday!  Enjoy!

Letia  🙂

Photo by thefunny.blog.org

Caramelized Fig Ice Cream with Mascarpone & Honey Pecans

10 Jul

IMG_1219Figs! Love them! Especially when they are ripe and sweet.  So of course when seeing them I’d brought them with anticipation eating them with breakfast.

Unfortunately with rescheduling of meetings, my plans had changed!  So by the week’s end I had more figs that I needed and was scrambling my brain on what could I make with these beautiful figs?

It so happened that this past December; I’d brought a Cuisinart® Ice Cream maker and was reminded that it was in storage (the extra freezer bowl which was part of the rebate offer arrived 2 weeks ago).  So that’s it! Figs plus ice cream…let’s try!

Reading the recipes which came with the ice cream maker and looking at fig desserts; I collaborated what I liked and came up with this most delicious caramelized fig ice cream treat!  If you are not a fig person, the fruit can be substituted with peaches, bananas, or even nectarines! Whichever you select, it will be soooo good!

Preparation

The freezer bowl to make ice cream needs to frozen for at least 24 hours, this is the most important step, don’t be like me and think it’s cold enough and staring at a bowl spin around for 20 minutes;  nothing happens!  Nothing!  Ice cream delight delayed a day; but when frozen right…a piece of cake!

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of mascarpone ( 4 oz)
  • 1/3 cup of turbinador sugar
  • 1/2 pinch of pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 lb of figs
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 2-4 tbsp of water
  • 1 cup of honey roasted pecans; chopped to bits

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be surprised how easy it is!

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Figs

To make it easier, I measure and place ingredients in their little individual bowls.

Begin by melting butter in a saucepan, medium heat.  Then add brown sugar, stirring until completely dissolved.  Take figs and cut off stems and begin to slice in halves.

Then add them to saucepan with the lemon juice and water.  This is where you have to be patient, because you are going to be stirring until you almost have like a jam texture!

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Figs added to brown sugar.

When at this point, add the salt and stir.  Turn off the heat and set aside to cool completely.  You will be tempted to taste and you can, you won’t be disappointed at all!

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Now in a small pot; let’s begin the ice cream mixture.  Also over medium heat, combine milk, heavy cream and sugar.  The sugar must be dissolved and the temperature lukewarm.

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Adding heavy cream to milk mixture with sugar.

Once the sugar is dissolved, whisk in the egg yolks gently.  Now place in bowl and set in fridge, until the fig mixture is cooled.

Please do not start the ice cream process until the fig mixture is cooled!

Take the ice cream freezer bowl out of freezer and place on basin (follow the instructions of your ice cream maker).  Pour milk mixture and start the ice cream process.  Allow the machine to spin for the first 20 minutes to allow the thickening process.

The fig mixture should now have a jam consistency, so once the 20 minutes has expired add the mascarpone, pecans and fig mixture.  Let the machine spin for another 10 to 15 minutes.

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The milk mixture thickening to a beautiful consistency.

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Honey roasted pecans chopped.

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Mascarpone with fig fixture added to ice cream maker.

Once the time has expired, quickly add the semi frozen mixture to a Pyrex dish or glass top pop dishes.  Let freeze for two  to three hours.

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Semi Frozen and glass top dishes.

Then you will have an addictive dessert!
efiglee

 

letia Mitchelll 403 Letia 🙂

Photos by Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design®

Mind, Body & Spirit Network with Sphakita Spa NYC

3 Jul

Sphakita SpaNeed a break, you think when?  It happens when the Founder, Sallie Fraenkel of Mind Body & Spirit Network plans an event at the renown Sphatika Spa in NYC; with an invite to you…YOU GO!

I graciously accepted and upon arrival to Manhattan; surprisingly I’d quickly found a parking spot on Madison Ave @ 70th Street!  The honking of car horns, people rushing to go home hustle and construction bangs in the background is clearly at its best; even if its only 6PM.  Choosing to ignore it all; I walked quickly to 69th Street looking for 818!  I felt like I discovered a hidden door; opening to a beautiful Art Déco designed building.

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3 flights up and upon ringing the bell; the door opens to be greeted by a smiling staff and Sallie Fraenkel just thrilled to see you.  The aroma of lavender in the air sets the mood with instruction to remove your high heels and change to bedazzling slippers.

Janet League-Katzin, Founder & Director of Sphakita Spa NYC

The highlight of the evening was meeting the Founder and Director, Janet League-Katzin and hearing the inspiration of how Sphakita Spa was born.

A beautiful and soft spoken woman; with such a regal presence.  Janet League -Katzin shared how she met Sallie Fraenkel and how their friendship is so special.

 

Janet League-Katzin and Sallie Fraenkel, Founder of MBSN

Janet League-Katzin and Sallie Fraenkel, Founder of MBSN

She expressed how important it is to take the time to relax and allow the body to recharge.  Being run down interrupts the body in reproducing its cells; by simply changing your approach can increase your wellness.  Crystals were also talked about and could be found all throughout the spa.  Their energy can help balance the body and could definitely  be felt; everyone easily unwind.  Sphatika Spa is the place to come to; where Janet’s overall goal is to treat each client special.

The treat was to have a 15 minute facial, access to organic, gluten-free munchies, Sphatika superfoods and a selection of delightful beverages and healthy coconut ice cream sodas to take your pick.  All the women were so thrilled!

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The lively conversations were found in all the rooms, each guest anxiously awaiting their turn to have a Sphakita Spa facial.  When called, I was so excited!!!!  The 15 minute facial was divine; ending with a rose oil massage with hints of crystals.  My face was soft and had a radiant glow!

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As the evening was ending, we received a heartfelt “Thank You” where we were presented with a Sphakita Spa gift bag and no return of the bedazzled slippers provided when our lovely evening started.  “Are we going to see you again?” asks Janet.   My reply, Yes; because I deserve it!

Whether or not you can attend Sphakita Spa; the suggestion is to take the time at least once a month to take a break and allow your body to relax and recharge.  You deserve it!

My Sphakita Spa Gift Bag

My Sphakita Spa Gift Bag

 

letia Mitchelll 403

 

Letia 🙂

 

 

 

 

IMG_2330Janet League-Katzin an award-winning actress; best known for The Guilding Light, Another World and The Spook Who Sat By The Door.  

The treatments of the Royal Sphatika Spa and the Sphatika 100 % Natural Skincare Line were created to provide what she found to be missing in the course of her search.  The result is an extraordinary holistic treatment methodology and product line that delivers the next level in the evolving spa experience.  Sphatika Spa is located at 818 Madison Ave NYC.

Photos by Mind Body & Spirit Network® and Letia Mitchell LifeStyle & Design®

 

 

Beyoncé! Ivy Park – Inspirational!

9 Apr

beyonce ivy parkI know you have seen the video and in anticipation to see the active wear!

There may be some of you; who are not least in the bit interested in exercising!

However, let’s look beyond that and look at the video as encouragement for anything that is ahead of you!  Beyoncé has a great message.

Everyone has a place where we consider safe and often go to; to build our strength.  For some it may be a place of worship, a friend’s home or a tropical island!

What ever the place maybe, it’s a moment or memory you can go to and get what you need!

So watching the video, it brought me to that place of being home as a little girl – with my Mom, Gilda and my Uncle Al.  They are both gone now, but still constant and encouraging staples in my life!  Mom and Uncle Al

 

So that’s my park…what’s yours?   

 

letia Mitchelll 403 Letia  🙂

Photo by Paola Kudacki for Elle Magazine’s editorial; April issue. Video courtesy of Nordstorm, IVY PARK – Cofounded by Beyoncé – effortlessly cool activewear for women everywhere.  In stores on April 14th.

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