Make Room for New Favorites on the Grill

Whether firing up the grill for a pool party, barbecue or even just a weeknight meal, one thing’s for sure: summertime means grilling season. Grilling takes many forms and flavors from casual favorites like burgers and hot dogs to flame-kissed vegetables and the artistry of a perfectly done steak. However, the possibilities don’t end there.

By mixing and matching traditional grilled classics with options that have a variety of textures and flavors, you can shake up your at-home menu and add new favorites to your routine this grilling season.

One ingredient to consider adding to your repertoire is Mrs. T’s Pierogies, which are available in 14 flavors. They’re stuffed with creamy mashed potatoes, cheesy goodness and other big, bold flavors, and you can grill them right alongside your favorite barbecue fare. Consider these tips from grilling expert Susie Bulloch of “Hey Grill Hey” to add some new sizzle to your grill this summer by using pierogies.

  • Use good cooking oil to create a crispy exterior. Olive, avocado or canola oil can handle the heat of the grill.
  • Try two-zone cooking. Start by cooking on the low-temperature side of the grill (known as indirect cooking) to slowly heat from frozen. Then move to the hot side of the grill (direct) to add a crisp texture and achieve a golden brown exterior.
  • Add layers of texture. With a soft interior and crispy exterior, pierogies pair well with juicy, chewy protein and a flavorful sauce, enhancing their texture and flavors. You can create these layers with a recipe like Grilled Pierogies with Steak and Chimichurri.
  • Don’t be afraid of color. Grilled to golden brown with aesthetic grill marks, you can add an extra crunch and boost of flavor.

Find more grilling recipes and ideas at mrstspierogies.com.

Grilled Pierogies with Steak and Chimichurri

Recipe courtesy of Susie Bulloch of “Hey Grill Hey”

Pierogies:

  • 1          package Mrs. T’s Classic Onion Pierogies
  • 1-2       tablespoons olive oil

Tri-Tip Steak:

  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1          tri-tip steak (2-3 pounds)

Chimichurri Sauce:

  • 1          cup fresh Italian parsley, packed
  • 1/4       cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2       cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3       cup red wine vinegar
  • 3-4       garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1          teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  1. To prepare Pierogies: Toss pierogies in olive oil.
  2. To prepare Tri-Tip Steak: In small bowl, combine salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder; season steak on all sides.
  3. To make Chimichurri Sauce: In food processor, pulse parsley, cilantro, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, red pepper, salt and black pepper until well combined but small pieces of herbs remain. Pour into serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Heat grill to 400° F for two-zone cooking. Grill steak over direct heat 3-4 minutes per side.
  5. After flipping steak, place pierogies over indirect heat.
  6. Close grill lid and cook 3-4 minutes.
  7. Move steak to indirect heat and move pierogies to direct heat.
  8. Remove from grill when pierogies are golden brown and steak is cooked to preferred doneness. Allow steak to rest before slicing.
  9. Layer one pierogy, one slice steak and drizzle of chimichurri sauce to assemble each bite. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Mrs. T’s Pierogies

Honor History and Its Lessons

The reasons for understanding the past are plentiful. Historical knowledge may illuminate the moments that shaped a loved one’s life or simply satisfy a curiosity about events and people that occupied a different place in time. A look into yesteryear can help make sense of the world today or even foreshadow happenings well into the future.

Whatever the basis for your interest in looking back in time, there are many ways you can honor and develop a deeper understanding of history. It’s just a matter of finding the method that fits your interests best.

Visit a museum or historical monument. These locations are rife with information, and often artifacts, that bring the past to life. You can find museums for all types of topics and interests, some with broad information about an event or subject and others that tell a story from a particular vantage point. Monuments offer a similar glimpse at the past, but they generally serve as physical markers of a particular place or event. This means you can stand exactly where the nation’s forefathers stood as they fought for liberation from British soldiers or take in the same sights as the pioneers who ventured west along a wagon trail.

Explore written accounts of history. Historical books lend a diverse perspective on history, from factual accounts of times and places to personal narratives that let you experience exceptional moments through the eyes of someone who was there. For example, “Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery” from publisher Harper Collins paints an inspiring portrait of Arlington National Cemetery’s elite Old Guard unit, as well as telling the story of U.S. Senator Tom Cotton’s time as a platoon leader there. America’s oldest active-duty regiment, dating back to 1784, The Old Guard conducts daily military honor funerals on the 624 rolling acres of Arlington. Readers have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the honor and the challenges of duty at the nation’s most sacred shrine. Learn more or order online at HarperCollins.com.

Let elders tell their tales. Though much of recent history is heavily documented, there’s no comparison to hearing first-hand how a person felt and thought as those historical moments unfolded. War stories, memories of childhood, tales from the first time driving a car – these are all experiences that looked very different a generation or two ago. Use special occasions and family gatherings to encourage the elders in your life to tell their stories and make notes or record those memories to cherish years into the future.

Research your family tree. No history is as personally relevant as your family tree. Your ancestors hold the answers to exactly why you look like you do, and maybe even why you act certain ways. Online services make it easy to begin piecing together relations that date back generations.

Visit a cemetery. You may think of a trip to a cemetery as purely a chance to pay your respects to the departed. While visiting grave sites of loved ones you’ve lost and leaving flowers or other trinkets are common practices, you can also learn a great deal from a cemetery. Looking for surnames you recognize may alert you to members of your family tree you never knew or seeing dates etched in the stones may help you piece together bits of family history.

Digging into the past may be entertaining, insightful, inspiring or all of the above. You may be surprised by all you can uncover once you get started. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Harper Collins

Search for America’s Longest Married Couple

Karen Sokolof Javitch

Karen Sokolof Javitch

Award-winning singer-songwriter, Karen Sokolof Javitch, thos week announced that she is looking for America’s longest married couple in her worldwide launch of her personalized “Anniversary Song”.

“Everyone knows the ‘Happy Birthday’ song, yet we all stumble when we try to sing a song for someone’s anniversary,” explains Ms. Javitch. “The song will be sung by Karen to the oldest married couple. We hope to eventually find the oldest married couple in the world! And to reward their faithfulness, we’ll donate $1,000 to the charity of their choice.”

Anyone wishing to register their marriage date may do so by visiting Karen’s website, jmrproductions.com, listen to  the  anniversary song and send in their names, date of marriage and e-mail address to JMRP@cox.net.

Besides Karen’s 15 albums, she has co-written 4 musicals and was the creator and co-host of a popular radio show, “It’s the Beat.” Her musicals include “Princess Diana the Musical,” “From Generation to Generation,” and “Love at the Café.”  These shows have been performed in many cities in the United States. In addition, Ms. Javitch has raised over $350,000 for national and local charities through her original music.

“My anniversary song is short and very easy to learn.  Now when you go to someone’s anniversary party – you’ll know what to sing,” Ms. Javitch concluded.

Lyrics to sing to the next happy couple you see who is celebrating an anniversary: 

Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary (wife’s name) and (husband’s name) we’re so happy to be at your (add # of years) Anniversary.

Karen’s music website JMR Productions.

About Karen Sokolof Javitch

Karen Sokolof Javitch has produced and written the songs for 15 CD’s, including 4 musicals and was the creator and co-host of a popular Omaha radio show, “It’s the Beat”. Feeling very thankful she can express herself through her music, she tries to help others by raising money with her songs and musicals and has raised more than $350,000 for national and local charities though her original music.  Her musicals, including one about Princess Diana, have been performed all over the country.  She is an award-winning songwriter and her music has been on television and in some movies.

Karen’s music includes a variety of songs about exercising and good health, celebrities, holidays, weddings, politics, children, babies, education, patriotism, love and family.  She especially loves to put on shows where kids and teenagers sing her songs! Some of her performances may be viewed on YouTube, as she has more than 90 music videos on the site and some have gone viral such as her hilarious song about the Octomom that has garnered about 10 million views. Karen’s songs are for anyone between the ages of 1 and 121! Visit Karen’s music website JMR Productions to see more of her musical and charitable work.

CONTACT: Andy Greenberg 402-250-3895 andygreenberg.jmrproductions@gmail.com or visit http://jmrproductions.com.

Size Matters: Hotels That Truly Feel Like Home

Photographs courtesy of Ignacia Guest House, Chaka Camps, Les Ilets de la Plage, Adler Lodge Ritten, and Calabash Cove.

Nothing is more exhausting than being on the go – whether jet-setting for work or leisure, avoiding the “same box, different city” syndrome can reduce fatigue by making travelers feel like they’ve arrived to a glamorous second home, rather than a bland stopover in a new location. Tiny hotels can be structured as houses, lodges or camps, letting guests feel fully enveloped in beautiful landscapes or big city living, slipping into local life with total ease.

When it comes to hotels, bigger isn’t always better. For some, there’s something appealing about mega-resorts with seemingly endless activities, numerous dining and drinking options, and pools as far as the eye can see. But for those looking for a more intimate, personalized and under-the-radar experience, here are five to consider from smallest to largest.

Ignacia Guest House, Mexico City

Perfect for design aficionados and those looking to blend into daily life in the beloved Colonia Roma neighborhood, Ignacia Guest House is a trendy eco-friendly bed and breakfast. Featuring just five unique suites, the hotel’s namesake is Ignacia, the housekeeper who took care of this 1913 colonial mansion for more than 70 years. Led by architects Factor Eficiencia and interior design studio A – G, the restoration of this casona blends Mexican tradition with history and contemporary design. Opened in 2017, artists, architects, designers, photographers from all over have been drawn to the property for its internationally acclaimed award-winning design, décor and style.

The hotel can only host 10 guests at a time, so guests can expect privacy, personalized attention and truly superb concierge service. The chef modifies menus to include personal specifications, from vegan to lactose-free. Each morning, the chef prepares fresh-baked breads, and complimentary signature breakfasts like Chilaquiles, Molletes and Sopecitos are made from scratch – as is freshly squeezed orange juice and homemade orange marmalade from the garden’s two old-growth citrus trees, planted by Ignacia herself.  All ingredients (fruits, vegetables, legumes, coffee, eggs, dairy, tortillas) come from small local producers, which guarantees their freshness and quality, as well as supporting the local community. Guests return home to a complimentary garden cocktail hour, where the chef creates custom drinks, such as a mango-and-mezcal concoction and more.

Fun Fact: Guests can peruse the library, where a curated selection of Mexican design books and magazines live, along with a growing collection of cookbooks, books, poetry and photography from past artistic guests.

Insider Tip: Ignacia Guest House recommends learning about the street food scene with an insider tour by Eat Like a Local Mexico City, taking an authentic Mexican cooking class upstairs in Casa Jacaranda or venturing on a hot air balloon ride over the Teotihuacan Pyramids. Or, join an adventurous itinerary curated by Wild Terrains, women-only group trips to Mexico City where guests support local, female-run businesses and creative activities – along with a stay at Ignacia Guest House (also female-owned).

If you go: All guests receive complimentary Wi-Fi, breakfast, daily cocktail hour in the garden and more. Nightly rates for the suites range from $440 – $315USD. For more information, visit www.ignacia.mx or email hola@ignacia.mx.

Kichuguu Camp, Tanzania

Opened in June 2017, Chaka Camps’ newest lodge Kichuguu Camps 11 tents are situated in a quiet woodland between the Tarangire River basin and Silale Swamp, which provides excellent game viewing.

Kichuguu (‘termite mound’ in English) Camp is a thematic representation of the termite mounds that dot the Tarangire landscape. The hidden details and patterns of the intricate mounds appear in items like the bedside lamps, which resemble spires and tables and lamps are shaped like carved tunnels. Organic materials and shapes are used in artwork and overhead lighting, while open chimneys and vent holes replicate termite mounds’ ventilation.

Kichuguu Camp was inspired by the way termites use the surrounding environment to build a home and partnered with sustainable design company Dunia Designs to recycle Arusha’s waste plastic into flooring, mirror stands and furniture filling. Along with distinctive décor, the camp features gourmet Swahili cuisine and warm Tanzanian hospitality. The Chaka Camps boutique collection includes three sustainable luxe tented camps: the original Chaka Camp, Kiota Camp and Kichuguu Camp – all deliver extraordinary wildlife experiences with comfort and style.

Fun Fact: Guests of Chaka Camps can find a small library at the camps with Africa’s traditional musical instruments – and test out the mbira, a wooden board with metal tines for plucking.

Insider Tip: June-October is dry season, the best time to visit Tarangire National Park. During that time, the Tarangire River and Silale Swamp are among the only sources of fresh water in the region, drawing dense populations of wildlife including elephant, impala, giraffe, lion, buffalo, zebra and wildebeest. Additionally, with more than 550 bird species, Tarangire is a birder’s paradise. Night game drives are also available.

If you go: Rates start at $400USD per double per night. Includes all food and beverage, bottled drinking water and snacks, nightly fireside evenings with a mobile bar, complimentary Wi-Fi, toiletry supplies and more. Bush breakfasts and private dinners under the stars are also available. Full package safaris can also be arranged through partner company Duma Explorer, an adventure travel outfitter based in Arusha.  For more information, visit www.chakacamps.com or email reservations@chakacamps.com or toll-free at 1-877-837-2367.

Les Ilets de la Plage, Saint Barths

Saint Barths: full-speed glamour without the typical hotspot pretense. The island features plenty of ultra-posh hotels, but there are also down-to-earth, accessible private villa options for those looking for the privacy and relaxation of a beach escape.

An affordable way to vacation on the beautiful of St Barths, the intimate, family-owned beach resort of Les Ilets de la Plage offers 12 private villas with direct access to the white sand beach and azure sea. Secluded yet central, Les Ilets de la Plage has been a well-kept secret for years, many guests return year after year to the same villa, leaving luggage and personal items with the staff for their next stay.

Beachside and garden villas offer luxe accommodations and all the amenities you’d expect from a hotel, combining the privacy and serenity of a villa with concierge service…at an affordable price. The attractive studioone-, two-, and three-bedroom villas are perfect for a romantic couples’ retreat, solo travelers, a friends’ getaway, or a relaxing family holiday.

In addition to gorgeous private beach access, there’s a private pool with cabanas and a sun deck. They also have full concierge service—fresh croissants, bread, pain au chocolats delivered to your door each morning, lunch and dinner reservations, grocery shopping, even childcare is easily arranged.

Fun Fact: Les Ilets de la Plage is a pet-friendly resort, so if you don’t want to leave your furry friend at home, find out what is needed to bring your pooch to Saint Barths. Pet amenities include cushions, bowls and treats to make furry visitors feel right at home!

Insider Tip: Want to stay active during your vacation? Their wellness experience combines relaxation with healthy initiatives like daily yoga, aqua Pilates and /or island spa treatments.  Hike the beautiful surrounding hills, power walk along the beach at dawn, swim in the ocean or do laps in the resort pool. Paddle boarding tones up muscles well, but guests can also have unlimited access to a state-of-the-art gym in Gustavia with superb facilities and classes. Enjoy healthy, delicious lunches or dinners using the freshest Caribbean ingredients supplied by Mayas-to-Go.

If you go: All villas have full kitchen facilities, air conditioning in the bedrooms, satellite TV, complimentary Wi-Fi throughout, a daily maid service and delivery of fresh breads and pastries right to the door. For more information, visit www.lesilets.com or email info@lesilets.com.

Adler Lodge Ritten, Italy

Opening June 27th, 2019, ADLER Lodge Ritten, a sister to established properties like ADLER Thermae in Tuscany and ADLER Lodge Alpe, is a new 20-room hotel coming to the Dolomites region. The hotel is set on the Ritten plateau, a popular weekend getaway for city dwellers, and will overlook some of the Dolomites’ most majestic mountain peaks, such as the Rosengarten and the Latemar. ADLER Lodge Ritten is committed to an eco-conscious existence, thanks to its sustainable construction and locally inspired cuisine (here, farm-to-table isn’t a buzzword, but truly part of the chef’s philosophy).

The hotel consists of a spacious main building with reception area, lobby, bar, restaurant and spa. There are two additional structures, with 10 junior suites. Also scattered throughout the property will be 20 one- and two-story chalets, some set around a small natural lake. All rooms will have private bio saunas, balconies or terraces, and chalets will feature wood-burning fireplaces.

Fun Fact: ADLER Lodge Ritten has two saunas deep in the forest with a heated pool. (actual forest bathing), reached only by a short narrow path into the forest. Glistening peaks and old larch trees surround fragrant saunas and the steaming pool.

Insider Tip: Renon’s historic narrow-gauge railway, the Rittnerbahn, stops just 200 meters from the hotel at the Stella station, so rental cars aren’t needed. The thriving city of Bolzano is just a 12-minute ride away via cable car. Activities are designed to highlight the distinctive beauty of each season and might include skiing, snowshoeing, Nordic walking, wine tasting or cycling (the hotel offers complimentary electric-bike rentals). Or, if you can extend your vacation, from the dreaming meadows of the south Tyrol to the towering spires of Tre Cime, On Foot Holidays’ self-guided walk in the Dolomites of northern Italy is a longtime favorite.

If you go: Rates start at 240€ per day per person or from 1,670€ per person for a week. The all-inclusive room rate includes all meals, soft drinks, wines and spirits. For more information, visit www.adler-resorts.com/en/spa-hotel/1-0.html.

Calabash Cove Resort and Spa, Saint Lucia

Where an ocean view room really means RIGHT THERE. Calabash Cove Resort and Spa is one of the most popular all-inclusive, adults-only boutique hotels in Saint Lucia, a Caribbean treasure offering seclusion, beauty and mesmerizing views. With just 26 suites (only three are identical), old Caribbean charm is coupled with modern luxurious resort amenities. Highlights include the Windsong restaurant and lively C-Bar overlooking the infinity pool, and the peaceful Ti Spa. Chef Paul Odle leads the culinary team at Windsong Restaurant and accommodates any dietary needs and personal requests including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free and more. The unconditional all-inclusive covers all meals and beverages including room service, daily food specials including a daily lobster dish (when in season), premium drinks, a stocked in-room bar (with full size bottles), over 20 wines from the wine list by the bottle for breakfast, lunch or dinner, gratuities/tips and Wi-Fi. The only restriction is the “Reserve du Patron” section of the wine list. Calabash Cove has a small Cybex cardiovascular fitness center and provides kayaks, paddle boards and snorkeling gear free of charge to guests.

Fun Fact: Saint Lucia is a magnet for destination weddings and honeymoons. Unlike other hotels on island, Calabash Cove only confirms one wedding on any given day. A bride and groom will never have to wait for a gazebo to become free from the wedding prior.

Insider Tip: The hotel concierge can arrange an all-day private climb of Mount Gimie, Saint Lucia’s highest peak, a volcano covered in a lush tropical rainforest (3117 ft). With a few days advance notice guests just need to bring good hiking gear and a backpack and Calabash Cove will arrange a private guide, lunch and a transfer to and from the mountain. The tour includes approximately 5-6 hours of hiking in steep terrain. This is not a run-of-the-mill experience, with guests trekking through two valleys, along a small creek and up and down on a barely visible trail.

If you go: Rates for the all-inclusive start at $295.50USD including taxes and service charges per person per night based on double occupancy. The resort also offers a rate for room with breakfast only. For visits of 7 paid nights or longer booked with the resort directly, Calabash Cove offers guests private car airport transfers. For more information, visit www.calabashcove.com.

Ritch Erani NYFC Announces Cruel Intentions Inspired Collection

Ritch Erani NYFC announces a Cruel Intentions inspired footwear collaboration with Sony Pictures, launching today. Cruel Intentions currently celebrates its 20th Anniversary which will coincide with the drop of the collection.
 
Ritch Erani recreated styles based on the three main characters of the film, Kathryn, Annette and Cecile.  Kathryn is a sexy and dangerous heel with the iconic rosary necklace wrapped around the top closure of the shoe. The word Bitch is smeared across the strap of left shoe. Annette is the complete opposite of the Kathryn. The shoes emulate a good girl who is sweet and soft. Bows mimic Annette’s pig tails and accentuate her innocence. The Cecile represents the classic loafer wearing schoolgirl too young to be playing with fire.
Cruel Intentions was the quintessential high school drama of the 90′s with a cult following that is still active today. The movie brought you into the world of the elite New York prep school society, paving the way for shows like Gossip Girl. Throughout the movie teenagers were acting like adult’s way before their time, which was brought to the forefront with their high-end wardrobes. The Ritch Erani collection transports you back to 1999, where all you wanted to do was emulate your favorite character.
The collection drops Thursday, June 13th at www.ritcherani.com and on Farfetch Friday, June 21st.  It will be available in-store exclusively at CHUCKiES New York on July 8th.  The styles retail for $450-495.

Kanye joins other Celebs to bring Health Conditions into Public Consciousness

Written by Joshua Mansour, M.D., Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine

Joshua Mansour, M.D.

Joshua Mansour, M.D.

A special episode of the Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman airing May 31 features Kanye West describing how he manages his mental health, particularly his manic episodes.  Kanye West does a public service proclaiming to the world that he lives with bipolar disorder, a condition in which an individual will experience mania and depression in varying degrees and at different times, with bouts of intense emotional states that can ultimately leave a person feeling helpless.  In doing so, others are more likely to come forward to deal with their depression, mania or other health conditions.

The episode air date wrapped up the final day of National Mental Health Awareness Month, with Kanye describing some of these moments by explaining “you think everyone wants to kill you, you pretty much don’t trust anyone”.  After years of speculation from many fans, especially after being hospitalized previously for “personal issues”, and then in November 2016 for a “psychiatric emergency” after canceling part of his tour West hinted at being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  At that time he experienced an involuntary psychiatric hold which he admits to being “so happy that I experience myself so that I can start by changing the moment”.   In 2018 he then released his album Ye which on the cover which included the phrase “I hate being Bi-Polar it’s awesome”. There are also lyrics throughout his songs in the album which allude to this condition.

Given what he has experienced, the musician has used his platform to discuss this diagnosis.  He has recently described his current stance and involvement in raising awareness by stating “It’s a health issue that has a strong stigma on it and people are allowed to say anything about it and discriminate in any way”.  Many celebrities often times do not speak up to the public about their health issues, as they understandably and deservingly would like to keep certain matters private.

Several other celebrities have been outspoken about what diseases/illnesses have had an impact on their well-being.  There have been a breadth of various diseases that have come to light and celebrities, athletes, and others in the spotlight have found several unique ways to share their information and raise awareness. In a time when society can be fixed on who is wearing the latest dress or suit, it is refreshing that several are using their platform in a different manner.

Larger organizations have as well called to the attention of “awareness”.  The National Football League has continued to support breast cancer awareness during the month of October and the National Basketball Association has now started to raise awareness of again a very important but many times under-discussed topic – mental health awareness.   The continued efforts of larger establishments to use their influence to educate and impact others is necessary and must be sustained.

However, it is important to note that there are times where simply being aware of a celebrities battle can have a different effect on the viewer’s behavior, a phrase coined as the “Angelina Jolie Effect”.  This most notably occurred after her piece in The New York Times discussing results of her BRCA gene testing (having a positive mutation can put an individual at increased risk of certain cancers) leading to her preventative double mastectomy.  In the two weeks following this, there was an over 60% rise in women in the United States undergoing testing for BRCA 1 and 2 genes.  However, it was found these women who had the testing done actually had a lower pre-test probability of having the BRCA mutation.

Another potential downfall can be the several diet “fads” or unproven “medical treatments” that are claimed to be “miracle workers”.  Although in some cases these particular diets or treatments may be beneficial, they should be met with caution.  Awareness about the potential benefits is a good thing, but hastily jumping to conclusions about something that is endorsed by a celebrity “just because”, should be cautioned against.

In the end, having these multiple national awareness days/months and watching or listening to celebrities, athletes, and “influences” opening up about medical issues could be the first step in someone getting checked or asking for help.  The impact of this is more than they even know.  It is humbling to see how there are many who use it in a positive manner.

But there are many health conditions that don’t have their special month and go largely unnoticed.  They even may be viewed as ‘taboo’ – until a celebrity or someone in the media takes a bold step forward to bring it into public consciousness.

About Joshua Mansour, MD:

Dr. Joshua Mansour is a board-certified hematologist/oncologist working and in the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and cellular immunotherapy in Stanford, California.  Recently he has managed to have over 10 recent abstracts and over 10 recent manuscripts published in esteemed journals and given countless presentations at conferences and other institutions.  He has helped design and implement clinical studies to evaluate current treatment plans, collaborated on grant proposals, and lead multi-institutional retrospective studies that have been published.

Free Drinks for Dad! – Celebrate Father’s Day at Stephen F. Austin Hotel

Father’s Day is quickly approaching, and this year, the Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel is offering the perfect way to celebrate right here in Austin, TX. Stephen F. Austin’s Terrace Bar will be offering a complimentary Stephen F. Old Fashioned or a Texas Draught Beer with the purchase of any entree or sandwich for dads all day!

Located in the heart of Downtown Austin, Stephen F.’s Bar and Terrace has one of the best patios in town, complete with refreshing cocktails, bites and the most incredible view of Congress Avenue, the State Capitol, and the historic Paramount Theatre. It’s the perfect setting for the Dad that loves the city of Austin.

Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned

Stephen F.’s Bar and Terrace offers a delicious menu of truly Texas snacks the whole family can enjoy, including a Black Angus Texas Burger, Brisket Quesadillas, Steak Frites and much more. The extensive bar menu features timeless cocktails, local Texas draught beers and bottomless champagne cocktails and bloody mary’s for only $18.00 a person, for everyone to celebrate.

Celebrity-Worthy Selfies for Selfie Day, June 21

Social media is such an important part of our lives! Not only can it build up your self-esteem, it can impact your social status, lead you to job offers, and even show you how to prepare for a special date!

“Selfies” remain popular, but they rarely look exactly like we do in real life! According to research by JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery,  an average selfie, taken about 12 inches from the face, makes the nasal base appear approximately 30 percent wider and the nasal tip seven percent wider than if the photograph is taken at five feet—a standard portrait distance that provides a more proportional representation of facial features.

Learning to take (and post) the most flattering selfies is important to enhancing your online image. According to the experts at Barely Xtensions, there are some tips to keep in mind as you “point and shoot” amazing selfies for your social media feeds.

“We all want to present our ‘best selves’ on social media,” says Nadine Mullings, National Account Manager with Barely Xtensions. “Mastering the selfie is a critical step to achieving that goal. Always remember, what you post online lives on forever!

“For the most successful selfie, consider your hair, makeup, and outfit, as well as the background, lighting and mood. Ask yourself, ‘What is the message I want to convey?’ Take lots and lots of pictures, so you have plenty of options. That way, you can select the ones that make you feel happy, strong, beautiful, and confident.”

Nadine offers the following tips to look your best in selfies:

Get the Look.  First, look up – not down. Hold the camera above your head and look up at it.  Don’t look down – you’ll risk capturing that dreaded double chin! Then, try holding your phone off to the side (not directly in front of you) for the most flattering angle.  Also, snap some pics with the phone tilted for cool, different looks.

Pass the Phone. Create some distance – the ultimate distance between you and the phone should be 5 feet, so you may have to get a selfie partner or “gasp” use a selfie stick.

Make it Up.  Rock a smoky eye or a bold lip (but not both at once!). Use shimmery highlights, glowy foundation or a daring eyeshadow. Get a sexy blowout or fun extensions – like the ones offered at Barely Xtensions.Super-long hair is in and will look fabulous in your selfies.

Ready for Closeups? Create some mystery by doing a selfie closeup of your very best feature like your lips and hair or your profile.

Let it Glow. Pay attention to your lighting to maximize the “glowy” look. For the best light, go outside. Ideally, take your selfies during the “golden hour” – at sunrise or sunset – when the light is low and most gorgeous. If you need to take indoor pics, stand by the window to maximize the natural light, and hold the phone between you and the light source. Good lighting will make you look rosy, healthy, and beautiful.

Live it Up.  Take pics doing the things that make you truly happy. For some, that means cooking delicious meals. For others, it’s going on a long, sweaty hike. Whether you’re brunching with your boo or playing soccer with your nieces, you’ll look happy in your photos if you’re genuinely happy when you’re taking the photos.

Sense of Place? Show people your amazing vacation, concert, or the beach day you’re enjoying by posing in front of a great background. Try selfies on a dock at the lake, in a field of sunflowers, and in other fun, interesting settings. Beware of photo bombers or anything else in the background that might distract from your stunning face.

Filter Me Attractive. Tons of filter options are available on your smartphone, so experiment to find your faves. Think filters are a waste of time? Certain filters are scientifically proven to make people look more attractive. Yahoo Labs and Georgia Tech analyzed millions of Instagram photos and concluded that the most flattering filters for selfies are Mayfair, Valencia, Hefe, Nashville, and Aden.

Just Smile! Think happy or funny thoughts to get an authentic smile. “Forcing” a smile is obvious and will always look fake. Smile naturally for the best photos and ditch the “duck face” – that look is totally over.

Mix It Up! Mix up your looks, backgrounds, outfits, makeup, accessories and hair for an assortment of selfie looks. Try fun colors, oversized sunnies, dramatic extensions from Barely Xtensions, bohemian headwraps, glittery barrettes, elaborate braids, cowboy hats, or graphic tees. Take photos in nature, at a hip café, with your besties, with your pets, and by yourself. Vary it up to add interest to your social feeds. Most importantly, relax. Don’t overthink it. Remember – this is supposed to be fun!

About Barely Xtensions: 

Barely Xtensions offers the ultra-seamless difference in hair extensions featuring a revolutionary Micro-Thin Skin Weft technology providing the smoothest application on the market allowing the extensions to lay flat to the head for a virtually undetectable finish.

Made of 100 percent premium quality Remy human hair, Barely Xtensions is setting the standard of luxury hair extensions at an affordable price with the latest trend-setting colors and styles and are sold exclusively at Sally Beauty Supply stores throughout the United States and Canada.

For more information visit the website at barelyxtensions.com or connect with Barely Xtensions at Instagram/barelyxtensionsFacebook/barelyxtensionsTwitter/barelyxtensions, and Pinterest/barelyxtensions.

The Best Gift for Father’s Day? Help Dad Live a Long, Healthy Life with the Mediterranean Diet (and These Delicious Recipes)

Written by Amy Riolo, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine

          With Father’s Day just around the corner, most of us are busy planning the perfect present for Dad. The usual gifts of cards, neckties, and watches are nice ideas, but the greatest gift you could give your father is helping him achieve lasting health.

          The best way to show love to your dad on Father’s Day is by making a meaningful contribution to his life. Let your dad know that you love him, and that’s why you want him to live a long, healthy, and happy life. Introducing him to the healthful and delicious dishes from the Mediterranean region is a great way to do just that.

          You’ve likely heard of the Mediterranean diet, which was recently named best overall diet of 2019 and has been shown to help extend your lifespan by roughly a decade. This eating pattern has also been linked to preventing heart attacks, strokes, certain cancers, and diabetes, and reducing inflammation. It may even help lower your risk of dementia by a third.

          The Mediterranean eating pattern centers around seasonal produce, fish and seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy, and small amounts of meat and sweets. Part of what makes this diet so successful is that people in the Mediterranean region consider food to be a friend and ally—a source of pleasure, nutrition, history, medicine, and tradition. When combined with lifestyle choices like communal eating and physical activity, the Mediterranean diet is believed to contribute to remarkable longevity in the region. For example, residents in Sardinia are ten times more likely to live past 100 than people in the United States.

          Father’s Day is the perfect time to help your dad make the lifestyle changes that can give him a longer and more joyful life. Read on for two ways you can celebrate your love for your dad and help him start living a healthier life.

Prepare a delicious Mediterranean-style Father’s Day lunch. Show Dad how much you love him by preparing him a special Father’s Day meal. Offering a lunch that features delicious and healthy Mediterranean-inspired dishes is the perfect way to celebrate with your dad and the rest of your family. Not only is this a great time to enjoy healthy food, it’s also a chance to reap the benefits of communal eating, a long-upheld tradition in Mediterranean communities. Sharing a table and enjoying camaraderie with loved ones provides a sense of comfort, security, and stability. Below you’ll find a tempting lunch menu.

Help him stock a healthy Mediterranean pantry. A well-stocked pantry saves time, money, and stress, and makes it easy to eat more healthy meals. With a full Mediterranean pantry in place, Dad can whip up fresh and delicious dishes in just minutes. For Father’s Day, treat him to a shopping trip and stock his pantry with the basics he’ll need to continue cooking healthy meals. (Please see the attached sidebar for a checklist of essential foods and products you’ll need to stock a ready-to-cook Mediterranean pantry.)

          Ready to start planning an unforgettable Father’s Day feast? Read on for a healthy and delicious menu to share with Dad and the rest of your family.

Moroccan-Style Grilled Tuna (Samak bil chermoula)
Gluten-free

Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1 Tuna Steak | Prep Time: 5 Minutes, Plus 1 Hour Marinating Time
and 5 Minutes Resting Time | Cook Time: 10 Minutes

When we think of Moroccan cuisine, lamb, couscous, and tajines usually come to mind. Bordering both the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, however, Morocco offers a wonderful array of flavors from the sea. On our culinary tours to Morocco, we usually stop in a few of the Moroccan coastal towns such as Casablanca, Essaouira, and Tangier in order to sample the North African seafood delights as well as the breathtaking towns themselves.

This recipe features chermoula sauce, a Moroccan classic that tastes great on both chicken and fish. If you prefer to make this dish in the oven instead of grilling it, simply place the fish in a greased baking dish, top with chermoula, cover with aluminum foil, and bake in a 425°F oven for 20–25 minutes, or until cooked through.

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt
1/2 tsp paprika
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 (3 1/2-oz) tuna steaks

In a medium bowl, mix the cilantro, parsley, garlic, salt, paprika, and lemon juice and zest together. Whisk in the olive oil.

Place the fish in a glass baking dish and pour half of the chermoula sauce over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate for 1 hour.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grill the fish, turning once, until firm (about 6–8 minutes). Transfer to a platter, spread with the remaining chermoula sauce, and let stand for 5 minutes to absorb the flavors.

Choices/Exchanges 
3 Lean Protein, 1 ½ Fat

Calories 220
Calories from fat 110
Total fat 12.0 g
Saturated fat 2.3 g
Trans fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 40 mg
Sodium 180 mg
Potassium 310 mg
Total carbohydrate 3 g
Dietary fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 25 g
Phosphorus 275 mg

Healthy Living Tradition
Marinating seafood, meat, and chicken before grilling it not only flavors it, but is believed to reduce the harmful, potentially cancer-causing substances that can be created by cooking over an open flame.

Grilled Italian Vegetables
Gluten-free, Vegan

Serves: 8 | Serving Size: 1 Cup | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Grilled vegetables are used in a multitude of ways in Italian kitchens. From antipastos to pastas and accompaniments for second courses, you’ll find them everywhere. This dish works very well for buffets.

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt, divided
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
2 large red bell peppers
1 small, firm eggplant (about 7 oz), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 small zucchini, trimmed and cut in half

Preheat broiler or grill. Combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, black pepper, and basil in a small bowl. Set aside.

Place whole red peppers over an open flame on a gas grill, or broil under the broiler, until blackened and blistered, about 5–10 minutes.

Place in paper lunch bags and seal shut to enclose steam. After 10 minutes, carefully open the bags (escaping steam can cause burns), remove peppers, peel off the skin, and cut into slices.

Place eggplant and zucchini on a large baking tray and season with remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Broil or grill until golden and tender on both sides, about 5–10 minutes.

When cooked, transfer to a bowl and stir in peppers, pour dressing over, and mix. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Choices/Exchanges 
2 Nonstarchy Vegetable, 1 Fat

Calories 100
Calories from fat 60
Total fat 7.0 g
Saturated fat 1.0 g
Trans fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 120 mg
Potassium 300 mg
Total carbohydrate 8 g
Dietary fiber 2 g
Sugars 5 g
Protein 1 g
Phosphorus 40 mg

Healthy Living Tradition
Leftover grilled vegetables can be used in the Mini Vegetable Frittate recipe (p. 310), stirred into sauces, added to stews, or puréed into a soup.

MangoMiSu (Mango Tiramisu)
Vegetarian

Serves: 8 | Serving Size: ½ Cup |
Prep Time: 5 Minutes, Plus at Least 6 Hours Chilling Time | Cook Time: None

The rich, indulgent flavors of traditional tiramisu are reserved for special occasions in Italy. This version combines yogurt, mango, and cooling cardamom for a light, uplifting treat that is perfect for a healthy indulgence any time of year. Keep in mind that the MangoMiSu needs to set for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight. Peaches and pineapple also work well in this recipe.

12 BelVita breakfast biscuits, golden oat
16 oz fresh mango cubes, or frozen and thawed, divided
2 Tbsp light agave nectar
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups fat-free organic vanilla yogurt, divided
1/2 cup strawberries
8 fresh mint sprigs

Line the bottom of an 8-inch wide bowl with 4–6 biscuits, making an even layer. (You may need to break a few to get them to fit.)

Purée 8 oz mango cubes by placing them in a food processor and processing until liquid. Using a spatula, remove from food processor. Add agave nectar, cardamom, and vanilla to mango purée.

Pour or spoon half of the mango purée over the biscuits. Spoon 1 cup of yogurt over mango purée evenly. Scatter remaining mango cubes over the yogurt, reserving 1 Tbsp for garnish. Sprinkle the strawberries over the mangoes, and top the fruit with remaining 6–8 biscuits.

Pour remaining half of mango purée over the biscuits. Top with remaining yogurt, and smooth out to cover surface. Scatter remaining 1 Tbsp mango cubes over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight or until set.

Serve 1/2-cup portions in small dessert cups. (Alternative plating idea: To plate as 8 individual servings rather than using a large bowl, simply layer 1/8 of each ingredient in a glass dessert dish or wine glass.) Garnish each serving with a mint sprig.

Choices/Exchanges 
2 Carbohydrate, ½ Fat

Calories 170
Calories from fat 30
Total fat 3.5 g
Saturated fat 0.3 g
Trans fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 110 mg
Potassium 230 mg
Total carbohydrate 31 g
Dietary fiber 2 g
Sugars 19 g
Protein 4 g
Phosphorus 85 mg

          Getting healthy and staying that way means adopting a lifestyle that allows you to enjoy more nutritious homecooked meals and share them with the ones you love. There’s no better time than Father’s Day to help your dad make a commitment to eat fresh and delicious foods that will keep him healthy and well for years to come.

Starting a Mediterranean Pantry
Excerpted from The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd Edition: A Flavorful, Heart-Healthy Approach to Cooking 
(American Diabetes Association, May 2019, ISBN: 978-1-580-40702-1, $22.95)

          A well-stocked pantry saves time, money, and stress when you’re ready to cook. And most importantly, it encourages you to eat healthfully. This essential checklist contains all the ingredients you’ll need to prepare delicious and nutritious Mediterranean-inspired meals.

Items to Stock in Your Pantry
The following items are categorized by where they are found in grocery stores.

Baking
Active dry yeast
Agave nectar
Almond extract
Baking powder
Baking soda
Cocoa powder, unsweetened
Cornmeal
Cornstarch
Flour, all-purpose, unbleached; barley; bread;
chickpea; semolina; spelt; whole-wheat;
whole-wheat pastry
Polenta
Salt, kosher
Sea salt, unrefined
Sugar, natural
Vanilla extract

Beans and Legumes
I prefer using dried beans and legumes, but if you are not used to using them, or might need them to be ready to use in a pinch, I recommend keeping canned varieties on hand as well.

Black beans, canned, reduced-sodium
Cannellini beans, canned, reduced-sodium
Chickpeas, canned, low-sodium
Lentils (brown), canned
or dried, no-salt-added

Herbes de Provence (Dried)
Basil
Lavender
Marjoram
Oregano
Rosemary
Sage
Tarragon
Thyme

Italian Specialty
Anchovy fillets, packed in olive oil
Artichoke hearts, canned
Bread crumbs, plain
Capers, packed in water
Espresso coffee
Ladyfingers
Olives, green, black, Kalamata, Niçoise,
and Gaeta
Roasted red peppers, jar
Tomato paste
Tomato purée
Tomatoes, canned, low-sodium
(diced and fire-roasted)
Tuna, canned, packed in water

Miscellaneous
Dijon mustard
Garlic
Granola, low-fat, almond
Honey

Nuts and Dried Fruit
Almonds, blanched
Chestnuts, jar, whole,
roasted or steamed
Dates
Pine nuts
Pistachios, shelled
Raisins
Walnuts

Oils and Vinegars
Corn or vegetable oil, expeller-pressed
Nonstick cooking spray
Olive oil, extra-virgin
Vinegar, apple cider, balsamic, white, distilled

Pasta and Grains
Bulgur wheat
Couscous
Orzo
Quinoa
Rice, arborio, basmati, medium-grain, wild
Whole-wheat pasta, spaghetti, penne rigate

Spices and Seeds
Allspice
Anise seeds
Caraway seeds
Cayenne pepper
Chili powder
Cinnamon and cinnamon sticks
Cloves, whole and ground
Coriander, ground
Crushed red pepper
Cumin
Fennel seeds
Flaxseeds
Ginger, ground
Green cardamom, ground and pods
Juniper berries
Mint
Nutmeg
Paprika
Peppercorns
Saffron
Seafood seasoning
Sesame seeds
Sumac
Turmeric
Za’atar

Stocks
I prefer making homemade stocks and freezing them for future use. However, it’s also good to keep a few boxes on hand in a pinch.

Chicken stock, reduced-sodium
Vegetable stock, reduced-sodium

Items for the Fridge
(Use local and organic if possible)

Carrots
Celery
Cheese, Parmesan, Romano, mozzarella,
feta, and goat
Eggs

Fresh Seasonal Produce
Herbs, fresh
Lemons
Lettuces, assorted
Milk, skim
Onions
Potatoes
Shallots
Sweet potatoes
Yogurt, plain, fat-free

Items for the Freezer
While I prefer fresh food whenever possible, a well-stocked freezer can help when you are short on time. In terms of nutrition, frozen items (without high-fat ingredients or excess sodium) are often a better option than takeout and delivery items, which can sabotage a healthy lifestyle plan.

Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
Fish fillets
Phyllo dough
Vegetables, frozen

About the Author: 

Amy Riolo is the author of The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd Edition: A Flavorful, Heart-Healthy Approach to Cooking (American Diabetes Association, May 2019, ISBN: 978-1-580-40702-1, $22.95). She is an award-winning, best-selling author, chef, television personality, and educator.

A graduate of Cornell University, Amy is considered a culinary thought leader who enjoys changing the way we think about food and the people who create it. Amy is a food historian, culinary anthropologist, and Mediterranean Diet advocate who makes frequent appearances on numerous television and radio programs both in the United States and abroad, including FOX TV, ABC, CBS, NBC, the Hallmark Channel, Nile TV, the Travel Channel, Martha Stewart Living Radio, and Abu Dhabi Television.

For more information about Amy, please visit www.amyriolo.com.

About the Book:
The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd Edition: A Flavorful, Heart-Healthy Approach to Cooking (American Diabetes Association, May 2019, ISBN: 978-1-580-40702-1, $22.95) will be available at bookstores nationwide and from major online booksellers.

Get Grilling with Fresh Ingredients

Grilling season provides ample opportunities to put flavorful fare on the table, but it doesn’t have to be a lengthy cooking process. By planning ahead, having the right equipment on-hand and using ready-to-go ingredients, home cooks can quickly put family meals together.

With an option like Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork, which is perfectly seasoned and ready to throw on the grill, you can have a delicious meal ready in 30 minutes or less. Available in a variety of flavors and quality cuts, it’s ideal for grilling, roasting or sauteing any night of the week. To get ready for your next grilling occasion, try something new like Grilled Pork Kebabs with Tzatziki Sauce or Grilled Pork and Potato Planks.

To help make this a successful grilling season, visit SmithfieldGetGrilling.com for more grilling tips and a chance to win $5,000.

Grilled Pork Kebabs with Tzatziki Sauce

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Serves: 6

  • 1          Smithfield Roasted Garlic & Herb Pork Loin Filet, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
  • 3          small zucchini squash, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 2          large red bell peppers, cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1          large red onion, cut into 1 1/4-inch wedges
  • bamboo skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes
  • olive oil
  • 2          medium cucumbers, peeled
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2    cups whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/2       lemon juice
  • 2          teaspoons chopped fresh dill weed
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley
  1. Heat grill to 375° F. Alternately thread fresh pork cubes, zucchini, peppers and onions onto bamboo skewers. Brush kebabs lightly with olive oil.
  2. In food processor, process cucumbers and garlic until finely chopped. Drain liquid from cucumbers. Stir cucumbers with yogurt, lemon juice, dill, sea salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Grill fresh pork skewers approximately 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until char marks form and pork is cooked through.
  4. Garnish skewers with parsley and serve with tzatziki sauce for dipping.

Grilled Pork and Potato Planks

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 22 minutes

Serves: 4

  •             Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2          Smithfield Roasted Garlic and Cracked Black Pepper Pork Tenderloins
  • 2          pounds Yukon Gold or red potatoes, cut lengthwise into 3/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2          tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4       cup shredded reduced-fat or regular sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1/4       cup finely chopped green onions
  1. Heat charcoal or gas grill to medium; spray grates with nonstick cooking spray. Grill tenderloins until internal temperature reaches 150° F, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes.
  2. Brush both sides of potato slices with oil; grill 15-20 minutes until just tender, turning occasionally. Remove potatoes and pork from grill.
  3. Top potatoes with cheese, sour cream and onions. Serve with tenderloins cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Smithfield