Sunday, July 25, 2010

Recipes for Your One and Only

They say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…they were absolutely right. I’m compiling a list of delicious (and easy) dinner recipes that will be sure to keep him wanting more! If you have any more suggestions, please post them in the comment section!

Lasagna (serves 8)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained (* this ingredient is optional)
1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (16 ounce) package cottage cheese
1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1. In a large skillet, cook and stir ground beef until brown. Add mushrooms and onions; sauté until onions are transparent. Stir in pasta sauce, and heat through.
2. In a medium size bowl, combine cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and eggs.
3. Spread a thin layer of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 13x9 inch pan. Layer with uncooked lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, mozzarella cheese, and meat sauce. Continue layering until all ingredients are used, reserving 1/2 cup mozzarella. Cover pan with aluminum foil.
4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F (175 degree C) oven for 45 minutes. Uncover, and top with remaining half cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
** courtesy of
Note: A good side dish for lasagna is garlic bread and/or salad.

Salmon with Butter Sauce

2 salmon fillets, skin intact
2 lemons, thinly sliced
1/2 c. olive oil
2 lg. garlic cloves, minced
2 tb. butter
2 tb. diced onion
2 tb. parsley
2 oz. White wine (cooking wine)

Directions for the fish
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Rinse the salmon fillets and pat dry.
3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange 3 quarters of the onions and lemons on top.
4. Arrange fillets, skin side down on top.
5. Mix the olive oil and garlic; brush liberally over the fish.
6. Fold over the edges of the foil to seal in the fish and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the fish flakes when touched with a fork.

Directions for the butter sauce
In 10" saute pan, melt butter

Into saute pan add diced onion, lemon juice, chopped parsley, salt and pepper and white wine.
Reduce liquid a little, then swirl pan and add 2 tablespoons butter (to form a light sauce).
Place salmon on plate, put sauce over the top of salmon.

Note: A good side dish is whatever vegetable you choose.

Sirloin Steak with Garlic Butter
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 pounds beef top sirloin steaks
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.
2. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat with garlic powder and minced garlic. Set aside.
3. Sprinkle both sides of each steak with salt and pepper.
4. Grill steaks 4 to 5 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. When done, transfer to warmed plates.
5. Brush tops liberally with garlic butter, and allow to rest for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
**courtesy of
Note: A good side dish is baked potato (butter, sour cream, or bacon bits can be using for a topping)
Chicken Alfredo
(serves 8)
1 pound fettuccini pasta
1 ½ cups butter, divided
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into cubes
2 (16 ounce) containers whole milk ricotta cheese
1 pint heavy cream (* found in the dairy section of your grocery)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fettuccini and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until no longer pink and juices run clear.
In a large saucepan combine ricotta cheese, cream, salt, Parmesan cheese and remaining butter. Cook over medium heat until well combined, about 10 minutes. Stir in cooked fettuccini and chicken; cook until heated through.
**courtesy of
Side Dishes
Baked Macaroni & Cheese
1 (12 ounce) package macaroni
1 egg
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 ½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish.
2. In a large pot of salted water, lightly boil the macaroni for about 5 minutes until half-cooked.
3. Whisk the egg and milk together in a large cup. Add butter and cheese to the egg and milk. Stir well.
4. Place the lightly cooked macaroni in the prepared baking dish. Pour the egg and cheese liquid over the macaroni, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and stir well. Press the mixture evenly around the baking dish.
5. Bake uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is brown.
Cornbread (From Scratch)
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup yellow or white corn meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter or oil a 9" baking pan, set aside.
2. Sift flour, corn meal, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.
3. Whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter and the eggs. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid and stir just to blend.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown around the edges, about 30 minutes or until tester (use a toothpick) inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean.
5. Cool in the pan on a rack for a few minutes then cut into squares.
**courtesy of
Rice & Blacked Eyed Peas


1 quart water
½ cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon season salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon curry powder
8 ounces black-eyed peas, cooked
About 1 ½ to 2 cups raw rice


1. Combine water, say sauce, salt garlic powder, curry powder and cooked peas.
2. Add rice by pouring it into the center of the pot until it reaches the top of the water line-NO MORE.
3. Stir well and cover. Continue cooking on a medium to low flame until rice is fluffy and cooked through.
**courtesy of
Sweet Potato Cupcakes
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 cups mashed sweet potato (from can or roast your own and then puree or mash)
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
3 cups flour (sifted)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 line cupcake trays with paper or lightly grease
2. In mixer add butter and sugar and cream on low for about 10 minute. To that add each egg, one at a time.
3. Add vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder. Alternate one scoop sweet potato and one scoop of flour to the mixer until it's all been blended in.
4. Using ice cream scooper, scoop batter into cupcake pan filling about 3/4 the way up. Bake 20-30 minutes, test with a toothpick (insert into cupcake and if toothpick comes out clean, cupcakes are ready).
5. Cool and frost or slice open and serve with caramel sauce and ice cream.
Banana Pudding


1 box of Nilla Wafer cookies
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream


1. Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.

2. In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer.

3. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth.

4. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.

5. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended.

6. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies.

7. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Shh...Keep Your Lips Sealed

When I started dating in high school, my mother told me one of her cardinal rules: don’t talk too much to your girlfriends about your relationship. As I got older, I saw exactly what she was talking about. I saw girls go from calling each other BFFs to calling each other bitches because the green eyed monster, envy, reared its ugly head. Check out this story.
Anita** and Julia** were the best of friends, they went everywhere and did everything together. Julia had a boyfriend, Dave** and thought it would be a nice idea to set Anita up with one of Dave’s friends, John**. Anita and John had an okay first date; they really didn’t feel the chemistry that is expected on a first date, but they continued to hang out anyway. As time went on, they began to really like each other and it soon progressed into a relationship. Now you think Julia would be happy; I mean after all, she hooked her friend up and things seemed to be going well. However, that wasn’t the case. As Anita and John’s relationship started growing, Anita and Julia’s friendship started deteriorating. Julia became so jealous that she started to divulge private information to Dave so that it would get back to John and ruin his perception of Anita. The good news was that John was smart enough to know that jealousy was the source of all this occurring and he continued dating Anita. The bad news is that the friendships between Dave and John and Anita and Julia are now done.
It’s sometimes hard to think that a long-term friendship would be over because one friend couldn’t be happy for the other one, but the reality of it is this happens every day. As with any crew of girls, I’ve sat in these self-proclaimed roundtable meetings and heard my friends gush over what their boyfriends did for them, bought for them, etc. I know how it is ladies. We get so excited about our relationships and feel like we want to tell everyone that we know, but we must exercise restraint and have some humility (and mystery) about our relationships. And even if you’re a girl who’s choosy about what you tell your friends, you should keep your eyes and ears open for any signs that might point to jealousy; it’s better to protect yourself beforehand. Just ask yourself: do my friends really need to know every single detail about what me and my man do? Obviously, the answer is no. So the same way your mama told you to close your legs and don’t give away your goodies, I suggest you close your mouth and don’t away too much info. You’ll be happy you did in the end.
**the names have been changed

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Let's Do Something Different

So you've been in a relationship with your man for a while and suddenly the whole "dinner, movie, and the weekly extracurricular activity back at the house" thing ain't cutting it for you. You want to be able to explore different things and places with the man you love. As a woman who loves variety, I'm constantly coming up with activities for us to enjoy so I thought I'd share with you.

1. Take a stroll around NYC
It's free, culture filled, and depending on the time of day, you'll find somebody being odd yet entertaining. Plus, you'll get a workout walking around.

2. Go to a poetry reading
There's nothing like spoken word. Usually these events are held in intimate settings and that can be a nice start to the evening.

3. Go out dancing
If you and your man have some skills on the dance floor, showcase them. Salsa, merengue, reggae, hip-hop, etc. there are plenty of clubs that you can go to. Cuba Libre is my personal favorite!

4. Have a picnic
It's summertime so what's more appropriate than having a picnic? Go to the corner store, get you and your man some sandwiches, drinks and snacks, grab a blanket and voila! A cheap way to eat with seating and a view of your choice!

5. Free concert series
One of the best things about summer in the city are the free concert series at parks across the 5 boroughs. You can check for these events by looking the New York Daily News or The Village Voice.

6. Wine Tastings (for the 21+ crowd)
If you enjoy wine, this is a nice way to become a connoisseur of sorts. They usually have these wine tastings in the suburbs (i.e. Westchester County, Long Island, etc.) so it could be a nice trip. Just remember don't drink too much especially if you're driving.

I hear a lot of guys complain about how women nowadays don't know how to cook. Well here's a way for a girl to learn (if she doesn't know how to) and a way to make something appetizing together...and heat things up in the kitchen!

8. Revisit your childhood
My boyfriend and I just did this the other day at Riverside Park and had a good time. Go on the swings, play in the sprinklers, etc. It definitely takes you back to a simpler time when you had all the fun and none of the responsibilities.

9. Visit a bed-and-breakfast
This is a variation of a hotel. It's a lot more cozy and homely. There are usually a handful of rooms in a bed-and-breakfast and each room is decorated in a special way. You can find a bed-and-breakfast in the suburbs or in the city. A nice spot I've been wanting to try is the Akwaaba Mansion Bed & Breakfast in Brooklyn (check it out at

10. Go on a nightly cruise
If you both like being on the water, go on the Spirit Cruises line. These night cruises are usually 3-4 hours long and they serve dinner. Some of the cruises are themed like the HOT 97 Mister Cee Moonlight Cruise hosted by Angie Martinez (must be 23 and over) and the Hot Latin R&B Moonlight Cruise (must be 21 and over). For more info, go to
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