Saturday, February 27, 2010

Manuka Naturals: honey cream

My producer Frankie told me that she had come across a man with a great voice and a wonderful product, so of course, I wanted to interview him. She dropped some samples in the mail and I have to say that Manuka Naturals really makes a great product. I used the Active Manuka cream on my skintags, which are irritating and sometimes itch like mad.

Michael Hart was kind enough to chat with me and tell me about the wonders of Manuka Honey and its remarkable antibacterial properties. I also used it on an open wound from my heel getting eaten by my shoe. The cut was itching pretty bad, but the cream worked wonders!


Luna's Kitchen Magic airs 7 pm EST, 4 pm PST on Radio Dentata

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Celebrating my My Success

To start off the year, I wrote a life list. This is a list of things I would like to accomplish or simply enjoy sometime in the next 30 or 40 years.

Every few years, I end up with someone who decides to take me on as a ‘project.’ This generally happens when I am at the tail end of a crappy job and just sort of stuck, or one of those moments where I am transitioning from broke back to normal.

I easily recognize the signs. In light of that, and since I feel it coming, I thought I would share some of the successes I have had in my life. We all have times when we might complain or whine or feel stuck. But it isn’t fair for us to allow others to let us forget where we have been.

*I have been in the paper, demonstrating arts & crafts for a class my sister taught

*I have been on the honor roll and was in the elevated classes in Jr High

*I won a lip synching contest in HS because of my dancing

*I won a songwriting contest in HS and sang in front of the whole school

* I have recorded two demos and done back up for a rapper

*I am a published poet and erotic writer

*I had an internet jewelry business long before Etsy

*I graduated from Culinary school with A's & B’s and I both commuted & worked while in school

*I have been a successful grill cook, pantry cook, event line chef and pastry chef

*I was the pastry chef at a winery

*I am a writer for Cuisine Noir

*I have an internet radio show Luna’s Kitchen Magic

I may not have a lot of money, but this is just a drop in the bucket of what I have and can achieve. I am still young, so anything can happen!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Finally, the 2009 wrap up!

The end of last year was a huge whirlwind of activity and it was incredible!

We started of with a wonderful happy hour over at Horizon: we had baby Kobe beef burgers, sweet potato fries and cocktails. Chef Christopher Lee creates some seriously great food, and his sweet potato fries are, in all honesty, the best I have ever had!

Then @HeatherHAL and I were at Graff Eats Street Food dinner. We met the delicious Blair Warsham  via our good friend Tracy, aka the Starry Eyed Foodi. He presented the best of the best for street food from his view: Fish and Chips with my (now) favorite thing, curry aioli
The crispy BBQ carnitas were postively magical. Perfectly cooked with the best braised onions I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Blair was joined in the kitchen by the fantastic Alex Marsh, funny, adorable and also an amazing chef!

Next up: Molecular Mixology with Doug Williams who mixes cocktails at Rye, Bourbon and Branch, & teaches how to use liquid nitrogen to create some outstanding cocktails that really open the mind. On the above right is a mojito frappe that was cool, refreshing and had a wonderfully concentrated flavor.

He also showed us how how to freeze root, dip it in cream and make an inside out rootbeer float bite. This is the sort of cool stuff that totally changes how you think about cocktails!

Last, but most certainly not least, the whole gang attended Meat Camp class taught by the fabulous Carrie Oliver.

We tasted 6 versions of the same cut of meat. Its quite a fascinating experiment to taste how different the same cut of meat can be based on where the animal comes from, dines on and how/how long the meat is aged.


Luna's Kitchen Magic airs 7 pm EST, 4 pm PST on Radio Denata!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Empowering kids to eat healthy

Its vital that children be trusted to make smart food choices. This is not always easy to do when surrounded by trusted adults who seem incapable of eating right.

Unlike most of the kids I knew, we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner with balance. At dinner, there was always meat, veg & carb, as well as salad.

What tripped me up and caused my weight gain as a child was my parents’ lack of attention to what I might be eating when not at home.

If I was with my sisters' I essentially ate the same way as at home. However, when with other family or friends, I got more junk food. This causes two problems: we are told to do as our elders tell us and society teaches to go with the herd.

The worst offenders were actually my aunt & uncle. She was a diabetic who drank diet soda and he was a cookie hound. Couple this with their youngest daughter's love of ramen noodles... Even worse? Both of them were teachers, who presumably knew something about proper diet, yet had a house full of overweight children.

I hated diet soda then and I hate it now. The taste is atrocious. But you shovel in enough ramen and cookies; you barely notice what you are washing it down with. I only drank water if my dad was around. Fruits and vegetables were unknown quantities. This, by the way, will make even the most petite into the most not so petite.

I feel that the key is to be aware of what your kids are eating, even when you are not around. Yes, I had good eating habits instilled in me, but my mom often sent us to spend time with her older brother’s family. Surely he could be trusted to make sure her kids were eating right?

This is a tough one. We want kids to have good eating habits and trust their own judgment, and then plunk them down with adults they trust who eat terribly. More than just instilling kids with the knowledge of how to eat well, we need to give them the confidence to listen to their own intuition. This allows them to make better food choices in the face of otherwise dependable friends and family members.

Should I have kids, I will make an effort to listen to likes and dislikes. These change, they grow and forcing kids to eat food they hate means it takes longer should they ever decide they love it. Allowing children the freedom to feel they can say ‘no’ to bad food without ridicule or demands to join the clean plate, empowers them to enjoy what they eat.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

have you met: Cuddly Rigor Mortis?

After heading to a link that @alphaprep posted on Twitter, I went over to Eat Me Daily. I think it might have been a blog about cakes.

There, off to the side, in a corner was a link. I clicked it. And there it was. It was like a whole world of delight: scary, funny, deadly, art. I immediately emailed her that there was one character, Boffo, that I really wanted on a t-shirt.

Then I emailed her to ask if she'd let me do an interview... Kristin is amazingly talented and very cool. Please go check out her site and enjoy her work!

*You started making plushies. What inspired that?

I was bored one summer. Felt like making something and thought, 'Why not a stuffed animal?' I had never sewn anything else in my life, but thought it might be fun. A week later I bought a sewing machine and the rest is history, as they say.

*I absolutely love your motto: "Cuddly Rigor Mortis is bits of brutality smothered in a rich, creamy marshmallow sauce painted by me, Kristin Tercek." Dare I ask where that came from?

Well, thank you so much! I'm pretty sure that there was a review of my work somewhere, (although now I can't locate it so it's entirely possible that I made it up) that used the word 'brutality' in it. Then, just like that, the above motto popped in my head. Love it when I don't have to actually think of things for them to turn out well!

*Do your creations pop up in your mind, or as you are putting paint to canvas?

...and speaking of things popping into my mind, lol, if I'm lucky they just pop up. More likely I'll see something that triggers something else that makes me sketch a little character in some situation. Even more likely I'll wander into my husband's studio and show him something and which will trigger something in his head. It's nice having your significant other be an even better artist than you, because he helps me out all the time.

Marshy, chillin' in a mug of hot cocoa

*Why food based dark art?

I love food. I've always taken comfort and great joy in food. Be it the best restaurant in Tokyo or a new flavor of Doritos. I'm an equal opportunity foodie and my waistline shows it ;-) As for the dark part of the equation, I've always been a very dark person. I look perfectly normal on the outside but there are some seriously screwed up things going on in my head. When I began to paint I just worked on things that excited me or attracted me and that turned out to be tortuous food.

*Do you find it disturbing that people may relate to your work?

On the one hand I find it very comforting because I'm finding I'm not alone in my thoughts. Then again, there are times when I get very uncomfortable with people liking certain images. I just have to remind myself that I'm that one that painted it in the first place.

*Have you thought about writing a short story or two that would accompany the paintings?

All the time. In fact I have a few people who have written some things for my characters. I hope that one day it'll click and I can rise to the occassion of actually illustrating a story.

*Will there be more plushies?

I just can't say no, but it's looking more and more likely that it will be a long time before I actually sew again. I'm having way too much fun letting my imagination run wild and then painting it up. Sewing was a struggle for me and I just hated pricking my fingers on an hourly basis.

*What's next for Cuddly Rigor Mortis?

I'm getting very excited by working with other indie artists in other mediums, like Catherine Ivins of Polarity who graciously has included me in her list of artists that she uses in her jewelry designs I'm also very lucky that Bridget Franckowiak, the partner to Mr X Stitch found me and we're working on getting my characters ready for embroidery patterns. New things pop up every day so I'm trying to stay fluid and just go with the flow :D

Want more?!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Getting the mood right

Its important to remember that romance shouldn't come just once a year! There are many times when we would like to spread the love and joy we feel from being in love. Here are some helpful tips on getting the mood right, anytime, for maximum enjoyment!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sometimes getting it wrong is alright

February 6, 2010

I am to have a meeting this morning, somehow all wires are crossed, so I end up wandering around downtown Oakland. I hunt down Hibiscus' location and get their hours. I stroll past Flora and decide that for $13, I need a gauranteed nomgasm, not just a promise that it might come.

I stop at a few shops to check out the wares before grabbing lunch and heading home.

I'm going to read. The new Anne Perry is riveting, yet the sound of blood oranges in the kitchen distracts me. They need to be used. I need to make candied orange peel and figure out what to do with the fruit.

I decide to put the book down. I record the rest of next week's show and part of another one. Then I look up candied fruit at Zoe Bakes. This is perfect.

I peel, rinse and boil the skin per the instructions. I add sugar and water and get....caramel?!

How the hell did I get caramel and crunchy orange peel? *sigh* This is what happens when you are multitasking.

So now what? I stir some butter in the caramel and set it aside to cool. I boil out my pan which is crusted with sugar and then toss the orange peel back in. Its too hard and I need to cut it. Now I have to figure out what to do with....

wait! I wanted to make some Flapjacks! We bought some oatbars by Kashi with chocolate and nuts on top, but they are dry and the best part is the topping. Mine have bits of candied orange peel and pumpkin seeds with molasses so they are moist and really delicious.

Of course I am already making blood orange compote, which is gorgeous and purple, just the way it should be. My kitchen smells like citrus heaven and I wish I had a video camera, a nicer kitchen and a cuter wardrobe so I could tape the whole thing.

I have some left over butter and orange peel, so why not make shortbread? I add vanilla bean and then, (oh and then!) because I just made some bacon, I pour out the excess, wipe down the pan & use a hint of bacon fat to grease the bottom of the pan. Of course, the shortbread is divine.

See what happens when I am left to my own devices too long?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sir Francis Bacon Brittle

After being told by Ed of Choclatique not to miss out on this, I made sure to hunt it down at the Fancy Food Show. Sir Francis Bacon Brittle does it right: crunchy, peanuty and just the right amount of slight smoky bacon to make it tasty rather than scary.

They even have little chocolate covered bacon brittle bites for the chocolate lover. I love these yummy decandent little bites of wonderfulness!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Food Temptress: Rekaya Gibson

The author of The Food Temptress and the soon to be released The Food Enchantress,
Rekaya Gibson was kind enough to share a cheesecake recipe with Luna's Kitchen Magic as she visits different blogs on her virtual book tour!

Check out the recipe and please make sure to check out Rekaya's site for more cool stuff.

Light and Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake

*Compliments of Rekaya Gibson, Author of The Food Temptress*

1 8-oz. Light Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 c. Sugar
1 c. (8 oz.) Light or Nonfat Sour Cream
2 tbsp. Vanilla Extract
1 8-oz. Container non-dairy frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 T. - Unsweetened cocoa powder
1 9-inch. Ready-made Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust

Dark Chocolate Bar Shavings (Garnish optional)

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, beating until blended. Then add sour cream and vanilla, beat well. With a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping and cocoa powder. Spoon mixture into the pie crust. Smooth the top. Cover and chill for at least four hours. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle chocolate shavings before serving. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.

Rekaya Gibson’s love for food is evident throughout her fiction book, “The Food Temptress,” and her children’s book, “Are There French Fries in Heaven?” Some of her nonfiction articles have appeared in the Cabo Living Magazine, Desert Saints Magazine, and Lake of the Ozarks Second Home Living Magazine. In 2006, she self-published an e-Book, “Wow Them With Your Grant Proposal” under her own e-publishing company, Gibson Girl Publishing Company. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of New Orleans. Rekaya resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can reach her at

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cinnamon Oat Cake

1 stick butter, room temp
1 c raw sugar
1 1/2 c pastry flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp baking powder

Xtra cinnamon and sugar mixed together, oats for topping

Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs and spices until just combined. Add flour and baking powder, mix well and then pour in a lightly buttered pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, bake @ 325 for about 20-25 minutes. Enjoy with fruit and whipped cream!

This is one of those cakes that is perfect for morning coffee or afternoon tea!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The scariest thing I saw this week...

was cheese mites. In a hug cluster buried in a hunk of cheese. It was disturbing! They look like dust, except they are buried in the cheese. So, one must be vigilant about taking care of your cheese!

Milbenkäse or Spinnenkäse is a German specialty cheese flavored with salt and caraway, dried and then placed in a box filled with these mites. The mites are fed with rye flour and the cheese is aged three months to one year. This is a cheese that has been made and consumed since the Middle Ages, and is only produced in Wurchitz. Yikes!

Mimolette is produced in Lille, France. It is an orange cow's milk cheese that has mites added to the crust. This cheese was orginated at the request of Louis XIV.

Make sure to store your food properly. While these cheese's may be delicacies, the mites can infest other items, such as a flour, pastas, crackers etc. Always be very conscious of how and where to store a cheese such, and if you don't know how, look up resources on the internet.

Keep in mind that this is the type of delicay best enjoyed by people with strong immune systems!