Cooking With Friends [I'm a Control Freak]

Guys, I have a confession to make...I am bad at sharing. Does anyone else have this problem? Even worse than the problem itself was my obliviousness to it. Well, I guess now would be the time to say that maybe it's not about sharing, but more appropriately, about control.... It has to do with my kitchen.

I like things a certain way, and I have a system of cooking that works so well for me. Also? I'm Italian-American, and I feel like when I am entertaining, I want people to sit, relax and leave the work to me. But a couple of years ago, a dear friend of mine asked me if she could help me and I said, "Yes! Do you mind chopping this lettuce?"

As she was chopping the lettuce, she said, "Wow, Billie, I've known you for over seven years and this is the first time you have ever let me touch anything in your kitchen." Oh. My. God. 

I wanted to sink into the floor. I realized not only how right she was, but what a freak I must have been not to let anyone touch anything in my kitchen ever...not even my closest friends. It was then that I began to make a conscious effort to let people use my kitchen when they offered--give them something to do--and to give up my reign of terror over the kitchen. 

It was like I had to tell myself: you are not superwoman, and no one wants you to be. The bottom line? When people ask if they can help, take them up on it. Stop being a freaking control freak! 

So, after all my trying to stifle my inner control freak, I was tested: a friend of mine asked me if he could cook dinner for me, in my house. I said yes! While it was really hard for me not to do anything, it was also really empowering to relinquish control. I did so well, I even let my sister-in-law cook in my kitchen when she moved home and offered to cook for me. That was a few months ago, and since then I have to say, I am feeling as though my control freak recovery is going really well. 

These days, I am cooking with friends more, and making a conscious effort to let people share in the fun. I don't want to be one of those uptight people who never shares, and teamwork in the kitchen, as I have learned with my canning group, helps you form bonds that go deeper than the activity itself. My friend Paul has now cooked for me twice AND get this: he's cooking for me again tonight!!!

I am getting quite used to not cooking for myself every, single night of the week. Now, I realize that everyone's control issues may be different. My kitchen issues may be someone else's cleaning issues. But one thing remains the same: we've all got them.

So what is your control freak issue? Are you working on it, in recovery, or just plain in denial?! Share with me in the comments section below!!!

Recipes For Sex Challenge: Weeknight Quickie

I don't know about you guys, but things have been busy around my house.  My husband is back in school, I've been canning up a storm, and sometimes it feels like we are ships in the night. If your life is busy busy BUSY this is the Recipes for Sex Challenge for YOU! Because even us busy people need loving, am I right?

I'm gonna hook you up with a meal that is not only easy, but it's so easy that it gives you time to feed an entire family and get your love on BEFORE dinner. Now, I know I haven't got a family to feed, which means I'll be using my leftovers to make a casserole (and I'll be sure to share that recipe with you guys), but I'm just saying, if I did, I'd have had them fed.

Have you all guessed where I am going with this post? Crock pot, people! Now, my crock pot and I have had our differences, but this year, we're reunited....and it feels so good. I'm learning to use this darn thing and well, I figured: what better way to start than to make this crock pot help me get laid?

I'm making salsa chicken which will be the perfect base for delicious tacos! Now I know what you might be thinking: tacos are not a sexy food! But that's why we are taking care of the love before the dinner. That, and honestly, it's so hard to get it on with a full stomach. So if you have sex before dinner, you can eat your heart out!

I am happy to report that I did, in fact, get some nookie in before dinner. And it was good sex. Early evening bedroom's just never a bad thing. Isn't there something more satisfying about dinner if you've had an orgasm beforehand? I think so. I had a little more energy because it was before dinner, and also it was nice knowing I could relax because dinner was all but taken care of. *wink wink*

Now to the recipe....

So, in the morning, load up your crock pot with these ingredients: 
2 pounds boneless chicken (give or take), a cup of beans, a jar (2 cups) salsa, 2 cups corn, a tablespoon of chili powder and a tablespoon of cumin. 

Oh, and I added a half a cup of water because I lost my nerve and wasn't sure it would have enough liquidy goodness. 

It will look like this. 
Yep. Hodgepodge. Whatevs. 

Put the lid on and put it on low and forgidaboutit. (Depending on how you read that word, you might have seen the word "tit" stand out the prominently. Just me? Hehe.)

Now, becasue I am impatient and because I don't fully trust my crockpot, after four hours, I turned it up to high. I couldn't help it. But it worked out. I would venture to say you could go either way on this point. I'm just being honest. 

So, the deal is: cook it on low for 8 hours...or cook it on low for 4 hours and then crank it up the last few. 

Either way, hopefully you will get this! 

When it's all said and done, go ahead season it to taste. A little salt and pepper will go a long way. 

Then, serve as tacos! 

I did mine with some onions, cabbage, salsa verde and sour cream. Perfection. 

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken 

Time: All damn day | Makes: A ton | Difficulty: Easy 

You Will Need: 

A crock pot

Approx. 2 pounds of boneless chicken
1 pint (2 cups) salsa 
2 cups frozen corn
1 cup black beans (feel free to use more, or pinto beans if you have them) 
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
A few dashes cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 cup water 
salt and pepper to season 


Throw it all in a crock pot, except the salt and pepper. Set on low and let it go all day. If you are inpatient and meddling like me, you might crank it up to high in the second half of cook time, and that would be fine. The chicken should shred easily. 

Salt and pepper to taste at the end. 

Serve over rice OR put it in taco shells and rejoice. I served mine with salsa verde, cabbage, onion and some sour cream! 

These Fruit Flies Are Driving Me NUTS!

I don't know what goes on in the rest of world, but I can tell you that here in Sussex County, the amount of fruit flies have been insane. They attack everything. The swarm. They annoy. I want to kill them all.

If you are like me, you have probably tried countless amounts of things to get rid of these little flying pests, and a lot of them don't work. If you ask me, when a solution doesn't work, it only adds insult to injury. But lucky for all of you,  I have an actual solution that works brilliantly!

All you need is a small bowl, a little vinegar, a rubber band and some plastic wrap.

Put the vinegar in the bowl (I used rice vinegar, but whatever works!) and then put the plastic wrap over the bowl. Keep it in place with the rubber band. Now poke holes in the plastic wrap and VIOLA! A fruit fly trap fit for a king!

The flied get in but they can't get out!


You're welcome. 

Super Bossy Hot Sauce (With Recipe!!)

Okay, right off the bat, a confession: when my canners and I made this sauce, we didn't name it "Super Bossy Hot Sauce." I did that all on my own....because I'm bossy like that. I do think the name is fitting, though. Since this sauce "came of age" I have been putting it on everything. It's delicious.

This was our first go at hot sauce and I have to say, it made me exceedingly happy. The whole started when I bought a jelly bag. Because "We Three Canners" needed one and I knew that we would find all kinds of awesome uses for it. We made pepper jelly right off the bat, which was fabulous. And then came this hot sauce.

If you've never made hot sauce, I urge you NOT to be intimidated by it. It's pretty easy. It just takes a little bit of patience...which is the hard part because for me, patience is not my strong suit. But I digress.

We used a variety of peppers from my friend Debbie. Aren't they positively gorgeous?! 
We decided that we would take our chances with how hot it would be...because the hotter, the better in my opinion! 

So we took our peppers, some garlic, and onion and sautéed them in olive oil. Then we added some water, and simmered it for 20 minutes. Then we let the whole thing come to room temperature and once it did, we added two cups of vinegar and blended it all with a blender. 

At that point, we put it in this jelly bag and allowed it to drain for about as long as you can stand to....which was probably about an hour. 

Once it's good and drained you are good to go. We split ours three ways and each made out with about a pint of hot sauce. YUM! 
Ladle it into ball jars....or: 

Put it in an old Frank's Red Hot jar, like I did!!! 

You want to wait two weeks to use it. Let it get goooooood and ready! 

Super Bossy Hot Sauce 

Time: 2 hours (ish) | Makes about 3 pints | Difficulty: Easy (ish) 

You Will Need:

40 or so hot peppers, sliced (we used a mix of them and kept those seeds) 
1/2 cup minced garlic 
1 really big onion, sliced thin
olive oil (to sauté) 
4 cups water 
2 cups apple cider vinegar 

Special equipment: jelly bag 


In a big pan heat the olive oil (you'll want a few tablespoons) over medium high heat. Add your peppers, garlic, and onion. Sauté for three minutes. 

Add the water to the pan and simmer about 20 minutes. 

When the 20 minutes are up, remove the pan from the heat and allow the peppers to come close to room temperature. 

Once they have come to room temp, you want to blend the peppers with a traditional blender or an inversion blender while adding the vinegar. 

Once blended, add the whole mixture to the jelly bag with a pan underneath to catch the hot sauce. Allow it to drain as long as you have the patience to stand it, which for us was probably close to about an hour. We sort of pushed the contents around to get the juice out, and don't worry, that won't hurt a thing if you have to play with it, like us! 

Once it's done draining ladle your sauce into jars. If you want to process them, do so in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. If not, cap them and refrigerate them (which is what we did) for two weeks before using. 


Bossy Italian Book Review: A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

After seeing Tolle on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday, I knew I wanted to read his book, A New Earth. Tolle is also the author of The Power of Now, which many people will be familiar with. I haven't read his first book, however, I have to say, I really enjoyed this book.

This book is classified as a spiritual read, and I believe it really crosses all religions and gets into teh space where they all tend to converge. There is nothing exclusionary about this book, no matter what religion (if any) you subscribe to. This is for everyone and anyone who wants to awaken to their life's purpose and connect with the world on a deeper level.

Tolle talks about the ego a lot in this book and gives his take on what the ego is and how it functions. I found this to be very interesting, especially after having worked in mental health for years as well as having studied it loosely when I was in college. It's a new take on the ego, and I quite enjoyed it.

Tolle seeks to help people expand consciousness while letting go to resentment and ego, and that can only be a good thing. This is the type of book that Mr. Roger's would call "deep and simple." It's quite obvious when you begin to look at what Tolle is saying, that we function so much from the individualistic and egoic states that we don't even realize we are missing the mark entirely.

I especially loved the way this book explores the external, which includes possessions. While it may seem obvious, the things that we have and how we define ourselves by them is so pervasive that it has become subtle. I found ways in which I was defining myself that I hadn't been previously aware of, and that awareness is priceless.

If you are looking for a read to help you open up, I highly suggest this one. But here's a word of advice in reading it: take it slow. I really took my time reading this book because I wanted to be able to absorb the content. Because it is of that deep and simple nature, blowing through it could find you missing quite a bit...and there are no many little gems in this book, that I also suggest keeping a pen and paper handy to write down your favorite bits.

All in all? Read this book if you are spiritual, religious, or just curious. It just may change the way you see yourself...or the world.

Pizza In A Cast Iron Skillet

I love to make pizza just about any way I can....I have made it in a springform pan, on naan bread, and on bagels. But a few weeks back, I saw a picture of a pizza in a cast iron skillet. What. The. Heck?! Why didn't I think of it before?! It's totally brilliant AND, I figured, a great way to make a deeply deep dish pizza.

Making pizza this way is my new favorite, however, I do feel that I have to admit that I made this particular pizza a little too deep dish...I know, it's hard to believe, but I should have used less dough. Not that it stopped me from eating it. Not that it stopped me from enjoying it. Not that I look back on this pizza with regret. I don't. I dough-n-t. Hehe.

One of the great things about making pizza this way is that you don't need to grease the pan, and you don't have to put cornmeal down on your pan. The pizza doesn't stick and the pan heats so darn evenly you will think that fairies made your pizza with their little magic fingers. 

Other than that? There is no difference. 

I preheat my oven to the same temp (450) and let it get good and hot for about a half hour. Then I prepare my dough. 

I would also like to take this time to initiate some bragging rights. I stretched this dough by hand this time. This is quite an accomplishment, I have to admit, because usually I use a roller. And it's totally acceptable to use a roller, but we can all agree it's extra crafty if you can stretch it with your hands....only took me about 20,467 pizzas and 3 years to learn. No biggie. 

Anyway, I threw my hand-stretched pizza dough in my pan and then I topped it. You know the drill: 
Sauce, cheese, toppings, and then just a splash more cheese for good measure. 

For some odd reason, I am obsessed with eating things extra spicy these days so I did some jalapeños, onions, and salami. Yes sir, it was a mighty-fine pizza time! 

I baked this sucker for 15 + minutes until it was alllllll goldeny on top. 

Behold my masterpiece! 

Okay, so, I am obviously stoked on making this pizza, but I also want to hear from YOU! Tell me, what are some of your favorite pizza tricks/tips/cheats?! Share it with me the comments section below! 

Happy pizza. 

Pickled Jalapeños [I Am In LOVE!]

I can't get enough HOT HOT HOT these days. Spicy is the spice of life, and I am embracing it fully. Lucky for me, my canners are pretty supportive of my spicy ways, and readily agreed when I told them we should pickle jalapeños. Well, actually, I should say that I asked because last year my husband mentioned that he would love to have pickled jalapeños. Since I have a great memory, I stored that away for pepper season this year! We also decided to make some hot sauce that day (more on that in a future post!)

Both of these things were fairly easy and with my canners by my side, wholly enjoyable.

After pickling jalapeños, I have to say, I fell in love. There is just nothing better than NOT having to buy them in the store. I will be putting these suckers on everything from tacos to nachos to eggs and so much more.

The great thing about pickling and canning peppers (or making hot sauces, etc.) is that the season for these beauties goes through November. Aren't we lucky?! MORE PEPPERS PLEASE!!!!!

The idea is pretty basic. 
Wash them.... 

Then slice them. 
You don't even have to get rid of the seeds! 

Add all your briny goodness, bring to a boil and then CAN CAN CAN! 

Pickled Jalapeños 

Time: 1 hour | Makes about 12 half pints or 6 pints | Difficulty: Pretty Easy! 

You Will Need:

12 cups jalapeños, slice (leave the seeds)
15 cloves garlic (left whole)
5 cups white vinegar
5 cups water
1 cup sugar
8 tablespoons kosher salt

Cans, lids and bands and a canner.


In a big old pot, (we like to use a stock pot), combine all the ingredients. Stir well.

Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 10 minutes.

Ladle into cans.

Process in water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Enjoy on nachos, sandwiches, salads, and pizzas!!!!!

Recipes For Sex Challenge: A Love Letter Dinner

It’s officially our fourth week of the challenge--how is everyone doing? I know I have been having a lot of fun with the challenge and I hope you are, too!

This week, I wanted to get a little romantic. One thing I love to do is write to my husband (go figure!) Expressing myself in writing is important to me, and let’s face it, everyone loves a love letter. This is sort of a two parter....well, three parter, really.

What I did first was to think of how I would interpret a love letter into food. That is, I wanted to make a meal that really expressed care and thought and infuse it with a little romance. What I came up with was lemon and rosemary chicken served with polenta and fried green tomatoes.

For me, this fuses my Italian-American cooking with the down-home flair of Southern Delaware....and that, ladies and gentlemen, pretty much sums up my romance with my husband. We’re a little bit country, but we’ve also got this fiery thang going on too. When my husband asked me what was for dinner, and I told him, he said, “I love fried green tomatoes!”

I replied, “That’s the idea--I’m trying to get lucky.” *wink wink* It’s all about intention and set up.

The other part of this was the ACTUAL love letter. Because the Recipes for Sex Challenge isn’t just about wham, bam thank-you m’am. It’s also about connection. (Or at least it is this week!) All of these things together may seem a little overwhelming because they were for me. I am not a natural romantic. I’m more sexual than sensual...but I said to myself, “Self, you can do this. Be romantic and challenge yourself!”

I’m not going to tell you what I wrote in the letter because that’s my lovey dovey personal side. But I can report that I did, in fact write a letter and that I served the dinner, and I gave him the letter. When I did, I got these little nervous butterflies in my tummy. I realized that being romantic makes me nervous! Just imagine how guys feel trying to be romantic all the time--nerve-wracked that’s how!!!

This dinner was a hit. So was my letter--he even gave me a kiss for it. The meal was light-ish although I will say I needed about an hour to digest before we did the deed. I also dressed up a little for the romantic sex’s amazing what a great pair of tights and fancy bra will do for a gal. It was romantic, and lovely.

I hope my love letter dinner will have you well on your way to a evening of sexiness!!!

Rosemary Lemon Chicken w/ Fried Green Tomatoes 

Time: 1 hour | Serves 2 | Difficulty: Medium 

You Will Need:

4 chicken thighs (I like the bone-in dark meat.) 
2 lemons
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus a bit more for drizzling) 
Handful fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped 
6 fresh sage leaves,  coarsely chopped 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
2 green tomatoes 
2 fresh eggs
Almond or real milk (we're going to do a two count pour) 
Autry seafood breading 
vegetable oil

One half recipe polenta (optional--you could also use potatoes or rice) 


Preheat oven to 400 degree F. 

Begin by slicing the green tomatoes thin and get ready to bread them. 

Combine the two eggs and a two count pour of milk in a bowl. A two count pour is when you hold the carton over the bowl and begin to pour and go "one, two!" Blend with a fork. 

Pour a bunch of Autry's seafood breading on a plate. 

Dip the sliced tomatoes first in the egg mixture and then coat it well in the breading. Repeat. This is very important. The double breading is the secret to excellent fried green tomatoes. Do this with each slice of tomato. 

Let the tomatoes sit while you begin to prepare the chicken. Making them sit is also very important. Don't skip this step. 

With the chicken: salt and pepper liberally. 

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. I use cast iron pans because they go right from the stove to the oven. They are awesome. 

Add your chicken to the pan and fry the chicken on each side for 4 minutes. 

Take the pan off the heat and add the juice of the two lemons. Zest one of the lemons into the pan on top of the chicken. Add garlic and herbs and drizzle it all with a bit more oil. 

Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, turning once at 10 minutes. 

With the chicken in the oven, it's time to get back to those tomatoes! In a pan, heat 1/2 inch vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes in two batches, cooking them about 3 minutes each side. You want the breading to be golden brown. 

When they are done, remove to paper towels to drain and keep them warm in the microwave. 

Plate this all up together with polenta or another starch if desired. Eat and then get laid!!! 

Steam Farm Fresh Eggs for Easy Peeling!

I have my chickens now for five months, and it took me that long to figure out how to properly hard cook the eggs to get the shells to peel off. And you know what? It wasn't even me who figured it out--it was my mother-in-law. She had creatively been poking and cooking my farm fresh eggs until she nailed the perfect way to get them to peel without chipping the egg itself.

Thank you, Chris, I am FOREVER in your debt because of this.

What she discovered is that when hard cooking fresh eggs, you have to steam them for about 20 minutes and then VIOLA, they peel. Something about it, I swear. Now, thankful as I was to hear this news, I had to try it out myself before I could share it with all of you. So I did...

...Now, I went ahead and used my veggie steamer because this was the easiest way. I got to a boil, set the timer, lowered the heat a bit and then I went to the opposite side of the house where I forgot entirely that I was trying to experiment with eggs. I was in the middle of what should have been a relaxing meditation when I heard a faint beeping noise somewhere in the house.

My first thought? I've never heard a beeping in my subconscious before while meditating; how interesting. My second thought: HOLY F*CK THE EGGS! I went bounding from my meditative state and into the kitchen where I discovered that the timer was going off and that all of the water under the steamer had evaoorated. I panicked and put the pot under the water and ran it and then removed the eggs. and rinsed them with cold water.

Then I took a moment to stare at the eggs, and the pot, and wonder if I had ruined my pot. You will be happy to know, it survived--thanks Cuisinart!

Anyway, I put the eggs in the fridge after that and shook my head in disbelief of the weirdness of the whole moment. I rarely EVER forget that I am cooking something on the stove. I have my moments, though.

The next morning, I went to have one of my crazily steamed eggs for breakfast and what do you know--the shell came right off! Right. Off. No fuss and no irritating little chippies to contend with. I am pretty sure that my mother-in-law plunges hers in ice water when they are done cooking, but then again, I am pretty sure she doesn't go off to meditate and forget that she was cooking them, so.....

Either way, this is a tried and true way to enjoy those farm fresh eggs hard cooked:

Place steamer in a medium saucepan. Fill the bottom with water (up to where the steamer ends).

Place eggs in the steamer and place on medium high heat. Allow them to steam for 20 minutes (try not to forget about them).

Remove from heat and plunge in ice bath if you desire.

Peel 'em like a champ!!! 

Quick Fix: Watermelon with Bleu Cheese & Mint

It's time for a little quick fix, and one that is fitting to the end of the summer season. Watermelons everywhere are having their last hurray and this is the perfect way of celebrating with them. I don't know what it is this summer, but it's like I was bitten by a bleu cheese spider or something. I have been putting it on everything.

I came up with  this little gem of a recipe when my plan to make deviled eggs went south. We had all these eggs in the fridge and my friend wanted to buy them, and I told my husband "just don't sell the house carton because I want to make deviled eggs tonight." What do you think he did? Yup, he sold the house carton. Sheesh. Husbands.

So, I had to get creative. And I had a watermelon, so it worked out just fine....honestly, this was less work, so I'm not really complaining.

I cut some melon, took the seeds out, picked a couple of mint leaves from my now very pathetic looking mint plant, threw some bleu cheese on it and then dabbled it with some balsamic reduction. Easy right? I know!! When my friends came over for dinner, my one friend who isn't even that into watermelon liked it because the watermelon was more savory than sweet.

So ladies and gentlemen, start your watermelons. The season is almost over and this is one awesome little appetizer to savor before the official end of summer!!!!

Watermelon with Bleu Cheese & Mint 

Time: 5 minutes | Makes 1 appetizer | Difficulty: Easy 

You Will Need

Half a small watermelon 
7 mint leaves, torn into little pieces 
Bleu Cheese, crumbled, about a handful 
Balsamic reduction 


Cut the melon into pieces. If I had been feeling more crafty that day, I probably would have broken out a cute little round cutter and made them extra pretty. This is entirely up to you. Heck, use a melon baller, I don't care. Get fancy. 

Put your melon on a platter in a single layer. Top with the mint and bleu cheese. 

Dabble on your balsamic reduction. (I buy the ready made stuff because it's delicious and comes with truffle in it.) I like to put one dab per piece of melon. 

Serve with toothpicks or just dig in with your hands--depending on your company and level of comfort on the subject of eating with your hands. 

Bossy Italian Book Review: The Dog Lived (and so will I) By Teresa Rhyne

This book was an impulse buy from the Kindle advertisement. What can I say? The cover art was good, I loved the name, and I am a sucker not only for animal themed stories, but also for cancer themed stories. I know this sounds weird, but when I was about ten, I picked up a book by an author named Lurlene McDaniel who writes about young adults struggling with mortality and chronic illness. I was hooked.

This book married these two strange obsessions into one nonfiction story and I have to be honest when I say that this is the first book I have read with such consistently in months. I think it’s that peering into these intimate moments of illness make me somehow less afraid to face my own life. I think.

So, I have to start the official review portion of this post by saying I loved this book. Based off of Rhyne’s blog of the same title, this book serves as proof that blog author DO get book deals. (hahahahaha!) It was well written and it just goes to show that sometimes life is divine. The author’s life is cosmic in the ways in which is tied to her magical dog, Seamus (pronounced SHAY-MUS). Anyone who has ever owned a dog who was a little bit special knows that they are just worth every ounce of love, money, and time we pour into them. I have a new appreciation for this after reading this book.

I also have a new appreciation for those struggling with cancer--one that all those Lurlene McDaniel books apparently never gave me year ago (no offense, Lurlene!) The way Rhyne tells her story is brilliant..she connects her life similarly to the way I feel I connect mine, so it all made sense and it awakened within me a sense of realism to something I hope I never really have to understand.

And oh, her boyfriend Chris. This guy. I mean THIS GUY. He’s great and very real and not without his own complications. But the way she writes about her life, well, I just loved it. The author has a real tone, a real story, and it packs some major inspiration.

Whether or not you know someone who has suffered with cancer or not, this book holds great meaning for all our lives. It is a story about survival and pets and boyfriends and all the things (like love!) that make life worth living. This book, ladies and gentlemen, is why I will never own a Kindle that doesn’t display advertising! I love finding gems like this and I hope you will check it out and consider giving it a read.

Recipes For Sex Challenge: Steamed Lobsters

It's week three of our challenge!! Are you eating well and getting frisky often? I hope so. This week is about pampering yourself and your partner and getting a little indulgent. Ready?!?!?!?!?!?

Oscar sure was ready...he sat and guarded the lobsters like it was his job!

When my mother told me that she was sending me Maine lobsters via mail for my birthday, I was canning with her and my mother-in-law. I said, "That's awesome! Who should I invite to dinner?!" They both were in agreement that I should use them as a recipe for sex. Who was I to argue? After all, lobster dinner definitely gets me hot under the collar and it's one of my FAVORITE foods.

I decided that steamed lobsters was, in fact, the perfect date night in. It's also decadent....and it made me think of decadent sex. For me, this type of sex is about indulgence. I wanted to be indulged in lobster and my husband all in the same night. It also happens that lobsters are a food that my husband and I like to cook together.

I waited for his day off, told my mom to send the lobsters that day and I got my mind in the mood for sex. When the lobsters came, I proudly declared to my husband: "I am going to eat these lobsters for dinner, and then I'm going to eat you for dessert." The best part? I still wasn't sure he had caught on to my Recipes For Sex Challenge and he said, with a touch of surprise in tone, "Ooo, that sounds great to me!"

I have had this lobster pot since Christmas (thanks to my Dad!), and I have only used it a handful of times, so it was perfect and I was stoked to finally be using it for LOBSTER! You don't have to have a lobster pot to execute this recipe, but you will need a big pot. The upside to have this lobster pot is that it's got two pieces to it, so you can throw the live lobsters in the top, set that aside and then put it on the steamer once the water gets going.

And let's talk about the water thing. I used a mixture of water, veggies, and chardonnay. I also made some lobster thermidor from the other lobsters my mom sent (she gave me four in total) so this made sense for me to do. You can use the water/veggie/wine mixture or just keep it to water. This is totally up to you.

I also know there is the element of killing live lobsters here. There is only one thing to do in this case: don't think about it, get over it and focus on the outcome (feasting on perfectly cooked, fresh lobster.) At one point when we put them on the pot, my husband said, "They could be alive right now." I promptly scolded him and said, "We are NOT talking this thing out. Just let it lie!"

After we dined on fresh, yummy lobster, I didn't feel overly full and I was ready to indulge in the carnal portion of the evening...but this was not normal sex. This was post-lobster sex, so it needed to be treated as such! I went into the bedroom and changed into some sexy, black lingerie and reappeared in the living room. When I came in, my husband was so excited he paused the TV. Hehe. Let's just say, we didn't make it out of the living room. It was an indulgent, living room sex kind of night, and I loved every minute of it!

The challenge: steam the lobster, eat it, dress up sexy and indulge yourself sexually. Take your time with the sex (and the dinner!) and go that "extra mile" when it comes to taking care of yourself and your partner...maybe do it in a place that isn't the bedroom. I always think that adds an element of excitement, don't you?!!?

Decadent sex: CHECK!
Steamed Lobsters

Time: 40 minutes, start to finish | Serves 2 | Difficulty: How do you feel about killing a lobster?

You Will Need:

2 live lobsters (mine were 1 3/4 pounds each)
1 lobster pot 

Salted water -or- I used 1/2 cup white wine, 3 cups water, some parsley, peppercorns, bay leaf and onion (sliced thin). I made thermidor after this, so this made sense, but otherwise, the salted water will do. 


Bring the water or broth in your steamer to a boil. 

Place the live lobsters in the pot portion of your steamer. (If you don't have the type of steamer I have, you will be putting them directly in the pot. Cover with a lid and don't think about it too much. 

Place the top portion of the steamer over the boiling water, and keep that lid on there tight! 

Allow the lobsters to cook for 20 minutes. When they are done, they should be bright red the meat should be white. 

Serve with drawn butter. I also served mine with a simple side dish of roasted potatoes and brussel sprouts. 

Eat, enjoy, and then  GET LAID! 

"Dolce far Niente"

It translates to the sweetness of doing nothing. It’s a line from Eat, Pray, Love and a very real concept in Italy. Not so much a concept in either the United States, or my own least not for me. That’s right. Despite my being the only Italian-American in my household, I am sorry to say that I am the only one who doesn’t indulge in “dolce far niente.”

My husband? Great with this concept. He is content to float in the pool, lay on the couch, or kick around about town just taking a drive. My dogs? Absolutely the masters of this sweetness of doing nothing, as it is mostly what they do. Even my cat and my chickens are good at this.

Me? As I write this is nine o’clock on Saturday evening and I am restless just laying here “enjoying” myself. I have such a hard time enjoying this type of sweetness. What is my freaking problem? I should be relishing these moments of nothingness and embracing them more fully and instead I want to fill those spaces with something productive....

I wonder if this notion in me is partly a tactic to distract myself from whatever else is going on that has the potential to stress me out. Some people drink vodka, and perhaps I just work instead. Or clean. Or pin boards on Pinterest. Or reorganize something. (you get he picture, right?)

Well, I turned 28 a couple weeks ago, and as one of my good friends reminded me just yesterday, that means I am “almost 30.” I also completed a 21-day meditative challenge a few days back. During this challenge, I had a break-through about living my adventure. That is, I want to embody the adventuress spirit that I know dwells within me. Instead of really being that adventurer, my first inclination is to be a control freak.  I want to have more dolce far niente because I truly believe that it will make me happier, more fulfilled, and ultimately more present with others.

Sometimes that means staying still long enough to see those places where adventure peaks means tasting the sweetness of life by *ah-ha* doing nothing!

So how about you...are you good at really enjoying those moments where you deliberately take time to do nothing? Are you able to hit pause and realize that life is about more than control, scheduling, work, school, and whatever the heck else we prioritize in front of the things that really matter?

How can we all cultivate a little more sweetness of doing nothing--where is your sweet spot? Mine? My sweet spot is laying in bed with my husband in the morning....before anything else has happened and the sun is just coming up--or better yet, on a cloudy day when neither of us in a rush. It’s also when I am just sitting, observing my chickens in the yard and watching them peck and forage for bugs and blades of grass. Another is when I am cooking something I just can’t wait to eat. Or when I’m meditating and not distracted by anything or anyone...when it’s just me and there is a deep sense of unity with the universe.

When I started to think about the sweet spots, there are an endless supply to choose from. The point of it is to CHOOSE THEM! Choose more sweetness, more quiet, and more time to simply be in a moment.

That is all. For today, anyway.