Breakfast in Bed: Pastelillos para Desayuno

Post by Alison Hein.

Last night we had friends over for a Puerto Rican feast – salty fried codfish fritters (bacalaiítos), spicy pastelillos de carne (meat turnovers), smoky black beans with chorizo (habichuelas negras con chorizo) and slow-cooked garlicky pork shoulder (pernil). Island flavors are a shockingly addictive blend of Spanish, African, Taino and Arawak products and seasonings. If you’re not familiar with this cuisine, I strongly recommend you get out there for a little taste of “Cocina Criolla”.

This morning, I found just the right ingredients for some Latin-flavored breakfast pastelillos, or spicy Puerto Rican half-moon shaped turnovers. I fried up some chorizo, then stirred in a bit of frothy green recaito, a mix of fresh pungent herbs, garlic, peppers and onions. Some eggs and a few more seasonings, and I was ready to fill and bake my pastelillos.

Thirty minutes later, we were savoring the steamy flavors of Cocina Criolla and a little taste of la Isla del Encanto.

Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 fresh chorizo sausage
2 tablespoons diced tomatoes, with juice (canned tomatoes work well)
2 tablespoons recaíto* (http://mixerupper.com/2012/08/17/recaito/)
2 tablespoons sour cream
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 eggs
1 teaspoon milk or cream
8 pastelillo or empanada wrappers (or use puff pastry, rolled out ¼ inch thick, cut into 8 5-inch diameter circles)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375°.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in heavy pan over medium heat. Remove sausage casing from chorizo, and break into small pieces. Add chorizo to heated pan and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned. Stir in diced tomatoes and recaíto. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, allowing flavors to meld. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat remaining olive oil in small, heavy pan over medium low heat. Break 3 eggs into small bowl and whisk well with milk or cream. Add eggs to heated pan and allow to cook slowly and gently. Stir frequently with wooden spoon to avoid sticking. Remove eggs from heat when still a little soft. Stir into chorizo mixture.

Lay pastelillo wrappers out on flat surface, and place about 1½ tablespoons of chorizo-egg mixture in the center of each circle. Beat remaining egg, and brush around eggs of each wrapper. Fold each circle in half to form a half-moon shape, gently pressing edges together. Seal edges of each pastelillo by gently folding dough over in ¼-inch increments, or sealing with the tines of a fork. Place filled pastelillos on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375° for about 30 minutes, until dough is golden and crispy. Serve fresh from the oven with a little hot sauce on the side, if you like.

Makes 8 pastelillos.

* If you can’t find the ingredients to make recaíto, substitute with: 1 minced garlic clove; 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro; 2 teaspoons finely diced yellow onion; and 2 teaspoons finely diced Cubanelle, Bell or Chili pepper.

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Charles P. Rogers Big Yellow Truck Campaign!

Things We Like: The Big Yellow Truck Campaign


Post by Kyle St. Romain.

In support of Red Cross Awareness Month, Charles P Rogers has started its own Hurricane Sandy Help Campaign. To get our Sandy Help Campaign started, today we’re going public with our Big Yellow Truck contest. We couldn’t be more excited. Doesn’t our vintage yellow bus look awesome

Here’s how the Big Yellow Truck contest works:

  • We’re going to park our vintage yellow bus at various locations throughout New York. When you spot the big yellow truck stop and take a picture with it.

  • For every picture tweeted or RT @charlesprogers with the hashtag #bigyellowtruck, we’ll donate $1 to the Red Cross – Jersey Coast Chapter. This money will go to benefit people who are affected by Hurricane Sandy.

  • With each tweet or Facebook post, you’ll also be entered to win a $500 Charles P. Rogers gift certificate. Perfect for a set (or two) of organic cotton sheets or a down payment on an awesome new bed!

The campaign officially begins March 21st at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show right here in New York City. The big yellow truck will be parked here through March 24th, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the show and get a photo-op with the yellow truck. After March 24th, the truck will be parked throughout the City. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates about where the truck will be. I’ll also give CPR’s blog readers updates on the event every Thursday.

Follow Charles P Rogers on Twitter and Facebook for more updates about our Sandy Help Campaign, information on how you can help, and updates on where to find the big yellow truck! You can also visit the Big Yellow Truck Campaign’s homepage for more details.

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Bedtime Stories: Unlikely Friendships

Post by Mark T. Locker.

Unlikely Friendships by Jennifer S. Holland.

What do a Rhodesian ridgeback and a pot-bellied pig have in common? More than just alliterative names, apparently. It seems they can become best buddies. Perhaps you have heard of Owen and Mzee, the grumpy tortoise and his little hippo buddy. And of course there is Coco the gorilla and his cat friend. But there are apparently all kinds of unusual animal friend match-ups out there! A lion, tiger and bear? Oh my! A baby oryx and a lion? Who would have thought?

This book tells the brief stories of 47 different unusual animal pairings. They are all sweet, some downright bizarre. Each story is short enough that you can read one or two, alone or out loud, as a lovely little icing on storytime.

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Movies in Bed: Friendzone

Post by Josh Zinn.

Lately, when I’m not flying to exotic ports of call in an attempt to heal the world in the memory of Michael Jackson, I’ve taken to relaxing by watching simple shows of fun and frivolity. One of my favorite programs of recent has been a little show on MTV called “Friendzone”. Let’s take a look at it, shall we?

Now, dear readers, I can already hear your cries of protests and, yes, I understand the ennui you must be feeling. Believe me, until I too fell into the “Friendzone” I figured MTV was nothing more than a haven for hooligans, hipsters, and hussies. And you know what? It is. But, as a famous writer whose name may or may not slightly rhyme with the phrase “flannél feel” once said, “In the depths of despair, two hearts shine among the garbage heap.” Beautiful, and in the case of “Friendzone,” oh so true.

What “Friendzone” is is a show about bravery. It’s about shedding a cloak of despair, a corset of depression, and a vice of restrained emotion. Inside all of us, according to “Friendzone,” is a hopeless romantic longing to make a soul’s connection with those we hold closest to us. Yes, that’s right my love-struck lads and lasses, “Friendzone” is a show about hitting on your best friend.

Imagine, if you will, it’s another warm summer night in your small Nebraska town. As you try on the sheer top you recently purchased at Torrid and imbibe in a second cocktail of Mt. Dew and vodka, your gorgeous hunk of a friend Cody knocks on your door. Now, because you guys have been friends since middle school and because he is always there when you have to pick up a Saturday night shift at Sonic and need a last-minute babysitter, you’ve asked him over under the ruse that you’re going on a date tonight and need some friendly advice – Only, the trick here is that the date’s with him!

“Friendzone,” you see, is about taking that next step with the friend that’s been with you through everything. When you think about it, it’s really quite obvious. After all, why wouldn’t you want to lock lips with the person who held your hand when you got Tweetie Bird tattooed on your hip; was there to hold your hair back when you did one too many Jell-O shots in the parking lot of the dollar store; and who defended your honor by throwing his chili cheese fries on your ex-husband’s new girlfriend when she threatened to gouge your left eye out with her heels? “Friendzone’s” mission is to let us know that love is oftentimes staring us right in the face, but sometimes we need a nudge, a camera crew, and a signed release waiver in order for Cupid’s arrow to be let loose from its quiver of anticipation.

Of course, there are times when the “Friendzone” fails to unite two lovers. Sometimes, it seems, a friend is just a friend, even if they do like to rub your feet, always bring you Sour Cream and Onion Pringles, and spend more time at your place than the apartment they rent out in their Grandma’s basement. In cases like these, however, “Friendzone” makes it clear that we should applaud the bravery and tenacity of those for whom not even the risk of losing their Wednesday night nacho nibbling buddy can keep them away from the siren’s call of amour.

Straight, gay, white, black – to “Friendzone” it matters not. All that matters is that you take a chance on romance and risk having your colossal failure and uncomfortable heartbreak filmed for the whole world to see. If that isn’t a compelling reason to follow through with one’s desires, then maybe this world is a colder place than I thought.

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Things We Like: Spring 2013 Design Trends

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

With spring fast upon us, there is lots of work to be done. March is a fun-filled month full of things to do for everyone: organizers who have long anticipated spring cleaning; gardeners anxious to get their summer planting underway; families looking forward to time with loved ones during Easter; and interior designers who are ready to shed the dark, heavy fabrics of winter for something more bright and refreshing.

To help get your home in the spring of things, we’ve put together a list of some of the hot interior design trends for Spring 2013.

Nature’s Nurture

Spring 2013 interior design is heavily influenced by nature. Whether it’s in the form of earth-tone colors or the use of organic building materials, more and more designers are drawing inspiration from organic design elements. Materials like rough-cut hardwood floors, slate countertops, and weathered concrete building elements are examples of this natural, contemporary design trend. You can also incorporate natural/living décor, such as wall hanging plants, to bring a more natural feel to your space.

Pastel Pleasure

To contrast with your natural design elements, colors from the pastel palette provide the perfect pop. Check out Pantone’s 2013 fashion color trends to get a feel for the types of colors that are in season this spring. If you need help visualizing how to put the perfect color pallet together, Pantone has also compiled several complete color palettes so you can get a sense of how these colors work together.

Here’s a hint for next season: pay attention to the Neiman Marcus Spring Catalog, as many of the colors featured on their clothing are trendy in the interior design world as well.


Creative Lighting

Light fixtures have been prominent in interior design for the past few years, and that trend is expected to continue. Using contemporary light fixtures, or light fixtures that otherwise contrast with the rest of your room’s design, is a great way to spice up a room without having to redo everything. A lot of popular light fixtures today use the old-timey Edison bulbs, which add a cool retro feel and a warm glow to your space.

Quick Tip To Freshen Up Your Bedroom This Spring

If you don’t have the budget to redo your entire bedroom this spring, don’t worry. There are a number of ways you can dramatically change the look of your room without spending much time or money. An easy way to update your bedroom this spring is to buy a new comforter, or comforter cover.

Since the bed comforter is such a large piece of fabric that is prominently displayed in your bedroom, you’ll really get a lot of bang for your buck visually. Bonus points if you can find a new comforter that’s reversible! Lightweight comforters will also help keep you cooler in bed during the warm summer months, making this a very practical update.

Are you planning any interior design projects this spring? Let us know how your project is going in the comments below.

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