French Food Rules

Let's all Practice this:
Let's all try this

Milan and a Moscow Mule!

I just spent a week in Milan, soaking up the Euro energy, roaming the cobblestone streets and enjoying long nights on the Naviglio!
I'll admit, Milan does not have a ton to offer... the city is crowded, polluted and well, not so glamorous.  But despite it's rough edges, Milan is one of my very most favorite cities in the world.   Not only because I spent a chunk of my early 20s living there, but because it is a city with so much life, energy, possibilities, culture, beauty, architecture, art and not to mention amazing night life and food!
I was staying with my best friend who has a wonderful apartment right next to the Naviglio.  The Naviglio is a canal that runs through the city, lined with bars and restaurants, it is at 7pm the Milanese leave the office and go to unwind and meet friends for an aparitivo (photo, top right). This is quite possibly my favorite Italian tradition!  I could get used to this custom, no problem.  Cape Town is a neighborhood favorite where they are famous for their Moscow Mules (photo, bottom right)!
I now keep Moscow Mule Makings in my fridge at all times, and I think you should too - they are so simple and refreshing on a hot summer day:
Moscow Mule:
Vodka, Ginger Beer or Ginger Ale, Fresh Ginger Slices.  You can even get fancy and add some cucumber of mint.
Late Lunch (top left picture)
Traveling is the best diet for me because I roam around cities for hours and completely forget about eating until I am famished and faint! One afternoon, just as I had been starting to feel HANGRY (hungry and angry) I stumbled across Botega Caffe Cacao.  9 euro included salad of choice, drink (I chose sparkling water), an espresso and a little in-house made dessert (strawberry slushy and a chocolate dipped wooden spoon).  I'm telling you, it is not expensive to eat well and healthy in Europe.  It's not a class or status thing like it is made to be here in the states!  Everyone can afford to eat their veggies in Europe - the way it should be (shame on America and our subsidized, corrupt food industry)!
Salad in a Bread Bowl
Well, not really bread, more like a giant crispy flat bread! And look at the adorable oil and vinegar packets.  Italians also keep it light and simple with the dressings.  Ranch is NOT found in Italy - see more secrets to staying slim living the Italian life here
Nicoise is my absolute favorite salad to get out at lunch - it has the right amount of protein to keep me fueled until dinner, but not too heavy leaving me feeling blah.  Of course they added the mozzarella balls :)
Morning Coffee (bottom left picture)
Every Morning Cecile and I would enjoy a cup of coffee (American style - my style - big cup) at an adorable cafe downstairs from her apartment called That's Bakery.  By the end of the week our regular server asked me to stay and marry him, or he would move to SF ha you gotta love the Italian men, so passionate.
Viva la Vita!

Bread Sticks with Fabrizio

About 40 minutes outside of Milan lives my friend Fabrizio.  Apparently, he is a famous chef in the region - how exciting.  We met last summer in San Francisco through a mutual friend, Daniella.
Anyway, I promised him I would stop by his restaurant the next time I was in Milan... donna della sua parola...
Daniella's and my intentions were to help him in the kitchen and learn a few tricks... but to our pleasent surprise he insisted that we sit and enjoy a 3 course lunch - all ingredients locally sourced from within 20 miles!!!!
It was just Fabrizio, Daniella and me in his restaurant, enjoying lunch and broken conversation (Fabrizio does not speak a work of English!) while his sister and momma cooked and served for us!
After 3 hours, 2 bottles of wine, more gluten and pork than I've eaten in the past 5 years (seriously!) we slowly wobbled into the kitchen to learn how to make these amazing bread sticks.
1 kilo flour
200 grams extra virgin olive oil
25 grams of salt
25 grams of lievito
500 grams of water

let rise
roll out into cornmeal
bake at 300 for 20 minutes and then at 200 for 10
(I think! This was about 2 weeks ago - I should have written it down)

Sushi, Caipirinhas and Dancing at Mercedes

My last night in Milan (and first night in Greece) may have been the most memorable of my 2 weeks in Europe - besides for of course Mindee and Peter's wedding!
I'm a pretty easy going traveler - I really do not care where we go, what we see, where we eat, how we get there, when we get there or really anything at all...I'm just along for a good time!  So for my last night I was not expecting much but was thrilled when Cecile got us a reservation at Temakinho and on the guest list to a party at Mercedes! Temakinho, is a snazzy sushi place famous for their fresh fish and Brazilian cocktails, Caipirinhas.
Mercedes launches a new car (don't ask me what it was) and turned their dealership into a giant discoteca :)

Planks & Pinot

plus healthy appetizers! What better way to spend your Friday night!?
Pilates Pro Works hosted a party Friday and I was so thrilled to have my first official Stiletto & Spice event with people who share the same philosophy for a healthy lifestyle as me: Exercising, Wine, Friends, Natural Whole Foods!

The Menu 
Recipes by Stiletto & Spice
Healthy & Hearty
Quick & Easy
Chic & Smart
PB&J Quinoa Crunch Bars (Full story here)
2 cups peanut butter - 1 cup brown rice syrup. 1 t vanilla . 4 cups quinoa crisps
and 2 cups rice crisps
Warm first 2 in saucepan.  Add vanilla.  Combine with crisps in a big bowl.  Press into a lined pan.
Spread 2 cups jelly.
Top with 2 cups chopped peanuts nuts.
Roasted Beets and Carrots with
Lemon Pistachio Dressing
Roast Beets in Foil – cut carrots into pieces, toss with evoo and s&p.
400 cooking times will vary.
½ cup evoo, juice and zest of 1 lemon, 1 T honey. Toss all with
1 cup chopped pistachios.
Recipes can be made ahead and enjoyed all week!


A Summer Soiree

I catered a lunch yesterday with a menu that I am so excited about!  It was such a beautiful representation of what you'd find at a Farmers Market in July - so fresh and delicious - I have to share. If you are not a big meat eater - I think salmon would substitute nicely for the skirt steak.


Women with Ambition!

Prints at JESSE LC

"Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life" - Confucious

I gotta tell ya, I feel so lucky to have such a great group of entrepreneurial girlfriends! They have not only found their passion but have developed their passion and dream into their career. 
We often get together, like we did today, to bounce ideas off each other and most importantly, laugh and have a good time! 
Today was an ordinary get-together, but for some reason it felt extra special and worth sharing...


Provence Party

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love an excuse to host a party.  So when my married friends and I started a monthly dinner group, you can imagine how excited I was when it was my turn to host!
I want to share this dinner party as an example of how simple it can be to host a fabulous supper in style and stilettos ah!
The key is to plan ahead and decide on a menu that can be prepped days before and requires little hands on time during your party... for example a cheese, fruit and nut platter for an appetizer and slow cooked meat for your main...

Journey for a Better World!

Nike touches down in SF on their Journey for a Better World... and guess who was asked to provide the vegan snacks?! That's right, Sugar & Spice!



Hi There! I thought I'd share a couple pics from a brunch I catered last weekend.  
Beautiful photographs by Shea McGuier

Maple Pecan Granola and Straus Yogurt in Jars

Green Bean Bundles and Herb Aioli

Eggs Baked in a Bread Bowl


Cinco De Mayooooo Shrimp Taco

To no surprise, every year I crave Mexican food from May 1st to the 5th!  
Not much beats a nice, authentic fish taco!

Maple Pecan Granola (w/ Quinoa Crispy!)

I discovered quinoa crispy cereal! Woah I know...exciting right?! They are like rice crispy cereal, only made from quiona.  1 ingredient: organic quinoa!


2 Women with A Mission... teach YOU how to Live a Fun, Healthy, Whole, Sexy LIFE!
And here's the kicker... you're going to loose weight (with out even trying)!

A little about Sarah and Jamie: They are smart, confident chicas who have followed their passions for living a whole healthy life and are here to share their knowledge (and fun approach) with you!
Not to mention, they radiate positive energy and fun vibes!  You can see why I want to hang out with them any chance I get :) who wouldn't right!? 
See what they are up to...


Squash, Ricotta and Brown Butter Sage on Crostini

Ok, so this is not quite seasonal anymore (because it's been an entire season since the last time I posted!) but it's still worthy of sharing!
I had some girlfriends over for a cocktail party (I just love any excuse to entertain) and the menu was so simple, yet impressive and delicious!  

All Shapes and Sizes!

So beautiful!  

I remember the very first time I realized NO TWO women are shaped the same.  I was 20 and backpacking through the Greek Islands.  Living in a bikini for 2 weeks will do that.  I realized that every woman is shaped differently and is beautiful in  her own, unique way.


Happy Day 7... To A New You!

We did it!
I hope you are feeling a little healthier and fabulous this Sunday... I know I am.
To sum up the week:
 When you are feeling happy, healthy and fabulous you will thrive in every area of your life! 
You will be a better mom, lover, friend, and your business/career will thrive when you feel great! 

The most beautiful woman in the room is the happiest woman in the room
It is about being content in the moment and appreciating life.  Not taking yourself too seriously.  Surrounding yourself with the people who make you shine, and the people who see you as a star.  Enjoy the sun daily.  Make love and fall in love.
Your body is a temple

Take care of yourself.  Treat your body well and with kindness.  Eat healthy foods, mainly from the earth.  Sleep at least 7 hours a night.  Wear SPF daily, even in the winter.  Relax, breath and practice your A to ZEN list.  Exercise and move your body every day.
When you take care of your appearance you 
feel beautiful and fabulous
When you exercise and eat well you will feel great about yourself.  Not to mention doing the girl things helps with felling beautiful too.  I get my nails done for myself, but because I smile when I look down and see my hands sparkling.  Spend time and $$$ on making yourself feel and look fabulous.  I think it is so funny when people say, "Italian women and French women are so beautiful."  That's because they take care of themselves... in a classy, subtle, chic way.  
Here's how, and I did it all this week too:  Put yourself together daily (that means no lulu lemon unless you're at the gym).  Get your hair professionally done, I'm obsessed with Stephanie at Festoon.  Get your eyebrows done, I love Julie at Lashfully.  Wear your scent, Miss Dior is my current favorite.  Get your nails done, Shelllac is amazing.  


Happy Day 6... To A New You!

What a beautiful day is SF!
I hope everyone else got to enjoy the sunshine!
After a wonderful afternoon spent in the park with a few of my best friends (since middle school!) I realized I don't do this nearly enough.
It is so easy to get caught up in our crazy hectic lives and forget to stop, relax, take a "time out" and breeeeeath.

Today's Tip:
How to find your zen... everyday


Happy Day 5... To A New You!

Remember how I said I ended up going out to dinner at 9:30pm with the Italians i met at MeetUp...? Well, I didn't mention that EACH one of them ordered their OWN pizza!
Anyway, it struck me that every single person sitting at the table was fit and definitely not over weight.
How is this possible?
And that's today's healthy living tip...
How to eat like an Italian and not get fat!
It's simple really and here's how:


Happy Day 4... To A New You!

Today was a whorl wind and it's only getting windier... I just got home from my client's house at 9pm having to write this post (scratch that) wanting to write this post and my camera is acting up... Anyway, today was a perfect example of the inspiration for todays topic...

How to have healthy food in your fridge all the time, that you only have to prep on Sunday, or whatever day works for you.  Making it super easy for you to just grab and reheat a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner.
So, I had 3 hours between coming home from teaching classes at the gym and going to Marin to cook for clients in their home, to create, cook and photograph the 3 meals.

Not to mention I'm on 4 hours of sleep!  That Italian meetup happy hour I went to last night was a blast!  After 3 hours and 3 glasses of wine my Italian was flowin like a native and I ended up at an Italian restaurant in North Beach with 8 bello Italian men :) So far I'm  LOVIN meetup!


Happy Day 3... To A New You!


Today's will be fast...I have that Italian Meetup! happy hour at Bubble Lounge in an hour!

Again, today's tip was inspired by the turn of events in my day.
Like many of you, I pack my day with meetings, appointments, lunches with friends, gym classes, laundry (mine's in the mat down the street now!) work emails, etc. and often don't have time to pack a healthy lunch or plan a healthy meal for when I get home.
Tip #1
Healthy Eating is Easy and Cheap!

Today's menu is super simple and fast!
Breakfast was thrown in a jar in 1 minute and taken out the door.
Lunch was picked up at Walgreens, if you can believe it or not.
Dinner was salmon, grain and veggies all baked in the same dish.