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Monday, November 25, 2013

An Ahh-mazingly Astrologically Grateful Thanksgivikkuh

Once I start something it's hard to let go of it, I've been that way since I was a child, I dive in with all the gusto I can muster, so to even think about taking the holiday off from The Pure Pollino show this week was a struggle to say the least. I resisted it, until I started getting ready to write my blog and looked at the astrological configurations for the week. That, along with my Deepak and Oprah meditations. (you should really do these and they are free) I realized that this week it's time to take a step back and each day give thanks to everything we have in our lives. This week is about not just giving thanks but in the true spirit of the collision of holidays, it's also about seeing the light. Hanukkah is the eight day festival called the festival of lights, it commemorates the re dedication of the temple by Judas Maccabaeus in 165 BC, symbolizing coming out of the darkness and into the light. And looking at the configurations for the week I think many of us will feel ahh-mazingly grateful for the friends and family we have with us, we also feel spiritually connected to the earth through the food we eat, in sense shedding a whole lot of light onto this thought: spiritual connection through food and family.

When I tell people about my show I explain it as 2 things: astrology/spirituality, the other is food. To me both are about the same thing, being connected to other people through these avenues. This holiday is a perfect example of how to the two are actually one. Food is our connection to this earth, it is from this earth, it is sourced from us, by us and given to us to sustain us. It also takes center stage at every holiday ( all are spiritually centered ) on earth, even ones where you are fasting it is still at the core as you go without.

What is extremely interesting is this week the strongest configuration in the sky is retrograde Jupiter in Cancer (family-friends-home) opposing Venus in Capricorn (practical-earthy-disciplined). This opposition says we are going to overindulge and be extravagant - at least temporarily- we will give in to indulging for the day, both emotionally and gastronomically! There may even be some tears of joy, because of the genuine love you may feel. And that feeling will come through the spiritual connection of food and family.



Thanksgivikkuh will be the day of the feast, luckily we have the Virgo moon in the beginning of the week to get us ready for overindulging and Mercury and Saturn getting together Monday night will give us the mental discipline to make sure we are ready for Thursdays extravagance. Also this week Neptune (dreams) snuggling a little close to Chiron (wounds) is squaring or creating tension with the Sun in playful Sagittarius, as we try to create the perfect balance of what we want Thanksgivikkuh to look like spiritually and letting things unfold and accepting with grace and ease the day's events. Being really aware of your expectations and yet being spiritually open to whatever the day brings is the key to really enjoying this week. If you have no plans, - plans will soon arrive, if you have friend over, and more want to come - open your door. And if you have 20 family members coming over, 3 kids and this week you adopt a stray dog - expect the unexpected. Or if you have a show that connects you to thousands and thousands of people each week across the globe, take sometime to feel gratitude for that and tell them you will be back on the air with them Tuesday following the holiday!.

Really all our lessons are right there before us, and this holiday has the best energy I've seen in a long time. Let go of your expectations, but take the time in the few days before to plan accordingly. Use grace and kindness to those knocking on our door, even if its a stray, everyone deserves love and we give that love on this holiday through the food we share. At the table give thanks, say a prayer for that meal, hold each others hands, human touch is such a beautiful thing.

Below is one of my favorite recipes from Pure Pollino this past week courtesy of Pace Webb enjoy! and Happy Thanksgivikkuh!
xo,m

butternut squash recipe
Photo by Scott Clark
Butternut Squash Fritters with Aioli and Pom Arils
Ingredients:
Fritters
1 butternut squash
1/2 cup flour (gluten-free ok)
2 whole eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
2 quarts oil for frying (peanut, canola or any vegetable)
Basil Aioli
1 bunch basil, leaves, blanch and shock, drain well
1 teaspoon ascorbic acid
2 cloves garlic, crushed and made into a paste
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
salt to taste
pomegranate arils from one small pomegranate
Method:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Drizzle olive oil and salt over squash and roast flesh down until tender, about 20 minutes. Cool and scrape flesh into a large bowl. Mash together and then add flour, eggs, and salt to taste. Add eggs last so you can adjust salt. With a one ounce portion scoop, make fritters and immediately fry in hot oil. Drain on a cake cooling rack with a half sheet underneath. Keep warm in 200 degree oven until ready to serve.
Blend basil leaves and ascorbic acid with oils.  In a separate small mixing bowl combine egg yolk and garlic In a very slow stream pour the basil oil mixture into the egg yolk mixture all the while whisking. Add oil to desired consistency. Thin with water if necessary. Season to taste with salt.
Garnish fritters with basil aioli and pomegranate arils. Serve warm.










Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgivukkah + Pop-Up Supper Club

A once in a lifetime experience - Thanksgiving and Hanukkah share the day this year, this week we had  special guest Chef and LIfestyle expert Pace Webb, she gave us some great recipes which I posted below to celebrate both and check out the video for the show or listen in on iTunes or Stitcher as we  take a peek inside her very popular monthly pop-up supper club. Plus we hear about her courageous fight against cancer at the age of 17 and how that opened the door to her culinary career and pretty much everything you wanted to know about Page!

Check out Page Webb recipes below!

Here is a link to her recipe, plus I've posted it below: Brussel Sprout Salad Appetizer

thanksgiving appetizer



shaved red brussels, parm, olive oil, lemon juice
 yields 20 servings
ingredients:
20 red brussel sprouts
4 oz. parmesan cheese, finely grated
1.5 oz. olive oil
1 oz. lemon juice
salt
pinch chili flakes
Method:
Chiffonade sprouts. Mix remaining ingredients together. 



Butternut Squash Fritters with Aioli and Pom Arils


butternut squash recipe
Photo by Scott Clark
Butternut Squash Fritters with Aioli and Pom Arils
Ingredients:
Fritters
1 butternut squash
1/2 cup flour (gluten-free ok)
2 whole eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
2 quarts oil for frying (peanut, canola or any vegetable)
Basil Aioli
1 bunch basil, leaves, blanch and shock, drain well
1 teaspoon ascorbic acid
2 cloves garlic, crushed and made into a paste
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
salt to taste
pomegranate arils from one small pomegranate
Method:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Drizzle olive oil and salt over squash and roast flesh down until tender, about 20 minutes. Cool and scrape flesh into a large bowl. Mash together and then add flour, eggs, and salt to taste. Add eggs last so you can adjust salt. With a one ounce portion scoop, make fritters and immediately fry in hot oil. Drain on a cake cooling rack with a half sheet underneath. Keep warm in 200 degree oven until ready to serve.
Blend basil leaves and ascorbic acid with oils.  In a separate small mixing bowl combine egg yolk and garlic In a very slow stream pour the basil oil mixture into the egg yolk mixture all the while whisking. Add oil to desired consistency. Thin with water if necessary. Season to taste with salt.
Garnish fritters with basil aioli and pomegranate arils. Serve warm.

Turkey Confit!


Follow Pace here: @tasteofpace or here: tasteofpace.com or here PaceWebb.com



Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Full Moon, Food, Spirituality and YOU!







Each week I do a radio/webcast show, right now they are split up, one on Astrology, the other on Food. When I was pitching this idea to my partner she immediately jumped on board, she brought her immense talents, enthusiasm and expertise and launched the programs alongside and continues on as Executive Producer.  What she immediately knew was this - this show - about two seemingly very different subjects was exactly the road that I should travel, and that road, we will pave together. As I got up this morning and was doing my morning reading, trying to figure out what my blog was going to be about, either the tremendous food show I had this past week- talking about the AOC cookbook with celebrated chef and author Suzanne Goin and her business partner Caroline Styne. Or the approaching full moon in sensual, food-loving Taurus, opposing the spiritual self-probing Scorpio sun, it struck me -  like a bat over my head - exactly why I chose to do this show.



In my chart I have Scorpio rising, with my descendent in Taurus, in the exact degree of this full moon. Scorpio, is a sign of transformation and healing- power and determination. Taurus ruled by Venus, is practical, reliable, loves the luxuries in life. On one side of my chart-Astrology/Spirituality, the other side, Food- practical, life affirming, luxurious. Clearly right there spelling it out for me, my career path- my venus in the 6th house of service to others - my north node in cancer in the 8th house ruled by Scorpio. So let it be written, so let it be done. (10 Commandments reference) 


For me this week, I have been struggling to find ways to bring these two shows together, and that's exactly what this full moon is about, for everyone! Finding that balance between the needs of the Taurus Moon and the Scorpio Sun, this does not mean that we should ignore one side or the other.  In order to reap its benefits, we will need to address both sides and we all have this in our charts, we are truly not one sign but a combination of them all, thats why each month we are affected by these transits in our skies. So you have to ask yourself what are you doing and is this making you truly happy?  Scorpio's ultimate goal is to heal through transformation, Taurus, ruled by Venus is to explore - through love - what makes us happy, i.e, material possession, physical manifestations, love of nature? Love of all things pleasurable.

Also at this time Venus is conjunct Pluto, Scorpio's ruler, squaring Uranus urging us to define that which we love and to make damn sure that will be helping us grow and transform ourselves and those around us. In other words, we will see an increase in people saying to themselves, am I on the right path, is this helping or hindering me, and is this truly what I love to do! This week will also shed some light on the events that took place during the new moon/solar eclipse that happened on November 3rd, think back, did something happen, did you lose a job, or perhaps gain a client? Did you meet someone special, or perhaps have a meeting about a possible new venture? Are the characters in that book or screenplay really breathing and speaking to you, or are they not yet gasping for air. This week new opportunities come out of the shadows, but you have to see them. Remember we only see what we want to, thats how transformation works, so ask yourself this: Do you want to be happy, if so then just open your eyes and se the beauty that surrounds you, whether its little white snow flakes, or palm trees and clear blue skies, both are beautiful you just have to see it that way.


Speaking of happy, this weeks shows have made me the happiest i've been in awhile,  Tuesday was all about money in your chart, how to identify it and where you can manifest it. Thursday I learned more about food and wine and coffee than I have in a LONG time! If you haven't seen or listened to the shows, watch them on youtube.com/purepollino


Or you can go to my website Michelle Pollino As promised I have another recipe from Suzanne Goin, who is a Libra, and I will say I was afraid to ask both her and Caroline their signs, but i know I will in the future, I too still struggle with the stigma about astrology, but I hope you will bear with me. Either way I cannot express to you how wonderful these ladies are. Suzanne is charming and passionate and is one of those women who you ultimately admire and adore. You know she's a great boss by hearing her deliberate speech, you know she's a great mom, by hearing her talk about her kids. You know she's a great chef by tasting her food. She is all that and a Fattoush salad. Her book is funny, wise and educational. But even more than the recipes, Goin puts it all out there in this book, giving us a glimpse into her idiosyncrasies, in the most charming, unfettered way. We get to know this celebrated chef and understand the choices she makes and why.  We see that her connection to food is an extension of her love and connection to the people that come into her life, this is truly how she celebrates them, transforming her connection to them, into dishes for the world to enjoy. She literally strikes the perfect balance between that Scorpio/Taurus energy that I spoke of earlier, and after all isn't that what life is all about, striking that beautiful balance of of love, life and work.

Below is one of her recipes form her new book that she has graciously handed over for us to enjoy!

Thank you! xo,m

Fattoush salad with fried pita, cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta, and sumac

Fattoush is the Arabic word for a traditional salad made in most Mid­dle Eastern countries, originally as a vehicle to use up stale leftover pita bread. I think I must just be a leftover lover, because so many of my favor­ite foods—stuffings, daubes, terrines, meringues—all evolved from using up excess or old product so it wouldn’t go to waste. Traditionally, the stale pita is torn into bigger-than-bite-sized pieces, fried, and then tossed with lettuces and seasonal vegetables.
I’m sure there are as many “recipes” for fattoush as there are cooks, but I credit the key to our delicious version to Brian Wolff—one of our A.O.C. chefs in the early days, who was determined to make a better fat­toush than the one he ate every Sunday at the local Middle Eastern res­taurant in his San Fernando Valley neighborhood. Besides, of course, the super-farm-fresh ripe and crispy ingredients, the secret behind this salad is the dressing—and it’s the touch of cream in the dressing that really brings this fattoush to greatness.
For me there are two types of salads, the ones that need to be gen­tly and carefully tossed, and the more rugged ones with bold-flavored dressings—like escarole with anchovies and Parmesan, the farro salad with spring vegetables, and this fattoush, which I like to toss really well, almost massaging the dressing into the greens and other components. The flavors and textures really need to be brought together and integrated to create one glorious whole. It’s amazing to me that you can give the same ingredients, and even the same dressing, to two different cooks, and, between the seasoning and the way the salad is dressed and tossed, you can end up with two very different results. So remember to toss this salad well; get your hands in there, make sure every element is getting well coated, and taste. You actually want the tomatoes to break up a tiny bit, so their juices meld with the creamy lemon dressing and bring all the flavors of the salad together.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cut the pita bread into rustic 1-inch squares, and toss, using your hands, with 3 tablespoons olive oil until the pita is well coated and satu­rated. Spread on a baking sheet, and toast for about 20 minutes, tossing once or twice, until the pita squares are golden and crispy. (You can also deep-fry the pita if you like.)
Using a mortar and pestle (or the side of a knife on a cutting board), crush the garlic clove with a little salt, and then transfer it to a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and a heaping ¼ tea­spoon salt to the bowl. Whisk in the remaining ½ cup olive oil, and the cream. Taste for balance and seasoning.
Cut each head of romaine in half lengthwise, and place them cut-side down on a cutting board. Make three long slices lengthwise, then turn the romaine and chop across the slices into ½-inch-sized pieces. Clean the lettuce, spin it dry, and place in a large mixing bowl.
Thinly slice the onion. Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise, and cut them on the diagonal into ¼-inch-thick slices. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Add the onion, cucumbers, and tomatoes to the romaine, and toss with the dressing, the chopped parsley, toasted pita, half the feta, ¼ teaspoon salt, and some freshly ground pepper. Taste for balance and seasoning. Gently toss in the whole parsley and mint leaves, and arrange on six dinner plates. Sprinkle the remaining 2 ounces feta and the sumac over the top of the salads.

3 pita breads
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 large heads romaine lettuce
1 small red onion
3 Persian cucumbers, or 1 hothouse cucumber
½ pint cherry tomatoes
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsely, plus ½ cup whole fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
¼ pound feta cheese
¼ cup mint leaves
1 tablespoon ground sumac
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
This is one of my all-time favorite A.O.C. salads, and one that I have prob­ably eaten over a hundred times. Though the crispy pita adds an indulgent, rich crunch, the essence of this salad is very clean, calling for a wine that is similarly so. I’ve found that the best match for this dish is a white wine with a savory core and notes of bright-green herbs, like Assyrtiko from Greece, which is lean, refreshing, and kind of unfruity. The wine almost becomes an extension of the salad, creating a seamless connection between the two, while also allowing the sweetness of the tomatoes to shine through.

Excerpted from The A.O.C. Cookbook by Suzanne Goin. Copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Goin. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.