Monday, July 27, 2015

Squeaky Swings: Jalapeno Ranch Summer Corn Salad for Two Recipe

Hello LilyOnTheLam.Com Readers:

I am obsessed with sweet corn.  Actually, I am obsessed with all things starchy carbs - but that's a story for my Carbaholics Anonymous group.  When I was recently in Rio De Janeiro, I was IN LOVE that there was a boiled corn cart on every corner.  I sat in the hot sun, eating a heavily buttered, heavily salted corn on the cob and watched very muscular, almost naked men play volleyball.  Heaven.  

Recently, my fabulous friends have been taking me out for all sorts of lovely dinners in honor of my 997th birthday.  Ms. Corporate Sassy took me out to our favorite lunchtime spot - J. Alexander's in Tampa, Florida - which apparently now is being called Redlands Grill.  I am not a big corporate chain restaurant girl, but I make exceptions for J.Alexander's (and Capitol Grille ... and Bonefish ... and Houston's ... and Cheesecake Factory if I am craving 90,000 calorie cheesecake slices ... OK maybe I do like chain restaurants!)

Poor Ms. Corporate Sassy, she picked a day to take me out when I was craving FILET MIGNON.  I am going to have to take her to Bern's Steakhouse or another of our favorites Cafe Ponte, when it is her birthday because let me tell you my birthday lunch was EXPENSIVE.  

Side note: Because Tampa lost against Chicago in the Stanley Cup, I now have to take my little sister to Bern's Steakhouse for a free steak dinner on me.  My wallet is already shaking because that tiny little girl has been known to put away the most expensive steaks on any menu.  But I am happy for ANY EXCUSE to go to Bern's Steakhouse.  It may look like a cross between Disney's Haunted Mansion and a bordello on the inside and look like a warehouse from the outside, but it is one of my favorite restaurants in the entire world - and that is saying something because I eat out A LOT!    

Anyway, back to my lunch with Ms. Corporate Sassy - J. Alexander's side of the day was a sautéed corn.  Given my love for all starchy carbs, I had to order it - in addition to my excellent filet mignon and loaded baked potato bigger than my head.  It arrived with julienned slices of zucchini in it.  Which I totally DID NOT UNDERSTAND.  Overcooked zucchini has a slimy texture which did not pair well with the crisp, sweet, bursting with goodness summer corn.  Pairing fail.  But I still ate it up heartily!  Yum!

When I was driving back from my birthday weekend in Boca Raton, one thought kept flashing through my tiny brain: "when I get back to Tampa, I want corn on the cob with herb butter."  Yes, some people spend their time thinking about world peace.  I spend my time thinking about corn.

I whipped up a giant pot of boiled corn - more corn than a single lady with 900 cats should ever cook.  I decided that with some of the leftover ears of corn, I would make a summer corn salad.  Even though I am 1,029 years old, I have never made a corn salad before.  Or at least I don't think I have ... when you're this old, memories start to fade.  I have to be careful what declarations I make, because you never know when someone from my past is going to jump out of the woodwork and scream "J'accuse!  You made a corn salad in 1997!"  It could happen.  You never know.

So with that, I made my "Jalapeño Ranch Summer Corn Salad For Two" recipe.


It tastes better than it looks

Which by the way, "Summer Corn" makes me think of the Death Cab For Cutie song "Summer Skin."  Death Cab for Cutie chose their band name from the headlines of a tabloid. Apparently an attractive woman in a taxi died or almost died - so it was "death cab for cutie."  Probably not a good incident for the woman, but a catchy tabloid headline and a better band name.

The song starts out with the lyrics "Squeaky swings and tall grass ..." and it reminds me of summer and love and heartache.



Let me tell you - I may be a corn purist - just some sweet corn, a little butter, a little salt ... but this "Jalapeño Ranch Summer Corn Salad" recipe is DELICIOUS!  Try it out!

Feel free to share this recipe, but please include the link and a created by "LilyOnTheLam.com" when you share PLEASE.

Jalapeño Ranch Summer Corn Salad for Two by LilyOnTheLam.com

Ingredients:
2 ears of summer sweet corn that have been fully cooked either by boiling or steaming and then chilled to room temperature (or refrigerated overnight)
6 mini assorted red, yellow and orange peppers (or 1 medium green bell pepper), diced fine
2 Tbsp. finely diced red onion (or more- depending on your tastes)
1/2 a large lime
3 heaping tablespoons pico de gallo or a chunky medium salsa, drained
2 tablespoons Jalapeno ranch salad dressing (or use regular ranch and put in some finely diced jalapeños).  I use "Naturally Fresh Jalapeño Ranch Dressing" (from the refrigerated section) because I think it is tasty!
1 heaping tablespoon Duke's Mayonnaise (or other fine quality Southern mayo)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 - 1/4 c. shredded aged cheddar (OPTIONAL)

How To:
1) Cut the kernels from the ears of sweet corn.  Use your fingers to break up the corn into individual kernels, if necessary.
2) Add diced bell peppers, red onion, the juice of 1/2 a large lime, the pico de gallo, Jalapeño ranch salad dressing and mayonnaise.  If you don't mind the extra calories, add some shredded cheddar cheese.  Add salt and pepper, to taste.
3)  You may wish to add more Jalapeño ranch dressing and mayo if you like a "saucier" salad.  Also feel free to use less.
4) Mix well.
5)  Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for a couple hours.

If you wish, you can add more shredded aged cheddar cheese and serve this on fried corn tortilla chips as a "summer corn dip."
  
In a Tostitos Scoop shell - perfect appetizer!


This salad would also be great with some fresh lobster, crab or shrimp folded in.

Otherwise it is delicious as a side salad or accompaniment to grilled meat.

I loooooove this summer corn salad.  I hope you like it too!  Thanks for reading!

P.S. I have not been compensated by Naturally Fresh or Duke's for naming their products in my recipe - just sharing information on what brands I used.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Things We Take For Granted: Happy Parents' Day!

Hello LilyOnTheLam.Com Readers!

This morning when I logged on to my Instagram account, I saw that one of the MANY Hello Kitty accounts that I follow was celebrating "Parents' Day."  My first thought was "Um hello, we already had Mother's Day in May and Father's Day in June - now it's Parents' Day in July?  Those greedy bastards!  What will August bring?  Parents' Day - Part 2?"



Little did I realize when I woke this morning that I would be thinking a lot about my parents today.  And not just because the fine folks at Sanrio implanted it in my brain.

It is my birthday weekend (I am now 987 years old!) and I have been celebrating in "Golden Girls" style with a weekend in Boca Raton, Florida.  It is my first visit to Boca Raton and as I had guessed - it's much nicer than Tampa with better Jewish deli options.  I love a good Jewish deli.  When I visit New York, I always make sure there is time for some matzo ball soup.  

Amidst the "celebration of me," I have also taken some time to catch up on my own personal journal writing.  For about 3 months straight I wrote in my journal every day.  Then in May, I fell off the wagon and have been very bad about writing.  I am trying to get back in the habit.  

My brain functions so much better when I give it the chance to "offload" all the junk in my head via journal writing.  In keeping with this "deep thoughts" mood, a couple things happened this weekend that have me thinking about life and the things we take for granted.

Today I read a sad story about a 29 year old woman, Faigy Mayer, in the tech field who committed suicide.  According to the story, five years prior she had left her ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community.  In doing so, her family severed all ties with her.  Although in leaving the community, she - as a woman - was now free to pursue a career in technology without religious oppression (some ultra-Orthodox communities do not allow women to have access to smartphones), the price of losing most of her family seemed to weigh heavily on her.  

In Boca Raton, I visited the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens and the so delicious, it hurts Kapow Noodle Bar.  It was a very "Asian" birthday celebration for me.  I thought a lot about my parents during my birthday celebration - how they would both very much enjoy the lovely Japanese gardens and the amazingly delicious noodle bar.  

I read about the first Japanese farming settlement in Florida - "Yamato."  According to the Morikami Museum, almost all of the Japanese settlers returned to Japan after frustrated farming in Florida.  (And no, I didn't mean for that to have an alliterative air - it just happened.)  My mother was an immigrant to America and I wonder how many times in her first early years here did she perhaps wish she was back in her homeland.  

When I spent a month in Malaysia, after two weeks I went to a Western grocery store and purchased diet Coke, a baguette and some Brie.  I was so tired of fish and noodles for most of my meals.  I wanted to embrace my Western heritage - and evidently my Western heritage is chemical-laden soft drinks and French food.  ;-)

With these thoughts of family and cultural struggles, I read the sad story about Faigy Mayer.  It really hit home for me just how much I take my parents' support and encouragement for granted.  They fully support the career choices my sister and I make and have never put restrictions on what we can or cannot do as women.  (And yes, we both have smartphones.)  

To think that there are people who are ending their lives because they do not have the support that I, myself, take for granted - there are no words for that depth of sadness.  I will say that the human race may not always get the family we need and so for those who do not have support and acceptance, they should build their own family of friends who love and nurture them.  Faigy Mayer reportedly echoed this in her Facebook post.  

There's a saying that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  I finally saw the documentary "Amy" about singer Amy Winehouse - who died of acute alcohol poisoning (and it has been speculated that her death may also have occurred due to weakened condition from the effects of alleged long term bulimia) four years ago this past weekend.  She had so much talent, I wanted to reach through the screen and somehow bring her back to life.  With people who commit suicide, I have the same hopeless feeling - like I want to turn back the clock and save them from themselves.

But I can't.  

No one can.  

Instead on this "Parents' Day" (who decides these holidays??), I am thinking about all the consistent love, support and encouragement I take for granted from my parents - and wish to thank them for always being there.  My sister and I are truly lucky - and so many others do not have what we have.

Deep thoughts for a Sunday!  I hope you are having a great weekend, LilyOnTheLam readers!  And as always, thank you for reading!        

P.S.  Hours after posting this, I watched the season premiere "I Am Cait" about Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner.  She also talked about suicide being a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  I realized that the post I had written earlier today could also ring true for issues in the transgender community.  I read this opinion article on CNN.com about an internet meme Director Peter Berg posted.  I like Peter Berg's work very much, so the opinion article made me sad but I absolutely agree with the author's statements.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

More Lily in More Locations

Hello LilyOnTheLam.Com Readers!

I have been out and about having world adventures again, so if you're missing my LilyOnTheLam.Com posts - you only need to hop on over to AllAboutTheTea.Com to catch up on your weekly dose of Lily Snark.

Read about my Bravo TV "Million Dollar Listing: San Francisco" recaps at AllAboutTheTea.Com by pressing here.

I love me some Bravo TV "Million Dollar Listing" reality television shows.  I prefer MDL- New York to MDL-Miami or MDL-Los Angeles but I think MDL-San Francisco has forged a new way into my heart.  And not just because every time real estate agent Roh Habibi comes on screen, I yell out "Ruh-Roh" like a drunken Scooby Doo with Tourette's.  

If you love reality TV, check out AllAboutTheTea.Com.  It's a great site for all things reality TV and reality TV news.  And now it's even better because I'm back doing episode recaps!  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

One More Reason To Feel Like An Under-Achiever

Hello LilyOnTheLam.Com Readers!

I am back in the United States after my business trip/vacation to Campinas, Hortolandia and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.  I ate so much meat and deep fried foods that I decided upon touching ground in the United States that a strict diet would go into effect.  And then I ate a box of Trader Joe's "Gone Bananas" frozen dark chocolate covered bananas (see my review here).  So much for that strict diet.

While waiting in the Viracopos airport (the new International terminal still under construction), I watched the documentary "Paladar" about two University of Southern California students who opened an illegal, underground restaurant in their apartment. 


The documentary was good, but it made me miss my wayward youth AND it made me feel like a complete underachiever.  My senior year of college, I worked as a House Fellow (a.k.a. Resident Assistant) in the dorms while working as a receptionist in a real estate office on the weekends (usually hungover) and going to class full-time.  My worldview was too small to even imagine doing something as revolutionary as running an illegal restaurant out of my home.  I was lucky if I could manage to cook a packet of Lipton Noodles and Sauce in my hot pot!

If you're looking for an interesting documentary or a reason to make yourself feel like an uninspired, under-achiever - check out the movie "Paladar."  I rented it on iTunes.  It's an interesting flick.