Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sammy's New Diet!

Recently, a good friend of mine recommended that I speak with a nutritionist about Sammy. While he's always been in good health, Cavaliers are a temperamental breed and you need to keep a close eye on their weight. They're notorious for developing heart murmurs, and any extra pounds can make the problem worse. Happily, Sammy has not been diagnosed with a murmur, but I'm very conscious of what he eats to help avoid that issue in the future and to keep him as healthy and happy as I can.

She recommended two things:
1. Switch him to an all-natural diet
2. Split his proteins and grains.

I learned that dogs (as well as humans) cannot digest proteins and grains at the same time. In order to get the most benefit from both, it's best to split the two into two different meals. Proteins in the morning and grains in the evening.

In the mornings, I give him Dr. Harvey's vegetables with two ounces of fresh, ground raw lamb and 2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin and in the evenings, he gets Dr. Harvey's Miracle Food, a half cup of barley and 2 tablespoons of canned pumpkin.

Already, I can see a difference in Sammy's health. His coat is softer and more shiny, he's got more energy and a cold that he just couldn't seem to kick has finally gone away.

Check out for more information!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lately, I've really been focusing on streamlining and cutting back on things that I don't necessarily need. I think a lot of us have been doing that - getting rid of what we haven't used in a while or don't want or need any longer. Not only have I been doing this in my apartment, but I've also done it at my warehouse.

I realized that I've held on to a lot of things that I no longer needed, and I was taking up space unecessarily. But, the items I was looking to get rid of weren't garbage..they just weren't useful to me any longer.

My office discovered the organization Material for the Arts, based in New York City ( They distribute donated items to the public schools' art programs, cultural centers and other arts organizations who could defnitely use the supplies. We sent rolls of fabric (leftovers from tablecloths, curtains and other items), rolls of paper, paper flowers, glass cylinders and many other items that I no longer needed to their warehouse.

Since then, I've received dozens of letters from NYC public schools, after-school programs, theater groups and even individuals who've been able to put these things to good use. The Pan American Interational High School auctioned off some items to purchase much-needed athletic equipment while students at P.S. 212 in Queens made Mother's Day gifts out of the things they received.

It's an incredible organization that's doing a lot to help keep the arts alive in spite of these difficult time, and I encourage you to support them in any way that you can.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

End of Summer Perfect Lunch

Everyone searches for the perfect summer lunch for afternoon guests, for me it is my friend Susan Mason’s tomato pie. Heirloom tomatoes are in season and I can't think of a better lunch to round up the end of summer.  Susan’s tomato pie paired with a green salad is a simple and satisfying lunch even when temperatures rise. Below is Susan’s recipe, as well as one for balsamic vinaigrette. Be sure to check out her book Susan Mason’s Silver Service, which includes the tomato pie recipe and many delicious others, as well as event and catering tips.

Susan Mason’s Tomato Pie
Serves 6 to 8

9-inch pie shell, baked
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces white cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Spread the pie shell with Dijon mustard. Layer the sliced tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cheddar cheese in the pie shell, ending with the cheese.
Mix together the mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Spread on top of the pie. Bake for about 20 minutes until bubbly. Let cool. Serve at room temperature.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed through a press (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk the balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper until mixed. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until smooth.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Movies In The Park

Like everyone else, I’m getting pretty tired of all the rain we’ve been having here in New York. On the occasions it does stop, and the clouds roll away, I like to get outside and take advantage of some of the unique, free, outdoor activities available to locals and tourists alike. One of my favorites is the 2009 HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival. Every Monday night, from June 15 – August 17, the lawn in Bryant Park opens at 5 p.m. to the public in anticipation of the film being screened later in the evening. The grass is always quickly crowded with families, couples and groups all enjoying a picnic dinner while waiting for the sun to go down, and the movie to begin. While there are several delis, sandwich shops and pizza stands close by to grab something, I like treating myself to something from ‘Wichcraft which has a kiosk right on the corner of the park. But the best is always a home-made picnic packed in an insulated cooler. The cooler will keep dinner cold all day, helpful if you’re coming straight from work. Tonight’s movie is “Kramer vs. Kramer.” For a complete calendar visit Maybe I’ll see you there!