Dim Sum Sunday theme is chilies! The divinely complex aji amarillo

Sunny and subtle: the Peruvian aji amarillo chili pepper

Darlings, darlings, darlings! Of course you know that La Diva, being a DIVA and all that goes with it, has her boys that lurve her and we drink and laugh and carouse about together. Such is the case with my "Pool Boys:" Oscar, Rodrigo, Mateo and Lalo.

About two years ago, I met these crazy queens down at our pool sporting tiny Speedos and HUGE cocktails (I said COCKTAILS, Mary!) and they were generally drawing attention to themselves with their outre behavior. La Diva naturally had to investigate and instantly, pool-side friendships were born.

La Diva's dream back yard: Since La Diva is a mermaid and would prefer to live her entire life in the water, I always thought the idea of the swim-up pool bar to be incredibly practical. Click on the photo to see ALL the fabulosity in detail!

So, I bet you are asking yourself, "What does all this have to do with Dim Sum Sunday and chilis?" Well, by living in Miami, La Diva is fortunate enough to have quite a diverse group of friends and the Pool Boys are Cuban, Italian-American, Colombian and Peruvian...So naturally, besides boys and cocktails, we talk about food and do fabulously decadent barbecues together.

I love tasting the different dishes that the boys bring based on traditional family recipes; Rodrigo's mama's rice and beans, Lalo's onion and tomato salsa, Oscar's chorizo and Mateo's vodka. (Ok, darling, I KNOW that vodka is NOT a meal to most but SOMEONE has to be practical!)


Oh dear, how did THIS photo sneak in? Another pool boy looking parched....

During one such event, I spoke with Lalo (the Peruvian) at length about these wonderfully colorful chili peppers I'd discovered: aji amarillo! Displaying a delightfully bright sunny color, I have tasted these chilies in a sauce with ceviche at the Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar and also as a condiment at a local Cuban restaurant.

All I knew about them was that these chilies are used extensively in Peruvian cooking. Being yellow, I found the taste to be different from red (ripened chilies seem to have a sweeter taste), green (they all have that slight bitter taste) and dried chilies (completely different taste from the same fresh chili) and I thought the heat, though muy caliente, was not too overpowering like a habanero chili.


La Diva LOVES the concept of a ceviche bar and had quite the fabulous time entertaining her Sydney gal pal Fifi there a few years back. This is the place where I had my first taste of the aji amarillo in one of their ceviche spoons. Click on their logo to see their ceviche menu.

Lalo told me that if I wanted to cook with them, I could find the aji amarillo at a small Peruvian grocery on the beach. I investigated and found the tiny Peruvian providores that sold the chilies frozen whole in bags. I bought them and they sat in my freezer for months before Diva needed the freezer space, booted them out and made a hot sauce with them. And then the hot sauce sat in the fridge a few more weeks, taken out occasionally only to season some scrambled eggs. That was it. I knew, however, that those chili peppers were screaming to be utilized for more, but how?

While looking for aji photos, I found this blogger that had some great recipes for the aji amarillo. Click on the photo to go to her site!

Coincidentally, I ran into Lalo the other day and told him I made the sauce and he exclaimed with delight: "Darling, if you like those peppers, you MUST try them in a cream sauce. They are divine!!" My curiosity piqued. And then came the Great Shamu's Chili pepper challenge, so no excuses any more, time to try something with the sunny sauce! So, for your Dim Sum Sunday delight and entertainment, La Diva offers you TWO dishes utilizing chili (and my bonus post from last time, the Chipotle chicken and bean stuffed poblanos!)

Before you can make either dish though, you need to make the sauce!

This is exactly how my hot sauce came out.

La Diva's Aji Amarillo hot sauce:

Roast one bag (about a pound) of aji amarillo chilies in broiler to blacken skin. (instructions here)

Take out seeds and cut chili into chunks. Put in food processor with a bit of water, 3 T apple cider vinegar and kosher salt to taste. Be conservative with the water as you don't want the sauce to be too runny but able to pour from a bottle. Pour into a bottle and keep in refrigerator, use as needed!

Aji amarillo grilled chicken
(Click image to see more detail!)

So, earlier today I marinated a few skinless chicken thighs in the hot sauce with more salt and olive oil for about a two hours. I broiled the chicken and added a bit more sauce to baste. While the chicken was moist and succulent, the flavor did not have a chance to really permeate the chicken. I want to try making this chicken again but allow it to marinate at least one entire day. In any case, my sidekick, DJ Nevah L8 ate his pieces and mine as well (I just wanted a taste) and I saw him licking his chops contentedly.


Prawns, Peruvian corn and zucchini pasta in aji amarillo cream sauce!
(Ok, you MUST click on the photo to see the detail! YUM!)

This recipe gets a big hmmmmmm....for now! The taste was delicious but the sauce needed something....I took about 1/3 cup of my hot sauce and mixed it with a cup of evaporated milk and reduced. I tried to save calories by not using cream. Diva wasn't giving it her full attention (that happens often on a Sunday!) and walked away only to come back and find the sauce bubbling away and curdled! Ah well, it still tasted good! I added a bit of salt and took it off the heat.

I sauteed the prawns in olive oil and then added some wine, which added no flavor whatsoever. The Peruvian corn (one of their varieties with the giant kernels, I don't remember it's name in Spanish) did not add much interest or taste to the dish either but contributed a chewy texture that I was not fond of. I'm not a fan of the giant corn, I find them incredibly starchy but I bought it at the same time as the peppers to try something new. Next time, I'll delete.

The zucchini that I had cut into long julienne strips and tossed raw into the al dente linguine, was THE SHIZZLE. It added such a lovely texture to the dish. So, this recipe needs a bit more work but it's a GREAT start! If any of my darlings have any ideas or suggestions to improve this dish, DO TELL! La Diva wants to hear ALL about it! Want to see what everyone else made with chilies? Click HERE!

Ciao for now and see you at the pool, darlings!cooking class, cocktails, parties, cocktail party, Miami, coral gables, events, bartending class, cocktail class, Laura Lafata, Miami Beach, miami cooking classes, bachelorette parties, bachelorette party, personal chef, corporate events, catering, personal chef, party entertainment


Awwww....STUFF IT! Chipotle chicken and bean stuffed poblanos!

Darlings! When looking at the wide variety of dishes La Diva cooks, I bet you'd want to know, what inspires the Diva in her cocina?

Well, there are a number of factors that will influence my cookin' in the kitchen:

  • What I've been craving (hmmm...Asian? Or pasta? Or how about a nice steak with mash?)
  • What's the weather like (Dang, it's a bit cool today, it's 78. A good excuse for a good ol' chile con carne!)
  • How tired or hungry I am (Take away will take tooooo long! What can I make that's quick and easy...a nice crispy veggie stir fry, yes.)
  • When I get paid (Diva is not sure she's going to make it to pay day. One can get very creative with an empty wallet but stuffed pantry!)
or really, most importantly,
  • What's in my veggie box this week?

La Diva is very happy with Annie's Organic Buying Club here in Florida. Click on the photo to get more info!

While La Diva patiently waits for the CSA season to begin in Florida, I joined an organic buying club which I'm really digging! Not only do I get fresh, seasonal organic produce at a great price but the selection forces me to "get out of my comfort zone" and try vegetables or fruit I would not normally buy. Every week is like Christmas, what's in the box of goodies this time?

Such was the case last week when I got poblano peppers in my produce box. Most people are familiar with poblano peppers only from their local Mexican restaurant served as a chile relleno. That pepper has been stuffed with cheese and meat and then battered, fried and drowned in more greasy cheese and red sauce. Hardly considered a "light" dish and loaded with fat and calories, chile relleno ranks as one of La Diva's all-time favorites. (naturally!)


Want to know more about the poblano pepper? Click on the photo to find out!

La Diva begged the question:


How could I utilize these peppers without stuffing them full of calories?

Here's what La Diva did!


La Diva's Chipotle Chicken and Bean Stuffed Poblanos

For two-three main meals

3 poblano peppers
1 dried chipotle, reconstituted in hot water and chopped

2 T tomato paste
1/2 small vidalia onion, chopped

1 roma tomato, seeded and chopped

2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts*, poached and meat shredded
1 can rinsed black beans

1 T cidar vinegar
garlic salt, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper to taste

3/4 c shredded cheese (queso blanco, chihuahua or cheddar will do!)
shredded iceberg lettuce

*can't see any reason why you couldn't sub tofu for the chicken or go with just the beans if you are vegetarian

Lime yogurt sauce:

In a small bowl mix together
3/4 c plain low fat greek yogurt (I love FAGE!)
dash of cumin and salt

juice of half of a lime


Mix thoroughly and put into a squeeze bottle. Set aside.


Roasting the poblano pepper allows you to remove the skin easily!

Broil the peppers under a high heat to blacken the skin, making sure both sides are done. Take out of oven and put into a bag and set aside to cool. Once cool, put on plastic gloves* and peel off the skin and then carefully cut around the stem of the pepper and throw away. Gently tap out seeds and lightly salt the inside. Your pepper is now ready to be STUFFED!

* I would suggest using gloves as although poblanos are generally mild peppers, mine were pretty darn hot and made my hands burn! Wish I had worn gloves.....

Brown the onion and add the tomato paste and tomato. Add the chipotle and seasonings and a 1/2 cup water. Continue cooking until tomatoes have cooked down, about 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to a tall container and using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. (You might still have a few bits of chipotle, that's ok.) Transfer back to the pan and add beans and chicken. Simmer for a few more minutes until beans and chicken have taken on the flavors. Take off heat and let cool for 15 minutes. This sauce is like a quick version of adobo sauce but with a nice home-made taste!



Carefully hold pepper over pot and put mixture into each pepper with a spoon. Push down gently but make sure you don't split the fragile pepper. Set each stuffed pepper into an oiled baking dish. If you have any extra filling, put it around the peppers. Cover with cheese and bake at 350 until heated through and the cheese is brown and bubbly, about 35 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes before serving over shredded ice berg lettuce.

Take yogurt sauce and drizzle over each pepper and EAT!!!


American "Mexican" food is never really pretty to La Diva (unless it's from Rick Bayless!)....here's what the peppers looked like on the inside! Click on the photo to see closer....c'mon, you know you want to!

Result: Aye, carumba, no malo para un gringa!!! (not bad for a gringa!) The poblano La Diva got had a REAL KICK to it but it still was a mellow heat that went incredibly well with the smokiness of the chipotle tomato sauce. The chicken and beans were filling but without the batter and excessive cheese, the pepper was significantly lighter.

I also like to eat my "Mexican" food with iceberg lettuce as it not only "cools" the palate but takes the heaviness out of the dish and adds a nice, wet crunch! Instead of rice, I served grilled whole wheat pita points and guacamole with a side of seasoned, grilled corn off the cob with just a bit of butter. DELICIOSO, amigos! Adios!cooking class, cocktails, parties, cocktail party, Miami, coral gables, events, bartending class, cocktail class, Laura Lafata, Miami Beach, miami cooking classes, bachelorette parties, bachelorette party, personal chef, corporate events, catering, personal chef, party entertainment

small bites, BIG DRINKS and how it all began..

So retro! No, it's not the 50's but the 80's! La Diva and her evil twin Tommy and friend Jimmy in his THING outside of Lili's bar in Detroit.

Darlings, how many 18-year-olds do you know that are sophisticated enough to throw their own cocktail party complete with canapes, cocktails and fabulous couture? Not many, right?

Well, that's what La Diva did! Back in the early 80's, Diva and her evil twin Tommy, decided we would throw a cocktail party for New Year's. And darlings, you KNOW it was fabulous! I did all the catering, Tommy bought the booze and provided the venue (his mom and dad were out of town!)

We really wanted something swish so everyone HAD TO DRESS UP in their finest cocktail clothes. Of course, La Diva was in a vintage 50's dress and gloves! We had our dance mix cassette, helium filled balloons with ribbon and a strobe light for our dance floor! Seriously, darlings, the party was very sophisticated and well-thought-out for teens at such a tender age.


A 21-year-old Diva wearing a vintage cocktail dress adorned with bow, collar with silver bugle beads, white kids gloves and diamante jewelry.

And, like a true chef, before the party La Diva was downtown at the Eastern Market in Detroit, searching for the best produce for my party. It was around Christmastime, and I ended up finding decadently huge strawberries from New Zealand, which I hand dipped in chocolate. It was a REALLY BIG DEAL back then to get strawberries in wintertime as believe it or not, we used to only get produce that was in season! Everyone was impressed that I was able to get such a wicked out-of-season treat!

The party was a huge success and was actually pretty serious stuff for a couple of 18-year-olds, especially when I think of the kids I know today who can barely make popcorn let alone throw a cocktail party!

My siblings and cousins at a Hawaiin luau organized by my mother. (Guess which one is La Diva?) We were all drinking punch out of pineapples and found out later that the drinks were swimming with gnats! Ah well, didn't kill us!

La Diva comes from a boisterous and entertaining family. My mother, having six fun-loving siblings and a father who loved to cook, was always organizing hayrides in an apple orchard or Hawaiin luaus or raucous family pool parties with all our cousins, aunts and uncles.

My dad's side of the family boasted talented musicians and most family events ended up with guitars, keyboards and musical "jams!" My bro would be playing guitar while La Diva would be on vocals. Clearly it was in my blood to be a party thrower and entertainer.


Fast forward a few years (hehe) and La Diva Cucina was born.


small bites, BIG DRINKS class from June 09.

Want to know how to make cocktails for 60?

La Diva will show you!


Want to feed Boozy Suzy before she gets too woozy?

Let La Diva help you feed hungry guests!

La Diva Cucina's "small bites, BIG DRINKS'' class teaches you everything you need to throw a fabulous cocktail party in a mere three hours!

Attendees will learn how to make three cocktails and six appetizers while we laugh, eat and drink. La Diva teaches the class with sauce and sass while her DJ Nevah L8 (4 dinnah) spins hip beats!



Here's what you get:

* Three cocktails:

  • Lemongrass ginger martini with Skyy Citrus Infusion vodka
  • Rosangel hibiscus tequila pomegranate margarita
  • Miami Sunset with classic Campari and blood orange! YUM!

* Six appetizers:

  • white bean and garlic dip with crostini
  • Thai red curry party bites
  • pinwheels two ways: Italian turkey sausage or sun-dried tomato artichoke
  • fried stuffed green olives
  • mango curry shrimp cups

* Recipe book: jam packed with party throwing tips and bartending secrets.

* Door prize!

* Hip beats supplied by DJ Nevah L8 (4 dinnah) and conducted in a groovy designer kitchen!

* And most importantly, you'll now be armed with all the knowledge and recipes to throw your own fabulous cocktail party!



Price is $78 per person or $145 for two (cash or check only)

Next class is SEPTEMBER 26!!!

For more info please click here.

You can click on this link to see my blogger profile and learn more about La Diva and see photos of other classroom chaos, please click here for Facebook fan page.


Rustic and dee-lish: caramelized onion and mushroom tarts with a goat's milk blue cheese custard! YUM!

In the meantime, La Diva is ALWAYS looking for new ideas for luscious libations and nom-nom nibblies! As prompted once again by the great Shamu over at Karmic Kitchen, I was asked to participate in her Dim Sum Sunday challenge for "A Little Something!" Click here to see what was the "little something" she came up with! (Sham is an amazingly patient cook!)

Meanwhile, La Diva worked on creating another dee-lish "small bite" for my class: caramelized onion and mushroom tarts with a blue cheese custard! Want to know how to make 'em? Come to the "small bites, BIG DRINKS" class!


So, darlings, what ARE you waiting for?

FABULOSITY IS ONLY A CLICK AWAY!

BOOK NOW: Send Mail
cooking class, cocktails, parties, cocktail party, Miami, coral gables, events, bartending class, cocktail class, Laura Lafata, Miami Beach, miami cooking classes, bachelorette parties, bachelorette party, personal chef, corporate events, catering, personal chef, party entertainment

Makin' somethin' from nothin': Creamed roasted celery soup

Darlings! Did you ever go to your refrigerator and look inside and say: I've got no food! What will I have for dinner? Of course you have!

Recently La Diva found herself in a similar situation and with a few days left until pay day, I had to be creative if my poor sidekick DJ Nevah L8 was going to get any dinner! I've been happily getting an organic produce share every two weeks when I suddenly found myself with two huge bunches of celery! What to do with it all?

I must admit that besides using celery as a flavor base for stocks, risottos and casseroles, I find using large amounts of this vegetable alone to be quite challenging. And, honey, you can eat all the celery sticks you want but it's hard to go through two bunches of celery in a couple of weeks! So, again, what do do?


La Diva thought instantly of celery soup!

Blech! You say?! Well, darlings, I never made it before either but when it's all you have in the fridge, one must make do.

Besides, with so many people on tight budgets, you'll find this recipe to not only be incredibly satisfying but incredibly economical as well!

Here's what you do:

one bunch of celery, leaves and all, cut into large chunks
one vidalia onion, quartered
one carrot, peeled and sliced

two small red potatoes, peeled and quartered


Put into a roasting pan and drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and mix up so all vegetables are well-coated. Then, lightly salt and roast in an oven preheated to 450. After about 15 or 20 minutes, take a metal spatula and turn over the vegetables. Continue cooking until sides are brown and veggies look caramelized. Try to only turn once or twice as the point is to get a nice brown crust on the vegetables.

This is what your veggies should look like! "Why bother roasting?" you say? Well, darlings, you COULD just dump the cut up veggies into a pot of water and boil them and then guess what? The soup will taste like you just cut up a bunch of veggies and put them in a pot to boil! By taking this extra step, the soup will be guaranteed a richer flavor as the veggie's natural sugars are released by the roasting!

In a pot, add six cups of vegetable or chicken stock along with the roasted vegetables. You can see how roasting the celery makes the broth a nice rich brown color.

Throw in a few bay leaves and a bit of fresh parsley and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for about an hour or until the broth has reduced by a cup or two and looks rich and dark and the vegetables are soft and well-cooked. Taste broth and season with salt and white pepper to taste.

Now, remove the bay leaves and then put the entire contents of the pot into a blender.

PAY ATTENTION NOW, THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!

Take the inside part of the blender lid out so that steam will be allowed to escape through the top. Using a tea towel over the lid of the blender, puree the contents until smooth and well blended. If you put the lid on the blender without taking the middle bit out, pressure and steam will build up from the hot liquid and could/will explode on your face and neck and then second degree burns with a trip to the emergency room will ensue. So PLEASE pay attention to this very important step!

You should now have a very lovely puree of the roasted celery. As La Diva does not have a chinois, I use a finely meshed strainer to get the job done. (Darlings, you can click on ALL OF THE PHOTOS to see more closely!)


By pushing the soup through a strainer with the aid of a spoon, you'll get a very lovely, silken texture to your soup without any fibrous matter such as a stray celery string! Whatever puree does not go through the mesh, throw away or use in a casserole. These are the extra steps that one must take so the soup goes from ordinary to extraordinary!

For added flavor and creamy texture, La Diva adds a small can of milk right into the blender! (see how I'm putting it into the open top of the blender?) You can also use cream but I find it a bit too heavy and rich and after all, this is all about what's in the pantry, right? You can even omit the milk, the soup will still be divine! Serve it up with some crusty bread and dinner is served!


RESULT: Damn, I'm good. And so is this soup! Who would have thought you could get something so tasty out of a bit of celery and a few lowly root vegetables? The texture is JUST DIVINE, so silky, smooth and satisfying. And the caramelized vegetables really make the difference in taste. Easy and economical creamed roasted celery soup: a lovely little supper for a cool autumn night.

Ciao for now, darlings!! And if you are able, take a walk into the woods this weekend and breath the crisp clean air and enjoy the gorgeous fall colors! cooking class, cocktails, parties, cocktail party, Miami, coral gables, events, bartending class, cocktail class, Laura Lafata, Miami Beach, miami cooking classes, bachelorette parties, bachelorette party, personal chef, corporate events, catering

The final Salad Days....Tandoori roasted pork loin salad with mint raita dressing

My dear little lotus flowers, don't you just LOOOOVE this print? Well, how about enjoying it on a divine little decorative pillow? Click on the image to get all the groovy details!

Darlings, darlings, darlings!!! Did you have a faboo holiday weekend? La Diva knows that Labor Day weekend is a bittersweet time for many.... it's the end of the warm days of summer, it is time for the kids to go back to school and your last vacation is over, it's back to work!

Also, the weather is a bit cooler, you can feel that "nip" in the air and short, dark days are just around the corner! To La Diva, "autumn weather" is what we LIVE FOR in Southern Florida! Our winter is really the same as a midwestern summer: lovely warm days and cool nights where one can actually open the window and get some fresh air and once in a while you might need to put on a sweater!


Enjoy the Indian-inspired and intricate beauty of Philip Shadbolt's art. Click on the image to see more!

Seeing as summer is pretty much "done" in most parts of the U.S. I've decided to post one last salad entree via the sub-continent of India: Tandoori roasted pork loin! This recipe is a great choice as you can eat the pork as a salad when it's too hot or over rice for heartier fare when the weather cools. And, you can cook the pork on the grill or in the oven. So, pray tell, what IS tandoori pork?


Kundalini Arts is a tres-cool graphic design site by Philip Shadbolt and Mandala Bob! Click on through to view their fabulous work! La Diva LOVES this mandala being the little mermaid she is!

A "tandoor" is a clay oven used to cook and bake meat, vegetables and bread and is used predominately in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Turkey. The best way to describe the method of cooking would be comparable to the indirect cooking method on a Weber grill, a vessel that really maintains a constant and high temperature and is used like a convection oven!

Ahhh...beauty. La Diva loves the serene and blissed-out look on this lovely gent's face.

Tandoori proteins are covered in a paste that contains spices and yogurt and are allowed to marinate before cooking. You can do a variety of tandoori, La Diva does a mixed grill including skewered chicken, lamb and prawns as well as roasting an entire leg of lamb. In Indian restaurants, tandoori is served with fresh lemons or limes, sliced onions and cooling cucumbers and tomatoes! I also serve mine with a dry mixed veggie curry of potato, peas, carrots and pumpkin and serve it all with plain basmati rice! Divine, darlings!


Of course, you can make your own tandoori paste but you need to have the spices on hand and as easy as it is to make, heck, it's just as easy to buy! (There are a ton of recipes online.) However, if you are pressed for time and don't happen to have coriander or cumin seeds on-hand, you can grab a jar of Patak's Tandoori curry paste. By adding a bit of fresh garlic and ginger, you can have that home-made tandoori taste in no time! Whole Foods, gourmet groceries and of course, Asian markets all carry this brand. (In Australia, I used to pick it up at the regular grocery store!)

La Diva's Tandoori Roasted Pork Loin Salad with Mint Raita Dressing!

One pork loin
1/2 c plain yogurt (I use Fage Greek style non fat)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch knob ginger, grated
2 heaping tablespoons Patak's tandoori curry paste

Dressing:
1/2 tub plain yogurt (see above)
1 small seeded and peel cucumber (you may omit, I didn't have any on hand the day I made it!)
1/2 small white onion, grated
ground coriander, cumin and salt
fresh mint leaves cut into a chiffonade


The day before, add all ingredients (except the pork, silly!) and mix together in a bowl. Slather over meat and put in a zip lock bag in a bowl in the fridge. The next day, allow meat to come to room temperature while the oven warms to 450 degrees. Scrape off most of the marinade and put onto a rack in a roasting pan. (If you leave all the marinade on, your "roast" will not "roast" but steam instead as it will be too wet!) Cook on the high heat for 20 minutes so the roast browns well, then turn down to 350 and continue cooking until just cooked.

Cook roast until just done. Rest meat on cutting board (remember, meat will continue to cook while resting, so don't overcook for a moist, succulent pork!)

Meanwhile, make a green salad on two dinner plates. I used mix leaf lettuces, mini red and yellow peppers, red onions, grape tomatoes. Other crunchy additions are raw snow peas, grated carrots or mung pea sprouts!

For the mint raita dressing, click here to get my recipe and either omit or keep the cucumbers but please use fresh mint. To thin to a dressing consistency, simply process in a blender.



Go ON and CLICK on the photo, darlings, you'll see how moist the meat is....DIVALICIOUSLY DEE-LITE-FUL!

Puttin' it all together:

Slice the cooled meat and fan over greens and veggies. Drizzle the mint dressing over and enjoy!!! A spicy but cooling salad that's perfect for the last days of summer!

Want to learn more about Indian cooking and get other fave Diva dishes? Click on the side panel where it says INDIAN and take a look! You WON'T be disappointed!

Namaste, darlings!

Music by Arcanta and art by Philip Shadbolt. Click on image to hear the masterful music of Arcanta, it is haunting and serene.

This post is dedicated to Thombeau, the powerful voice behind Arcanta and creator of Planet Fabulon, lover of Indian food and culture, creative, talented, sweet and loyal friend!

Happy Birthday THOM!

YOU ARE LOVED.

cooking class, cocktails, parties, cocktail party, Miami, coral gables, events, bartending class, cocktail class, Laura Lafata, Miami Beach, miami cooking classes, bachelorette parties, bachelorette party, personal chef, corporate events, catering

La Diva Cucina DOES radio: Join us at the table!!!


Darlings! La Diva is having a BAAAAAAAAD day. You know what I'm talking about, we all go through these days....just one of those days when you wish you were a little kid again and all you had to do was worry about doing your homework. Or, one of those days when you wish you could crawl back into bed with your kitty (or doggy or kids) and just snuggle and watch old movies! Well, I'm supposed to be doing a whole LOTTA work right now but instead, La Diva said: F*ck it! I'm going to do something that makes ME happy, something I can CONTROL and a nice distraction. I'm going to write my blog!

This past July, I was highly engaged in an online marketing class, when this lovely lady heard me talk about my cooking and cocktail classes and being a FOODIE herself, she decided to come and introduce herself to me.

Uber Foodie Saucy Chick One: Robbie Bell

Her name is Robbie Bell and with her FOODIE sidekick, Nancy Ancrum, these two lovely ladies do a captivating blog radio show every Saturday morning called: Join us at the table!

Uber Foodie Saucy Chick Two: Nancy Ancrum

Here's what their blog bio says about their show: Hosted by uber-foodies Robbie Bell and Nancy Ancrum, “Join Us at the Table: A Culinary Lifestyle Show” seeks to educate and entertain our listening audience on the impact of culture on our eating and dining habits. We take a look at how ethnic, national, regional and personal traditions around the world influence what we eat – where foods come from, how we prepare it.

Join Us at the Table capitalizes on Americans’ burgeoning interest in dining well, cooking healthfully, pairing wine with food and how food professionals work. In pursuit of our mission, Join Us at the Table conducts lively, informative interviews with restaurateurs, chefs, caterers, specialty markets owners, food growers and others involved in the food and food-service industry. In addition, the show features authors, critics wine experts, recipes, food-related current events and trivia. Our goal is to have our listeners eat better, cook better, live better, learn about food and have fun while you do it!

Anyway, what does this have to do with La Diva? Well, JUATT asked La Diva to be on their show! Want to hear? Then click on the widget below and listen to La Diva talk about cocktails, my "small bites, BIG DRINKS class" and general La Diva history and banter! The segment goes for about 13 minutes, so click away and tell me what you think!


Apprently some of you are having trouble listening to my radio show! Here are some very simple instructions! Darlings, you need to click on this LINK and then download. If you have a music program, it will open up in that as it is in MP3 format. The download appears on your desktop usually or in your download files. ( If this doesn't work for you, then perhaps you don't have a program to open up music and I can't help you! Sorry!)

Want to hear what these two saucy chicks have to say? Click on the photo above to get to their show JOIN US AT THE TABLE. And, unlike traditional radio, all the shows are archived so you can listen to what you want, when you want! (the show in its entirety can be found on the July 25, 2009 archive!)

And as for La Diva, well, darlings, I AM feeling better. Sometimes it's nice to take a break from the drudgery of the work day to just DO what YOU want! Enjoy, darlings!!!