Living Fearlessly, One Week at a Time

By Amber Karlins

Everyone is afraid of something. For my mom, it’s tight spaces. For my friend, Eric, it’s sharks. Studies have shown that the fear of public speaking is ranked higher by most Americans than their fear of death. Rational or not, we’re all afraid of something. Me? Well, I was afraid of almost everything: bees, spiders, rollercoasters…

It hadn’t always been that way. As a child, I was downright fearless. By the time I was ten years old, I had been draped in vipers at a snake temple in Penang, taken a midnight hike through the Daintree rainforest, and ridden an elephant in Thailand. I was so determined to use the backs of our living room sofas as makeshift balance beams that my mom ultimately had to make a mattress moat around our couches. Somewhere along the way though, I lost my sense of adventure. It didn’t happen over night; in fact, it was so subtle that I didn’t even realize it had happened until my mom pointed it out. After watching my world get progressively smaller, she sat me down, looked me square in the eye, and said, “I think you’re living a small life, and I want more than that for you.”

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12 Things Your Wedding Can Do Without

By Cara Davis

When planning a wedding there are almost always non-negotiables. The dress. The photographer. The location. The groom (hopefully). But there are plenty of things you can change, compromise or completely do without on your wedding day. Here are a few of them, and how each can help you put your money where the most important things to you are — Maui anyone?

1. Save-the-Dates
Skip the printed postcards announcing your wedding date and use e-vites, Facebook, email and the old-fashioned phone to spread the word to out-of-town guests. If you’re committed to hardcopies, check out TheWeddingChicks.com for free, elegant printables.

2. A professional wedding planner
If you’re fairly well organized, you can get away without the services of a professional, so long as you have some reliable people to delegate to, like your mom and maids. Don’t use this as an excuse to not do your homework and get referrals for the services you do spend your money on, like flowers and catering. For some digital help, check out this article from Mashable on the best wedding-planning apps.

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How Not To Overeat? 

How not to overeat? Probably not once happened to get up from the table sluggish and dulled, in short, fed up. Is there a way to avoid this? Naturally – it is enough to finish eating beforehand. But is that what it’s all about? In this article, I present tips that will help you get up from the table with a feeling of lightness and clarity of mind. 

How not to overeat 

The human body has been accustomed to eating wholesome food for thousands of years. It provides essential micronutrients, vitamins and nutrients necessary for healthy eating. Providing the body with nutritious products, we feel satiety after eating less food and it lasts much longer. 

Very popular refined food (white flour, pure sugar, white rice, crystal clear oils) looks great and initially tastes better, but does not provide the body with all the necessary ingredients. 

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Perfect Places Announces Food Network Travel Guided Vacations in Italy, France and Northern California

Perfect Places, as a member of Signature Travel Network, is excited to offer Food Network Travel guided vacations in Italy, France and Northern California, said Rick Haggart, President of Perfect Places Vacation Rental Network.

“Perfect Places’ foodie clients will be able to enjoy customized culinary land vacations, the kind seen regularly on the Food Network,” Haggart said. “Trafalgar will operate the guided vacations, in association with the Signature Travel Network.”

Vacations include a Food Network tour director, first-class hotel accommodations and exclusive ‘By-Invitation-Only’ experiences that only Food Network can offer. Perfect Places’ guests will sample favorite dishes and visit favorite spots of Food Network stars as seen on such shows as Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and Best Thing I Ever Ate. Perfect Places’ guests will visit markets and wineries; meet chefs; and even try their hands in the kitchen in hands-on cooking classes, some using recipes developed by Food Network Kitchens. These unique itineraries will immerse guests in the best of local flavors from the brightest stars of the food world.

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Recipe for Deep-Fried Ravioli On a Stick

Thanks to those of you who have been sending us your recipes. This latest one is for deep-fried ravioli on a stick. Enjoy and don’t forget to share your favorites with us. Email Jack at jack@ciaopittsburgh.com.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10 min

Ingredients:

1 quart vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup plain bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 Tablespoons dried oregano
2 Tablespoons dried basil
1 Tablespoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
12 store-bought ravioli (or 20 tortellini)

Directions:

Preheat vegetable oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat.
Place flour in one shallow dish and eggs in another. In a third, mix bread crumbs, ¼ cup Parmesan, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

In two batches, toss ravioli (or tortellini) in flour, gently shaking off excess. Dip in egg and then in bread crumb mixture. Thread 3 breaded ravioli (or 5 tortellini) onto each skewer.

Once oil reaches 350ºF, carefully place skewers in pot, two at a time, and fry about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan. Serve warm, with marinara sauce.