Noshing Salade Niçoise is a light, healthy, inexpensive, easy-to-whip-up meal serving 6 guests. Take 1 head washed Boston lettuce leaves - 1 pound fresh steamed green beans - 2 tbs minced shallots - 1 dozen cherry tomatoes cut in half - 6 ounces of oil-packed tuna - 6 small boiled, red potatoes, cut into quarters - 6 hard boiled eggs, also cut into quarters - 1/3 cups of your favorite, pitted olives - 3 tbs capers - 4 tbs minced fresh flat leaf parsley. Place lettuce leaves on large platter. Toss green beans, tomatoes, tuna, and tomatoes with 2/3 cup of a simple, homemade vinaigrette. There are many versions of this dressing found online. Using your flair for style arrange the egg, potatoes, capers & olives creatively on the top of the lettuce leaves. Sprinkle parsley all over the platter. If you know some guests will enjoy them add a few anchovy fillets also a traditional part of this salad’s presentation & of course a baguette will round out the meal. This salad - a summer favorite on the Mediterranean - goes well with a chilled white or the Red Bicyclette Rosé mentioned above.
Grooming Velvet Rope Soaps are handmade soaps loaded with natural ingredients & beneficial oils such as coconut, grape seed & olive. The creamy addition of goats’ milk makes for a rich, creamy lather, which will keep your skin as moist & soft as it will clean & glowing. Velvet Rope Soaps come in a variety of styles - many cleverly named after bars! Bear Bar has a masculine scent with overtones of musk and clove. Disco Bar has a unisex scent, recalling the gender bending moments of Studio 54. Foot Fetish Bar has coarse Mediterranean sea salt so you can scrub those feet right. Leather Bar - of course - recalls the scent of leather & might become your soap of choice before donning a harness, if you’re into it! Lightly scented soaps are a great alternative to cologne or other scents, especially in South Florida where we are prone to sweat! VelvetRopeSoaps.com offers large bath bars, smaller hotel bars - perfect for travel, gifts, or to keep your powder room soap dish fresh. They also offer a soak variety perfect for the bath.
Imbibing Red Bicyclette Rosé is an affordable, luscious rosé from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of Southern France. The company takes its wine seriously, & carefully blends the laid-back lifestyle of Southern France with an American palate, owned by Gallo wines. Many people - when they see rosé - fear it will be sugary sweet like the infamous White Zinfandels popular in the 1980s. However, this is not the case. A good rosé will recall so-called "red fruits," which in Europe is understood to mean strawberries, raspberries & other such berries. This blend of Grenach & Syrah grapes is best served very chilled & withstands a few ice cubes if the sun is relentless. It’s delectable on its own or with a light meal. Best of all Red Bicyclette wines are fairly easy to find in your local supermarkets & liquor stores. See RedBicyclette.com for local merchants.
Reading Gulliver Travels, a novel, by Justin Luke Zirilli. It’s not a myth. Those raised in L.A. frequently head to N.Y.C. for college - and vice versa. Often they find a healthy dose of what they might have been fleeing on their initial coast - be it East or West - namely vices. In Zirilli’s novel we find a young man named Gulliver who gives up California & a "bastard of an ex-boyfriend" in exchange for the bright lights of New York! He lands in Hell’s Kitchen, one of the trendiest centers for gay life on the isle of Manhattan. He doesn’t have much money, but he does have a great time "just barely scraping by in the city that never sleeps." There is something very reminiscent of 1984’s "Bright Lights, Big City" by Jay McInerney as Gully traipses all over New York in Zirilli’s first novel. Available on Amazon.com for a dose of NYC madness.