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Spicy Bananas
Spicy Bananas
Spicy Bananas


Recipe: Sticky Strawberry Roasted Chicken with Au Jus; aka: Sex Before Dinner

As a romantic at heart, I love Valentine’s Day. On the contrary, I loath pre-fix Valentine’s Day restaurant dinners. Nine times out of ten, the meal is low quality at extorted prices, and it’s total amateur night. So, this year, my new beau and I decided to stay in, avoid the crowds, and have a romantic supper at home. Actually, I couldn’t have asked for a more romantic, dreamy V-day, but I won’t go in to the specifics (I don’t want to make you jealous). What I will tell you, is how to prepare Sticky Strawberry Roasted Chicken with Au Jus. And, if you’re lucky, you can have sex before dinner too.


Sticky Strawberry Roasted Chicken with Au Jus

Equipment: 400 degree oven, large cast-iron skillet, cutting board, carving knife, whisk, measuring cups and spoons, kitchen twine


For the Chicken

5 pound chicken

3 lemons

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 TSP sea salt

1 TSP black pepper

4 sprigs fresh tarragon

4 sprigs fresh mint

4 springs fresh rosemary

2-3 handfuls baby carrots

For the strawberry sauce

1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam

2 TBSP white wine

1 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar

sea salt

fresh cracked pepper

1 dried Thai chili

For the Au Jus

1 cup boiling stock

1 bay leaf

1 sprig of fresh thyme

salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice and salt and pepper. Rub the chicken inside and out. Tie its legs together with  kitchen twine. Place the carrot sticks in the middle of the cast-iron skillet set the chicken breast-side up on top of the carrots and roast until the juices run clear or a thermometer registers 165 degrees in the thigh, about 35 to 45 minutes.

While the chicken is roasting, prepare the strawberry sauce. Combine the strawberry jam, vinegar, wine, pepper, and salt in a small saucepan set over medium heat. As the jam begins to melt, add the chili and let steep for 5 minutes. Taste the sauce; if you prefer something spicier, cut the chili and half. Remove the pepper when the desired spiciness is reached.

Once the chicken is finished, remove it from the oven. Put the bird on a platter and let sit while you make the Au Jus. Bring the stock to a boil. Throw the thyme and bay leaf into he pan. Slowly pour the stock into the pan, stirring constantly with a whisk until the liquid reduces by half.

Cut the chicken into pieces. Spread each piece with the sticky strawberry sauce. Lastly, pour the au jus over each piece before serving on a pile of mashed potatoes and sautéed vegetable.









101: Champagne


It only takes one sip of a bubbly glass of champagne for the spirit to feel strikingly elegant, frivolous, giddy, and indulgent. Champagne can enliven the soul and entice even the shyest person into animate colloquy or a spontaneous twirl on the dance floor. Romance ignites over a flute of the bubbly liquid, making the chance of a kiss much more likely. This wine stimulates the appetite, drives away timidity, and cures any heartache that plagues the psyche.

The powerful, rich, and famous have consumed champagne in celebration of their legendary awesomeness. It is what the most privileged citizens drank during Napoleon III’s reign; it was the wine that glimmered in the glasses of the dukes and tsars of Imperial Russia. It was even rumored that Marilyn Monroe poured bottles of it in her bath to make her skin shine and her essence sparkle. Pushing beings beyond their accustomed inhibitions, champagne consumed in the proper quantities, possesses the unique quality to make you soar.

Sparkling wine becomes champagne when it comes from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France; also, it must possess the quintessential bubbles to inherit the name famously known around the world as a representation for quality sparkling wine: champagne. It acquires chalk in the soil, excellent drainage, a cool but not too chilly climate, and a nutritious top layer of soil to create its unique nature of acidic grapes in this area. The region provides a unique environment that produces perfect pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay grapes in copious amounts to construct the magic within each bottle of sparkling wine.  The value of the chalky white soil is so high that the residents plant vineyards all the way up to their back doors. The people from this special terroir feel “why waste a good thing”, and, without hesitation, agree with their collective state of mind.

The method champenoise is the immemorial method for making sparkling wine. This intricate, labor-intensive process involves a series of tight regulations that brings the grapes from vine to bottle. The vintners press, ferment, blend, yeast age, bottle, riddle, disgorge, dose, and, lastly, cork each bottle of authentic champagne. The most fascinating aspect of sparkling wine exists in the mystery of its bubbles. The effervescence develops naturally from a second fermentation process inside the tightly corked bottles.

After you have bought your favorite bottle of champagne and are ready to drink it, it’s important that the bottle be slowly chilled in a refrigerator. Many people plunge their champagne into an ice bath or put it in the back of their freezer, which is not the best way to chill a fine wine. The proper method consists of putting the bottle into the refrigerator, which allows it to cool down gradually over the course of four to six hours. Once your bottle has chilled, take it out of the refrigerator for about twenty minute before serving. This ensures that you drink the wine at the correct temperature. Serve champagne with fruit, poached fish, spicy food, or with sugar.

Seared Champagne Scallops

  • ¼ cup roasted salted almonds
  • 5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp. brut champagne
  • 1 tbsp. scallions
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 8 large sea scallops
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp. peach or apricot preserves (it depends on if you want a sweet finish or an emphasis on the brut)
  • Fresh herbs or baby arugula as garnish for the plate

Finely chop the almonds into small pieces being careful not to turn the nuts into a powder.

Mix the almonds and 4 tbsp. of olive oil in a medium bowl. Whisk in the champagne, chives, and season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Add the butter and thyme to the pan. Place the scallops in the pan, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn the scallops on the other side and spoon the butter onto the caramelized side of the scallops.

Stir the preserves and ½ tsp. of water into a small bowl. Whisk the mixture to emulsify the preserves and water.

Smear 1/2 tbsp. of preserves into the middle of a white plate. Place 2-4 scallops on top of the preserves and spoon vinaigrette on top of the scallops. Garnish with herbs

Sweet Like Honey: Love, Health, and Honeyed Fruit Squares


Honey, a gift from the pollen of flowers and hard working bees, promises to sweeten everything it touches. The nectar’s association with love and sensuality reaches far and wide with mentions in the Bible, the Kama Sutra, and the Perfumed Garden. Historically, honey wine, a beverage of fermented yeast, water, and honey, was served to newlyweds the night of their wedding to promote fertility and provoke deep feelings of desire. Westerners continue this tradition, not in action, but in name, as we call the time shortly after the wedding ceremony the “honeymoon.” Behind the association and sweetness of honey, lies numerous amount of vitamins and minerals that give reason to its aphrodisiac lore.

Honey contains copious amounts of vitamins B, C, and the mineral boron. These constituents work together to help regulate estrogen and testosterone levels, stabilizing the mood and providing natural vibrancy. Furthermore, the viscous, sticky substance contains a large amount of sugar, which provides the body with quick usable energy and allows the physique to enjoy long hours of amorous events.

Styles of honey vary from bold and thick like molasses, to soft and creamy like butter. Each batch possess a different aroma and taste based on the type of pollen sipped by the honeybees. Most table honeys, and the one used in the following recipe, come from the clover. However, experimenting with exotic nectar that come from flowers, such as orange blossoms or fire-weeds, will waken the senses not only between two lovers, but anyone that tantalizes their taste-buds with its sweetness.


Honeyed Fruit Squares

Pie Crust

  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, chilled
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift flour, sugar, and salt together into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter to the dish and cut it into the mixture until it crumbles into pieces the size of small peas.

Mix together egg, water, and vinegar. Add the concoction to the flour mixture. Knead all the ingredients together. If it becomes too sticky add a little flour to the dough.

Sprinkle flour onto two piece of wax or parchment paper. Place the ball of dough between the paper and roll out until about 1/4 of an inch thick.

Cut the dough into 3 by 3 squares. Place on a greased cookie sheet and pork holes in the dough. Brush the dough with butter.

Bake for 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle the squares with cinnamon and sugar.

Honeyed Fruit 

  • 1/4 cup clover honey
  • 1-cup of berries, plums, or apricots
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1-2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Whipped cream

Combine the above ingredients except the whipped cream into a mixing bowl.

Spoon 3 tbsp. of fruit mixture on to each square.

Top with homemade whipped cream.


I Heart Coffee: Why that Cup of Joe is Better than you Thought: Recipe: Coffee Shake


Java! The early morning savior. When getting enough sleep just wasn’t a possibility the night before, it’s is the reason most of us can function in the morning. But the most interesting fact about coffee is not its stimulating effects, but its aphrodisiac properties. Who knew a cup of Joe could do more than just wake us up in the mornings?

To aid in romance, coffee increases levels of dopamine, the neurotransmitter linked to the pleasure center of the brain, according to scientific studies. Moreoever, the caffeine stimulates the core to help kick start the metabolism, and helps with blood flow; an essential when it comes to performing the act of love.

Coffee provides other health benefits that may influence your love life in a peripheral way. After all, a healthy lover is a happy lover. A growing body of research presents that coffee drinkers, compared to nondrinkers are less likely to develop dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, and Type-2-Diabetes.

Scientist have been hard at work to discover the link between a lower risk of developing dementia and drinking joe. According to a study done in 2009 in Finland and Sweden, those who reported drinking three to five cups of coffee daily were 65% less likely to develop dementia, compared with nondrinkers or occasional coffee drinkers.  Java keeps Type-2-Diabetes at bay because of its antioxidant content, which helps prevent tissue damage caused by free radicals. Furthermore, coffee contains a high magnesium and chromium content, which helps the body use insulin, which controls blood sugar. When it comes to the studies done on coffee consumption and Parkinson’s Disease, the data is not exactly clear or consistent. But there seems to be a link between the caffeine in coffee and a decreased risk of Parkinson’s Disease.

As with most stimulates, too much of a good thing kills the stimulating effects and causes a crash in energy.  I like to drink the brew when I invite a guest over or when I am trying to entice someone to stay.

A good cup of coffee should be fresh, as in recently ground and brewed. The style of the roast is a personal preference. I favor Marley Coffee’s Buffalo Soldier. This earthy blend is smoky, sultry, and smooth. The dark chocolate and berry undertones leave a rich lingering finish that gives me that get up and go when I need it the most.


Kahlua Coffee Shake

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cold coffee
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua
  • 2 cups ice
  • 4 tsp. powdered sugar
  • Shaved chocolate, for garnish


  1. Combine the milk, coffee, Kahlua, ice, and powdered sugar in a high powered blender.

  1. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes

  2. Serve in 2-4 separate glasses. Garnished with chocolate shavings.


Recipe: Chicken in Spicy Honey Fig Sauce; aka Sweet and Sticky Figs


Figs, the sweet, plump, purple fruit said to be Cleopatra’s favorite, was once believed to be aphrodisiacal in ancient Greece and in China. The Greeks associated its soft pear shape with fertility and physical love, and no self-respecting orgy would do without a fig-filled bowl present. The Chinese gave their sweetheart the seed filled fruit to ease inhibition and introduce thoughts of lovemaking. Even in modern times there is no denying that an open fig emulates a woman’s private parts, and a man eating one in front of his lover proves to be a strong erotic act.

Physiologically, the fig supplies the body with iron, potassium, vitamin C, E, and folate, along with a plethora of trace minerals. Men need these vitamins to keep their prostates healthy, and their bones strong throughout old age. Women require the same minerals for capable bones, healthy immune systems, and glowing skin. However, its not the figs’ health benefits that helped gain its aphrodisiac status, but the fruits resemblance to the woman’s nether regions and its plethora of seeds, which approximates fertility.

The gentle taste of fresh figs pairs well with honey, ricotta, and goat cheese. In Italy, Black Missions are served in a cool bowl of water and eaten with bare hands and cloth napkins. I like to dip them in greek yogurt and brown sugar. In this month’s aphrodisiac inspired recipe I pair figs with chicken, wine, honey, and pinch of cayenne pepper to create a dish that tantalizes all the senses and satisfies the hunger.

Chicken with Spicy Honey Fig Sauce

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper (optional)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 8 fresh or dried black mission figs, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the salt and black pepper on both sides of the chicken breasts.

Add the chicken to the pan, at least 4 inches apart from each other. Saute the chicken breasts for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Set the chicken on a plate to rest while you prepare the fig sauce.

In the same saute pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Place the figs in the pan, cut side down. Saute for 4 minutes or until the figs turn slightly golden brown.

Add the red wine, a pinch of salt and pepper, the white pepper, and cayenne to the pan. Turn the heat to high and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan so that it mixes into the sauce. Cook the liquid for 2-3 minutes until the red wine reduces to a syrup consistency.

Spoon the figs and sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.