Between the Sheets

July 26, 2011

It seems like the longer my wife and I are together, the less we make love. I always wanted more sex than she did and that felt bad. But in the last year, my erections aren’t what they used to be, and now she’s the one who wants to make love more and I’m not so sure I can. Is it too late for us?
— Ray, 57

It can be very frustrating when you first realize that “old faithful” (your penis) can’t deliver like it used to. So what are you going to do, just give up on the party now that your wife is finally in the mood?

Many people say that as they have aged, they have evolved new ways of being sexual. Instead of the super-stud, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am sex of their youth, they have experimented with different permutations, positions and possibilities. For most people, the process can become slower, richer, fuller and better than ever. But the learning curve requires us to be more vulnerable and exposed, and that can be scary. Up to this point, most of us were too busy making our lives in the present to think about how to live them in the future. The word “intimacy” may not even have been in our life lexicon. Who had time or inclination? Performance-oriented intercourse, culminating in a predictable orgasm and a quick trip to the bathroom, does not always involve deep intimacy. Talking secrets together, cuddling, touching, caressing, connecting, kissing and allowing yourself to deeply melt into someone else who at the same time is melting into you, is a different experience — a deeper level of intimacy that you can have for the rest of your life, even as your body and health change.

Getting from wherever you are to wherever you want to go will take some effort. But we don’t think it’s drudgery, do you? It’s both an inner exploration and an external execution that involves other people. There’s even opportunity to become more “holistic” and learn about the sexual arts from the East, such as Indian kundalini. In the last decade or so, the ancient Indian art of tantric sex has been quietly slipping into American bedrooms. Rather than the usual foreplay-intercourse-climax, tantric sex teaches lovers how to extend the peak of sexual ecstasy — sometimes for hours — so that both women and men can experience several orgasms in a single sexual encounter.

Dr. Dorree Lynn is a Georgetown-based psychologist and life coach committed to helping people have better relationships fulfilling sex lives. She has appeared on “Good Morning America,” MSNBC, CNN, PBS and other major programming. She is the author of “Sex for Grownups,” available from Amazon.

Murphy’s Love


Dear Stacy:

I am the stay-at-home-mom of a great little 12-week-old boy. Not going back to work has been quite an adjustment, but my husband and I always agreed that I would leave my job until our kids go off to kindergarten. I have missed my colleagues and spending time on big projects, but I know that the “project” I’m currently managing is about as big as it gets.

It’s my dear husband who doesn’t seem to get it. Nearly every day, he comes home from work and asks, “So, what did you accomplish today?” Now that I am at home with our son, my husband suddenly expects me to become a domestic goddess. He wants me to make dinner every night, cancelled our maid service, and even thinks I should mow the lawn. None of this was consistently part of my responsibility before the baby came. We hired out for the jobs we didn’t like doing (housework, lawn care), and split the rest (cooking, shopping) between us. Today, his list of to-dos is so long he can’t keep up with it all, and the truth is, I don’t want to keep up with all of that. I thought we chose this new lifestyle so I could be a parent, I didn’t think I was signing on to be a servant. How do I explain myself without sounding like a whiny brat?

— Overworked on O

Dear Overworked,

Hmm, part of me wants you to just follow this script: “What did I accomplish today? I kept your son alive.”

While that’s probably not the most productive response, it felt pretty good to type.

It sounds to me like both you and Husband are still adjusting to becoming parents! Now that Baby is on the scene, you may need a reminder or clarification conversation about your household game plan. Have you had a conversation about your own expectations during this stay-at-home time? Does he know how you feel? Does he know how it sounds to you when he asks what you’ve “accomplished”?

When you say you don’t want to come across like a “whiny brat,” it suggests that some part of you is feeling bad about not taking on all the household duties. That sounds like the modern Superwoman complex gone awry. Presumably you and Husband made the joint decision to have a child and the joint decision to parent with you at home. A calm, honest conversation about your own feelings and expectations is the only way to ensure that he actually hears what you’re thinking.

And who knows, you might learn that he isn’t feeling so great about not being on-site with your son. Men have their own Superman complexes — is he allowed to name his feelings about the situation? Perhaps his questions are only masking his own disappointment about the way things are going. Again, an honest conversation is the only way to find out.

Meanwhile, I’d also recommend that you to seek out old friends who are newly minted stay-at-home-moms (or meet some new ones) to find a support circle during this transition time. You haven’t chosen the “easy” route here, and just because you’re already walking it doesn’t mean you don’t need some encouragement from others on the same road.

Dear Stacy:

I have been married for 11 years to the love of my life. We have two children together, a nine-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl. My husband is everything I have always wanted. We have always been very compatible and I feel so lucky to have him as my partner.

Lately though, I have started working closely with a male colleague, I will call him “Bob.” We’re on a big project, which has included some travel together. The more time I spend with Bob, the easier and more fun it becomes. On the last trip, when we went to dinner I felt like we were “on a date.” I felt a lot of attraction for him, and I think he felt the same for me. We didn’t talk about it, and neither of us did anything to make a move.

My question is whether I should tell my husband. We have always been completely honest with each other, and I would want him to tell me if he felt as much attraction for a woman as I feel for Bob. But I asked my best friend and she thought I was crazy to potentially damage my marriage when I have no intention of acting on the feelings. I don’t know what to do — should I keep it a secret? Bob and I will be working closely together for at least another six months.

— Attracted in Arlington

Dear Arlington,

Let’s run through the scenarios. What exactly would telling him do? I agree with Best Friend that it is likely to damage your relationship with Husband, but what other purpose would it serve? Do you want to tell him so that you are semi-publicly shamed into not acting on the feelings? Or perhaps a part of you wants Husband to lose it, giving you permission to seek solace in Bob’s open arms? Or maybe you come from a tradition where lusting in your heart is such a burden, you just want to confess to someone? If that’s the latter’s the case, my advice is simple: find someone else to talk to. If you’re still unsure of the purpose, let’s turn the conversation away from Husband and back to you.

What is this really about? You make such a strong case for your great marriage, I wonder if you are allowed to admit that things might not be as wonderful as they “should be.” Yes, marriage is about partnership, family, and unconditional love — but those things don’t always add up to something sexy and intriguing day after day. Do you need more romance, excitement, spontaneity? That’s nothing to be ashamed of, and the good news is you can get it at home, with a little work and creativity.

When we’ve been with our partner as long as you have, we sometimes forget that we have to use actual words to convey what’s going on in our brains. The two of you may have honed your connection over the last 11 years so much that he’s a mind-reader when it comes to co-parenting or picking out your favorite ice cream at the store. Still, he might need a little more guidance on this one, since family routines are notorious for soothing even the best of us into relational apathy. You don’t have to own up to the attraction to get what you want, you may just have to make surprise vacation plans, or just flirt with him a little more in public. Give it a shot before setting off a bomb in your happy home.

Stacy Notaras Murphy is a licensed professional counselor and certified Imago Relationship therapist practicing at the Imago Center of D.C. in Georgetown. Her Web site is www.therapygeorgetown.com. This column is meant for entertainment only, and should not be considered a substitute for professional counseling. Please send your relationship questions to stacy@georgetowner.com.

Dining Out — Without the Bulge


I love going out to restaurants. The whole ambiance is delightful. I enjoy the solicitude of the staff, watching the people and simply taking a quiet hour or two to relax and enjoy good food. There are times when I go out and choose healthfully, and there are other times I enjoy a good splurge and overindulge — either choice is perfectly normal.

For me, eating out is a special occasion. For millions of Americans, however, it’s a way of life. I know more than a few people who eat out all three meals five, six, even seven days a week. That’s when restaurant food can present appreciable health problems.

Let’s face it: one reason the dishes we get in restaurants are so delicious is that they’re swimming in richness, and chefs choose their ingredients and cooking methods for their effects on the palate, not for their health properties or low-calorie contents. An occasional splurge won’t do any lasting damage. But indulging — or, to be frank, overindulging — on a regular basis will add some serious weight to your frame if you aren’t careful.

If you eat out frequently, I recommend some basics. Before you go, or even decide on a restaurant, look at the restaurant’s Web site and menu so you know what to expect, and make a note of some of the courses you think would be tasty yet healthy. This way, you’re not so tempted by the sights and smells of the fattening foods you’ll inevitably be surrounded by once you get there.

Second, if you have read about the restaurant and chef, then you may have some idea of how heavy-handed the chef is with butter or other fattening ingredients, or whether the restaurant serves a sole diner a portion that could feed four. But if the place is new to you then look around for clues. Take a walk to the restrooms and look at the food on other diners’ plates. How big are the servings? Are the meats, veggies, pastas swimming in sauce? What do you smell? Don’t be afraid to ask the wait staff for help. Finally, it is okay to ask for a take-home bag if the serving size is too much.

Set some priorities. Suppose, for example, you’ve booked four meals out this week. You certainly won’t lose weight, and you may even gain weight, if you eat with abandon each time. What you can do, however, is decide in advance that one of those nights is going to be your “splurge night.” Order anything you want. Enjoy every bite. Savor each and every one of those special calories. On the other three nights, order more carefully. You’ll still enjoy the experience of dining out, but you won’t take in more calories than your poor body can handle. In my book, “Diet Simple,” I call this strategy “The 25 Percent Blowout.”

Some diet plans and nutrition fanatics forbid, or at least discourage, eating at restaurants and enjoying yourself with abandon at all. I disagree. My approach is designed to help you enjoy your meals — enjoy life, for that matter — and feel satisfied while maintaining a healthy weight. Eating out with friends or family is a wonderful experience. No eating plan has a chance to last if it’s not enjoyable. What I do advise is eating (and ordering) smart. By all means, enjoy your meals away from home — but take a few simple steps to keep the calories under control.

To give you some perspective, the average woman should eat about 1,800 to 2000 calories daily to maintain her weight (1,500 to 1,800 to lose weight). The average man, about 2,200 to 2400 (1,800 to 2,100 to lose weight). But a person’s calorie needs can vary widely depending on his/her height, weight, age and degree of fitness and activity level.

I find people feel best and avoid blood sugar and appetite highs and lows with their accompanying cravings when they eat 1/3 of their day’s calories in the morning, 1/3 mid-day and no more than 1/3 of their days’ calories in the evenings. So, for the gals, that means your meals should be no more than about 500 to 600 calories, but if you prefer to have more food at dinner — my recommendation would be 800 at the most for a dinner out. For the guys, meals should be no more than 750 calories — or 900 max for dinner out. These rules aren’t carved in stone, but they’ll give you some context when I give you recommendations or you go to a restaurant’s Web site to view the calorie content of some of their offerings.

As an example, the beauty of traditional Italian cooking is its simplicity: Italians have a no-fuss approach to cooking so their extraordinary ingredients shine. A little olive oil, salt and pepper, maybe an herb or two, and voila — a light, healthy masterpiece! But for this magic to happen, the freshness of the basic ingredients is vital. Italians (in Italy) have access to the most delicious produce, nuts, grains, olive oil, pasta, cheese and seafood in the world, often because they still get it from their own backyards, the neighborhood farm or the fisherman nearby. This freshness and high quality is why simplicity works — no complex cooking styles or sauces are necessary, which keeps calories down and health up, especially because serving sizes traditionally are small.

But this is where real Italian cooking and most American Italian restaurants part ways. Most Americans expect a lot of food on the plate for their money. We call it “value.” But when restaurants are expected to serve such huge amounts of food for low prices, the quality of the ingredients suffer, chefs resort to fattier methods of cooking and gooier sauces are used to compensate. This is one reason why Americans who regularly eat in restaurants are fatter, according to research. In fact, one study found if a person ate in a restaurant 12 times or more per month, they were eating 20 percent more calories. That can pack on the pounds very quickly!

This is not to say it’s impossible to eat healthy in a restaurant. You just have to go in with your eyes wide open. Of course, in any restaurant the no-brainer healthy selection is a salad-like appetizer, a simple seafood preparation such as grilled fish and fruit for dessert.

But when in Rome, we want to do what the Romans do. Eat pasta. Drink wine. Linger over several courses of beautiful food.

You don’t need to be disappointed — just alert and careful. Italians do interesting things with vegetables and seafood (try mussels and clams cooked in broth, or raw bar style). The beef or seafood carpaccios are excellent light and tasty choices. And always check the side-dishes and appetizers. Small servings of pastas that involve vegetables and light sauces are perfect alternatives. Of course, if we ate more Italian-sized portions and preparations, we’d be fine.

Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D., a nutrition expert for over 20 years, will customize an easy and enjoyable nutrition, weight loss, athletic or medical nutrition therapy program for you, your family or your company. She is the author of “Diet Simple: 192 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations” and national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Visit www.katherinetallmadge.com or call 202-833-0353.

Man’s Best Friend, Through the Ages


If you asked most people what Middleburg, VA has that can’t be found anywhere in the U.S., you’d probably hear something sounding a little like a travel brochure.

Something like: a thriving equestrian culture just an hour outside the city, a chummy community of tavern owners, vintners, billionaires, and shopkeeps, a tradition of rustic living held onto as tightly as horse reins.

What you probably won’t hear about is the nearby, near-priceless cache of books in the National Sporting Library and Museum’s basement.

But you should. The library’s trove of rare books and art, everything from first editions of Hemingway and Walton’s “Compleat Angler” to the paintings of sporting artist Alfred Munnings to Paul Mellon’s collection of antique weathervanes, gives you that surreal, ghostly feeling you get around something beyond your age and time. Embrace it. The 56-year-old library’s holdings are the envy of scholars across the Old and New Worlds, and in the esoteric worlds of classical sportsmanship — that is, angling, foxhunting and the rest — the collection there reigns supreme. And just in time for summer’s proverbial dog days comes the library’s newest exhibit, “Lives of Dogs in Literature, Art and Ephemera,” a one-room shrine to man and, more importantly, man’s best friend.

“We decided to focus this on the complex relationship between humans and dogs and show, over 400 years, some of the examples of how people related to their animals,” said Mickey Gustafson, the library’s communications director and curator of the exhibit. The inspiration came from a lecture at a library symposium last fall by gallerist William Secord, whose book on the dog’s historical role in art caused such a stir it prompted staffers to dive into the archives looking for more artifacts to make into an exhibit. They soon found their cup running over.

“It was culling, narrowing down,” Gustafson says. “We had over 75 [dog] collars, for example, and you’ve seen how many books we have. Within the books, choosing what page to have open, and finding relationships between all these things … That’s fun. To me, it was like creating an installation, like an artist, almost.”

Actually, it would be hard to deny any claim to artistry or history, especially since the exhibit — and museum — are practically alive with it.

Founded by sporting enthusiasts George Ohrstrom and Alexander Mackay-Smith in 1954, the collection that started with 7,000 assorted volumes has grown to 17,000 meticulously categorized titles, some dating back to the 16th century. The library is open to the public, who may freely browse most stacks, but may not check out items.

The main floor, appointed in wood boiserie, is stocked with books on everything from bullfighting to fly fishing, but it’s the rare book room on the bottom level, temperature controlled and sealed behind glass, that should get the bibliophile’s juices flowing (tours are available by appointment Tuesday through Friday).

“This is really unique material, and a lot of this has never seen the light of day. There’s lots of that kind of stuff here that people just aren’t aware of,” said the library’s Chief Operating Officer Rick Stoutamyer, born and raised a sportsman in West Virginia before entering the rare book business.

Besides a healthy collection of first editions throughout, the rare book section houses the library’s oldest volume (on dueling, dating to the 1520s), along with an original manuscript penned by a young Theodore Roosevelt, in which he wrote about Long Island fox hunting for the now-defunct Century Illustrated magazine. “The thing that’s really cool about it,” said Stoutamyer, “is if you look there’s very few corrections, really. He pretty much knew what he was going to say when he sat down to write it.”

Not bad for a budding president. Elsewhere, readers can find an original set of John Audubon’s “Birds of America,” the riding tutorials of Vladimir Littauer — who brought to America the idea that riders ought to lean forward on horseback — and a beautiful collection of fore-edge paintings, jargon for watercolors painted over the edges of a book’s pages.

Inside “Lives of Dogs,” entrants are greeted by a bronze bust of a foxhound, its expression etched somewhere between curiosity, drive and affection. It forms the center case in a square room, surrounded by other boxes of glass tucked against the walls. Within each sits an antique dog collar or two, some picked for their craftsmanship, others for quirks. One collar, built for hunting, sports a row of sharpened metal teeth to protect the hound during a scrape with pugnacious wildlife. Another, daintily built of sterling, bears the Tiffany’s stamp and, not surprisingly, a Gramercy Park address.

Throughout the cases are books of sketches and paintings and scenes of the hunt, the infectious excitement and pandemonium enough to move even 21st-century eyes. One engraving by the Belgian Johannes Stradanus, for instance, shows a royal hunt reaching crescendo: the lord holds his spear aloft, his hounds nipping at the stag’s heel. In his “Booke on Hunting” Englishman George Turbervile extols the culture of the hunt, well over a decade before Shakespeare even lifted a pen.

And on the walls you have the paintings, including Oudry’s “Poodle Flushing a Heron,” displaying the flourish that made him a favorite of Louis XV. “The king of France became really fascinated by [Oudry],” says Gustafson. “He would invite him to the palace and have him paint portraits of his dogs while the king watched and talked to him. He was immensely successful. In the development of European art, there’s this sense of eventually becoming interested in depicting things realistically and then also with a lot of drama and decoration. Things are not as easily defined as we often think.”

You could say that again. In the painting, a poodle has cornered a large heron, reared up in a fashion starkly frightening and primal, a kind of rage at wit’s end. On the adjacent wall hang a few (gentler) landscape works by John Emms — pastoral, faintly sentimental and, of course, crowded with dogs.

As a whole, the exhibit serves to remind us of the animal that touches and shapes our lives, sometimes as much as people do. Since it opened in late May, it has proven a hit, not least among dog lovers. “I think it’s really a rich environment, and we’ve had a lot of people who come to see it, and they seem to spend quite a bit of time here,” says Gustafson. “A woman was here the night we opened and she really knew dogs and [pointing to a painting] instantly said, ‘That’s a French dog, a French beagle.’ … Some other people came in and talked about the collars. Different things were appealing to different people.”

“Lives of Dogs” is on display until Dec. 11 at the National Sporting Library, 102 The Plains Road, Middleburg, VA. Admission is free.

This article appeared, in condensed form, in the Aug. 11 issue of The Georgetowner.
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Cool as a Cucumber


Needless to say, this summer’s heat has been oppressive. But Mother Nature’s wrath has yielded one benefit: very tasty fruit. Apparently, this summer’s early rains promoted growth. Then the intense heat, sun, and drought concentrated the flavors and sweetness in fruits such as berries, peaches, melons, grapes and tomatoes to produce a most extraordinary crop.

I have frozen several quarts of blueberries to save for the winter, and even frozen chopped-up cantaloupe and cherries for future smoothies and treats for my kitten, Abby (yes, she does eat cantaloupe every morning. She’ll even eat grapes, berries, and certain veggies, as long as I hand feed her).

These fruits can add wonderful flavor to any dish. Add berries to your cereal, peaches alongside your meat dish or salad, cucumbers on your sandwich. You can also make a cool soup with any of these fruits. It is so easy to get your “five cups per day” (which does indeed help prevent cancer, heart disease, as well as keeping you slim), as they can be a part of every meal and snack.

I have contacted a few local chefs for their ideas for keeping things cool, healthy, tasty and interesting:

Todd Gray of Equinox Restaurant’s Chilled Sweet Melon Soup with Minted Yogurt
Serves 6

• 1 sweet cantaloupe melon (such as a sweet dream), peeled, seeded, and cubed
• 1 cup prosecco
• 1 cup whole milk
• Pinch salt & pepper
• 2 cups small diced melons
For the crème fraiche
• 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
• 3 mint leaves
• 2 tarragon leaves
• 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
• Pinch salt & pepper

For the soup: Combine melon and prosecco in a bar blender, puree till smooth. Add milk and seasoning, blend quickly to incorporate, remove and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

For the Garnish: Brunoise or finely dice the herbs and combine herbs with yogurt. Pour chilled soup into bowls. Drizzle herbed yogurt on top and garnish with diced or Parisian scooped melons.

Laura Bonino’s Griffin Market Watermelon Salad
Serves 6-8

1 (5-pound) watermelon
1/2 cup blood orange
Extra virgin olive oil
20 medium fresh basil leaves

Cut the flesh from the melon and cut into 1 inch cubes, removing and discarding the seeds, and set aside. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces. In a large bowl, combine the melon, olive oil and basil. Lest rest in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving.

Chilled Cucumber Soup with Yogurt and Cilantro
From “Cooking with Nora” by Nora Pouillon
Serves 4

3 cups lowfat yogurt
3 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
1 medium green pepper, washed, seeded, and cut into chunks
4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
Peel of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno pepper with seeds, stemmed
1 teaspoon sea salt
Cilantro sprigs for garnish

Put the yogurt, cucumbers, green pepper, garlic, lemon juice and lemon peel, olive oil, cilantro and jalapeno in a blender. Puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and refrigerate.

Pour the chilled soup into 4 bowls, garnish with cilantro.

Note from Nora: “Since the fruit I use is organic, I always use the skins. I zest or peel my lemons or limes with a vegetables peeler. Then I peel off the white pith from the fruit (you need a sharp paring knife) and put the whole lemon or lime and its peeled skin into the blender.”

Katherine Tallmadge’s Fresh Mexican Salsa
(From “Diet Simple: 192 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations”)
Serves 22

Try this as a dip or accompaniment at your next party. It goes fast, so make plenty of it! You can also use it in scrambled eggs, tortillas or as a marinade or dressing. Throw it in plain yogurt or mashed avocado to make a dip. My measurements are the proportions I prefer, but you can vary any of the ingredients depending on your preferences.

1 large sweet “candy” onion (about 1/2 pound)
2 pounds fresh heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded and shopped (start with about 3 1/2 pounds. Use canned tomatoes, if good tomatoes aren’t available)
3-4 jalapeno peppers (1-2 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
3-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (1-2 limes)

Add the onion to the tomatoes. Finely chop 2 of the jalapeno peppers to start with. Taste. If you desire more heat, add more jalapenos. Mix in the cilantro. Add the salt depending on your taste. Mix in the lime juice.

Susan Belsinger’s Simple Fruit Smoothie
Serves 2

About 1 to 1 1/2 cups fruit, such as peaches and berries, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1 cup cold soy milk
3 to 5 ice cubes
2 drops pure vanilla extract

Put the fruit in the blender. Drizzle the syrup or honey over it. Add the ice cubes. Pour the soymilk over all and add the vanilla. Blend until pureed and frothy. Serve immediately in a tall glass with a straw.

Carol Cutler’s Berry Granita
(From “Diet Simple”)
Serves 8

Grated zest and juice of one orange
2 teaspoons orange liqueur
20 ounces frozen berries (or other fruit)
Sugar or sweetener to taste (optional)
8 mint sprigs (optional)

Place berries in freezer until frozen. Put 8 small sherbet dishes in the refrigerator to chill. Put frozen berries into a food processor. Add the orange zest, juice, and liqueur. Pulse for about 30 seconds to break up the chunks, then process on high until the mixture is smooth. Taste and adjust for sweetness, if necessary. When the mixture is pureed, spoon immediately into the chilled dishes and place in the freezer. If the granite has been frozen for more than 6 hours, remove it from the freezer 10 minutes before serving time. If desired, decorate with the mint sprigs.

Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D. will customize an easy, enjoyable wellness, nutrition, weight loss, athletic or medical nutrition therapy program for you, your family or your company. She is the author of “Diet Simple: 192 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations,” and national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Contact her at katherine@katherinetallmadge.com or 202-833-0353. Mention this Georgetowner article and get 20 percent off your first consultation.

It’s All in Your Head


Roaring Red

A savvy commercial photographer once shared the secret of his success. “It’s simple,” he confided. “I always try include something red in every photograph.”
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Red. It’s the color of sunsets, the color of passion and, in China, the color of good luck. Red is the badge of courage, the color of royalty, of power and of sex. Apparently red is more “primary” than the other two colors in its category, yellow and blue.
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Here’s something new about red: According to the results of a study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology, women find men in red to be more attractive, more powerful and more sexually desirable.
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In the study, women were asked to rate the status and sexual desirability of men pictured wearing different colored clothing. They rated the men wearing red as being higher status and more likely to earn a better living, as well as more appealing.
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Even when the comparison was made between pictures of men merely surrounded by a red matte with those of men surrounded by a white matte, the women rated the men surrounded by red to be more pleasant and more attractive. The difference was small —just one point on a nine-point scale — but it was statistically significant. Remarkably, the appeal of red held true for women in the U.S. and England, as well as in Germany and China.
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The authors speculate about why women might prefer red. It seems other female primates do, too. The authors say that the red preference goes even further down the evolutionary scale, with some red-roaring crustaceans, fish and birds!
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Are women just hardwired to be attracted to red by the blind call of biology? Or is it culture that draws their attention, having taught us to associate red with power and status and fame? Who hasn’t watched the glamorous stars walk the red carpet to get to the coveted prize, the Oscar?
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Men write songs about women in every color. Their Devil can have a Blue Dress On. But if these researchers are to be believed, women have eyes for red.
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So, men, if you’re planning to buy something new for the new season, keep science in mind when considering your wardrobe choices. That shade of brown may bring out your eyes, and black may make you look slimmer, but a little touch of red is where you want to be; it will get her attention and make you look your best.
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Although we can’t be sure of the reasons, we now know this to be true: women go for the guy in the red tie.

Love Potion #9: The Dark Side of Love

Oxytocin is the original love potion.

Oxy (it’s the “love hormone,” so I’ll give it a friendly nickname) has its way with us by working down deep, below consciousness, beneath intuition. When oxy speaks to us, we “just know” it’s true. Released in the brain, this love hormone generates trust and empathy and promotes bonding throughout our lives. It encourages intimacy. It increases altruism. Oxy makes us act generously to strangers, and romantically toward lovers.
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Oxytocin is released during childbirth. It was first identified by its association with lactation, and the deep, adoring bond of mutuality between a mother and her breastfeeding infant. The discovery of the love hormone made the magic of mother-infant bonding just a little less mysterious, but no less marvelous. Not just for moms and little babies, oxy also plays a role in sex, friendship and social ties of many kinds. Oxytocin is the organic love potion we make ourselves.
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The more we learn about the love hormone, the better it looks. It promotes monogamy. It makes us feel secure. It brings us contentment in our relationships. As they once used to say in L.A., it’s all good.
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Or is it? Centuries of poetry warned us of something that biological research recently confirmed: love has a dark side, too.
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When subjects inhaled oxytocin before playing a competitive game they became more envious when their opponent won, and more gloating when they were ahead. Although it may not seem like a match made in heaven, love and jealousy are the conjoint oxytocin twins.
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The hormone plays a role in international affairs as well, a recent Dutch study suggests. Even as it influences people toward self-sacrifice on behalf of their own group, it also encourages them to be aggressive against a threatening outgroup. Oxytocin is why conflicts between groups escalate when the other group is perceived as threatening. Happily, when physical barriers or other means of separation makes them feel less threatened, conflict escalation is less likely.
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Here in D.C., where politics rule, we ignore biology at our peril. Biology is not essentially political, and it does not take sides. But it does help point a way. What are our bodies telling us, and what does science say, when it comes to playing it right in love, in friendship, even in international relations?
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Since I have no wish to be a guru, I will warn you that the answer is deceptively simple: it’s more of a direction than a destination.
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The answer is balance. Philosophers and poets would agree, yes, being close is good — oh yes, very good — but closer is not always better. We each need to keep our balance with the light and dark sides of love. We need to season oxytocin’s closeness with the right amount of distance. The very same hormone that inspired Shakespeare’s sonnets of love is the one that reminds us to heed Robert Frost’s wise advice, as well: Good fences make good neighbors.

Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist practicing short-term, solution-oriented psychotherapy in downtown D.C. She is affiliated with the Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management at The George Washington University. For more information, check out therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/69148 or www.sleep-dc.com.

Between the Sheets


I’ve been married for 32 years and have four grown children. I’ve had sex countless times in my life but I’ve never had an orgasm. What’s wrong with me? — Jane, 57

Some people just never have orgasms and they come to accept that. If you are one of those people, there may be nothing at all wrong with you. On the other hand, there may be something you can do if you want to have an orgasm. If you can climax while masturbating, but not during intercourse, then the issue is learning how to repeat that with your partner. Have you been too shy to talk about it or show him what you enjoy? Satisfying sex with another person, especially with someone you share a long-term commitment with, take communication (verbal and nonverbal), negotiation (sex changes as we change), and most of all, courage! None of us are getting any younger. If this is an experience you want to have, now could be a great time to begin actively pursuing it.

If you have never experienced an orgasm, even by yourself, and want that to change, the key is to masturbate. Choose times when your privacy won’t be interrupted and perhaps experiment with a vibrator or using water pressure in the tub or shower. Be patient and persistent. For added stimulation, maybe try reading some erotic literature or watching pornography geared for women. If unwanted feelings arise, keep a journal nearby to record them. And consider seeking help from a counselor if memories of adult or childhood trauma or abuse are getting in your way. Once you clear what’s blocking you and learn how to wake up your body, that elusive orgasm you seek might well become a regular part of your love life.

If you are on of those who have never been orgasmic, no matter what you do, it may never happen. Sometimes hormones are the reason, or psychological blocks, or a host of other possibilities. So what? You are fine just as you are. Remember sex is more than penetration and certainly more than a few quick muscle contracts at the end. In fact, many who espouse India’s version of tantric sex believe focusing on orgasm as the end goal diminishes the opportunity for total body enjoyment. So whether or not you are orgasmic, enjoy every bodily sensation.

Murphy’s Love


Dear Stacy:

I have a problem, and I’m just going to say it straight up. I’m a 25-year-old Hill staffer with a master’s degree and a wide circle of friends – and I’m a virgin. I dated guys in high school and college, but never got close to having sex with any of them. It’s not a religious thing – I just haven’t had the opportunity. I can blame my parents for handing me a healthy fear of getting pregnant in high school, but I assumed that my college and post-grad experiences would include long-term boyfriends and the intimacy that comes with those kinds of relationships. I never had the chance to just “get it over with” and now each time I meet someone new, I worry about having to eventually tell him I’m a virgin. It’s so embarrassing; I never even talk about it with my girlfriends – all of whom seem to be having wild sex with short- and long-term boyfriends. All of the sudden, engagement rings are starting to pop up on the hands of friends and coworkers – I’m running out of time. What is wrong with me? I feel like I missed my chance to find The One.
— Sexually Frustrated in Foggy Bottom

Dear Foggy Bottom:

Deep breath. Your letter carries a lot of anxiety – which can only hint at the large burden you are carrying around because of this. I’m hopeful you felt some amount of relief in writing. Often, just naming a feeling can diffuse some of its power. So you’re a virgin. I promise you’re not the last unicorn in DC. But let’s talk about why this seems so overwhelming.

Our society is sex-obsessed, so you cannot be blamed for thinking about yourself in comparison to the billboards, TV shows, and public displays of affection by teens on the Metro. But when you start equating virgin-status with marriage potential, we have to think about your emotional maturity. Let’s talk about why none of your relationships has progressed to the level of intimacy that would lead to having sex or getting married.

What exactly are you looking for? Do you want to find a soul mate to bring home to mom and dad, or are you actually more interested in your career and spending time with your friends right now? That’s ok, you know. It may not feel like it all the time, but at 25 you really are not on the cusp of Old Maidhood. Are we dating simply to clear this rite of passage, or for something deeper, during which losing your virginity will only be a side effect? Being clear about your intentions is the first step in getting what you want.

Next, where are you looking? If you think you have to hang out at the bar, waiting to give it up to the first guy to buy you a drink, I’d imagine that there is a part of you so violently opposed to that scenario, that it’s keeping you from connecting with anyone, anywhere. So let’s take your virginity off the table. You are a catch – a career-focused, highly-educated femme with a lot of friends around you – start acting like it. Do your girlfriends know you’re looking to meet someone? Are you trying online dating? Is there someone you’d like to ask out, but the virginity question takes you so far down the mental rabbit hole, that you’re avoiding it altogether? There’s no reward without some risk. He’s not going to find you if you’re hiding in your cubicle.

I get it, believe me, the pressure about “women of a certain age” and the dating/marriage/baby trifecta is a common theme in my counseling office. But if you are viewing your virginity (or cup size, or height, or accent) as a defect, then you give it the power to keep you out of relationship. With the right person, your level of experience will be an asset. Give him the opportunity to surprise you.

Dear Stacy:

My three daughters are grown up and out on their own. I still live with my wife in the house they grew up in, and so we still have some of their personal items here at home. I like having these things to remember the good times we had when they were younger. It’s not like I’ve created a shrine to my girls, I’m just talking about a few trophies, awards, photographs, and the odd report card. I keep these things in a spare room, and my daughters each have said these mementos are not important to them, and that they do not wish to have them in their own homes. My wife, on the other hand, thinks that since the girls do not want these keepsakes, we should throw them away. She has started calling me a “hoarder,” after watching some cable TV show, and has threatened to purge the house when I’m not here.

Her words make me mad and embarrassed. I’m also worried that she will act on her threats, and I don’t know what to do.
— Wanting More Time in Washington

Dear Wanting,

Your letter gives me the opportunity for a brief public service announcement. Hoarding is a trendy topic these days – the mass media would have us believe that every third household has its own hoarder. But most in the mental health community agree that this condition falls somewhere between the larger categories of impulse-control disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders, both fairly uncommon diagnoses. People suffering from these types of disorders may be unable to resist the drive to do something harmful to themselves or others, and may believe that if they do not act on the compulsion, something even worse will happen. Pyromania, kleptomania and compulsive gambling are impulse-control disorders. While there is no official diagnosis for hoarding as of yet, most agree that it includes the compulsive need to acquire and store largely unnecessary items.
What I’m getting at is that hoarding much more complicated than holding onto a few mementos in the spare room.

Parenting is a life-altering experience. It’s not uncommon for moms and dads to hold onto things that remind them of those times. If it’s indeed what you say it is – just a few items in the spare room – I’d be curious about why this bothers your wife so much.

I wonder if this is part of the regular division of labor in your relationship? Do you take on the emotional and she holds the practical? Consider approaching her about this (in a non-threatening way) so you can learn about her motivations, and perhaps explain your own in terms she can understand. We are hard-wired to react to confrontation with defensiveness – that’s what our brains believe will keep us alive when under attack. If you address the issue in a gentle, fact-finding manner, you may be surprised by what you hear from her side. Perhaps she’d like to use the space for another purpose. Maybe she wishes you held onto souvenirs from your honeymoon in the same way. You may need to make a deal that you get to keep the items, even though she doesn’t understand. But you never know unless you ask, and make room for the answer.

Stacy Notaras Murphy is a licensed professional counselor and certified Imago Relationship therapist practicing at the Imago Center of DC in Georgetown. Her website is www.therapygeorgetown.com. This column is meant for entertainment only, and should not be considered a substitute for professional counseling. Please send your relationship questions to stacy@georgetowner.com.

Festivals In Fall


Can it get any better than illumined leaves, chilly evenings and harvest season on farm and vineyard alike? Actually, it can. Hunt country’s got some fabulous fests on tap this fall, so gather up a tasting (or riding) crew and get yourself out of town. Here are our top picks:

13th Annual Taste of Rappahannock Festival Sept. 11, 6 p.m. Belle Meade Schoolhouse, 2 Belle Meade Lane, Sperryville 540-987-3322 Tickets $150, table sponsorships available

They do it for the kids. Rappahannock County’s students have always been the primary beneficiaries of the region’s decade-old festival, this year more than ever. Students will feature prominently throughout the evening, from serving hors d’oeuvres to providing a little night music. Meanwhile, guests can count on a solid night of socializing and a chance to bid on a week-long stay at Burgundy’s Le Silence farmhouse. Feel like staying stateside? Raise your bid paddle for a VIP tour of Sperryville’s Copper Fox distillery, a trip to Cancun or a theater weekend in downtown D.C., among others.

National Sporting Library and Museum Polo Benefit Sept. 19, 12:30 p.m. Llangollen, Upperville 540-687-5053, www.nsl.org Tickets $100, table sponsorships available

Baseball might be America’s pastime, but in hunt country, polo reigns supreme. Rub shoulders with the region’s equestrian elite at the Virginia International Polo Club’s benefit for the the National Sporting Library in Middleburg. In the English garden party tradition, a luncheon will take place at the International Polo Club pavilion, followed by a silent auction and polo match featuring prominent players from Argentina, Chile, and the United States. A vintage silver trophy, donated by Jacqueline B. Mars (of candy bar fame), will be awarded to the winning team — and will be on display at the library throughout the year. Don’t pass up this quintessential snapshot of life in the country.

The Commonwealth Cup of Polo 25th Anniversary Sept. 12, 1 to 6 p.m. Great Meadow, 5089 Old Tavern Road, The Plains 703-823-1868 Admission $30, purchasable online at www.commonwealthcup.net

This rousing and spirited international polo tradition pits the US against the Brits in an afternoon of good fun for a good cause. Consider it a double-hitter: the Commonwealth Cup and The Wine Festival at The Plains pair up for one spectacular weekend key benefit match for raising vital funds that support projects for British and American servicemen and women all over the world. Guests will enjoy tastings of over 275 of Virginia wines, fine art and gourmet cuisine prepared by regional chefs. Activities also include wine and cooking demonstrations on the Viking stage, fancy hat and tailgate contests, and a carriage-drawn champagne divot stomp at halftime.

Second Annual Rappahannock County Farm Tour Sept. 25-26, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 12018 Lee Highway, Sperryville 540-675-5330 Admission $5

Weekend tour-goers will experience personally what the “Buy Fresh/Buy Local” movement is all about during the 2nd Annual Rappahannock County Farm Tour Weekend. More than 20 Rappahannock farms, orchards, and wineries – as well as farm-to-table student programs and environmental organizations – will participate in this self-guided, countywide, family-friendly farm tour. Tour-goers can pick up tour maps, buy local products, and listen to presentations at the “All Things Rappahannock” farmers market at The Link in Sperryville, which also will serve as the starting point for the tour.

Chrysalis Vineyards’ 10th Annual Wine and Bluegrass Festival Oct. 2 and 3, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 23876 Champe Ford Road, Middleburg 540-687-8222 Admission $20 at the door, $15 in advance

A long-time apologist for the uniquely American grape at which even hardened oenophiles can no longer turn their noses, Chrysalis is pairing up some of their latest bottles of Norton with another old-time Virginia favorite — bluegrass. Get out of the city and head west to Middleburg for a weekend of tastings (including Chrysalis’ recently debuted 2009 Norton), artisanal chocolate and cheese and the music of Jackass Flats and Hickory Ridge.

Back-to-School Lunch Box Ideas from Washington’s Top Chefs


It’s back to school, and Washington’s top chefs are pitching in. Ever since Michelle Obama started her “Let’s Move” campaign, chefs and dietitians everywhere have been encouraged to help get school children into shape by improving their diets, upgrading school offerings and developing wellness and physical activity programs.

In this spirit, last week 5,000 insulated school lunch boxes were given away at Woodrow Wilson Plaza’s Capital Harvest on the Plaza (C.H.O.P.) Farmer’s Market, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Each lunch box contained creative, yet simple and kid-friendly recipes from top chefs like Equinox’s Todd Gray, Restaurant Eve’s Cathal Armstrong, Marcel’s Robert Weidmaier and Citronelle’s Michel Richard. The Georgetowner is providing you those very special recipes! Each Friday, at Woodrow Wilson Plaza through the Fall, the C.H.O.P. Farmer’s Market will feature live music and a top chef, who will be demonstrating healthy cooking using ingredients fresh from the field that day.

One of the most active chefs improving D.C. children’s nutrition, our very own Todd Gray, appeared with Mrs. Obama at a White House gathering of 700 chefs nationwide. Gray’s Equinox Restaurant is a regular haunt of the Obama family. He and co-owner/wife, Ellen Gray, have helped organize other D.C. chefs to provide guidance to D.C. area schools for improving the freshness, flavor and acceptance of their offerings.

For example, Todd Gray adopted D.C.’s Murch Elementary School in 2009, helping them start a garden while teaching principles of growing and cooking food. When he first visited Murch, he noticed that while the children were offered fruits and vegetables they were mostly being thrown away. Over time, as he involved the children, teachers and parents in growing, harvesting and cooking fresh food, their natural curiosity and excitement about food took over. Their enjoyment of more healthy and nourishing food was a natural consequence.

“This project has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my 25-year career as a chef,” said Gray. “Make a commitment to the school and these kids – it will change your life professionally and personally. Our own son is so proud of what we are doing and asks us all the time, ‘When are you coming to my school?’.”

Art & Soul Restaurant Chef Art’s BBQ Meatloaf Burgers

As a parent, I am always challenged with getting kids to eat vegetables. I find one of the best ways to get kids to eat is used in this preparation. You can also make great meatballs too and serve with multigrain pasta.

1 1/2 pound lean ground beef, my favorite Allen Brothers
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup of bell peppers
1/2 cup of grated carrot
1/2 cup of broccoli flowerets, chopped
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1/2 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs
1/3 cup of BBQ Sauce 1 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
2 large egg whites

In a pan add canola oil, and sauté onions, peppers, carrots, and broccoli till tender. Remove and allow to cool.

Combine ground beef, veggies, bread crumbs, 1/2 the BBQ sauce, spices and egg whites. Mix well and chill for 1 hour. Remove from refrigerator and shape into 6-4 ounce burgers.

Chill slightly, heat skillet or grill to medium heat. Cook 8 minutes per side, till internal temp is 165 degree’s. Spoon additional BBQ over burgers and serve on Whole Grain Buns

Chef Cathal Armstrong
Restaurant Eve, Eamonn’s A Dublin Chipper; PX, The Majestic

Eamonn’s R.L.T. (Rasher, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich)

Makes 1 sandwich
1½ back rashers (leaner than bacon)
2 slices wheat bread, toasted
½ tomato (or 1 small tomato), sliced
2 or 3 leaves romaine lettuce
One large spoonful homemade mayonnaise (see below for recipe)
Cheddar cheese, sliced, as needed (optional)

In a pan set over medium-low heat, sauté the back rashers, then pat them dry. Wrap the bread and a few rasher strips in tin foil. In a separate container, pack the sliced tomatoes and romaine lettuce. Put the mayonnaise in a small container and pack a blunt-edged spreading knife.

Armstrong’s tip: Separating everything in individual containers stops the bread from getting soggy. Eamonn puts the R.L.T. sandwich together at school, and he likes it because he can show his pals that he can “cook.”
Rashers is a slang term for Irish Bacon. It is similar to Canadian bacon and leaner than regular bacon. Rashers can be found at Whole Foods. Cooks in seconds!

Homemade Mayonnaise
Makes about 1 cup, enough for five sandwiches

1 large organic egg yolk
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup canola oil

Combine the yolk, salt, water, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Fold a hand towel into a ring on the counter and set the bowl into it to hold it steady while you whisk the ingredients together. While whisking vigorously and constantly, slowly drip in the oil (it helps to measure out the oil into a cup that pours well in a thin stream, or you can start your emulsion by drizzling the oil off a spoon). After the emulsion turns creamy, add the oil more quickly than a thin stream. From the beginning, the mixture should look creamy and be thick enough to hold its shape. Store in the coldest part of the fridge.

Marcel’s Chef Robert Wiedmaier
Shredded Chicken, bacon and Avocado Whole Wheat Wrap

1 whole wheat tortilla wrap shredded chicken (from last night’s dinner)
Bacon strip (left over from breakfast)
Lettuce, shredded
Avocado slices
Cheese, pre-grated or fresh
Optional: lite ranch dressing (would not add if you’re making sandwiches the night before)

Roll the tortilla by folding in two sides, than roll away from you.

Wrap in foil or wax paper so it can easily be torn away to eat.

Chef Todd Gray of Equinox Restaurant
Yummy Stuffed Pita Pocket

2 Tbs cashew or almond butter
1Tbs low fat cream cheese
1 Tbs all natural jam or marmalade
2 Tbs low sugar granola
1 sliced banana

Half the pita so that the interior pocket is accessible

Spread pocket with cream cheese and jam

Sprinkle granola into pocket

Lay sliced banana into pita pocket

Cut into ¼’s and secure with bamboo picks

BTW… Toast if available for a real treat…

Tabouli with Chick Peas, Basil, Seasonal Vegetables and a Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
By Nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D. Author, “Diet Simple: 192 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations”

Makes about 6 – 300 calorie servings
Time: 20 – 30 minutes

1 Cup Bulgur (Cracked Wheat)
1 15-ounce Can Chick Peas, drained
1 Large cucumber, skinned and seeded, chopped
1 Large Yellow Pepper, seeded, chopped
1 Sweet Onion, finely chopped
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, sliced (omit if good cherry tomatoes are not available)
1 Large Handful Fresh Basil, chopped

Optional:
¼ cup golden raisins ¼ cup roasted pine nuts

Vinaigrette:
Juice of One Lemon (2 Tbsp) and its lemon zest
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 crushed Garlic Clove
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

In a large glass bowl, pour 3 cups boiling water over the bulgur and let sit for 15 minutes or longer.

While the bulgur is fluffing up, make the salad: In a large glass or plastic bowl, dump in the chick peas, the chopped cucumber, pepper, onion, cherry tomatoes, basil, raisins and pine nuts.

Make the vinaigrette in a separate small bowl: roll the lemon on the counter and place in microwave for 30 seconds (this procedure extracts the maximum juice). Let cool.

With a microplane, zest the lemon, being careful not to use the bitter white pith.

Squeeze the lemon juice and place with zest in the small bowl.

Add the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk together.

Drain the bulgur and add to salad.

Toss in the vinaigrette.

RJ Cooper, III – Chef/Owner of Rogue 24
The Kid Can Cook Llc.
Sesame Chicken Wraps

2 cups rotisserie chicken, pulled
1 cup diced pineapple
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbl mayonnaise
2 cups boston bibb lettuce, chiffinode
4 ea spinach tortillas

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, soy sauce, pineapple juice to make an emulsion. Add the cashews, sesame seeds, pineapple and chicken. Fold all together. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Lay out four tortillas, place a half a cup of lettuce on each tortilla, add the chicken mixture and roll the tortillas. Serves 4.

Michel Richard, Citronelle & Central
Pink, Yellow & Green Couscous (Don’t tell them it’s got vegetables)

Ingredients:
2 cups V8 juice
1 cup couscous
¼ cups frozen peas, thawed
¼ cup frozen corn, thawed
½ cup milk
4 Laughing Cow segments
Salt & white pepper

Directions

Kids: Defrost the peas and corn an hour before you want to begin cooking.

Kids : Remove the aluminum foil from the Laughing Cow cheese

Parents: Bring the V8 to a boil in a small pot with a lid. Add a pinch of salt and the couscous, stir well, cover and remove from the heat. Wait 10 minutes.

Parents: In another pot, bring the milk to a boil. Remove from the heat.

Kids: Add the laughing cow to the milk, and mix with a small whisk to make a light cream sauce.

Kids: Add the peas and the corn.

Parents: Salt & pepper to taste.

Kids: Add the cream pea sauce to the couscous.

Kids: Mix with a wooden spoon.

Kids: Portion the couscous into 4 small bowls.

Kids & Parents: Enjoy! Serves Four

Chef Victor Albisu, BLT Steak
Banana, Strawberry & Nutella Sandwich on 7 Grain Bread

Ingredients:
½ Banana, each
2 Strawberries, each
2 tbsp. Nutella
2 slices of 7 grain bread

Directions:

Toast the seven grain bread and spread with Nutella hazelnut spread (for added texture and ?avor you can add chopped toasted hazelnuts to the spread).

Place sliced strawberries and sliced bananas on the spread and press the sandwich lightly on a table top griddle or a non stick pan. Serves One

Michelle Poteaux, Bastille
Sweet Griddled Corn Cake with Sautéed Peaches

Corn Griddle Cakes:

1½ c. All Purpose ?our
1½ c. corn ?our
5 tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. salt
¼ c. sugar
1½ c. water
2 cups milk
1 egg
2 tbsp. melted fat

Combine water, milk and eggs, then, separately combine all sifted dry ingredients.

Next add dry to wet ingredients and stir. Finally, stir in the melted fat. Bake on a hot griddle.

Sautéed Peaches:

5 Yellow, cling-free peaches, sliced in wedges
Granulated Sugar
Salt
Vanilla Bean, split and scraped
Butter
Tarragon, fresh and chopped last.

Lightly toss with cooked peaches

Serve with fresh whipped cream or Corn ice cream Serves Six

Katherine Tallmadge, M.A, R.D., columnist and author of “Diet Simple,” regularly appears in the national media, customizes nutrition programs for people and designs corporate wellness programs. www.katherinetallmadge.com (202) 833-0353