My new favorite company…Gigi New York (#giginewyork)

Last year in a boutique in Alexandria, I spotted this fabulous #giginewyorkclutch. It comes in a smaller version (#allinonebag), which is great to use from bag to bag, especially if you have kids. This way you don’t have to dig in your huge diaper bag for your wallet and phone. I started doing this after having my third child and it really has helped. I have no idea why it took me having my third to figure it out so here’s hoping that this helps some of my fellow mommies,especially the first timers. Why is it so convenient? First, my phone, wallet, lip gloss and neosporin are all in one place and I don’t have to spend time finding my #iphone only to see a #missedcall when I find it. Second, if I need to run to the store or go for a walk, I just grab the clutch and go. I don’t have to use the diaper bag or transfer to another bag.

Here are the clutches and they can be personalized! #personalizedclutch

The All In One Clutch

The Uber Clutch

So why is this on my list of favorite companies? First, the customer service is nothing less than stellar. Second, the quality of the products is excellent and lastly, THEY ARE #MADEINTHEUSA .
The larger clutch is $145 and the smaller is $105. Personalization is $15 more.
If you call the store, they have some colors still on sale and you can get them for 50% off.
They also give 10% off when you get on the email sign up list, but it’s only on regular priced items.

The bags come in beautiful packaging and in gift boxes. They make great gifts!

Go grab one for yourself or for a gift at http://www.giginewyork.com



My week in Florida…Day 2

What is on my radar this week?
yes…this is quite a feat, but I’m up for the challenge! I’m going to use a fellow Caribbean native’s recipe for guidance along with one from http://www.everdaypaleo.com….
#everydaypaleo is a GREAT website! My family isn’t completely paleo, but we are close to it!



If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

happy August!



Happy Friday to Everyone! After making Pho twice, I wanted to share some an update on the recipe. At first, I mentioned to use all beef broth, but it turned out too greasy. It is better to use a water/broth mix because it reduces the salt content and for some reason, the taste of the spices aren’t overwhelmed by the beef broth. I just updated the recipe so, enjoy!



When it’s nice and cold outside, nothing better warms the body more than soup, especially a big bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup or Pho, as it is called. It’s a great comfort food without the guilt, and this recipe eliminates the MSG that most of the recipes contain. I have been trying to perfect this recipe for the past year and as my son would say, “Triumph!”. My family loves Pho (prounounced Fuh), but taking my two little boys to a Vietnamese restaurant on a Friday or Saturday night is not my idea of a fun night. For those of you who have children, you can relate. It was time for me to learn how to make my favorite foods, such as Pho, in my home, without having to worry about my kids misbehaving and sitting quiet in a restaurant with people who are there to relax. Most Vietnamese restaurants are not as loud as Chili’s. ☺
So, here is my recipe. I hope you enjoy it and let me know if there are any changes you would make. As a low carbohydrate option, my husband and I use less noodles in our bowls and more bean sprouts. If you’ve never made this yourself, please try it just once and you’ll never go back to the restaurant again. Okay, well maybe that’s not true, but making this in the comfort of your home for dinner and a movie night and not having to fight Friday evening traffic is an added bonus. I promise that this recipe is simple so try it, come back to my website, and write me to let me know how it was.

Happy Friday!



Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup (PHO BO)

Makes 5-6 servings

2 pounds of Beef chuck shoulder roast sliced, about ¼ inch thin
1 pound of rice noodles, medium size
3 inch chunk of ginger, chopped
3 1/2 tablespoons of good quality fish sauce
1 tablespoon of Chinese five spice
2 medium onions, halved and sliced, not chopped
32 ounces of Organic beef broth
32 ounces of water
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, washed with stems
1 pound of bean sprouts, washed
1 stick of cinnamon
3 whole cloves
2 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)
1 tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil
2 limes, cut in quarters
Sea salt to taste
Sriracha hot sauce (optional topping)
Hoisin Sauce (optional topping)


Sauté onions, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, whole cloves, and five spice in the oil for about 3 minutes on medium-high heat with about ¼ cup of broth adding more if needed so that onions don’t burn. Add beef and sauté’ for about 1 minute just to infuse the meat with the flavors of the spices on high heat. Add remainder of the broth, water, and fish sauce and bring broth to boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for about 25-30 minutes, being careful not to over-dry the meat. While the broth is cooking, boil water for rice noodles, similar to spaghetti, but take stop cooking when the noodles reach al dente. Caution: rice noodles cook very quickly and they will continue to cook in the broth when served.
Once the broth is done, serve desired amount of cooked noodles and bean sprouts in a soup bowl and add broth with meat right over them. Serve with desired amount of cilantro and garnish with lime. Serve with Sriracha hot sauce and Hoisin sauce on the side.

Pan Fried Fillets of Sea Bream with Cauliflower and Samphire

This looks amazing and a nice choice for all my friends on a low-carb diet.
It seems like a good challenge for a Friday or Saturday night. Thanks Chica for the recipe! -Christine

Chica Andaluza

Living temporarily on the south coast of England gives us access to super fresh fish, and to varieties which are not always available to us in Spain. The local fishmonger had beautiful Sea Bream the other day, we usually eat Sea Bass. The flavour is very similar but the bream is a softer, creamier fish.

Unlike Fish Man, who delivers fish to us out of the back of his refrigerated van, this is sold in a shop with all the facilities to clean and prepare the fish for its customers, so I took advantage of this and head the two bream I bought scaled, gutted, de boned and butterflied. What luxury! Also in stock was Samphire, which I had only ever eaten before in a restaurant, so I was curious to try it at home.

I came across a few recipes and discovered that it pretty much only needs…

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Cooking Quinoa

Since deciding to give up wheat, I have been hoarding Quinoa for a few weeks and this week it’s time. I found a great article on how to make Quinoa in the rice cooker and I can’t wait.  I’ll post how I incorporated this power grain into a gourmet dish.  If you have always wanted to make Quinoa and only eaten it from the cold buffet bar at  Whole Foods, check out this site:




Safely Home

This is my first post in about a month so I’m just starting to get back into the swing of things.  We are officially back on American soil for awhile, and I couldn’t be happier because all my 110 volt kitchen gadgets won’t need a transformer anymore!  There are many things on the horizon for this site, but first things first, it is time to get posting again. Please spread the word about Gourmet Anise and if you have any requests or comments on a recipe you would like to see or on one that has been posted, please feel free to email me. Thank you to all my readers for continuing to follow the site. Have a wonderful week! -Christine