Melissa

easy tandoori chicken on the grill

This is a delicious, easy and healthful Indian style meal that tastes fantastic paired with a gewurztraminer wine. Marinating chicken in yogurt for 24 hours makes the meat very tender and flavorful. I love to serve this with stuffed pattypan squash and seasoned cous cous. A dollop of Greek yogurt, along with a dab of…

Wine Tasting Notes: Hey Mambo Swanky White Wine

This wine is exceptonally elegant. Perfect for those special summer soirees. With a sumptuous combination of crisp Suavignon Blanc, seductive Viognier, sweet Muscat and elusive Chenin Blanc…This romantic summer wine is the equivelant of a fragrant flower market. Orchids, French lavender, lilacs, green apple and peach blossoms prevail. Crispy notes of Chinese Apple Pears and…

Creating Ambience While You Cook

photograph by Melissa Placzek Cooking the evening meal is one of my favorite things to do. I light candles, play a soothing CD, and sip a glass of wine as I cook. I like to have a fragrant bouquet of flowers of a bowl of tangy lemons on the counter to delight my senses when…

Frugal Home Spa : Brown Sugar & Coconut Body Glow

Fresh coconut gently exfoliates, and brown sugar gives your skin an even deeper exfoliating treatment without being too harsh or abrasive. Combine: 1 cup dark brown sugar 1/2 cup grated coconut 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted OR 1/4 cup creme de coconut 1 Tablespoon honey 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil 10 drops coconut perfume oil…

Graceful Gossamer

In my book “Welcome Home-Simple Tips for Turning Your House Into a Luxurious Retreat” on page 36, I have written the instructions for creating a gossamer canopy for over your bed. This Graceful Gossamer Canopy is easy and inexpensive to make and it takes about 5 minutes. Simply hang a wreath or pretty ring style…

Frugal Bath & Beauty: Easy Exfoliating Treatment

This is one of my favorite quick spa “fixes” that is a piece of cake to prepare at home. Just before you get in the shower or bath tub, combine a couple tablespoons of your favorite shower gel with a teaspoon of dry cornmeal. Pour on a loofah or exfoliating scrunchie sponge. Shower as usual.…

Spa Cuisine: French Chocolate Breakfast Croissants

This is a fun and easy recipe to add to an impromptu breakfast in bed. This recipe was first published on page 108 of my second book “Welcome Home.” French Breakfast Croissants (called Pain Au Chocolat in France) Simply roll some dark chocolate chips into refrigerated, pre-made, refrigerated crescent roll dough. make sure all of…

A Little Sparkle

Here are a couple new beauty products that I discovered recently that I just LOVE. If you like skin products that add a little “sparkle” to your beauty repertoire, read on. “Stars” eyeshadow pencil by Rimmel of London– I’m not a big eyeshadow fan. I’ve never really liked it. I think it usually takes away…

Luxurious Retreat Tips: The Fragrant Laundry

Scented linens are one of life’s most luxurious simple pleasures. These fragrant recipes were originally published in my book, Welcome Home. Indulge and breathe summer in slowly. SCENTED LAUNDRY SOAP: Add 1 teaspoon lavender essential oil and 1 teaspoon lemon verbena essential oil to a 64 oz. bottle of unscented laundry detergent. Shake well before…