A Day of wellness & cooking with Julie Wald of Namaste New York + Guest chef Brooke Shields

READY- SET- RESET!!!! Julie Wald, chief wellness advisor and founder of Namaste New York, and I decided to invite friends for no reason at all except just be. The purpose was to enjoy a day of well being and nourishment & reset our selves. A day just to take a time out from our hectic lives and just breathe. WHY NOT?

Friends enjoyed a poolside yoga led by the extraordinary yoga master, Julie herself, and a guided meditation and Thai massages from the amazing T’ai Jamar from Julie’s wellness group. Afterwards, friends were treated to a very delicious, nutritious lunch that was free of dairy, gluten, sugar & grains. This is the diet that Julie lives by and was one that challenged even me in the kitchen. Julie & Brooke, as guest chefs, helped me create this heathy and beautiful meal. It was a day of perfect bliss.

If you would like to have a custom, curated Namaste fitness and wellness plan, please contact 212-525-5535. Namaste offers comprehensive programs & a la carté services in the greater nyc area to meet you where you are in your wellness journey. I PROMISE you will love your journey to a better self with their guidance!

Our amazing menu included:


Grilledmarinate chicken chimichurri:
boneless chicken breast
juice from fresh lemons and oranges
minced garlic, salt & pepper

In a bowl, toss together the chicken, lemon & orange juice, garlic, salt and pepper and let it marinate at least an hour or overnight. Grill the chicken or bake it in the oven until cooked through but do not overcook it! Slice thin and serve over the cauliflower rice with chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri sauce:
mint, parsley, basil ( fresh Herbs) 
olive oil
minced garlic & crushed red pepper flakes
Chop by hand or in a food processor the herbs and garlic and add olive oil until desired consistency. Add a pinch of salt to taste and crushed red pepper as desired.

Cauliflower rice:
golden raisins
chopped parsley
chopped garlic
olive oil. salt and pepper

Chop cauliflower and stems to small but not minced pieces. Place in a bowl with a paper towel and let it sit for an hour if possible to help remove some of the moisture ( this will help keep the cauliflower from becoming too mushy). In a pan, sauté garlic in olive oil and then add the chopped cauliflower. Sprinkle in parsley, golden raisins and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until al dente ( still a bit of crunch ). This can be served at room temperature and made in advance.

Zucchini carpaccio:
toasted pine nut
olive oil 
fresh parsley
salt and pepper
Slice the zucchini thin and place on a nice plate or tray slightly overlapping.
Drizze with olive oil, sprinkle fresh chopped parsley, salt and paper on top and then sprinkle  the toasted pine nuts before serving.

Fennel & Apple Salad
Mixed lettuces
sliced green apple
sliced fennel
sliced radishes
sunflower seeds
for the dressing mix: olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper
Place all the vegetables in a bowl and toss well with the dressing, top with sunflower seeds

Fruit with rum sauce:
peaches, plums and blueberries
dark rum
coconut oil 

Slice the peaches and plums. Sauté in coconut oil. Add the rum, cinammon and agave and blueberries. Cook until the fruit is soft but not mushy. Add the toasted almonds. ( you can serve this over ice cream or sorbet if desired ) We served it on its own since we were doing a dairy free diet!

Cooking with GiGi: Corn Tacos

Any kind if taco is a good taco!! I adore mexican food and cook it often - there are so many great ideas to make tacos and this is a super simple easy one!

I love any kind of taco- they are all so easy to make and are the perfect lunch or dinner dish that you can make in a flash!

You will need:

corn tortillas, fresh corn off the cob, chopped Vidalia onion, fresh cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese , 1 roasted poblano pepper ( just place a poblano pepper in the oven and cook until it is roasted on the outside - a bit charred) pickled jalapeno (optional),

Once assembled, you will bake these in the oven at 375 degrees until cheese is melted!




Cooking with GiGi: Pan seared tuna with coconut rice & bok choy

This is a family favorite and is super fast and easy to prepare!

This amazing dinner is a favorite! It is very fast to make as well!

You will need:

for the rice, basmati or jasmine rice, coconut milk, fresh ginger, and s & p

for the bok choy; bok choy chopped, fresh garlic, sesame oil & olive oil., s & p

For the tuna:

fresh tuna steaks, black sesame seeds, olive oil, and s & p

There are several sauces to serve: wasabi ( store bought or make from the powder)

sesame soy sauce: sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fresh ginger, sesame seeds & sugar

hot chili sauce- store bought

pickled ginger- store bought

ENJOY xoxo


Cooking with GiGi & Designer Nina Sarin: Mussels

Designer Nina Sarin of Arias makes the most delicious mussels- it is her specialty!!! The best thing- they are super easy and fast to cook!

For this delicious and easy recipe you

You will need:

Clean debearded mussels, shallots, chopped garlic, olive oil, white wine, and salt & pepper.

Sauté the garlic and shallots in the olive oil - add the mussels and some white wine and steam until they open. Discard any unopened mussels - serve!

video by @katyaobrien

Cooking with GiGi : Zucchini Frittata

This Zucchini Frittata is such a great breakfast dish but also I also love it for lunch with a salad- it is so light & yummy and easy to prepare as well!

For this easy delicious recipe you will need the following:

A pie pan or pyrex baking dish :

Olive oil to oil the pan

1 large zucchini shredded or cute into small pieces

diced onion

4 eggs

1 - 1 1/2 cups of milk depending on pan size

salt and pepper

fresh ground nutmeg

fresh parsley

Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake it until firm - about 25 minutes

Cooking with GiGi : Marigay McKee's Christmas Stew

This is one of Marigay’s favorite dishes she prepares for her family - especially during the holidays! It is very hearty and a one pot dish that is simply delicious!

This delicious stew is super easy but just needs time to cook so the meat becomes really tender! We did not show you the magic ingredient but you put a dollop of honey in it right before serving!! It is her secret ingredient!

For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

Diced beef ,Potatoes, Onions, Carrots ,Salt & Pepper, Red wine & Honey.

Sauté all these together and then place a lid on your pan and cook for 30-45 minutes over low heat.

Put a dollop of honey on it right before serving!



Happy Cooking!

Cooking with GiGi: Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie ( featuring Robert Fowler as guest chef)

This Chocolate Bourbon Pecan pie is rich and heavenly. It will become a tradition to serve this dessert during the holidays!

This Chocolate Bourbon Pecan pie is rich and heavenly.

To bake this you will need:

  • pre-made pie crust

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/2 cup karo syrup

  • I/2 cup brown sugar

  • 2 cups of pecans

  • 2 tbs of Bourbon

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • dash of cinnamon

  • pinch of salt

  • 2 tsps molasses ( optional)

  • 1 cup chocolate chips

    Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees and bake until the center seems firm.


Cooking with GiGi: Curried Coconut Spaghetti Squash

This is so easy and delicious and can be served as a main dish or as a side - and it is very HEALTHY!!!!!!!

This coconut curried spaghetti squash is an easy to make dish that will not disappoint you nor your guests!

Here is what you need to cook this fast dish ( the roasting of the squash is what takes the longest time but you can roast it even a day before).

Ingredients: Spaghetti squash- sliced long and deseeded, olive oil, curry powder, coconut milk, salt and pepper, diced onions, fresh minced garlic, fresh grated ginger & cilantro. ( save the seeds to roast with olive oil salt and pepper for the top)

Season the squash and place face up covered with foil on a baking tray. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and roast the squash until very tender (probably 30-45 minutes depending on size) . When it is nice and soft, heat a pan with the olive oil, onions and garlic - then scoop all the yummy squash into this mixture, add all the other ingredients to the pan, stir and cook 5- 8 minutes. Place in your serving dish and top with cilantro and roasted pumpkin seeds!!! ( This dish can easily be made ahead and reheated).


Cooking with GiGi : Tomato tart (easy as pie!)

I love this east tomato tart recipe- It is great as an appetizer cut in slices or as a main dish served with a salad for lunch or dinner! It is very refreshing and light!

For this easy as pie tart you will need the following ingredients:

Puff Pastry thawed to room temperature, pesto (it can be store bought), sliced tomatoes - any size that looks great and are in season, fresh chopped garlic, fresh basil, parmesan cheese and optional toppings are fresh mozzarella, fresh chopped onions or pepper and / or sliced salami.

Bake at 400 degrees until nice and light brown!


Cooking with Gigi: Green Bean Casserole

Enjoy this tradition of our family- it is so delicious and creamy! I love it during the holidays with turkey and stuffing especially.

The ingredients you will need for this yummy recipe are:

Green Beans ( I used fresh but frozen will work well too), fresh mushrooms chopped, cream of mushroom soup, water chestnuts chopped, toasted slivered almonds (optional) garlic, olive oil (just to sauté garlic), milk, store bought crispy French onions, salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne pepper ( and sometimes I throw in a splash of Worchestershire sauce!)

Bake at 375 degrees until nice and bubbly - remove and top with the other half of the crispy French onions and brown the top.

SERVE Hot!!!!

Yummy Good!

Happy Cooking

Cooking with GiGi: Cooking corn pudding with guest chef Robert Fowler

Corn Pudding is not only super simple to make but it is divinely delicious. Your guest will love it.

Corn Pudding is not only super simple to make but it is divinely delicious. Your guest will love it. It is made with Jiffy cornbread mix and is super easy to whip together. For all the ingredients please go to www.gigigrimstad.com Enjoy!!!

This super simple recipe is doubled for this video to make enough for 8 - 10 people: cut it in half if you want to make it for 4-6 people,

2 Boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix, 4 eggs, 2 cups of sour cream, 2 tsp of sugar, 2 cans of creamed corn, 1 1/2 cups of cooked corn, 1 stick of butter melted, salt and ground pepper ( you can also add diced jalapeños if you want to spice it up!)

Place the mixture in a greased casserole dish and bake at 375 degrees until it is soft in middle but not mushy!!!! ENJOY!!!!

Cooking with GiGi: Making stuffing

This stuffing is Carl's grandmother's recipe and his mom prepared it as well. We have been making it for over 33 years! It has breakfast sausage in it and is amazing not only with turkey but also with a pork roast! You can’t get enough of this!

To make this delicious stuffing you will need:

Breakfast sausage, celery, onions, raisins, cornbread and regular stuffing mix, broth, fresh sage and fresh parsley +

Salt & Pepper

Happy Cooking XOXOX GiGi

Brining and Preparing a turkey with GiGi

Here are tips on Brining and preparing a turkey

For Brining and preparing your turkey here are the ingredients that I use-

apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, orange juice, sliced lemons and oranges, onions, garlic, bay leaves, cloves, sage, rosemary, salt & pepper and butter.

You will also need a brining bag to hold your turkey. I put a loose piece of tin foil on my turkey to keep the top form browning too quickly and remove it after about an hour or so. If your turkey starts to brown too quickly lay the foil back on top.

Remember to be patient and cook your turkey slowly 20 minutes per pound on 350 degrees - baste it when it starts to release some juices. I use a meat thermometer and cook mine to 160 degrees as it will cook a bit while it is resting and awaiting to be sliced :)

(If you over cook it- there is always a casserole or soup to make out of the poor dry bird!!!!) Like any old bird- Just keep an eye on him- ENJOY!!!!

Making Challah- sharing a special tradition

I recently had the invitation to make Challah with a friend- she makes it every Friday for her family and friends to enjoy during Shabbat. Traditions are special, and I was honored to be a part of my friend Debbie's very special Challah making.  ( Please do not judge the video I put together - I was just going to post a picture but this was to fun not to share this way - so forgive my lack of editing talents!)  and PLEASE Send me your family traditions!!!!

I ended up making 3 loaves after my dough had risen- the dough consists of eggs, yeast, a lot of honey & flour. For my toppings, I made a sesame seed, poppy seed + sea salt mixture for one loaf, chocolate chips for another loaf and a cinnamon, raisin + pecan loaf. All equally divine!!!!

the perfect side tables

I love furniture and design and to satiate my creative side, I am always drawing out and sketching  pieces of  furniture and objects that I think would be cool. So when i could not find the right side tables to go in my bedroom- i designed a pair - exactly the size i needed ( bit could not find)  and had them made. I use a lot of macassar wood and goatskin in my designs  + these are electrically outfitted as well so that I can easily plug in my phone, lamp or computer - hassle free!


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Get well soup!!!!!

I love a bowl full goodness and this soup serves up just that- pure goodness!

I love a good soup and when you are sick (and tired of chicken noodle soup) this is the best- sauté garlic and onions in a bit of olive oil and add chopped cabbage, carrots, celery & a diced potato. Next, simmer in vegetable or chicken stock. Season with dill. salt & pepper. When the vegetables become tender but still have a bit of crunch and are almost ready, add a bit of frozen okra, peas and fresh parsley. (It will stay nice and bright green!) When serving,  squeeze a half of a lemon over each bowl of soup + a pinch of cayenne pepper and ENJOY the goodness!

Small space makeover

I am keen on small cozy intimate spaces ! I had an extra room that was tiny & I wanted to offer my mother her own cozy private space away from our family chaos (she visits often,  and also be able to host a family of 4 when our friends visit -  but make it SUPER  comfortable!  I maximized on sleeping space by putting two queen beds in a tiny room and created a drapery that can be closed for privacy if needed.  It's the one room everyone gets a good night sleep in!



I love a printed wallpaper- especially in a small space so I chose this fun palm wallpaper, Manila by Sanderson, to make the space more intimate. All the fabrics are Holly Hunt and the linens are Walker Valentine.  This room became a quiet respite everyone wants to spend time in away from the crazy city noise! Happy Sleeping!!!

this was the space before I took control!   

this was the space before I took control!