Misty Copeland Is Promoted to Principal Dancer at the American Ballet Theater

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Congratulations Misty Copeland on this monumental accomplishment!

Your promotion to Principal Dancer at the American Ballet Theater has inspired a generation (and future generations) of girls (and women) that feel like that they don't belong to continue on their path to greatness.

Ana Lydia

Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Disclosure: I’m working with Ovation TV to promote Southern Uncovered. All thoughts and opinions my own. 

Macaroni and Cheese is a classic Southern side dish that most of us consider comfort food and the perfect side dish for most holiday meals.

But as we all know, Southern Mac & Cheese is delicious because of the butter and cheese, which makes it more of a guilty pleasure than something to make, or eat, often.

The Mac & Cheese I grew-up with was actually quite different....

The macaroni and cheese of my childhood is made with a tomato base; which makes it healthy, flavorful and quite easy to make...

Ingredients to prepare Tomato Macaroni and Cheese include:

  • 1 16 oz Elbow Macaroni Package - Cooked al dente with salt water
  • 4 Medium-sized Tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 Medium-sized Chopped Tomato
  • 1/4 cup Chopped White Onion
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 16 oz Sour Cream
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Swiss and Gruyere Cheese Mix
  • Ground Pepper and Salt to taste


  1. Blend (in a blender) four tomatoes, tomato paste and garlic clove until a smooth "sauce" consistency. Set aside.
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a stockpot with low heat.
  3. Add the onion to the stockpot and cook until the onion is transparent.
  4. Add the tomato sauce to the onion and cook with medium heat until the sauce boils. (Make sure to mix while cooking to prevent the sauce from sticking to the pan)
  5. Reduce the temperature once the sauce boils, then add the chopped tomato and sour cream. 
  6. Mix slowly until the sauce begins to bubble. 
  7. Add pepper and salt to taste.
  8. Remove the sauce from the stove and add the cooked macaroni. Mix the pasta with the sauce until all the pasta is covered.
  9. Fold-in the cheese mixture and serve immediately. 
  10. Refrigerate any leftover Mac & Cheese and reheat with just a bit of lowfat milk in a pan.

Please let me know if you try my family Tomato Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I do! 

I also invite you to watch Southern Uncovered on Ovation TV starring The Lee Bros to get a few other ideas on how to add a Southern touch to your favorite dishes.

Ana Lydia

Miss Asia Kinney models for Coach

Monday, June 29, 2015

I'm excited to get reacquainted with COACH by way of Lady Gaga's ADORABLE French Bulldog Miss Asia Kinney, the first furry baby star in a series of Steven Meisel COACH ads launching July 2015!

As a proud furry baby mama myself, I'm happy to see a Lifestyle Brand celebrating the love and beauty of our beloved furry baby's, while at the same time giving to the Chicago French Bulldog Rescue (frenchieporvous.org).

This new ad campaign will also introduce #coachpups, a series of online activities for fellow dog lovers, opportunities for Instameets, special talks and other events hosted for the good of our furry babies. 

I'm sure Princess Maya Candice will be participating in one, or several of these meet-ups...maybe on our way to get ourselves one of those pretty new COACH handbags ;-)

Ana Lydia

Panera Bread Opens in Beverly Hills

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Photo Courtesy of Panera
The rumor is true: Panera Bread opens its newest location in Beverly Hills tomorrow, Thursday June 25.

The grand opening festivities will include treating the first 100 customers to a free loaf of bread once per month for a whole year; and the first 100 customers that sign up for a MyPanera® account will receive a free coffee tumbler!

Located in the former Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce Building, the new Beverly Hills Panera Bread features rustic design elements that includes the original exposed brick wall. A variety of woods like hickory, walnut and western hemlock and black steel accent give this location a craft-like feel. 

The Panera Beverly Hills location also has a “to go” pick-up area with dedicated seating, an order-status monitor providing real-time information as orders are prepared and completed, and shelf space, all to make to-go orders much easier to pick up.

In the coming months, this location will also roll out fast lane kiosks, meal delivery directly to tables and customized orders where guests can save past orders and “favorites” for easy ordering on their next visit.

Panera has a sweet place in my heart because I launched my PR Agency from its Santa Monica location before I upgraded to an actual office with employees. Today Panera is my go-to spot for breakfast after mass on Sundays and where I host some of my study groups.

Besides Panera offering simple and flavorful sandwiches, salads and soups that are made with quality ingredients, the free WiFi keeps us wired, while their Day-End Dough-Nation™community giving program makes us feel good knowing that we support a business that cares.

I'm a huge fan of their "You Pick Two" offering, which can be either soup and salad, soup and half sandwich or half sandwich and salad. My choice? Tomato soup paired with the (pressed) Asiago Steak salad, which also comes with a piece of french bread. I also love to order the asiago cheese bagel (toasted twice), with cream cheese, tomato and onion; and of course, iced coffee.

On the rare occasions that I treat myself, I order the cobblestone, which is akin to monkey bread, but so.much.better...and sweeter...and just.so.darn.good! (p.s. you can get any pastry for .99 cents when you order the "You Pick Two!")

The Panera Bread Beverly Hills is located at 239 S. Beverly Drive. Visit their Facebook page for store hours and specials...and...

Do let me know if you're in the area. I would love to meet you and break bread at Panera :)

Ana Lydia

Los Angeles Food Policy Council Hosts the First Annual Good Food Gala

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Los Angeles Food Policy Council invited me and a friend to celebrate the five year anniversary of the organization, which also honored Good Food Heros at the first annual Good Food Gala held at St. Vibiana's in Downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, June 11.

The Los Angeles Food Policy Council is a collective impact initiative working to build a Good Food system for all Los Angeles residents — where food is healthy, affordable, fair and sustainable.

The gala also helped raise funds to aid in the work the Los Angeles Food Policy does, while treating guests to a foodie experience hosted by celebrated Chef Neal Fraser.

We dined on a delicious food and drink menu created by eight Los Angeles-based Chefs and two pâtisserie chefs, while enjoying the evening's program MC'd by KCRW "The Fairy Godmother of the LA food scene" Evan Kleiman.

These are just some of the photos from this amazing experience that I look forward to attending next year.

Do support the good work that the Los Angeles Food Policy Council is doing by stopping by their website or Facebook Page to learn how you can get involved, and to stay updated on plans for next years event.

Ana Lydia
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