chocolate cake becomes chocolate raspberry bread pudding

February 24th, 2011 by Amy Reiley

People who know me personally know that the chocolate cake pictured on the back of The Love Diet is not only my favorite recipe in the book, it is one of my absolute favorite foods. That layer cake a transformative food for me (is that weird?) For that few minutes I am eating the cake, all becomes right with the world-and everybody knows I need that!

In preparation for an upcoming cooking class I’m hosting for Kiss My Bundt’s Baking Academy, I wanted to see if I could turn the cake into an equally scrummy bread pudding. (The class is an Ode to the Irish baking competition class.)

What I love about the bread pudding is that it allows me to take away the frosting, which is, although I love it, pretty much a nutritionally negative whip of fluff. In its place there are plump, red raspberries, one of nature’s most luscious little aphrodisiac fruits.

As experiments often do, the recipe still needs a little work but the potential for deliciousness is there. So if you try it and hit upon the magic balance of ingredients, please let me know!

1/2 recipe worth of decadent chocolate cake batter
3 large eggs
1/2 c soy milk
1 c thawed frozen raspberries
1/3 c sparkling wine

(Next time I make it, I will sprinkle the raspberries with 1 tsp fresh lemon juice and toss with sugar then let it rest 5 min before adding it to the egg mixture. I think it needs the extra acid to balance the dish.)

Bake the cake in 12 muffin tins or 1 cake round. Let baked cake rest until it is cool enough to touch.

Heat convection oven to 375. (You can do it in a regular oven at 350-I just like my bread pudding hot and fast. In a standard oven, cook for about an additional 10-13 minutes.)

Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray or thin layer of oil.

Crumble cake into bite-size pieces and spread evenly over bottom of pan. (Be sure to add all the crumbs!)

Add eggs to medium mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until foamy. Add in milk, berries and sparkling wine and mix thoroughly to make a custard.

Bake 14-16 minutes or until custard is set.

Serve hot or at room temperature and prepare for foodgasm.

what he did for love? juan-carlos’ 9 year plea

January 18th, 2011 by Amy Reiley

There’s a funny thing about musical theater. It does (frighteningly) apply to real life. Growing up, I always felt more than heard the A Chorus Line song, “What I Did for Love.” After all, I left home at 16 to pursue the study of dance. Who know that later in life it would apply… in a very different way.

Those of you who know The Love Diet story are left with questions and presumptions. Some of which are incorrect. I would like to try to start to set the record straight.

I’ve been put in the middle of a very difficult situation through no fault of my own. Obviously, I had no clue that this plan was in motion when I set to work on the book with my infamous co-author. However, being in the middle means that I am receiving pieces of the back story before everyone else who follows the “charged with murder-for-hire” saga.

I get most of my information through long-winded letters sent to me (written in pencil) from a prison cell. I receive letters from Juan-Carlos on a regular basis. Up until his plea was accepted they all contained vague notes like, “Please tell everyone that this is a love story.” And, “when you hear this story you will cry. Everyone who hears it does.”

But finally, this week, I received a letter that began to unravel the tightly wound spool around which this whole saga is wrapped.

This letter started out by stating that what he did to me was about the worst thing he has ever done to someone. Stop and think about this for a moment and you will understand what I am going through. These words were written by a man who is in jail for allegedly trying to kill his lover and best friend.

He went on to explain why he chose the plea deal. Months ago, my understanding was that the DA had heard the whole story and believed that JC was no rough criminal. But later his case was given to the domestic violence DA, a woman who was pushing for life in prison. What it sounds like is that this is a woman with a cold fist of hate in her heart for any man accused of doing harm to his wife. And frankly, I feel for the DA and can kind of understand this perspective. I certainly couldn’t do her job, could you?

So the best plan of action, according to JC, was to plea rather than go to court and risk life in prison. It is so hard to me to imagine gambling with your life like this but I have not, nor ever intend to be in such a position. After the fact, of course, TMZ revealed that the DA withheld the information that the star witness in the case-the homeless man known as Big Dave-was dead. (But seriously, did she think she could squelch it for long? Harvey Levin is like the great, all-knowing Wizard of Oz!) There was some talk of going back to the courts but I think all the fight was drained out of everyone and Juan-Carlos has accepted his new lot in life.

Juan-Carlos has yet to tell me the rest of the story other than the fact that he and Jennifer are choosing to stay together and that they are still very much in love. Her silence in the matter, Juan-Carlos tells me, is not out of terror but out of shyness. And I can, based on the years of knowing JC as my friend, verify that Jennifer is very shy.

I do not know when or if I will learn the whole story but his recent letter has helped to alleviate some of my pain. I at least can live with knowing that the reason for the plea was not because the Santa Monica police department was dangling some dirty secret over my book partner’s head. (Which, quite frankly, was what I feared when I first learned of the plea.)

Unfortunately, one of the greatest victims in this saga is The Love Diet. To those of you who scorned me for promoting the book in the face of controversy I would like to say this: My company, Life of Reiley, published The Love Diet. The book was published with money straight out of my pocket. Not only did I take an incredible emotional hit, I took a serious financial hit in this whole situation. And frankly, to some extent, I was duped. The entire plot was unfolding as I gave up my life to put the finishing touches on the book. A project of which I am extremely proud. A book into which I poured my heart and soul, palate, stomach and wallet. So to my critics, I ask you, what would you have done in my position? Had you stood in my shoes, would you have been so quick to judge?

I am now trying to move on, figure out how to salvage the book, how to heal the emotional scars. I’m thinking of developing a series of podcasts entitled either, “What Would Juan-Carlos Eat? (in prison) OR Prison, One Plate at a Time. Hey, you have to laugh or else you’ll cry and frankly, my tear ducts need a break.

the aphrodisiac christmas cookie

December 20th, 2010 by Amy Reiley

I know its been months since I promised to offer variations on the books’ recipes with nothing but silence on my part (frankly, I think I have a fantastic excuse for my silence). Although I’m still reeling from the events in my life, I have been baking.

The Love Diet’s Chocolate Mint Seduction Cookies actually started out as a Christmas cookie I invented several years ago. I was shocked when this low fat, egg-white-and-apple-sauce number beat all the butter-laden goodies to become my most demanded Holiday confection.

However, Mr. Takeout (a reference from Fork Me, Spoon Me: the sensual cookbook for a certain someone in my life) hates mint and since his request matter more to me than those of the clamoring masses, I reinvented the low cholesterol number to tickle his taste buds (and hopefully something else!)

For Mr. Takeout I took my mint cookie and made Chocolate Almond Seduction Cookies. I swapped out the Andes Candies and added in dark chocolate chips (my favorite are actually the Ghiardelli, which are sold in most grocery stores). I used the same amount (3/4 c) and made the recipe according to the original instructions. But before folding in the chocolate, I added 1/4 t of pure almond extract. That little touch of sweet almond was enough to totally transform the cookie’s flavor. (Interestingly, it also caused the cookies to spread out on the baking tray to become wafer-thin with little chocolate mountains dotting the landscape of each round. The texture became crisp on the edges with soft centers–entirely different than the mint cookie texture and, actually, far more decadent.)

You could also add chopped, slivered almonds, which would add extra texture and the bonus of vitamin E (aka, the sex vitamin). Perhaps I’ll try that variation next time but at this intensely busy time of year, that just sounded like too much work!

brittle gone soft

September 12th, 2010 by Amy Reiley

This week, my family’s neighbors on Cape Cod inspired me to try a new variation on the Love Diet brittle. (I should mention that our neighbors are cranberry farmers and are always encouraging me to find new ways to use the New England fruit.)

Instead of walnut blue cheese brittle, I made a cranberry walnut chevre brittle. I reduced the amount of walnuts to 1 cup and added 1/3 cup chopped, dried cranberries and then substituted chevre for the blue cheese. (See The Love Diet page 118 for the original recipe.)

Unfortunately, in the middle of adding sugar to the pot, I got into a war of words with Sprint Customer Service. Unfortunate, I say because I blame Sprint for the fact that my brittle went floppy. Instead of my nice, thinly-rolled brittle, I wound up with a splat of salted caramel sitting there on my silpat.

Now, it could have been the fact that the cranberries and chevre bring a little more moisture to the dish than the original recipe but I think the failure of my brittle to go, well, brittle was due to the fact that the final product was short 1/3 cup of sugar. (Never talk and count sugar at the same time!)

But I am still determined to do my cranberry farmers proud. I will try again and report back later. If not, I may be on to an interesting recipe for sea salt caramels!

the today show clip that sprouted legs

August 18th, 2010 by Amy Reiley

Last Wednesday I went on the Today Show to demonstrate a couple of recipes from The Love Diet. When we were writing the book, JC and I were fantasizing about yummy segments like this one in which we could share our collaboration (and, frankly, have a lot of fun). Yes, normal people fantasize about winning the lottery, driving fast cars or being 21 again. Cookbook authors, however, simply dream of landing morning tv spots.

But I have to be honest, I went to the Today Show with a heavy heart and a touch of anxiety. I spent the entire trip to NYC thinking about my co-author and feeling like an opportunist for going on the Today Show, in part, because he was locked in a prison cell. By the morning of the show, I was so stressed that I was going to cry on air that I practically forgot my recipes.

Right before the segment, which was hosted by Hoda Kotbe and Kathy Lee Gifford, the ladies (who I, incidentally, liked very much) actually suggested to the producers that maybe we shouldn’t bring up JC and just cook. But the producers felt that his incarceration was newsworthy and needed to be pursued, should the Today Show otherwise look neglectful of this golden nugget of information.

So right at the top, Hoda asked about Juan-Carlos. Here it was. And suddenly, I felt like I was swimming in jello and heard myself speaking at about the same pace. What do you say on national television when the co-author of the book you love so much is in prison and the case is still in the investigation stage but you know more about the situation than has been released to the general public? Oh yeah, and you’ve got a lump the size of a softball lodged in your throat? You find some way to tell them why the heck you worked with this guy in the first place!

And then Kathy Lee (who talked privately to you about your co-worker before the segment) has to add that he is your friend and you care about him very much but hey by the way, we have to cook this food that’s burning in the pan over here.

And what now infamous little gem comes flying out of my mouth? I promised I wouldn’t cry. I thought my fiance would have my hide for that stupid little sidebar. His comment about the segment was, “Don’t use a cliche! Next time just cry!” (Yes, he is a cold, hardened tv professional, but a wise one at that.)

I know in the part of my brain that understands good television that he was right but I was there to cook and gosh darn it I was determined to do just that! So I smothered the rising tears with truffle salt and made my lasagna like a good guest. And, I am happy to report that they loved the Love Diet food. No-they really loved it! What the audience didn’t see was that cast and crew stayed and finished the whole pan, and some cocktails, after the segment ended.

All would have ended on a high note except that The Soup decided to pick up the clip as one of their oh-so-funny moments of pop culture. (Really? It must have been a slow week!) The clip was meant to aim jabs at both the hosts for asking me about the case and then expecting me to demo recipes like any chipper cooking guest and at me for trying to give props to a man who’s in jail for allegedly committing a pretty horrible crime.

Ok, I can live through 2 minutes of The Soup getting their jollies. Except that the show airs about 20 times throughout the week. Seriously, does E! have so little programming that they need to put the half hour of pseudo pop psychology on at regular intervals?

As if that weren’t enough, Eater, one of the country’s most prominent food blogs picked up and picked apart The Soup piece as their regular feature yesterday. Oh come on! This is supposed to be a legit source of national food news. There are Americans starving in cities across the nation, cows being tortured in slaughter houses with illegal practices, small farmers being run out of business and all Eater can find to write is a rehashing, with incorrect interpretation I might add, of my The Soup clip.

But you know what? How often do you see a food-related clip on The Soup (and I’m not talking “Chat Stew”). So you go ahead food website editors and celebrate food on mainstream, popular tv-even if you feel the need to do it with your snarky attitude. Because I’m going to keep on doing what I’m doing. And even if it winds up as the punch line to a joke, you know what? I am still getting good, quality, interesting food out their to a more broad audience than you could ever hope of reaching!

the great ingredient substitution

July 16th, 2010 by Amy Reiley

What do you do when you promise your guests The Love Diet tangerine-lemongrass mimosas and tangerines are out of season? You improvise like crazy! …And sometimes you come up with something even better than the original.

Although I tend to shop and cook seasonally, when you’re promoting a cookbook, you’re at the mercy of your book’s offerings and the recipes that members of the media/class participants/event planners select for their publication or special event. This means I sometimes have to make figs in a blanket in winter or, in this case, tangerine-lemongrass mimosas in June.

I hit the Trader Joes, which sells a delicious tangerine juice in the refrigerated section. But there was not a drop of juice to be found, nor a tangerine on the produce shelf. The sales clerk explained that for a few short weeks each spring there are absolutely no tangerines to be found for juice or otherwise.

I tried a farm stand I like, which happens to make its own fresh juices in hopes of snagging some whole fruit. Nada.

Next I tried a major chain supermarket, remembering that Dole makes an orange-tangerine blend. I figured that would do in a pinch. But alas, it seems that Dole was also sans tangerines.

So I strolled the juice drink aisle in desperation. And I found a new V8 product called Passion Fruit Tangerine Fusion. “Why not?” I thought. I also purchased fresh-squeezed OJ figuring I could blend it all together to make something more citrus-y.

I tried following the recipe for The Love Diet Tangerine-Lemongrass Mimosas exactly but using V8 instead of tangerine juice. With a little squeeze of lemon to add a bite, the drink was as good, if not better than the original. (In fact, when I served the leftovers to friends a few days later, adding a shot of pure passion fruit concentrate to the blend, the result was practically orgasmic.)

Best of all, the V8 layered additional nutrition to the drink–one of the main goals of The Love Diet program! By adding the juice blend to Champagne, each mimosa offered a half a serving of vegetables. Imagine, getting your veggies while drinking Champagne. Genius!

The experiment made me realize that the gift of The Love Diet could keep on giving. As I modify recipes to save time, money, replace forgotten ingredients or just stave off boredom, I could share them with readers.

Its so simple, really. Using the instantaneous communication of the Internet, The Love Diet can give readers something almost as useful as the book’s original contents: ways to modify recipes when they’re missing, allergic to or simply don’t like an ingredient.

In the book we encourage home cooks to try the recipe once the way it is written and then feel free to improvise on the second try. But I know many people aren’t comfortable, nor are they successful with improvisation.

So stay tuned for The Love Diet’s secrets to ingredient swapping. For a teaser, try my mimosas with V8 Fusion. Your body will thank me for that extra serving of veggies at cocktail hour.

The Love Diet is Here, Let’s Party

June 13th, 2010 by Amy Reiley

In light of recent events, it was a little tough to put on my dancing shoes and celebrate my new arrival, but a new book must be feted. (Did I mention that in the middle of everything, I broke my foot? Just a little bone luckily, but a break nonetheless.) It is hard for me to reflect on the events but I think the LA Times did a nice job on my behalf, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2010/06/when-your-cookbook-coauthor-is-accused-of-murderforhire.html.

The actually delivery of the book to our offices was a week later than anticipated due in part to hold ups on our behalf in getting the necessary items to the printer in the middle of a full-blown media scandal and also in part to a nation-wide shortage of paper. (Much of America’s paper currently comes from Chile and after the recent Chilean earthquake paper production and shipments were derailed. So despite the fact that Life of Reiley prints our books domestically, we were held up by a lack of Chilean paper.) So the book didn’t arrive until the day of its debut celebration. Talk about adding unneeded stress to your life!

The event went off nearly flawlessly, despite the fact that not only was my co-author absent but the two culinary students who were supposed to help work the event failed to show. But we are resourceful at Life of Reiley and when short of hand, we throw aprons over our friends heads and shove them into the mix. (What would we do without friends?)

The evening, which was not only put on to celebrate The Love Diet but to celebrate last month’s national release of Kiss My Bundt, was divided into two parts, the first an intimate afternoon tea for the media. Later in the evening, we opened our doors to those who worked on the book like our home recipe testers, industry innovators with whom we hope to collaborate, (including The French Culinary Institute’s Annette Tomei and artbites Maite Gomez-Rejon), as well as the friends who support us throughout our publishing exploits.

As with any good book party, good wine abounded. For the media tea there was Champagne Perrier Jouet and Love Diet Tangerine Lemongrass Mimosas. In the evening, we added a cake and wine pairing with Peju Sauvignon Blanc served with Kiss My Bundt Lemon Basil cake and Peju Cabernet Sauvignon served with the KMB Chocolate Bundt with Chocolate Glaze. (We also paired the Perrier Jouet with KMB’s award-winning Red Velvet, which took sensual eating to a whole new level!)

There were also dishes from The Love Diet, including Juan-Carlos’ Sizzling Lemongrass Mussels, the Tomato and Avocado Picnic Sandwiches, first of spring veggies with Surprise Someone Soybean Dip, Parmesan and Soybean Grilled Cheese on whole grain bread, Vegetarian Albondigas (Spanish meatballs) and one of Juan-Carlos’ and my very favorite dishes, the Walnut and Blue Cheese Brittle.

If I had to say the evening had one disappointment, you know what it would be. (And no, it was not the fact that I couldn’t wear the stilettos I bought for the occasion! In fact, I think I pretty much rocked the air cast, adorning it with sexy, red turkey feathers.) I never dreamed I would have to toast our latest book without the company of my co-author. The bitter taste in my mouth was certainly not from our food; it was the life-changing circumstance under which our hard work debuted. But whatever the outcome of JC’s current position, it stands that our book is a beautiful collaboration and a great little cookbook if I do say so myself! P1030417DSCN8046

Did Redbook’s Editor-In-Chief Ever Hear of Innocent Until Proven Guilty?

June 7th, 2010 by Amy Reiley

Along with the release of a new book come press on the book. Authors and publishers rely on the media to help spread the word about a book and its subject.

So I was THRILLED to hear that Redbook was going to run recipes from The Love Diet in their August issue. Actually, an editor originally contacted me because they were interested in a story on foods for a woman’s libido and I offered to give them recipes from my upcoming book. (Yes, I was trying to sneak in some publicity for the book–can you blame me? I mean, REDBOOK! What a great audience for The Love Diet.)

Now with any article there’s a chance that the story will be “killed” before publication. (Often there isn’t room for everything planned for the issue and sometimes stories are killed because of an error in accuracy. That’s life in publishing.) So when I was contacted by an editorial assistant for a final fact check last week, I was elated. That means the story is in! (Remember, a monthly magazine usually has to go to print weeks in advance of its publication date.)

Or maybe it doesn’t. Apparently, the final fact check is not the last word. It seems that the Editor-in-Chief didn’t review the issue until it had been fully fact checked and put to bed.

And when this Editor-in-Chief spotted the book that she’d seen in the media (she’s probably a secret TMZ junkie) she threw up her wildly conservative red flag. “Redbook will not allow itself to be associated with someone like this.” is how it was conveyed to me, (I probably paraphrased slightly. I doubt an editor would end a sentence on a preposition.)

As far as I was aware, the article was about my advice to women on food and libido, not a story on Juan-Carlos Cruz. So, are they saying that I am evil by association and they don’t want my cooties?

Huh. Kind of makes me want to do a background check on the friends and family of all the Redbook staff. If there’s a slew of parking violations or a shoplifting charge, should I be canceling my Redbook subscription? The mere thought of those cooties are creeping me out!

Ok, jokes and snarky jabs aside, Ms. Editor, this is a man’s life we are talking about. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

Oh the ups and downs of book publishing!

the countdown to the cookbook’s release-a sneak preview event and a sneak preview recipe for you

June 1st, 2010 by Amy Reiley

Despite all the recent troubles, I am excited to say that our cookbook release is almost here. The book comes out on June 15 and I just can’t wait to finally share its contents.

In the meantime, I’m traveling this week to Peju Winery to offer a sneak preview of some of The Love Diet’s recipes at a special Auction Napa Valley event. I’ve taken a few of the book’s recipes and tweaked them slightly (mostly by altering the herbs and spices or the acidity) to pair with a few of Peju’s wines.

Planning the menu was great fun for me. It combined the two sides of my career. (In addition to writing cookbooks and speaking on aphrodisiacs, I’m also a wine journalist and often work with wineries on pairings.) The winery had a few specific wines they wanted to showcase, so the menu we’ll be serving on Thursday to an intimate group of about 30 wine lovers will include:

Passed

2008 Sauvignon Blanc
2006 Zinfandel
Parmesan Soy Bean Bruschetta
Souse Vide Salmon with Fennel-Apricot Slaw
Coffee-Kissed Buffalo meatballs with Espresso Oyster Dipping Sauce

First Course

2006 Cabernet Franc
Black Truffle Lovers’ Lasagna served with a Baby Green Salad and the One-and-Only Salad Dressing

Second Course

2006 Merlot
2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Seared Halibut with Mushroom “Cream” on a bed of Braised Celery

Third Course

2005 H.B. Cabernet Sauvignon
Selection of Cheeses with Blue Cheese Walnut Brittle

Dessert

2009 Chardonnay
Handmade Chocolate Truffles

I’m often asked how I change a recipe to make it work better with a wine. With an event at a winery, we want to make sure the meal really showcases the wine rather than competing with it for your attention, if that makes sense.

I’ve pasted below first the original version of The Love Diet Black Truffle Lover’s Lasagna and following it is the altered version we will serve on Thursday. If you want to see the difference it makes with the wine, try getting the Peju Cabernet Franc and taste like a pro!

black truffle lovers’ lasagna
vegetarian
makes 4 servings
The scent of black truffle is very similar to that of a male pheromone. (Pheromones are human, sexual scents that unconsciously register as attraction in possible mates.) And we know women who swear by as little as a single whiff of truffles as producing the… ahem… desired effect. Because we can’t afford to run out and buy black truffles every time we’re looking for action, we’ve created a dish that uses black truffle oil and salt in such a way that it releases that aroma of desire into the air.

Black Truffle Lover’s Lasagna
from The Love Diet by Juan-Carlos Cruz and Amy Reiley
makes 4 servings

1 1/2 c eggplant, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp black truffle-infused oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 portabella mushroom cap, minced
2 medium zucchini, chopped
2 c baby spinach salad leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp black truffle salt
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 c part skim ricotta
6 no-cook lasagna noodles
1/4 c Parmesan, grated

1. Sprinkle the eggplant with the 1/2 tsp salt, set aside for 10 minutes. (Eggplant will discolor slightly.)
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and coat an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Heat oil in a large, nonstick pan over medium heat. Sauté garlic for 1 minute.
4. Add mushroom and sauté for an additional minute.
5. Stir in eggplant and zucchini. Gently sauté for 10 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
6. Stir in spinach and truffle salt then remove from heat when the spinach begins to wilt. 7. Add basil and ricotta and thoroughly mix.
8. Spread 1/4 of the vegetable mixture on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with 2 noodles, followed by 1/4 of the vegetables; then 2 more noodles, repeat, then finish with the last 1/4 of the vegetables.
9. Top with grated Parmesan, cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
10. Uncover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. For a crunchy top, put under the broiler for an additional 3-5 minutes, until cheese is deep golden.

Black Truffle Lovers’ Lasagna
makes 9 servings
paired with Peju Cabernet Franc

1 tbsp and 2 tsp black truffle-infused oil
2 clove garlic, crushed
2 portabella mushroom cap, minced
3 c eggplant, chopped
1 tsp salt
3 lg zucchini, chopped
4 c baby spinach salad leaves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp black truffle salt
1 1/2 c part skim ricotta
2/3 c crumbled chevre
10 no-cook lasagna noodles
1/3 c grated Parmesan

1. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt over eggplant, set aside for 10 minutes. (Eggplant will discolor slightly.)
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and coat a 9-inch square square baking dish (with high sides) with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Heat oil to medium heat in a large saute pan. Sauté garlic for 1 minute.
4. Add mushroom and saute for an additional minute.
5. Stir in eggplant and zucchini. Gently sauté for 10 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
6. Stir in spinach and truffle salt then remove from heat when the spinach begins to wilt. 7. Add basil, ricotta and chevre and thoroughly mix. Season with more truffle salt if needed.
8. Spread 1/6 of the vegetable mixture on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with 2 noodles, followed by 1/6 of the vegetables; then 2 more noodles, repeat until all noodles are used, then finish with the last 1/6 of the vegetables.
9. Top with grated Parmesan, cover pan with foil and bake for 22-24 minutes.
10. Uncover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. For a crunchy top, put under the broiler for an additional 3-5 minutes, until cheese is deep golden.

For presentation, cut into 9 squares and serve with small baby lettuce salad on side.

a message from Juan-Carlos Cruz’s co-author

May 17th, 2010 by Amy Reiley

I am devastated to hear the news of my co-author, Juan-Carlos Cruz’s arrest. I am shocked by the situation. I have known Juan-Carlos for nearly six years and consider him my friend as well as a talented colleague.

We have worked closely over the past nine months on The Love Dietlovedietisbn9180977412037. I know him as a giving individual who is passionate about inspiring others to change their health through diet in the way Juan-Carlos changed his own.

It was this passion that sparked our collaboration on The Love Diet, a book that combines our love for food, his knowledge of diet and mine of aphrodisiacs and sexual health to get home cooks excited about eating well by eating for a better libido. In fact, leading by example, Juan-Carlos even speaks candidly in the book about the role of health in maintaining a loving 30-year relationship with his wife.

It is because I still believe that, no matter the outcome of this situation, it is a good book filled with great recipes and valuable information, the publication of The Love Diet will continue on schedule. The Love Diet will be released on June 15, 2010. I hope you can look past this terrible situation and see the book and its recipes for how fantastic they are.

–Amy Reiley