Monday, December 31, 2012

2012-A Year In Review

So, I have always hated New Year's. Always. Except for the years when I was making hand over fist money behind a beer tub or bar, I have always been a bah humbug to this end of the year celebration. Even now that I am not single, it just never impressed me. But, this year has been amazing and i know whatever we do tonight will just cap it a year that WAS! Some highlights if you will spare me the journey:

January 2012
In January, we went to San Diego for the first time. Everyone I told grabbed me physically and say you will love it. We liked it. I think we are more East Coasters (something to think about for our impending honeymoon). San Diego was fun, a little cold but I don't think I got the full experience. We did get to go whale-watching which was way cool. We saw 5 whales. So SO neat, And, we took one of my favorite pictures to date this year. 


February 2012

February is always a fun month! My uncle comes in to town, as do my friends who are starting their long race season in Daytona. It is a fun, liver hurting couple of weeks. At the track, our friends work real hard and my friends and I drink "water" which smells like flavored vodka and water and Tasmanian devil up and down the track. But, you never know who you are gonna run into! I looked over and I was like OH!! That is Justin Tuck of the mother cussword Giants, my uncle and brother are gonna freak. With a little vodka courage in tow, I asked demanded for a photo opp! He was so tall, I barely made the photo! 

March 2012
March is the beginning of Spring and I was determined to get my booty out and running. I did the HGB Drop diet, lost about 20 lbs for a good start and was ready to start working on my goal to be a runner. It was more exciting than I thought it would be! I did 5 5K's and even though I had an injury along the way, I can click off my year goal of starting to be a runner. 87 miles! That is good!



Along with stalking, seeing Tony Bennett for the 80th time, March was also the time for my favorite day at my friend's pool. It was perfect weather and a reminder why we live in Florida! This is me and my besterton Ally. It was an amazing day filled with fun in the sun on a Sunday! 







April 2012
Happy Spring! In April, we went to Easter Brunch at the Shores with my future mother in law an aunt. Ally and I went to Earthday Birthday which is our favorite concert event and hung out with the boys from Theory of a Deadman...fun fun fun. Other month highlights, Ormond Beach Leadership with my friend Diane, an artist date with Whim Wham Art Studio, Introduction to Bakon Bloody Mary which deserves its own mention!

May 2012
May started out with a BANG! Diane and I started with a pool day embracing our self-employment and the next day Ally, my beau and I went to see Nickelback, Bush and Shinedown. Our seats were kind of good. It was the first time Ally and I were able to flex our muscle in front of my boyfriend...he was very determined that we needed to make a plan, and didn't trust that Ally had the hookup. Not for nothing, but we had the hookup. I think he will remain silent for quite some time. Seriously, it was fun to take him with us...you get jaded when you have been doing this for as long as we have. Gavin Rossdale is as cute as he was 15 years ago and rocked the house! So much fun! Also in May, I sponsored my first real event! It was a fun event at Florida Hospital Project Hope and I got to see my name in lights. It was really great to give back.

June 2012

My niece graduated high school. I am so proud of her...she is really on to great things. It was great to see her walk that stage and I found an awesome dress for the day...a great day all around. My Meggey had a birthday in June and we spent a very nice Father's Day saying goodbye to her dad for the last time as we spread his ashes on one of the most beautiful day. It was one of those things that B movies are made of and a quiet memory Megan and I will share for a long time. On June 19th after running for a couple of months! I ran my first 5K! It wasn't the fastest thing I have ever done, but I did it and that was all that mattered. The ones that followed went a lot easier! At the end of June, my sister had a milestone and we threw her a girls only surprise birthday party. I love to plan parties! It was so much fun! She was so surprised! 

End of Summer 2012
End of the summer came quick! Joe's Crab Shack opened a killer rooftop bar that we enjoyed one Friday night. It has 360 degree views of the World's Most Famous Beach. It was the best way to spend a late summer evening and those are the kind that memories are made of. The 4th of July race was epic and stellar, loved seeing our friends again. My runs continued and they were slowly getting quicker. In July Megan and I went to the BlogHer conference...it was an amazing opportunity in our favorite city in the world. It gave us a chance to connect with like minded bloggers, most who were rude but GREAT affiliates! I loved the opportunities it has presented for us this year. I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to dance with the Rockettes and had a GREAT time with Restaurant Week....it was a great trip. We got to hear Martha Stewart and Katie Couric speak too. So perfect. The trip ended with a now memorable trip to the Rockaways pre-Sandy. I could not believe that just a short time later it would be met with such destruction. Got home on Monday night and turned around on Thursday to go with my boyfriend's family on their family cruise to the Bahamas. This challenged my self employed self....it was a lot of work but the rewards were worth it. A great way to end to summer. On to Fall!!

Fall 2012


Political season was underway! My friend Heather and I got up at dawn, literally to see Mitt Romney speak. It was awesome. I was glad I did it, even tho it made for a long long day. I got really busy with new clients thanks to all this political awesomeness. 

In September, we had some gorgeous boat days and college football was underway. We went to the Tampa game which was fun! Yes, it poured rain during tailgating and we decided that we were thankful we liked each other as we sat in the car drank a ton of beer and made fun of people in the pouring rain. Thankfully the skies cleared and the game was awesome.  

We went to Raleigh the next weekend and it was a great relaxing time. I loved every minute of this city! We went on brewery tours and went to a sadly lost football game. The weather was perfect, we met a bunch of really nice people and I can't wait to go and visit again. I felt really lucky to have had the chance to visit such a cool city!
The Fall was a time for trips I guess! We also went down to Homestead for the race and enjoyed the Keys for all that it was worth! I hadnt been there forever and the weather was beyond perfect. The drive was terrible but it was a lot of fun!

The end of 2012 and Beyond

*TWO back to back 5Ks
*Marvelous Birthdays
*An engagement
*I started a Visual Journal
*Two Stomach Flus (blick)
*A long awaited baby for my dear friends. I am an aunt again! 
*Surrounded by so much Birthday love a girl can barely stand...followed by 

*An Engagement and Full Permission to make good on my Fake Wedding File



Can you tell I am getting tired of wriitng? I literally feel like I have the rest of my life ahead of me and anything is possible! Happy New Year!


Next year I will be:
*40
*A Mrs!!!
*Celebrating my 3rd year as a business owner  
*A better Runner 
*A good wife
*A better friend 
*A better Blogger
*Better Traveled
*Better Inspired 




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Friday, December 28, 2012

Wine Decisions Made Easy Thanks To Wine Enthusiast Magazine

In 2012, members of the Wine Enthusiast Magazine tasting panel reviewed more than 15,500 wines from around the world. Tasting that many wines isn’t easy, but keeping track of them all and remembering what to buy next time you’re at your favorite retail shop is an even more difficult task.

Luckily, Wine Enthusiast Magazine has got us covered. Knowing there’s nothing quite like an end-of-year list to sum up the best of the best, they offer three distinct guides for all of your wine needs: The Top 100 Best Buys (wines for $15 or less, published in November), The Top 100 Cellar Selections (age-worthy, highly-rated collectibles, published in early December), and now, The Enthusiast 100 (Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Wines of 2012.)

This year they have created a special visual breakdown of the stats behind the Top 100 Wines of 2012 available in this infogaphic: Behind The Enthusiast 100

I had an opportunity to interview Wine Enthusiast Executive Editor Susan Kostrzewa about their selections and some other nosy questions!


When you first started drinking wine, what kind was your favorite??

Like many fledgling wine drinkers, I gravitated towards sweet wines. I used to love a wine called Thousand Flowers from Hop Kiln Winery in Sonoma County. I also drank a lot of Rochioli Pinot Noir, also from Sonoma. They still produce delicious wine.

When does your process to pick the 100 Wines start each year? Can you briefly describe the process?

We gather together top-scoring wines from our Buying Guide database, then the Tasting Director and editors review the list and cull it down to represent what we consider some of the best, most interesting, most newsworthy wines of the year. Some are especially good values, some are fantastic for aging, and some are just so unique that the editors want readers to know about them.

As the executive editor of Wine Enthusiast you must have quite a selection at home, what is your favorite varietal? 

That's a very tough question, because I have so many wines I love, and my choice often depends on the mood, the meal, and the people with whom I am drinking. For a versatile and fresh white, I consider Greek Assytriko from Santorini a reliable go-to. For all-around elegance and food-friendliness, red Burgundy. I also enjoy sparkling wine, ranging anywhere from vintage Krug or Cristal to affordable Cava from Spain.

What is the best advice to can offer when selecting wine for a guest?

Well, if it's about choosing a wine for the dinner you are preparing, the best choice for a guest is whatever will go well with your dish. But if it's just about choosing a wine you think the guest will enjoy regardless of food, think about their overall personality and food palate. Think about what spirits and beer they might like. I have friends who drink whiskey, like a good hearty beef stew and drink stout, and for them I'd probably gravitate toward a bigger red. For my friends who tend to like lighter fare, cocktails and beer, I'd choose a lighter red or a white wine. The other option is to challenge them and go for something totally different than they might know, so it depends on how much you want to expose them to something new.

Do people bring you wine when they come to your home?  Because that would terrify me!!

They definitely do! I encourage it, regardless of their knowledge or interest in wine. I like nothing more than experimenting with new wines and enjoying them with my friends. They know I have an open mind and would never judge them. Wine is supposed to be fun, not a firing squad!



Join their conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #WETOP2012 to tweet about all of their top lists from the past year.





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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Guest Post-Leslie from AndGeeks


Empowering Your Mobile Employee’s Productivity

Four efficiency tips for female entrepreneurs

As a woman who owns her own small writing business, I’m often dependent on mobile technology to keep me attuned to my day-to-day business. For instance, I often work from cafes on my laptop between client meetings, I use my smart phone to connect with remote staff and potential business partners on a daily basis, and I use my tablet to touch base via email, Skype, and to share knowledge in cloud-computing type programs.


In this current mobile business environment, we don’t need to be in the office every day. In fact, most days myself and my staff don’t need to be in the office at all! I depend on the following mobile tools and processes to wire me into the day-to-day office stuff. This way, I’m confident that I can hire and source work on a remote basis, and know that I’m working with those with the best experience, and not hindered by location.

Here are four tips that I use as a female entrepreneur to empower the productivity of my mobile employees…

1. Develop a sense of community spirit

The more and more remote workers that I added to my staff; the more I realized how important it was to develop a sense of community—from a distance. Remote employees will typically feel a sense of isolation if they constantly work alone. I find the most efficient means to keep them productive and communicating with me and each other is via engagement. And I use tools like Linkedin, Facebook, and even Liquidspace for weekly check-ins, virtual meet-ups, show and tells, and Q&A’s to increase the remote community at my company.

2. Trust the security of the cloud

Cloud-based programs are great if you’re looking for a secure, accessible program to keep all of your business files. I use tools like Google Drive and DropBox, where my team of remote workers can access the files, images, and tools they need to do their jobs at a distance. These cloud sync storage programs allow me to share a project with a team and a client and manage all types of files—such as word documents, photos, spreadsheets, video, slide share, etc. Cloud storages offers the most efficient and secure way to collaborate and access documents from anywhere, from any device.

3. Supporting staff from a distance

Affirmation is absolutely necessary—even for remote employees. Not only does it ensure your remote staff feels valued; it also increases productivity and urges them to surpass deadlines, project specs, quotas, and knowledge sharing between workers. I find that rewarding remote staff for their accomplishments—with employee of the month or a monthly gift card for the best producer—keeps my staff invested in my company and its success!

4. Urge collaboration with communication

Working remotely can tend to weight on business communication. However, just because staff is cut off physically from each other, doesn’t mean they can’t use tools on laptops and tablets to bridge communication from a distance. I use Skype for instant text and video messaging throughout the work day to facilitate quick chats, team conference calls, and project meetings. It’s the regular communication that keeps my employees sharing knowledge, pushing the creativity envelope, and supporting each other from a distance.

About The Author

Leslie is one of the bloggers at AndGeeks who specializes in all things mobile and electronic. She’s an avid gadget geek and can often be found playing with the newest apps or testing Lenovo laptops and other electronic gadgets.


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Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Coffee Recipes with KRUPS


A popular phrase in my house during this time is "Babe, What do you want for Christmas?" I have to say that the KRUPS XP6040 Coffee and Expresso Machine may be one of the answers. I love coffee and now that we have a day of cold today in Florida, (brace yourself...it is 56 degrees today) its time to start decking the halls for the holiday season. 

This holiday season, KRUPS, worldwide leader in kitchen appliances, has provided me with some fabulous recipes to share. These are simple recipes that will make you the most generous host!!   

Eggnog Coffee

Ingredients

2 ½ cups freshly brewed coffee
1 cup eggnog
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

Brew coffee in Krup XP1500 Coffee and Espresso Machine. Warm eggnog in a pot over low heat and add the hot coffee and nutmeg. Serve immediately. Garnish with nutmeg.


Chocolate Mint Latte


Ingredients

2 fluid ounces espresso coffee
1/2 cup milk, steamed
1/8 cup frothed milk
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
Whipped cream
Chocolate shavings

Directions

In a coffee mug, brew the espresso coffee. Add the peppermint extract and then pour in steamed milk and frothed milk. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Coffee Hazelnut Milkshakes

Ingredients

1 cup chilled coffee
4 scoops coffee ice cream
¼ cup crushed hazelnuts
Whipped cream
Crushed toffee or chocolate shavings

Directions

Blend coffee, ice cream and crushed hazelnuts in a blender until mixture becomes a smooth but thick consistency.
Pour into a coffee mug and top with whipped cream and sprinkle toffee pieces (or chocolate shavings).

KRUPS XP6040 – $299.99

Coffee Machine Features

•       10 cup capacity (55oz); One button electronic control
•       Pause and serve feature lets you remove carafe at any time to serve
•       Non-stick warming plate keeps coffee hot for hours
•       Removable cone filter basket ; Auto shut-off after 2 hours Espresso | Cappuccino Machine   Features
•       Designed in Switzerland; 19 bar pump made in Italy.
•       Electronic controls and Automatic Stop ( after 30 min)
•       Thermoblock (Die-cast Aluminum with stainless steel tube)
•       50 oz. transparent, front access water tank sliding system
•       3 functions : Espresso , Hot Water, Frother
•       Heating Cup Grid ; Option to raise drip tray for smaller cups
•       Compatible with ground coffee (1 or 2 cups) and all types of pods

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Do you have an Elf For Health?

One of my favorite things that I have done this year is participate in the Foodie Pen Pal program. It is a lot of fun, I have met some great people and have had some amazing food gifts in 2012. Now that the year is coming to a close, Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean and Foodie Pen Pal and her friend Elle from Nutritionella have teamed up this holiday season for the Elf for Health Holiday Challenge!

Every two weeks, we are assigned an Elf Pairing. I am sad that I didn't find out about this till the second round but my elf this round is awesome. She is Jamie from Thrifty Veggie Mama. Once a week, we are emailed a newsletter with daily challenges. Things like drinking water and ways to get more veggies and some good fitness challenges! Jamie and I have been checking in with each other regularly via Twitter and encouraging each other along. It has been great. 

Ella and Lindsay have also teamed up with a bunch of cool sponsors and have been giving away some great prizes from sponsors like:

Chobani
Love Grown Foods
Peanut Butter & Co.
Smartwool,
Avia
Sparkly Soul
Healthy Bites
Cabot Cheese
Attune Foods
Kamut Wheat
Fine Featherheads
Sia Botanics
Stickygram
Hippie Butter
Road ID & Nature Box

BRAVO to these brands for recognizing the power of this blogging movement! 

There are fifty reasons why I love this. First and foremost, it connects us with like minded people. Bloggers who are looking to be healthy during the holiday season. Just like the Foodie Pen Pals, it is a great way to grow your network with people who you can now follow on Twitter, read their blogs and they can do the same. 

Another good reason is the obvious...you have someone to check in with during the holiday season when working out and eating right is tough. Round 3 is about to begin and you have one more day to sign up!! Sorry to not tell you sooner, but  its Christmas!!! 

Find more information here. Be sure to share this news and #elf4health....you can also join the Facebook group

My plea to Ella and Lindsay...can we do this again? Cupid for Health for Valentine's? How bout a bridal version??!!! I need a fellow bride to help me through these initial panic attacks! 

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Frappes North Adds Cooking Classes

 This weekend, I had the unique opportunity to take a cooking class. I love to cook and the only training I have had is watching my dad over the years. A good cook has a handle on a little bit of this and a little bit of that...this is why I am a horrible baker. 

I was excited to have official training from one of my favorite chefs in town Bobby Frappier of my favorite restaurant-Frappes North. I have had more than one conversation with Bobby, usually as I stand in surprise as he describes how he can pull off his Vodka sauce or his Risotto with such ease. I sit in front of that pot with my Labor of Love for hours, convinced there is no other way. So, I was excited to spend some time with my friends and be officially learned the Frappes way. 

First off, this was a GREAT way to get your girlfriends together. The way the kitchen is set up is a perfect atmosphere to get hands on experience and tricks of the trade...all while watching your creation come together. We made a soup, a main dish and a desert!


My Pretty Cooking Club Friends!
Chef Bobby's COOKING SCHOOL 
“Learn to cook the food you love to eat”

Frappes North hands on cooking classes are fun and informative and include recipes and take home goods. There are limited space- so reserve early 

For more info 386-615-4888-123 West Granada Blvd, Ormond Beach or click here. You can also send an email frappesinc@aol.com for more information! 

Bobby and his wife Meryl were nice enough to share one of the recipes that we learned (it was my favorite!!)

Parsnip-Leek Soup
recipe courtesy of Chef Bobby

2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup onion small dice
1/2 cup carrot small dice
1/2 cup celery small dice
1 tsp garlic minced
1 tsp shallot minced
2 leeks rinsed, drained & sliced
1 1/2 lbs parsnips cleaned & sliced
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp basil chopped
salt & pepper to taste





Heat the 2 tbs of olive oil in a wide soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, season lightly with salt & pepper cook  gently until softened and begins to turn translucent for 3-4 minutes.

This is called Mirepoix: a combination of chopped carrots, celery and onions used to add flavor and aroma to stocks, sauces, soups and other foods. 

Add garlic, shallot, parsnips, and half of the leeks, continue to cook stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes.


Add wine, increase the heat to med-high then add the broth.

Bring to a boil, immediately lower the heat and simmer until the parsnips are soft enough to mash against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.

Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Using a hand blender puree,

Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Add cream, leeks, and herbs and simmer for 15 minutes to thicken.






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Monday, December 17, 2012

National Bloggers Day of Remembrance

I've pulled my scheduled post for today and instead am joining other bloggers across the world in a National Bloggers Day of Remembrance...to reflect on and pray for those affected by Friday's tragic shooting...(click to enlarge)

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ice Skates For Everyone, I Am Getting Married!!!!


So this is a purely indulgent blog for me and my memories and to deal with the constant gush of emotions. Written documentation that I will remember for days to come!! I AM GETTING MARRIED!!!!! 

I am incredibly overwhelmed and it is starting to settle in. I have been with my boyfriend fiancée for almost eight years and we have been friends since we were young. An awesome B movie, but I am not Kate Hudson...right??? But I sure feel like it since Wednesday night. I keep looking down and smiling and smiling...its amazing. I never knew it could be THIS awesome! I keep wanting to grab everyone I see and say HEY!!! LOOK AT THIS!!! 

So, begins the process. We are looking mid May 2013. That may seem soon to you, but like any girl. I have been planning this my entire life. I promise not to bore you too much, haha yeah right..but if you have any amazing wedding blogs I must check out...please comment below. 

the amazing moment captured forever

Its ginormous and beautiful and mouthdropping, apparently 

Update 1/30/13:
Allegedly, it is now official. Someone blew the dust off his Facebook and clicked that confirm button six weeks later. Hey, it took years for him to confirm that he was dating me, he kept denying me and it kept saying that I was single, while he giggled all along.


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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cook With Your Culinary Idols in NYC


Some of my favorite culinary idols are holding an amazing event next May and if there is a Santa, I hope he is listening!

This is the perfect gift for the aspiring chef in your life, and at the same time, you can support a good cause!

Passionate food lovers can cook side-by-side with David Bouley, Cesare Casella, Marc Forgione, Shaun HergattMichael Lomonaco, Seamus Mullen, Marc Murphy, Michael Psilakis, Alain Sailhac, André Soltner, Christina TosiMarcus Samuelsson and Dan Barber many others at the fifth annual New York Culinary Experience on May 4 and 5, 2013 at The International Culinary Center in New York City. It is the only culinary event of its kind that gives event-goers the chance to enjoy an intimate weekend of hands-on master cooking classes, cooking and conversation with more than 30 of the most prominent chefs in the country.

A limited number of tickets for this year’s hands-on weekend are now available. The cost for the weekend is $1,395 per ticket and includes all classes, breakfast, lunch, and a cocktail/wine reception each day.  A portion of the proceeds from the event will support The Future Chefs Scholarship, a program at The International Culinary Center  established to provide scholarships for students who wish to pursue their dream of attending culinary school.

For more information about the New York Culinary Experience or to purchase tickets, please visit www.nymag.com/nyce.



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Inaugural Timed 5K Times Deux

There is an incredible sense of worth I feel today. Actually, that is pretty much the only thing that I can physically feel. After being sidelined by an injury, I am slowly getting back into my running game. Then I made the crazy decision to do not one but TWO races this weekend! Although I have done a couple of Fun Runs 5K, I have not done one with a real bib and a chip which would make me official. Official. Like a REAL runner. I know, I know, just lacing up my shoes and moving my feet up and down makes me a real runner. But this was exciting!


The Junior League of Daytona Beach is an organization that I belong to. I am also on the board as the Fund Development Chair. We have a 5K each year that raises money for the women and children in Volusia County. I had an amazing chair, Heidi who I adore, that organized the race with her team and it was great. The weather was kind of foggy and snow-like atmosphere, not temperature thank God! We had a good amount of runners and the event went off without a hitch. Although I didn't do awesome, well I did it...and that was really cool! I pushed myself out of aggravation of my slowness and was a little sore the next day but I had another race awaiting me. 

The Santa Hustle in Daytona was a larger race that was both a 5K and a half marathon which my super duper runner friend Megan did. The weather was sunny and I was ready. It was on the beach which made me a little nervous as that is what caused my injury in the first place...but I was determined. 

There is something to be said about crossing the finish line. I know that is the understatement of the century but forgive me, this was my first time. 


I thought I would share with you what happens when they screw up your age when you register. What is worse....the fact that I am Zero years old or that three 10 year olds kicked my ass...



If you were wondering what kept me company during my 5K, I brought along a few of my friends: 



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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tis the Season For Your Favorite Foodie


Looking for a unique foodie gift this holiday season? Encourage your readers to stock up the spice cabinet for the cook in their life!

Spice Islands searches the world for the highest quality and most flavorful spices. They help new bakers add a little zest to their holiday cookies or give the experienced cook a chance to experiment with flavor. A custom Spice Islands spice set is something that any foodie would love!    

Here are some suggested spice gift set combinations. A basket, some stuffing and a plastic wrap and you will make your favorite cook or baker very happy! All spices and extracts are available at your local grocery store or Amazon.com.  


New Cook Starter Kit

·         Salt
·         Pepper
·         Bay Leaves
·         Onion Powder
·         Garlic Powder
·         Beau Monde Seasoning
·         Dill Weed
·         Summer Savory
·         Parsley
·         Basil

For the Holiday Baker
·         Cinnamon
·         Nutmeg
·         Pumpkin Pie
·         Vanilla Extract
·         Almond Extract
·         Ginger
·         Poppy Seed
·         Whole Nutmeg
·         Allspice
·         Cinnamon Sugar Grinder


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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hello Pumpkin!!


This holiday season, these pumpkin desserts that go beyond the traditional.  From a creamy pumpkin cheesecake with hints of vanilla to to an awesome pumpkin mousse that was a hit at the table, these are great ways to doctor up the boring ole Pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin Cheesecake 


Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups finely ground gingersnap cookies
1/4 cup finely ground walnuts
1/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1-3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 eggs
1 teaspoon Spice Islands Vanilla Extract
1-1/2 teaspoons Spice Islands Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin


Directions:

Preheat oven to 500ºF.

Combine gingersnaps, walnuts, sugar and butter in a medium bowl. Press into the bottom and 1-inch up the side of a 10-inch non-stick springform pan. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and flour with an electric mixer until smooth. Add 5 eggs, one at a time, then vanilla, beating on low speed. Transfer 2-1/2 cups to a separate bowl; set aside. Beat 1 egg, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin into remaining filling until smooth. Pour half of pumpkin filling into crust, then half of the plain; repeat. Swirl gently with a spoon.

Bake at 500ºF for 10 minutes; reduce temperature to 200ºF and bake 30 minutes. Tent with aluminum foil and continue baking for 1 hour or until center appears nearly set. Run a knife around top of cake to loosen from pan. Turn off oven and open door to allow cake to cool gradually for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and finish cooling on a rack for 15 minutes, then chill in refrigerator at least 6 hours.

TIP: Place a pan of water in the oven with the cheesecake while baking. This will help prevent the cake from cracking.


Pumpkin Mousse


Ingredients:


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 package instant vanilla or butterscotch pudding mix
1 Tablespoon Spice Islands pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Vanilla
1 cup cold milk
1 small tub of cool whip
Vanilla Wafers or Graham Cracker Cookies


Directions:
Begin by creaming a package of cream cheese in the mixer for about 3 minutes.  Add a 1/3 cup of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla.  Mix until the consistency is even.  Add 15oz of canned pumpkin.  Mix until combined.  Add 1 Tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, a 3.4oz package of vanilla or butterscotch pudding and 1 cup of milk.  Mix for another 3 minutes until consistency thickens. Remove from mixer and use spatula to fold an 8oz. tub of cool whip into the pudding mixture. Add a spoonful of pumpkin mousse to your dessert dishes, a tablespoon of crushed gingersnap cookies, followed by another spoonful of pumpkin mousse.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. Source










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Friday, December 7, 2012

Parenthood Actress Guest Stars In Food Network New Show

Do you watch Parenthood? It is one of those wonderful show that baffles the beau's mind....laughing out loud one minute and crying like I lost my dog the next. Completely my FAVORITE kind of sitcom. I love the entire cast, but Monica Potter is outstanding. She also makes for a great interview, very funny! 

I was excited when I found out she will be featured in an upcoming episode of the new Food Network show SUGAR DOME. The new series SUGAR DOME that premiered on Sunday, November 25th at 8pm ET/PT. Remarkable artists of all types team up for a one-of-a-kind competition to create the most jaw-dropping displays on earth. Each week, three teams comprised of artists from completely different disciplines enter the Sugar Dome to battle it out and create never-before-seen, food art masterpieces.

Premiering Sunday, December 16th, at 8pm ET/PT 
“When Toy Stores Come to Life at Night”

Imaginations run wild as a cake artist, sugar artist, and toy designer team up to create innovative food art that answers the question – what happens when a toy store comes to life at night? After a grueling challenge filled with impossible twists, only one team will walk away with a $15,000 prize.
Guest judge: Monica Potter

Read below for more information on Sugar Dome or go to their website or like their Facebook page.




EXPERTS OF ALL KINDS TEAM UP TO CREATE INCREDIBLE WORKS OF FOOD ART IN NEW SERIES SUGAR DOME ON FOOD NETWORK

Each week, three teams comprised of artists from completely different disciplines enter the Sugar Dome to battle it out and create never-before-seen, food art masterpieces. Cake designers and sugar artists team up with professional fruit carvers, graffiti artists, sand sculptors and more for a delicious rollercoaster ride to compete for the champion title and a $15,000 prize.  Hosted by award-winning TV host David Bull, the contest is judged by distinguished pastry chef and cake designer Paulette Goto (Unique Sweets, Jacques Torres Chocolates) and acclaimed pastry chef Pichet Ong (Sugar and Plumm) as well as a rotating guest judge including actress Monica Potter, Motocross champion Nate Adams and costume designer Randall Christensen.

“We wanted Sugar Dome to take cake and sweet artistry to levels of creativity and innovation never seen before,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network., “Viewers will be in awe of the spectacles created by these unconventional teams of food artists.”

In one episode over the course of the series, animatronics experts join forces with cake and sugar artists in a grueling challenge to create a work of art that captures the magic and danger of the legendary fire-breathing dragon. In another episode, teams of sweet artists and professional illustrators combine their talents to bring the iconic world of Dr. Seuss to life. The competition continues as Hollywood costume designers, cake and sugar artists work together in a whimsical battle to create edible displays inspired by The Wizard of Oz. 

ABOUT DAVID BULL:
David Bull is the host of Food Network’s Sugar Dome.  David is an award-winning TV host and over the last 15 years has hosted over thirty five shows on British and US network television, for major TV channels including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, Living, Sky and Food Network. David has had a unique career path, beginning his career as a medical doctor, working in London in the fields of General Medicine and Emergency Medicine. He started his broadcasting career as an on-screen doctor for Sky TV giving advice to those travelling abroad.  Later, he joined Newsround on BBC1, the longest running children’s news show in the world, where he became the first person to broadcast exclusively to kids about health issues. Since then his shows have encompassed all genres including talk, entertainment, consumer, health and wellness, science and technology and teenage and young people’s issues. David crossed the Atlantic in 2009 starting his US career on The Rachael Ray Show and Web MD. Sugar Dome is his first US show as host.

ABOUT PAULETTE GOTO:
Paulette Goto is a pastry chef and cake designer and has worked in some of New York’s most famous restaurants.  Paulette worked alongside master pastry chef Jacques Torres at Le Cirque in Manhattan before opening Jacques Torres Chocolates with her now husband, Ken Goto.  Paulette graduated from the pastry arts program at the French Culinary Institute, where she won the Andre Soltner award of excellence.  She has had her cakes published in Bride Magazine.  Paulette is a contributor on Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets.

ABOUT PICHET ONG:
Pichet Ong is a self-taught, award winning pastry chef for Sugar and Plumm, a bistro, bakery and chocolate maker on Manhattan's Upper West Side.  He has worked with culinary luminaries including Jean Georges Vongerichten and Max Brenner.   Pichet was was selected as a “Pastry Provocateur” by Food & Wine and named one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America by Pastry Arts & Design and Chocolatier.  In 2002, he was named Starchefs.com’s “Rising Star”.  His desserts, including those from Spice Market, Rick Moonen’s RM, Jean Georges, and P*ONG and batch, have garnered numerous “Best of” awards.  He is a multiple nominee for the James Beard Award in several national categories. Pichet’s cookbook, The Sweet Spot, was nominated for the World Gourmand book award and was named one of the 10 best cookbooks of 2008 by Gourmet. 

Sugar Dome is produced by Super Delicious.

FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring and empowering through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to more than 100 million U.S. households and averages more than 9.9 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine has tripled its rate base and delivers a circulation of 1.45 million. Headquartered in New York, Food Network has a growing international presence with programming in more than 150 countries, including 24 hour networks in Great Britain, India, Asia and Africa. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), which also owns and operates Cooking Channel (www.cookingchanneltv.com), DIY Network (www.diynetwork.com), Great American Country (www.gactv.com), HGTV (www.hgtv.com), and Travel Channel (www.travelchannel.com),  is the manager and general partner.


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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Emerald Green Is Pantone's Color For 2013

Hear that?? That is the sound of me squealing! Like any good release, I anxiously await for Pantone's Color of the Year. I seem to take this to a new level, because I am a techy nerd and I like to plan big parties and big fun events and attention to detail is a must! Earlier in the year, I wrote about color schemes for weddings and parties using Pantone for Becoming the Mrs. and the neat ways you can really make a color scheme happen. But, the release of the Color of the Year always makes giddy! Especially when it is as beautiful as this year's choice! I am also excited that Sephora and jcpenney has launched some items to celebrate this announcement.

Check out how Pantone has steps it up in the social media arena to celebrate the announcement on their website and their different social media outlets:

Hashtag: #coloroftheyear

Just prepared to have a ton of fun with this announcement and all the different platforms and maybe like me you will be squealing for 2014 release! 

Pantone Reveals Color of the Year for 2013:
PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald


Radiant, jewel-toned Emerald promotes balance and harmony

Pantone LLC, an X-Rite company and the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, today announced PANTONE® 17-5641 Emerald, a lively, radiant, lush green, as the Color of the Year for 2013.

The 2012 Color of the Year, PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango, a spirited, reddish orange, provided the energy boost we needed to recharge and move forward. Emerald, a vivid, verdant green, enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight, as well as promoting balance and harmony.

Most often associated with brilliant, precious gemstones, the perception of Emerald is sophisticated and luxurious. Since antiquity, this luminous, magnificent hue has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. It’s also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity – no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity.

“Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.”

Emerald for Fashion

The prevalence of green has been steadily rising for several seasons, especially in the fashion and couture markets, and even on the red carpet. Appropriate for every occasion, Emerald’s classic elegance makes for striking and irresistible women’s formal and everyday wear as well as accessories. Emerald also makes a strong statement in men’s sportswear, knitwear and ties. Fashion designers featured in the PANTONE Fashion Color Report Spring 2013, including Tracy Reese, Nanette Lepore, Barbara Tfank, NAHM and Marimekko, are incorporating Emerald into their spring collections. Balanced yet sophisticated, Emerald enlivens all colors in the spectrum and will continue to make a statement beyond spring and summer into fall and winter.

Emerald for Beauty

Equally harmonious on the cosmetic color wheel, Emerald dramatizes all eye colors as it beautifully enhances green eyes, is compatible to blue eyes, emphasizes the green undertone in hazel eyes and intensifies brown eyes to make them appear deeper. Emerald is also a perfect complement to peaches, pinks, roses, ruby reds and aubergines – offering a variety of lipstick and blush options. For those who want to sparkle and stand out, Emerald is the perfect punctuation point in nail color because of its complementary nature.

Sephora and Pantone proudly announce the SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE™ 2013 Color of the Year beauty collection featuring PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, which will be available exclusively at Sephora in March 2013. Sharing a strong passion for how color can transform a face, mood or even an attitude, Sephora and Pantone continue to change how consumers wear, feel and think about color through the second annual radiant and modern Color of the Year beauty collection.

“At Sephora, we pride ourselves on giving our clients first access to what’s on trend – whether that’s a color, a formula or an ingredient story. With the 2013 Color of the Year collection, we achieve all of the above and we couldn’t have a better partner than Pantone,” said Margarita Arriagada, senior vice president of merchandising for Sephora.

The limited edition 2013 Color of the Year beauty collection features a variety of products in Emerald, including eye shadow, nail polish and accessories, and will be available at Sephora stores across the U.S., Sephora inside JCP and Sephora.com.

Emerald for Interiors

Enhance your sense of well-being at home by rejuvenating the interior with Emerald paint, accents and accessories. This jewel-like hue will create a luxurious feel in an entryway, powder room, dining room or study, and bring life to a living room as an accent wall. Add a splash of color to the kitchen and dining room areas with Emerald dinnerware, stemware and appliances.

Enliven your home with Pantone bedding, pillows, bath towels and accessories in Emerald available exclusively at jcpenney stores and on jcp.com beginning Feb. 1, 2013.

“As we re-energize our home department next spring, we are excited to partner with the leading authority on color to introduce the first-ever line of Pantone bedding and bath products,” said Paul Rutenis, jcpenney general merchandise manager for home. “The cheerful array of on-trend pieces will make it easy for customers to infuse the perfect color into any home décor.”

Cross-Referencing to Other PANTONE Libraries

PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald can also be cross-referenced to all other PANTONE Libraries including PANTONE PLUS for graphic design. For cross-referencing information, see www.pantone.com/COY2013.

About the PANTONE Color of the Year

The Color of the Year selection is a very thoughtful process. To arrive at the selection, Pantone quite literally combs the world looking for color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films that are in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact color, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention.

For more than a decade, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design. Past colors include:

PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)
PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)
PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)
PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)
PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)
PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)
PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)
PANTONE 19-1664 True Red (2002)
PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)
PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean (2000)

About Pantone
Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, has been the world's color authority for nearly 50 years, providing design professionals with products and services for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity. Always a source for color inspiration, Pantone also offers paint and designer-inspired products and services for consumers. More information is available at www.pantone.com. For the latest news, trends, information and conversations, connect with Pantone on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

About X-Rite
X-Rite, Incorporated, is the global leader in color science and technology. The company, which now includes color industry leader Pantone, develops, manufactures, markets and supports innovative color solutions through measurement systems, software, color standards and services. X-Rite's expertise in inspiring, selecting, measuring, formulating, communicating and matching color helps users get color right the first time and every time, which translates to better quality and reduced costs. X-Rite serves a range of industries, including printing, packaging, photography, graphic design, video, automotive, paints, plastics, textiles, dental and medical. For further information, please visit www.xrite.com.

PANTONE®…The color of ideasSM.
PANTONE® and other Pantone trademarks are the property of Pantone LLC. © 2012. All rights reserved.
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