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Tammy Maltby is big on making Christmas memorable, delicious and fun for the kids. So it’s no surprise that her book, The Christmas Kitchen, is chock full of ways to do just that. “The White Christmas mix is one of my favorite activities. It’s Rice Chex, Wheat Chex, almonds, cashews and pretzels. Then I add red and green M&Ms—regular and peanut—and pour white chocolate all over it. Then I put the mix into bags and tie little ribbons around them,” the author tells Not Just Talkin' the Talk host Linda Goldfarb. “I make this with my kids, then I get terracotta flower pots and line the inside and put the mix in with a plastic pointsettia. Then the kids write a card to their teacher saying ‘Thank you for helping me grow.’ On the back they list three or four ways the teacher has helped the child grow that year. It’s an inexpensive, memory-building activity—that also goes over very well at school!”
Marnie Swedberg is on a mission to make this Thanksgiving and Christmas a joy for those who do the lion’s share of the work. “For women, a lot of the holiday responsibilities fall on our plates to organize and make sure all of this is happening each year. And it’s overwhelming because not only are you expected to do everything you always do, you’re expected to add 20 to 60 additional hours of preparation time,” the author of Marnie's Kitchen Shortcuts: Cut Your Cost, Cut Your Time, Cut the Fat tells The Best People We Know host Deb Scott. “By Christmas Eve, mom is so exhausted she’s not enjoying herself, and she’s not even fun to be around. Often she says things she later wishes she shouldn’t have said, which is tragic because it doesn’t have to be that way. So I’ve put together a Holiday Boot Camp to help us get organized enough to have a peaceful, enjoyable holiday season.”
Stephanie “The Kitchen Crusader” Rahlfs is well-versed not only in Hanukkah cuisine but in the history behind each and every delectable dish. “One of the things we celebrate this time of year is the lasting of the oil for longer than it should have. So we eat lots of foods fried in oil, like latkes,” she tells Chow and Chatter host Rebecca Subbiah. “Latke just means fried pancak in Yiddish. And the most prevalent kind is the potato latke. That’s shredded potato with onion, egg and matzah meal all fried into a patty. Jews in Eastern Europe have been making these forever. And Jews in the Iberian Peninsula have their own variations—like zuccini latkes and chickpea latkes. But both regions share the tradition of frying foods in pancake form. Because of the oil, this became a popular Hanukkah treat. My favorite is sufganiyot, which are friend jelly donuts that are a specialty in Israel. And in North Africa they have what are called bunuelos, which are deep-fried fritters dipped in honey syrup.”
Nikita Harris is a catalogue of holiday-entertaining tips, from drinking responsibly to decking the halls for a song. “Make sure your guests have enough to eat. I learned that the hard way. I went out one evening and didn’t have an appetite prior to getting to the party so I didn’t eat. Then I had a couple of drinks and I was really, really ill the next morning. You have to have something in your stomach to absorb the alcohol,” says The VA Housewives host. “Another great tip is, don’t slave away in the kitchen all night. Be organized so once the party starts you can enjoy your guests. What makes or breaks a party is the atmosphere, and it’s up to the hostess to generate good conversation and have good music. Also, holiday decorations don’t have to blow your budget. Poinsettias really brigten up a room, or you can spraypaint branches gold and light a whole bunch of candles. That’s all very inexpensive.”
“A lot of people have economic stress are thinking they can’t do anything this holiday season,” says Hannah “The Five Minute Mom” Keeley. “I tell them to drop the doom and gloom and get a little creative. Take, for example, the tradition of maxing out your credit cards every year while shopping. Instead of that, I recommend people have an envelople system. That’s where they take the cash they expect to spend on each family member or friend, and put each amount in a separate envelope,” the host of the UAN reality TV series Hannah, Help Me! tells In the Kitchen’s Jackie Plant. “That’s a physical reminder to stay within your budget. So when the cash is gone, the spending is done. This system often makes you wiser. You make much better choices.”
Have 2 Cruise's Helen Brahms wants to take a bit of the pressure off holiday entertaining this year, so hosts and hostesses can avoid pulling out their hair. “The number one thing I always tells people is, don’t try and do it all yourself. If you have the money, hire a caterer,” says Chef Amy Jurist. “That’ll give you an opportunity to enjoy your party and your friends, while ensuring the food is fabulous. But if you don’t have a budget for a caterer and you want to do the cooking yourself, at least hire a dishwasher/server. That way, you won’t have to sit in the kitchen and wash all the glasses afterwards. And the caterer’s rule of thumb is one helper for every 10 guests at a party. So if you’re trying to do a party for 40 people yourself, even a caterer would never do that.”
Laura McIntosh wants to help keep meal-planning insanity to a minimum this holiday season. “If you can take the time to organize, it won’t be so hectic. I have a really big family. We’ve done up to 35 people for dinner—with two turkeys. For parties like that, it makes sense to be hyper-organized, like putting little stickers on the serving dishes so when the food’s done, you know what goes where,” the host of the PBS cooking series Bringing It Home tells In the Kitchen’s Jackie Plant. “But keep your menu to the four main ingredients—turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy—then do just one extra dish and get real creative with it. Like a corn chowder soup, or sliced persimmon with candied pecans and dried cranberries salad. Have a signature dish to make the meal memorable.”
Chef Carlton Whisonant doesn’t kid around when it comes to seasoning during the holiday, ah, season. “This time of year, we need to talk about fresh herbs. Because not only will they enhance your Thanksgiving and Christmas dishes, they have strong medicinal properties,” says the host of The Healing Chef. "So they’ll add excellent aroma and flavor to your cooking, while also making you healthier. A lot of the herbs that we use all the time—cumin, blue violet, bayleaf, alfalfa, garlic, aloe vera, dill, cilantro, coriander—can be found at a regular grocery store. And the herbs you keep in your kitchen cabinet in a shaker are fine for ocassional use. But to get the full medicinal and culinary value, you’ve got to use fresh herbs.”
Going vegan this holiday season? No need to fret when planning your festivities! Nava Atlas is here to share her favorite recipes that are free of animal products, yet just as scrumptious as the dishes grandma laid out each November and December. “I have one buffet that’s specifically for this time of year, the author of Vegan Holiday Kitchen tells The Jazzy Vegetarian host Laura Theodore. “It has sweet-and-spice pecans, garlic-and-rosemary roasted mushrooms, kale and carrot strudel, and creamy cracked pepper cheez—which isn’t a dairy cheese; it’s based on raw cashews. It’s an addictive concoction that I don’t even want to be left in the same room with. Also, a hot artichoke and white-bean spread. And for Hanukkah, I make vegan latkes, which are held together by either cooked oatmeal or cooked keema flakes. That works just as well as egg. No one can ever tell the difference.”
Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway has a secret weapon when it comes to holiday entertaining—her mommy! Beverly Bell, whose daughter played Denzel Washington’s wife in Crimson Tide, and appeared opposite Angela Bassett in What’s Love Got to Do with It, offers tips on turning her small, senior-living apartment in a festive venue. “I put a red table cloth along my kitchen countertop and use one end of the counter as the buffet area,” she tells the host of That’s So Very Vanessa. “That works out well because the electrical outlets are right there, so I can plug in all the warmers without having to string extension cords around the dining room. And on the other end of the counter, I set up the bar—bottles, glasses, ice are all right there near the buffet spread.”
In this feature episode of The Partnerunning Show we meet Tara Martin the founder of Runners Kitchen, and the developer of AmazeBalls. Energy for runners is a constant challenge and most of us are always looking for better ways to fuel on the run.
AmazeBalls are a new, healthy and natural alternative to traditional energy gels. Providing carbohydrate for before and during a run AmazeBalls are proving popular with runners and are an extra bonus for those unable to consume other energy products.
Listen in as Tara, the energy source behind the energy source that is Amazeballs talks sports nutrition and explains the background to AmazeBalls, how they assist runners from 10km to 160km and beyond as well as details on how to purchase and use them. Discover more and order via the Runners Kitchen website or Runners Kitchen Facebook Page.
The story of Runners Kitchen and Tara Martin is also one where the determination and lessons from running are assisting in the creation of a new business designed to serve the running community.
Do you have expired items in your cabinets? Can you remember the last time you organized your kitchen? Janet’s guest tonight is Diane Floyd, Chef/Owner, MealMakers, Inc. and they will be discussing ways to get the junk out your kitchen.
Diane Floyd is an experienced Personal Chef that positively impacts client’s lives and organization. As the Chef Owner of Meal Makers,Inc, a personal culinary service they cook so you don't have to and we'll teach you to cook! In home dining experiences via hands on cooking classes, Intimate Meals, Dinner Parties, and customized dinner meals are also part of the services they offer clients. Tune in and learn what to purge in the kitchen and how to organize what’s left.
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