Monday, December 24, 2012

The Best Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe

There are a few mantras by which I live my life:
  • People may not remember what you say but they will always remember how you make them feel. 
  • Karma is a bitch. 
  • Don't eat fake fruit (or food, for that matter)!
It seems that around the holidays, the most fake of fruits surface.  I'm referring to the nasty, gelatinous cranberry jelly-sauce from a can.

THIS:

Why would anyone eat this?  Particularly when making the real thing is easy, delicious and idiot-proof.  It's easy enough for me, the idiot cook, to make.  


I've used this recipe from Epicurious.com the since the early 2000's.  It works every time and is even better the next day with leftover turkey.

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar (you can easily get away with less)
1 12-ounce bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 teaspoon (or more taste) of freshly grated orange zest

Directions:
Bring water and sugar to boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Add cranberries and simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries pop.  Stir in zest, then cool.

That's it!  You can alter it any way you like.  I use about 1 teaspoon of zest and 3/4 cup of sugar. You can also add cinnamon and nutmeg.  I prefer the simplicity of orange and cranberry in my version.

It's fabulous and so easy.  You will never eat the gelatinous can of cranberry crap again. 

I will also be trying my hand at a few more ambitious dishes, at least ambitious for me.  I'll be making a roasted cauliflower as well as balsamic roasted brussels sprouts.  These are things I can easily screw up...I'm THAT bad in the kitchen.   We'll see how it goes.

Do you have any foolproof holiday recipes?  Please share.









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Friday, December 21, 2012

Fabulous Consignment Finds: Michael Kors Collection & CH Carolina Herrera

People are always surprised when I tell them I buy much of my professional wardrobe at consignment shops.  I get it.  Some people are freaked out by wearing other people's skeege.  You can avoid the skeege-factor by buying at the right store.  If you purchase items at the right shops, the clothes are barely worn or, in some cases, brand new. 

There are certain things I look for in my on-air wardrobe:
  • A good fit.  Bigger clothes make you look heavier.  ALWAYS slim fit!
  • Color - a constant challenge.  It's hard to find good, solid colors in tops and dresses that flatter.  I wear way too much black. 
  • Neckline - in a blouse it's got to be a scoop or v-neck.  Boxy necklines make me look like a linebacker.
  • Free of patterns, in general.  Patterns still are considered distracting on tv news channels.  Meaning, that great Missoni top or DVF dress that is co cute in person, can make viewers nauseous.  
The shops I frequent in Dallas, Clothes Circuit and Clotheshorse Anonymous, are selective in what they accept.  Items must be clean, gently used and free of any imperfections.  I know this because I am an avid consignor, as well.  I am always editing my wardrobe to eliminate items I no longer wear.

I was over the moon with my two recent purchases: a vintage, red Michael Kors Collection button down blouse and a cute purple/lavender CH Carolina Herrera blouse.  I need colors like this in my on-air wardrobe.  Both are big, so I will have them taken in a bit but I was absolutely thrilled. 

Even better was the price.  Clothes Circuit, drops the price on items after a certain period of time.  Both of these were considered Fall items and were in the mid-50's (can't remember the exact price).  I got out of there, with two tops I can wear for a few seasons on-air, for $112.46!  Score!  Remember, shopping is a sport.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Secrets to 12-Hour Makeup

Heading out after a full day at the office and want to keep your makeup from looking tired and faded?  You can, it's relatively easy and you don't need to reapply a full face.

I'm the queen of 12-hour makeup.  I do it almost daily because my days start mid-morning and I need to be in high hair in makeup for various TV shoots.  Take a look at my schedule this past Thursday and you'll see why I need long-lasting spackle.
  • 11am shoot at Cowboys stadium
  • 12:30 shoot at North Dallas high school 
  • Anchor the Fan Sports Show from 6:30-7:30 
  • Anchor sports for 10pm news on CBS
I applied my makeup at 9:30am and reapplied throughout the day with the last touch-up coming around 10:15pm. 

You don't need to add more product or color, just freshen up what you already have on your face.  More color, like eye shadow or concealer, simply looks layered-on and cakey.  By adopting the less is more philosophy, you can look fresh-faced 12-hours later.  (In the ensuing video, I applied more eye shadow because I was preparing for harsh TV lights.  In the non-HD universe, you don't need to do that).

Here are a few more tips:
  • Start with a good eyeshadow primer to keep your eyeshadow from creasing.  I use Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion.  Game Changer!  It's $20 from Sephora.  It's the bomb.  It totally prevents your eyeshadow from getting stuck in those eyelid creases. 
  • Work those lashes!  Re-curl your eye lashes to open your eyes.  Top off those curled lashes with a coat of mascara.  If your lashes look clumpy, use an eyelash brush to separate them.
  • Highlight your hotness by dabbing a little highlighter on your face.  The bow in your upper lip, your cheekbones or the tip of your nose.  This simply adds a little pop that makes a difference.
  • Use lipgloss and a lip pencil instead of lipstick.  Your face can look old lady-ish if you're reapplying lipstick every hour.  Think color bleeding into those lip lines.  Using lipgloss and a pencil keeps your lips looking younger, fresher and less cakey.
 The video below illustrates those suggestions (and more) right before I head to the studio.
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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How to Survive and Thrive Traveling to Paris with a Baby


Paris is so popular that we created a site to focus solely on our Francophile wanderlust. 

Merci!

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Motivation Monday

It's my first day back to work after a lovely 12-day holiday.  I'm not sure about you but I need all the motivation I can get this Monday morning.  I truly wish I was back in Paris, at the park, watching Jordan make new friends like little Maxus in the picture below.  Taking her with us introduced us to so many interesting opportunities we wouldn't have otherwise experienced, such as the wonderful parks and the charming Parisian families that visit them.

At Jardin du Forum des Halles

The following message struck a chord with me as 2012 closes and the focus shifts to the numerous goals we all seem to have for 2013.  It's from Austin resident and founder of The Daily Motivator, Ralph Marston.  His messages resonate with me consistently.

"It is far better to be exhausted from effort than to be tired of doing nothing."

So true.  Whether it's a solid workout session or a really productive day at work, there's no better feeling of satisfaction than a tough job well done.  
Inspiration from a 2003 visit to Venice for one of those 2013 goals


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Saturday, December 1, 2012

French Women DO Get Fat

This story has moved! 
Because you love Paris & France so much (we do, too), we created a website devoted solely to France. 
Please visit FabFrenchFinds.com for the full story.
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