Get Your Holiday Recipes Here

October 30, 2008
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TLC Would Like to Make Your Real Life, Real Simple

October 15, 2008

Think about your day so far – you had to get the kids up and off to school, you’ve got more deadlines than time at work, there are dishes and laundry piling up at home and let’s not even talk about what you are going to fix for dinner tonight.  You’re lucky you found a spare moment to read this article. 

Wouldn’t you like more time for your favorite hobby?  How about some time to do something fun with family and friends?  What would you be willing to do to get make your life simpler?

Well TLC has some answers for you and all you have to do is spend an hour relaxing in front on the television on Friday night. 

So pour yourself a glass of wine, put the kids to bed (or better yet send them to a friends or Grandma’s for a sleep over), curl up on the couch and turn the channel to TLC at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Because this Friday TLC partners with Real Simple to premiere its brand new hour-long show – Real Simple. Real Life.  – that promises to find solutions to make life easier.

And who doesn’t want an easier life?  Count me in!

Think of the show as a realistic makeover for the average busy woman – or man.  Instead of promises of perfection, Real Simple.  Real Life. is offering simple solutions and tips for everyday folks.

People today have lives full of demands and expectations. I know my list of to dos start when I get up and is often still clogging up my list at the end of the day.

Real Simple. Real Life will help people like you and me identify the frustrations that zap our time and keep our plates full.  The show then offers personalized tips to end the chaos and give us back more fun time.

“Each week we’ll feature a comprehensive, 360-degree lifestyle makeover, using best-in-class experts in a variety of areas to help our real women identify with their day-to-day challenges, and offer realistic solutions and ‘aha’ tips to help them live an even better life.  Viewers at home will identify with these women and be impacted by the makeovers” Executive Producer Jude Weng said.  “We embrace the reality that it’s not about making the perfect meal or having the most organized closet; we’re working with them to make time-saving changes that will let them ad more of the fun ‘me’ time they’re craving back into their lives.”

Obviously the show’s target audience is women.  But these are issues that everyone deals with – men and women – anyone who runs a home, has a job, raises kids or keeps a busy schedule.  I know that my husband spends just as much time on the house and with the kids as I do (and sometimes more).  So these solutions are for everyone.

Expect solutions to cover everything from smart organization tips to ideas for quick and simple dinners to decoration ideas to fun ways to make entertaining easier.

The show will also include a website – realsimplereallife.com – to go into more detail on the solutions offered in the weekly show.  The show and its tips will also be featured in the monthly magazine Real Simple.

I know that I am always in a state of disorganization so I’m really looking forward to seeing what tips the show can offer to get me organized and give me more time to spend with my kids.

So I have reserved my seat on the couch for Friday night at 8 p.m. My bottle of wine is already chilling.  Let the help start.

What area do you need the most help?  What tip/solution did some give you that made your life easier?


Is there Such a Thing as Too Much Chocolate?

November 10, 2007

After seeing me on one of my little chocolate binges (we won’t talk about how often these happen), my husband has asked me if there’s such a thing as too much chocolate.  I emphatically declared no one.  That’s before I read about Chocolate Show going on in New York this week.

A fashion from the 2004 showAisles and aisles of chocolate delight.  Mmmmmm.  But it more that chocolate you can eat or drink.  There’s chocolate you can wear!  And I’m not talking about the way my two years olds wear their chocolate pudding!  I’m talking about a chocolate jewelry and fashion show. 

Can you imagine combining my two of my favorite things — chocolate and jewelry? A better version of those candy necklaces we had as kids.  The thought is too confusing to me.  Do you eat it or wear it? 

I was thrilled earlier this year when scientists declared that chocolate was good for us.  It’s about time they finally declared something good for us.  But I still think I’d rather eat than wear it (unless you are talking about licking the spoon after making brownies).  However, the idea of rows and rows of chocolate intrigues me.  Anyone know how I can get the show to come to my town?

The CBS article on the show included a few chocolate drinks that you might want to add to your menu this holiday season.  I thought they sounded delicious, so I’ve included them below:

Crispy Mint Hot Chocolate
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup of water
2 tbs cup sugar
4 oz bittersweet chocolate

Heat milk with water and sugar. Add heated mixture to chocolate and mix until smooth. Add the splash of fresh milk and pour into cups. Top with whipped cream and crushed candy canes. Enjoy!  

Ponche Crema
5 yolks
2 1/2 cups milk
1 cups heavy cream
1 cup dark chocolate
2 vanilla beans
1 can condensed milk
1/4 tsp freshly ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of Sarawak pepper
1/2 cup Ron Anejo “Anniversario” Pampero

Combine all milks and cream with the vanilla beans (split and scraped) and bring to a boil. Combine the eggs and spices, then temper by adding the hot cream a little at a time. Return to the stove and cook on low heat until thick and creamy. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until melted. Strain and chill rapidly. Add Ron, and serve. Keep very chilled.   Venezuela is one of the largest producers and manufacturers of high quality Rum. This is a national drink similar to egg-nog but with a bigger kick and a little chocolate. Salud!

Smoking Cool Chocolate
2 cups whole milk plus a splash
1 cup of water
2 tbs cup sugar
4 oz bittersweet chocolate

Heat milk with water and sugar. Add heated mixture to chocolate and mix until smooth. Add the splash of fresh milk and chill. Serve in a mug and drop a piece of dry ice in a small tea ball and sink it in. Serve with a straw.   For an adult version, try the Smoking Cool Chocolate Martini. Serve in a martini glass with a dash of bitters and 2 oz of chilled vodka. 

These all sound delicious to me.  I think I’ll try the hot chocolate one first, but instead of candy canes I’ll think I’ll add a shot of peppermint schnapps.  Happy chocolating!


‘Reaper,’ a new CW show and a drink

August 20, 2007

I’ve seen a lot of different promotions for TV shows over the years, but CW has a new one I’ve never seen.  In addition to the typical billboards and ads, CW is launching it’s new series Reaper with its very own drink.  Pretty interesting concept.

CW will be promoting The Reaper (the drink and the show) at two bars in each of 10 markets (sorry Broadcasting & Cable doesn’t mention which bars) and 25 bars each in New York and Chicago beginning September 3, complete with promo goodies and television clips.

If you can’t find a bar near you featuring the drink, here’s the recipe for The Reaper so you can mix of your very own at home:

The Reaper

1 oz. sweet vermouth
1/4 oz. dry vermouth
1/2 oz. sloe gin
2 dashes orange bitters

Pour ingredients into an old-fashioned glass two-thirds filled with crushed ice. Stir well, garnish with a slice of orange, and serve.

The show, about a kid who upon his 21st birthday must become the devil’s bounty hunter because his parents sold his soul to the devil, premieres on Tuesday, September 25th at 8 p.m. on CW.


Quick Summer Meals

August 4, 2007

For me a quick summer meal is a sandwich and chips, but for those of you that have a more discerning palette, here are 101 ideas for summer meals that take less that 10 minutes, courtesy of the New York Times.

10 Minute MealsI’ve never been much of a cook.  It’s just something I don’t have a knack for.  Many have tried to teach me and most ran screaming from the kitchen after an hour with me.  My husband says he likes to cook, but I simply think it does so out of self defense.  In fact, he is a pretty good cook, especially when he has the grill going.

When my husband is home, we grill out a lot in the summer, but he’s always looking for some other ideas light, quick ideas for the hectic nights.  So I was thrilled with finding this list for him.

This list has a lot of great ideas that we would really enjoy if it was the two of us, but now that we have the twins we need child-friendly meals.  And unfortunately, many of the ideas on this list just aren’t. 

Guess we are back to my repetoire of sandwiches and hot dogs  (oh didn’t I mention my speciality?) for meals with the twins.  But for those of you with older kids or without the children all together, enjoy!


So Many Blueberry Recipes

August 1, 2007

I recently posted about my blueberry picking adventure with the twins.  Unfortunately, I think the twins might have eaten more than their fair share of blueberries that day.  Since that trip, they’ve not touched blueberries.

Blueberries and CreamSo now I have all these blueberries and the twins are on a blueberry strike.  What to do?  Well besides freezing them, I found some really cool recipes for blueberries and thought I’d share with you too.

There are 53 different recipes to choose from.  They all looks so good, I honestly can’t decide which one to try first.

What’s your favorite blueberry recipe?


Too Many Hard Boiled Eggs Left . . .

April 10, 2007

Easter EggsColoring the Easter eggs is the fun (although messy) part.  Hunting the eggs is the best part.  But now that Easter’s over what do you do with all those hard boiled eggs?

Here are a few recipes I found that you might try:

Easy Egg Salad — Learn to make an egg salad in four quick steps.

Ham Hash with Eggs in Mustard — The mustard cream sauce here sounds delicious.  I can’t wait to try this out.

Egg Casserole — Anything you can put in the oven and bake is golden with me.

Scotch Eggs — If you’ve never had scotch eggs, they a worth a try.  I had them at a Scottish event and really enjoyed them.  This recipe is for the oven as well.

Cream Cheese Delights — I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a recipe with cream cheese and ketchup, but it sounds interesting.

Seafood Medley Casserole — Another baking recipe for all you seafood lovers out there.

And of course, there’s my favorite, Deviled Eggs.

Enjoy your eggs — for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner — and have a happy April!