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Stories

My Oscar Night

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by Fredrica Duke

84th_oscars_awards.jpgOscar night approaches and something is missing. My kids. The nest is empty, and 364 days a year I’m fine with that. But not on Oscar night. Let me tell you why. Growing up, kids are like natural hostages. Until they get their driver’s license, they’re pretty much always there. And the night of the Academy Awards was no different. On that night in March (now February) my children, the two cats and I would gather in front of our living room or sometimes bedroom TV and take it all in. This was before we all had wide screens that now make the event seem like a private Oscar party. It was just a modest little TV. We’d sit in rapt attention and watch what to me was the most exciting part. Everyone’s magical entrance. The Red Carpet.

hilaryswankredcarpet.jpgAs each stunning actress made her way through the gauntlet of tedious interviews, I would ooh and aah at how beautiful she was. That’s when my kids would turn to me, me sitting there in my dirty sweats, my unkempt hair tied above in a twisted knot, no makeup, and assure me that I was even prettier!!! I’m not kidding. No matter who the actress was or how young and beautiful, my kids would yell, in unison, that I was MUCH prettier. “You’re MUCH prettier than her, mom!!” Don’t get me wrong, I know they were humoring me, I’m not delusional, but I bought it. And, I looked forward to it every year.

I grew up in Beverly Hills, but on the wrong side of the tracks, south of Wilshire. It wasn’t where the stars lived, even though our house was located only a half mile from the Hilton, the current site of the Oscar Nominees Luncheon and the Governor’s Ball. My father was a B-movie producer, but most people might grade his movies with a D. He was a joyful, glass-completely-full kind of guy, who was thankful for everyday of his life on this planet.

Southern Fried Shape Up

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by Julia Fowler

The "Southern Fried Shape Up" has arrived just in time for you to look good this holiday season!

 

The Dixie Download Episode 2

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by Julia Fowler

We think this new episode by Julia Fowler is hilarious!! 
Make yourself a plate of James Moore’s amazing biscuits and gravy and pull up a chair...

 

My Favorite Things This Week

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by Amy Ephron

amy ephron colorlaughingglassIt’s almost summer – in L.A. it feels like summer already. We were sent a sample of a new drink from Laughing Glass Cocktails. Okay, we like the name, too.

It’s an artisan tequila. No, it’s an artisan margarita. In a bottle, pre-mixed (but it doesn’t feel mixed at all, it’s so light and delicious....) and all natural. The name alone was perfect. Just pour it over ice in a wine glass and if you want to be fancy add a slice of lime. But for a summer barbecue, (or a guacamole starter) and a light incredible drink under the stars, we recommend it highly! And, for a party, it’s so simple, three bottles and no muss and fuss, and slightly lighter (thank goodness) on the alcohol content than if you’d mixed it at home. Some of us have a no alcohol before six rule around here, but you don’t, I bet it would be delicious with huevos rancheros, too!

balsamicBalsamic Vinegar. Yes, it’s a standard. It’s the norm. Can I have the salad with balsamic on the side. The price of balsamic varies like wine, but a few years ago we discovered a moderately priced balsamic (also artisanal, also limited edition, also limited distribution like the Laughing Glass above) called Leonardo & Roberto’s. It’s quite simply incredible!! I’m addicted.

Only available, as near as I can tell online or at some of John Edwards select Farmers’ Markets. Less is more. The taste is fuller, the amount of dressing you need is less as well as the amount of balsamic you need in the dressing is less. If I could, I’d send everyone I know a bottle instantly. We like the traditional but also, available in other flavors....!

The Dixie Download Episode 1

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by Julia Fowler

We think this video by Julia Fowler is hilarious!! 
Make yourself a plate of James Moore’s amazing biscuits and gravy and pull up a chair...

 

Restaurant News

The Smoke Shack
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by Lisa Dinsmore

smokeshakeI am a planner. I never go on a trip without scoping out what there is to do and the best places to eat. We never do everything on the list, but I hate to be bored or to eat boring food. We aren’t...

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A Great Burger in Guerneville
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by Scott R. Kline

Boon Eat + Drink in Guerneville on the Russian River is a delightful place with delightful food. We stopped by one Saturday to have lunch. The summertime crowd was out in force. The restaurant...

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O Ya
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by Andrea Pyenson

o-ya-boston-sign.jpgI get more excited about a meal at O Ya, Boston’s spectacular little Japanese restaurant, than just about any restaurant I have ever visited – which is rare for me, because as much as I love...

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Savage's Sugar Cookies
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by Seale Ballenger

savagecookie.jpgWhen I was a kid growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, my favorite food in the whole wide world were sugar cookies from Savage's Bakery in Homewood. Made fresh daily, from before I could even walk, I...

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