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November - December 2012

Nursing a Passion Radiating Kindness Entertaining with Ease And Doing So With Kids

Dedicated to All Better

©2012 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc. All rights reserved.



Moments Magazine | November-December 2012

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Moments Magazine | November-December 2012


John Hall Publisher Kevin Atwill Editor

Contents 8

Adlen Robinson Director of Content Ryan Garmon Advertising Director Autumn Vetter Photographer Jeff Bucchino Graphic Design Contributing Writers Crystal Ledford Jennifer Sami Autumn Vetter

Moments Mom

Meet Barri Zehner, a busy mom and oncology nurse at Northside HospitalForsyth.

10 Book Clubs

The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) book club reading list helps them in their professional lives.

12 Home Matters

Sweet and sour homemade gifts, perfect for those on a tightened holiday budget.

22 For the Health of It

A guide to a healthy perspective with holiday temptations in mind.

Forsyth Mom - Page 8

Moments Magazine

is published bimonthly by the Forsyth County News Co., 302 Veterans Memorial Boulevard, Cumming, GA 30040. Advertising rates and deadlines available upon request. Contact Ryan Garmon at (770) 205-8960 or Follow us online at, as well as: and


Moments Magazine | November-December 2012

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Moms at Work����������������������������������������������������� 14

Smart Snacking��������������������������������������������������� 18 Fashion����������������������������������������������������������������� 20

Dinner Matters ��������������������������������������������������� 24 From the Cellar��������������������������������������������������� 26 Home Matters����������������������������������������������������� 28

School Spotlight ������������������������������������������������� 30

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Welcome to


urray for the holidays! This is easily my favorite time of year. I love everything about it — the music, the decorations, getting together with friends and family, and of course the food. Definitely check out my super easy, delicious and impressive antipasto platter ideas and also my recipes for gifts to make and give. And to help us navigate the smorgasbord of seasonal delights, Autumn visits with medical professionals to glean some health tips.

Don’t let a tightened budget keep you from giving gifts to your loved ones. Just get in the kitchen and make some things. This edition’s Moments Mom, Barri Zehner, and Mom at Work, Lori Newcomb, both inspire me. Meeting women who love their jobs so much is incredibly uplifting. Our community is a better place with these ladies working in it. We continue to try to make Moments better with each issue. Please know we appreciate all suggestions. Feel free to e-mail me!

Adlen W. Robinson is a longtime resident of Forsyth County and mother of four. An award-winning contributing writer to the Forsyth County News for more than 10 years, Adlen is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at

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Moments Magazine | November-December 2012

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Moments Magazine | November-December 2012 Moments Magazine | July-August 2012



Moments Mom

Passionate about her patients Oncology nurse radiates kindness


ome people radiate joy, happiness and an aura of well-being. Barri Zehner may well be the poster mom for such a description. A mother and oncology nurse at Northside HospitalForsyth, Zehner is passionate about what she does. That approach carries over outside of work, where she has used her skills to teach CPR and baby-sitting courses to hundreds in the community. “I went to school to become a nurse, originally thinking I would be a cardiology nurse since my grandfather had a heart attack and I thought that was

the area I would specialize in,” she said. After earning a degree in nursing and education, Zehner began working in a “float pool,” which meant she worked on all different floors of the hospital. “Working with all sorts of patients teaches you so much,” she said. “You have to ask lots of questions and really pay attention. It was excellent training for me.” Family is extremely important to Zehner. “My parents divorced when I was a baby, so for a time we lived with my mothers’ parents,” she recalled. “I was always so close to my grandmother, Miriam.”

Photos: Autumn Vetter 8

Moments Magazine | November-December 2012

Oncology nurse Barri Zehner visits with a patient at Northside Hospital-Forsyth.

Married to husband Dave for 18 years, Zehner said they dated for 11 years before tying the knot. “I had to be sure he was the one,” she laughed. “And he was! He is such a wonderful husband and father.” When their daughter, Marissa, was born, Zehner stayed home for a few years, but felt the pull to ease back into the nursing profession. “We were living in Tampa and Marissa was 2 years old

and I got a part-time job at a cancer center.” Once again, Zehner was in a “floater pool” and began working on different floors, each of which was populated with patients who had different forms of cancer. It was there that Zehner discovered she had a gift for working with those battling cancer. When speaking about her patients, she often gets emotional. “Cancer patients

Moments Mom who are in the hospital, are usually not doing well. They are experiencing so many emotions. They are often frightened or angry. My job is to be there for them no matter what their emotional state is.” Asked why she loves tending to those suffering from cancer and who so often do not get better, Zehner paused. “My patients give me something I am lacking,” she said. “I have wonderful friends and neighbors, but I don’t have any family here or the other places we have lived. I think my patients and their families become like my family.” Obviously, Zehner is a nurturing person by nature. “Touch is such an important thing for me,” she said. “I always hold my patients’ hands and I try to slow down and really listen to them and explain what I need to.”

Niti Patel, manager of oncology services at Northside Hospital-Forsyth, said Zehner is an invaluable part of their team.

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Book Clubs

Few light reads for CASA club Group helps advocates share, learn


o you know anybody who volunteers as a CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocate? These advocates are highly trained volunteers (it takes 40 hours of preparation just to become one) who handle cases where a child has been a victim of abuse and is in the court system. I have had the privilege of getting to know a handful of these special individuals and let me assure you they are amazing people who do a tremendous service for children. Recently I met with Janet Walden, executive director of the Forsyth County CASA. She told me about the rigorous training these volunteers go through before being handed a case. Upon receiving a case, an advocate becomes the only true constant in a child’s life. The child may switch schools numerous times. The homes

also often change, as do the case workers, attorneys, judges, etc. The advocate, however, remains the same. In addition to their 40 hours of training, volunteers also must complete 12 hours of additional training every year. One way they can earn training hours is by participating in the CASA book club. Antonia Flowers has been an advocate since 2002. She told me

“The book club is a way for us to learn about many things we see and experience with our own cases.” 10

Moments Magazine | November-December 2012

the book club provides a unique opportunity for volunteers to discuss case studies and other relevant matters without talking about their actual cases. “We have strict confidentiality rules and are not allowed to discuss our cases with anybody except our supervisors, so the book club is a way for us to learn about many things we see and experience with our own cases,” she explained. The group is currently reading a book called “Nickel and Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich. Antonia said the book is about the author’s experience when she moved to different cities and attempted to live as a person making minimum wage. “It really gives you insight into what struggles there are for those who maybe don’t have the education to obtain a better paying job,” she said.

“Many times they must take another job to make ends meet.” Antonia said that while the club doesn’t often read fiction, one title has really stood out in her mind. “It is called ‘The Language of Flowers’ by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and it is such a realistic story about some of the aspects of child abuse that we all encounter every day,” she said. Another memorable selection was “Hope’s Boy” by Andrew Bridge. “The author grew up in an abusive home and an abusive foster home,” she said. “Then, as an adult, went to work in the foster care system to help others.” One of the most difficult books to read was “A Child Called It” by Dave Pelzer. The story chronicles the author’s horrible abuse at the hands of his own mother.

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Forsyth Campus While most of us cannot begin to fathom how a mother could do such unspeakable things to anyone, much less her own child, Antonia offered some insight. “While it is a tough book to get through, it does teach us that saying ‘a mother could never hurt her child’ is not true,” she said. “Sometimes mental illness or something else is so deep, a person is capable of anything.” While many of us read strictly for pleasure, a few of these more difficult reads likely could help us understand and empathize with the children in the foster care system. And perhaps they may compel us to get involved and see what we can do to help. -- Adlen W. Robinson

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v Moments Magazine | November-December 2012


Home Matters

Taking It Into Your Own Hands

Time and thought often trump gifts that are bought

Foolproof fudge

• 2 cups sugar • 1 teaspoon salt • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter • 1 cup heavy cream • 3 ½ cups mini-marshmallows • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips • 1 teaspoon vanilla • ½ cup crushed peppermint candy Line a 9-by-13 pan with parchment paper, using two large sheets and letting some hang over the edges to be “handles.”


ost people have been tightening their budgets these last few years, a habit that can sometimes make gift giving a challenge. So why not make some gifts this year? In general, people love receiving homemade food items — whether it is a gift basket of mostly store-bought items, or a box of homemade fudge, your friends and family members will appreciate the time and thought you put into their gift. Old-fashioned fudge is a favorite with just about everybody. Here is one that is simple to make and always turns out delicious. You can cut it out in unusual shapes, or just keep it simple and cut into squares.

Spray liberally with non-stick cooking spray. In heavy-bottomed pot, cook sugar, salt, butter, cream and marshmallows until melted, about six minutes. Raise heat and boil for five minutes. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips and vanilla, stirring until chocolate has melted. Pour into prepared pan. Cool for three hours at room temperature. Carefully remove the fudge using the parchment paper. Cut into desired shapes. Sprinkle with peppermint candy. 12

Moments Magazine | November-December 2012

Hostess gifts

If you have ever had a Southern woman ask what she can bring to your dinner party, you had best think of something. Even if you do say, “Oh, nothing — just bring yourselves,” chances are she will show up with something anyway. So you might as well put her to good use. Most women do not like to arrive at a party empty handed. Even if you are not bringing a food item to the holiday gala, it is always nice to surprise the hostess with a small gift of some sort. It does not have to be elaborate or expensive — just something to show how much you appreciate her hospitality. Many people bring a bottle of wine. And that is fine if you know your hosts well. If you have the time or inclination, homemade gifts are nice, but in case your time is limited, here are some other suggestions:

Suggestions: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Small plant or potted flowers Wine stoppers Wine glass ornaments (I call them wine jewelry) Seasonal oven mitt Seasonal dish towels Fancy paper cocktail napkins Coffee mug filled with specialty teas or coffee Trivet Christmas ornament (or other seasonal item) Colorful spatula (you can never have too many) Cheese knife Spreaders Key chain representative of hosts hobby or interest Potted herbs Stationary or note cards Scented candles Local interest books Calendar for the new year Movie gift cards taped to a package of microwave popcorn


his vinegar is so easy to make and is as delicious as it is beautiful. I found the glass bottles at a dollar store. Include a tag with a raspberry vinaigrette recipe.

Raspberry vinegar

• 2 cups white wine vinegar • 1 cup raspberries In a small pan, combine vinegar and the raspberries. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for three or four minutes. Remove from heat and cover loosely with a cloth for 30 minutes. Transfer vinegar to a glass jar. Cover with a non-metallic lid or plastic wrap and then a tight metal lid. Allow to stand and steep in a cool, dark place for two weeks. Line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth. Set colander over large bowl. Strain vinegar pressing down on the raspberries to extract as much of their juice as possible. Discard raspberries. Transfer strained vinegar to a jar or bottle. Store in a cool, dark place for up to six months. -- Adlen W. Robinson Photos: Autumn Vetter


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Moms at Work

Prescription for Care

Geriatric pharmacist helps seniors age well


hen I first met my new friend Lori Newcomb, I knew immediately she was special. A board-certified geriatric pharmacist, Lori works for Kroger Health Solutions. Besides filling prescriptions for assisted living facilities, she also provides counseling on medications for patients. “There is so much more to it than simply filling prescriptions,” she explained. “You have to take into

consideration other medications the patient is taking and be on the lookout for different reactions. “What really sets us apart is the counseling component.” Lori said her store is not open to the public, but works exclusively with the facilities it serves. I love people who love what they do for a living. In Lori’s case, that is putting it mildly. To hear her describe her job is like listening to someone talk about how passionate they are about their hobby. “Everybody who knows me will tell you I eat, live and breathe old people. I just love them,” she told me. “Put me in an Alzheimer’s unit and I am happiest.” Lori grew up in Walhalla, S.C. After graduating from nearby Clemson, she decided

Mother and geriatric pharmacist Lori Newcomb enjoys working with elderly patients.


Moments Magazine | November-December 2012

to go to pharmacy school. During her last year she did a rotation with geriatrics, and that was all it took. “I knew then that was where I wanted to be.” Upon graduating in 1990, Lori went immediately into consulting with nursing homes. When marriage and relocation led her to Forsyth County, she obtained her license in Georgia, but kept her South Carolina one current. “Being a pharmacist is such a great career for a mother because I was able to work part time when I had children and also work flexible hours,” said the mother of four. Lori is grateful she can work in a field she is so passionate about. “Not everybody can work with geriatrics,” she said. “You have to be patient and take the time to listen and then explain things with respect.”

Lori married husband Paul in 2011 and together they have a blended family with her two children and Paul’s two. “We have three teenagers and one who is about to be 13, so that also keeps us busy.” As if she needed something else to do, Lori helped create Age Well Forsyth, a nonprofit organization geared toward raising public awareness about the elderly and offering resources to the public. “We want to help seniors live an active and productive life,” she said. “We want them to have a great quality

of life and to keep their independence for as long as possible.” Lori also volunteers at the local senior center, where she frequently administers flu shots. “We are the only country in the world that forgets our elderly,” Lori said. “Look at other cultures … they revere their elders and applaud their wisdom and experience. We tend to treat the elderly as being used up. “My goal is to raise awareness for this important segment of our society.” -- Adlen W. Robinson


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Lori Newcomb, top right, gives Nair Lawrence a flu shot at the Senior Services center. The pharmacist and busy mother helped create the non-profit Age Well Forsyth.

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Moments Magazine | November-December 2012


Moments Mom Continued from Page 9

Zehner: “I am also a teacher at heart”

Zehner said she went straight to the basement, digging through boxes until she found the book. After writing an inscription on the inside cover, she gave the book to her patient and went about her duties. A few months later, the woman passed away. Soon after, the woman’s daughter sought out Zehner to tell her how much the book meant to her mother. So much so, they buried her with the book. Zehner said the story still gives her chills. “I have no

“We are here to help individuals on their journey,” she said. “Some people are at the end of their journey, but others are not. They are fighting and we help them with their fight.” Faith plays a major role in Zehner’s life. “Once I had a patient who was dying from ovarian cancer,” she recalled. “I was driving home from the hospital and something told me to go home and find a book called ‘The Power of a Praying Woman.’” When she got home,

Barri Zehner, shown above with daughter Marissa and husband Dave, is an oncology nurse at Northside Hospital-Forsyth.

doubt God wanted her to have that book and used me to make that happen.” Actively involved in her daughter’s busy life, Zehner loves being a mother, as well as children in general. Despite her hectic schedule, she decided a few years ago to add something else to her life. “I love nursing, but I am also a teacher at heart,” she explained. “I love teaching CPR classes, but I make it fun. “My thought has always been to try to teach CPR to as many people in the community as possible. That way, if someone needs help, there is someone there who knows what to do.” When she was coaching cheerleading at Sharon Springs Park, she felt all of the coaches should know CPR and worked to make that a reality. Word got out about her ability to teach and make it fun and interesting. Then, Zehner received a call asking if she taught baby-sitting classes. “I thought, well, sure, I can do that,” she laughed. Photos: Autumn Vetter


Moments Magazine | November-December 2012

Barri Zehner is known for her compassion with patients at Northside Hospital, said supervisor Niti Patel, below.

Growing together and depending on each other.

Zehner immediately began putting together a manual and decided to use her daughter and her friends as guinea pigs to do a trial run baby-sitting class. The result? Babysitting 101 Plus was born. “I teach girls all of the basics when it comes to being a responsible, yet fun baby sitter,” she said. “Plus of course, I teach them CPR.” Zehner stressed that even children who may never baby-sit can benefit from the class. “If your child is going to be staying home alone for the first time, it definitely will make them more confident and you feel more comfortable knowing they have the information.” Probably the most satisfying thing Zehner can say about her baby-sitting class is that it can help equip and empower a child to potentially save someone’s life — and she knows this first hand. “I know of at least six cases where a child who has taken my course has saved a life,” she said. Zehner is such a bright spot in the lives of so many people and her energy level is tremendous. “Even when things are crazy and sometimes sad, I always know that God has me where he wants me to be,” she said. Zehner shared how one time a patient was struggling and she felt she didn’t know what to say to comfort her. “I sent Marissa a text and asked her what I should say and she wrote me back saying, ‘God knows what we need even more than we do.’ That was exactly the right thing I needed to say.” -- Adlen W. Robinson


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Moments Magazine | November-December 2012


Smart Snacking

Photo: Autumn Vetter

Base Recipe

2 cans chickpeas, drained (reserve liquid) Juice from ½ lemon (more to taste) 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup tahini ¼ cup water or reserved chickpea liquid 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil In food processor, combine chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, salt and tahini. Process until combined, scraping down sides. Add a few tablespoons of water or reserved chickpea liquid. With machine running, drizzle in olive oil. If hummus is too thick, add a little more water or reserved chickpea liquid. Taste for seasoning, adding more lemon juice if desired. 18

Moments Magazine | November-December 2012

Healthy option easy to make


onfession: I have a hummus addiction. I love traditional hummus, but I also love to make it with roasted peppers, kalamata olives and all sorts of other less traditional ingredients. While hummus is delicious with pita chips, it is great for dipping raw vegetables in, or when used in place of mayonnaise on a sandwich. Tahini, sesame seed paste, is a bit pricey at the grocery store. A better bet is to go to an Indian market. It likely will have more of a selection and much better prices. Once opened, store Tahini in the refrigerator. Here is my favorite “base” recipe and some suggested variations.

In food processor, combine chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, salt and tahini. Process until combined, scraping down sides. Add a few tablespoons of water or reserved chickpea liquid. With machine running, drizzle in olive oil. If hummus is too thick, add a little more water or reserved chickpea liquid. Taste for seasoning, adding more lemon juice if desired.


* Add some drained roasted red peppers and chopped Italian parsley * Slice an eggplant, drizzle with olive oil, roast until softened and add that to the hummus * Add some pitted and chopped kalamata olives * Replace the chickpeas with drained white or Cannellini beans and some chopped cilantro * Add some chopped sun-dried tomatoes that have been marinating in olive oil -- Adlen W. Robinson


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Don’t forget glitz at Christmas Trend is toward bold, bright colors

Photos: Autumn Vetter


Moments Magazine | November-December 2012


earching for the perfect gift this Christmas? Peggy Curry, an assistant manager at Kohl’s department store on Market Place Boulevard, said the 2012 holiday trend is all about “glitz and bold colors.”

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She said the store will offer a range of brightly colored kitchen appliances, as well as electronic accessories such as carrying cases. “Electronic devices like tablets and all their accessories will be popular gifts this year,” Curry said. Exercise equipment and clothing likely also will be popular gifts. “For women and juniors, yoga sets will be big,” she said. For men, this holiday will be all about “the man cave.” “Things like dart boards and gaming tables will be great for the guys this year,” Curry said. For women, classics like scarves and handbags, all in bold, bright colors of course, will continue to be popular. “And of course you can’t go wrong with traditional gifts like fragrance collections and jewelry,” she added. -- Crystal Ledford


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Moments Magazine | November-December 2012


For the Health of It

A mouthful of moderation

Health professionals: Keep perspective with holiday temptations


s the holiday season approaches, thoughts drift to all the delicious items that will soon grace the family table … fried turkey, dressing and gravy, fudge and peanut butter balls and six kinds of pie. But even as our mouths set to watering, who can forget the everexpanding waistline that often accompanies this time of year? According to doctors at Northside Hospital-Forsyth, the holidays are “the most difficult time of the year to maintain your weight and stick with a healthy diet.”

“Everything in

moderation. Keep

portions small. You can

eat anything you like as long as it’s just one bite instead of one cup.”

They offer a number of suggestions including bringing a healthy entree or appetizer to a party, focusing on the people at the gathering rather than the food, and not drinking your calories (eggnog adds more than just a little protein to the mix). “The most important thing to do is keep exercising during the holidays,” said Amy Strattner, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator with Northside. Pediatrician Stephanie Walsh of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Forsyth agreed. “Just because it’s colder doesn’t 22

mean you get to sit inside, so bring those warm clothes with you … Focus on keeping everyone as active as you can,” Walsh said. According to Strattner, staying active can offset the extra calories we may ingest, especially from all those desserts. Both Strattner and Walsh emphasize the importance of continuing regular meal patterns, even on days with a large holiday meal. “If Thanksgiving dinner is not until 4 o’clock, you should probably eat something around noon instead of being so hungry that you’re most likely to overindulge,” Walsh said. Added Strattner: “Everything in moderation. Keep portions small. You can eat anything you like as long as it’s just one bite instead of one cup.” Strattner suggested “savoring” a dessert to help limit portions as well. She often tells patients to think of their five senses as they enjoy their sugarfilled goodies. “How does it taste, smell, feel and so on,” she said. “You don’t need to eat five cookies in the time it would take you to just savor one cookie. “If you’re going to eat that cookie, enjoy that cookie. Because once you’ve swallowed it, it’s gone.” The holidays can also throw a wrench into even the most dedicated gym-rat’s schedule. But Strattner wants folks to remember that they can exercise no matter

Moments Magazine | November-December 2012

where they are. “Just pack those running shoes ... get the whole family involved,” she said. “You don’t need to join a gym, you don’t need to start doing Tybo, just be active.” Walsh added that activity is especially important for children. “Because kids really do get bored,” she said. “They don’t want to sit for a two-hour dinner … if they can be active for a while, you’ll probably have better behaved children.” Strattner encouraged families not to label foods as good or bad, saying this practice makes you want the “bad food” more. Walsh noted that “the holidays are special.” “So when grandma makes her favorite cake, you should have a piece … you don’t need to take half of it home so you can continue eating it,” she said. Strattner sounded special note for those with diabetes by encouraging them to maintain their food plan as closely as possible. “But at those holiday parties,

learn what foods you can overeat on,” she said. “That would be your non-starchy vegetables, lean protein, low-fat cheese. [They] won’t affect your blood sugar, so those are things that are OK to be a little less cautious with.” She encouraged all families to try cooking with sugar substitutes or look up recipes for healthy alternatives to high-carbohydrate and high-sugar food items. “That’s a way to kind of indulge without overindulging.” Overall, Walsh said to “keep it in perspective.” “We want the holidays to be fun. It is one day, it is a holiday, so focus on the fact that you’re there with your family, your friends, or whoever is important to you,” she said. “And realize that if you eat more than you normally do in one day, that’s probably OK, as long as it’s not something you’re doing every day.” As Strattner tells many patients that walk through her door, “a craving is not a command … make sure you pace yourself and it’s just every food in moderation.” -- Autumn Vetter





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Dinner Matters

An appetizing option Take stress out of entertaining with an antipasto platter


is the season when many of us will be having people over to celebrate the holidays. Instead of spending all of your time in the kitchen, why not plan ahead and make up an antipasto platter? Antipasto, which means “before the meal” is the brilliant Italian answer to appetizers. Creating the perfect antipasto platter is easy. Just choose two or three good quality deli meats, add some cheese, roasted peppers, a variety of olives, some marinated vegetables, and perhaps some smoked fish. Put out a basket of sliced bread rounds and some Italian bread sticks, and voila! If you want to continue the Italian theme, have a made-ahead lasagna baking in the oven and a salad waiting in the refrigerator. Check out the Italian wines in this issue’s wine column for some suggestions on what to serve with the platter and dinner. -- Adlen W. Robinson


Antipasto platter

• 1/3 pound Mortadella, thinly sliced • 1/3 pound prosciutto, sliced paper thin • ¼ pound Genoa salami, thinly sliced • Fontina, asiago, or romano cheese • Marinated fresh mozzarella • Roasted red peppers (preferably marinated in olive oil, garlic and fresh basil) • 1 ½ cups good quality assorted olives • Pickled vegetables • Smoked salmon or smoked trout • Fresh basil • Italian breadsticks • Assorted crackers • Italian or French baguette, thinly sliced On a large platter, decoratively arrange the assorted antipasti ingredients. Garnish with fresh basil. Cover the platter with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Set it out about 30 minutes or so before guests arrive to take the chill off of the cheese.


Moments Magazine | November-December 2012

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Moments Magazine | November-December 2012


From the Cellar

Prosecco perfect for parties Other Italian gems can also enliven the season

Feedback If you have a favorite (affordable) wine, please let me know at 26


Moments Magazine | November-December 2012

Photos: Autumn Vetter


he holidays are nearly here. For most of us that means a lot of celebrating over the next two months. If you usually serve champagne as your “bubbly” of choice, why not consider a bottle of Italian Prosecco instead? Lamarca’s Prosecco is spectacular. And for less than $15 a bottle, it won’t break the bank. I have had several varieties of Prosecco, but this is my favorite. Light and crisp, you can really taste peach, apple and even honeysuckle. A great choice for sipping at your next celebratory event, it is definitely going to be at my New Year’s Eve celebration. Continuing on an Italian theme for this issue, Regaleali has a wonderful white Bianco from Sicily. A blend of three grapes, this wine is as dry as it is refreshing. You can taste the green apple, peach and pear flavors, and it pairs perfectly with seafood and Asian cuisine. It’s also ideal also just for sipping. I found it interesting that Sicily has more vineyards than any other region in Italy. You can find this bottle for about $14 and sometimes even less. This is one worth looking for. If you are seeking an affordable and fantastic red wine to serve with something like the antipasti platter featured in this issue of Moments, you simply must try Cantina Zaccagnini’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. This Italian wine is one of those that truly goes with anything, making it a great choice for your next celebration. Whether you’re serving something fancy or just throwing a few steaks on the grill, this wine promises to round out the meal. It is a dry, fruity wine. You can definitely taste the blackberry and plum flavors. Again, for less than $15 a bottle, this wine is worth trying. And if you can’t remember its long name, just ask for the one with the piece of vine on it. -- Adlen W. Robinson

Moments Magazine | November-December 2012


Home Matters

Entertaining with ease And tips for doing so with children


or some people, the thought of entertaining causes them to break out in hives. For others, entertaining seems to just come naturally. I remember when my husband and I were newlyweds, we invited his boss and her husband over for dinner. I wanted to impress them and created the most complicated menu I possibly could. That was back when I thought the more complicated a recipe, the better it must be. As you can probably imagine, the dinner was pretty much a disaster. I made the hollandaise sauce twice, and both times it curdled. I overcooked the broccoli. I cannot even recall the main course, but I do remember it was less than memorable.

The true secret to flawless entertaining is to plan, plan, plan. I think dessert was the only highlight. Why? Because dessert was the only thing I made ahead. Over the years, I have learned many things that make entertaining a stress free and truly fun thing to do. I learned that keeping things simple is smarter and that the best parties happen when almost all of the work is done before the guests arrive. First and foremost, get ready to make some lists. The true secret to flawless entertaining is to plan, plan, plan. How many people you are going to invite is the first thing to consider. If your gathering is a large one, you may want to bake a ham or a turkey to have sandwiches as your back drop. If you are only having two or three couples over, perhaps you want to make a few appetizers. 28

Moments Magazine | November-December 2012

Other tips for throwing a fabulous party

* Keep the flow of the party moving. Unless you are having a sit-down dinner, place food in several areas of the house. Have a separate table or spot for beverages. * As your guests arrive, take their coats or point out where they can put them. A bedroom or office works fine. * The host or hostess should offer a beverage first. Then suggest the guests help themselves after that. If your party is fairly large, hire some help for bartending, or preappoint a friend. * Make sure you have more ice than you thought you would need. Enough said. * Keep hot food hot and cold food cold. * If you are having a sit-down dinner, use place cards. Before the party, take a few minutes to think about your guests. Place a talkative guest next to someone who is shy. Try not to seat couples next to each other. Mix it up. * As the evening winds down, brew some coffee (regular and decaf ). If you are having a sit-down dinner, turn the coffee pot on as you go in to eat dinner. * If your guests do not all know each other, make sure

you encourage mingling. Many times guests who know each other stick together and need to be encouraged to meet and mingle with others. * If it is in your budget, offer your guests a small party favor as they leave. A Christmas ornament, small potted poinsettia, or a bundle of homemade goodies would be particularly festive. * If you are having a sit-down dinner, make sure your centerpiece is not so big or overwhelming that guests cannot see over it while conversing with other guests. * Before the party, try to schedule enough time for you to leisurely get ready — to shower, dress, and hopefully relax for a few minutes. Turn on some soothing music and envision an evening of fun. When your guests arrive, you will be mentally refreshed and ready for the party. * Your friends are coming to visit with you, not to critique your cooking or your home. If you relax and enjoy your own party, everybody will have more fun. When the host is having fun, the party is always a success.  i

Include some cold ones that can be made ahead (think cocktail shrimp or a smoked salmon platter), and some hot that can be assembled ahead and then just popped into the oven when you’re ready for them (bacon-wrapped dates or stuffed mini tortilla cups).

Once you have your menu decided upon, make your grocery list. The next list is when you can do what. How early can you prepare the cold dishes and when can you assemble the ones which will be served hot? Make a schedule for yourself so you don’t forget anything. If I am having a big dinner — like when I used to cook Thanksgiving dinner for all 21 of my family members -- I made an hour by hour schedule so I didn’t forget to cook something and made sure everything would be ready at the same time. Another consideration is what you will serve the food in and on. Take an inventory of your platters and bowls, and make sure you have what you need. If your gathering is casual, consider paper plates. There are so many beautiful designs out there and that makes clean up so much easier. My husband and I love music, so making sure that component is in place has never been a problem. Even if you are not big into music, consider having some in the background. Light some candles and turn on the lamps instead of bright overhead lighting. I remember being a young mom and entertaining quite a bit. Sometimes I would spend an entire day just cleaning my house. Now I give it a once over with the vacuum cleaner, clean the bathrooms, dust a little, and we are ready to go. Probably the most important thing I have learned in the last 20 plus years of entertaining is that your friends and family are coming to see you. The food and drink are nice bonuses, but the company is the main thing.

offer a few dollars for their services of entertaining the rest of the crew. Make sure you plan for food items that are kid-friendly in addition to snacks. If the children will be eating dinner with the adults, consider setting a table up just for the children. Line the table with butcher paper and provide crayons and markers. If it is going to be a late evening, tell the parents to bring their children’s pajamas and then they can watch a movie when it gets to be later. Everybody loves party favors, so remember to have some candy or small toy items to send off with your pintsized guests. -- Adlen W. Robinson


North Cumming Dentistry

New Patients Welcome

Entertaining with children Since we have four children, we understand what it is like to entertain when there are kids present. There are a few tricks to making it easier on all of those involved. First, make sure you get a head count of how many children will be in attendance and their ages. If you have an older child or two, consider putting them “in charge,” and

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School Spotlight

Get to know your schools

Cumming Elementary  Fun facts: The school has occupied several locations, including the old high school building on 101 School St. Dads of students can get involved in Watch D.O.G.S, or Dads of Great Students, for fun activities with their child. The school offers fourth- and fifth-graders the chance to be in the Cumming Cougar Chorus, which has rehearsals and performances throughout the year.


-- Jennifer Sami

Photos: Autumn Vetter

Principal: Pam Pajerski Address: 540 Dahlonega St. Cumming, GA 30040 H Mascot: Cougars • Opened: 1961 H Enrollment: 920 H Size: 139,182 square feet


Sawn ee D r.

St .


Da hlo ne ga

 Special programs: The school offers a sign language club, as well as an annual Battle of the Books Event to challenge students to read and comprehend multiple books and compete in teams. The school also has the BeCumming Green Team, where students learn and participate in recycling, gardening and environmental awareness efforts. Each student participates in specials, which include two physical education classes, as well as one art and one music course every week. “Cumming Elementary is a special place to learn and work because of the deep sense of community that permeates our building,” said Principal Pam Pajerski. “Our teachers are 100 percent dedicated to ensuring the academic success of all students. “We are very excited about our ‘Involvement Matters’ program designed to encourage parent involvement. This program is a partnership between our school and our parents that allows parents to earn tokens for participation in school events or by volunteering. “When a parent has earned 10 tokens, the student is awarded a red T-shirt that reads, “My Parent is Wonderful, Interested, Caring, Loving, Amazing, Helpful ... Involved!” 

Forsyth County Public Library

Your Health is our priority “Our mission is to provide the highest quality cardiovascular care.”

Dr. Osman Ahmed

H Awards: Multiple-time winner of the Title I Distinguished School Award, gold level winner of the Green School Award & School Garden of the Year award from Keep Forsyth County Beautiful Call now to schedule your appointment at our

Contact: (770) 887-7749 Fax: (770) 888-1233 Moments Magazine | November-December 2012

Johns Creek (770) 622-1622 or Cumming (678) 679-6800 Location Monday-Friday 8:30a.m-5:00pm

*Offering same day appointments/same day testing*

Autumn-matic. 527 Atlanta Road • Cumming • 770-887-2316 • Moments Magazine | November-December 2012


Georgia’s trusted leader in radiology In radiology, it’s one thing to see; it’s another to understand. Northside’s expert team of board-certified radiologists and sub-specialists are trained extensively to interpret general to specialized imaging—from pediatric MRI to digital mammography and interventional radiology of the spine. We combine exceptional care and the latest technologies, bringing our expertise to convenient locations throughout your community. Visit us online at


Moments Magazine | November-December 2012

Moments 2012  

Forsyth County's November 2012 edition of our Moment's Magazine for women!

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