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The Luxury Lifestyle Magazine of Texas


cooking with

holiday dish recipeswith “spirited”ingredients are sure to be your newest tradition

Be Dazzled

Q&A with Robert Herjavec

Pay It Forward

add sparkle toyour style this holiday season

get up close with one of North America’s most recognizable business leaders and“Shark Tank” star

challengeyourself with 24 days of giving back

H r u Yo H


Darling Homes . Partners


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Enjoy tree lined boulevards, parks and trails, amenity lakes and Oyster Creek. Discover fun with a short hike, bike or drive to the Historic District, a weekly Farmer’s Market and Constellation Field, home of the Sugar Land Skeeters.

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Custom luxury awaits at the patio homes of Silent Manor, the gated waterfront neighborhood of Quiet Cove and the convenient Townhomes at Imperial. All designed with unique, open floor plans, striking exterior features and low maintenance settings. Perfect for entertaining or for those special visits from the kids.

e nd P w y k

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You raised Your familY here, coached youth sports, ran the carpool

and hosted the sleepovers.


They’re here, and They’re


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curbappeal 23

From whimsical to wild, a personality-packed front entry makes a fabulous first impression

29 Cooking with Spirit

Dressed in Holiday Style

Secrets to planning an unforgettable holiday in the Big Apple

Estancia | Joe Buglewicz

get inspired with these “spirited” dishes

62 City Sidewalks, Busy Sidewalks,

november/december • 2013




9 • cocktails & conversation • keeping you in the know Buzz • Style • Look Who’s Talking • Point of Interest My Life • Nostalgia • Bucket List • Design

Toys for the kitchen

37 • connoisseur • Prime’s Guide to Discerning Taste Table Talk • Uncorked • Main Dish • Bragging Bites • Entertain 49 • the gentlemen’s room • For the man who commands the very best Man Cave • Driver’s Seat • Wealth • High Tech • Outdoors

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Karyn Dean


Publisher Terry Dean


High Tech’s Holiday Gift Picks

57 • escape • Greetings from destinations near and far Enlightened Explorer • Postcards 69 • live well • Feel Good, Look Good, be good Health Buzz • Feel Good • Beauty Buzz Look Good • Be Good • His & Hers 76 • prime list • Events, Galas and Fundraisers Iron Sommelier • CenterStage Dinner • Urban Retreat’s Grand Opening

Editorial Assistant Ginny McCord gmccord@srgserv.com

Art Direction & Design LuckyYou! Creative Erin Loukili Misty Voitovski



SRG Graphic designer Tom Kircher tkircher@srgserv.com

Go for the gold

director of marketing Jennifer Dean


PRIME Living’s September/October VIP Party



Circulation/ Distribution Brian Stavert



Contact 311 Julie Rivers Drive Sugar Land, Texas 77498 281.277.2333 Editorial Inquiries editor@prime-living.com

The Luxury



of Texas


oking co with

SwiTh holidAy diSh recipe ieNTS Are Sure “SpiriTed”iNgred TrAdiTioN T To be your NeweS

Be Dazzled

your style add sparkle to this holiday season



Q&A with avec RobeuprtcloseHerj with one of

get s most North America’ leaders business recognizable star and“Shark Tank”

Pay It Forward

fwith challengeyourselback 24 days of giving


on the cover Pumpkin pie with Chardonnay Rosemary Caramel – find the recipe in PRIME Living’s digital recipe guide on prime-living.com. Photo courtesy of Estancia. “Cooking with Spirit” (page 29), “Be Dazzled” (page 12), “Pay it Forward” (page 19) Q&A with Robert Herjavec – “A conversation with Robert Herjavec” (page 13)

subscribe AT prime-living.com ©2013 Prime Living Magazine is a publication of SRG Services, Inc., published bi-monthly. Copies are mailed and hand-delivered to households and businesses throughout the greater Houston area. This publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the express prior written permission of the publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility to any party for the content of any advertisement in this publication. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position of the publication.

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publisher’s note

the prime living crew


the holiday dish we are most looking forward to Mary Jo Rapini {contributor} “Home-made biscotti. My family makes all different kinds drizzled with chocolate. It is so scrumptious, we dare not make it any other time of the year.” Holly Beretto {contributor} “Whatever dish my family and my husband and I all share together.” Jake Poinier {contributor} “Born and raised in the cranberry bogs of coastal Massachusetts, I have to say cranberry sauce—doesn’t matter if it’s the real, homemade kind or the jelly cylinder you slide out of a can!” Angela Ambrose {contributor} “Homemade pumpkin pie and mashed rutabaga” Kathryn Hunter {contributor} “Pecan Pie” Jeff Yip {contributor} “Sticky rice with sausage and chestnuts (think Cantonese dressing). Mom’s was superb and my kids still talk about it. We miss you, Mom.” Karyn Dean {editor-in-chief} “I can’t wait for turkey and dressing! If I had someone else to cook it, I’d order it every day.” Michael Garfield {contributor} “Potato latkes! I stay away from the apple sauce and put a little ketchup on mine. Yum!”

Robin Barr Sussman {contributor} “My mother’s cornbread dressing with homemade gravy. She uses a recipe passed down from her mother (a fabulous cook!)” Jennifer Dean {director of marketing} “Green bean casserole and for dessert, Scotcheroos!” Ginny McCord {editorial assistant} “My mom’s cranberry-orange relish.” Elizabeth Exline {contributor} “Cookies, cake, pumpkin pie—isn’t the meal just something to get through so one can have a conversation before dessert?” Doug Pike {contributor} “Old-fashioned pumpkin pie smothered in whipped cream. If it wouldn’t embarrass my wife, I’d skip the bird and beans and eat two whole pies.” Bruce Farr {contributor} “My mother’s traditional French Canadian meat pie recipe—called ‘Tourtiere’—which has spanned the generations.”

DavE O. Dodge {contributor} “Panuchos, a simple dish made with corn tortillas, black beans, turkey, avocado and pickled onion. Perfect with a Sol beer.” Terry Dean {publisher} “Chocolate pie.” Brian Stavert {accounting/distribution manager} “Looking forward to turkey, stuffing and gravy, and green bean casserole.” Erin Loukili {art director} “It’s just not a holiday meal without Green Bean Casserole, Creamed Corn and my Great Aunt Marian’s Sugar Cookies.” Misty Voitovski {designer} “My mom’s stuffing. She freezes an extra batch just for me so I can enjoy it into the New Year too!” Brenlee McKnight {photographer} “Green Bean Casserole! While at boarding school, holidays were one of the few times I saw my family. My most vivid childhood holiday memory is enjoying my cousin Brenda’s green bean casserole.”

Victoria Nowak {secretary/ad coordinator} “Pumpkin Pie”

Like something you read? want more? Check out our Bonus Content Online on prime-living.com

coming up From healthy recipes to gearing up for rodeo time, get inspired for 2014 in our Health and Wellness issue.



Did you know?

Texas Children’s Hospital treats more children with cancer and blood disorders than any other organization in the United States.

Join Ambassadors today. Become an Ambassador for Texas Children’s Hospital and be a voice for sick and injured children in our community and beyond. Memberships begin at $250. To learn more call 832-824-6900 or visit ambassadors.texaschildrens.org.

cocktails & conversation

cocktails & conversation keeping you in the know

Paul Kolnik


10 • The Buzz News around Texas 12 • Style be dazzled 13 • Look Who’s Talking robert herjavec 14 • Point of Interest deck the halls, y’all 15 • My Life gem goddess 16 • Nostalgia tripping the light creative 18 • Bucket List pay it forward 20 • Design homes for the holidays november/december • 2013


cocktails & conversation


>> For the holiday baker

Toys for the Kitchen uddy Valastro, better known as the Cake Boss, has launched


an all new line of products just in time for holiday baking. The Cake Boss’ new line has everything you need—from molded cookie sheets and cake pans to fondant cutters and cookie jars. Your guests will be asking what boutique bakery you got your festive cookies from. cakebossbaking.com

>> For the one-of-a-kind seeker


Center in Houston this November. Each year the Nutcracker Market draws hundreds of exclusive vendors from all over the country. Holiday shoppers from across Texas flock to the fourday event to track down one-of-a-kind specialized gifts. With “candy land” as this year’s Market theme, a highly anticipated item is the Mary Frances Gingerbread House handbag. All ticket sales benefit the Academy and Scholarship Program of the Houston Ballet Foundation. nutcrackermarket.com

>> For the musical enthusiast

CHICAGO in Texas he six-time Tony Award-winning


musical is taking the stage in Texas this November. Set in the 1920s, the story of a housewife/nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover, is full of scandal, Grammy-winning tunes and has wowed audiences world-wide. The Broadway cast taking the Texas stage stars Paige Davis, who you might recognize from her days as a host on one of the nation’s first home-makeover shows, “Trading Spaces.” Catch CHICAGO in Houston at The Hobby Center November 12-17 and in Austin at Bass Concert Hall November 19-24. chicagothemusical.com



Cake Boss | Bobby Moseley | Paul Kolnik

Shop ‘Till You Drop he shopping experience of the year takes place at Reliant

cocktails & conversation


>> For the sophisticated sipper

Rare Find or only the second time in Louis

F >> For the taste-tester

Chocolate Takes Flight


ake a little break from the holiday hustle and treat your sweet tooth to Godiva’s first ever Truffle Flight Collection. Much like a wine flight, Godiva’s Truffle Flight is filled with a progressive exploration of flavors personally selected by executive chef and chocolatier Thierry Muret. Six themed flight collections, including Nut Lovers and Heavenly Mousse, each contain six different truffles that are served in order of taste, just like a wine flight. Truffle Flights are available nationwide at Godiva boutiques and online. godiva.com

XIII’s 140-year history, the company has released a Rare Cask cognac. First signs of a rare cask include a higher level of alcohol beyond the expected 40 percent— and its rich intense flavors of nuts, dried fruit and the long-aged flavors for which Louis XIII cognac is known. This rare batch carries distinct autumn notes of plum, gingerbread and tobacco. With only 738 signature black crystal decanters of Louis XIII Rare Cask 42,6 available worldwide, find yours at Spec’s in Houston or in Dallas at Sigel’s, Pogo’s, True Spirits or Dallas Fine Wine. rare-cask.com

>> For the self-indulgent

Color me Bubbly ust in time for holiday pampering, the pioneers of


handmade beauty products from across the pond have opened a storefront in Houston’s Highland Village. Known for unique fragrant bath and body selections, the European brand LUSH customizes handmade products containing organic fruits and vegetables, the finest essential oils and littleto-no preservatives. Among top-sellers you’ll find edible lip scrub, grandkid-friendly bathtub play-dough and a new line of colors that reflect your mood. lushusa.com

>> For the holiday-loving foodie

Godiva | Louis XIII | Lush

Winter Trail his winter, taste your way through the best light displays


in Dallas with one of Dallas by Chocolate’s holiday tours. Known for their many food tours, the company is adding a wine and cheese tour this year that includes food pairings and tastings at venues along the trail. Also new this year will be a progressive dinner option and art gallery tours. These festive food trails start after Thanksgiving and run through December. Private tours are also available. dallasbychocolate.com

what colors catch your eye and what does that say about you? Find out on prime-living.com november/december • 2013



Estelle Dress, $2,798 by Kate Spade New York available at Kate Spade

Silka Clutch, $598 by Kate Spade New York available at Kate Spade

Katia Sunglasses, $250 by Kate Spade New York available at Kate Spade Azalea Skimmer Flat, $250 by Tory Burch available at Nordstrom



Glitter Bow Belt, $98 by Kate Spade New York available at Kate Spade

Pave Bow Cuff, $428 by Kate Spade New York available at Kate Spade

Benson Cardigan, $328 by Kate Spade New York available at Kate Spade

Kate Spade New York | Nordstrom

cocktails & conversation

Look Who’s talking

cocktails & conversation

a conversation with

robert herjavec


obert Herjavec is one of North America’s most recognizable business leaders. He has built and sold businesses on his way to amassing a personal fortune of over $250 million dollars. A first generation immigrant, Herjavec arrived in Canada on a boat with his parents after escaping communism in former Yugoslavia. Herjavec stars in the ABC Television series “Shark Tank.”


How did you get started in racing? I have always loved fast cars and realized driving fast on the streets is neither good for the car or for you. I wanted to push myself and see what I could do on the track going fast against others.


What’s next for you? I’m a pretty happy guy, but there is so much to do–it is still incredible to me what you can achieve in life. I have a big mountain left to climb.


What is something still on your bucket list? I want to do an Ironman. I got the marathon running part down, but the biking and swimming will kill me.


What is one thing you always have with you? My iPad.


What is your favorite healthy aging tip? Exercise is like breathing–don’t think about it–just do it.

Name an item or trend from the past 25 years that you would bring back. Disco–I can dance (well, at least in my mind).


Where is your favorite place to grab a burger and why? Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I try to eat healthy, but I am sucker for fries and a burger.


Petar Jurica | Evgeniy Kharam

What was the last thing you Googled or looked up online? Movie times–I love going to movies–I am like a little kid–always get excited before the movie starts.


What is your most memorable experience from your TV show, “Shark Tank?” Too many to mention–it’s been an incredible journey considering after season one we were on the bubble of being renewed.


What is something that most people would be surprised to learn about you? I am a pretty quiet, introverted guy.

november/december • 2013


point of interest

deck the halls, y’all Story | holly beretto

Walking through the gates, you might think you’ve stumbled onto a movie set: the vast main street stretches in front of you and the most beautiful homes line the wide boulevard. It feels like a fantasy.


hat’s the whole idea, according to MainStreet America CEO Mike Feigin, who says the concept for the home improvement theme park began 13 years ago. “I’m a custom home builder. People would come to our model park and wish they could see more—have more ideas in front of them—see different kinds of architecture.” So, when Feigin put together MainStreet America, he tried to make those wishes come true. The park offers 12 model homes of different styles—all complete with furniture, home accents, appliances and building materials. Everything is for sale, from the home designs themselves to every refrigerator, rug and even air conditioning units. “We want to connect the consumer with the manufacturer,” said Feigin. “And we want



consumers to be able to say, ‘I love that,’ and know they can purchase it.” To that end, MainStreet America partners with several manufacturers and suppliers who showcase their wares in the park’s homes and shops. There are two restaurants, a furniture store and even home financing services and homesite purchase options available. Every visitor entering the park gets a Technological Education Device (TED), a hand-held tablet that acts as tour guide and shopping cart. As visitors walk about the homes, TED offers information about the home style and features and allows guests to save items they like in their “shopping cart” for purchase later. “We are entirely full service,” he says. “Our desire is: if you love it and want to re-create it, we can make that happen.”

events on main CHRISTMAS ON MAINSTREET Don’t be deceived by the name of this event—the holiday festivities are truly multi-cultural. The lighting ceremony even includes a huge Hanukkah menorah. All the homes are decorated in different styles for the holidays. There are train rides through the park and of course an appearance by Santa.

MAIN COURSE COOKING SCHOOL Want to learn how to make the perfect sauce? Maybe discover a new recipe for that party you’re throwing? MainStreet America has a cooking school with classes overseen by chef Lawrence Fogarty. Here you’ll get a dose of culinary knowledge and hands-on experience in the kitchen.

SEMINARS & DISCUSSIONS With subjects ranging from how to host the perfect happy hour to seeing how technology can enhance your home, MainStreet America hosts a series of seminars every month. Participants learn how to make their homes function better, look nicer or even more inviting. mainstreetamerica.com

courtesy of MainStreet America

cocktails & conversation

cocktails & conversation


gem goddess kendra scott Story | holly beretto


Kelly Rucker

Iam absolutely obsessed with color

Want more? See Kendra Scott’s newest design in PRIME Living’s Holiday Gift Guide on prime-living.com

ewelry designer Kendra Scott is known for her bold designs and stunning stone arrangements. Like many entrepreneurs, Scott didn’t set out to start a business— jewelry design began as a hobby when she was in her twenties. After unsuccessful searches for jewelry that fit her taste, she decided to create her own. Once her friends began asking for her designs, she launched her business with only $500—a business that evolved into a global, multi-million dollar, high-fashion operation. Today, Kendra Scott Jewelry is sold at renowned retailers like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. “My favorite part of my job is my customers,” Scott says. “I love making women feel happy and beautiful.” There’s no typical day at the office for her, anymore—days are filled with travel, scouting out new store locations, public speaking and working with her design team on upcoming collections. “I am absolutely obsessed with color,” Scott says. “So, my favorite part of designing every new collection is coming up with new colors and color mixes.” One thing that hasn’t changed in the intervening years is that Scott still designs gorgeous pieces in a kaleidoscope of colored stones. Kendra Scott fans can expect stunning combinations from the upcoming Holiday 2013–Aurora Collection. “We are introducing iridescent agate, a beautiful, luminescent stone that picks up light from all angles.” Scott’s LUXE collection—due to unveil in November—combines the artistry of genuine stones with fine jewelry. “The pieces are designed to be gorgeous and season-less with collector’s appeal,” said Scott. “They’re perfect statement accessories for the red carpet or a special event.” Scott says her goal is to be a global leader in fashion, but her roots will always be in Texas. “This city has given us our wings to fly,” she says of her Austin base and she hews to the core values on which she founded the company:“family, fashion and philanthropy.” “I feel blessed to get to do something that I am so passionate about,” Scott says, “It is truly a dream come true.”

november/december • 2013


cocktails & conversation


Tripping the Light creative T

here are a few popular trends in games and toys that seem to linger long in our memories, and become greater than the sum of their parts. The Lite-Brite happens to be one of them.

Introduced by Milton Bradley in 1967, Lite-Brite, for the uninitiated among us, originally was a lighted pegboard art kit that let the user create glowing designs by fitting multi-colored, translucent plastic pegs into a matrix of holes. Elegantly simple in concept and design, the idea was to create and illuminate a picture, using a single bulb located underneath the pegboard’s black surface. LiteBrite users could fashion designs from their own imaginations or use a series of stencil-based templates that the kit provided. (In the original Lite-Brite kit, the



orange, pink, purple and clear. No doubt, Lite-Brite’s enduring popularity owes more than a little to the creative outlet it’s provided millions of children and adults alike. When it was first introduced, Lite-Brite essentially was a flat screen, but as the game evolved templates included popular TV characters such as Mickey Mouse, and Milton Bradley merged with My Little Pony and Scooby-Doo.) Hasbro, it became a three-dimensional cube and now has evolved The kit included eight peg into travel size and boy/girl selections: blue, red, yellow,

Did you know? In one of the most fascinating uses of the kit ever, the Waco, Texas-based David Crowder Band used Lite-Brite in a music video called “SMS (Shine).” Employing stop-motion animation, and with absolutely no computer graphics or special effects, the band members and 83 of their closest friends used more than 700,000 vintage Lite-Brite pegs to create the video over the course of 2,150 hours and 148 pizzas.

models. There’s now even an app so users can play with Lite-Brite on their tablets. Despite—or perhaps because of—Lite-Brite’s popularity with children, generations of parents’ most vivid memory of the game might be endlessly picking up the little plastic pegs after their kids finished strewing them around the room! Ah, well, it was for a good cause. In tribute to its popularity, Lite-Brite has the honor of being named number 55 on Time magazine’s All-Time 100 Greatest Toys list. It’s amazing to consider how, with just a few colored pegs and a pegboard, this creative toy has continued to entertain children for more than 40 years. And, we’re happy to say, it doesn’t look like its bright light will be extinguished any time soon.

courtesy of Hasbro

Story | bruce farr

cocktails & conversation





What’s the origin of LiteBrite’s developer, Hasbro? A. James Hasbro launched the company in the 1920s after success creating educational games for several area elementary schools. B. Dr. Robert Hasbro went into business making toys after the successful production of doctors and nurse kits for children. C. In 1923, Henry and Helal Hassenfeld, founded Hassenfeld Brothers, a company selling textile remnants and later pencil boxes. They shortened the name to “Hasbro.”

courtesy of Hasbro


What is the largest Lite-Brite picture ever created? A. In a project sponsored by ASICS (yes, the shoe company), a nearly 11-by-15-foot rendering of the ASICS Gel Lyte III sneaker was created by artist Lori Kanary. B. In St. Paul, Minn., artist Ta-coumba T. Aiken designed a mural and with hundreds of volunteers brought it to life with more than 596,000 Lite-Brite pegs.

C. Artist Joey Syta recreated the 15th century Mon Seul Desir out of 36 Lite-Brite boards, a project that took more than two years.


What’s the wattage of a Lite-Brite bulb? A. 25 B. 7 C. 15


Which character from TV or movies proved to be one of the most popular Lite-Brite template designs ever? A. Darth Vader B. Mickey Mouse C. Kermit the Frog

Which of the following are not a Hasbro toy or game? Cabbage Patch Kids

Candy Land





Tinker Toys


G.I. Joe


SEE MORE than 700,000 Lite-Brite pegs used in the David Crowder Band’s “SMS” video on prime-living.com

Trivia Answers: 1.C; 2.B; 3.A;. 4.A Answer: Barbie

Test how bright your Lite-Brite I.Q. is by selecting the correct answers to the following questions.

november/december • 2013


Bucket List

pay it forward Story | Jake Poinier


ven though it’s the season of giving there’s no reason you should limit yourself. We’ve got some great ideas for giving while also crossing an item or two off your bucket list.

Giving Globally

Rather than just going on a vacation, consider voluntouring—experiencing a different part of the world and giving back while you’re doing it. “Our organization started in voluntourism 18 years ago, but we’ve really seen it become a popular option in the past five to eight years,” says Molly Hampton, program site specialist for Ghana and South Africa for CrossCultural Solutions. The organization has 10 locations in



Africa, Asia, Central America and South America—with a focus that varies from social services, education and healthcare to microfinance, youth and women’s empowerment. “If you want to experience voluntourism, flexibility is the main thing to keep in mind,” Hampton says. “We want to incorporate your skills and service, but we also need people who are ready to jump in where it’s needed. One of the biggest needs is English education, so if you are a native English speaker, we have that need worldwide.”

before you go Cross-Cultural Solutions will walk you through the necessary vaccinations and other preparations. They can also assist with questions regarding traveling with any kind of disability. “We have had people in wheelchairs and people with hearing impairments go through our programs,” Hampton says. “If you think you’re capable, we will do whatever we can to support that.”

Safety and security are top priorities, so Cross-Cultural Solutions is in constant contact with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. embassies in the countries they serve. In addition, the organization has an in-country team at each location year-round. “We very much have eyes and ears on the ground, and I’d say that’s one of the aspects we’re proudest of,” Hampton says. All of the organization’s program advisors are also former volunteers. “Before I started working here, I went to Tanzania as a volunteer,” Hampton says. “It’s one of the unique aspects of our program, because we’ve all experienced it from that perspective personally.” crossculturalsolutions.org

Cross-Cultural Solutions

cocktails & conversation

Bucket list

cocktails & conversation

PRIME Living’s 24 Days of Giving Back Countdown

7. Write a letter to someone serving in our military at amillionthanks.org. 8. Have the whole family spend a few hours picking up litter around the neighborhood or at a local park. 9. Host a neighborhood potluck. 10. Donate clothing or blankets to a homeless shelter. 11. Bring bagels to the office. 12. Call an old friend whom you haven’t talked to in a year or more. 13. Donate your hair to locksoflove.org. 14. Serve a meal at a local food bank. 15. Collect all of your old eyeglasses and donate them to the local Lions Club. (They take used hearing aids, too.) 16. Provide a microloan to a needy business through kiva.org.

17. Donate a box of diapers or baby wipes to a women’s shelter. 18. Walk, run or volunteer in a race for charity. 19. Hold a garage sale and donate the profits. 20. Donate your unused air miles to the American Cancer Society’s Air Miles Program. 21. Join a literacy program focused on teaching English as a second language. 22. Take a trivia quiz on freekibble.com and they’ll donate dog food to animal shelters. 23. Gather all the spare change around the house, and make the day of a Salvation Army “red kettle” volunteer. 24. Gather a group of friends to sing Christmas carols at a local nursing home.

Put Your Money Where the Need Is

realize—compliance and government issues, and a fair amount of initial investment.” The second step is to evaluate what your resources are and the amount of time you can commit to creating a nonprofit. “There are a lot of different charitable vehicles,” Sandler says. “If you create a private foundation, that offers the most flexibility and control over your charitable giving, but they also have the most restrictions.”

A third option for leaving a legacy is donoradvised funds, a hybrid of the two that can be formed through most of the large financial investment firms. “They’re a good choice for someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time administrating their charity,” Sandler says. “You can also get a tax deduction the moment money goes into the fund, even if it’s a few years before you decide which charitable cause you’d like to benefit.” givingback.org

Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference. Join us in December for 24 days of giving back. Here are some ideas to get you started! 1. Pay for the person behind you in line at Starbucks. 2. Pay for the person behind you in line at the toll plaza. 3. Give blood to your local blood bank. 4. Offer to read a book out loud at a local elementary school, day care center or nursing home. 5. Compliment every person you see in any given day—yes, that includes strangers! 6. Take dinner to someone who’s feeling under the weather.

You’d like to start a charitable endeavor, but where to start? “The first thing is to clarify your goals,” says Stephanie Sandler, vice president of The Giving Back Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides philanthropic consulting, management, and administrative services to individuals and corporations. “There’s more involved than many people

before you go

Want more pay-it-forward ideas? More on prime-living.com

In addition to suggesting a meeting with a philanthropic consultant, Sandler offers two cautions: “You need to remember it’s still a business, but the for-profit rules don’t apply in the nonprofit world,” she says. “Second, if you’re thinking about starting a charity in an already popular sector, realize that means more money spent on administration and marketing that could be directed toward the charitable cause.”

november/december • 2013


cocktails & conversation

design Houston Heights Home Tour


for the holidays

Georgetown Heritage Society: Holiday Tour of Historic Homes & Buildings

Dec. 14-15 {Georgetown} The Georgetown Heritage Society’s Holiday Tour is a longstanding tradition that reveals the rich history found in Georgetown and showcases some of the city’s most beautiful historic homes in their holiday best. This year’s theme centers around the marriage of the old and new, focusing on the homeowner’s respect for historical significance and the many ways that they integrate that heritage with modern living. Featuring historic buildings in Georgetown’s Old Town Historic District, this tour provides



an inside look into exceptional historic and contemporary homes in the area. Tours of each house are guided by docents who are educated in historical information dating back to the 1800s. Money raised will help fund programs and seminars for membership, promote heritage tourism and provide for the maintenance of Grace Heritage Center. The Holiday Tour is open from 12 to 5 p.m. both days. georgetownheritagesociety.com

Yuletide: Holiday Time at Bayou Bend

Nov. 17 to Jan. 1 {Houston} Renowned for its annual Yuletide tradition featuring festive lights, decorations,

candlelight tours and special room settings, this event brings historic American celebrations to life. Touring options for Yuletide include guided house tours, selfguided tours and evening Candlelight tours. Proceeds from this event help support tours of the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, education programs, research and conservation. mfah.org/bayoubend

Houston Heights Home Tour: In the New Old Fashioned Way

Dec. 6-7 {Houston} The Houston Heights Holiday Home Tour is a seasonal favorite, where visitors can enjoy squeezing in some holiday shopping in the eclectic boutiques around the neighborhood. New this year is the 50s-style Rockin’ Holiday Party on December 5th at the newly renovated historic Houston Heights City Hall and Fire Station. Homes available for touring will be decorated for the holidays, with musicians and carolers adding to the festivities. Proceeds go toward beautification

courtesy Houston Heights Association


ooking for a great way to get into the holiday spirit? Look no further—These holiday home tours will surely do the job. Enjoy beautifully decorated homes and buildings while helping some great organizations dedicated to bettering our communities.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston | Lucas Adams | City of Granbury/enVision Creative Services | Favre, Perry & Furman


cocktails & conversation

Bayou Bend Home Tour

Georgetown Heritage Society Home Tour

Historic Granbury Candlelight Tour

Fort Bend CASA Home Tour

and restoration of the Heights Boulevard esplanade, Marmion and Donovan Parks, and the historic Houston Heights City Hall and Fire Station. The tour is open from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday and 3 to 9 p.m. on Saturday. houstonheights.org

Historic Granbury Merchants Association: Candlelight Tour

Dec. 6-8 {Granbury} The city of Granbury is doing it up Victorianstyle to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this holiday tradition. Guests are invited to take a horse-drawn carriage ride through historic downtown Granbury, where 30 Victorian-era

homes will be decked out for the holidays. Each residence will have an in-costume tour guide to host you and pass on tales of Granbury’s rich history. The weekend celebration includes live entertainment, storytelling, caroling and a nativity scene display. Tours run from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday; and 1 to 8 p.m. on Sunday. granburysquare.com

Child Advocates of Fort Bend: Annual Christmas Home Tour

Dec. 13-14 {Houston} A Fort Bend holiday tradition, the CASA (court appointed special advocates) Christmas

Home Tour gives guests the opportunity to walk through beautifully decorated homes while helping raise much-needed funds to support Child Advocates of Fort Bend County (CAFB) and their programs serving abused and neglected children. Guided tours of each home will include live entertainment comprised of choral groups, violinists and pianists throughout the weekend—as well as fresh baked cookies and cider in designated cookie homes. Sweetwater Country Club will open their doors to participants for a special “tour lunch buffet” on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tour hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with a candlelight tour on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. cafb.org

More recommendations for holiday happenings on prime-living.com november/december • 2013


curbappeal A holiday inspired, personality-packed front entry makes a fabulous first impression on family and guests. Front doors and entryways have a lot to say about the character of those who live inside. From festive to whimsical, take a tour of these character inspired holiday–themed entry wreaths.

november/december • 2013


elegant Thoughtful with a true admiration for creative detail and craftsmanship



Spreads smiles and inspiration every season


cheerful Dares to be different and entertains with style

november/december • 2013


warm Balanced by nature and draws you in with a refined taste

hospitable Generous of heart, humor, warmth and laughter to all guests



traditional Family oriented and fills the air with a festive spirit

november/december • 2013






As you dust off your tried and true holiday recipes get inspired with these “spirited” dishes— each includes a wine or spirit as an ingredient. Be careful though, you might just start a new tradition! november/december • 2013


Heavenly Scotch Ham Courtesy of allrecipes.com Makes: 10 lbs. Ingredients 1 (10-pound) fully-cooked spiral cut ham 1 cup packed brown sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 1/2 cups Scotch whisky Directions Preheat the oven to 325 F. Set the ham with the flat side down in a large roasting pan.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cornstarch, mustard, cinnamon and Scotch. Brush some of the mixture onto the ham, reserve the rest for basting. Bake in a preheated oven, basting every 20 minutes, for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand for 15 minutes before removing the foil and serving. This ham is delicious served warm, at room temperature or even cold.

Scotch Butterscotch Carrots Courtesy of Ethan Kaercher and sipsmokesavor.com Serves: 8-10 Ingredients 1 pound baby carrots 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons brown sugar 3 tablespoons scotch (Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban port finish) black pepper and pinch of Kosher salt sprig of parsley for garnish Directions Clean baby carrots and pat them dry. Pull out any that are

too large or too tiny that will not cook evenly. In a medium sauce pan heat the butter, brown sugar, salt and scotch over medium high heat until smooth. Add carrots and toss to coat. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes on low heat until done to the desired cruchiness or softness. Stir occasionally so that all are evenly cooked. This recipe can be made in advance (recommend that you slightly undercook) then quickly reheated just before serving with an extra splash of scotch. Add parsley.

chocolate scotch whisky cake Courtesy of allrecipes.com Makes: 1 9-inch pan Ingredients 1/4 cup raisins 1/4 cup Scotch whisky 7 (1 ounce) squares German sweet chocolate, chopped 1/2 cup butter 3 egg yolks 3 egg whites 2/3 cup white sugar 4 1/2 tablespoons flour 1 pinch salt 2/3 cup finely ground almonds 3 (1 ounce) squares German sweet chocolate, chopped 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar 3 tablespoons butter

Directions Preheat oven to 375 F. In a small bowl, combine raisins and Scotch whisky then set aside. Cut a round of parchment paper the size of the bottom of the cake pan. Butter the sides of the pan and one side of the paper. Lay the paper, butter side up, in the pan and dust thoroughly with flour. Place the 7 ounces of chocolate in the top of a double boiler with 3 tablespoons of water. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup butter in small pieces.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture is a pale creamy yellow. Combine with the chocolate mixture. In a small bowl, combine the flour and the ground almonds and add to the batter. Stir in the raisins and Scotch whisky. In a clean large bowl, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they are stiff but not dry. Stir a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, and then fold all back into the remaining egg whites. Pour the mixture into the pan.

Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes. The outside should be firm, but the center should remain moist. Let the cake sit for 10 minutes in the pan, then unmold it on a cake rack and let it cool for a few hours or overnight. Peel off the paper before icing it. Frosting Melt 3 ounces chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar and then 3 tablespoons butter a little at a time. Blend well and spread immediately on the cake. Allow icing to set for about half an hour before serving the cake.

*Some recipes adapted for print.

Get in the cooking spiritwith our digital recipe guide on prime-living.com



scotch tip: Tomato sauce or juice combined with Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce can work as a substitute for many robust liquors.

november/december • 2013


Rustic Pancetta and Caramelized Fennel Stuffing Courtesy of Estancia Serves: 8 Ingredients 1 pound Pullman loaf cut into rough 1-inch cubes, air dried on rack overnight at room temperature on kitchen counter 8 ounces pancetta, medium diced 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter 2 cups fennel, thinly sliced (1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs) 1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced 1/3 cup Estancia

Monterey Chardonnay 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves 2 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock, or a combination Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Directions Preheat oven to 375 F with a rack placed in the middle. In a 12-inch sauté pan, sauté the pancetta until fat is rendered and the meat is crisping. Using a

slotted spoon, remove pancetta to a plate and set aside. Add butter to pan and melt with the remaining pancetta fat. Add the sliced fennel and onion to the pan with a pinch of salt and cook on medium-low, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Turn up the heat and add the Estancia Monterey Chardonnay, allowing wine to bubble, stirring until wine reduces to a syrupy coating. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes. In a large bowl, toss the bread

cubes with the contents from the sauté pan. Fold in the eggs and fresh herbs and stir to combine. Moisten stuffing with enough stock to your liking. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (keeping in mind that the pancetta can be salty). Spoon stuffing loosely into a 9-by-13-inch buttered baking dish. Cover with buttered foil and bake stuffing for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until stuffing is heated through and the top is golden brown another 15-20 minutes.

Tuna Meatballs in Bouillabaisse Broth Courtesy of Cakebread Cellars Serves: 6 Ingredients Tuna 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs 1/2 cup milk 1 1/2 pounds yellow fin tuna, diced 2 ounces pancetta, minced 1 large egg 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped salt and pepper to taste Sauce 1 pinch fennel pollen (optional) 1 small onion, thinly sliced 1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced 3 tablespoons olive oil 3 cloves garlic 1 1/2 cups plum tomatoes, peeled

1/2 cup Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay 1 pinch saffron 1 pinch Espelette or cayenne pepper 4 cups fish stock or clam broth 1 bay leaf 2 thyme sprigs All Else 16 Manila or Littleneck clams 24 mussels, scrubbed 2 ounces Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced 1 pound Fregola pasta (Sardinian pasta), cooked salt and pepper to taste Directions Tuna Soak the breadcrumbs in milk to soften for 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze off the milk. Dice the tuna into 1-inch pieces and

place in the work bowl of a food processor. Add the pancetta, egg, garlic, parsley, fennel pollen, salt and pepper. Pulse in the processor to chop the tuna and evenly distribute the ingredients. Be careful not to over process. Portion mixture into about 20 pieces. Rub olive oil on the palms of your hands and roll each portion into round balls. Set aside on a sheet pan.

Clams and Mussels Clean the clams and mussels. Discard any that are open. Cover with cold water and soak for 15 minutes to rid them of sand. Drain and set aside.

Final Dish Heat wide bottom pan over high heat. Add the remaining olive oil and sear the tuna meatballs on two sides. Add the broth, the clams and mussels to the pan. Cover and simmer Sauce for 5 minutes until clams and Heat a wide bottom pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion, mussels are open and meatballs fennel and garlic until soft; then are cooked through. add the tomato and white wine. Place the cooked Fregola pasta Bring to a simmer; add saffron into the bottom of 6 warm and Espelette (or cayenne) bowls. Ladle the broth into pepper. Cook for 5 minutes to the bowls with two to three reduce. Add the fish stock, bay meatballs and garnish with the leaf and thyme sprigs. Slowly simmer for 30 minutes and pass clams and mussels, Spanish chorizo and chopped parsley. through a food mill. *Some recipes adapted for print.

Get in the cooking spiritwith our digital recipe guide on prime-living.com



chardonnay tip: Estancia

Non-alcoholic wine or wine vinegar can be substituted for wine. Add a bit of honey or sugar to emulate sweeter wines.

november/december • 2013


Eggnog-Inspired Coffee Cake with Pecan Crumble Topping Pecan Crumb Topping

Ingredients Pecan Crumb Topping 1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter 2/3 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup pecans coarsely chopped Coffee Cake 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 1/4 cup sugar 4 large eggs 1/4 cup heavy cream 1 cup sour cream 1/4 cup bourbon or rum 1 1/8 teaspoons vanilla 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt



the pan. Use caution with the boiling sugar. When the sugar begins to turn a golden-amber color remove it from the heat and add the heavy whipping cream. It will froth and bubble. Add the vanilla, rum and butter and stir until smooth. It will thicken as it cools. This can be Directions prepared in advance and chilled Pecan Crumb Topping Prepare the pecan crumb topping until needed. first so that it can chill while the Coffee Cake cake batter is being mixed. Cut Preheat the oven to 375 F and the butter into 1-inch slices and combine it with the brown sugar grease and flour a 10-inch cake pan. Using a mixer at medium using a pastry cutter or food speed, cream the butter and processor. Add the cinnamon, sugar together for about three nutmeg, salt and flour. Add the minutes. Add the slightly beaten chopped pecans last and stir eggs, heavy cream, sour cream, just until mixed. Refrigerate the rum, vanilla, nutmeg and topping until the cake batter is cinnamon and mix until smooth. ready to go in the oven. Spiced Rum Caramel Sauce 1/4 cup water 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1 1/2 teaspoon spiced rum 4 tablespoons salted butter

Spiced Rum Caramel Sauce Add the water and sugar to a deep heavy saucepan and cook on medium just until the sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat to high, do not stir, however you can swirl the mixture by tilting

Without sifting, measure the flour. Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt to the flour and mix briefly with the liquid ingredients. Do not over mix. The batter should be stiff. (The leavening action of the

baking powder and baking soda is begun by contact with the liquid ingredients. Don’t add them until the final mix with the flour and once they are added get the batter in the oven promptly.) Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using your fingers crumble the chilled pecan topping over the top of the batter. Place the pan containing the batter and the topping on the middle rack of the pre heated oven. Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes and reduce the heat to 350 F. Bake for an additional 35 minutes and check for doneness. When the cake is done, remove the pan from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. To serve, warm the caramel 10 to 12 seconds in the microwave if it has been chilled and drizzle on the plate.

Kelley Hudgins

Courtesy of D. Kelley Hudgins Serves: 12-18


Pirate Stew Courtesy of allrecipes.com Serves: 4 Ingredients 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces 3 tablespoons allpurpose flour salt and ground black pepper to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small sweet potato, chopped 4 small potatoes, chopped 1 celery rib, chopped 1 turnip, chopped 2 parsnips, chopped 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon butter 1 small onion, chopped 3/4 cup pineapple juice 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon crushed garlic 1 cube beef bouillon 3 tablespoons rum Directions Combine the beef, flour, salt, and pepper in a resealable plastic bag; shake to evenly coat

the beef. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and brown the beef. Transfer the meat into the bottom of a slow cooker and return the skillet to the heat. Add the sweet potato, potatoes, celery, turnip, and parsnip. Pour the vinegar into the hot skillet to deglaze the pan, scraping loose the particles from the bottom with a spatula; empty into the slow cooker. Return the skillet to the heat and melt the butter. Cook and stir the onion in the melted butter until softened; scrape into the slow cooker. Combine the pineapple juice, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, garlic, beef bouillon, and rum in a small saucepan. Cook until the bouillon cube dissolves. Pour into the slow cooker.

Rum and Sweet Potato Casserole Courtesy of allrecipes.com Serves: 8 Ingredients 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes 1 cup white sugar 2 eggs, beaten 1/2 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup butter, melted 1/3 cup dark rum 1 cup brown sugar 1 cup chopped pecans 1/3 cup self-rising flour 1/3 cup butter, melted

Turn the slow cooker on to high; cook for 1 hour. Switch heat to low and cook an additional 6 hours.

tip: *Some recipes adapted for print.

Directions Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, mix the sweet potatoes and sugar. Stir in the eggs. Mix in milk, vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup melted butter. Gradually stir in the rum until well blended. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar, pecans, flour, and 1/3 cup melted butter. Sprinkle this mixture over the mashed sweet potato mixture. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow to sit at least 10 minutes before serving.

2 tablespoons rum = 1/2 to 1 teaspoon rum extract. If the liquid is an important part of the recipe, add enough water or apple juice to make up the difference.

Get in the cooking spiritwith our digital recipe guide on prime-living.com

november/december • 2013


written by r e d n u

Fred an d


ion Mabel t a d R. Parks Foun


Christmas Home Tour

December 13 + 14, 2013

Purchase your tickets online today! For more information, tickets or to become a sponsor go to http://www.cafb.org/Events/Home-Tour/ or contact Lisa Moore at 281-344-5108.



Brenlee McKnight

the prime living guide to discerning taste

inside: Pistachio Napoleon, Etoile

38 41 42 44 46

• • • • •

Table Talk Dining News Uncorked Ice it up Main Dish etoile cuisine Bragging Bites pie–eyed Entertain color me beautiful

november/december • 2013


Coconut Cream Pie


>> For the Frisco’s fan

table talk

New Del Frisco Grille {Fort Worth}


>> For the Italian lover

Olive & June {Austin}


hef Shawn Cirkiel’s creations blend local and seasonal ingredients with well-loved Italian flavors. Stars on the new menu include fresh, handmade pasta dishes and entrées such as crudo selections of razor clams and yellow fin tuna; a mélange of mint, capers and olive oil atop grilled swordfish; an updated traditional meatball made with roasted eggplant and breadcrumbs; as well as a variety of piccoli piatti (small plates packing lots of Italian flavor). Don’t miss Mezzo Monday, which features half off all piccoli piatti and wines by the glass, available in the entire restaurant all night every Monday. oliveandjune-austin.com

Bess’ Sauteed Mussels

>> For The Eternal Student

Culinary Institute of America {San Antonio}


he Culinary Institute of America (CIA) offers classes designed for food and wine enthusiasts—from the weekend warrior to those with a more skilled level of expertise. This November consider a boot camp such as, “Sides and Salads,” and learn how to make hearty fall dishes utilizing the best produce of the season. enthusiasts. enthusiasts.ciachef.edu/boot-camps

>> For the celeb stalker

Bess Bistro {Austin}


hef Justin Raiford is the new executive chef and culinary director for Bess Bistro and Walton’s Fancy & Staples, owned by the same restaurant group. Look for his updated winter menu soon and catch these new specials like $20 bottle of wine night on Tuesdays and “Date Night,” featuring a 3-course meal for two lucky lovebirds on Wednesdays. The Sunday Black Angus Prime Ribeye Dinners will carry on through the year at $27 per person. bessbistro.com



Olive & June | Del Frisco’s Grille | Bess Bistro

Zucchini Involtini

el Frisco’s Grille, the newer more casual cousin to Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse and Sullivan’s, recently bowed in the new Sundance Square in the heart of downtown. The Texas-based company was recently honored by Nation’s Restaurant News as the winner of the 18th annual Hot Concepts Award for its newer Grille restaurants that take the traditional bar and grill to new heights. Expect comfort food classics like bounteous burgers gussied up and contemporary ahi tuna tacos, to prime steaks and sinful desserts including Nutella bread pudding or coconut cream pie. Brunch is decadent with red velvet Belgian waffles or chicken fried steak and eggs with chorizo gravy. The two-story space sports more than 9,000 square feet with a large patio and inviting bar dispensing local beers, adventurous wines from the 500-plus wine wall and hand-crafted cocktails. A second Del Frisco’s Grille will open in Southlake Town Square this year. delfriscosgrille.com

connoisseur table talk

>> For chef follower


Sister Osteria {Houston}

Wine events you won’t want to miss


hef Charles Clark and company of Ibiza, Brasserie 19 and Coppa Ristorante Italiano recently opened Coppa Osteria in Hanover Rice Village, a brand new mixed use building. Chef Brandi Key dishes a more casual version of its sibling restaurant featuring many offerings built around the new wood-burning pizza oven. Grab a slice of pizza at the walk-up window or unwind on the bustling sidewalk patio—or in its cozy chic interiors complete with a wall displaying thoughtful selections of vino. Anticipate house-made pastas, charcuterie boards, simple salads, and a list of rotating daily specials. coppaosteriahouston.com

>> For the jet setter

Stephan Pyles Concepts {Dallas}


ber chef Stephan Pyles and group recently opened Sky Canyon at DFW International Airport Terminal, which was inspired by the Southwestern-style Stampede 66 and Star Canyon menus. Within Sky Canyon, look for a Wine Bar by Tamales from Gina Puente of Puente Concessions featuring great Texas Stampede 66 wines, beer and spirits. Pyles will celebrate his 30th anniversary in restaurant business this holiday season with a series of festivals at Stephan Pyles Restaurant featuring an Argentinian Wine Festival Tasting and Dinner motivated by his summer travels to Brazil and Argentina. The wines featured have not been seen before in the U.S. Additionally, Stephan will debut his new “Samar” restaurant this year and continue special events in San Antonio at Sustenio. chefstephanpylesblog.com Debora Smail | Claire McCormack | Cordua Restaurant Group | Biltmore

Side Sips Biltmore for the Holidays The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, is ideal for holiday travel with its annual Christmas at Biltmore, Nov. 2-Jan. 12. George Vanderbilt introduced his home to family and friends on Christmas Eve 1895 with a bountiful celebration—a tradition that continues today. America’s largest home is decked out with dozens of Christmas trees and holiday décor for viewing—along with an opportunity to attend a Gardner’s Place seminar. The new Antler Hill Village & Winery offers winery experiences during the holidays including a Red Wine & Chocolate seminar and Biltmore Bubbles segment. With shopping, several eateries, a vintage car display, gardens and an outdoor adventure center, you’ll never want to leave! biltmore.com

>> For the gourmet cook

Coveted Cookbook


urious about the exact ingredients in that addicting garlic chimichurri sauce at Churrascos restaurant? Just in time for holiday gifting, the Cordua restaurant group is debuting a cookbook called Foods of the Americas from the Legendary Restaurant Family. The secrets to those fabulous Pan-Latin meals will be out in the beautiful cookbook photographed by Julie Soefer. Anticipate a family collection of about 100 mouth-watering recipes from Nicaraguan style churrascos beef to world-class margaritas. The books will be available on Amazon.com and in the Cordua restaurants. Churrascos will expand to a fourth Houston location this winter in Memorial City. cordua.com. robin barr sussman Robin Barr Sussman is a Houston-based freelance writer who specializes in food, wine and travel. Her work has appeared in Texas Monthly, My Table, and Private Clubs magazine.

november/december • 2013


Imported by Vineyard Brands, Inc. Birmingham, AL.

connoisseur uncorked

Story | John DeMers



it up

he next time you think “ice wine” is what you get here in Texas whenever you plop a frozen cube into your chardonnay or pinot grigio, you might better think again. Icewine (or eiswein in the German-speaking lands that taught us to love the stuff ) is becoming a force to be reckoned with—one that can add a festive touch to any affair during this season of the year. Often I hear people say things like “Oh I don’t like sweet wine”–sadly, with little idea what the words even mean. I would gently ask you to reserve judgment until you taste an icewine. They do belong, in general, to the family of dessert wines that gives us legendary French Sauternes. But rather than finding production in only France and California icewines are produced in significant amounts by Canada and Germany— followed by a handful of eastern European countries. In recent years, icewines have become a special fascination in places with, well, lots of ice—specifically the U.S. Finger Lake region and northern Michigan. The making of icewine involves more nature than nurture. The process means leaving grapes on the vine until they are frozen by the plummeting temperatures, whether that happens in October,

November or as late as January. The sugars inside the grapes do not freeze, so their sweetness becomes more concentrated in turn making the wine sweeter. Unlike grapes used to make other dessert wines— my beloved Sauternes, Tokaji or Trockenbeernauslese—there is no botrytis or “noble rot” involved—making for a cleaner, crisper, more refreshing taste. That’s good news in Texas, where even the holidays can enjoy mild weather. There are indications from Pliny the Elder and Martial that some version of icewine was made during ancient Roman times—yet the notion didn’t really catch on until Germany got serious about it in the early 19th century. Closer to home, the best known Canadian icewine, Inniskillin, was introduced as recently as 1984. Whether it was the actual first icewine made in Canada can be debated—but we know it was the first to attract international attention when its 1989 Vidal Icewine won the Grand Prix d’Honneur at Vinexpo in Bordeaux in 1991. Within about a decade, Canada the newcomer made itself the largest producer of icewine on the face of the earth.

The poinsettia Recipe courtesy of Inniskillin 2.5 oz Inniskillin Cab Franc .75 oz rye whiskey 2 dashes Angostura bitters Lemon peel Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice, stir until cold, strain over one large ice cube and garnish.

John DeMers Covering food and wine for more than 25 years, John DeMers hosts “Delicious Mischief” on NewsRadio 740 KTRH. He recently released Follow the Smoke: 14,783 Miles of Great Texas Barbecue.

november/december • 2013


connoisseur main dish

Chef Philippe Verpiand

Etoile a Dining

Bright Spot e Story | Holly Beretto Photography | Brenlee McKnight

toile Cuisine et Bar is a French restaurant—a very good French restaurant. The concept is approachable French food, divided into seasonal selections (Le Saison) and classics (La Tradition). Chef Philippe Verpiand’s menu is small, but remarkably diverse, with salads, seafood and meat selections that are consistent with his manta that French food doesn’t have to be heavy, nor does it have to be mysterious. So, order up “The Haitian,” a cocktail of rum, cognac and lime, linger over the extensive wine list and get ready for a good time.



“I’m from Provence, where you will see a lot of tomato, garlic, olive oil and aromatic herbs,” Verpiand says. “But I will use the cream sauces you expect from Normandy. French food is extremely diverse and I love fusing those influences with the flavors of Houston.” The Escargots Bourguignonne are next to perfect, slightly chewy, awash in garlic and herbs and the sauce is the kind to dip a baguette into. The Bisque de Homard (lobster bisque) is rich without being too much, with solid pieces of the crustacean within. Then there’s the Raviolis de Champignon—wait—mushroom ravioli? One of Etoile’s signature dishes, it is flat-out fantastic. Domestic button and wild porcini ’shrooms are stuffed into homemade pasta, and served in a truffled port sauce. It may seem cliché, but a not-to-be-missed item is the Steak Frites Mâitre d’Hôtel off the traditional menu. The ribeye is seasoned so that there is a gentle crust on the meat, grilled to order and topped with a classic béchamel sauce. The accompanying fries are a delicious companion to the steak. The late summer menu features a Magret de Canard a l’Orange, which is gorgeous—the duck arrives medium rare, with a citrus-spiced gastrique that gives the gamey meat a refreshing zing. For a lighter dish, order up the Sole Meunière, the classic dish Julia Child so adored. It is simple, but elegant, the fish tender, flavored

gently with a little lemon and brown butter. Consider enjoying the dining experience with a 2010 Chateau Haut-Beausejour from SaintEstephe. Although Margaux from the northernmost appellation in Bordeaux’s Medoc, may be better known, the deep earthiness of the Chateau Haut-Beausejour, shoots through with cherry and plum to enhance the tastebuds. Or consider the 2010 Chateau Mongravey, which is also excellent. Leave room for one of their amazing desserts. The Pistachio Napoleon are wonderful, crispy wafers around pistachio ice cream and raspberries—or opt for the signature apple tart which is lush and light. Verpiand and his wife, Monica Bui, who handles Etoile’s frontof-house operations, have ties to Houston, and the chef says the city has been very good to him. “There are wonderful people here and they love French food,” Verpiand says. “I wanted to give them a casual place, with great food, somewhere they can feel good about, where everyone will feel welcome.” Did he succeed? As the French might say, “Oui.”

1101 uptown park blvd. houston (832) 668-5808 etoilecuisine.com

connoisseur main dish

Pistachio Napoleon

Magret de Canard à l’Orange Roasted duck breast, glazed daikon with orange spiced gastrique

Ingredients: 4 duck breasts, 8 ounces each 3 ounces sugar 2 ounces red vinegar 2 ounces orange juice 2 cups chicken stock 2 star anise 1 tablespoon coriander seed 1 tablespoon Szechuan pepper

Steak Frites Mâitre d’Hôtel Apple Tart

Season the duck breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet on medium heat, add the duck breasts to the pan skin down, cooking about three minutes. Transfer the pan to a convection oven at 450 degrees for five minutes. Remove the duck breasts out of the pan and let them rest.

The Haitian Raviolis de Champignon

Put the sugar in a sauce pan with a little water and cook until a golden brown caramel. De-glaze with vinegar and orange juice; add the spices and chicken stock; reduce for five minutes then strain over a chinois. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slice the duck breast, pour sauce over duck and serve with turnips, Brussels sprouts, and mushrooms. Bon appetit!

Escargots Bourguignonne

Magret de Canard a l’Orange november/december • 2013


connoisseur Bragging Bites


Story | Robin Barr Sussman


he holidays have arrived and the pies of Texas are upon you. It’s time for sweet tidings and homemade gifts of rich, crunchy pecan, pumpkin crowned in whipped cream; freshly baked apple with warm spices, and dark chocolate pie swathed in flaky buttery crust. Take a bite of the best little pies in Texas!



connoisseur Bragging Bites


The oversized pies at smash-hit Emporium Pies are so gorgeous, you hesitate to cut into them. Perfectly crimped, sturdy gold medal-winning crusts are the secret to this eye candy. This Drunken Nut pie starring whole fresh pecans and brown sugar spiked with bourbon is worth the calorie splurge. Also popular: Spiced Pumpkin Custard pie in a gingersnap shell or the French silk chocolate pretzel-crusted Smooth Operator. A second location recently opened in McKinney—just in time for the holiday dessert rush. EMPORIUM PIES • DALLAS 314 N. BISHOP AVE. • EMPORIUMPIES.COM


Emporium Pies | TRACE | Kim Park | Debora Smail

Executive pastry chef Janina O’Leary of TRACE in the W Hotel consistently creates beautiful, cutting edge desserts—be it childhood recreations or her specialty, homemade ice cream. She’s also plugged into diet concerns like gluten sensitivity. Pie lovers rejoice: O’Leary crafts this seasonal gluten-free rich and silky Maldon (sea salt) dark chocolate pie topped with fluffy vanilla bean whipped cream that doesn’t skip a beat on authentic pie flavor. Also available on a rotating basis this winter: fig and apple streusel and dark chocolate candied pecan pies worth dieting for. TRACE • AUSTIN 200 LAVACA • TRACEAUSTIN.COM


With three Ooh La La Dessert Boutique locations classically trained pastry chef-owner Vanessa O’Donnell knows her way around a pastry frosting tip. Seasonal pie by the slice and individual sized Cutie Pies are on display daily (whole pies require two days notice for pickup). Coconut meringue and tart Key lime pie are top sellers, but who can resist her stunning iconic pumpkin pie made with a savory pumpkin filling redolent of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, and topped with a cinnamon-dusted whipped cream wreath? Life’s short. Eat more pie. OOH LA LA DESSERT BOUTIQUE • HOUSTON OOHLALASWEETS.COM

november/december • 2013




color me beautiful

Designers Mark & Mickey Bufalini, Collaborative Design Group


Photography | daniel ortiz

hen entertaining family and friends, impress your guests with an awe-inspiring holiday table and centerpiece. Let color and texture be your inspiration—every table masterpiece begins with the perfect place setting. Design house, inc.





The 2013 Houston Design Center’s Deck the Tables

Jane Page Design Group

Deborah Elias & Bernardaud

Teri Pugh and Regina Gust

December 3 Kick-off Event 6pm Author, stylist and national celebrity Annette Joseph will present a program on Stylish Solutions for Entertaining and will be on hand to sign her new book Picture Perfect Parties. Following, guests will sip and stroll, enjoy the exquisite holiday themed table top décor. Reservations required. RSVP to events@thdcenter.com. December 5-6 Holiday Table Top Tour 10am to 5pm No charge for the tour and groups are welcome. 713-864-2660 thehoustondesigncenter.com

Kitchen & Bath Concepts Ken Kehoe & Co.

november/december • 2013


gentlemen’s room

For the man who commands the very best

Nolan Conley


50 52 53 54 55

• • • • •

Man Cave right on target Driver’s Seat Rolling Out More Power Wealth cyber security High Tech happy {high tech} holidays Great Outdoors shredder on the slopes november/december • 2013


gentlemen’s room man cave

Right On A


well-designed trophy room adds up to more than a sum of its mounts.

“What often happens is that people start hunting, accumulate 50 or 100 mounts, then suddenly realize they need a man cave,” says Mike Baird of Houston-based B&B Taxidermy (bbtaxidermy. com). “Certainly you can design something that fits around your collection, but it’s always better to sit down earlier, with the knowledge that you’re going to want a trophy room, and then mount different critters in different positions.” The first aspect to consider is the style of the house, and whether the trophy room is incorporated into it or requires an addition. Baird says the current trend he’s seeing is to have the room separated



from the house entirely. “Let’s just say that the ladies often prefer to have the men watching football, drinking whiskey and smoking cigars in their own area,” he says. Common features for the high-end trophy room include artificial trees, mountains, dirt, bushes and thorns, and even artificial water holes. Lighting is very important, so Baird recommends using a lighting engineer to ensure you have even, shadow-less lighting. Depending on where hunts have taken someone, you might see a scene of leopards in trees chasing baboons, or an Alaskan bluff with sea ducks, icicles and snow. Over the course of 30 years, Baird has mounted animals from around the world—including elephants, hippos and rhinos—although he admits that it’s no longer much of a challenge to do something more common, such as a white-tailed deer head. While you might think a trophy room is the most testosteronefueled type of man cave around, there are plenty of couples who

Nolan Conely

Story | Jake Poinier

gentlemen’s room man cave

must-haves You’ve outfitted the space with the usual big-screen TV, bar and maybe a pool table—but how can you really take things over the top? HT230 shooting simulator Hone your shooting skills and conduct a friendly competition with more than a dozen different hunt types. lasershot.com Cannon Commander Series 54 gun vault This elegant-looking vault, which can hold up to 48 guns and is fireproof for 90 minutes, can function as part of the décor—or be concealed for extra security under one of the mountains. cannonsafe.com Warthog or hippo tusk gun rack While your actual hunting armory will be hidden, you may want to display a non-operational family heirloom rifle or shotgun—and this is an eye-catching way to do it. africansportingcreations.com Hidden speaker system Incorporating a sound system into boulders, mountains and trees enables you to conceal the wiring and distribute sound throughout the room.

Nolan Conely

would disagree. “We have some hunters whose wives also hunt and they do a combination—one gets a male lion, the other a female,” Baird says. “A combination mount gives them a memory of a hunt together. On the other hand, some husbands and wives like to have a separate wall. It depends, I guess, on how they get along and how competitive they are.” For those who get a bit squeamish about the idea of hunting, Baird offers some perspective. “Everything in life dies, of old age or otherwise,” he says. “Today’s outfitters are focused on sustainability. There are usually quotas, and they’ll choose the oldest animal out of a herd, which prevents inbreeding. The revenue runs the parks, maintains the herds and helps fund the governments, plus the meat feeds the native tribes. It’s a sustainable circle with many benefits.” jake poinier Phoenix-based contributing writer Jake Poinier built a tree house for his then-toddler son back in 1999, but it was far too small to evolve into a proper man cave.

november/december • 2013


gentlemen’s room driver's seat

rolling out more power Story | jeff yip


hen Porsche unveiled the Panamera in 2009, legions of Porsche purists panned the four-door sports car, charging that the storied sports car manufacturer was selling out yet again. Beyond the philosophical debate over the company’s direction was the simple fact that photos on a computer screen or printed page don’t do the Panamera justice. It is a machine you must experience to appreciate.



Total redemption is in the driving. When it comes to automobiles, vast reserves of power are never a bad thing when used well and responsibly. But power, without balance and absent solidity, is a veneer that wears thin quickly. The Panamera means you don’t have to choose between fun-to-drive, done the Porsche way, and creating memories with friends and family members— two- or four-legged. For 2014, the Panamera gets a facelift. But the tweaks under the skin– especially the hood–are what Porsche devotees care about. New powertrain choices abound, and in this game, power always seems to climb. The Panamera S, which we wrung out, now comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6

making 420 horses, 20 ponies more than the former V8. It starts at around $94,175, but with the Porsche’s air suspension, 14-way memory seats, heated and cooled seats and four-zone climate control, the bottom line was around $106,000. Soon a new S E-hybrid version will arrive, packing better lithium-ion batteries feeding a more powerful electric motor— and for the take-no-prisoners camp, there’s the Panamera Turbo with 520 horses and a top speed of 189 mph. For us, the “S” hits that sweet spot. When you’re in “born to be wild mode” use your right foot to release the beast. The turbos respond quickly, the chassis remains rock solid and Arnold Wagner would approve of the refined, yet authoritative, exhaust note. But the Panamera’s forte is delivering exhilarating acceleration and tautness with utter luxury. The rear seats, split by a full-length center console, are roomier than most

people might imagine. If you need more legroom, there’s the new-for-2014 executive versions with a wheelbase that’s been stretched 5.9 inches. We would like to see Porsche embrace the “less is more” school of thought and come up with a cover for all the switches and buttons that adorn the console up front. With the holidays upon us, the Panamera—in black or red— would make a great gift. And we suggest it’s time to slay tradition, talk Santa into trading in his high-mileage sleigh and let the Red-Nosed One retire. Because once St. Nick gets his mitts on this latest Porsche Panamera, he’ll really be jolly.

jeff yip Jeff Yip’s work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, Houston Chronicle and the New York Times, as well as consumer and trade magazines. He’s a second-generation car guy who still has the 1969 Chevy his dad loved.

courtesy of Porsche

The Panamera is proof positive that Porsche goes its own way. It’s also proof that time heals.

gentlemen’s room wealth


Protecting Yourself and Your Holiday Cheer

Story | By Belinda Phelps, Senior Vice President & Private Client Advisor, U.S. Trust Houston


ith the holiday season approaching, many are starting to prepare for holiday gifts and travels. In the cyber world of today, this translates into vigorous online activity as people make hasslefree purchases and confirm their vacation reservations. Although online planning helps trickle in the holiday excitement early, it also creates ample opportunity for cyber thieves. Unfortunately, the popularity and ease of our electronic environment means identity theft is on the rise. In addition, affluent people are more likely than others to be identity-theft victims.1 This holiday season, it is important to remember to take the necessary measures in order to protect yourself against a cyber-attack. Identity theft happens when your name, date of birth, Social Security number or other

identifying information is taken without your authorization and with the intent to commit fraud. According to the Federal Trade Commission, 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year.2 By stealing your identity, thieves can take out loans, open credit cards, access your bank accounts and destroy your credit. The top tenth percentile of wealthy Americans has an additional 22 percent chance of being targeted by identity thieves.1 By filling the web with account numbers and personal information, people put forth the data criminals hope to obtain in order to steal their assets. Contrary to popular belief, hackers are not simply people hiding away in a house basement. Many operate as well-run businesses, almost identical to their authentic

counterparts.3 This makes it difficult for people to discern what’s actually trustworthy. In order to secure yourself online, you should educate yourself on the various forms of identity theft so you know what to be on the lookout for. To arm yourself against identity theft, do not click on any suspicious advertisements or links and be sure to update your antivirus software frequently. Do your best to remove most online personal information, as well as limiting the personal content on social media sites. Change your passwords often and shred or file all personal documents. Particularly, always be aware of your surroundings. Fortunately, most banks have procedures in place to help you against identity theft. U.S. Trust, for example, allocates significant time and money

each year solely for safeguarding client information. The U.S. Trust team monitors and flags any suspicious activity, offers free fraud-protection downloads and works with law enforcement globally to catch fraud rings. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to censor your online activity. As you’re exploring the Internet for treats this holiday season, be aware that identity theft could happen. Providing the right information to the wrong person can cost thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours to resolve. Making cyber security a priority this year can be the best means to holiday cheer. 1. Asher Kade, Stolen ID: 8 Types of Victims Thieves Target, 2010 2. http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature0014-identity-theft, 2013 3. US Trust Capital Acumen, Summer 2011, Features Section: Stop (Cyber) Thief!

This article is designed to provide general information about ideas and strategies. It is for discussion purposes only since the availability and effectiveness of any strategy is dependent upon your individual facts and circumstances. Always consult with your independent attorney, tax advisor, investment manager, and insurance agent for final recommendations and before changing or implementing any financial, tax, or estate planning strategy. This content represents thoughts of the author and does not necessarily represent the position of Bank of America or U.S. Trust. U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management operates through Bank of America, N.A. and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC.

november/december • 2013


gentlemen’s room high tech

Happy{high tech}holidays Story | Michael Garfield

I always look forward to the Neiman Marcus holiday catalog. It is not every day you can find gifts like a blimp, limited edition cars or the infamous Black Angus steer that could be presented alive or delivered in steak form on a silver serving cart. Each year I put together my own holiday gift guide—here are some fun ideas.

Xbox One The battle for your home media room heats up in November as Microsoft releases the Xbox One and Playstation launches the PS4. The Xbox One has been grabbing more chat room headlines as it packs a superfast processor, 8GB of RAM, a Blu-ray/DVD player, a new Kinect motion controller and cloud storage. Exclusive titles like Halo 5, Titanfall and Dead Rising 3 will make this console a big hit with kids and adults alike worldwide. Along with gaming, it can also surf the Web, play movies and TV shows, download songs and allow for videoconferencing. Let’s hope Microsoft made enough to go around. xbox.com

HT’s App List Here are some apps to help you choose the perfect holiday gift:

El Gifto

Tailgater by DISH We are in full swing with football season and since the weather is cooler that means more tailgating. No reason to miss the game while grilling bratwurst—enjoy live high-def TV when you carry this portable satellite antenna to the parking lot of the game, a barbecue or wherever the fun takes you. Just connect the Tailgater to a compatible DISH receiver and start watching TV wherever you are. With a Pay-As-You-Go system, there is no contract required. The Tailgater by DISH is just what Santa ordered for the family that can’t live without its sports or reality shows. dish.com/technology/tv-outdoors



My Gift Tracker

Helps you keep track of the gifts you need to purchase or make—for all occasions. The “to do” tab keeps track of the next 30 days for yearround shopping.

Gifting Apps, Movies and Music

Sending apps and other digital content as gifts is a breeze! Sign into the iTunes store, find an item you want to gift; click the arrow to the right of the price and select Gift This. Type the email address of the recipient and you have completed your shopping!

Michael Garfield Known as “The High-Tech Texan®” to audiences nationwide, Michael hosts technology and issue-oriented talk radio shows six days a week on The 9-5-0. See what he’s up to at HighTechTexan.com.

Xbox | DISH Network | Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Gear The hot category of the year—since tablets are so passe now—is the smartwatch: timepieces that connect wirelessly to your smartphone. Samsung beat Apple, Google, Microsoft and others to market with its Galaxy Gear wrist wear. The $300 gadget has a full metal body design that allows for hands-free calling and some exceptional features via downloadable apps. A high-def camera on the strap can snap photos and take videos. And don’t forget the built-in pedometer which will count the steps you take showing this off to your friends. samsung.com/galaxynote3+gear

Helps you find the perfect gift for anyone. You simply click on details of the person you’re buying for, such as their personality type, the occasion, how much you want to spend— and presto!

gentlemen’s room outdoors


on the slopes

Unless you’ll ride more than three times per season, rent your board and boots rather than buy them. Today’s “beginner” rental boards are forgiving, like gameimprovement irons for golfers. They make riding easier to learn and more enjoyable once you do.

Story | doug pike

Snowboarding isn’t for everyone, but it is for most of us.

Tripp Fay, Copper Mountain Resort


came to snowboarding nearly 20 years ago, after two lackluster attempts on skis. Having surfed and skateboarded since adolescence, I felt more at home on the single platform, sideways to the mountain and without those awkward poles. Also, snowboarding was way cooler. Since then, I’ve made annual treks to the Rocky Mountains and ridden dozens of runs. So far, my most serious injury has been chapped lips. This past season, at age 57—and having never been the oldest rider on any mountain—I visited Copper Mountain in Colorado. Things were going well on a couple of intermediate blue runs that matched my abilities.

gearing up

Then, at the bottom of a long run, easing through a nearly flat section near the lift line, a grown man fell face-first in front of me and blocked the route. Speed wasn’t a factor, but gravity was. The board caught an edge and spilled me harshly. I landed flat on my backside and it felt as if I’d been hit squarely twixt the cheeks with an axe. Provided you assess your own skills honestly and take a couple of lessons, that’s about the worst that might happen. Oh, wear a helmet and, for beginners, consider wrist guards because snowboarders who ride without them break a lot of wrists. The best thing about snowboarding is that anyone who has one full day and a good

attitude can learn enough to enjoy snowboarding through whatever’s left of a winter vacation. “You’re never too old to learn,” says Stephanie Sweeney, public relations coordinator for Copper Mountain Resort and one of my hosts this past season. “New technology makes beginners’ boards a lot easier to control. You can learn to ride as fast as you can learn to ski.” Like most resorts, Copper Mountain offers lessons for all ages and abilities. I recommend a half-day group lesson and then at least a couple of hours of individual instruction to finetune some of the skills. Importantly for former—or present—surfers, the techniques for riding waves and mountains are nearly opposite. In surfing terms, everything you do on the way down a mountain is like trying to make a long, steep section before it closes out. Leaning forward also happens to generate speed. Pay strict

Wear that helmet, plus goggles, thermal underwear and loosefitting clothes. After my incident at Copper Mountain this past season, I searched for padded snowboard pants and found plenty. I’ll never ride again without them.

attention during your lessons to the “how to stop” part—and how to get back up, because you will fall on those first few runs. Go with the tumble, rake the ice from your pants, and do it again. A lifelong skier, Sweeney took her first riding lesson late this past season. “I liked it,” she said. So do I, and so will you.

doug pike Doug Pike has traveled the world to satisfy his passion for the outdoors. During his career, he has won 100-plus state and national awards for writing, broadcast and photography.

november/december • 2013


607 West Gray Street


Houston, Texas 77019

Tuesday to Friday 11:11am – close

www.ElevenXIHouston.com ph: 713.529.5881

Saturday 4pm – close Sunday & Monday closed

Planning an event? Events@ElevenXIHouston.com

The Ladies Love The Mussels


escape Greetings from Destinations Near and Far


58 • enlightened explorer Travel Buzz 60 • postcards go back in texas–time 62 • feature City Sidewalks Dressed in Holiday Style november/december • 2013


escape enlightened explorer >> For bait & ball enthusiasts

Fish ’n Chipping ind the summer sun again in New Zealand’s beautiful


Bay of Islands. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs near Matauri Bay is one of the most awarded luxury boutique golf and spa resorts in New Zealand. Along with a par 72 championship course designed by David Harman, the 6,000acre property boasts 22 exclusive guest suites, three secluded swimming beaches and The Luxury Spa at Kauri Cliffs. Gourmet a la carte dining is available in the lodge’s main dining room or on the verandas. The Fish ’n Chipping package introduces guests to classic Northland pastimes and fare. The three-night adventure includes a fishing trip, round of golf for two, cooking or golf lesson, and private driving tour. The driving tour makes a stop at Mangonui Fish Shop for what are hailed as the best fish and chips in New Zealand. kauricliffs.com

>> For the trendy traveler

Chic & Contemporary


ith its 96 newly redesigned guest rooms and hip location, boutique hotel OPUS Vancouver is an ideal setting for travelers who have an eye for style. The interior, inspired by expressions of designers from the ’70s, is bold, fresh and a little cheeky. Along with vibrant colors and contemporary furniture, details like spa bathrooms with heated floors, in-room iPads and Frette bathrobes add a special touch to the hotel’s unique atmosphere. Situated in the heart of Yaletown’s chic boutiques, galleries, spas and restaurants, OPUS is the perfect home base for exploring Vancouver and beyond. Visit during ski season and take advantage of the Ski-Scape Package, which includes deluxe accommodation, ski storage and lots of cool extras. vancouver.opushotel.com

>> For the true explorer

Edge of the World



Kauri Cliffs | OPUS Vancouver | Bent Rene Synnevag


ravelers with a taste for far-flung locales will find their paradise along the craggy shores of Fogo Island. Located in a small fishing community off Newfoundland’s northeastern coast, Fogo Island Inn has a front row seat on the edge of the world—its 29 suites looking out through wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows on a landscape of stark beauty. Though the inn’s unique design is contemporary, it seems in harmony with its rugged and remote surroundings. The interior design represents collaboration between international designers and local artisans, with much of the furniture and textiles handcrafted on the island. Hike a coastal trail, fish for cod in the traditional way, take an art workshop, stargaze from a rooftop hot tub, relax by the fire—and leave with a fresh perspective on the world. fogoislandinn.ca

enlightened explorer


>> For the epicurean

Wining & Dining in Napa


ead to America’s premier wine region November 20-24 for a five-day festival celebrating fine cuisine and Napa Valley’s worldclass wines. The third annual Flavor! Napa Valley brings to the table more than 40 unique events, 50 celebrated chefs and 125 vintners. Though an internationally recognized event, the festival features plenty of local flavor—participating chefs must be a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America or own a restaurant in the Napa Valley. Events, which include meals, tastings, seminars, hands-on workshops, culinary demonstrations and more, are held at 18 top Napa Valley wineries and restaurants. Many area resorts, such as the centrally located Harvest Inn in St. Helena, offer packages that combine accommodations and tickets. flavornapavalley.com

>> For the road cyclist

Sea Cloud Cruises | Visit Napa Valley | DuVine Cycling + Adventure Company

Ultimate Cycling Vacation >> For the seafaring

Wind & Waves


earching for a cruise without the crowds? Sea Cloud Cruises operates three luxury yachts, small vessels that capture the romance and adventure of travel by sea in a fully customized experience. The Sea Cloud and Sea Cloud II, traditional windjammers, are the only two cruise ships in the world that are still sailed by hand. Destinations and routes vary, ranging from transatlantic journeys and Caribbean or Mediterranean cruises to river trips down the Danube and Rhine. Some cruise options have no fixed destination, allowing the wind and weather to determine the next port of call. New sailing routes, short trip options, themed voyages and an expanded repertoire of sailing trips have been added to the 2014 program. seacloud.com


hether you’re checking Mont Ventoux and Col du Tourmalet off your bucket list or just craving some scenery that doesn’t include rush-hour traffic, DuVine Cycling + Adventure Company can make your wildest cycling dreams come true. Organizing cycling tours across the globe, DuVine provides experienced local guides and itineraries brimming with once-in-a-lifetime sights and upscale extras. Itineraries include routes for all levels, from pro to occasional riders. You’ll travel in style, with an included top-of-the-line bike and customdesigned cycling kit, as well as knowledgeable road support. Along the way, stay in luxury accommodations, from boutique-style inns to Relais & Châteaux resorts, and enjoy the finest regional cuisine and wines. Private and couture options are also available. duvine.com

november/december • 2013


escape postcards

White Oak Manor Bed & Breakfast

Story | Kathryn Hunter

go back in texas-time w

In the mid-1800s, the city of Jefferson was a boomtown of steamboats and wealthy merchants—the largest and most significant river port in Texas. of Jefferson’s bed and breakfasts or historic hotels forgetting all about yuletide to-do’s, whiling away the hours on a porch swing or soaking in a clawfoot bathtub. Or finish up your holiday shopping downtown, where original brick streets and a profusion of antique shops lend a wholesome, old timey air. Reminders of the town’s colorful history are everywhere. Jefferson is home to more state-registered historic structures than anywhere else in Texas, and many are also listed on The National Registry of Historic Places. The 31st Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes, held the Rail of Lights Christmas Train first two weekends

hen the railroad was built, bypassing Jefferson, the town’s heyday came to an end, but the economic turmoil of long ago left behind a rare treat—a town that never lost its genteel, historical character or relaxed way of life. Known as the “Bed and Breakfast capital of East Texas,” Jefferson makes a perfect winter getaway. Spend a few days at one



in December, takes you on a stroll through three private antebellum homes decked out for the season. For further holiday cheer, visit the Trail of Lights or the Enchanted Forest, which features more than 100 decorated trees. Year-round activities range from tours of historical homes and museums to sightseeing by horse drawn carriage or steamboat. Caddo Lake, only a short drive away, offers paddling or boating adventures in one of the state’s most lovely natural settings, an eerie wetland of ancient cypresses draped in Spanish moss. More than just a quaint small town, Jefferson is a place that draws you into the past, leaving you with a greater appreciation for Texas’ earliest days.

Historical Home Tour Like many historical homes in Jefferson, the House of the Four Seasons displays elements of the Greek-Revival style of architecture. View fascinating period details and original furnishings. houseoftheseasons.com Steamboat Rides Board The Graceful Ghost to explore Caddo Lake on a replica 1800s-era paddle-wheel steamboat. En route, enjoy an intriguing narration of the history of Caddo Lake and the surrounding area. gracefulghost.com Souvenir Shopping An old-fashioned soda fountain and souvenir store in one, the Jefferson General Store is a refreshing stop during a day spent antique shopping in Jefferson’s historic downtown. jeffersongeneralstore.com

Marcus Burg | Tammy Doriot | Jefferson Office of Tourism Development | Francene DePrez Rainey | Historic Jefferson Railway

see & do



(800) 282 6919 Excellent parking management & valet service for Hotels - Night clubs - Private events - Luxury High Rises - Restaurants



City Sidewalks, Busy Sidewalks,




Dressed in Holiday Style Story | Kathryn Hunter

New York City is a magical place any time of year, but during the holidays, the city truly comes alive. Start planning your unforgettable holiday experience.

november/december • 2013



Carnegie Deli City Bakery

thanksgiving In the melting pot of New York City, you’ll find a lot more than the typical Thanksgiving turkey and dressing. Most restaurants are open Thanksgiving Day, though reservations are recommended. Go all out for what might be your most memorable holiday meal at trendy, upscale restaurants like Eleven Madison Park, Daniel or Colicchio & Sons. Or aim for something flamboyantly untraditional— sushi, Belgian waffles, tapas, Korean barbecue. New York has it all. Post-turkey day, get an early start on your holiday shopping at Black Friday sales, or escape the crowds by going to a museum or Broadway show.

Don’t Miss In November, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the biggest happening in town by far. Mingling with the parade crowds is its own experience, but to get a good view, your best bet is from above. Splurge on a hotel along the parade route such as the Mandarin Oriental or the New York Hilton



Midtown Manhattan. Hot chocolate is another wintertime must. City chocolatiers serve up a cup of melted bliss in every possible flavor, from thick and dark to spicy sweet. Check out favorites like The City Bakery and La Maison du Chocolat or the famous frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3.

Take It from the Locals Though you’ll still have plenty of company, you can miss some of the paradeday crowds by visiting the stars of the show on Macy’s Inflation Eve. Get up close to snap a photo of popular classics like Kermit the Frog and Spider-Man. The inflation areas surrounding the American Museum of Natural History are open to the public from 3-10 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving. Plan ahead—the holidays are high season in the Big Apple. Hotels along the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade route fill up fast, and restaurant reservations for Thanksgiving Day can often be made up to a month in advance.

joe buglewicz | jen davis | Macy’s Inc. | NYC & Company

See & Do

christmas See & Do Christmas in New York is filled with hundreds of iconic holiday to-do’s. Department store window displays become curated works of art. A walk through Midtown Manhattan takes you past crowd favorites, from Macy’s to Bergdorf Goodman and Barney’s. Shop the Columbus Circle or Union Square holiday markets. See New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show, where model trains chug through famous New York City scenes made of natural materials like twigs and bark. Drop by the toy-filled wonderland of FAO Schwartz or the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center. For even the most stubborn Scrooge, in New York the Christmas spirit is contagious.

Don’t Miss Take the time to see New York’s most celebrated conifers. The Rockefeller Center tree, a tradition since the 1930s, is a world-famous symbol of the season. The giant-sized spruce, strung with more than 30,000 lights, towers over the picturesque ice-skating rink below. The American Museum of Natural History’s Origami Holiday Tree is

Take It from the Locals To celebrate Christmas like a New Yorker, you have to step off the beaten path. Often, that means leaving Manhattan. Rent a car or take the “A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tour” to visit Dyker Heights, a Brooklyn neighborhood glittering with an incredible array of Christmas displays from illuminated topiaries to animatronic figures and elephantsized Santas. Smaller-scale but with a community atmosphere all its own, Joe DiMartino’s Christmas display at his home in Staten Island is worth a look. The public installation, in memory of DiMartino’s wife who died on 9/11, raises money for the children’s cancer unit at Staten Island University Hospital.


Henri Bendel Holiday Window

Tripod Streets

joe buglewicz | NYC & Company

The Rockettes in “Christmas Spectacular”


another must-see, boasting 500 folded-paper ornaments inspired by museum collections. The holidays are also the perfect time to catch a show. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker by the New York City Ballet are classic favorites.

november/december • 2013



See & Do The ball drop in Times Square may be the world’s most famous New Year’s Eve event, but there are plenty of other things to do in the City that Never Sleeps to ring in the New Year. Enjoy the last meal of 2013 and a champagne toast at one of New York City’s top restaurants, many of which feature live music and themed courses. Or dance the night away at parties held all over town in clubs, hotels and unusual locales like Madame Tussauds wax museum. For a running start to 2014, head to Central Park for the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run.

Don’t Miss One of the best ways to experience New Year’s Eve firework displays is from the water. Harbor cruises of all types, ranging from formal to family-friendly, provide unobstructed views of the displays at the Statue of Liberty. The Bateaux New Year’s Eve Fireworks Dinner Cruise offers fine dining, an open bar and live jazz on



an elegant all-glass vessel, as well as a synchronized musical accompaniment to the fireworks show. For the ultimate upscale New Year’s Eve experience, attend the New Year’s Eve Gala at the Metropolitan Opera; this year’s performance of Die Fledermaus is followed by a black-tie dinner dance.

Take It from the Locals Rather than search out the crowds on New Year’s Eve, many New Yorkers opt for a setting with some elbow room. Don’t be afraid to seek out your own New Year’s Eve hotspot for the countdown, whether it’s an exclusive restaurant, local pub or a favorite New York attraction like the Brooklyn Bridge or Central Park. If you’re determined to see the ball drop and don’t mind doing it a day early, walk by Times Square and you might catch a test drop. With passers-by looking on and cheering, it’s almost as high energy as the real thing.

courtesy Ian Hardy for Times Square Alliance | joe cingrana | NYRR | Times Square Alliance | NYC & Company

new year’s eve

Magical Setting




niquely situated on the banks of Oak Creek in Sedona’s magnificent Red Rock country, L’Auberge de Sedona is a place where magical moments happen. Dine on our creekside patio under the cool canopy of sycamore trees. Take a private outdoor shower under the starry night sky. Our staff will take every opportunity to delight you. Quite simply, this is a hotel experience unlike any other.

Conde’ Nast Gold List 2011 • Travel + Leisure World’s Best 2011 Contact your Virtuoso Travel Specialist to reserve your stay and enjoy exclusive benefits including daily resort credits. www.virtuoso.com

Like us on Facebook facebook.com/laubergedesedona

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301 L’Auberge Lane • Sedona, AZ 86336 • Phone 1-800-905-5745 • lauberge.com

Woodforest, Texas is truly the best of both worlds. A small town with easy living and friendly neighbors. In a master-planned community with all the fun amenities you’d ever want. Like a 27-hole championship golf course, parks, playgrounds, miles of hike and bike trails and the 20-acre Forest Island recreation complex that includes a resort-style pool, water slides, tennis and basketball courts, and a splash pad. Even a bark park for our four-legged friends. Plus shopping, dining and entertainment just minutes away. With homes from the $200s to the millions, including luxury patio homes to exquisite custom homes, Woodforest really does have something for everyone. Come see how much fun small-town living can be.


936-447-2800 • WoodforestTx.com As with any financial decision, buyers are encouraged to do their own due diligence when selecting a home builder. Woodforest makes no representation or warranties on the quality of the homebuilders. Prices and availability are subject to change without notice. 10/13

vitamins Healthy living

live well


low carb relax Cardiovascular

Concierge medicine

Fitness health Active aging


flexibildance ity




Burn calories

nourish live well zumba marriage allergies

Beauty bliss

endurance vitamin d

guilt free


the prime living guide to better health


70 71 72 73 74

• • • • •

Health Buzz What’s New Feel Good Best Foot Forward Beauty Buzz Prime Finds Look Good Merry & Bright Be Good knowing your spouse in retirement 75 • His & Hers take it to the mattresses

Soothing massage

november/december • 2013


live well

h e a lt h b u z z

Volunteer for Health

L Seeing the Future ccording to the BrightFocus Foundation, as many as


11 million people in the United States have some form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Macular degeneration is the second-highest cause of irreversible blindness in the world and afflicts many over age 50. The early and intermediate stages usually start without symptoms and only a comprehensive dilated eye exam can detect AMD. The good news is that a new, quick and simple eye test can predict who is most at risk. The new test, which reveals damage to eye tissue, can show doctors when to watch a patient more closely, helping them to lessen the risk of the disease and avoid total blindness. According to a 10-year clinical trial by the National Eye Institute, patients taking high doses of antioxidants and zinc could reduce their risk of developing advanced AMD and experiencing severe vision loss. Over age 50? Make sure an annual eye exam is on your list.

Heart Health

180dopting healthier


eating habits after a heart attack can significantly cut your risk of dying. Of the 4,000 men and women who participated in a recent study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health, those who most improved their diets were 40 percent less likely to die from heart disease compared to those whose diets improved the least. A healthy diet includes generous amounts of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and is low in trans-fats, red meat and sugary foods and drinks.

angela ambrose Angela Ambrose has been a writer for more than 20 years, working for Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. Public Health Service, as well as national magazines, newspapers and websites. She is also a nationally certified group fitness instructor and a registered yoga teacher.



ooking for a way to significantly decrease your blood pressure without medication? Older adults who volunteered at least 200 hours per year lowered their risk of high blood pressure by as much as 40 percent, according to a recent study from Carnegie Mellon University. Researchers say volunteer work helps a person form more social connections, which has a positive impact on aging and a number of health conditions. High blood pressure raises your risk for heart disease and stroke, both leading causes of death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in three adults has high blood pressure—so improve your health by giving up a little of your time this holiday season.

Hot Cocoa on Brain


othing beats a steaming cup of hot chocolate on a cold, blustery day. Now you may have even more reason to indulge in this sweet winter treat. Harvard University scientists say drinking two cups of hot cocoa per day may help prevent memory decline and fight dementia in older people by maintaining blood flow to key areas of the brain.

Sing Away Stress


ountless studies have proven that listening to music can boost your mood. According to a report compiled by McGill University and Daniel J. Levitin, author of This is Your Brain on Music, singing reduces stress and pumps up your immune system. More than 200 studies evaluated in the report documented a higher concentration of immunoglobulin A (a protein that behaves like antibodies) and lower levels of cortisol in the blood of persons who sing. Singing is also shown to modify heart and respiration rates, both related to anxiety and stress—so crank up those Christmas carols and have a cup of cheer!

feel good

live well

best foot


Story | Angela ambrose


t’s the time of the year when you’re racing around town shopping and running errands—with little time to rest and way too much time on your feet. Buying properly fitting shoes and practicing good foot hygiene can help keep your feet healthy and pain-free. “When there’s pain, it’s a sign that something’s wrong. It doesn’t mean, you should pop four ibuprofen and keep going,” says Dr. Angela Dagley, a prominent local podiatrist. “Our feet aren’t supposed to hurt, and if they’re hurting, there’s an issue.” When foot pain occurs, people often compensate by changing the way they walk, which can put a strain on muscle groups in the connecting joints. This pain can transfer to your knees, back and

hips, warns Dagley. The first step is finding a shoe that fits properly. If your shoes are too tight, they might cause painful blisters, calluses or corns. When shoes are too big, your feet could slide around, often jamming your toes and causing blisters. To get the best fit, closed toed shoes should have about ¼ to ½ inch length between the end of the longest toe and the end of the shoe. The second step is as simple as propping feet up. You’ve probably scheduled your stops for the day and with all the holiday traffic, you have just enough time to get home and get ready for the evening’s events—but propping up your feet at a 45 degree angle for as few as 10 minutes reduces pressure and swelling. So, pencil in a couple of rest stops for your

tootsies while you’re at it. At the end of the day when all of the action is over, there are several things you can do to alleviate foot pain starting with a soak. Some experts recommend running water over your feet while alternating between cold and hot for one minute at a time. Give your whole body a break and add a couple of tablespoons of Epsom salt to your bath to relieve muscle and joint pain. If your favorite person sitting opposite the sofa is feeling generous, maybe you can squeeze in a foot rub—and if not, try rolling a golf ball around under your bare foot. Good foot hygiene and choosing the right shoes will help keep your feet looking and feeling healthy. “If I’m going to

be walking all day long, I’m going to be in my supportive tennis shoes,” says Dagley. “I don’t care if it’s not cute. I’m going to be in a shoe that’s going to give my foot, and all my lower extremities, that extra support.” The next time you go power shopping, consider slipping on your comfy sneakers and save your 5-inch stilettos for the galas. Your feet will thank you.

did you know? Epsom salt is not just a relaxing element to add to your bath. It actually draws toxins out of your body. According to the Epsom Salt Council, adding it to your foot soak can decrease swelling, soothe dry skin and even reduce foot odor.

november/december • 2013


live well

beauty buzz

prime finds Revamp your health & beauty routine with these cool products.

Formula X for Sephora Effects Top Coat. Available at Sephora.

{FOCUS} Transform your look into something completely new with this gold foil glitter top coat. {FUNCTION} Suspended in a clear top coat, small, shimmery flecks sparkle brilliantly with large chunks of shiny glitter. For a few twinkles, apply a single coat to bare nails, or brush it over your favorite color. For an extra glittery effect, apply multiple layers.

Dolce & Gabbana

Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick. Available at Saks Fifth Avenue.

{FOCUS} The perfect duo lipstick that includes both color and satin gloss all in one tube. The smooth formula glides on to offer true, pure color, ensuring exceptional glamour and seamless wearability from day to night. {FUNCTION} With the greatest ease, the combination dresses

the lip in rich, matte pigment as the high shine core delivers a burst of boundless moisture, resulting in an impeccably balanced and sumptuously sensual effect. Lips are smooth and soft, deliciously drenched and bearing a breathtaking depth and scale of color.

Alterna Hair Product

Alterna Bamboo Style Cleanse Extend Translucent Dry Shampoo. Available at Sephora.

{FOCUS} Beloved for its lightweight, translucent formula, this dry shampoo is now available in two new invigorating scents—Mango Coconut and Sheer Blossom. {FUNCTION} Formulated with Kendi Oil to nourish, Omega 3, 6 and 9 to smooth the cuticle, and vitamin E to help ward off future damage, this dry shampoo leaves hair sleek, frizz free, clean and smelling fresh. Not only is this product full of nourishing ingredients, it is free of ingredients like parabens, sulfates, synthetic color, gluten and mineral oil.



Look good

live well

Merry & Bright Story | jessica mebane


smile can convey many messages. A conspiratorial grin-smile says, “We made it, old boy, through another year’s worth of ‘economic recovery’ and fought the good fight.” An alluring smile purrs, “Baby, it’s cold outside, so come over here and sit by me already.” But a dingy, yellowing leer-smile trumpets, “My breath smells like the dregs of a Starbucks espresso machine drip tray.” So slurp down the last of that double-shot, nutmeg-scented whatever you’ve been nursing. We’ve got some teeth whitening tips to help you sail effortlessly and triumphantly through another holiday season with a grin that says, “Meet me under the mistletoe, stat!” If you’ve only got a few hours before the big Christmas gala, try Rembrandt’s Deeply White 2 Hour Whitening Kit to get those choppers a little closer to snow white instead of shoepeg corn. Perfect to use before any occasion, this kit promises to whiten teeth up to three shades lighter after just one two-hour treatment. Each kit includes two ComfyTray applicators and eight ampoules of whitening gel and can be found at retailers everywhere. rembrandt.com Take the dentist’s chair, easylistening music and follow-up visits out of the professional teeth whitening experience, and you might have something that looks a little like the GLO Brilliant Personal Teeth Whitening Device. GLO Science co-founder and aesthetic dentist Dr. Jonathan B. Levine was bicycling one day and ruminating over the loss of

oxygen in current mouth tray and light whitening systems—which lessens the effectiveness of the overall procedure. He figured out that if you could put a light source in the mouthpiece itself, then no oxygen would be lost, and adding a heat element would cause the whitening formulation to work like gangbusters. And voila! GLO Brilliant was born. sephora.com For a more natural approach to teeth whitening, try Essential Oxygen’s Organic Brushing Rinse—a toothpaste and mouthwash product free of sodium lauryl sulfate, chlorine bleach, fluoride, glycerin or alcohol. This product does boast of non-chemical ingredients such as food-grade hydrogen peroxide, purified water, organic aloe vera and organic essential oils. When used, it whitens teeth and eliminates morning bacteria breath. According to Essential Oxygen, aloe vera is an effective ingredient to fight cavities and bacteria buildup in teeth. essentialoxygen.com

did you know? Teeth whitening is big business—Americans spend more than $1.4 billion per year just on over-the-counter teeth whitening products. In 2001, when Julia Roberts won an Academy Award for Erin Brockovich, her childhood dentist in Smyrna, Ga. had to pay up on a vow he made some 20 years earlier: if any of his patients ever won an Olympic medal, Oscar or other prestigious award, he’d give a tube of toothpaste to every child in town—which amounted to almost 10,000 tubes of Crest!

november/december • 2013


live well

be Good

knowing your spouse

in retirement


Story | Mary Jo Rapini

y husband and I were at dinner the other night with our dear friends. These friends— newly retired—are now living in a retirement community. They were telling us about the other couples who join them for breakfast each morning. We laughed at how lucky these senior couples are, now that they are able to freely discuss topics such as their marriage or past employment and not worry about getting fired or divorced. Getting older is not a guarantee that you will stay married. Along with the freedom from yard work, fixing household problems and working, these couples are rediscovering themselves and their partners. During our discussion, our friend looked at his wife and said, “I don’t know you in retirement.” My eyes grew wide and I happily expressed, “Wow, an honest man.” In truth, we never know our partner completely, and this is what keeps marriage exciting. We all laughed, but it was laughter over sharing a bittersweet truth. I don’t know many people who aren’t looking forward to retirement. Many of our friends have retired at age 40 and even more by age 50. They may talk about their trips, leisure golf games and weekends with the grandkids, but if you listen closely, you will also hear them talk about the difficulty of their transition. Preparing for retirement involves taking small steps. Letting go of work is a huge step, and it doesn’t matter if you



complained about your job every day; when it is gone you will feel a void. Grieving and grief work is part of the transition of retirement. Developing a sense of exploration and curiosity is important, and actually helps predict how healthy you will be through your retirement, both physically and emotionally. Many couples don’t prepare for retirement emotionally. They believe that it happens naturally and they will know how to do it right away. Whenever you idealize a transition, no matter if it is a marriage, a new baby or retirement, you are sure to be disappointed. Retirement is a transition and it involves not only your lifestyle, but also your marriage style. Couples need to reacquaint themselves with their partner and revitalize their marriage. In essence, no one really knows their partner completely and when the other partner is going through a transition along with you, navigating the relationship can be tricky. Your marriage has to transition in a way it has not done before. Prior to retirement your outlook or vision together is always the future. During retirement, there is a heavy emphasis on the present. People become more aware of their mortality and the importance of living each day in the present. If you are on the verge of retirement, these suggestions may help you make the emotional transition as well as the physical ones of actually ceasing your employment:

It’s ok to grieve Grieving is an important part of retirement, and it does happen whether you acknowledge it or not. It usually presents as sadness, anger or irritability. The more you can journal about how you feel or have a good friend—hopefully your spouse is a good listener— the easier it will be to get through the process.

Try New Things This sounds like a cliché, but try new things. It can be a new spiritual retreat, a new boating club, or a pet owners club and anything in between. When you try new things, you help the brain form new connections. If your brain ever needed new connections, it needs them in the senior years.

stay Active Physical activity has never been more important than in your retirement. No matter what happens in your life, take 30 minutes each day to be active. Marriages improve with walks; there is no healthier way to begin conversation.

separate interests Keep your own interests separate from your partner. This is important in all of life. The more interests you can bring to the relationship, the more the relationship is going to thrive.

be intimate Keep intimacy with your partner in your retirement years. Couples who are more intimate have healthier hearts, minds, and bodies. Date nights are not exclusive for the young. Keep them in your marriage ’til death do you part. form friendships Make new friends and keep the old. The more social you are with other couples, the better your own marriage becomes. Other couples give us new thoughts, new reflections and help us think out of our own box. They also keep laughter in our life.

I have worked with couples who have been retired for years. Understanding that they don’t understand one another is an incredible asset to their marriage. From what they have taught me, the more open and accepting you can be of your partner—who is no longer in the mom or dad role—the more interesting and exciting your retirement can be. Kids may help stabilize a marriage, and work gets us in our routine. When those two roles are finished, the greatest role may be freedom; re-learning who we are and who we are married to.

mary jo rapini Mary Jo Rapini is a Houston-based psychotherapist specializing in sex and relationships. In addition to being a speaker, author and TV personality, she shares her expert advice Tuesday mornings on Mix 96.5 and Friday mornings on Fox 26 Houston. For information, visit maryjorapini.com.

his & hers

live well

take it to the Mattresses Story | jessica mebane


n this over-stimulated, perpetually plugged-in society, who doesn’t—after a particularly grueling day of virtual and real-world demands—secretly fantasize about reconnecting with their favorite pillow and side of the bed? The right mattress, though, can involve precise calibrations—and yes, men and women do seek out different mattresses. Billy Sotiropoulos, senior mattress specialist at Gallery Furniture and Austin Natural Mattress owner Shane Coker helped us identify differences and offer some insights.


men Aesthetics

on the surface


Sotiropoulos: “Women are more concerned with the look of the mattress while men are more concerned about price, but feel of the mattress is a priority for both.”

Need support for their curves—specifically in the hip and waist.

pressure points

Need support for their shoulders.

Coker: “If you don’t get the pressure points addressed correctly in your mattress, you wind up bending your spine into an uncomfortable shape.”

Gravitate towards a softer mattress.

soft vs. firm

Prefer a firmer mattress.

Sotiropoulos: “Men think that with a firmer mattress comes more support which used to be true—but now there are options with a softer feel that still give you the support you would get from a firm mattress.”

Women experience great fluctuations in temperature, which increases restless sleep patterns.


Men’s bodies are heavier and warmer, but regulate to lower body temperature once asleep.

Coker says memory foam mattresses are more temperature-sensitive and warm up with your body temp. Sotiropoulos suggests looking for brands with good pores—typically made in the USA, because we have stricter mattress manufacturing guidelines.

Women are more likely to sit up and work from their laptop or tablet in bed. (“Although this is not recommended,” says Sotiropoulos.)


Men are more prone to sleep apnea and acid reflux—sleeping at an angle helps alleviate nighttime symptoms.

Sotiropoulos: “Adjustable beds are growing in popularity because they have benefits for both men and women.” If you think a Sleep Number bed or suffering through the night are your only options for compromise, think again. According to Sotiropoulos some brands are adding gel to their mattresses to promote cooler temperatures—primarily memory foam brands which offer great compromise when it comes to differences in pressure points. Coker discovered the OrganicPedic 81 which through a three-tier system can be tailored to his and hers specific needs. “This mattress is so named because there are 81 different possible combinations of layers to find the precise perfect level of comfort for two different sleeping styles,” says Coker.

november/december • 2013


Iron Sommelier


Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa • 9.26.13


Houston’s best sommeliers battled for the title of Iron Sommelier in a competition and fundraiser benefitting The Periwinkle Foundation, which develops and provides programs that positively impact the lives of children, young adults and families who are challenged by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses who are cared for at Texas Children’s Hospital. The evening featured big board auction items and Making A Mark Children’s Art Sale, raising more than $205,000 for the foundation this year. Photographer | Silahis Loyola

get on the list at primelist@prime-living.com



CenterStage Dinner: You Can’t Take It With You Alley Theatre • 9.25.13



More than 200 Alley patrons and sponsors gathered for a private dinner prior to the opening of the all-American romantic comedy, “You Can’t Take It With You.” Alley Artistic Director Gregory Boyd spoke about playwrights Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, who created the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic that many consider to be one of the greatest American comedies of all time. Following the performance, guests were treated to a champagne toast where they mingled and took photos with the cast. Photographer | Priscilla Dickson







1 Margaret Alkek Williams, Anne Mendelsohn 2 Lou & Christy Cushman 3 Peter Ragauss, Dean Gladden, Jennifer Smith 4 Brian Teichman, Gregory Boyd, Andrew Cordes 5 Roger & Connie Plank 6 Mady Kades, Gracie Cavnar, Lynn Wyatt

Urban Retreat’s Grand Opening


Urban Retreat Salon & Spa • 9.27.13


Urban Retreat opened the doors of the long-awaited Sugar Land location in style with a fabulous grand opening event. In partnership with the Fort Bend Junior Service League, Urban Retreat offered specials on products and services, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the League’s American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Fund. Attendees were treated to a fun evening featuring L’Vere makeovers with the salon’s own line of makeup, hair blowouts and styles, great prizes and the opportunity to meet the Urban Retreat team. Photographer | Leroy Gibbins

See More photos at Prime-Living.com

november/december • 2013


PRIME Living’s September/ October VIP Party


Johnson Development Luxury Residence • 9.20.13


PRIME Living kicked off our annual “Lone Star State” issue at one of Johnson Development’s luxury residences in Sienna Plantation. Guests enjoyed an evening celebrating in true Texas style with mouthwatering hors d’oeuvres provided by Tradicao and a signature cocktail aptly named the Twisted Texas. Gigi’s Cupcakes satisfied guests’ sweet cravings with flavors such as Southern Comfort, Chocolate Salted Caramel and the debut of their new fall flavor–White Chocolate Pumpkin. Features from the magazine came to life as guests tasted MoonPies (some, for the first time), mingled with PRIME Living’s High Tech writer Michael Garfield, met Texas ghost hunters from Sugar Land Paranormal Research Group, and experienced first-hand Texas-made products from the creator of Salve Naturals. Urban Retreat’s team pampered guests by offering complimentary make-up and hair. Photographer | Silahis Loyola

get on the list at primelist@prime-living.com



See More photos at Prime-Living.com

november/december • 2013




everything is better

withchocolate …including a front door. Make a statement to your arriving guests as to exactly where you stand on the subject of, “what’s for dessert?”




for the HOME

Dianne Josephs | 713/864-2112 | www.atelier1505.com 1505 Sawyer Street | Houston, Texas 77007 | Lewis & Maese Auction Warehouse

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PRIME Living’s 2013 November/December "Luxe" Issue  

Cooking with Spirit: holiday dish recipes with “spirited” ingredients are sure to be your newest tradition; Be Dazzled: add sparkle to your...

PRIME Living’s 2013 November/December "Luxe" Issue  

Cooking with Spirit: holiday dish recipes with “spirited” ingredients are sure to be your newest tradition; Be Dazzled: add sparkle to your...