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THE LUXURY LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE OF TEXAS

CHILLED TO

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life’s

LITTLE SECRETS 30+ LIFE HACKS FOR 2015

CUPCAKES & COCKTAILS

ENTERTAINING TIPS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY


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features

64

With Love from Prague

RENDEZVOUS IN PRAGUE FOR THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE

22 Hidden Wineries of France 30 DISCOVER LITTLE-KNOWN FRENCH COUNTRY WINERIES

Life's

little Secrets 30+ LIFE HACKS FOR 2015

JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

3


78

18 47

alsoinside 12 Bringing Sexy Back

9 •  COCKTAILS & CONVERSATION • KEEPING YOU IN THE KNOW Talking Points • Style • In the Mix • My Life Nostalgia • Bucket List • Wealth • Design 39 • C  ONNOISSEUR • PRIME’S GUIDE TO DISCERNING TASTE Table Talk • Uncorked • Main Dish • Bragging Bites • Entertain 51 • T  HE GENTLEMEN’S ROOM • FOR THE MAN WHO COMMANDS THE VERY BEST Man Cave • Driver’s Seat • Cigar Notes • High Tech • Outdoors • Style

62

71 • L  IVE WELL • FEEL GOOD, LOOK GOOD, BE GOOD Health Buzz • Feel Good • Focus & Function Look Good • Be Good

48 4

PRIME-LIVING.COM

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59 • ESCAPE • GREETINGS FROM DESTINATIONS NEAR AND FAR Enlightened Explorer • Point of Interest

78 • P  RIME LIST • EVENTS, GALAS AND FUNDRAISERS Nutcracker Market 2014 • Kappa Kappa Gamma Celebrity Chef Party

It Slices! It Dices!

56

Knockout Boxers


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publisher’s note

I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day.When I think about romance,the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon. –Author Unknown

W

kdean@prime-living.com

THE LUXURY

LIFESTYLE

MAGAZINE

OF TEXAS

Dive into the world of the Jukkasjärvi IceHotel by staying the night in this magical environment. Deluxe Suite: SONG OF LOTUS by Vytautas Musteikis & Kestutis Musteikis, Photographer Christopher Hauser

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WITH ICE HOTELS IENCES LUXURIOUS EXPERT LIST FOR YOUR BUCKE

bring Y BACK SEX HER LINGERIE FOR FROM HIM TO BOXERS FOR } $5.95 US JANUARY/FEBRUARY

life’s

LITTLE TS SECRE FOR 2015

30+ LIFE HACKS

ES & CUPCAK COCKTAILS INE’S DAY

TIPS FOR VALENT ENTERTAINING

Chilled to Perfection (page 18), Bring Sexy Back (page 12 and 56), Life’s Little Secrets (page 30), Cupcakes & Cocktails (page 48)

PM 12/10/14 4:20

p. 00 Cover 38

PL JF15I.indd

1

COMING UP...

Discover the magic of a destination wedding and spruce up your backyard for spring with inspiring garden designs.

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PUBLISHER Terry Dean

tdean@prime-living.com

ART DIRECTION & DESIGN LuckyYou! Creative Erin Loukili, Jaclyn Threadgill erin@luckyyoucreative.com

Tom Kircher

tkircher@srgserv.com

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Jennifer Dean Stavert jend@prime-living.com

MARKETING ASSISTANT Winona Vo wvo@srgserv.com

CIRCULATION/ DISTRIBUTION Brian Stavert

bstavert@prime-living.com

CONTACT 311 Julie Rivers Drive Sugar Land, Texas 77498 281.277.2333 EDITORIAL INQUIRIES editor@prime-living.com ADVERTISING INQUIRIES advertise@prime-living.com

ON THE COVER CHTOILLED

kdean@prime-living.com

CHECK OUT… Find bonus content from each issue plus much more on prime-living.com

SUBSCRIBE AT prime-living.com ©2015 Prime Living Magazine is a publication of SRG Services, Inc., published bi-monthly. Copies are mailed and handdelivered to households and businesses throughout Texas. 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.

© XDACHEZ.COM

Ice sculpting at Hôtel de Glace is serious business and oh so beautiful!

hat are your doing on Valentine’s Day? As for me, I’ll be celebrating 34 years of marriage. As corny as it might seem, getting married Feb. 14 was ideal because it made remembering future anniversaries very easy. After reading about the Charles Bridge in “From Prague with Love” (page 64), I know where I want to spend #35. Ladies, listen up—if you haven’t made Valentine’s plans yet—let your BFFs know how much they mean to you by throwing them a party. We help jump-start the creative party planning in “Cupcakes & Cocktails” (page 48) complete with all the essentials—cdecorations, treats and chocolate! If you’re looking to spice up your love life, we gathered some of our favorite new lingerie items to share in “Bringing Sexy Back” (page 12). For the man in your life, we have great gift ideas in “Knockout Boxers” (page 56), and if the way to your man’s heart is through his stomach, be sure to check out the recipes and wine pairings in “Hidden Wineries of France” (page 22). Some of the coolest places (pun intended) covered in this issue are the three ice hotel locations in “Ice Ice Baby” (page 18). The hotels cater to those looking for a unique experience and most offer lodging that will test your fortitude for the cold. Survive the icy night— surrounded by stunning ice art and wrapped in luxurious blankets— and you will earn a certificate that you can proudly display. If you are curious as to what an ice hotel (and bar in many instances) looks like, check out our ice hotel photo gallery on prime-living.com. As for me, being a South Texas gal, I believe that ice was meant only for tea. Happy Valentine’s Day!

PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Karyn Dean


To know that every child is extraordinary. What’s your promise?

texaschildrens.org/promise 27552PL-001-112014


cocktails & conversation

cocktails & conversation THE PRIME LIVING GUIDE TO KEEPING YOU IN THE KNOW

CHRISTOPHER HAUSER

inside:

ICEHOTEL

10 12 14 15 16 18 20 21

• • • • • • • •

TALKING POINTS WHAT’S TRENDING STYLE BRINGING SEXY BACK IN THE MIX KISS ON THE LIPS MY LIFE MATCHMAKER NOSTALGIA RONCO PRODUCTS BUCKET LIST ICE ICE BABY WEALTH INCOME SHIFTING DESIGN METAL MIX-UP JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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cocktails & conversation

TALKING POINTS

>> FOR THE ALL-NATURAL ENTHUSIAST

DRINK CHIA! o Chia! is the maker

G >> FOR THE CONFECTIONERY LOVER

BON BAKE SHOP innabon recently launched its first artisan bakeshop right here in Texas. The new Bon Bake

C

Shop at Willowbrook Mall in Houston offers bite-sized cinnamon rolls decked out in a unique variety of toppings—such as maple bacon, s’mores and berries and cream—available in flights. Confectionery lovers can also find red velvet Whoopie Pies, and for those lacking a sweet tooth, there are savory cheese rolls. “The next big thing in indulgence is small,” Cinnabon marketing chief Kristen Hartman says. cinnabon.com #GetYourBunsOverHere

of the all natural chia beverage, Drink Chia!, which is available at HEB. Developed by a trio of health-conscious entrepreneurs in search of an alternative to stimulant and sugar-laden drinks. Drink Chia! is all natural and is infused with whole, soft, organic chia seeds rich with omega-3 essential fatty acids, antioxidants and B-complex vitamins. gochiasuperfoods.com #ChaChaChaChia

ALICE IN WONDERLAND EXHIBITION >> FOR THE WHISKEY DEVOTEE

JEREMIAH WEED WHISKEY

M

akers of Jeremiah Weed recently unveiled a new line of American whiskies blended with handselected secret spices and natural flavors. The three new flavors are spiced, cinnamon and sarsaparilla. “When it comes to whiskey, a little bit of mystery always provides a lot more excitement,” innovation director at DIAGEO, Patrick Hughes says. The labels are a talking point displaying a faceless man with intricate designs coming out of the top of his hat. diageo.com #TopHatTerrific

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T

he Harry Ransom Center presents “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s classic. The exhibition runs from Feb. 10 through July 6. With more than 200 items including letters, hand-drawn illustrations and photographs. The exhibition brings to life the history of the book and reveals how Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has captured our collective imagination for 150 years. hrc.utexas. edu #DownTheRabbitHole

DIAGEO | GO CHIA! | HARRY RANSOM CENTER | BON BAKE SHOP - CINNABON

>> FOR THE MAD HATTER


TALKING POINTS

cocktails & conversation

>> FOR THE CHOCOHOLIC

PRIME LIVING VALENTINE’S TRIVIA White chocolate isn’t technically chocolate because it does not contain cocoa German chocolate was created by a guy named Sam German who worked for the Baker Chocolate Company—it is named after him not the country The smell of chocolate increases theta brainwaves, which trigger relaxation Research suggests that dark chocolate can improve the ability to see in lowcontrast situations (such as poor weather) Chocolate is said to ward off tooth decay with bacteria-fighting elements found in cocoa beans. #ChocoSmarter

>> FOR THE COUNTRY MUSIC FAN

LAS CRUCES COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL

C

ountry music lovers, strap on those boots and make plans to attend the third annual Las Cruces Country Music Festival April 24-26. The festival will feature iconic country music legend Kenny Rogers, top country artist Dustin Lynch and 2014 Country Music Association Vocal Duo of the Year nominees The Swon Brothers. Enjoy vendors, dancing, live music and a New Mexico TRUE area with vendors and artisans exclusively from New Mexico. lccountryfest.com #TakeMyLoveToTown

>> FOR THE PUZZLE SOLVER

AUSTIN PANIC ROOM or those wanting to test their puzzle-solving skills, the Austin

F

Panic Room offers a unique opportunity for adults of all ages to enjoy a logical challenge in a group setting. Upon arrival, participants are immersed in a storyline as they enter a room that resembles an apartment or office depending on the theme. The goal is to work as a group solving clues in order to escape within an hour. austinpanicroom.com #GroupGaming

>> FOR THE H20 FAN

HYDRIVE ENERGY WATER | AUSTIN PANIC ROOM

HYDRIVE ENERGY WATER

T

exas-based HYDRIVE has launched HYDRIVE Energy Water which can be found at Kroger stores in Dallas and Houston. The caffeinated, low-calorie beverage possesses the qualities of enhanced water, with the kick of an energy drink and performance-enhancing vitamins and nutrients—an ideal combination for the health-conscious consumer looking for a caffeine boost. Each of the unique flavors is made from a nutrient-enhanced formula. hydriveenergy.com #EverReadyWater JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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cocktails & conversation

STYLE

Cassia Slip by Agent Provocateur available on agentprovocateur.com

BRINGING sexy BACK

Molly Kimono, Bra & Suspender by Agent Provocateur available on agentprovocateur.com

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Calypso Padded Bra & Cut-Out Thong by Bordelle available on bordelle.co.uk

AGENT PROVOCATEUR | KUMI KOOKOON | BORDELLE | NEIMAN MARCUS

Maharani Lace Babydoll With Bikini by La Perla available on neimanmarcus.com


cocktails & conversation

STYLE

AGENT PROVOCATEUR | KUMI KOOKOON | BORDELLE | NEIMAN MARCUS

Celeste Kimono by Agent Provocateur available on agentprovocateur.com

Tulip Robe by Hovey Design for kumi kookoon available on kumikookoon.com

Classic Cami Set by kumi kookoon available on kumikookoon.com

Maison Lace-Trimmed Underwire Corset & Briefs by La Perla available on neimanmarcus.com

Vedette Girdle Dress by Bordelle available on bordelle.co.uk

Vedette Bodice Bra & Strap Thong by Bordelle available on bordelle.co.uk JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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cocktails & conversation

IN THE MIX

6 ounces Mango Tangerine Drink Chia!

orange slice

KISS ON THE LIPS In a blender add rum, triple sec, mango tangerine drink and ice. Blend until ice is slightly crushed. In a cocktail glass, add the grenadine syrup then slowly pour the ice mixture over it to create a layered effect. Garnish with orange slice. Cruzan® Rum, 27.5%-75.5% Alc./Vol. ©2014 CRUZAN International, Deerfield, IL USA JDK & Sons™ O3 Premium Orange Liqueur, 40% Alc./Vol. ©2014 John DeKuyper & Son, Cincinnati, OH; Frankfort; Clermont, KY

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1 tablespoon grenadine syrup 2 ounces rum

SQUIRE FOX | GO CHIA! | BEAM GLOBAL SPIRITS & WINE, INC.

1 1/2 ounces triple sec


MY LIFE

cocktails & conversation

match-

maker MELANIE MATCEK

SAL ROBLES

In my heart, I’m still a romantic.

P

ersonalized online matchmaking might sound like something revolutionary, but Melanie Matcek and Innovative Encounters, LLC is well ahead of the curve. They developed a protocol six years ago, and have made hundreds of successful matches since. After unsuccessfully navigating the online dating scene, Matcek realized that accountability and human interaction were absent from the process. She decided to take up Cupid’s bow and gain a relationship coach license and certification from the Matchmaking Institute in Manhattan. Matcek focuses on her clients being personally ready

Story | ABBY WILSON

for a relationship and relies on foundational compatibility instead of sending them out into the wild of after-work drinks. “We spend a lot of time getting to know each other. Then we both know exactly what work needs to be done. I don’t make empty promises; it might not be easy.” But Matcek firmly believes that there’s someone out there for everyone. “In my heart, I’m still a romantic,” Matcek says. She devotes many hours to readying her clients to meet that special someone. “You have to be a successful single before you can be a successful couple,” Matcek claims. Getting clients to relationship readiness isn’t without its mental hurdles; Matcek has to overcome

many preconceived ideas. “Hair color is not a dealbreaker,” she says. “You don’t have to be with a blonde!” She takes aesthetics into account but also suggests a finding a potential partner based on core values. Even with all of Matcek’s careful calculations, not every match can be Champagne and butterflies. “I can’t predict chemistry. If I could bottle it, I’d be a millionaire,” she says. Despite the difficulties—which include people mistaking her for an escort service—she warmly affirms that seeing two people in a healthy, long-term relationship after 30 years away from the dating scene is enough to keep her committed for a lifetime. JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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cocktails & conversation

NOSTALGIA

BUT WAIT! There’s More! Story | BRUCE FARR

L

adies and gentlemen, I’m going to show you the greatest kitchen product ever made.” It’s a credit to the strength of TV memory (to coin a phrase) that there’s hardly anyone who was conscious during the 1960s and onward who can’t identify Ron Popeil as the speaker of those words or the products that they so dramatically introduced. Popeil founded his legendary “Ronco” brand in 1964, with a flurry of novel TV ads pitching an array of kitchen gadgets and newfangled domestic products. He got the ball rolling with Chop-O-Matic, a rather ingenious food-mincing tool that took the American TV-watching public by storm. Millions of housewives answered pitchman Popeil’s call to mailorder their very own Chop-O-Matic for $3.98 and the price of postage. What followed were scores of products—pasta makers, countertop rotisserie ovens, food dehydrators—and decades of commercials

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that promoted them. Popeil’s television persona was quirky and memorable. Watching his earlier ads, you can’t help but smile at his unusual sales patter and the compelling, hands-on demos of his products that he mastered. It wasn’t long before the names Ronco and his ubiquitous catchphrase “But wait! There’s more!” became emblems of American popular culture. So pervasive were the commercials that they—

DID YOU KNOW? Although Ron Popeil turns 80 this year, the inveterate inventor is still at it, dreaming up new products and pitching them in legendary fashion to new generations of consumers. After countless attempts to come up with a safe, hassle-free device to deep-fry turkeys, Popeil’s 5in1 Cooking System is now available online with his personal guarantee of flawless performance.

and Popeil—eventually became fodder for comedic routines. Who can forget the brilliant “Saturday Night Live” send-ups of Popeil with comedian Dan Aykroyd hawking his hilarious Bass-O-Matic blender? As entertaining as the TV ads were, what most of us never considered was how ingenious Popeil’s pitch-making formula actually was—and that he recognized very early in TV’s history how the medium could be exploited and manipulated to generate a lot of attention on products that otherwise might have been overlooked. Fifty years and $2 billion in sales later, Ronco—and Popeil himself— remains a legendary force in the television-marketing business. Although he sold his company several years ago, his name lives on as a prime example of the power of television. That’s why, as many of us are helping clean out our parents’ and grandparents’ attics, we’re often finding—still intact— those curious little kitchen gadgets that helped launch a new age of advertising way back when.

INFUSION BRANDS

DID RON POPEIL INVENT THE INFOMERCIAL?


NOSTALGIA

cocktails & conversation

POPEIL

POP

QUIZ! 1

4

2

In 1984, musical satirist Weird Al Yankovic wrote and performed a song called “Mr. Popeil.”

In the year 2000, Ron Popeil broke worldwide sales records by selling more than $1 million worth of his tabletop rotisseries during a one-hour live program that aired on QVC. Following up on the success of his million-dollar selling Chop-O-Matic, Popeil introduced a magnetically operated salad spinner called Dry-O-Vac.

3

One of Popeil’s most legendary products was essentially a spray can of colored material used to cover up bald spots on men’s heads.

Popeil coined the phrase “cordless electric” to make an item seem more sophisticated than battery-operated.

5 6

Shortly after Popeil sold his Ronco company in 2005, the new owners declared bankruptcy.

7

Ronco’s single best-selling product of all time was a spring-loaded tennis shoe insert called Step-Right-Up!

Know your Ronco Products! Which of the following were names of actual Ronco products? A. Pocket Fisherman B. Inside-the-Shell Electric Egg Scrambler C. Chip-Tastic D. Veg-O-Matic E. Ready Grill F. Smart Juicer G. Ice-Slicer H. Massage-O-Matic I. Freedom-Fryolater J. Every Day Ear Trimmer

ANSWERS True/False Answers: All are true except numbers 2 and 7. Ronco Product Answers: A, B, C, D, E, F

True or False?

JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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cocktails & conversation

BUCKET LIST

ICE ICE Baby W

e set out in search of what seemed like the impossible—or at least archaic—the chilliest places to sleep. From sipping cocktails out of an ice glass to snuggling under a fur throw on a four-poster bed sculpted out of ice, we’ve rounded up some of Mother Nature’s coolest places to sleep for your bucket list.

ENJOY A COCKTAIL IN AN ICE BAR

The Behind the Scenes tour at Hotel de Glace in Quebec gives this ice hotel’s guests insight into the secrets and processes surrounding the construction and maintenance of the structure. In the Ice Workshop you’ll make your own ice glass. The tour ends in the Ice Bar, where you can enjoy a cocktail served in the glass you made. For those who don’t want to brave the cold, Hotel de Glace offers a range of rooms from basic to luxury suites complete with a fireplace and in-room spa. The themed suites with sculptures crafted from ice and colorful lights are simply magical. hoteldeglace-canada.com

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This hotel is operated by Four Points by Sheraton, so if sleeping in frigid temperatures is not on your bucket list, you can still enjoy the tour and get a good night’s sleep in the warmth of their Quebec Resort.

© XDACHEZ.COM

BEFORE YOU GO


BUCKET LIST

cocktails & conversation

GRADUATE FROM ICE SURVIVAL SCHOOL

About 125 miles north of the Arctic Circle sits the world’s first and largest hotel constructed strictly of ice—all from Sweden’s Torne River. ICEHOTEL opened in 1989 and continues year after year to promote unique experiences in art and nature for its visitors. Arctic sleeping bags are provided, along with a training class on how to survive the night in the cold. Across from the ice structure, guests will find a separate building, open 24 hours that offers relief from the cold with a sauna, roaring fire and hot lingonberry juice on tap. At checkout, guests who completed their cold night’s stay receive a diploma with the date and the temperature survived that night. icehotel.com

BEFORE YOU GO During the warm summer months the ice that forms the structure melts and returns to the Torne River. For chilly accommodations, be sure to book your stay between December and March.

ICEHOTEL | CHRISTOPHER HAUSER | KAKSALUTTANEN ARCTIC RESORT

VIEW THE NORTHERN LIGHTS FROM A GLASS IGLOO

In the northeast corner of Finnish Lapland along the road to the Arctic Sea, you’ll find an Igloo Village, a part of Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. The property’s unique glass igloos let guests relax in warmth while sleeping under the stars and the magnificent Northern Lights. The resort recently added four-person igloos that include showers. A sauna is available in a separate building for guests that need a little extra warmth. Lapland is said to be one of the best places in the world to view the Northern Lights, which are visible late fall through early spring. kakslauttanen.fi/en

BEFORE YOU GO Although the best “season” for the Northern Lights is late August through April, travelers have reported that the best time to catch the natural phenomenon is December and January when the weather is coldest.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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cocktails & conversation

WEALTH

Tax Considerations in

Income Shifting BONNIE RAINEY, MANAGING DIRECTOR AND REGIONAL TRUST EXECUTIVE, U.S. TRUST

WITH TAX DAY RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, WHAT ARE 3 TIPS YOU WOULD OFFER?

1 2

Tax planning is a yearlong pursuit. You should start planning for 2015 early in the year.

Prepare a multi-year income tax projection to determine if it may be beneficial to incur gains or take deductions in one year versus another. You don’t want the “tax tail to wag the investment dog,” however, viewing your investment strategy in tandem with your income tax situation is a prudent approach.

3

Understand the various tax thresholds and how they may impact your personal tax situation.

WHAT FACTORS IN TODAY’S FINANCIAL CLIMATE SHOULD TAXPAYERS CONSIDER WHEN TAX PLANNING? Income tax planning becomes even more important in the increased income tax environment. For individuals that have Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) close to the threshold limits, proper planning may reduce their income taxes. For example, married couples with MAGI below $250,000 are not subject to the additional 3.8 percent Medicare Tax. Individuals looking to reduce their MAGI should consider the following approaches. Couples should make sure they have made maximum tax-deferred contributions to qualified retirement plans and if they are 50 or older, use the catch-up provisions as well. Next, harvest losses to offset capital gains. Finally, consider utilizing stocks with unrealized gains to make charitable contributions rather than selling.

IS INCOME SHIFTING STILL RELEVANT IN TODAY’S TAX ENVIRONMENT? The main goal of income shifting is to generate tax savings. If you advise your children or grandchildren on their annual income tax return, you should be aware of recent changes to the tax laws pertaining to income shifting. To prevent parents from shifting incomeproducing assets to their children with lower-tax brackets, Congress enacted the Tax on a Child’s Investment Income. Even before this income tax, a portion of your child’s unearned income could be taxed at your highest rate in certain situations. Now, adding your child’s net unearned income onto your tax return can increase your exposure to the 3.8 percent surtax. Rather than including the child’s income on the parent’s income tax return, taxpayers can choose to prepare a separate income tax return for the child which would allow the child to take advantage of their own threshold for this tax. If you or your children are trust beneficiaries and are in a lower tax bracket due to lower earnings, shifting income to one or more beneficiaries can produce considerable savings. Because every financial situation is unique, you should always consult a certified accountant or tax attorney before making any adjustments to your overall tax strategy.

This content represents thoughts of the author and does not necessarily represent the position of Bank of America or U.S. Trust. 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. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: Pursuant to IRS Regulations, neither the information, nor any advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax related penalties or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. U.S. Trust operates through Bank of America, N.A., and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC. © 2014 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.

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DESIGN

METAL MIX-UP RESTORATION HARDWARE

M

ost trends in design trickle in from fashion. The same goes for the influx of metals of different alloys and sheens, influenced by the mixing of silver and gold in jewelry design popularized by designers such as David Yurman. Mixing your platinum wedding band with a gold Cartier watch is no longer taboo–the same goes for your stainless steel kitchen appliances alongside beautifully patinaed brass knobs. The trick with any mix is the proportions and quality of ingredients.

cocktails & conversation

PERFECT PAIRS In a kitchen I recently designed, the vent hood was copper with brass rivets, a brass pot rack held a collection of old copper pots and the faucets and knobs were unlacquered brass (the trick to that beautiful, well-loved patina). Copper played a dominant role while brass was speckled around the room. Other great combos might be a table set with pewter chargers and serving platters with silver utensils, or an oversized iron chandelier in an entry hall with brass door knobs. And yes, you can use your stainless steel appliances with oil-rubbed bronze or brass fixtures and fittings in your kitchen. So when selecting accessories, furniture, or outfitting your next kitchen or bath, don’t feel restricted by your choices. Contrasting or similar sheens are fine together, but try not to combine more than two metals together in the same space to avoid looking like a salvage yard.

COPPER + BRASS

Warm, classic metals that work beautifully together.

ZINC + NICKEL

Similar in color but the dull industrial quality of the zinc pairs nicely with the gleam and sparkle of polished nickel.

IRON + GOLD LEAF

A perfect mix of humble and fancy, some classic metal furniture pieces are iron with details in gilt. LINDSEY HEROD Lindsey Herod heads up a Houston outpost of Palm Beachand New York-based Kemble Interiors, Inc. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in architecture and Pratt Institute with a master’s in interior design.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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HiddenWineries of

France

HIDDEN WINERIES RAISE THE BAR WITH LESSER-KNOWN WINES AND FRENCH CHARM

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PRIME-LIVING.COM


Story | PHYLLIS ADATTO AND TIM SMITH

A

Sancerre Vineyards

s anyone who has traveled around France sampling wines knows, you can still find a number of special, undiscovered wines. Many small vineyards are operated by the same families for generations and follow procedures that have long been replaced by mechanization and technology at the large production firms. The cases of wine produced by these family-owned wineries make up only a fraction of that of the large wineries—and thus, are too few to be of interest to the large importers that bring French wines into the United States. The winemakers make the best of selling their bottles within France and Europe or sell their grapes to the larger cooperatives in order to make ends meet. What makes these wines from family-run vineyards worth hunting? In simple terms, it’s like choosing between a chef-owned, locallyrun restaurant and a large chain. Exploring French wines is an adventure and a great one at that. For any traveler, finding great wines is hardly a chore, especially when avoiding the big tourist areas. Most vineyards welcome visitors anytime except during harvest. It’s a great way to meet the producers, learn their family stories and experience the wine-making process. For those in the wine buying industry, trips to these small French vineyards often include an invitation to dine in the home of the wine producers. Whether the gathering place is in a kitchen, a garden or a proper dining room, the visits usually involve wedding photos, family stories and occasionally joining the family as they harvest their grapes. It’s an intimacy that extends into the grapes and the production methods of these family-operated wineries. JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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WINERY:

CHÂTEAU LES VALENTINES As wineries go, Les Valentines is sort of the youngster. While grapes have been grown and harvested here for more than a century, the estate only began making its own wines in 1997 when Gilles and Pascale Pons purchased the vineyards. They built a beautifully modern winery and called the domaine “Les Valentines.” The vineyard covers a little more than 80 rolling acres looking out to the ocean. The grapes are grown organically, and on average the vines are more than 30 years old. One only needs to be in Gilles’ and Pascale’s company once to become totally enamored with the passion they have for their business. The winery is named for the two most important people in their lives—their children, Valentin and Clementine. PICK: Château Les Valentines Provence Rouge 2010 PAIR WITH: Seven-hour lamb Pascale Pons-Massenot La Londe, Provence Serves 4-6

Preheat oven to 300 F. Rub lamb with oil and season generously with salt and pepper. On the stovetop, heat a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add lamb and sear, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides (about 12 minutes). Transfer lamb to a plate. Add wine and water to the Dutch oven and bring to a slow boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot. Line the bottom of a large oval casserole with all the herbs. Place lamb on top and carefully add the pan juices from the Dutch oven. Cover lamb with foil and place in the preheated oven. Let roast for 3 1/2 hours, basting frequently. At the end of the roasting time, uncover, flip lamb and continue to cook, basting frequently, until lamb is very tender, another 3–3 1/2 hours. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Slice and serve.

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Recipe courtesy of Genevieve Guy, Bistro Provence PRIME-LIVING.COM

PHYLLIS ADATTO | TIM SMITH

4-pound shank end leg of lamb (or a 4-pound piece of shoulder), trimmed 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 750-milliliter bottle of dry white wine 2 cups water 20 cloves garlic, unpeeled 10 sprigs fresh rosemary 10 sprigs fresh thyme 10 sprigs fresh savory 5 fresh or dried bay leaves


WINERY:

DOMAINE DU BANNERET If ever there was a history of a vineyard linking wine and the importance of family, it’s Domaine du Banneret in the Rhone Valley. Not only has it been in the same family since 1405, but when the current owner Jean-Claude Vidal was faced with giving up his career as an architect to take over the winery or selling it to someone outside the family, history won out. He changed careers. The 8-acre vineyard is located in the very heart of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, a historic village in France’s southern Rhone Valley. It’s picture-perfect for visiting. The full-bodied red wines made from classic southern Rhone grapes are bottled by the help of a pipette, and the labels are still glued on the bottle by hand, one by one.

Domaine du Banneret Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge 2011 PAIR WITH: Beef and carrot stew PICK:

Châteauneuf-du-Pape marinade Serves 4-6

AUDREY VIDAL | PHYLLIS ADATTO | TIM SMITH

2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-2-inch cubes 1 cup red Châteauneuf-du-Pape 1 onion, cut into quarters 4 garlic cloves, chopped 2 sweet bay leaves 3-4 fresh thyme sprigs salt and pepper to taste 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided One day ahead, place the meat, red wine, onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot. If the meat is not covered by the liquid, add more wine or water. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. After at least 12 hours, remove the meat from the marinade. In a large pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and warm over medium heat. Add the meat, salt and pepper and sauté until seared on all sides. Remove and set aside. Remove the onions and garlic from the marinade. In the same pot used for the meat, sauté the onion and garlic until soft and translucent (do not brown). Top with the marinade. Add the meat and 1 pound of peeled and julienned carrots. Bring to a boil then cover and let simmer for one hour. Remove from heat, let sit for 10 minutes and serve warm. Recipe courtesy of Genevieve Guy, Bistro Provence

JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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CHÂTEAU ANTHONIC

WINERY:

When on a trek to discover new winemakers, the one thing you can be sure of is there will never be enough time to discover them all, which is why discovering Anthonic is quite a find. Established toward the end of the 18th century, Château Anthonic is one of Moulis-en-Medoc’s oldest family-owned vineyards. It is comprised of nearly 100 acres, located for the most part on Moulis’ prime clay-limestone plateau. JeanBaptiste’s father bought the Château in 1979 from a family that had owned it for generations and in 1993 Jean-Baptiste took over the operation.

Château Anthonic Bordeaux Rouge 2010 PAIR WITH: Chicken and Olive Verrine PICK:

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, salt and pepper. Sear chicken on all sides. Once seared, add chicken, tomatoes and black and green olives to a deep, ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a generous pinch of sugar. Carefully pour in the vinegar so that there is at least a 1/2 inch of vinegar filling the bottom of the dish. Place the dish in the oven and let cook for 1 hour. If top begins to brown too soon, loosely cover with foil. After one hour, pour in almonds and spread to cover. Roast uncovered for another 15 minutes or until almonds have turned golden. Recipe courtesy of Genevieve Guy, Bistro Provence

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PRIME-LIVING.COM

PHYLLIS ADATTO | TIM SMITH

4 chicken legs, skin on 15 ounces pitted black olives 15 ounces pitted green olives 2 pounds tomatoes, diced 1 cups sliced almonds 2 cups balsamic vinegar salt and pepper to taste pinch of sugar olive oil


CHAMPAGNE VOIRIN-JUMEL

WINERY:

When exploring the wine-producing vineyards of France, you will often come across producers with hyphenated names. In almost all cases, this is the first indication of a long family heritage—usually meaning the offspring of one producer has married the offspring of another and in time, the two family businesses were merged. Such is the case of Champagne maker Voirin-Jumel. Since 1945, four generations of families have created distinctive champagnes from their 25-acre vineyard whose parcels are spread over 11 villages. As a “recoltant manipulant,” their wines are made only with grapes grown on their estate and contain low sugar and sulfites. Seldom do you find such a close-knit family so devoted to their heritage.

Voirin-Jumel Premier Cru Blanc de Noirs Champagne PAIR WITH: Blackberry, Blueberry Tart PICK:

Serves 6-8

FOR THE PIE CRUST

1 1/4 cup flour 1 pinch of salt 1 tablespoon sugar 2 sticks + 1 tablespoon cold butter 1/4 cup milk FOR THE FILLING

PHYLLIS ADATTO | TIM SMITH

3 cups fresh blackberries 3 cups fresh blueberries 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon butter, cold and thinly sliced 1-2 tablespoons sugar In a medium bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter one tablespoon at a time into flour mixture until pieces are all pea-sized. Make a well in the center and slowly pour in the milk. Using your fingers, gently knead the dough just until a ball forms. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 F. On a floured surface, slightly flatten the dough. Roll out the dough from center to the edge until it’s approximately 10-11 inches in diameter. Ease the pastry into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press into fluted sides, being careful not to stretch the pastry. Trim the edges. In a large bowl, add two cups of blackberries and two cups of blueberries, then gently toss with the sugar and flour. Spoon this mixture into the tart shell. Top with the remaining blackberries and blueberries. Sprinkle 1-2 of tablespoons white sugar over the berries and top with thinly chopped cold butter. Place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet covered with aluminum foil (to catch any juices). Bake for 30-40 minutes until filling starts to bubble. If crust starts to brown too much, place a piece of aluminum foil over the tart. Let cool enough to carefully remove the tart rim. Serve warm. Recipe courtesy of Genevieve Guy, Bistro Provence JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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DOMAINE FRANCK MILLET

WINERY:

Of the 6,600 acres of the Sancerre appellation, this vineyard occupies less than 1 percent of the area. Three generations have made award-winning wines from this terroir, located near the village of BuÊ on the eastern edge of the Loire Valley. It’s about a two-hour drive south of Paris, an area full of woods, farmland and beautiful hills and valleys. The soil here is both clay and chalk, something easily detected in the vintages of their award-winning wines. In producing the wine, the grapes undergo a long, cold maceration to extract the maximum fruit intensity. In the creation of the wine come aromas of lemon pith, lime, ripe white grapefruit, hints of apricot and nectarine, lemon blossoms, subtle grassy and herbal notes.

Franck Millet Sancerre 2013 (White)

PICK:

PAIR WITH:

Hot Chavignol Goat Cheese Serves 6

Preheat the oven to 350 F. On a preheated grill or toaster, brown each slice of bread. In a small bowl, emulsify the oil and vinegar to make a vinaigrette. Place the lettuce leaves on a large serving plate and sprinkle with the vinaigrette. Place the toast points on top of the lettuce. Trickle the honey over the top and set aside. Cut each Chavignol goat cheese log horizontally into 2 pieces, giving you 6 toast-size slices. Place each slice on a foil-lined pan and put it in the oven until it is soft, golden and starting to melt, about 3-5 minutes. Watch closely and do not brown. Place one goat cheese slice on each toast. Divide the ham slices among the toasts on the lettuce and serve immediately. Recipe courtesy of Genevieve Guy, Bistro Provence

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Phyllis and Tim, owners of French Country Wines, sell winemakerto-shop wines from family winemakers located all over France. The winemakers and wineries noted are compiled from their recent visit to France. frenchcountrywines.com

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PHYLLIS ADATTO | TIM SMITH

1 bunch mache or oak leaf lettuce 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar 6 slices of French bread, about 1/2 inch thick 1-2 tablespoons honey 3 small logs Chavignol goat cheese, softened 6 slices Sancerre ham


O

ur commitment is to thrill you with every

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Your satisfaction is our number one priority, not just because it’s our job, but because we care.

We choose only the freshest, highest quality flowers and our shop has a professional, caring staff to serve all your floral needs.

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FlowersByNino.com


Life's

little Secrets

F

or generations, our elders shared their life-learned lessons, tips and shortcuts so that future generations would have an easier time of it. So, why the recent seemingly quenchless thirst for researching, finding and sharing endless list of shortcuts, how-tos and cheats? With the rise of social media channels such as Pinterest—a do-it-yourselfer’s paradise—it is no wonder that a new term made its way into our urban dictionary: life hack.

life·hack /'līf'hak/

noun, informal a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way.

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PRIME-LIVING.COM

Rub a walnut on dinged wood furniture to hide the scratches.

To move frame by frame on YouTube, use J or L on your keyboard to go backward or forward, respectively. Drink a daily glass of lukewarm water with lemon (and cayenne pepper, if you dare) to aid digestive health, boost metabolism and cleanse your system.


Increase the health benefits of coffee by adding cinnamon. Adding cinnamon has been reported to help control sharp rises and falls in blood sugar levels and help strengthen the immune system.

DESK-ERSIZE.

Strengthen your abs and relieve tired leg muscles without getting up from your desk by placing your feet flat on the floor, sit tall at your desk and hold ab muscles tight. From there, extend one leg until it reaches hip-level. Hold for 10 seconds and lower your leg slowly. Repeat the movement before changing legs.

Place an unopened water bottle on top of your cellphone for a lantern-like effect.

Use nail polish to identify different keys by painting the tops of each.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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Use a basic wall plug as a substitute for a flathead screwdriver. They will typically fit most medium and largesized screws.

Put on wrist weights to sculpt your arms while blow drying your hair.

Use rolled-up magazines to keep your boots upright. Implement theÂ

20/20/20

rule. If you stare at a computer all day with no breaks, try the 20/20/20 rule, which is said to reduce eyestrain and redness: Take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

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PRIME-LIVING.COM


Eat a kiwi to help you sleep. Researchers at Taiwan’s Taipei Medical University discovered that people who ate kiwi on a daily basis fell asleep faster, stayed asleep longer and got better quality of sleep than those who didn’t.

Cover a blister with duct tape for protection that sticks better than a Band-Aid.

Put a wooden spoon across a boiling pot of water to prevent it from boiling over.

Tame frizz with a toothbrush and hairspray. Spray an old toothbrush with hairspray and run it over those pesky flyaway strands to hold them in place without applying too much hairspray. JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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Smell an orange to reduce stress.

Several studies have found that the scent of oranges reduces stress, improves mood and makes you feel more alert. Try eating a fresh orange for breakfast in the morning or dabbing orange oil on your wrists when you need a boost.

Presoak pasta in a sealed container overnight and it will cook in 60 seconds in boiling water or hot pasta sauce.

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PRIME-LIVING.COM

Use a stick of spaghetti to light a candle wick that is at the bottom of the candle.

Want to see if someone is paying attention to what you are saying? Fold your arms.

Fold your arms while talking and see if the person you are talking to follows your move. If the other person is observing you and pays

attention, they will most likely mimic you.


Turn on your seat warmer to keep a pizza hot while driving home. Get nauseous from reading in a car? Tilt your head to the side. Because motion-sickness is caused by the vestibular system, throwing off the balance of your inner ears will get rid of the nausea.

To produce more flavorful, colorful cooked veggies, cook them in a head of lettuce. Cut a head of iceberg lettuce in half and scoop out the center of each creating a bowl. Place vegetable of your choice in each half. Bind the halves together and bake at 300 F for 20-45 minutes depending on the vegetable.

Eat ginger to soothe sore muscles. See prime-living.com for recipes. Use a waffle iron to cook frozen hashbrowns. JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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Rinse bacon in water before cooking to reduce shrinkage by 50 percent.

Use a Sharpie to mark up a water bottle with your daily consumption goals. To ensure you’re drinking water all day, mark one-hour intervals on your water bottle.

Curse to reduce pain.

In a recent study, subjects who were allowed to curse and swear had a higher pain tolerance, less perceived pain and lower heart rate. However, a follow-up study revealed that the more you curse, the smaller the effect it has in reducing pain. So choose your words wisely.

Microwave an ear of corn leaving the husk on. The husk and pesky silk strings will come sliding off.

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PRIME-LIVING.COM


Whiten teeth with a banana peel.

Rub the inside of a peel along your top and bottom teeth for about a minute each day and let the residue sit for 10 minutes. Then brush with a dry toothbrush to whiten your teeth without added chemicals.

When you want to cross out words that you do not want to be legible, instead of scribbling over them, write random letters and words over the original.

Wrap a drink bottle in a wet paper towel before putting it in the refrigerator (or freezer) and it will chill much quicker.

Doritos will work as a substitute for kindling to start a fire.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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2015

INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

GRAND CHAMPION BEST OF SHOW Rombauer Vineyards Diamond Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA 2010

CHAMPION WINE GARDEN

RESERVE GRAND CHAMPION Select from the 2015 Award-Winning Wines

Charles-Le-Bel, Brut, Champagne France, NV

MARCH 3-22, 2015

visit rodeohouston.com/wine

for a complete list of our medal-winning wines


ERICA WILKINS PHOTOGRAPHY

connoisseur

THE PRIME LIVING GUIDE TO DISCERNING TASTE

inside: St Philip Pan Roasted Salmon

40 43 44 46 48

• • • • •

TABLE TALK DINING NEWS UNCORKED CZECH PLEASE MAIN DISH JACK ALLEN’S KITCHEN BRAGGING BITES L’ ARTE DI PIZZA ENTERTAIN CUPCAKES & COCKTAILS

JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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connoisseur TABLE TALK

>> FOR THE SOUTHERN EPICURE

FIXE YOU UP

>> FOR THE MEX-MEX LOVER

NEW CASA FOR PICO’S

{HOUSTON} After 30 years of opening his ever-popular Pico’s Mex-Mex Restaurant with his wife Janice on Bellaire Boulevard, chef Arnaldo Richards continues his legacy in a new hacienda-style home in Houston’s Upper Kirby district. Chef Richards, a Monterrey, Mexico native, revolutionized the Houston Mexican restaurant business by introducing interior-of-Mexico sauces, flavors and presentation styles that were previously unknown here. He also played a pivotal role in educating consumers about tequila. His new restaurant features a spacious dining room, a tequila room with private liquor lockers, a fully-stocked bar with premium tequilas, mezcals and other spirits, and a shaded wood deck patio. Pico’s rolls out a Sunday brunch buffet with salads, soups, appetizers, entrées and desserts, including Paella Valenciana, fresh grilled fish, chilaquiles, and regional moles and guisados. Mexican hot chocolate is served at every table! picos.net

{AUSTIN} Progressive Southern food is coming to Austin as Fixe celebrates the soul of the South with “Sunday Supper” served seven days a week in a warm and spirited atmosphere. On the menu you’ll find an entire section dedicated to grits alongside rib-sticking classics with fresh twists such as The Pescavore, which consists of Texas shrimp, scallions, corn, shrimp butter and botargo (fish roe); and pork shoulder with potlikker pinto beans, mustard greens and jalapeno emulsion. For dessert, cheesecake will be a bit of a deconstructed rendition. Expect light and airy, made with Pure Luck chèvre, served with a brown butter and chicory financier cake and house-made preserves. austinfixe.com

>> FOR THE COCKTAILER

Soon Texas will be receiving J.P. Chenet ICE Edition, a new sparkling wine meant to be enjoyed over ice. The innovative French sparkling wine from JP Chenet, is made with enhanced effervescence suitable for serving over ice in a non-traditional, large-bowl wineglass. “With the introduction of J.P. Chenet ICE Edition, we’re giving consumers permission to be more adventurous and to enjoy an element of fun with their bubbly without sacrificing quality or flavor,” United States commercial director for JP Chenet, Frederic Helfrich, says. The festive wine, which received rave reviews in May from American audiences at the Cannes Film Festival, is pale yellow and a steady stream of fine bubbles with a lovely nose full of white flowers, tropical fruits and citrus. The well-balanced palate is alive with classic creamy notes that give way to a crisp finish. jpchenet.com

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PRIME-LIVING.COM

ROBIN BARR SUSSMAN BIO 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.

KNOX PHOTOGRAPHICS | NICK DE LA TORRE | JP CHENET

NEW BEGINNINGS


connoisseur TABLE TALK

SIDE SIPS

THE TASTING ROOM | BROADMOOR RESORT | SAN ANTONIO COCKTAIL CONFERENCE | SLIM PALETTE

EVENTS YOU CAN’T MISS

BROADMOOR TASTE & SAVOR >> FOR THE WINE ADVENTURER

RAISING THE BAR

{HOUSTON} The Tasting Room, Houston’s first full service wine bar by Lasco Enterprises, has introduced a new menu and serving model that is designed to be shared like a bottle of wine. Guests will find the new dishes refreshingly different with European tapas-style portions and presentation. With choices like grilled asparagus with Maldon sea salt, extra-virgin olive oil and Grana Padano; baked goat cheese with red wine, figs, bacon, walnuts and truffle honey; and the sausage and peppers skillet with Italian sausage, peppers, cherry tomatoes and herbs (a glutenfriendly option); these plates are meant to be passed around the table. Your friends, wine, a table full of food to pair and share—cheers to that! tastingroomwines.com >> FOR THE HEALTH NUT

SLIM DOWN PALEO STYLE

Released just in time for the dreaded New Year’s resolution diet is The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook by teenage— yep, you read that right—Houstonian Joshua Weissman, a talented food blogger and photographer. Weissman was searching for a way to lose weight and eat better as a lifestyle change, and the Paleo diet did the trick for him. With hundreds of recipes like bacon and caramelized onion quiche or pancakes with almond butter and blackberry sauce, breakfast will become the most important meal of the day. For dinner, make Moroccan chicken with stuffed green olives, red-wine-braised short ribs, or halibut with creamed leeks. There’s even a dessert section with treats like salted dark chocolate almond butter fudge. The photography will make you drool and you’ll want to cook something different every night. slimpalate.com

The Broadmoor, an iconic Five Star, Five Diamond resort located in Colorado Springs, will host acclaimed chefs and beverage experts from around the country at the inaugural Taste & Savor epicurean weekend, March 5-8. This exclusive culinary event will provide guests the opportunity to savor gourmet dishes, world-class wine and craft cocktails; and to attend seminars, panel discussions, and interact with culinary and viticultural leaders, all set against the backdrop of the picturesque Rocky Mountains. broadmoor.com

SAN ANTONIO COCKTAIL CONFERENCE

The first of its kind in Texas, and now in its fourth year, the San Antonio Cocktail Conference takes place Jan. 15-18. Like its predecessors The Manhattan Cocktail Classic and New Orleans’ Tales of the Cocktail, every year the conference brings together top bartenders and cocktail aficionados for educational seminars, guided tastings and cocktail parties. Houston Street Charities and the conference will once again donate 100 percent of all money raised during the conference to benefit children. sanantoniococktailconference.com

JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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A wine

created by friends, for friends At Amici we focus on quality, not quantity. Because we insist on keeping our production small, we can carefully control the process of creating our wine, crafting what we like to consider a small work of art in each bottle.

What started as a few friends crushing some grapes for fun is now an award-winning premium wine known around the country, but one thing will never change: Amici is a wine created by friends, for friends. Come join our circle of "amici"!


connoisseur UNCORKED

Czech

Please! of other rivers with unpronounceable names. Winemaking is a tradition that dates back to roud Moravians will tell you that this the Roman Empire. Wherever the Romans region of the Czech Republic produces “came, saw and conquered,” they planted not only 98 percent of that entire grapes, giving us the good fortune of now country’s wines, but also some of the most having wines from many regions of the world. delicious, least familiar wines on the planet. The National Wine Center in Valtice Winemaking is nothing new in Moravia, stocks 100 regional wines each year based though the making of fine wine was put on on ratings and rankings by a panel of hold by communism—just like the making experts. This public-private partnership of fine everything else. After 1989’s Velvet gets substantial funding, as you’d expect, Revolution freed what became the Czech from the area’s larger wine producers but Republic, vintners went full speed ahead. it also makes a point of fairly representing With the freedom to do business came the the mom-and-pop wineries as well. As the freedom to taste, compare and learn. With area tends to be chilly, there is a general the long-delayed freedom to travel outside preference for white wines made with grapes the Iron Curtain came the freedom to see like riesling, muller-thurgau and gruner what (and how) peers were producing in veltliner (presented in their Czech spellings, France, Italy and Spain. The result is a of course). Only one red grape absolutely small, and small-producer-driven, Moravian thrives in such conditions—my favorite wine industry that is turning out some grape of all, pinot noir. incredible wines. For a long time, Moravia called this wine The Lednice-Valtice Area (or LVA) is part by a Czech version of its most iconic place of of Moravia’s wine country that stretches origin—Burgundy. But this didn’t fly with the around the larger town of Mikulov. All three origin-crazed European Union when the Czech of those places feature ancient chateaux Republic signed up, so the name instantly that are well-worth a visit. When you visit became rulandske modre, meaning “blue wineries in the Czech Republic, you walk rulandske.” Next time you are craving a pinot through the opening scenes from the film noir from Burgundy or the Willamette Valley, “Gladiator,” when Russell Crowe was battling why not reach for something from the LVA Germanic tribes along the Danube and a host instead? You might find a new favorite. Story | JOHN DeMERS

p

MORAVIAN ROASTED DUCK LEGS Pairs well with a pinot noir made in Moravia as rulandske modre. serves 4 INGREDIENTS 4 duck legs few sprigs of fresh thyme salt and pepper DIRECTIONS  Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a small roasting pan, sear the duck legs, skin-side down over medium heat until the skin turns golden. Turn the legs over, remove the pan from the heat and season with the thyme, salt and pepper. Place the pan in the preheated oven for 2 hours until the duck legs are tender. Serve with bread dumplings and sweet-sour red cabbage.

JOHN DeMERS John DeMers is the author of 52 published books and host of the Delicious Mischief radio show heard weekly in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. He divides his time between Houston and Marfa.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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connoisseur MAIN DISH Jack Gilmore

Jack Knows

Farmers

Story | JESSICA MEBANE Photography | BRENLEE MCKNIGHT

f

arm-to-table dining is by no means a new phenomenon on the dining scene, but few restaurateurs are doing as well by the concept as Jack Gilmore of Jack Allen’s Kitchen. Born in England, raised in the Rio Grande Valley and baptized into food service royalty by some of Austin’s most storied kitchens, this culinary impresario wants to serve his clientele cuisine that is, in his words, “local in source, Texan in spirit.”

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PRIME-LIVING.COM

Slide into one of his honeycolored banquettes, and you’ll immediately be greeted with an amuse bouche of house-made pimiento cheese. This smooth, yet earthy blend of cheeses and smoky pepper bits in no way resemble the sandwich filler of yesteryear that your grandmother plunked in front of your dubious younger self. This, friends, is a truly magnificent indicator of good things to come. The menu, while deceptively uncomplicated at first glance, is a delicate balance of tried-andtrue Southern staples dressed up with refined haute cuisine sensibilities. Whet your appetite with a Texas-inspired starter such as bacon-wrapped quail’s legs from nearby Bandera. It has the expected sliver of jalapeño and an unexpected sweet and smoky finish from the accompanying swirls of peach and jalapeño jams. Even the garnish is a pitchperfect symphony of micro greens dressed in Champagne vinaigrette with bits of figs from Boerne. If your tender heart quivers at the thought of game bird apps, try Carl Miller’s Chunky Queso with pork and green chiles instead— and feel good about a portion of the proceeds going to the Lone Star Paralysis Fund. As you begin to fall under the spell of Jack Allen’s Kitchen homey yet modern décor— scraped and reclaimed barnwood paneling accents, huge, warmly lit bar area and brightly colored, Austin-themed original artworks hanging from most walls—consider your main course carefully. The menu heading, “Southern Fried Anything,” does

indeed offer chicken, pork and steak standards, but the fried beef ribs are particularly soulful in their surprisingly delicate breading. Crispy salmon is perfectly cooked to order from rare to well-done, and paired with a smoky tomatillo sauce that adds just the right acidic counterpoint to the rich flavors of fresh fish. While many well-executed dinner menus tend to treat the dessert portion as an afterthought, Jack Allen’s Kitchen employs a pastry chef who makes calorie-conscious Austin diners gleefully abandon their diet restrictions in favor of her seasonally crafted selections of sweets. When interviewing for the pastry chef position, Diana “Dee-Dee” Sanchez once asked Gilmore what dessert ingredient he hated (bananas), and from that directive an unbelievable confectionary delight, “Banana Toffee Pie,” was born. Imagine a thin layer of rum-spiked graham crust generously iced with pastry cream and caramelized bananas, then layered with fresh, cold, whipped cream and finally, a chocolate drizzle with walnuts, pecans and fresh bananas. You will spoon fight your dining companions for the last bite and believe in the humble banana once more.

FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THE NEW JACK ALLEN’S KITCHEN COOKBOOK VISIT

prime-living.com


connoisseur MAIN DISH

Chicken Fried New York Strip House Made Pimiento Cheese

Blondie Pie

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Salad

Chocolate Bomb Bacon Wrapped Texas Quail

Tito’s Sage & Grapefruit Splash Fat Jack Burger

FIND THE HOUSE MADE PIMIENTO CHEESE RECIPE ON

prime-living.com

JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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connoisseur BRAGGING BITES

L’Arte di

e

Pizza

urope’s age-old tradition of artisan pizza-making is rising in Texas restaurant kitchens, which are fragrant with fresh garlic and glowing with wood-burning pizza ovens. Rustic discs of dough with crisp blistered crusts are carefully designed and constructed using quality ingredients. The result? Remarkable pizzas that reverberate with flavors like house-cured prosciutto and arugula, or wild mushroom with mascarpone and truffle oil. Pie one on!

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KEVIN GEIL

Story | ROBIN BARR SUSSMAN


connoisseur BRAGGING BITES

COLTIVARE - CARLA SORIANO | DOUGH PIZZERIA - KEVIN GEIL | ST. PHILIP PIZZA PARLOR + BAKESHOP - ERICA WILKINS

ITALIAN-MADE

Pizza at Dough Pizzeria is so authentic, owner Doug Horn has the L’ Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana certificate to prove that he serves bona fide Neapolitan pizza. This got the attention of the Food Network (it was featured on “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”), and USA Today deemed it one of the nation’s exceptional pizzerias. It’s all about the details starting with the dough. The water is filtered, fresh yeast is preferred, and only sea salt is used. Pizzas emerge from the woodburning pizza oven with gloriously puffy edges, crackly to the bite, and charred with smoky flavor. Fresh herbs, peppers, tomatoes, sausage, handmade mozzarella and irresistible prosciutto are sourced locally to ensure freshness. It’s hard to choose between the classic Margherita or the Prosciutto with burrata and arugula. But we always return for the Margherita—so pretty in red, white and green with blobs of creamy housepulled mozzarella that melt in your mouth, sharp Parmigiano-Reggiano, Bluebonnet Farms basil leaves and tomato sauce. Add some anchovies and live a little!

DOUGH PIZZERIA NAPOLETANA DALLAS AND SAN ANTONIO 11909 PRESTON ROAD 6989 BLANCO ROAD DOUGHPIZZERIA.COM

FRESH-PICKED

Pies by chef-owner Ryan Pera of Coltivare are for purists who appreciate garden freshness—literally. The restaurant garden at this inviting Italian café in the Heights is a source for fresh-tasting pies, which are creatively crafted using just a handful of ingredients. Each pie is distinctive with a different base of cheese and sauce (or no sauce) resulting in a thoughtful progression of flavors. Pera, who likes to crown each pie with something fresh and green, says it’s really about the dough. Carb lovers dig the pillowy crust with singed edges and a crisp base from the wood-burning oven. Like the garden, the pizzas change with the seasons. Vegetarians love the potato, oyster mushrooms, taleggio cheese, garlic and rosemary pizza. But you can count on the iconic Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella pizza to be available all year. This pizza tastes truly artisanal when the seasonal tomatoes and fragrant basil are freshly plucked from an on-site garden and the crust is made with care. Pair it with Fondo Antico Nero D’Avola, a soft, simple Sicilian red wine, with bright fruit and perfect acidity—and all is right with the world.

COLTIVARE PIZZA AND GARDEN HOUSTON 3320 WHITE OAK DRIVE COLTIVAREHOUSTON.COM

TOPPED TO HEAVEN

Named after the patron saint of bakers, St. Philip Pizza Parlor + Bakeshop features a wide variety of intriguing pizza combinations on thin, light crusts. The namesake, St. Philip pie, features an unexpected combination of Manila clams, fresh ricotta, garlic and bacon jam. Ditto the Wild Mushroom pizza, which indeed sounds wild, with baby kale, ricotta, idiazabal cheese (made from Spanish sheep milk) and umami sauce which adds a flavorful olive oil-garlic-apple cider vinegar note to this cheesy vegetarian-style pie. Pies here are smaller than the standard so order a few for the table—and don’t forget dessert. Hello, double-chocolate brownies and hazelnut Twix. After all, this is a bakery!

ST. PHILIP PIZZA PARLOR + BAKESHOP AUSTIN 4715 SOUTH LAMAR BOULEVARD STPAUSTIN.COM

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ENTERTAIN

Cupcakes & COCKTAILS

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Styling | GRIT+GOLD

PARTY GIFT Send your guests home with s’mores-in-a-jar. What a sweet treat!

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Photography | SARA & ROCKY PHOTOGRAPHY

alentine’s Day is about celebrating love, so why not skirt tradition and throw a girls-only party for your closest gal pals? We’ve gathered some of our favorite ideas to get you started on a fun evening with the women you adore. Throw a touch of gold in with the traditional red, white and pink Valentine’s color scheme to give your décor an elegant feel. Catch your guests off guard with unique flourishes however don’t hesitate to use timeless basics like the Sweethearts candy you ate as a child. Serve pink Champagne with plenty of desserts, and don’t forget the chocolate! TO FIND RECIPES FOR THESE DELICIOUS DESSERTS VISIT prime-living.com


connoisseur

ENTERTAIN

LAYER IT UP A multi-tiered cake that shows off each layer is almost too pretty to eat. Don’t forget the gold icing! ALL THAT GLITTERS IS GOLD Cover your table in gold lame, a gold box filled with your favorite Valentine’s flowers and a cake with gold icing.

CANDY STRIPER Cupcakes are a must-have for any Valentine’s party.

THE GOODS DESIGN CONCEPT Grit + Gold gritandgoldweddings.com

DAY OF STYLING Ebony Peoples Events & Design ebonypeoples.com

FLORAL We + You Studios weplusyoustudios.com

SAY IT WITH LOVE Take a queue from Sweethearts candies and serve cookies decorated with your favorite sayings of amore.

VINTAGE RENTALS Rent My Dust rentmydust.com

LINENS Linen Hero linenhero.com

CAKE The Jenny Layne Bakery thejennylaynebakery.com

BE STILL MY HEART Toast your gal pals with a pink champagne punch in a sugared fluted glass complete with a heart stirrer.

PHOTOGRAPHY Sara & Rocky Photography saraandrocky.com

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GENTLEMEN’S ROOM

FOR THE MAN WHO COMMANDS THE VERY BEST

FORD

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DRIVER’S SEAT RED-HOT ROADSTER CIGAR NOTES MAKING SMOKY WAVES HIGH TECH WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY GREAT OUTDOORS OUTDOOR SHOWS STYLE KNOCKOUT BOXERS JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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GENTLEMEN’S ROOM DRIVER'S SEAT

Roadster breaking the bank. For instance, the entry-level Mustang, featuring a 300-hp, 3.7-liter V6 and sixspeed manual gearbox, starts at $24,425--and that includes destination. There’s a promising new player in the Mustang lineup, though. For 2015, Mustang Ford or aftermarket sources. Decals, badges and stripes are a fans can opt for a 2.3-liter lazy way to celebrate a milestone. EcoBoost four-cylinder with either manual or automatic. Happily, for its next-generation 2015 Mustang, Ford has delivered Rated at 310 horsepower, the improvements worthy of an icon. four-cylinder-equipped Mustang starts at $25,995. With EPA fuel Not only is its styling economy ratings of 21/32 mpg freshened, the venerable 2+2 is (automatic) or 22/31 (manual), even more fun to drive, thanks the EcoBoost Mustang has the to improved manners, stiffer longest legs of the trio: about 450 chassis, better fuel economy miles between fill-ups. and the choice of three engines, Muscle-car freaks need not all of which bring at least 300 despair. The 435-hp GT, with horsepower to the party. its 5.0-liter V8 that Ford says is The 2015 Mustang’s interior, good for 155 mph, remains the meanwhile, boasts better quality alpha Mustang. City/highway materials, more openness and EPA ratings are 14/25 mpg for added bling, thanks to bright the automatic and 22/31 for the aluminum toggle switches manual transmission. GTs start at and knobs. The Mustang also embraces 21st century technology $32,924. Ford offers performance with push-button ignition packages (starting at about standard across the board. $2,000) for enthusiasts and The best part about this weekend track warriors who ambitious auto is that you can opt for the EcoBoost fastback, rock some great styling without

“Game changer” may be the most overused (and undeserved) adjectives in the automotive world. But Ford’s Mustang is the real deal.

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he sporty coupe was an instant hit when it debuted a half-century ago in mid1964. The Mustang has been in production ever since, enjoying a run nearly twice as long as Ford’s Model T, Model A and hot-rod archetype, the 1932 Deuce combined. Mustangs are so popular, do-it-yourselfers can virtually obtain every single component and fastener to build a Mustang from scratch from

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convertible or GT fastback. The best performance upgrade, though, is baked in and doesn’t cost a penny extra. The 2015 Mustang has smoother ride, thanks to new front and rear suspension. With a lot of the credit going to the very first across-the-board independent rear suspension to grace a Mustang, there’s scant wallow or squat. The car’s even quieter. At least two generations of Americans have cherished their own personal Mustang stories. More than just a car, the Mustang has often been a companion, a touchstone to happier, special moments. With this new, sixthgeneration Mustang poised to be available from Ford dealers for the first time in Asia and Europe, the Mustang could turn out to be one of America’s most effective ambassadors. 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.

FORD

red hot


GENTLEMEN’S ROOM CIGAR NOTES

Smoky Waves Making

Cigars are shaped by women, both literally and figuratively. The Oceano by La Sirena is a manly smoke with a woman’s touch.

DOGGHOUSE PRODUCTIONS

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omen have always played a leading role in the cigar industry. Because women tend to have more acute eyesight and tactile dexterity for dealing with fragile wrappers, they are relied upon in the cigar-manufacturing process. But that’s not where the dynamic force of the female stops. Women are setting the bar in other aspects of the industry, including owning cigar brands— which brings us to Arielle Ditkowich, the owner of La Sirena Cigars. Arielle is a young woman from New York City who got her start in the cigar industry by hanging around her father’s cigar store. She was recruited by Miami Cigar & Company to be the brand ambassador for a line of cigars she created, La Sirena. Fittingly, La Sirena is Spanish for the “mermaid.” Like her namesake Disney character, Arielle made waves as she purchased her brands from Miami Cigar & Company and launched her own company, La Sirena Cigars.

This year, La Sirena released its third line, Oceano. The five sizes of cigars in this line are named after the oceans: Arctic, Southern, Indian, Atlantic and Pacific—the Pacific being the largest. The cigars are predominantly crafted from Dominican tobacco, with a smattering of Nicaraguan in the blend. I smoked the Indian, which is 5 1/2inch x 50 ring gauge. With few exceptions, one generally associates Dominican cigars with mild and creamy flavors. This cigar is a powerful smoke, with pepper, chocolate and earthy flavors. It produces copious amounts of smoke, and visually, it is a beautiful cigar. The packaging, like all of the cigars under the La Sirena label, is stunning. With three excellent blends, Oceano is a brand to watch.

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic Wrapper: Dominican Habano Vuelta Arriba Binder: Dominican Criollo Filler: Dominican Criollo Visos, Ligeros and Nicaraguan Viso

CRAIG VANDERSLICE Craig Vanderslice has been smoking cigars for nearly 20 years, and for the last five years has written about them on his website cigarcraig.com.

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GENTLEMEN’S ROOM HIGH TECH

Wear Your Data On Your Sleeve

OMSIGNAL If they say that clothes make the man, then this shirt can make a man better. OMsignal makes exercise shirts infused with sensors that measure breathing, heart rate and calories burned. The information is then transmitted to the cloud via your smartphone. The shirts have conductive threads and made of moisturewicking, anti-microbial polyester and spandex. Activating the OMsignal system requires wearing a small clip-on device affixed to the shirt. The shirts are, thankfully, washable but keep them out of the dryer. omsignal.com

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SPREE SMARTCAP Developed by a Dallas-based tech company, the Spree SmartCap is a fitness device that tracks heart rate without the use of a cumbersome chest strap, monitors body temperature and movement along with a variety of additional metrics. It is easy to use and comfortable, becoming a natural extension of an athlete’s body. The cap analyzes three variables in every fitness routine: body temperature, movement and heart rate. All collected data points are transmitted to a smartphone app. The results are charted in easy-to-interpret visual indicators so the wearer can see exactly when a performance goal has been achieved. spreewearables.com

SENSORIA FITNESS SOCKS Who thought there would be a day that would see high-tech socks? Alas, Sensoria socks are infused with textile sensors. Pair them with a Bluetooth detachable anklet and you can track your steps, speed, calories, altitude and distance. Sure some smartwatches do this, but these socks also monitor cadence, foot landing technique and weight distribution on the foot as you walk and run. Long-distance runners might appreciate the help to identify injury-prone running styles (heel striking, ball striking, etc.), then leverage a mobile app to coach them in real-time via audio cues. sensoriafitness.com

APPS TO KEEP YOU PRODUCTIVE Apps can provide useful tools to make your 2015 a healthier year.

CODY

Why do it alone when you can get fit with friends? Cody offers users inside connections to a fitness community where they can share and discover workouts (complete with video, photo and text instructions) by following friends.

PACT

This app encourages users to put their money on the line and their butts in the gym (or to get moving in some way). Each week, users pledge a set number of days they will work out along with a set amount of cash. Users pay up for each day they miss, and get paid each time they bust out a workout.

RUNTASTIC SIX PACK

This video-based app is packed with a variety of ab workouts which produces results and allows users to track and share their progress. It includes a customized 10 Week Six Pack Plan, The 7-Minute Workout, Insanity, Shape Up and Six Pack Junkie.

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.

OMSIGNAL | SPREE | SENSORIA INC.

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sk any tech-minded individual to name the biggest industry trend right now, and you are sure to hear wearables more than a few times. Wearable tech is still uncharted territory, despite offerings from Samsung and the forthcoming Apple Watch. It’s a market predicted to be worth $7.1 billion this year. So what’s worth wearing that could allegedly improve your life, health or perhaps save the world? They all promise something but here are a few to keep your eye—and the rest of your body—on.


GENTLEMEN’S ROOM OUTDOORS

The Show(s)

Must Go On For 40 years, I have attended, written and spoken professionally about outdoorsrelated consumer shows, which always entertain and seldom disappoint.

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ost markets, especially the larger ones, still host at least one big boat show annually and maybe a hunting show. Houston is home to one of the longest-running consumer fishing shows in the nation, a well established camping/RV show and almost weekly gun shows. San Antonio, Austin and Dallas all have their own versions of successful outdoor shows as well. At the height of outdoorconsumer frenzy over all things new, there were attempts at shows dedicated specifically to shallowwater fishing, fly fishing and bow hunting. Houston even saw one

FIND A LIST OF TEXAS OUTDOOR SHOWS ON

prime-living.com

swing at a golf expo—which was a huge flop, ironically, as the metropolitan area at that time was home to more than 130 courses. In hindsight, none of those stand-alone shows fared well, but instead were absorbed as significant parts of bigger shows. That change benefited both the producers of those expositions and their vendors. As an exhibitor or consumer, you want to see a crowd. The more people in the hall, the better the guides’ or vendors’ chances of making sales—and the more the consumer feels like he or she is in the right place to snap up the hottest gear. It’s a win-win. Of some 150 shows I have attended with professional purpose, it’s difficult to say if one was better than any other. Some shows had better years than others, but if you paced

any of their aisles patiently with both eyes open, you couldn’t help but find at least a half-dozen things that either educated, surprised or left you bewildered. Outdoor writers play an unspoken game at consumer shows: find the goofiest gadget on the floor, then tell your peers. It’s there at every show, too, sadly—a product that’s about two weeks from becoming its inventor’s shattered dream. Look for them yourself. It’s good sport, so long as you spare the product’s creator from your opinion. If you can devote an honest afternoon to any of these shows, you’re guaranteed to uncover something that makes you a better outdoorsman. Oh, the fabulous grown-man outdoors toys that definitely belong in your house or garage!

ADDEDVALUE

Most visitors of outdoors shows don’t take advantage of the talent in the room. To get your money’s worth, show up with a pen, notebook and maybe even a map. Whether it’s a hunting, fishing or gun show, count on there being dozens of people under that roof who know more than you. Talk to them. Pick their brains. Learn something. Find guides and outfitters who do, every day for a living, what you do for fun on weekends, then ask questions. The best ones aren’t intimidated by your questions. Most, in fact, are flattered. Engage them and learn!

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.

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GENTLEMEN’S ROOM STYLE

Black Watch Tartan Wool Smoking Jacket by Derek Rose London available on derek-rose.com

KNOCKOUT

BOXERS Patchwork Cotton - Blues by Emma Willis available on emmawillis.com

Woburn Pure Silk Classic Boxers by Derek Rose London available on derek-rose.com

Classic Boxer Short in House Print by Sunspel available on sunspel.com

Sea Island Cotton One Button Short by Sunspel available on sunspel.com

Australia Ascot Slippers by UGG® available on dillards.com Superfine Egyptian Cotton One Button Short in Black by Sunspel available on sunspel.com

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DEREK | DILLARD’S | EMMA WILLIS | SUNSPEL

Jermyn Pure Cotton Classic Boxers by Derek Rose London available on derek-rose.com


Hand Made | Estate Bottled Direct from France

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njoy limited production wines from small family-owned vineyards all across France, many of which are available nowhere else in Texas, and in some cases, the Americas. Complimentary tastings of selected wines are held weekly. Discover these artisanal, reasonably-priced wines for yourself.

2433 Bartlett Street, Houston { near Rice Village }

713.993.9500 FrenchCountryWines.com


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PAUL GAUGUIN CRUISES

escape GREETINGS FROM DESTINATIONS NEAR AND FAR

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60 • ENLIGHTENED EXPLORER TRAVEL BUZZ 62 • POINT OF INTEREST BEAUMONT TEXAS 64 • FEATURE WITH LOVE FROM PRAGUE

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>> FOR THE SEAFARING SIGHTSEER

CRUISE THE TROPICS

>> FOR THE URBAN EXPLORER

SAN FRANCISCO’S HOTSPOTS No need to research where to go on your next trip to San Francisco. Smartphone app Wanderlist gives you an insider’s perspective on the city’s best restaurants, hotels, bars, coffee and more. Browse the top five of each category, insider tips, activity suggestions and other city essentials. The app’s frequently-updated, hand-picked selections, along with intuitive navigation, striking images and the ability to access cached content offline, make this city guide an invaluable resource for the SF visitor. Available on iTunes and Google Play. wanderlistguide.com

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>> FOR THE STYLE SEEKER

ROYAL TREATMENT

Tucked into a quiet cobblestone alley along Copenhagen’s inner lakes, Hotel Kong Arthur has a style all its own. Built as an apprentice residence in 1882, the 155room boutique hotel possesses both an air of antiquity and elegant modernity, like a beautiful 18-century duchess dressed in today’s cutting-edge fashions. A color palette of bright whites and muted browns and blues lends a sense of vitality and freshness, while a suit of real knight’s armor in the lobby provides a whimsical nod to the medieval. The atmosphere is as inviting as it is effortlessly chic. Within easy walking distance of Nørreport Station and the oldest parts of the city, the hotel makes a good base for exploring Copenhagen’s many cultural, architectural and culinary attractions. The eco-conscious traveler will value the hotel’s unique approach to sustainability; Hotel Kong Arthur has been carbon neutral since 2008 and continues to strive to make all operations sustainable. arthurhotels.dk KATHRYN HUNTER Kathryn Hunter is an Austin-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

PAUL GAUGUIN | TIM-MCKENNA.COM | WANDERLISTGUIDE.COM | HOTEL KONG ARTHUR

When artist Paul Gauguin left life in 1880s Paris for a self-imposed exile to the South Seas, he created many of his most famous works. This edenic paradise remains accessible to the weary city-dweller by way of the namesake ship the Paul Gauguin, which sails the warm seas of Tahiti, Fiji and the South Pacific, providing five-star service on an array of itineraries. One of the world’s most highly awarded cruise ships, the Paul Gauguin features three dining venues, an extensive spa and staterooms with private balconies. Onboard scuba lessons and PADI certification are offered, and a retractable water sports platform enables guests to depart the ship to enjoy activities like windsurfing, paddleboarding, kayaking and snorkeling. The Tere Moana, a relatively new addition to the cruise line, specializes in warm-weather destinations, sailing in Caribbean and Latin America waters during winter months and in Europe for the rest of the year. pgcruises.com


enlightened explorer

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>> FOR THE FUN-LOVING REVELER

ROYAL ST. CHARLES | STOWE MOUNTAIN LODGE | RAFFLES HOTELS & RESORTS

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

New Orleans is a quick getaway for most Texans; nevertheless, the city feels worlds apart from the everyday. Live music, mouthwatering Cajun and Creole cuisine, historic neighborhoods and a legendary nightlife make this culture-rich hot spot a must-see (and a must-see-again). This time of year, New Orleans is readying its purple, green and gold for one of its biggest festivities—Mardi Gras Feb. 17. Stay on the parade route at the Royal St. Charles, a Destination Hotel located a block from the French Quarter and Canal Street. The three-night Mardi Gras Experience package, Feb. 15-18, includes junior suite accommodations, roundtrip airport limo service and gourmet coffee and mini king cakes for two from awardwinning PJ’s Coffeehouse. This boutique hotel captures the bright and quirky joie de vivre that makes New Orleans one of the South’s most entertaining destinations. royalsaintcharles.com

>> FOR THE MOUNTAIN LOVER

RUSTIC ROMANCE

At Stowe Mountain Lodge, a Destination Hotel, try your hand at rustic furniture making, indulge in a Vermont maple and brown sugar scrub, take an outdoor yoga class, or enjoy a Vermont beer and cheese tasting at the Hourglass Lounge, all while you soak in the incredible mountain views. These authentic green mountain experiences, along with two nights’ accommodation, are included in the Explore Vermont package. Opened in 2008 at the base of Mount Mansfield within Stowe Mountain Resort, the 312room, four-season lodge is known as a premier golf and ski destination. In the winter, hit the slopes on 116 trails for superb skiing and snowboarding—or when warmer weather arrives, play Stowe Mountain Golf Club’s much-heralded private course, which winds through a picturesque wilderness of babbling brooks, hardwood forests and lofty peaks. stowemountainlodge.com >> FOR THE ART & CULTURE ENTHUSIAST

ANCIENT CITY’S NEW ADDITION

Opened in September, the new luxury hotel Raffles Istanbul embodies the extraordinary character and rich heritage of Turkey’s ancient capital city. The establishment combines contemporary and traditional design to create a colorful, light-filled oasis. A large collection of specially commissioned artwork embellishes the interior, and guestrooms and suites feature 24-hour butler service, floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies overlooking the Bosphorus River and dazzling cityscape below. Raffles Istanbul is located at the heart of the Zorlu Center, a hub for fashion, performance and art, on the European side of the city. Two restaurants, two bars and a patisserie offer a wealth of gastronomic possibilities, from Catalan-inspired dishes by Michelin-starred Spanish chef Sergi Arola to Turkish and Mediterranean delicacies. Raffles Spa boasts a similarly comprehensive menu of indulgence, with an impressive selection of treatment rooms, pools, saunas, steam rooms and hammams. raffles.com

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Story | JESSICA MEBANE

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estore that “threadbare Gypsy soul” Texas singer Pat Green wrote about, and head out to Beaumont—yep, Beaumont. This perfect pearl of a city has breathtaking natural world sights, sophisticated entertainment and plenty of Southern charm just waiting to be discovered by the savvy Texas traveler. Beaumont is home to the proudly gleaming Spindletop, still standing, after the first oil discovery January 10, 1901. As you walk around the weathered wooden Gladys City outpost that surrounds the famous rig, you’ll feel that American can-do spirit in this birthplace of the petroleum industry—which turned Texas from just another Southern state to a real player on the world stage overnight. Bring your bike, kayak or hand-scraped wooden pirogue to Beaumont’s Big Thicket Natural Preserve and conquer its miles of paths, creeks and bayous. Paddlers glide along Village Creek onto a white sandy beach for a picnic and wet a line. Plan your next trip to this world-class natural habitat by visiting nps.gov/bith. Beaumont has the best selection of Cajuninspired cuisine found anywhere outside The Big Easy. The first week of January begins King Cake season, a gastronomic prelude to Mardi Gras celebrations. If you can’t be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, Rao’s bakery can bring a little “bon temps” to you. Don’t miss the dizzying array of kolaches, pastry and cakes for breakfast—but if you do, the lunch portion of crawfish étouffée at Katharine and Company’s downtown cafe will tide you over until dinner.

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SEE & DO SOUTHERN COMFORT Exploring the pink azalea-ringed grounds of McFaddin-Ward House Museum is a great way to experience the way wealthy Texans used to live. mcfaddin-ward.org ZEN ENVIRONMENT Meander the flora- and fauna-lined footpaths of the Beaumont Botanical Center, where butterflies drunkenly glide from giant hydrangea to azalea—teasing the huge Koi swishing about underneath a burbling waterfall. beaumont botanicalgardens.com WORK OF ART In addition to rotating exhibits, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas houses an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, prints, decorative arts and photographs from the 19th century to the present. amset.org

BEAUMONT CVB

BEAUMONT a little bit Cajun but thoroughlyTexan


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WITH LOVE from

PRAGUE If you arrange a rendezvous in Prague in the month of Saint Valentine, arrange to meet at the center of Charles Bridge just as the lamplights are coming on at dusk. And please, also arrange for a gentle snow to be falling. It may well become the postcard of your life.

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CZECHTOURISM.COM

Story | JOHN DeMERS


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Hradcˇany, the Castle District, is the district of the city of Prague, Czech Republic, surrounding the Prague Castle. The castle is said to be the biggest castle in the world at about 570 meters in length and an average of about 130 meters wide.

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one of those faded, crumpled cards found in a flea market long ago. The city in that vintage photograph seemed filled with castles, shuttered windows, cobblestone streets, statues, balconies and drifts of white snow—a place undecided whether it wanted to be magic or dream. I turned that card over excitedly, discovering only the words: Karlovy Most, Praha. It took mere seconds to coax “Prague” from “Praha.” But it took years to coax “Charles Bridge,” one of the city’s most famous landmarks, from “Karlovy Most.” Finally, it took years beyond that, as it so often does, to bring place and person together, into a single frame, for Valentine’s Day.

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JOHN DEMERS | CZECHTOURISM.COM

My journey to Prague began as a postcard:


JOHN DEMERS | CZECHTOURISM.COM

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t has been more than two decades since the Velvet Revolution freed the people of the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia) from Soviet-style communism. Yet in Prague, part of what makes the city so romantic is the deep understanding that when you’re 3,000-plus years old, so much of history’s darkness takes a small place on a very large timeline.

I was late to the party in Prague, having started my adult life with Paris as the heartbeat of all things romantic—not only for the gifts of meeting (or taking) a soul mate but all the allures of literature, music and art. Yet more and more people have settled on Prague on the banks of the Vltava River as the ultimate place to fall in love. Discovery is everywhere in Prague, from neighborhood to neighborhood,

even from block to block. Yes, you can do almost anything here, from sightseeing in vintage cars or horse-drawn carriages to a new virtual attraction that simulates touring the city from above. Yet Prague lives at ground level, in its cafes, shops, galleries and theaters. As a former jewel of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Prague combines the Art Nouveau swirl of Vienna with the spicy exoticism of Budapest. It is

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JOHN DEMERS | CZECHTOURISM.COM

a city of Viennese pastries and Hungarian goulash, both of which the Czechs have understandably claimed as their own. The quickest way to the heart of Prague is to see it not as one city, but instead, as a collection of unrelated settlements that cling to their own flavors, atmospheres and personalities. To most visitors, the center of all things is Prague’s Stare Mesto (Old Town), with its winding cobblestone streets and oversized town square spinning outward from the famous astronomical clock. Old Town is just a stroll from the castle of Good King Wenceslas, where poet-playwright Vaclav Havel called for a new freedom and gave birth to the Velvet Revolution in 1989. Also in walking distance is Charles Bridge, whose 16 arches and statues have stood the test of time since being commissioned by King Charles IV in 1357, where each afternoon painters gather HOTELS There’s an awe-inspiring variety of hotel styles available, from the Art Nouveau Imperial to the Art Deco Alcron to the Cold War Jalta to the timeless Adria. All have restaurants as good as anything in town, including the Michelin-starred Alcron and the quirky, shadowy cave at the Adria known as Triton.

to capture the romance on canvas. Seemingly part of Old Town is the fascinating Jewish Quarter called Josefov. Hundreds of Jewish groups pass through every day, except the Sabbath, admiring its one synagogue and the tombstones of its ancient cemetery. The Jewish Quarter, which started out as a ghetto with a wall to keep people in, now can’t manage to keep people out. It’s become a must-see for visitors of all faith traditions. Just across Charles Bridge—which can get crowded on mild days when artists and musicians come out to play—you’ll find an essential Prague neighborhood bordering the Vltava, Mala Strana (Lesser Town, but only because it’s “lesser” than the next one). This neighborhood in all its charm is home to Catholic grandeur throughout the ages, and today a delightful tangle of restaurants, theaters, boutiques and art galleries.

DRIVING One of the unique aspects of Prague is the number and diversity of vintage cars ready to be leased with a driver/tour guide for an hour or two or for the entire day. Most of the cars are convertibles, making for a memorable look around Prague’s historic neighborhoods.

Travel Tips

ARTS Prague is a theaterloving town, with some of the best Czech play companies. There’s a State Opera doing all the classics in Italian, French or German—plus troupes like the Prague Shakespeare Company, with deep Texas roots playing the Bard. Many churches present concerts several nights a week, featuring localfavorite composers like Dvorak, Smetana and Janacek.

And finally, there’s Prague Castle; the postcard you see from any angle almost any time of the day or night, giving its name to the entire Hradcany neighborhood. This neighborhood focuses on architecture, including the Castle itself (where the Czech Republic’s president goes to work each day), St. Vitus Cathedral and the Strahov Monastery, with narratives reaching back to the 1300s. For the true hopeless romantics, there are Royal Gardens for walking around at the base of the hill that lifts these wonders toward heaven. This Valentine’s Day, meeting at the center of Karlovy Most amid stories, stones and soft-drifting snow, experience Prague’s romantic magic that whispers: all such good things are absolutely possible. Still, perhaps the most profound part of its message is that the two of you finding your way here already possess everything you need.

OPEN-AIR MARKET Certain days of the week, open-air markets fill the streets, though the ones based on produce slowdown in the wintertime. On the route from Wenceslas Square to Old Town, there’s a year-round enterprise that’s been selling everything from pears to paintings since the year 1232. Check out Havelske Trziste, even if you can’t pronounce it.

PIVO PRIORITIES Pivo means beer in Czech, and while some excellent wines are made in the Moravia region, locals tend to think pivo when they think drink. Every other doorway in Prague opens into a beer joint, whether the pour of choice is the iconic Pilsener Urquell from the city of Plzen or local favorite Staropramen. Despite a lawsuit or two from St. Louis, there’s even a popular local brew called Budweiser.

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BUDGET

LOW CARB relax CARDIOVASCULAR

CONCIERGE MEDICINE

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THE PRIME LIVING GUIDE TO BETTER HEALTH

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• • • • •

SOOTHING MASSAGE

HEALTH BUZZ WHAT’S NEW FEEL GOOD SKINNY ON FAT BEAUTY BUZZ PRIME FINDS LOOK GOOD WINTER SKIN BE GOOD RENEW YOUR RELATIONSHIP JANUARY/FEBRUARY • 2015

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H E A LT H B U Z Z

Story | SALLY J. CLASEN

TAKING SHAPE: TOP FITNESS TRENDS FOR 2015

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t’s a New Year, which signals a new round of commitments to some lofty exercise resolutions. It’s also a time when new workout fads take shape. What’s the fitness forecast for 2015? Experts expect HIIT (highintensity interval training) to continue in popularity this year—think P90X, Tabata, Insanity and CrossFit. With this trend, recovery workouts such as yoga and low-intensity exercises for flexibility and myofascial release are expected to gain ground. With health technology on the rise, expect to see more competition-based trends using apps and wearable devices that track your progress.

A FORKFUL OF PERCEPTIVE FLAVORS

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GO RED IN FEBRUARY

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reak out your favorite dress (or shirt or tie) on National Wear Red Day held annually on the first Friday of February (Feb. 6, this year) to bring attention to women’s risks for cardiovascular disease. Research has revealed that heart disease is by far the No. 1 killer of women and has actually killed more women than men. To help raise awareness about this serious issue, The American Heart Association launched the Go Red For Women movement and the first National Wear Red Day in 2003. The red dress serves as the iconic symbol of the campaign to protect women against heart disease. goredforwomen.org/ wearredday

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o you love dessert but don’t want to indulge? You can have your cake and think you’re eating it too by using the Aromafork—a somewhat bewitching sensory utensil that tricks the mind into thinking it’s eating what you smell. Developed by Montreal-based Molecule-R, the molecular fork is sold via a kit with 21 flavors including chocolate, vanilla, passion fruit, basil and mint. The Aromafork works by dropping a capsule of aromatic liquid into its handle where a blotting paper then releases the particular scent as you take each bite. Those with food allergies, as well as those who are dieting, could benefit from the perceptive gadget that enhances taste with the whiff of a fork. molecule-r.com

WOMEN GAIN THE BRAINY FAT EDGE

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en’s ability to burn fat quicker has been the bane of women for centuries, but a new study suggests females might have won the high-fat battle when it comes to brain function. According to findings reported in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports, male and female brains respond dramatically differently to fatty foods. Researchers studied the effects of mice and learned the male study subjects suffered from reduced cardiac function in a way that female animals in the study did not after eating a high-fat meal. The variation in brain response is attributed to differences between females and males in estrogen and estrogen-receptor status, which suggests nutritional advice should be more gender-specific concerning fat intake.

GET LUCKY

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ome think it is all downhill in the sex department after age 50, but AARP identified several healthy benefits of getting it on once you pass the half-century mark. You sleep better. You look younger. You lower your odds of genital dryness. You lower the odds of prostate cancer. You strengthen your relationship. You have less severe headaches. You feel happier.


FEEL GOOD

live well

Skinny on

The

FAT

Story | ANGELA AMBROSE

longer and prevent overeating. additional sugar, which causes a Fats also improve brain sharp spike in your blood sugar function. “We see a higher risk level, promoting the storage of For decades, we’ve been told big fat extra calories (as fat!). Combining for Alzheimer’s and dementia lies: if you want to lose weight, don’t eat with low-fat diets,” Miller healthy fat with carbohydrates says. “We know that the brain helps regulate blood sugar levels. fat. But the latest research shows the consists of about 80 percent Miller suggests eating grapes with opposite might be true. Adding healthy fat—so we really need essential cheddar cubes or dipping apple fats to your diet might help prevent fats to help with cognitive slices in nut butter. processing and memory.” Another important benefit of overeating, promote better brain function Modern research is showing consuming fat is the sensation of and improve your overall health. us that consumption of fat is fullness and satiety it provides. actually good for us, as long as When eating fat, your body recent study financed by such as those found in olive we are choosing our fat sources releases a hormone called leptin, the National Institutes or sesame oil, nuts, flaxseed, which inhibits feelings of hunger. wisely. “We’re no longer looking of Health showed that subjects avocado and salmon. Now even So, for example, eating a handful for reduced-fat salad dressings,” who ate a low-carb diet lost saturated fat is an acceptable part of walnuts instead of low-fat Miller says. “It’s about picking a more weight and had higher of a healthy diet when it comes crackers can help you feel satisfied beneficial fat.” good (HDL) cholesterol than from sources such as coconut oil, those on a low-fat diet. “A big grass-fed beef and dairy. misconception is that eating fat “Certain fats such as coconut causes fat storage on the body, oil can actually boost metabolism but consuming fat can actually by creating a body temperature When combined with other foods, fat can help your body help your body burn more fat,” shift that burns more calories,” absorb more antioxidants and fat-soluble nutrients such Ali Miller, registered dietitian and Miller says. The one type of fat to as vitamins A, D, E and K. So, instead of eating steamed owner of Naturally Nourished in avoid is trans fat, which is heavily broccoli or a plain baked sweet potato, Miller suggests Houston, says. processed and frequently found in roasting them in the oven and adding olive, sesame or Good fat sources include cookies, chips and fried foods. coconut oil. heart-healthy unsaturated fats, Fat-free foods often contain

a

DID YOU KNOW ?

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FOCUS & FUNCTION

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SEPHORA COLLECTION IRRESISTIBLE FALSE LASH available on sephora.com

{FOCUS} Create long-lasting lash extensions without the trip to the salon. These lashes impart a natural look while making lashes look longer and fuller for day or night. {FUNCTION} A new clear-glue formula provides longer-lasting, stronger hold. Each package contains one pair of false eyelashes and clear eyelash glue.

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{FOCUS} A set of false eyelashes made with natural hair for a softer, more natural look and feel. Add a glamorous touch to your look with this must-have accessory. From ultra thick to whimsical and fabulously feminine, these lashes add length, build volume and make eyes pop. {FUNCTION} They are available in a variety of styles—mink, flutter and show-stopper—and use natural hair for a softer touch. Glue adhesive is included.

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winter skin LOOK GOOD

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SLEEPS

NEVER

Story | JESSICA MEBANE

t

At this frigid moment, spring might seem months away. But in April, when you’re holding up that one outfit in the mirror that’s sure to turn heads, will your skin rise to the challenge of looking its dewy best?

CLARINS | CLAIRVOYANT BEAUTY | VALMONT

hat’s especially true when you consider that right now, you’re probably reading this in a climate-controlled space where dry, re-circulated air is being blasted directly onto your poor pores. Fight your winter skin irritations with these luscious, innovative skin creams that feature new formulations which promise to last all year long.

YOUR EPIDERMIS IS SHOWING— SOME HIGHWAY MILES Clarins has long been a major player in the epidermis enterprise, and is now expanding research on skin beauty to include the proper care and maintenance of fibrolasts, which are small cells within the dermis that seem to slow down over time as your hormones fluctuate. Instead of letting

fibrolasts increase wrinkle depth and age-spot discoloration (and number), Clarins has formulated two creams to give this problem a delicate yet effective one-two punch. Try the Super Restorative Day Cream with micro pearls to plump up problem areas, vitamin C for age spots and Hyaluronic Acid for hydration. Insider tip: It’s always good to see those last two items in a cosmetic ingredient list, as these are true workhorses of skin repair. Then, use Super Restorative Night Cream,

which features Montpellier rose extract to boost those pesky fibrolasts. clarins.com PUT SOME MUSCLE IN IT Clairvoyant Beauty believes in beauty for women who “want natural ingredients without sacrificing results,” and has developed a Skin Firming DMAE cream which when applied, increases acetylcholine, which in turn “gently causes the facial muscles to contract and calm inflamed capillaries.” Brown spots will fade, and the moisturizing effects of meadow foam seed oil will guard your pores against deep winter wear and tear. clairvoyantbeauty.com

SWISS ARMY OF TWO For over 25 years, Valmont group has used the best of Swiss medicine innovations to advance the cause of beauty and cosmetic enhancement. Now, they urge us to “double up on moisture this winter” with the Valmont Moisturizing With a Cream and Moisturizing with a Mask products. Triple DNA is the secret inside the first cream with botanical extracts to “postpone the appearance of aging skin,” while the mask is great for instant facial pep-me-ups, which “wraps skin with intense moisture and strengthening Rosa extract.” valmontamerica.com/en

DID YOU KNOW ?

Your skin is your body’s largest organ–did you know that the total surface area of your epidermis is close to 18 square feet? That’s a decent-sized storage area in most Texas homes, so remember to respect it, and don’t forget to winterize by moisturizing the skin you love to show off.

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BE GOOD

RENEW

Relationship

Your

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When we think about the New Year, we think about improving our lifestyle. Your focus might be on weight loss or maybe a new health plan? Whatever your goals are, take a holistic approach to your health.

esearch shows that the way we feel about our life influences our body and health. People who struggle with depression or anxiety are more likely to suffer heart or autoimmune problems. It’s as if feelings, good or bad, directly impact our body systems. It goes without saying that relationships influence our emotions and one of the most important relationships is between you and your partner. The person with whom you live and share your life, influences your health more than any other person. When you think of the fresh start that the new year brings and working

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towards having a healthier lifestyle, do not forget about the relationship with your significant other. What’s broken can be fixed and what is ignored becomes broken even more. I developed a three-part plan for renewing and restoring your relationship that I’d like to share. YOU HOLD THE POWER TO CREATE AN AWESOME YEAR JUST AS EASILY AS YOU CAN CREATE A MISERABLE ONE. Rather than leaving your relationship stuck in a stale place, rejuvenate it by renewing your vows. Whether you plan a celebration around this or do it in an intimate setting with

just the two of you, refresh your relationship with a renewed commitment to each other. SIT ALONE AND IDENTIFY THREE AREAS OF YOUR MARRIAGE THAT YOU FEEL ARE LACKING. Your spouse should make his or her own list. Merge your lists—there should be six items, although some couples might have listed some of the same items. Together, select three that you will put effort into resolving—be sure to pull from both lists. Keep in mind that it’s important that both feel they have a say in what needs fixing in the relationship. MAKE A SPECIFIC PLAN FOR WORKING ON THE THREE

THINGS THAT NEED FIXING. For example if a lack of intimacy is one of your issues, doing things such as hugging three times a day, holding hands or giving a weekly massage can be a step in the right direction. Make your goals realistic—you can revise them or set new ones throughout the year as you progress. The biggest problem for couples in resolving conflict in their marriage is one of not knowing exactly what the issues his/her partner brings up. Sitting down and agreeing what the problems are, and making a plan together to resolve them is the first step in building intimacy, trust and a sense of renewal to a tired relationship.

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.


Kappa Kappa Gamma Celebrity Chef Party

the

list

PRIVATE RESIDENCE • 10.15.14

Courtney and Bo Hopson’s stunning home hosted guests to a special evening as they gathered to honor Dr. Stephanie Coulter—director of the Texas Heart Institute’s Center for Women’s Heart & Vascular Health. The evening featured Houston’s most celebrated chefs and helped kick off the biannual holiday Pilgrimage Home Tour. The Holiday Pilgrimage Home Tour is one of the longest running home tours in Houston and has raised more than $3 million to benefit local charities since its inception in 1941. Photographer | ANTHONY HYNES

GET ON THE LIST AT PRIMELIST@PRIME-LIVING.COM

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Nutcracker Market NRG CENTER • 11.13.14 – 11.16.14

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Shoppers from all over arrived in Houston to attend the 2014 Nutcracker Market’s four day event. Over 100,000 attended the Market and the special events such as the Wells Fargo preview party, Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show & Luncheon and the Macy’s Fashion Show & Brunch. More than 300 vendors from across the country participated in the annual holiday shopping extravaganza. The event raised over $4.4 million. All proceeds benefit the Houston Ballet Foundation, its Academy and Scholarship Programs. Photographer | FULTON DAVENPORT, PWL STUDIO

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SEE MORE PHOTOS AT PRIME-LIVING.COM

1 Co-Chairs Cynthia Christ, Megan Kessler, Tracey Williford 2 Philamena Baird and Lenny Matuszewski 3 Denise Malone, Cynthia Brown, Tami Crosby 4 Cheryl Byington, from left, Sylvia Forsythe, Astrid Van Dyke and Karen Wildenstein 5 CC Conner, Jim Furr 6 Bobby Dees, Jo Furr, Deborah Duncan, Cecilia Campbell, Vicki Kanaly 7 Kevin Boyer and Jess Schaffer

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indulge YOURSELF We hate to do this to you just as you’re kicking off the new year and pulling out your calorie counting app, but this cake was too amazing not to share. Wishing you a wonderful new year with many indulgences!

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Photography: Sara & Rocky Photography Cake: The Jenny Layne Bakery


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PRIME Living's 2015 "Romance & Healthy Living" Issue  

Discover 30+ Life Hacks, Bucket List Worthy Ice Hotels, The Top Lingerie To Up Your Boudoir in 2015

PRIME Living's 2015 "Romance & Healthy Living" Issue  

Discover 30+ Life Hacks, Bucket List Worthy Ice Hotels, The Top Lingerie To Up Your Boudoir in 2015