Share a Cup of Thanksgiving with your Friends
An Ornament Exchange Party
Volume 1 â™¥ Winter 2014
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
PARTIES & CELEBRATIONS
Letter from the Editor
Ornament Exchange Party
A Cool BuncoÂ® Party
Our Favorite Things
Scents of the Season
Sharing Your Cup of
AROUND THE WORLD 42
SEASONAL ENTERTAINING 7
A Thanksgiving Tea
Giving From the Heart
Wild About Christmas
Holiday Safety Tips
Wake-Up and Smell the Roses
Protecting Your Identity During the Holidays
How to Make a Cake Stand
Cover On the a i ng Te
ksgi v raphy A Than Pho to g n e u r by G Pho to
Harbin Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival
Letter from the Editor
come join us Welcome to the first issue of You’re Invited Magazine. This magazine has been a dream of mine for quite sometime. For that I have my mother, Barbara Lamas-Kaltenbach, to thank, which is why I am dedicating this first issue to her. She was the Queen of Parties! She loved to celebrate life. If she were alive today, you would say she was . It was her all-time favorite holiday. Photo by: Camela Brennand
Every December, she hosted a holiday party for family, friends, and neighbors. When you have a lot of parties such as we did, it’s important to make sure you’re in good standing with your neighbors! Come party time (usually the first Saturday in December), the house had to be cleaned and decorated, which began right after shopping on Black Friday. That meant putting up the outside lights, decorating the staircase with garland, and hanging the 558 ornaments on the Christmas tree. Yes, I counted one year after several guests asked how many were on the tree. It was my job to decorate the Christmas tree and to this day, it’s still my favorite thing to do. I think . every ornament tells a story, so I hope you’ll check out our
Over the years, Thanksgiving has gotten lost to the materialism and excitement of Christmas. I must admit I too get caught up in the Christmas spirit, but it’s important to stop and reflect and be thankful for all the blessings in our life. There are many things we take for granted. So gather your girlfriends and celebrate together with a and . Every year, the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl are held in Pasadena, California. I grew up nearby, so I have seen the beautiful floats up close. One year I volunteered to decorate one, but it didn’t last. I spent more time trying to get my fingers unglued then I did adhering the seeds to the float. That super sticky glue gets everywhere and it’s not surprising to see some people leave looking like a decorated float themselves! So I’d rather watch the parade from the comforts of my own home. However, those who live along the parade route, can just from their front porch. The Wrigley Family loved to watch the parade from their home, which is now the in our In headquarters for the Tournament of Roses Association. You can read more about the the Spotlight section. Our weather in January is pretty mild compared to other parts of the world. Some are dealing with freezing cold weather. If you’d like to see a spectacular winter wonderland, then check out and our . As we celebrate this holiday season together, I’d like to leave you with a sweet treat. It’s our unique recipe for . I bet you’ve never seen or tasted cookies like these before. I do hope you’ll make a special batch for your Grandma this Christmas.
Sheri Sheri Lamas
Drawing by Jessica Lloyd (age 15), Barbara Lamas-Kaltenbach
the grandchild she never met.
Meet Your Hostesses
Left to right: Linda, Kathie, Cindy, and Sheri Photo by: Camela Brennand
Co-Founder / Editor-in-Chief / Creative Director / Writer
Co-Founder / Publisher / Writer
CINDY M. LLOYD
KATHLEEN R. MCKISSICK
Independent Food Editor / Writer
Independent Copy Editor / Writer
You’re Invited Magazine is published quarterly. All content is produced and presented in good faith, based on information we’ve researched from different sources. No liability for their use or misuse exists. All rights reserved. © 2014
Our Favorite Things Sheri Lamas
What is your favorite holiday this time of year and why?
What is your favorite holiday this time of year and why?
I love everything about Christmas - from reading the Nativity story, decorating the house and tree, playing Christmas songs, and watching holiday movies while sipping egg nog. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!
New Year’s Day – I’m a huge sports fan, so cuddling up on the sofa to watch all the college football bowl games and the hockey Winter Classic game.
What is your favorite holiday food? Rice Pudding when I make it. Otherwise, it’s pumpkin bread.
Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin and pecan pie - Everything at Thanksgiving.
What is your favorite holiday song?
What is your favorite holiday song?
O Come O Come Emmanuel. However, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day by Casting Crowns is a close second.
Carol of the Bells.
What is your favorite holiday movie? It’s a Wonderful Life.
What is your most memorable moment? Shopping with my dad on Dec. 24th for my mom’s gift. The store was closed and the employees were having their Christmas party. We crashed the party, purchased the gas fireplace logs, raced home, quickly found some black fabric to cover the gift and placed it in the fireplace all before my mom got home from work.
Cindy M. Lloyd
What is your favorite holiday food?
What is your favorite holiday movie? The original Miracle on 34th Street.
What is your most memorable moment? Christmas 2013, I spent my first Christmas with my gorgeous grandson, Everett Christopher Yonan.
Kathleen R. McKissick
What is your favorite holiday this time of year and why?
What is your favorite holiday this time of year and why?
Thanksgiving. I started cooking Thanksgiving dinner on my own when I was 11. God has given me a love of cooking and I love to share it with others.
Thanksgiving because of cherished times with family and friends, especially those that are no longer here with me. / Christmas because I love to give gifts, whether they are from a store or from my heart. / New Y ear’s Day because it’s a fresh start on a new chapter and because I attended the Rose Parade for 25 years.
What is your favorite holiday food? Pumpkin pie with whipped cream of course!
What is your favorite holiday song? Carol of the Bells and Silver Bells.
What is your favorite holiday food?
A Christmas Carol.
Thanksgiving dinner and all the trimmings, but especially my mashed potatoes! My parents and family always said I made the best mashed potatoes.
What is your most memorable moment?
What is your favorite holiday song?
My most memorable moment was embarrassing, but I was eleven. I was making my mom’s sweet potato casserole dish, which called for ½ cup of orange juice. At the time our family drank Tang® (an orange flavored drink mix). I added ½ cup of the powder instead of the already made liquid. Our sweet
Silent Night and The Twelve Days of Christmas.
What is your favorite holiday movie?
potato casserole was extremely “tangy” and, to this day, my family has not let me live that down. They still show up every Thanksgiving for my cooking, so I guess I’ve improved since then!
What is your favorite holiday movie? It’s a Wonderful Life and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
What is your most memorable moment? The first Christmas I was able to give my parents more presents than they could have ever imagined. I still treasured the looks on their faces!
Scent of the Season By Linda Yonan Have you ever been invited to someone’s home and been greeted by the wonderful smell of the holidays? Ah, it’s such a welcoming aroma. You can’t wait to walk through their doors and experience euphoria. That’s because life is perceived through all your senses. Your sense of smell is the most enticing of all.
or outdoors and comes in both red and white varieties. When indoors, use caution if you have pets or small children, as their leaves are mildly toxic. To welcome your guests, place red poinsettia plants on your porch or along your walkway.
A Fragrant Harvest
If you love the smell of pine during the Christmas holiday, than the best way to bring it indoors is with a real Christmas tree. If your space is small or you’re not inclined to purchase a real tree, then try accenting your home with fresh evergreen branches. You can lay them on your table with candles, pine cones, and flowers to create a beautiful centerpiece, place them on your fireplace mantle, or make a wreath for your front door to greet all who enter.
Apple Cider To create a beautiful warm fragrance for your home, simmer apple cider with orange slices, cinnamon sticks and a few cloves in a pan. Just be sure to check it regularly to make sure there is enough liquid, so it doesn’t burn. Apple cider, which is also known as sweet cider, is a seasonal drink served during the fall. It can be served cold, but is best enjoyed when heated or mulled.
Popcorn When you think of all the holiday scents, you may not think of popcorn. However, popcorn is an inexpensive way to decorate your Christmas tree. Using a needle and thread, you can string popcorn with whole cranberries to dress up your tree. Oh, and don’t forget to eat some while you’re decorating it! Why not pop some up and watch a holiday movie with your family to get into the Christmas spirit!
Cloves There’s nothing like the smell of a studded ham roasting in a warm oven. Here, the cloves are the studs! They are the flower buds from a tree in the Myrtle family. They are very fragrant and often used to season food. They make a great complement to fruits such as apples, pears, and oranges.
Cinnamon Cinnamon is a popular spice that is used in both savory and sweet foods. Ground cinnamon is used in many desserts such as apple and pumpkin pies, cookies, and of course, cinnamon buns. When added to coffee, hot chocolate, or certain teas, it creates a spicy flavor.
Pumpkin Pumpkins are a traditional part of the autumn harvest and are often used for decoration. Their seeds can be roasted for a quick and nutritious snack. They can also make wonderful soups, breads, and desserts, including the famous pumpkin pie which appears on every Thanksgiving table.
A Decorative Christmas Poinsettia The lovely poinsettia plant is an admired decoration in homes, churches, and offices during the holidays. It can be used indoors
Peppermint During the Christmas season, peppermint is one of the most familiar scents. Perhaps it’s due to the well-known candy cane, which now comes in a variety of flavors, but none as popular as peppermint. Hang a few on your tree branches or tie them onto your Christmas presents for a festive look.
A cold winter’s day A Wood Burning Fire There’s nothing like the sight, smell, and sound of a wood burning fire on a cold winter’s day. So grab a fuzzy blanket, a good read, and a cup of hot chocolate topped with your choice of marshmallows or whip cream to warm you up when the temperature drops. This holiday season open your senses to the abundance of fragrances that surround you.¨
A Thanksgiving Tea
Photography by Gruen Photography www.youreinvitedmag.com
Turkey Cranberry Roll-Ups Makes approximately 28 slices Ingredients Sauce: 1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce, slightly mashed 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning Roll-Ups: 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas 4 large romaine lettuce leaves 4 slices provolone cheese 8 ounces thinly sliced deli turkey
In small bowl, stir together all sauce ingredients; set aside. To assemble roll-ups: Place 1 flour tortilla on cutting board. Top with lettuce leaf, 1 slice cheese, and 2 ounces turkey. Spread about 2 tablespoons of sauce down center of turkey slices. Starting on one side, carefully roll-up tortilla; wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining tortillas and ingredients. Place roll-ups in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to set. Remove from refrigerator, unwrap, cut off uneven ends and slice remaining roll in 3/4 inch slices and serve.
Cornbread Stuffing Balls Makes 12 stuffing balls Ingredients 1 1 1 1 1 1
cup butter or margarine cup celery, finely diced cup onion, finely diced 3/4 cups chicken broth box (12 ounces) corn bread stuffing mix egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 350Â°F. Spray cupcake pan with non-stick spray. In large sauce pan, melt butter; add celery and onion and sautĂŠ until translucent. Remove from heat. Add chicken broth and stuffing and stir. Add a beaten egg and mix thoroughly. Using a large scoop (3 tablespoons), form round balls and drop into greased cupcake pan. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes, uncover last 10 minutes for a crispier top. Serve immediately.
Not everything has to be homemade. We purchased our Cranberry Orange scones from the market. And they were delicious!
Artichoke and Spinach Tarts Makes 12 tarts Ingredients 12 mini fillo shells (available in your grocer’s frozen food section) 1 cup Swiss cheese, finely shredded 1 packet Tastefully Simple® Artichoke & Spinach Warm Dip Mix* 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 3/4 cup creamed spinach, thawed
Swiss cheese and creamed spinach. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of filling into each shell and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve immediately.
* Tastefully Simple® Artichoke & Spinach Warm Dip Mix is available online at: www.tastefullysimple.com/web/lstanton
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place mini fillo shells 2 inches apart on baking tray. Sprinkle a small amount of shredded Swiss cheese into the bottom on each shell. In a medium mixing bowl, thoroughly combine Tastefully Simple® Artichoke & Spinach Warm Dip Mix, softened cream cheese, remaining www.youreinvitedmag.com
There are a variety of teas to choose from for your Thanksgiving tea. We chose a warm spiced tea to compliment our meal.
Make sure to leave your guests with a parting favor. Offer a bag of mixed nuts for your nut-tea friends.
Visit our website to download our party favor tag template.
Sharing Your Cup of Thanksgiving By Sheri Lamas
So often when we get together for Thanksgiving, we offer up prayers to thank the Lord for our family, friends, and the food on our table. That’s wonderful! I love all those things and am thankful for them. But so often we forget about the little things, which aren’t so little after all. Are you thankful that your alarm clock works every morning when you have to get up and go to work? Okay, maybe some of you would rather it not work! Or what about clean water in which you can drink and bathe in? How about a working oven to cook your turkey when you’ve got company coming over? I think you get my point. We take these things for granted, until the electricity or something else goes out. Next time you get together with your friends, here’s a great way to get to know one another better and give thanks for the everyday things. Grab some magazines (preferably one per person). Give each person a pen, paper, and a magazine. Set an allotted time for them to go through the magazine looking at ads, articles, and pictures. Then have them list ten things that they are thankful for based on what they’ve seen in the magazine. Here’s an example: 1. Camera ad ~ I’m thankful for all the wonderful memories I have. 2. A picture of a basket with a yellow ribbon tied on it ~ I’m thankful for the soldiers who have fought for my freedom. 3. Car ad ~ I’m thankful my car is running well. 4. Milk ad ~ I’m thankful God created every living creature with a purpose. And how we all depend on one another. 5. A picture of four women ~ I’m thankful for the friends in my life. 6. Antihistamine ad ~ I’m so thankful for beautiful flowers in all different colors of the rainbow that carpet the earth. 7. A picture of a woman smiling ~ I’m thankful when someone makes me laugh or puts a smile on my face. 8. A picture of a cupcake ~ I’m thankful for the sweet things in life. Figuratively speaking, like icing on the cake. 9. An article on water ~ I’m thankful that I’m drinking more water. I still need to work on it, but it’s a start. 10. A picture of a place card with a name on it ~ I’m thankful for the name my mom and dad gave me when I was born.
Go ahead and share your cup of Thanksgiving this season. www.youreinvitedmag.com
The Nativity began as a way of sharing the birth of Christ to those who couldnâ€™t read the bible.
Photography by Gruen Photography
Giving from the Heart By Kathleen R. McKissick
Ah, the holidays are here...a time to celebrate...a time to reflect...a time for receiving...and especially a time for giving! Here are a few ways to “give” extra meaning to your holidays...and to your life by giving a gift from the heart.
Priceless Giving - No Money Required: ·
· · · ·
Volunteer to take out an elderly neighbor’s trash cans and put them back for the month of December…or for a full year. Going for a walk, offer to take your neighbor’s dog with you. Don’t forget the supplies! Donate gently-used towels and blankets to your local animal shelter. Please launder them before donating. If you love animals, consider volunteering at your local animal shelter. Donate your used books, CDs and DVDs to your local library. Volunteer to read stories to kids at your local library or hospital’s children’s ward. Volunteer at a hospital. There are many services, so check with your local hospital on what steps you need to do to volunteer. Have a musical talent? Volunteer at your local Skilled Nursing Facility to entertain the patients. Sing Christmas carols or read a holiday story to the elderly. They’ll love it! Do you have a child in Elementary school? Ask your child’s teacher if they need help preparing teaching materials. Donate your old eyeglasses. Lions Club International is one organization that will distribute used eyeglasses all around the world. Walmart® is a partner with Lion’s Club, so you can also drop off your old eyeglasses at one of Walmart’s® eye care centers. You can also
check with your eye doctor to see if there is an eyeglass charity in your area. Donate gently-used clothing to a shelter. Please launder them first! Donate your child’s gently-used toys to a shelter. Be sure they are cleaned and sanitized. You may want to include your child in the toy selection and delivery, so they can see the difference their donation makes to someone in need. Volunteer at a “soup kitchen” or shelter distributing meals to the needy. Donate your old cell phones. Operation Gratitude sends care packages to U.S. Military which can also include cell phones. You can contact them at: www.grcrecycling.com. Don’t forget the cell phone’s charger. Got leftover holiday cards? Send your blank holiday cards (religious and non-religious) to Greetings 4 Troops (www.greetings4troops.com). The cards are provided, so school kids can hand-write holiday messages to U.S. soldiers serving oversees. Donations are also welcomed to help cover the cost of postage. Give the gift of life – donate blood. Contact the American Red Cross® for more details. Looking for other ways to volunteer, go to www.volunteermatch.org. You can specify the type of volunteering you would prefer and the areas (your city or surrounding areas) to which you would be willing to travel.
Giving A Little More: ·
When at a restaurant, anonymously pay for another patron’s meal. Don’t forget to include a tip for their server! www.youreinvitedmag.com
Offer to drive a friend, neighbor, or relative to their doctor’s appointment. Consider treating them to lunch or dinner afterwards. Prepare a full meal and give it to parents with a new baby or to a family that’s struggling. Many teachers use their own money to purchase classroom supplies. If you know a teacher, ask for a list of teaching/classroom supplies they need and purchase the supplies for them. Buy a bag of groceries, or a grocery store gift card, for a struggling family or an elderly neighbor on a tight income. Donate a bag of cat or dog food to your local animal shelter. Be sure to ask if they have a food brand preference or if they would prefer a monetary donation. Make it a Happy Holiday when you give your restaurant server a bigger tip than required. Buy toys to donate to your local hospital’s children’s ward. Or participate in the Toys for Tots program. While grocery shopping, buy extra items and donate them to your local food bank. Take some holiday treats (home-made or storebought) to your local Fire Department, Police Department or Veterans of Foreign War (VFW).
Find out the day the VFW meets each week/month, so someone will be there to receive the treats. Bells will be ringing, when you toss your loose change into the bucket. That is the Salvation Army’s iconic red bucket, which can be found outside many stores during the holidays. Samaritan’s Purse provides many opportunities to give locally as well as aboard. Check out their website at www.samaritanspurse.org or by calling 1-800-353-5957.
Giving With Gusto: ·
Adopt a family-in-need and provide them with a wonderful holiday with all the trimmings - complete holiday meal, presents for each one, tree, stockings, etc. Please be mindful of one’s beliefs and tailor your giving accordingly. You can locate a family through your work, church or a local charity.
These are just a few ways to give from the heart. We hope you can find countless other ways to give during the holidays, through the year, and throughout your life!¨
You’re Invited is a quarterly magazine dedicated to those who love to entertain and celebrate life’s precious moments. If you’d like to advertise in our magazine, please let us know. 14
Wild About Christmas
Photography by Gruen Photography
Menu Christmas Salad Asparagus Wild Rice Wild Alaskan Salmon Chocolate Zebras 16
Christmas Salad Makes 6 servings Ingredients 1 package arugula salad greens 1 cup slivered almonds 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled 1/4 cup dried cranberries Red Wine Vinaigrette (see below) Mix all ingredients and toss lightly with Red Wine Vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
Red Wine Vinaigrette Ingredients 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1/3 cup olive oil 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons water Mix all ingredients. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before tossing with salad.
Wild Alaskan Salmon Fillets Makes 8 servings Ingredients 2 1/2 pounds Alaskan Salmon Extra virgin olive oil 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon paprika 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon ground black pepper 1 tablespoon dried marjoram 2 teaspoons celery seed Preheat oven to 375Â°F. Spray 9 x 13 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Rinse and pat salmon fillets dry. Lightly rub with olive oil. Layer in casserole dish and set aside. In small mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients. Sprinkle over fillets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until fish begins to flake. Serve immediately.
Wild Rice Purchase 1 box of Wild Rice (we used LundbergÂŽ) Prepare according to directions. www.youreinvitedmag.com
Asparagus Makes 4 servings.
Blanching is a cooking process in which you quickly plunge food into boiling water and then quickly into iced water to stop the cooking process. This method is usually used for vegetables and fruits, but can also be used for nuts to remove the skin. Blanching means â€œto whitenâ€? but your food will become a brighter version of its natural color. For our asparagus, we skipped the ice water bath since we served it warm and immediately.
Ingredients 1 bunch fresh asparagus (do not use thick spears) 4 quarts water Salt to taste
Wash asparagus spears, trim the bottoms and set aside. Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil and remove from heat. In small batches submerge asparagus for 2 minutes, remove and test for doneness. Asparagus should be tender but still crisp. Place in glass baking dish and salt to taste. Serve immediately.
Chocolate Zebras Makes 10 brownies Ingredients 1 box brownie mix 1 container milk chocolate icing 1-2 sheets brownie tattoos Prepare brownies according to directions on the box. Once cooled, place a thin coat of milk chocolate icing on brownies. Carefully place brownie tattoos on top of icing. We used Gartner StudioÂŽ brownie tattoos.
Small touches make a huge impact on your guests. Along with our silverware and napkin, and to carry out our theme, we added a safari animal pen that our guests can take home. After all everyone loves a stocking full of goodies!
Ways to Incorporate a Wild Theme into Your Christmas Here are some simple ways to incorporate a wild theme into your Christmas. Keep in mind, that less is more. Don’t overdo it!
Decorations · · · · ·
Choose ribbon with an animal print and weave it through your Christmas tree. (Limit your ornaments to those that compliment your ribbon.) Purchase safari theme ornaments and hang from your tree. Strategically place animal print candles throughout your home. Place animal print ornament balls in a large bowl for a beautiful centerpiece. Choose animal print plates and glassware when entertaining.
Various gifts may be purchased to carry out your wild theme. Purses, bags, scarfs, watches, aprons, umbrellas, pajamas & slippers can all be found in animal prints. Also, look for office supplies, desk accessories, and gift baskets with an animal theme for any corporate or co-worker gifts you may need to purchase. Use animal print wrapping paper or gift bags (don’t forget the tissue paper) for your presents. For greater impact, stick to one animal print and one solid complementary color (e.g. tiger print with solid red or zebra print with sage green) and carry it throughout all your packaging.
Miscellaneous · Scrapbooking paper can be purchased in wild animal prints to carry the theme through your photo albums.¨
© Barbara Helgason - Dreamstime.com www.youreinvitedmag.com
In the cold winter snow, the Black Hellebore flower blooms around Christmas time, which is why it is often referred to as the snow rose, winter rose, or
The Christmas Rose 20
Holiday Safety Tips By Sheri Lamas
CHRISTMAS TREES: v After bringing home your fresh tree, make a new cut at the base. v Be sure to give it plenty of water, especially the first few days. Check water levels daily. v Use miniature lights, as they produce less heat and cost less. v Do not light your tree, once it becomes dry. v When purchasing artificial trees and greenery, be sure they are flame retardant. v Keep away from other heat sources, such as space heaters, fireplace, candles, etc.
CANDLES: v When lighting candles in a floral/decorative arrangement, be sure to place them in an appropriate glass holder to prevent the flame from coming into contact with the arrangement. When in doubt, do not light. v Do not leave your home with candles burning. v Make sure wicks are out and candles have cooled before storing or throwing away. v Never use candles on your tree!Â¨
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: v Make sure all lights are UL approved. v Check all cords and replace any frayed or broken ones. v Donâ€™t overload extension cords or use power strips as extension cords. v Lights should never come in contact with water or flammable materials. v When you leave your home, be sure to turn off all decorative lighting.
FIREPLACE: v Every year, have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned before usage. v Do not burn Christmas or wrapping paper of any kind! Burn only wood. v Always use a sturdy fireplace screen and be sure the flue is open before lighting.
Give the gift of safety: First aid kits, Earthquake kits, flashlights, car safety kits, etc. www.youreinvitedmag.com
Photography by Gruen Photography
Holiday Egg Casserole Makes 12 servings Ingredients 1 pound bacon 1/2 pound sliced deli ham 12 eggs 6 tablespoons butter, divided 3 tablespoons flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 2 cups milk 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese Spray 9 x 13 casserole dish with non-stick spray. In large skillet cook bacon until crisp, drain, crumble and set side. Cut sliced deli ham into small pieces and set aside. Whisk eggs until foamy. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in 12â€? nonstick skillet over medium heat. Pour in eggs, stirring with rubber spatula folding the eggs over. Cook until no more liquid eggs, scrambled eggs should look wet and moist. Remove from heat. Add bacon and ham then set aside.
In medium sauce pan melt remaining 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once the butter melts, stir in flour. Continue stirring until thick paste forms, cook for a minute or two. Stir in salt, pepper and milk until well blended. Continue stirring so milk does not burn on the bottom. Add cheese and stir until melted. Once all cheese is melted and sauce is blended well, remove from heat. Fold into egg mixture. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. In morning preheat oven to 350Â°F. Bake egg casserole for 45 minutes removing foil for the last 10 minutes to brown the top. Serve immediately. This is a great dish to make the night before. In the morning, place in the oven for a no fuss holiday breakfast.
Happy New Year Cranberry Spritzer Mix cranberry juice with club soda and garnish with rose petals (washed), if desired.
Hash Brown Casserole Makes 12 servings Ingredients 10 frozen hash brown patties 3 tablespoons minced onions 3 tablespoons parsley flakes 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 2 cups grated cheddar cheese 1 pint whipping cream Preheat oven to 350Â°F. Spray 9 x 9 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Layer half of each, hash brown patties, minced onions, parsley flakes, salt, pepper and cheese. Make another layer with remaining ending with cheese. Pour whipping cream over entire dish. Cover with foil. Bake for 60 minutes removing foil for the last 10 minutes to brown the top. Serve immediately. www.youreinvitedmag.com
In the Spotlight
Winter 2014 26 By Sheri Lamas
www.youreinvitedmag.com Photos provided by Tournament of Roses Association 27
Everyone has a story to tell.
And each story is
different. Some are adventurous; some are predictable. Some are exhilarating; some end in sadness. Some move us to tears, while others inspire us. Next year, the 2015 Rose Parade theme is Inspiring Stories. Although many touching stories will be shared that day, the Tournament of Roses Association has its own story to tell. In 1890, the first Rose Parade began when the Valley Hunt Club decided to host a parade with floral adorned carriages and an afternoon of games, such as foot races, joust, tug of war, and an old Spanish game called tourney of rings. It is from this game along with the floral displays where the Tournament of Roses got its name. Over 2,000 people attended that first year. Attendance increased every year, thereafter, and in 1895, it had become too large for the Valley Hunt Club to handle. After a public meeting, the Tournament of Roses Association was established.
Funds were raised to underwrite the expenses of the next Rose Parade. The East Coast media began covering the parade in 1898 and several large newspapers came to check it out. In 1902, the first Rose Bowl Game was played between the University of Michigan and Stanford University. However, due to the lopsided score (49-0, in favor of Michigan) and the vast size of the crowd for such a small arena, the game was abandoned until 1916. In 1906, the Tournament House was built. Well-known architect G. Lawrence Stimson and his father, George W. Stimson designed and built the Italian Renaissance-style mansion that took eight years to complete. At the time, the 18,500-square foot house was considered modest compared to the other homes on South Orange Grove Boulevard, also known as Millionaireâ€™s Row. By the time the home was finished, the Stimson Family found it was too large for their needs and decided to sell the property.
In 1914, chewing gum tycoon William Wrigley, Jr. bought the home for $170,000. A year later, he purchased the adjacent property on the north side for $25,000. After removing the existing home, the 4.5 acres was transformed into a garden by adding an arbor and beautiful roses to the grounds. The Wrigley Garden now displays more than 1,500 varieties of roses, camellias, and annuals. The Tournament House was one of six properties that the Wrigley’s owned. However, this winter escape in the Sunshine State was Mrs. Wrigley’s favorite. Every New Year’s she enjoyed watching the Rose Parade from her front yard. After her passing in 1958, the Tournament House was presented by the family to the City of Pasadena for the sole purpose of being used as the official headquarters for the Tournament of Roses Association. In 1960, additional office space was built behind the home to accommodate the full time staff. Upon entering the home, one cannot help but notice the 4-inch thick, Honduras Mahogany front door, the handmade wool area rug, and the beautiful staircase that greets every visitor. A marble top Louis XII walnut chest and antique organ grace the entryway as well. The various rooms downstairs are adorned with rare exquisite wood paneling and accents, marble surroundings, damask window treatments, and the famous Stimson ceiling – a decorative sculpted plaster ceiling now known as the “Stimson” ceiling. Just off the library is a bathroom known as the “Eisenhower bathroom.” While serving as Grand Marshall in the 1963 Rose Parade, the former president became trapped for several minutes. The noise of the early morning festivities made it difficult for anyone to hear him banging on the door. He was eventually rescued and the parade went on without delay. To make the home more functional, the Tournament of Roses Association converted some of the upstairs bedrooms into conference rooms, where various meetings take place throughout the year. Here the 30 in-house staff and 935 volunteers plan for the upcoming Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. Once the Royal Court has been selected, the young women visit the Queen and Court’s room daily where they study, prepare for events, and attend meetings. Just outside the room is a beautifully lit display case showcasing the dazzling crowns, tiaras, and Rose Queen sash worn by prior recipients. Other glass-enclosed trophy cases beautify the upstairs hallway. Highlights from past Tournaments encompass much of the décor. The Tournament House hosts an assortment of activities throughout the year including press events, interviews, announcements of the Grand Marshall, Rose Queen and Royal Court, ceremonies, and public tours. You’re invited to tour the home and view many of the treasures within, however, please check the Tournament of Roses website at www.tournamentofroses.com for specific dates and times. ¨
Protecting Your Identity During the Holidays By Kathleen R. McKissick
The holidays can be stressful and the last thing you need is something else to add to that stress - identity theft! You hear about it on TV, happening to people just like you! But what can you do to help keep your information, and money, safe during the holidays and into the New Year. Here are a few suggestions:
Shopping Online *
Do not use your debit card for online purchases. If a website is hacked, a debit card is a direct link to your checking account! Once a thief gains access...your money is gone! Open a checking account at a different bank and keep the minimal amount in it. Only use this bank’s credit (debit) card to do your online purchases. If this account is hacked, close this account quickly. Not only is there minimal money to steal, but it is not your regular bank or checking account. Shop only at websites you know and trust. Some websites have a symbol (e.g. Google Trusted Store) as their offer of secured protection. Use a Master Card/Visa gift card. You can purchase these gift cards, in various amounts, at most retailers. There is an activation fee per gift card, so purchase one with an amount above your online purchase. You can use the remaining balance towards in-store purchases. Purchase retailer/department store gift cards and use them to pay online when shopping at their site. Most of these gift cards can be purchased at your local grocery store for convenience.
Shopping at a Store *
Do not use your debit card (along with your PIN) for purchases. Too many retailers have been hacked and debit cards are a direct access to your checking account! If you use a debit card, use it as a “credit card,” so a signature is required for your purchase. Someone could be recording your Personal Identification Number (PIN)! Always be alert. The person behind you could be using their cell phone to photograph your credit card. They can use your information to shop online! Ladies, carry a smaller purse when shopping. Make sure the opening is closed at all times! Use a purse with a long shoulder-strap and place over your head. Makes it harder for a thief to grab it! Keep the purse in front of you, never behind you. Do not leave your purse unattended in a shopping cart! If the cart has the locking straps, lock them on your purse straps. This makes it harder for a thief to grab your purse and run!
Purchase an aluminum wallet. This will keep thieves with hand-held RFID scanners from scanning your credit cards! If an aluminum wallet is too small, try lining the credit card slots in your wallet with aluminum foil with the shiny side facing out. Men, carry your wallet in your front pocket when shopping. This will help deter pick-pockets.
At A Gas Station *
When using a credit card, use the pumps closest to and facing the attendant. Thieves add credit card skimmers to gas pumps farthest away or facing away from the attendant. Before swiping your credit card, try pulling on the device where you swipe your card. Do not use if it’s loose or you can remove it! Do not use your bank’s debit card and PIN at the pumps. Skimmers capture this information and hackers will have direct access to your checking account! Use your debit card inside with the attendant.
Traveling During the Holidays *
Never leave personal papers (e.g. receipts, travel itinerary, etc.) in the hotel room! Lock them in the safe or keep them with you. Thieves can sell your information and/or alert an accomplice you are not at home.
In General *
Do not sign your name in the space for your signature on the back of your credit cards and your debit card. Instead write “Ask for Photo I.D.!” Use a separate computer for your online shopping, email, social media, etc. If you are hacked, the thief won’t have access to your personal information. Change your online passwords frequently! Try not to use everyday words or something personal. Passwords with “patterns” are harder to hack. Use cash for purchases as much as possible. Password protect your cell phone! If it’s lost or stolen, software for some phones will allow you to remotely track and disable it. You can remotely wipe all the data from it, too. Password protect your Wi-Fi at home! Don’t use public Wi-Fi hot-spots! Thieves can hack into your mobile devices and steel information. Buy a portable router to create your own Wi-Fi hot-spot. Take it when you travel, too. Your service provider can give you the specifics for your device. Purchase a cross-cut shredder and shred documents containing your personal information before discarding. Shred credit cards and computer generated CDs, too. Don’t dispose of
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shredded credit cards in one bag! Add a few credit card shreds into the trash once a week until they’re gone. Make a copy of the front and back of each of your credit and debit cards and keep it hidden at home. If your purse/wallet is stolen, you’ll have all your card numbers and the toll-free number on the reverse side so you can report the theft as soon as possible! Purchase a locking mailbox for home or rent a Post Office mailbox.
If Identity Theft Happens To You *
Contact the Credit Bureaus and place a fraud alert and a victim’s statement in each of your files. This will require creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or
* * *
making any changes to your existing accounts. Equifax at www.equifax.com; Experian at www.experian.com; and Trans Union at www.TransUnion.com. Report the fraud to your financial institutions, including where you have your home mortgage. If you own real estate, contact your local Registrar’s office to report the fraud. Contact your state’s main office of the Department of Motor Vehicles and place a fraud alert in your file.
Although identity theft isn’t a jolly holiday subject, hopefully we have given you some new ideas on how to keep your identity and your money safe. Happy and safe holidays, everyone!¨
Parties and Celebrations
A Christmas Ornament
Photography by Gruen Photography
Exchange You could have a simple ornament exchange party. However, why not have one you’ll remember for years to come. Here’s a unique way to share a part of you, along with an ornament to hang on one’s beautifully decorated tree. · Purchase an ornament that best represents something about YOU. For example, if you love to cook, then find an ornament with a cooking theme - a kitchen utensil such as a rolling pin, a slice of cake, or a gingerbread cookie. Wrap your ornament. · Purchase a holiday card and write inside what it is about the ornament that best represents YOU. Sign the card and attach it to your wrapped gift. · When your guests arrive at your party, assign a number to each gift. Place a second set of numbers in a decorated basket or bag. Let each person draw a number making sure they’re not drawing the number to their own gift. One at a time, have each guest choose their present and share the card and ornament with everyone. That way everyone learns a little something about each person.
Every year when you decorate your Christmas tree, you’ll remember the person from whom the ornament came from. www.youreinvitedmag.com
In a large bowl cream butter, shortening and powdered sugar together on medium speed. Beat for 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract and egg, beating until combined. Set aside. Mix flour, baking soda and cream of tartar together. Combine dry ingredients with the wet ingredients slowly until combined. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Using a medium scoop drop cookies on cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart then flatten with bottom of glass. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool completely about 15 minutes. In microwavable bowl, microwave vanilla chips and vegetable oil on medium heat for 1 minute, stir and continue microwaving for 30 seconds and then stirring until completely melted. Dip half of sugar cookie in chips mixture letting excess drip off. Place on waxed or parchment paper and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set.
Peppermint Sugar Cookies Makes 12 cookies Ingredients 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup shortening 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 1 egg 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon cream of tartar 1 1/2 cups white vanilla baking chips 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 10 Hard peppermint candies, crushed Preheat oven to 375Â°F. Lightly grease cooking sheet.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies Makes 12 cookies Ingredients 1 box chocolate cake mix (any brand) 2 eggs ½ cup vegetable oil 1 cup dry oats 1 tsp. Baking soda ½ cup peanut butter chips Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease cooking sheet. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Bake 7-10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool completely about 15 minutes.
White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies Makes 24 cookies Ingredients 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 large egg 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped 3/4 cup white chocolate chips Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease cooking sheet. In a large bowl cream butter, brown sugar and regular sugar on medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla extract and egg, beating until combined. Set aside. Mix flour, baking soda and salt together. Combine dry ingredients with the wet ingredients slowly until combined. Stir in cranberries and white chocolate chips. Using a medium scoop drop cookies on cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart. Bake 10-14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely about 15 minutes. www.youreinvitedmag.com
Chewy Gooey Magic Cookie Bars
Spray 8 x 8 baking pan with non-stick spray.
Makes 16 bars Ingredients Crust: 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 3/4 cup light brown sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 large egg 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup graham cracker crumbs 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup butterscotch chips
Layers: 1/2 cup butterscotch chips 1 cup hard coated chocolate candies* (we used red and green for the holidays) 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut 3/4 cup (70g) chopped pecans 8 ounces sweetened condensed milk Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar together on medium speed. Beat for 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract and egg, beating until combined. Scrape sides of bowl as needed. Set aside.
Mix flour, graham cracker crumbs, and baking powder together. Combine dry ingredients with the wet ingredients slowly. Mix until combined, then mix in the butterscotch chips. Press graham cracker dough into the prepared baking pan and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and layer with butterscotch chips, chocolate candies, coconut, and pecans. Drizzle sweetened condensed milk evenly on top.
Bake 25-30 minutes. Covered the pan with aluminum foil halfway through baking to prevent browning. Cool for 30 minutes then refrigerate for 1 hour. Once cold cut bars into squares. *We used M&M’s® chocolate candies.
Donâ€™t forget the holiday music.
Parties and Celebrations
A Cool Bun
Photography by Gruen Photography
nco Party Â®
Carry out your theme with these cute dice boxes. Your guests will love them, as well as the goodies you place inside them.
G e h t t e L
m i T ood
How to Make a Cake Stand 2 decorative plates (we used mirrors) 2 candlestick holders 1 bottle strong glue (we used Gorilla® glue) Pour some glue on one of the candlestick holders, then adhere it to the bottom of the plate, making sure it’s centered. Let it dry. It’s that easy! You can purchase inexpensive plates at garage sales, flea markets, or the dollar store. If you don’t like the look of the plate, you can always spray paint it and the base, so it matches the decor of your choosing.
l l o es R
Blue Glacier Martini Makes 1 serving Ingredients Water Coarse sugar or granulated sugar Ice cubes 1/4 cup cranberry juice cocktail 2 tablespoons (1 oz) raspberry or citron vodka 2 tablespoons (1 oz) Blue CuracaoÂŽ 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice Moisten rim of chilled martini glass with water. Pour sugar into small bowl, dip rim of glass into sugar to coat lightly. In blender mix ice cubes, cranberry juice, vodka, Curacao, and orange juice until smooth. Carefully pour into martini glass and serve.
Cupcake flavored popcorn from PopcornopolisÂŽ. www.youreinvitedmag.com
Around the World
Walking Through a Winter Wonderland Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival By Sheri Lamas Visit any museum and youâ€™ll see artwork that will inspire you and touch your heart. Attend the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival and youâ€™ll see works of art that will take your breath away! Artists from all over the world travel to Harbin, Heilongjiang in Northeast China to create magnificent ice and snow sculptures amid freezing cold temperatures, which can drop as low as -38C (-100o F). With the ice and snow as their canvas, artists use chisels, ice picks, chainsaws, and even lasers to break through the hard snow to create their masterpieces, which are displayed from December through February, with the grand ceremony being held on January 5th.
Another attraction many visitors enjoy are the thousands of ice lanterns that grace the parks and streets, which light up at night to create a colorful winter wonderland to stroll through and admire. What started as a simple candle being placed into an ice lantern for fisherman in the wintertime has turned into computer controlled LED lights embedded into blocks of ice and used to create life-size buildings, monuments, bridges and walkways for visitors to delight in during the festival.
Other winter activities, such as skiing, ice skating, sledding, and swimming in the Songhua River can be enjoyed while visiting, although I have chills just thinking about the last one. Unlike a painting seen in a museum or gallery, these works of art will eventually melt away, but not from the memories of those who attended and captured them on film.¨
If you’re one that likes to take a walk on the wild side, then perhaps the Siberian Tiger Park is just the ticket for you. Located on the northern side of the Songhua River, the park was created to help breed and house these tigers, since they were becoming extinct. It’s now China’s second largest Siberian tiger park holding approximately 800 Siberian tigers - the largest of the cat family. Here you’ll be able to view the tigers up close, either through fenced in areas or guides driving you into the open field where they roam, climb onto your vehicle, and are fed live chickens, so it’s not for the faint of heart.
Resources Thanksgiving Tea
Wake Up and Smell the Roses
Plates – Home Goods Chargers – Hobby Lobby Teapot – Home Goods Two tier stand – Home Goods Teacups – Antique store Rust napkins & placemats – owners Napkin rings - owners Terra Cotta pots – Walmart Favor bags – Hobby Lobby
Gold plates & silverware – Dollar Store Rose plates – JZ Rose Helmet Snack Bowl – Snack Helmets Three tier holder – Pampered Chef Flute glasses – Hobby Lobby Napkins – Party City Carafe – Bed, Bath & Beyond
Wild about Christmas Red tablecloth – owners Holly plates – owners Red/black chargers – Walmart Red glasses – Marshall’s Mini red stockings – Kmart Santa hat – Kmart Napkins – Walmart Zebra – Hobby Lobby Elephants – owners Animal pens – Cost Plus World Market
Ornament Exchange Red tablecloth – Bed, Bath & Beyond Christmas tree – owners Reindeer - owners Candles & ornament rings – Michael’s Mugs - owners
A Cool Bunco® Party Dice boxes – Cheap Party Mirrors – Hobby Lobby Mirror stands – Dollar store Glasses – Dollar store Candy – Party City Popcorn - Popcornopolis
Note: Clarice’s Cake and Candy Supply printed our photos onto edible paper for our sugar cookies.
Special thanks to: Neil Gruen (Gruen Photography), Jim Crawford (Imagine Graphic Design), Camela Brennand (Camela Rae Photography) Sharon Hughes (Launch Your Creativity), Karen Doyle, Ed and Mary Matveld, Andy Yonan, Chris Yonan, Peter Yonan, Samantha Miller, Pamela Miller, Natalie Lloyd, and Jessica Lloyd.
Grandmaâ€™s Sugar Cookies Recipe 4 cups Love 3 cups Time 1/2 cup Joy 2 tablespoons Patience 1 teaspoon Goodness 1 teaspoon Kindness
/ Edibl eP Cookies aper / Sugar / Icing Print p ho Cut int tos onto edibl o circle e paper s . sugar c ookies. the size of you r with lig Ice sug ht icing ar and pla cookies ce phot o on top.
Pinch of Discipline (add more if necessary) Mix all ingredients together and sprinkle with some fun. Photography by Gruen Photography
Thank you for coming. You’re always welcomed back. 46
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Creative ideas for seasonal entertaining, parties and celebrations.