• Latkes and matzo ball soupLatkes and matzo ball soup

    It's Hanukkah and Dave's been seriously cashing in on his first year celebrating the festival of lights.

    He still can't get over the whole presents-for-eight-nights-in-a-row thing; he hustled me for 20 bucks in his first game of dreidel (beginner's luck); and he enjoyed a couple of the best dishes Judaism has to offer: Latkes and matzo ball soup.

    It's been a lazy couple of weeks for me and the thought of shredding four pounds of Russets gave me a headache. Lucky for me, I had this fabulous Progresso package from MyBlogSpark (Which one lucky commenter will also win) ...

    Progresso Blogspark packageProgresso Blogspark package

    ... and some frozen hash browns. Soooooo, I present to you ...

    Lazy latkes and mellow matzo ball soup

    latkes and matzo ballslatkes and matzo balls

    Lazy Latkes

    You'll need:

    6 cups frozen hash browns (about one large bag)

    1/2 of a large yellow onion, minced

    2 eggs

    1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

    ground pepper (5-10 turns or the grinder)

    1-2 teaspoons salt (kosher, of course)

    vegetable oil for frying

    Read More »from User post: Lazy girl's latkes and a giveaway
  • Holiday season is in full gear. As beautiful and magical as the holiday season ought to be, however, it is often tainted with, none other than, stress. We are shopping…we are wrapping…we are entertaining…we are getting entertained…we are dealing with increased traffic…we are mingling with family…we are traveling…we are braving the elements…phew…and I've just scratched the surface! Talk about stressful!

    Most of us, at this time of the year, tend to prioritize everything EXCEPT ourselves. This, ultimately, mounts on the stress and can do a doozy on our ability to really enjoy. But the holidays are MEANT to be enjoyed! To keep the stress levels to a low roar, here are a few tips:

    1. Build in You-Time: Probably a no-brainer, but build in alone-time. Giving yourself time away from the craziness and time to decompress…will give your mind and body the rest it needs to go full-steam ahead the rest of the time. At least once a week, do one of the following (or anything else that gives you
    Read More »from 6 Holiday stress busters
  • 5 Fragrances Under $30

    Fragrances can be perfect gifts for the looming holidays, but when your gift list includes everyone from the babysitter to the dog walker, picking out a scent for each of them can get pricey. Check out five fragrance picks below out of the 30 great-smelling scents under $30 - so you will look like you spent a lot of money this holiday season without actually going broke. Click here for great gifts under $20!

    Jade by Banana Republic
    This fresh scent is intertwined with cotton flower and pomegranate for an intriguing fragrance that will turn heads. Find out more about this fragrance. 20 ml for $28, Banana Republic

    Pure Grace by Philosophy

    A lighter step up from Philosophy's Amazing Grace perfume, this scent combines an array of blossoms with musk. Find out more about this fragrance. 0.5 oz for $15, Sephora

    Red Door by Elizabeth Arden

    A sophisticated scent that is one of Elizabeth Arden's signatures. Red roses, honey, and forest lilies make this a unique fragrance. Find out more

    Read More »from 5 Fragrances Under $30

  • The Elf Snowflakes

    Buddy may have gone a little overboard with the paper snowflakes when redecorating Gimbels' ";North Pole"; set, but we love the idea of a few cutout strands dangling from the ceiling. They're fun to make and a slew of them hanging from the rafters create a spectacular winter wonderland effect.

    Four Christmases' Curated Displays

    Sissy Spacek's house in Four Christmases fits her offbeat, free-spirited character. It also doesn't scream Christmas. The tasteful table vignette and classic pine wreath in the window prove that subtle curated displays can make an impact.

    A Christmas Story's Throw-back Charm

    The cult classic, A Christmas Story, is set in a middle class 1940s home and strikes a chord with many, even beyond the baby boomers. Though the holiday decor is nothing spectacular, the wildly decorated tree and comfy couch evoke a back-to-basics appeal. And it makes us remember a time when nothing was more exciting than having your wish list

    Read More »from Decorating ideas from our favorite Christmas movies
  • Celebrate all you want-without gaining a pound!
    - Katherine Raymond, BettyConfidential.com
    `Tis the season…for cookies, egg nog, hors d'oeuvres, stuffing, potato latkes, and prime rib. You get the picture: The most wonderful time of the year can also be the most fattening. Some recent studies show that the average person gains about one pound over the holiday season-and that's not to be taken lightly. "Although one pound doesn't sound like a lot of weight, it's a pound that could push a person into overweight or obesity, because many don't make an effort to lose the weight over the year," says registered dietician Susan Burke March. We asked March, the author of Making Weight Control Second Nature: Living Thin Naturally, for advice on healthy eating habits over the holidays. Keep these tips in mind, and you won't have to make a New Year's resolution to lose the weight you just gained.

    1. Don't arrive hungry at holiday gatherings.
    "Have a plan," March urges. "Instead of

    Read More »from 10 Ways to Avoid Holiday Overeating
  • You probably haven't worn velvet since you were a kid, but we think it's time for a comeback - velvet is being reincarnated on dresses, jackets and tops. Several celebs are leading the way (along with Michelle Obama, on Oprah's Christmas at the White House special), so let's follow along:

    michelle obamamichelle obama

    If you stick to one velvet item at a time, you won't risk overdoing it. Some of our favorite, stylish velvet finds:

    martin osa velvet blazermartin osa velvet blazer

    This tailored velvet blazer will make a pair of skinny jeans evening-appropriate or provide some extra coverage over a strapless party dress.

    vince twist ruffle dressvince twist ruffle dress

    We love this dress because it's versatile enough to wear with heels or a fancy pair of ballet flats, and you can style it for work or for evening.

    elizabeth and james velvet topelizabeth and james velvet top

    Complement the high collar on this velvet top with an amazing pair of statement earrings.

    Check out our guide to how to wear velvet leggings for more tips, and find gorgeous blazers, dresses and evening tops in our buying guides.

    Read More »from Worth Trying This Season: Velvet Anything
  • 'Tis the season for entertaining and travel and so it's a great time to refresh the fundamentals of being a good houseguest, nearly none of which apply if you're crashing with Grandparents. :) But for others who may be hosting you and, more importantly, your kids, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Having recently experienced a seemingly never-ending weekend hosting a family of guests, I offer up these tips from first-hand experience.

    • When and for how long. If nothing else, let's be clear about these two things. When traveling with kids, open-ended trips are rare, but do your host the courtesy of letting them know when you'll arrive and, most importantly, when you'll leave.
    • Linens and things. Unless you're planning to visit a friend who lives in the wild without running water, assume you'll have access to linens. In this modern day of in-home washers and dryers, your host is likely happy to offer you your own pillow and set of bath linens. Just be sure
    Read More »from The Difference Between Being A Welcomed or Dreaded Houseguest This Holiday Season

  • CBS News 9 education specialist Amy James from Knowledge Essentials shares some fun ideas for crafts that your kids can make for your home!
    Related: Christmas Decorations and Gifts Kids Can Make

  • With less than 10 days till Christmas, we wanted to make things easy on you and your wallets with a gift guide of fun, fancy, and fabulous presents all for under $50. We even found some great items on sale! Sometimes it's more enjoyable to give than receive. Happy shopping!

  • It's the most wonderful (and fattening!) time of the year. These 10 dishes taste so incredible, they're worth every single calorie. Tell us your favorite holiday indulgence in the comments section.

    1. Bread Pudding
    If there were a Christmas carol that repeated the phrase "bring us some fruity sorbet," we'd have a craving for something light and refreshing following a December meal. Luckily, there are calls for pudding and wassail ringing in the air--calls that must be heeded. Have yourself a holly, jolly Christmas with a modern-day favorite, our luscious Rum, Caramel, and Banana Bread Pudding.

    For the recipe, click here.

    2. Chocolate Cake
    Second only to the gingerbread house in ornate visual appeal but unsurpassed in rich flavor, the fancy layered cake (like our beautiful Peppermint Meringue Cake with Chocolate Buttercream on the cover of this month's Bon Appétit) is the ultimate holiday dessert. Reward yourself for the patience required to wait until your host cuts you a slice.

    Read More »from 10 Holiday Foods Worth the Calories


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