Take Back the Kitchen with Alma Schneider

Here’s a banana bread with a sweet and salty twist, perfect for cold wintery days ahead!
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Banana Bread with Salted Caramel Topping :

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup White Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (if you don’t have , just use 1/2 cup white flour)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Mix together in a large bowl
Wet Ingredients:
3 very ripened bananas, mashed
1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cup safflower oil or canola oil
3 beaten eggs
Mix together in a large bowl
Combine wet and dry ingredients until fully combined
Pour mixture into buttered loaf pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake bread for 50 minutes to an hour on the middle rack of the oven or until a knife comes out clean in the center
Let cool and then spread caramel topping all over the top and sprinkle with sea salt or Kosher salt
Caramel Topping:
1/4 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
pinch of salt
Combine ingredients and stir over a low flame until thickened
Set aside
For more great recipes from Alma Schneider, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.

Why Politicians Need Media Training

I know this is a bit of a departure from our usual posts about movies to see, events to attend and great things for your kids. Nope — this is a post about the election. While I never shared who I was voting for in this election, it’s now safe to say that while my entire family was gunning for Mitt Romney, I stuck to my principles and voted for President Obama. And despite the grumbling from my kids and husband, I was doing a jig last night after I heard that my daughter’s future is once again safe and secure now that the people who truly live in the 21st century are still in positions of power.
The Republicans seem to be suffering from foot in mouth disease. Every time one of their members opens their mouths, they say the most nonsensical things without even realizing how many people they’ve offended along the way. As a publicist, I want to offer some heartfelt advice to the Republican party. If you think that one of your own is about to utter a cringeworthy statement on national or local television, do everything in your power to keep them away from the media. Or better yet, rather than put duct tape on their mouths, ensure they receive media training.
Moving forward, the Republican party should issue talking points for all of their members. And they shouldn’t be talking abouts about which agenda their party supports. They should be the talking points that cover questions that reporters want answers to that will definitely put them in hot water. Here are a just a few:
* What’s your stance on abortion?
* What about abortion during cases of rape?
* Do you believe in gender equality?
* Do you approve of Gay Marriage?
There are plenty more questions where that came from but the bottom line is the reason the Republicans lost is because their representatives are trapped in the 1950’s spewing nonsensical statements like becoming pregnant after you’re raped is a “gift from god” or there’s a chemical in women’s bodies that knows when it’s raped so it instantly has a miscarriage. Or, you set out on an expedition to find qualified women for your cabinet and your staff came back with binders full of women who would fit the bill.
The quotes that did in the Republican party will pretty much go down in history as sexist, idiotic and degrading. Which is why moving forward, there should be a media training expert on hand 24/7, coaching politicians on what they should and shouldn’t say during an interview or an intimate townhall meeting that’s being surreptitiously recorded on an iPhone 5.
Get with the program Republicans. If you want to get elected, you need to be real. You need to take no crap like Governor Chris Christie and reach across party lines because that is the right thing to do. You need to hug people, truly care about the well being of others and don’t spew fire and brimstone about how the President and the Democratic party are destroying our nation. We are all in this together. So find a few business savvy Republicans who are good guys who started out with nothing, built an empire, gave back to charity, can hug women and children and maybe hire a few who are qualified to work on your team. Don’t say stupid things you’re going to regret and most importantly, THINK BEFORE YOU SAY SOMETHING that’s going to pretty much jeopardize your party’s chances from ever moving into the Oval Office in this century.
I know our economy is still broken and our deficit has never been higher. I also know there are people who recently lost their homes and businesses to a horrific storm that could be caused by climate change or global warming. I want to know that we have a government that is fiscally responsible but is also looking out for the safety and well being of my children and future generations who will live in our country long after we’re all gone. I also want to know that the people who are truly successful – the infamous 1% are doing their part to give back to those in need. That’s just good karma and maybe, just maybe, that’s what will happen over the next four years. We all do the right thing and good things will happen in our nation.
So here’s to the Republican party finding a few more good candidates who are charismatic, real, and inspiring. And let’s not forget the media trainers and speech writers who make their words come alive and inspire the public to believe in them. While Ronald Reagan is long gone, his speech writer Peggy Noonan is alive and well and sorely needed to breathe some life back into this windbag of a party. Perhaps if you re-enlist Noonan to write better speeches and message points for your party, you’d all be in a lot better shape. Until then, you’ve got four years to figure out how to get your act together again and move toward the future with the rest of us.

CELEBRATE! PARTY SHOWCASE COMES TO WESTCHESTER

Written by Role Mommy Contributor, Danielle Feigenbaum
image001.jpg Planning an important event such as a wedding, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, Sweet 16, etc. can be very overwhelming. Don’t get stressed out…get help!
Celebrate! Party Showcase, now in its 21st year, will take place at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown on Sunday November 18, 2012 from noon until 4:00 pm. Admission is free and according to Sheri Lapidus, Director of Celebrate Party Showcase, more than 70 vendors will be on hand to highlight the newest and hottest ideas for planning your special day!
“Visitors to Celebrate! Party Showcase are often looking for that special idea or spark to make their engagement party, wedding, Sweet 16, anniversary celebration, milestone birthday party, or Bar Mitzvah unique and different,” stated Lapidus. Vendors, suppliers and New York tri-state area party venues will be available to discuss party planning tips as well as how to choose the ideal event location. “Celebrate! offers a highly efficient way to obtain exciting new ideas and information thanks to so many vendors all in one place.” The organization recently hosted Celebrate! Party Showcase in Melville, Long Island which attracted over 1000 attendees.
Celebrate LI 2012 146.jpg Organizations participating this year are from all over the NY metro region, many from Westchester, several from Fairfield, while others are coming from Rockland, Bergen and Manhattan. Attendees will get fresh ideas on party favors and gifts, entertainment options, new concepts in photography and videography, as well as fun and creative catering ideas. While you are there, you must check out the Rockmitzvah guys. Rockmitzvah is the only entertainment entity in the New York metropolitan area, or perhaps the entire country, whose sole purpose is to integrate the bar/bat mitzvah child or wedding couple, their friends, and family, into the actual performance! Businesses interested in showcasing their products and services should contact Sheri Lapidus 646-652-7512.
Attendees will also be able to pick up a copy of the new Mitzvah Project Planning Guide. The 16 page guide is filled with resources and information for kids preparing for their Mitzvah Project in the year of their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Party on! To register and find out what’s hot in party planning, visit www.celebratepartyshowcase.com.
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