Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Most Amazing Thanksgiving Day

I did it. I cooked the most delicious turkey that anyone has ever eaten. Moist, delicious, tender, juicy. You didn't even need the gravy, which by the way if you had any you would have loved that too. Oh yeah.

I used the brine recipe from Food TV dot com. It's from Alton Brown. Basically I soaked birdzilla in flavored ice water overnight. I didn't even have all the ingredients but just used what I had. The bird needed about 2 1/2 hours to cook so I made pumpkin pie in the morning leaving the oven free in the afternoon.

I dried the bird and put it in the roasting pan. I don't use a rack - I just let the bird soak in it's juices. I rubbed canola oil all over (or use another oil with a low smoking point) and then seasoned the skin with rosemary, salt and pepper. I cut up one Gala apple mixed it with rosemary, salt and pepper and stuck it inside the bird. I then take a small jar of orange marmalade and rub it all over the outside of the bird. I some dump of the marmalade in the pan as well, along with 1 cup orange juice and 2 cups vegetable stock. Use canned if you don't have homemade. It'll still taste great.

I set the turkey on the lowest rack in the oven at 500 degrees for one hour to brown the breast and then I flip the bird so that it cooks at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/4 hours breast down. I flip the bird again at the end for another 15 minutes breast up just to make sure it is brown all over. I just use my oven mitts to handle the bird. Then I throw them in the wash.

How do you know if it's done? If you wiggle the legs and they move easily and there is no red juice running out then the bird is done. Alton uses a meat thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is high enough for the bird to be fully cooked and free of bacteria. This is certainly

My husband took one bite and said, "are you sure this is supposed to taste like this? I always thought turkey was supposed to be dry and you just covered it with a lot of gravy."

And no basting! Every time you open the oven door you lose 50% of the heat and this just means longer cooking time and dry turkey. The turkey is covered in skin - you don't need to baste.

Try it and tell me what you think!

We weren't sure if we were going to have a Thanksgiving Dinner this year. It felt like it would be hard to celebrate and be thankful while still grieving the loss of my closest friend. But as the day approached I knew it would be the right thing to do.

I am grateful for so many things. For this blog and my readers and your insightful comments.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Boston Legal let me down

Denny Crane Fires an Associate for Being Too Fat. Court Rules "Denny is a jerk."

Sadly this did not happen.

I am totally disappointed. Really. I suppose I had no right to expect more but I did.

I thought that perhaps we would hear them cite the differing medical information about weight and weight loss, or a spirited discussion about how ideal body types have changed over the centuries and vary greatly between cultures.

But none of this was written for the show. Merely one lawyer whining that it's not fair to be picked on for being fat and Alan Shore whining about how you might be doing a fat person a favor by pointing out that they are fat because maybe they didn't notice.

I really feel this was a missed opportunity...but they didn't call and ask me about their script before filming. Oh well, maybe next time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In Memoriam

My dearest friend Sally passed away on October 28th – my 40th birthday. I’ve been struggling with what to say about her. I haven’t found a way to describe everything she was in my life but I can tell you that she was brilliant and talented. She lived life to the fullest and had more enthusiasm for fun than anyone I have ever known.

She was my partner in crime, my sister by choice, my confidant, my drinking buddy, my travel companion, and so much more for 15 years. She was in her 50’s – I am certain she would not want me to say her real age and so I won’t.

She had a sudden aneurism. Words cannot describe how awful I feel right now. There is a hole in my heart.

I just got home last night from her funeral in Tennessee. Her mother is an amazing woman with so much love to give that just sitting in the same room with her is like being hugged. Even though she is enormously sad, she is grateful for the time they had together. They had an incredible friendship, the likes of which I have never seen between mother and daughter.

I am also grateful for the time I had with Sally. She taught me so much about so many things. At her funeral service I stood up to share about my friendship with her and in part I said, “Knowing Sally was like having sunshine in my life not knowing I had been in the dark. It was like having music in my life not knowing I had been in silence. I am a fortunate woman to have had her as a friend. I will miss her forever.”

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Boston Legal

OK listen up!

Boston Legal is on RIGHT NOW and Denny Crane fired an associate lawyer because she was fat. He gets read the riot act by others in the firm and the fired associate sues. Denny then pulls out a magazine with an article saying that fat is contagious and that he fired her for his own safety.

I am very interested in seeing where this goes. Tune in next week!

To be continued....

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Plus Size with Style - Enjoy What You Have

Have you ever tried on something in your size but it just didn’t look right? Even though it fits great it just doesn't feel like "it's you." I watch women go through it all the time in department store dressing rooms. She goes in with an armload of goodies and walks out with tears in her eyes. She then launches into a tirade of everything that is wrong with her body and if only she were some other size or shape then everything that she tried on would look just right. This can cause enough heartache that a woman resorts to buying something on impulse that doesn’t look great.

It is my opinion that finding your style has less to do with your body type, your hair color, or whether your skin tone is a Winter or a Summer and everything to do with how you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror. So today let’s discuss how to find your very own style in terms of enjoying what you have.

Plus Size Style

The good news is that the best plus size fashion designers are now using plus size models. As plus size women are insisting on size positive images we are seeing more and more fashionable images of full figured women in media. At This Lush Life, in our plus size women's clothes department, we exclusively represent companies using plus size models. If they sell plus size women's clothes but they don't show those clothes on plus size models then we won't post what they have to offer.

There are many places on the web where you can read about the right hem lengths, the right necklines, how to coordinate patterns and colors and how to tie a scarf. Personally, I watch What Not to Wear on TLC with religious fervor. So rather than worry about what they are wearing on the runways this season -- in this article, let’s focus on what’s going on in your head.

Dressing Room Depression

You bought a dress in a department store. You loved it in the dressing room. It hugs your hips in the best way possible, shows the right amount of cleavage and drapes perfectly over your bottom. You were happy in the store because you found something that fit so well but why does it just not seem right the first time you put it on at home?

You bought a dress online. You did everything right. You measured yourself, you measured the dress, you saw it on a model with a similar shape as yours and it looked great on her. You try it on and it fits perfectly so why does it just not feel right when you put it on in your bedroom?

Curing the Dressing Room Blues

Remember that dressing rooms lie! Dressing rooms lie. They do. They are sneaky and they will lie to you. Some are perfectly lit and highlight your beautiful checkbones and make you forget that a v-neck is better for you than a boat neck. There really is such a thing as a slenderizing mirror and chances are they have one at the store but you don't have one at home.

The photographs in catalogs and magazines lie! Photographs lie. They do. Not only are those models surrounded by a team of people fussing with their makeup, hair and clothes between each and every shot but even the models don't really look like the photographs after all the re-touching.

So how do I enjoy what I have and feel good about Plus Size Style?

1. Create a place where royalty would want to dress. Choose a corner of your bedroom and make it a sacred place for self adoration. Use Feng Shui, toss a coin or throw a dart but you must have a spot that is just for you to gaze lovingly at your perfect body in a full length mirror.

2. Did she say full length mirror? Yes, she did say full length mirror! You know in your heart that I’m right so go out there and invest in a good one. After all, you are going to be spending a lot of time in front of it admiring your luscious curves so you want something beautiful to frame your image.

3. Take a deep breath. Take a shower. Do your hair. Get ready like you’ve got a date with George Clooney…or Ellen Degeneres…whomever you are into. Light candles. Have a glass of champagne and put some fresh strawberries and chocolates in a bowl within easy reach. Play a Diana Krall CD. Remember that you are a goddess.

4. Take good look. God did not make any mistakes with you. You are beautiful. Now - pull your shoulders back and say three nice things about what you see. I mean it. Three...but feel free to say more. I like my eyes. I like the shape of my shoulders. I like the curve from the small of my back down to my right hip. This is really important. I do this every day. Sometimes I love what I see in the mirror and sometimes I don't but I won't leave the house without saying at least three nice things about my body.

Presenting the Stylish Plus Size Woman

I guarantee that whatever you try on now will feel differently than it did before. Can you guess why? It’s because you will stand differently. You will hold your head up, pull your shoulders back and be ready to toss out anything from your closet that doesn’t flatter your perfect frame. You don’t have to settle for something you don’t really love just because it hides a body you don't love. And when you go out, even wearing something from the back of your closet, it might feel new and you might feel like the most stylish woman you know.

There is no reason to wait to like yourself more. Start today and then share this with a friend.