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Updated: 1 hour 18 min ago

How Long Does it Take to Cook the Perfect Ham?

1 hour 43 min ago

According to the USDA, both half or whole cooked hams – canned and vacuum-packaged in a FDA inspected facility- can be eaten chilled, straight from the packaging. If you do wish to reheat a cooked ham, bake at 325°F until a food thermometer inserted into the ham reads an internal temperature of 140°F.

For raw and fresh ham, bake at 325°F until a food thermometer inserted into the meat reads 145°F.

How long you’ll need to bake your ham depends largely on its weight, cut, and whether it’s cooked or uncooked. Use the USDA’s chart below to determine how long to cook your ham.

Cut Weight/lbs Minutes/lb Minimum Internal Temperature & Rest Time SMOKED HAM, cook-before-eating Whole, bone in 10 to 14 18 to 20 145° and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes Half, bone in 5 to 7 22 to 25 Shank or Butt Portion, bone in 3 to 4 35 to 40 Arm Picnic Shoulder, boneless 5 to 8 30 to 35 Shoulder Roll (Butt), boneless 2 to 4 35 to 40 SMOKED HAM, cooked Whole, bone in 10 to 14 15 to 18 Reheat cooked hams packaged in USDA-inspected plants to 140 °F and all others to 165 °F. Half, bone in 5 to 7 18 to 24 Arm Picnic Shoulder, boneless 5 to 8 25 to 30 Canned ham, boneless 3 to 10 15 to 20 Vacuum packed, boneless 6 to 12 10 to 15 Spiral cut, whole or half 7 to 9 10 to 18 FRESH HAM, uncooked Whole leg, bone in 12 to 16 22 to 26 145° and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes Whole leg, boneless 10 to 14 24 to 28 Half, bone in 5 to 8 35 to 40 COUNTRY HAM Whole or Half. (Soak 4 to 12 hours in refrigerator. Cover with water and boil 20 to 25 minutes per pound. Drain, glaze, and brown at 400 °F for 15 minutes.)
Categories: Entertainment

Numbrix 9 – April 20

3 hours 4 min ago
Categories: Entertainment

Arctic Wolves: Endangered or Not? Take Our At-Risk Animal Quiz

Sat, 4/19/2014 5:15 AM

You probably know that tigers are near extinction and that there are plenty of pigeons to go around—but what about arctic foxes? How about bald eagles? This Earth Day, test your knowledge of which animals we need to work hard to conserve and which are still, luckily, thriving today. Take our quiz below, and post your score in the comments!

Plus: Pet Hair Is Reusable! 9 Surprising Things You Can Recycle

Take Our Survey

Plus: See photos of the cutest new baby animals at America’s zoos

Categories: Entertainment

3 Free Apps to Help You Go Green This Earth Day

Sat, 4/19/2014 5:15 AM

On Earth Day, April 22, download these three free apps that’ll shrink your eco-footprint and cultivate your green habits.

This one’s for savvy, green shoppers: Scan a product and get a rating of its environmental impact on a scale from 0 to 10. (iOS, Android)

Snap photos of unwanted junk mail and this app will have you removed from the mailing list. You’ll save paper—and lose a lot of annoying clutter. (iOS, Android)

Developed by the charity Ocean Conservancy, this app helps you form eco-friendly habits with weekly alerts and shows you how each habit helps the planet. (iOS)

Keep celebrating Earth Day:
Arctic Wolves: Endangered or Not? Take Our At-Risk Animal Quiz

17 Inspiring Quotes for Earth Day: ‘The Environment Is Where We All Meet’

9 of the Easiest Edible Plants to Grow

Pet Hair Is Reusable! 9 Surprising Things You Can Recycle


Categories: Entertainment

17 Inspiring Quotes for Earth Day: ‘The Environment Is Where We All Meet’

Sat, 4/19/2014 5:15 AM

Celebrate Earth Day this Tuesday, April 22, with moving quotes about the natural world from conservationists and naturalists like John Muir and John James Audobon—and unexpected voices like Albert Einstein. They’re all worth remembering on this day set aside to honor Mother Nature.

Getty Images Lady Bird Johnson. (Getty Images)

1. “The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” —Lady Bird Johnson

2. “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” —John Muir

3. “A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.” —John James Audubon

Pet Hair Is Reusable! 9 Surprising Things You Can Recycle

4. “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” —Henry David Thoreau

5. “We need the tonic of wildness … At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplainable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” —Henry David Thoreau

Getty Images John Muir (Getty Images)

6. “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” —John Muir

7. “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” —Albert Einstein

Getty Images Gandhi (Getty Images)

8. “The good man is the friend of all living things.” —Gandhi

9. “An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment.” —David Attenborough

10. “It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.” —David Attenborough

Arctic Wolves: Endangered or Not? Take Our At-Risk Animal Quiz

11. “Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” —Theodore Roosevelt

12. “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt

13. Nature never hurries: atom by atom, little by little, she achieves her work. The lesson one learns from yachting or planting is the manners of Nature; patience with the delays of wind and sun, delays of the seasons, bad weather, excess or lack of water.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

14. “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together … all things connect.” —Chief Seattle

Getty Images Mother Teresa (Getty Images)

15. “I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use.” —Mother Teresa

16. “Environmentally friendly cars will soon cease to be an option…they will become a necessity.” – Fujio Cho, President of Toyota Motors

Getty Images Jane Goodall (Getty Images)

17. “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” —Jane Goodall

Categories: Entertainment

Jamie Durie of The Outdoor Room: 9 of the Easiest Edible Plants to Grow

Sat, 4/19/2014 5:15 AM

Even black thumbs can cultivate these veggies, says Jamie Durie, host of HGTV’s The Outdoor Room and author of the fantastic new food-gardening guide, Jamie Durie’s Edible Garden Design. “Look at your garden as an extension of your kitchen,” Durie says. “It can look as good as it tastes.”

Durie says these nine vegetables and herbs are the easiest to grow at home:

It’s so foolproof you can go on a summer-long vacation and the herb will still thrive, says Durie. Bonus: Rosemary tastes delicious with roasted meats and the trailing varieties look great in hanging baskets.

Durie calls this bulb “bulletproof.” Plus, garlic packs a lot of flavor for its size—and yields pretty purple or white flowers.

20 Beautiful Rare Birds Spotted in America: Find One in Your State

Brussels sprouts
Not only is the plant healthy to eat and surprisingly easy to grow, it’s tall and striking to look at and could become the focal point of your garden. “The way Brussels sprouts grow is very ornamental and kids find it really fascinating to see where the vegetable they eat comes from,” Durie says.

“You don’t have to look over spinach too much to get a lot of bang for your buck,” in terms of both visual impact and nutrition, Durie says. “It’s highly spectacular in its color,” he adds. “It’s a gorgeous plant because it gives you so much leaf and color in such a short amount of time.”

Spring Has Sprung! See All 50 State Flowers in Bloom

This hardy herb is versatile in the kitchen and beautiful in gardens with its dusty-sage colored foliage, Durie says. Oregano is “incredibly easy to grow” and works well as ground cover in landscapes.

A favorite of Oprah Winfrey’s for her gardens (Durie was a regular expert on her show), thyme looks great and also smells great. “Thyme is fantastic for borders and in between stepping stones—and when people walk through your garden, their feet will crush the thyme and you’ll get this incredible scent,” Durie says.

Almost as tough as rosemary, mint is an aggressive-growing plant that works well for balcony planters and apartment window boxes.

As long as you keep this robust—and tasty—plant out of the wind, “you can plant and forget about” them, Durie says.

Broad Beans
One of the easiest legumes to cultivate, broad beans are nutritious but are unruly, climbing plants—so you’ll need to keep them in an enclosed part of your garden.

Categories: Entertainment

Pet Hair Is Reusable! 9 Surprising Things You Can Recycle

Sat, 4/19/2014 5:15 AM

You already know that paper, glass, and plastic goes in the blue bin—but how about pet hair, or old, worn out athletic shoes? Don’t toss these either—they can be recycled. Get the details on nine things you may not have known you could recycle:

1. CFL lightbulbs
Bring your spent compact fluorescent bulbs to the nearest Ikea or Home Depot location; the retailers will take them for free.

2. Video games
Walmart and Sam’s Club locations nationwide now accept old games in exchange for store credit. The games will be refurbished and sold to other gamers.

3. Sneakers
Drop your worn-out athletic shoes at a participating Nike or Converse store and they’ll be ground into building materials through the Nike Reuse-a-Shoe program.

4. Pet fur
The charity Matter of Trust is seeking clean hair to help soak up oil spills. Hair salons and pet groomers supply much of the hair, but individuals are welcome to donate too! The organizations asks that donors reuse a box and make sure there is no garbage (such as pins, cigarettes, food, or anything sharp or dangerous for volunteers, who are sometimes students) in the package—only fur, fleece and hair. The address to mail the donations to depends on where you live—sign up at ExcessAcesss.org for more detailed mailing instructions.

5. Greeting cards
Mail them to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, where volunteers will use them to craft new cards they can sell to raise money.

6. Pantyhose
Hosiery brand No Nonsense collects used pantyhose from any brand and has them turned into building materials like running tracks, park benches, vehicle insulation, and playground equipment. Download a mailing label here.

7. Wine corks
After enjoying your wine, save the cork! You can ship them to Recork and they’ll be turned into new products, like shoes.

8. Makeup packaging
When your cosmetic or beauty supply containers are empty, you may be able to recycle them instead of sending them to the landfill. MAC, Origins, Kiehl’s, and Aveda have recycling programs—a few of which offer rewards for bringing back multiple packages.

9. Designer clothes
You can get rid of unwanted clothes at Nordstrom stores—and get something out of it for yourself. Turn in five items of clothing from the list of accepted brands and you’ll get a $40 Nordstrom gift card in return. Your clothes will be sold on FashionProject.com to benefit an array of charities.

Categories: Entertainment

Praise for the Pope: Stars Weigh in on the ‘Francis Effect’

Sat, 4/19/2014 5:00 AM

When Pope Francis famously said, “Who am I to judge?” last year in response to a question about gay priests, pope watchers marveled. Here was a pontiff publicly opening the door to a group long ostracized by the Church—an unprecedented overture.

The new pope’s first 12 months in office have been full of such moments. From his efforts to reform the Vatican to his recent appeal for forgiveness from victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy—the strongest statement from a pope on the issue ever made, experts say—Pope Francis has already made an indelible imprint on a 2,000-year-old institution fraught by scandal and inertia. “Certainly not in a generation’s time have we seen someone so quickly change the perception of a major institution,” author and New York Times contributing columnist Timothy Egan tells Parade in a new cover story, out today. “And it’s only been a year.”

Parade asked authors, actors, activists and spiritual leaders to offer their thoughts on Pope Francis’s impact.

The welcomer of all

Christ was a man of the people… We religious leaders have a tendency of coming across holier and higher than others; we have to continually take steps to be accessible and sympathetic. The Pope [does] this. I think he’s imitating Jesus Christ. — Max Lucado, pastor of the evangelical Christian Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. 

Francis ruffled feathers in the Vatican when he [suggested] atheists could get into heaven. We atheists don’t believe in “heaven.” But there was a generosity of spirit in [his] saying it that signaled a new kind of pope. —Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d ever get to meet the Pope. He had such a warm handshake. I can’t say he’s darling—he’s the Pope! But he is lovely.—Philomena Lee, a survivor of Ireland’s corrupt, abusive Magdalene laundry system and the real-life inspiration behind the film Philomena, met Pope Francis at the Vatican in February.

The personality

One of the cutest things last year was when Pope Francis did that selfie with teenaged kids. The Church’s old pomp and ceremony had beauty, but was distancing. Pope Francis is down in the midst of us. —Actress and lifelong Catholic Roma Downey, producer of the film, Son of God.

He gives up the palace, he doesn’t wear fancy shoes, he says things you don’t expect a pope to say. He’s like your big brother or your dad. —Former altar boy Rep. Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.).

Pope Francis’s vigor, his happiness, his ability to mix with the people… His warmth shines through. —Proud Notre Dame alum and former daytime television host Regis Philbin. 

The champion of the poor

People recognize [the Pope] as a caring person fighting for the poor. For those of us working and living close to poverty, it’s like, “Oh, yeah. Francis is on our side.” —Paul Farmer, M.D., co-founder of the international health nonprofit Partners in Health.

The politician

To be a pope is also to be a politician. Francis is doing some rearranging, but he’s also capturing the heart of the world. Who can go against you if everyone loves you? The Pope’s charisma is not one of dazzle. It’s one of truth. —Rabbi David Wolpe, head rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.

The game-changer

For too long, popes have said, “My job is tough love.” Pope Francis is not about tough love. He’s about love. And he’s a visionary. If you spend all your time defending, you can’t be a visionary. [Pope Benedict] defended the Church. Francis is not. He’s embracing the culture.  —Frances Kissling, president of the Center for Health, Ethics and Social Policy.

I don’t think the Catholic Church will endorse same-sex unions [soon]. But I hope the Pope continues to speak out about equality, and that those conversations include LGBT people. —Matthew Breen, editor-in-chief of the LGBT rights periodical The Advocate, which made Pope Francis its 2013 ”Person of the Year.”

I’d like for Francis to tell women religious the same thing he told the religious leaders from Latin America: “Follow your mission, and don’t be afraid.”  —Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the Catholic social justice lobby Network.

I put this in my column: I have a friend who’s a Jesuit priest in Seattle, a pretty secular city. At the time of the sex abuse scandals, people there shunned him. Now they come up to hug him and say, “I’m not Catholic, but I want to say how much I love your pope.” That story is exactly what’s going on. Pope Francis hasn’t changed doctrine at all—but his leading by example has been so powerful. — Author and contributing New York Times columnist Timothy Egan.


Pope Francis: ‘Let Us Be Lights of Hope!’ Read His Inspiring Message

Categories: Entertainment

Read More Inspiring Excerpts from Pope Francis’s New Book

Sat, 4/19/2014 5:00 AM

In his new book, The Church of Mercy—a compilation of speeches, homilies, and writings collected from the first year of Pope Francis’s papacy—the pontiff outlines his vision for a Catholic Church dedicated, first and foremost, to serving those in need. Read five more exclusive passages from the book below.

Pope Francis on listening “to the cry of the poor”:

… I want a Church that is poor and for the poor. They have much to teach us. Not only do they share in the sensus fidei, but in their difficulties they know the suffering Christ. We need to let ourselves be evangelized by them. The new evangelization is an invitation to acknowledge the saving power at work in their lives and to put them at the center of the Church’s pilgrim way. We are called to find Christ in them, to lend our voice to their causes, but also to be their friends, to listen to them, to speak for them, and to embrace the mysterious wisdom that God wishes to share with us through them.

(Excerpted from Evangelii gaudium, one of Pope Francis’s first major writings as the leader of the Church, published on November 24, 2013.)

On building a “house of harmony”:

Let us think about the image of a symphony, which implies accord, harmony, various instruments playing together. Each one preserves its own unmistakable timbre, and the sounds characteristic of each blend together around a common theme. …

This is a beautiful image illustrating that the Church is like a great orchestra in which there is great variety. We are not all the same, and we do not all have to be the same. We are all different, varied, each of us with our own special qualities. And this is the beauty of the Church: everyone brings their own gift, which God has given, for the sake of enriching others.

(Adapted from the pope’s October 9, 2013 general audience at St. Peter’s Square.)

On forging a “commitment to peace”:

In the world, in society, there is little peace because dialogue is missing; we find it difficult to go beyond the narrow horizon of our own interests in order to open ourselves to a true and sincere comparison. Peace requires a persistent, patient, strong, intelligent dialogue by which nothing is lost. Dialogue can overcome war. Dialogue can bring people of different generations who often ignore one another to live together; it makes citizens of different ethnic backgrounds and of different beliefs coexist. Dialogue is the way of peace. For dialogue fosters understanding, harmony, concord, and peace. For this reason, it is vital that it grow and expand between people of every condition and belief, like a net of peace that protects the world and especially protects the weakest members.

(Adapted from the pope’s address at the International Meeting for Peace, sponsored by the Community of Sant’Egidio, a laypeople’s group, given in Rome on September 30, 2013.)

On inspiring a new generation of “priests who come to serve”:

Today I ask you in the name of Christ and the Church, never tire of being merciful. You will comfort the sick and the elderly with holy oil: do not hesitate to show tenderness toward the elderly. When you celebrate the sacred rites, when you offer prayers of praise and thanks to God throughout the hours of the day, not only for the people of God but for the world—remember then that you are taken from among men and appointed on their behalf for those things that pertain to God. Therefore, carry out the ministry of Christ the Priest with constant joy and genuine love, attending not to your own concerns but to those of Jesus Christ. You are pastors, not functionaries. Be mediators, not intermediaries.

(Adapted from the pope’s homily at the Vatican April 21, 2013.)

On eschewing “power, profit, and money” and remembering “the value of the human person”:

Today’s economic and social crisis … highlights even more clearly the truth and timeliness of affirmations of the social magisterium such as the one we read in Laborem exercens [by Pope John Paul II, 1981]: “As we view the whole human family . . . we cannot fail to be struck by a disconcerting fact of immense proportions: the fact that, while conspicuous natural resources remain unused, there are huge numbers of people who are unemployed or underemployed and countless multitudes of people suffering from hunger. This is a fact that without any doubt demonstrates that . . . there is something wrong” (no. 18).

Unemployment—the lack or loss of work—is a phenomenon that is spreading like an oil slick in vast areas of the West and is alarmingly widening the boundaries of poverty. Moreover, there is no worse material poverty, I am keen to stress, than the poverty that prevents people from earning their bread and deprives them of the dignity of work. Well, this “something wrong” no longer relates only to the South of the world but also to the entire planet. Hence the need to rethink solidarity no longer as simply assistance for the poorest, but as a global rethinking of the whole system, as a quest for ways to reform it and correct it in a way consistent with the fundamental rights of all human beings.

The current crisis is not only economic and financial but is rooted in an ethical and anthropological crisis. Concern with the idols of power, profit, and money, rather than with the value of the human person, has become a basic norm for functioning and a crucial criterion for organization. We have forgotten and are still forgetting that over and above business, logic, and the parameters of the market is the human being.

(Excerpted from Pope Francis’s address to the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation, a laypeople’s group, on May 25, 2013.)

Reprinted from The Church of Mercy, by Pope Francis, with permission from Loyola Press. To find out more about the book, visit PopeFrancis.LoyolaPress.com.


Pope Francis: ‘Let Us Be Lights of Hope!’ Read His Inspiring Message

Connie Schultz: Pope Francis Is ‘A Man of the People’

Categories: Entertainment

The Big Job of Creating ‘It’s a Small World’: A Tribute Gallery

Sat, 4/19/2014 5:00 AM

Come travel the world with us! Or at least imagine you’re doing so, thanks to Walt Disney and a team of ingenious designers who created the boat-trip-simulation “Small World” attraction fifty years ago, complete with an impossible-to-forget theme song. More than just a “ride,” it was a way to convey a powerful message in concert with sponsor UNICEF: That children of every nation—and thus all of us—have a lot in common, and we all need to just get along. Conceived for the New York World’s Fair of 1964, “Small World” was eventually installed at California’s Disneyland, then duplicated at multiple Disney parks around the planet. It now entertains guests at the Disneyland Resort in California, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France, and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.

Let’s see something of its genesis and evolution over the decades, shall we? Get your Tinkerbell fairy-dust ready, and start clicking…

Categories: Entertainment

Anna Quindlen on Writer’s Block and the Simple Secrets to a Long Marriage

Sat, 4/19/2014 5:00 AM

Anna Quindlen may have a Pulitzer Prize and a résumé full of best sellers, but she’s not above doing some channel-surfing, too. “I’m an inveterate TV watcher and needlepointer—simultaneously,” says the ­acclaimed author, 61, whose ­latest novel is Still Life With Bread Crumbs. “There’s so much good writing on television now: True Detective, Justified, The Good Wife, House of Cards.” Quindlen, who lives in New York City with her attorney husband, Gerald Krovatin, ­admits that most of her writing rituals “are designed to allow me not to write: power walking, newspapers, phone calls. But eventually I run out of other things to do.”

What was the first book you remember loving as a child?
Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. Jo March wants to be a writer and then becomes one. Enough said.

Still Life With Bread Crumbs has a reinvention theme. If you were to reinvent yourself, what other career ­would you like?
I always wanted to be a doctor. I drive my doctors crazy by self-diagnosing, but in my defense I’m nearly always right.

You were a newspaper reporter in New York in the ’70s. What’s your favorite memory of that period in your career?
When you’re a young ­re­porter, every moment is pretty indelible. Just taking the subway to a crime scene or a press conference or a community event was exciting because you never knew what would happen when you arrived. And, frankly, I was so green that I was always nervous about my ability to ­deliver the goods. I dictated a fair number of stories from phone booths on deadline. Boy, does that date me! Bottom line: I more or less loved it all.

Do you ever have writer’s block?
Some days I fear writing dreadfully, but I do it anyway. I’ve discovered that sometimes writing badly can eventually lead to something better. Not writing at all leads to nothing.
What’s your perfect Sunday?
I cook my husband a hot breakfast, and my kids if they’re around. I’m pretty famous in a small way (among my family) for my eggs Benedict, although now my daughter makes them just as well as I do. I pore over the newspapers on the couch, drink way too much coffee. Gerry and I usually take the dogs for a long walk. I don’t make dinner on Sundays; that’s takeout day around here. Chinese, Thai, pizza—you can get any kind of takeout in New York. I love food that someone else makes for me.

You and your husband have been together since college. What’s your secret?
I like to cook and he likes to eat. He likes to watch sports on television, and I like to let him do that while I read.

You’ve written a lot about your family in your columns. How do they feel about that?
All three of my children are ­writers of various kinds, so it can’t have been too terrible having a writer mother. Most of my ­columns about the kids were written before they learned to read, and that’s no accident. As they got older I let them vet anything I was writing about them. They never shut me down, perhaps because I was always editing myself with an eye toward protecting them from unnecessary exposure. Columns come and go. Your kids are forever.

Click here to read an excerpt from Still Life With Bread Crumbs.

And click here to get Anna’s eggs Benedict recipe.

Categories: Entertainment

How Green Day Brought Jamie Bell and Wife Evan Rachel Wood Together

Sat, 4/19/2014 5:00 AM

Q: How did Jamie Bell meet Evan Rachel Wood? —Nicole A., Norfolk, Va.

A: The 28-year-old star of AMC’s Revolutionary War drama Turn (Sundays) met Wood, 26, on a Green Day video shoot in 2005. They dated, split, then reunited, marrying in 2012. With a son born last July, they’re domestic now. “We’re not good tabloid fodder,” says Bell. “And I like that.”

Categories: Entertainment

Numbrix 9 – April 19

Sat, 4/19/2014 12:00 AM
Categories: Entertainment

What Size Easter Ham Do You Really Need to Buy?

Fri, 4/18/2014 6:53 PM

If you’re hosting Easter dinner for a crowd, you may wonder how much ham you’ll need to per person. Use the guidelines below to make sure you’ll have enough of the good stuff to go around:

If serving boneless ham, figure each person will eat about 1/4 to 1/3 pounds of ham. Here’s a general guide for how much boneless ham you’ll need per person, if everyone consumes 1/3 pounds:
4 people – 1.3 pounds
6 people – 2 pounds
12 people – 4 pounds

You may want to purchase a slightly heavier ham if you’re hoping for leftovers!

If serving bone-in ham, you’ll need to account for the weight of the bone in your calculations. Figure you’ll need about 1/3 to 1/2 pounds of meat per person. Based on everyone consuming 1/2 a pound, here’s how much you’ll need per guest:
4 people – 2 pounds
6 people – 3 pounds
12 people – 6 pounds

Again, you may want to buy a slightly larger ham to ensure you have plenty for everyone to take some home.

Get the recipe for our Maple-Bourbon Glazed Ham (pictured above) here. 

Categories: Entertainment

How to Make an Easter Bunny Cake

Fri, 4/18/2014 4:50 PM

It’s the cutest cottontail (cake) ever! Click here to see the cut-out pattern for this cake.

Categories: Entertainment

Greening the Nation’s Classrooms with School Gardens

Fri, 4/18/2014 3:30 PM

Ask Roxanne Maietta Weinberg what she likes about her school’s garden, and the 5th grader’s emphatic response is: “Everything.”

“We go outside and learn about plants and their lifecycle, and I love getting dirty when we weed and clean out the pathways,” says the student at Tustin Memorial Academy Elementary School (TMA) in Tustin, Calif. of the school’s garden that involves all 700 students. “We compost and don’t use pesticides, and it’s so fascinating to me when the plants we grew make delicious and healthy vegetables we can eat.”

See Kids From 48 States With the Giant Cabbages They Grew

Growing gardeners who understand good nutrition and the importance of being responsible stewards to the environment was the goal of the TMA garden’s creators, including Roxanne’s mother and garden co-chair, Marci Maietta Weinberg.

”My hope was for the students to learn that what they choose to put in their mouths has a profound effect on the health of themselves and our world,” says Weinberg. The goal of the TMA garden program, which features regular participation by every child in the school, is to reinforce lessons taught in class. Since the TMA garden broke ground in 2008, science and math scores at the school have steadily risen.

School gardens are so effective at enhancing education, because they are outdoor, hands-on learning labs, says Mark Hay, founder and director of Coast Live Oak School based in Orange County, California. He instructs the 150 parents involved in the TMA program on teaching students worm composting.

“Gardening is a learning laboratory, just like computer lab,” says Hay. “By physically touching the plants and participating in activities such as maintaining worm bins, lessons in science and math come to life.”

Tara Fisher-Muñoz and Dianna Gielstra are co-chairs of the Green Team PTA, Wells Branch Elementary, in North Austin, Texas, which features an active school garden. Their goals echo TMA’s.

Kristine Rohm Immanuel Lutheran Preschool. (Kristine Rohm)

“School gardens help connect kids to nature and teach them to be stewards of the environment,” says Fisher-Muñoz. “Children witness lifecycles from seed to harvest, and in doing so, they learn so much about the world around them. Taste-tests in the garden allow them to experience food fresh and raw, before any dressing touches it, and they learn how such super foods fuel their bodies, offering strength and energy. The garden curriculum also encourages being active.”

In the District of Columbia, there are more than 90 active school gardens throughout all eight wards, says Ayan Islam, communications and legislative affairs specialist with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), which is charged with raising the quality of education for all DC residents.

The District’s School Gardens Program was established through the D.C. Healthy Schools Act (2010) and is a component of the Division of Wellness and Nutrition Services at the OSSE, which along with community groups, like DC Greens, assists schools in building and maintaining school gardens and provides training for teachers on how to use them as teaching tools.

“School gardens are a valuable benefit in driving school culture and increasing academic achievement,” says Superintendent Jesús Aguirre about the School Gardens Program. “Our effort is to expose our students to green school environments and to provide more teaching and learning experiences around healthy living for our students, as well as the needed resources to increase academic productivity. With the DC School Gardens Program, we can ensure our students have access to quality education, as well as healthy meals.”

There’s no need to wait for kindergarten for kids to experience the educational benefits of school gardens. Gardening and the many learning opportunities the activity offers can be experienced at a young age, says early childhood educator Kristine Rohm, preschool director for Immanuel Lutheran Church and Preschool in Orange, Calif., which has a school garden that consists of 13 raised beds.

“Children learn best through hands-on activities that are meaningful to them, and the school garden is the perfect avenue for learning this way,” she says. “Art, language arts, math, science, and nutrition can all be taught through garden activities. By introducing gardening to children at a young age, we hope to establish a life-long love of caring for our earth, food, and bodies.”

Considering how eagerly little hands reach for the strawberries, radishes, and carrots in the preschool garden, it’s a pretty safe bet that good eaters and budding gardeners have been born.

Categories: Entertainment

Discovering the Path Toward Quality Recovery After Trauma

Fri, 4/18/2014 3:00 PM

What is “trauma” exactly? By superficial definition, trauma might appear easily defined as injury that occurs from an external force. Trust me—there is nothing easy about defining trauma or recovering from it, but there is great opportunity for quality recovery.

It is a serious subject—before we discuss living on the lighter side of trauma, let me share a few details that might be helpful. Trauma is a term that seems to be prevalent in media today, drawing our attention to how much trauma is a part of the life process. It can be found everywhere, in some capacity, in our immediate families, local, state, federal and international communities.

Here is what I know: Trauma happens in an instant. It is unexpected, devastating, and life altering. If we are not victims ourselves, many of us know someone who has experienced a traumatic experience. It effects the entire family dynamic. Trauma claims many victims and takes many forms. A car crash, burning inferno, plane crash, accident on the job, a gun shot, explosion, a catastrophic fall, an incident of war, train crash, tsunami, earthquakes, rape, domestic violence, hurricane, tornado, etc. Sometimes survivors don’t even remember the moment of impact and sometimes all they can remember is waking up in the hospital with their lives irrevocably changed. Permanent or semi-permanent spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, amputation, disfigurement, disability and a long and difficult process of recovery are often results of trauma.

Trauma does not discriminate. No matter the gender, age, religion, rich, poor, ethnicity, culture or geographical region, it can and does happen to many of the human race of this planet. These types of trauma often require re-invention or re-creation of self as one is never quite the same physically, mentally and emotionally. As importantly, it requires compassionate understanding and non discrimination from the unaffected public even if you don’t fully understand it. “Normal” becomes a misnomer and one begins to understand that everything in life is interpretive to the context and then that is always changing. During this interruption of your former ‘normal,’ you might find time changes. Time stops and is measured differently. It becomes a place of space in which to heal, assimilate and to grow into a new birthing of existence and definition of life.

One learns that not everyone processes trauma in the same way. It is important to respect an individual or culture’s process of recovering from trauma as long as it is humane and appropriate and does not harm another. It takes all the tools in the tool box to survive and heal from these types of trauma; beginning with first responders and all the subsequent teams of human beings made of ER trauma doctors, primary care physicians, integrative medical practitioners, psychologists, psychiatrists, surgeons, physical therapists, artists, the love and care of family, friends, volunteers, and the community at large. And they should be driven by the main ingredients of compassion, respect and kindness for the integrity of the human beings involved.

As you can see, it truly takes a village to recover from trauma. We are all interconnected like invisible cosmic dust particles of the universe that come together and form a web—a web and network of human beings and the social condition on which the fragile process of life plays itself out.

Did you know that you hold the secret ingredient of quality healing? What is the secret ingredient? You know it! We all know it. It is deep inside each and every one of us already. Often we seem to undervalue and disregard it because it is so obvious and frequently taken for granted.

Traumatic experiences bring the obviousness of this secret ingredient and our responsibility to it, front and center again. The secret ingredient is the power of Love; unconditional sacred agape Love, embracing the brokenness of ourselves and each other. Love, the healing glue that serves all; reminding us, we are not alone. Whether you are spiritual, religious, atheist, or agnostic—the connection is there. Love does not have a shelf life. It heals, binds and combines in acceptance of our imperfections like the mystery of quantum physics.

The second secret ingredient in healing from trauma is the attitude of gratitude. Gratitude for compassionate human assistance and the overwhelming humbling that comes from knowing that you are loved and accepted for all that you are, brokenness and all. We find we are empowered by this understanding that again combines like cosmic dust forces to create a web of determination and fortitude of the spirit in the individual themselves. Spirit and the desire to overcome in the human being is an indomitable force. The third secret ingredient is laughter.

An ability to see the absurdity and irony in your cycle of life destruction and rebirth is paramount to the emotional cell release of the trauma. There are many colorful, poignant, insightful, funny and ironic twists of life revealed about the human condition during healing. All the must-dos, the must-haves and the forced-tos become inconsequential after surviving serious trauma. What is the alternative? The unmentionable—death? Yes, that is the alternative. That’s it! So, maybe we survived the last round and what did we learn? We learned that there are no must-dos , or have-tos, except loving yourself and others with deep integrity and respect. One might also hope for a deeper intangible understanding of the all encompassing unknowables of the universe.

Celebrate like your life depends on it, drinking in love, joy and friendships as your intoxicants, respect the many blessings in your life, challenge your limitations without exhausting the quality of your spirit and resonate with the peace that is present if you listen ever so closely.

In 2008, Laura Sharp sustained near-fatal injuries in a helicopter crash that killed three other passengers. She will be sharing more about her outlook on recovery and exploring the healing processes for trauma survivors in her column for Parade.com.  Learn about her foundation, Artists for Trauma, which pairs recovering patients with established artists from various disciplines.

Categories: Entertainment

10 Fool-Proof Tips for Making Perfect Meringues

Fri, 4/18/2014 2:52 PM

“How you like your meringues is a very personal subject,” writes Amber Rose in her cookbook  Love, Bake, Nourish. The New Zealand native chef hails from a land famous for the pavlova, a meringue dessert topped with cream and fresh seasonal fruit. “I like them a bit chewy, while others like them to be crisp and crunchy.” She notes for larger meringue, such as a pavlova, the longer it should bake in the oven. However, once it’s cooked, you may leave it in the oven overnight to cool.

While creating the perfect crispy-chewy meringue can be a tricky task affected by several factors, follow Rose’s advice below to whisk your way to success:

1. Always use a spotlessly clean bowl, completely free from grease (use 1/2 lemon, rub the cut side around the bowl, and then wipe dry with paper towels).

2. Use a metal, glass, or ceramic bowl. It’s best to use an electric mixer.

3. Always ensure the bowl and the whisk are completely dry; meringues do not like water, not one drop.

4. Add cider vinegar for chewiness.

5. Add cornstarch for a crispy outer layer.

6. Add the sugar very, very slowly. The process should take about 10 minutes, whisking all the time: prepare to be very patient and don’t rush it.

7. All the ingredients should be at room temperature, especially the eggs.

8. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper not waxed paper, otherwise the meringue will stick.

9. If the edges of the paper won’t lie flat, glue them down with a little of the meringue. If you only have waxed paper, very lightly oil it.

10. If you are baking more than one large meringue at a time in the oven, move the meringues from one oven rack to another so that the top and bottom of each meringue is evenly baked and all sides become crispy.

Click here to get Amber Rose’s Rose Water and Pistachio Pavlova with Strawberries (pictured below.)

Ali Allen (Ali Allen)
Categories: Entertainment

A Heavenly Naturally Gluten-Free Spring Pavlova

Fri, 4/18/2014 2:14 PM
Ali Allen (Ali Allen)

Traditionally topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream, the pavlova is an airy meringue cake created in honor of Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova during her tour of New Zealand and Australia in 1926. While it’s unclear which of the two nations can lay claim to the dessert’s creation, one thing is certain – it’s an elegant, naturally gluten-free dessert perfect for special occasions.

In this particular recipe, from New Zealand native chef Amber Rose’s cookbook Love, Bake, Nourish, vibrant strawberries, rose water, and a scattering of fragrant, fresh rose petals elevate this dessert to a confection worthy of a memorable celebration feast.

While some meringues are firm and crisp all the way through, the meringue of a pavlova should be crisp on the outside and as soft and chewy as fresh marshmallows on the inside. To achieve this duality, one must beat the egg whites to stiff peaks before adding sugar, then add a splash or two of vinegar which–through the magic of science–lends the pav (as it’s often affectionately called) its chewy inner texture, while the addition of cornstarch to ensures a crisp, crackled outer layer.

Click here for Amber Rose’s 10 fool-proof tips for making perfect meringue. 

Categories: Entertainment