Italian Easter Buona Pasqua!

Posted by on Mar 31, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Cuzzupe di Pasqua – Easter Bread with Colored Eggs   Growing up Italian, every day in the kitchen was a special occasion, especially at Easter time!! Everybody in our family baked a sweet bread that we called cuzzupe, more known in Region of Calabria. These symbolic breads are decorated with whole eggs still in the shell. The eggs are nestled into the surface of the dough, held in place with criss-crossed strips of dough, representing the crucifix, and baked along with the bread. These decorative breads, symbols of Christ’s resurrection, are given to children, with boys receiving a braided loaf and girls a loaf in the shape of a doll. My Nonna used to bake these breads every year when we lived in Calabria and my Mamma continued this tradition in Canada every since. My job was making sure everyone was assigned a cuzzupa. I always looked forward to my “pupa” (“doll”) at Easter time. In fact, Pupa is what I call my daughter Sofia, because she is my sweet doll. So this week  I started talking about this lost tradition and it excited me up to bake these breads for my kids.  Here is a recipe that is easy to follow. Buona Pasqua!   Cucina di Calabria by Mary Amabile Palmer, Faber and Faber, Inc. 1999 Adapted by StarChefs Yield:8 ServingsIngredients: 4 Tablespoons sweet butter, at room temperature ½ cup sugar ½ teaspoon salt 1 egg ½ cup milk 1 teaspoon lemon extract 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 8 eggs, hard-boiled and colored Method: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In the bowl of a mixer, cream the butter with the sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Gradually add egg, milk, and lemon extract. Mix well. Stir in the flour and baking powder and mix until smooth. For a ring, remove the dough from the bowl to a floured surface. Cut away ¼ of the dough and set aside. Shape the remaining dough in a large enough to hold 8 eggs. Pinch the edges together. Place the ring on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Press the eggs gently into dough. Roll out the reserved dough and cut into 16 strips. Cross 2 strips over each egg to form a cross, pressing the edges into the bottom dough. Brush the strips with melted butter. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until the ring is medium to golden brown and cooked through.  ...

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We’re Engaged!!! Tips for announcing your engagement

Posted by on Mar 31, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

When you get engaged, everyone will want to know (and you’ll probably want to shout it from the nearest mountain top), but having individual conversations with every person in your life can be logistically impossible. Here are some strategies to avoid the announcement chaos.    1. Tell your family first. You should share your happy news with each of your parents first. You can host a family dinner or make an announcement at a family gathering, but you should tell them in person, preferably when the family is all together. You’ll want to call or meet with close friends to share the good news as well, especially if you want them to stand up in your wedding, but your family should be the first to know. 2. Tell the masses in a fun, easy way. For all of your potential guests, whether they’re friends or college roommates or work colleagues, it’s perfectly acceptable to make the announcement digitally. Send out a mass email or mass text, or post the announcement on Facebook or Twitter. You even could change your voicemail message to something along the lines of, “We can’t answer the phone right now—we’re busy getting engaged!” 3. Keep your engagement about you and your partner. As excited as you are about your engagement, and as eager as you are to spread the joy of your announcement, you don’t want to take time away from your actual engagement. Keeping your announcement simple will save you time, energy and money—not to mention help you avoid those awkward “Why didn’t you tell me?” calls. Thanks to social networks and modern technology, letting everyone know about your engagement doesn’t have to take more than a few clicks of a mouse, and you can spend the rest of the time focusing on your engagement with the person you plan on sharing your future...

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Become Still

Posted by on Mar 22, 2013 in Blog, Education | 0 comments

Today’s Inspirational Quote: “What you seek already resides deep within you” – VISCA    Moments of peak performance must be balanced with times of deep renewal.  We are all going through life at higher speeds, taking on more and being more for others. So how do you find yourself within this sea of chaos?  Remember, you are a ‘human being’ not a ‘human doing’.  You are here NOW in this very moment, and this is where and how you will find yourself and create your life, but it starts NOW. When you spend more time being present and less time focused on doing you will receive what you seek.  Here is the thing, it makes no difference how much you do or how fast you do it if you’re heading in the wrong direction!   So, let’s slow life down together and help one another find ourselves in the present moment.  When you slow life down in this manner to be present, you are actually putting yourself on the path that you were meant to experience.  This is where your true power lives and where you will find the peace that you are seeking.  When you relax your mind, you can see what the enlightened ones see…that the 1,000 mile journey always starts with the first step.  Another expression for this is called ‘mind – full – ness’,  the art of emptying your mind so you can remove the energy of fear.  The most efficient way to enter this state of consciousness is to practice stillness every morning and make it a powerful success habit.  The most successful people make time for the really powerful stuff and stilling your mind every morning through consistent meditation will help you find the order in the chaos. Sohere are some tips to get you started: Avoid watching news or stimulating your mind before bed. Upon drifting asleep, express tremendous gratitude for the events of the day. Wake up 30 minutes earlier, drink a full glass of water and sit in complete stillness for 10 – 15 minutes breathing and focusing on doing nothing and being nothing.  This stillness exercise is part of my daily ‘hour of power’ ritual.  You can download two of my recent visualization messages as part of my 11 day visualization series at: Part 1: Why do we need to Visualize? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q2sx74Mqp0&list=UUlFHWpjqjfqw3jWR4pMk24Q&index=2 Part 2: The 3 stages of Stillness...

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Gay Weddings are legal in Canada!

Posted by on Mar 6, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

I remember when Same-sex marriages became legal in British Columbia in 2003.  We were thrilled to be able to plan so many of our couples special day and celebrate with them. We had clients travel from all over North America to Vancouver with family and friends to witness and support this monumental moment. Fast forward to 2013, I have the pleasure of working with Bernadette Coveney Smith, of the Gay Weddings Institute to co-sponsor with the Association of Bridal Consultants, Canada to bring her certification course here to Edmonton, Alberta on March 22, 2013. Bernadette Coveney Smith had a vision to help gay and lesbian couples create beautiful and meaningful weddings.  14 Stories was the first firm in the nation specializing in planning legal same-sex weddings and the Gay Wedding Institute continues to be a national thought leader, researcher and educator on gay and lesbian weddings. “Gay Weddings are big business – and they are legal in Canada! But to reach this powerful and lucrative gay and lesbian wedding market, you need to be ready. Gay weddings are different and they are very good for business. According to Travel Gay Canada (TGC), gay Canadians show a market size of $7 billion annually. That’s big business, and same-sex couple throw fabulous weddings! You don’t want to lose business or risk offending potential clients!” says Bernadette. Here are some details about the course: Gay Wedding Institute Certification Course – Edmonton Alberta, Canada Friday, March 22, 2013 9am-3:30pm Topics covered include: The Financial impact of the gay and lesbian wedding market Language and terminology Differences between straight and gay weddings; Marketing to engaged same-sex couples Same-sex wedding traditions and much, much more. To register for the Friday, March 22 workshop from 9 AM-3:30 PM  go to: http://gayweddinginstitute-alberta.eventbrite.com/ Please note: a minimum of 15 people must be achieved to successfully run this program. This intensive and interactive workshop will include light refreshments and lunch, a packet of materials and tons of great ideas to reach this powerful market. I look forward to working with Bernadette and  to continue to educate and build awareness in our industry.  See you then!...

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