Carla Hall knows her way around the kitchen. The co-host of The Chew recently spoke with Celebrity Parents Magazine about her new partnership with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! and Country Crock, getting kids into the kitchen early, and the three things that every person should know how to cook.
Let’s talk about your partnership with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! and Country Crock.
I’ve been working mainly with Country Crock Original, but then these new products rolled out, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Deliciously Simple and Country Crock Simply Delicious, and honestly, both are simply amazing. They have no artificial preservatives and they have ingredients that people can recognize when they read the label on the back.
That’s great because people are wary to buy products with ingredients that they can’t pronounce.
Exactly. And as a parent, you want to make sure that your family is eating healthy.
How are you incorporating them into your own cooking?
I have to eat out a lot, but when I am at home, I eat more light. I eat more vegetables. I use the Country Crock Simply Delicious in casseroles and the topping in my pan for baking. It’s also great for a quick sauté. I am not going to say that I don’t use butter, but I do use both. The one thing that I like about it is that since it has yogurt, it has a nice tang to it. When I was at the Food & Wine Festival, we were showing the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Deliciously Simple with pancakes and sautéed apples, which is so delicious and so light. It’s even great cold with herbs in it.
That’s a great point. Everything tastes good warm, but the real test is the next day, when the dish is cold, and how it holds up.
That’s right. And I think it’s because the simple ingredients speak to what’s in the product and how it is delicious cold or warm.
So how is everything going at The Chew?
Everything is going amazing. We’re in our third season; the ratings are off the charts. Our new cookbook, The Chew: What’s For Dinner?, came out a while ago and it’s doing well. It already beat the sales for the first cookbook. People come up to me and say, “The fun that you’re all having on the show is infectious and it makes me want to cook.” I think that is how a lot of people get into the kitchen, because of the fun and the socialization that happens there. That’s why some people cook now whereas they didn’t before. When they say that we have made it approachable, that’s exactly why I wanted to do the show.
I think the kitchen is the bonding spot for families.
Absolutely. Bringing your kids into the kitchen early on makes it a part of their lives. And if you use simple, approachable recipes, it makes it all doable.
Since you’re a chef, I think most people would assume that you’re whipping up amazing meals at home.
Yes, people assume that I cook at home, but I cook at the office and I have a husband who cooks at home. We make it work; he is so supportive. My stepson, Noah, doesn’t like to cook, but since my husband and I do, it’s okay. But I have told Noah that he needs to know how to do three major things.
Which are what?
You need to know how to roast a chicken, you need to know how to do a good soup, and how to do a great breakfast. Those three things will help you get through.
That, and Country Crock and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!
Another glass of milk. One more bedtime story. Sure, kids can stall when it comes to bedtime, but irregular bedtimes can lead to a larger problem. In a new study in Pediatrics, it found that as children progressed through early childhood without a regular bedtime, their behavior worsened. However, children who switched to a more regular bedtime had clear improvements in their behavior. Not having a regular bedtime could affect children’s behavior by disrupting circadian rhythms, and by the harm that sleep deprivation causes to the developing brain. So make sure that your kids get to bed at the same time consistently each night, and you'll all have sweet dreams.
Four beloved My Little Pony films are returning to DVD when the My Little Pony: Classic Movie Collection is released by Shout! Factory Kids in collaboration with Hasbro Studios. The 2-disc set contains the films Princess Promenade, Runaway Rainbow, Dancing In The Clouds, and Friends Are Never Far Away.
In the highly popular Princess Promenade,Wysteria is beaming with pride! Her gardens are in bloom, her little Breezie friends are in town, and it’s time for Ponyville’s fanciest spring parade, the ultimate celebration of flowers! But things don’t go according to plan when Wysteria accidentally awakens Spike the Dragon, a sleepy, silly, 1,000-year-old dragon! For you see, legend holds that when a dragon is awakened, a new princess is about to be crowned! But who is the Princess of Ponyville?
If it’s all about rainbows it must be about Rainbow Dash. And it is. In Runaway Rainbow, Rainbow Dash loves the time of year when Ponyville and Breezie Blossom are all about celebrating rainbows. Meanwhile, in a new magical place called Unicornia, Rarity is being taught how to be a Unicorn Princess and the importance of making the first rainbow of the season. But Rarity embarks on an incredible ride that includes a magic wand, falling through the clouds right into the middle of Breezie Blossom, a visit to Ponyville, meeting Spike the Dragon, and a huge adventure as she tries to get back to Unicornia. She soon realizes that getting home in time to create the first rainbow of the season is not an easy thing to do - but it is fun!
In Dancing In The Clouds, the Friendship Ball is coming up, and Twinkle Twirl needs to come up with a special dance. A roller coaster ride with friends makes her feel like she’s “dancing in the clouds,” so Sky Wishes helps her make an extra special wish to come up with a dance to make everyone feel that way.
In Friends Are Never Far Away, good friends Sky Wishes and Starcatcher the Pegasus want all of their friends in Ponyville and Butterfly Island to meet. Pegasus ponies are very shy however, so the two plan a special party with music, games and a Pegasus-favorite, ice cream. The party planning doesn’t go so smoothly, but it’s quite an adventure!
The My Little Pony brand has been beloved for three decades, and is now more popular than ever. My Little Pony: Classic Movie Collection features 180 minutes of classic My Little Pony fun! ($14, amazon.com).
Let’s be honest with ourselves: we’re likely to overindulge this holiday season. Studies show that though the average holiday weight gain is minimal, the extra pounds are likely to stick with us for life. Renowned health and fitness expert Denise Austin shows us how this year can be different with her latest book, Side Effect: Skinny, filled with her best get-fit tips ever!
Side Effect: Skinny is packed with the absolute best of Austin’s proven techniques to blast fat, slim down, and, yes, look your best by the holidays. From sneaky workouts (work your abs while you’re stuck in traffic, your legs while you cook up a healthy dinner, and your arms while doing some shopping) to fail-proof meal plans and her own family’s favorite recipes, Austin shows readers how positive, nutritious, delicious, and life-changing the side-effects of getting healthy can be ($19, amazon.com).
I’m not even going to intro this. I’m going to let this video speak for itself.
When I first saw Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Volvo commercial, I thought, “Wow, he looks great. Is he on two beds?” And then the camera panned back and, well, the rest is viral video history.
The commercial is epic—as well as JCVD’s infamous split—but what is even more poignant here is the message. The human spirit is unbreakable, and if you want to do a perfect split between two reversing Volvo trucks, well, you can.
Sure, doing a perfect split between two huge trucks might not float your boat, but it’s still amazingly inspiring stuff. After all, there are very few humans on the planet who can pull off a stunt like that—and fewer who could survive it.
And there’s only one who was brave enough to do it.
So think of the things in your life that are like that commercial. What seems absolutely impossible to almost everyone, including yourself, but is something that you really, truly want to do?
What is your Epic Split?
Most likely, you already know what it is. It is the whispering that won’t go away. It is that crazy little dream that is meant just for you. Pursue it. Don’t let it die.
Be like The Muscles from Brussels and perform the seemingly impossible. You can. You have to. After all, there is NOTHING you can’t do. The only thing getting in the way of your success is…you.
So get out of your own way and realize your dream now. It’s only time.
Let's face it: Fall and winter weather can wreak a stinky havoc on your home. But now you can breathe in beautifully scented air with the delicious fall scents from Colonial Candle. You can choose from an autumnal scent such as Teakwood & Amber, or make your home smell delicious with scents like Spiced Apple Toddy, Hazelnut Latte or Cinnamon Truffle. The candles have a clean-burning wick, offering hours of spot-on scents to make your home look--and smell--beautiful (retailers nationwide).
Cooking during the holidays can be quite chaotic. So simplify your baking experience by using the ready-made mixes from Krusteaz. Apart from their yummy pancake and waffle mixes, they have some amazing flavors for fall, including the Light & Fluffy Pumpkin Spice Pancake mix for a better breakfast.
You can even surprise your kiddos with a fun afterschool snack by whipping up a batch of the Pumpkin Pie Bar mix or, swoon, the Krusteaz Molten Deep Dish Chocolate Cookie Mix. And with such decadent flavors, your family will never know that it came from a mix (retailers nationwide).
The holidays are all about gifts, giving thanks...and taking photos of it all. Give your holiday pics a new home rather than staying stuck in your camera with the Verbatim Store 'N Go Portable Hard Drive. With transfer speeds up to 10 times faster, the ultra thin (and ultra cute!) hard drive has a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 for lightening fast transfers of your precious photos, videos, music and other data. It even has a Nero BackItUp & Burn Essentials software that allows for a full system backup and restore function. But the best part is that the external hard drive comes in fabulous colors such as Hot Pink, Caribbean Blue and Piano Black for stylish--and safe--storage ($70, amazon.com).
Your hubby comes home and tells you that he got a sweet raise. Or your kid’s teacher personally emails you to let you know what a great kid you’ve got. You’re rocking your size 4 jeans again.
Life is good. And you’re grateful.
When things are going great, it’s easy to be full of happy feelings.
But what about when they’re not?
What if you are divorced with kids, and alone, wondering if you’ll ever find love again? Or you’re taking care of an aging—and very ill—parent? Or your child gets detention—again? During those difficult times, it’s much harder to be grateful for what’s happening in your life—or, more to the point, what’s not.
What is crucial to keep in mind is that difficult periods in your life are just that—moments in time. They are never meant to harm you; rather, they are meant to shape you into who you are supposed to become. These are the moments of character-building, of building strength and resilience.
These are the moments to build happiness.
Sure, it seems a contradiction in terms, but you can—and must—find happiness during those dark days. Simply putting your head down, trudging through your life and expecting things to change on their own is a fool’s game. Nothing will get better unless you make it better. You must find those seconds to smile in the face of some of the worst adversities of your life. You must reach out and help someone else, even when you are the one most in need of assistance.
It is not about faking it until you feel it. After all, you and your body are one, and faking a smile when you don’t feel it only means that you are lying to yourself. Finding happiness—and yes, gratitude—means being acutely aware of every single good little thing in your life. It may be something as simple as enjoying your first cup of coffee in the morning, or something as grand as your kids’ clean bill of health. There are moments and pockets of joy in your everyday life. You may not recognize it at first.
But it’s there.
So look for every bit of happiness in your life. Do not let it go. Hold onto it. It is yours. Soak up the joy and you will discover something miraculous. Joy begets more joy, and soon, before you know it, you will be awash in happiness. You will think that happiness has finally arrived.