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!
[laughs] Of course!
|VOL V, ISSUE XXXV
||CELEBRITY PARENTS MAGAZINE
|MOMS WE LOVE
||SONIA KANG OF MIXED UP CLOTHING
||SEAN KANAN'S RECIPE
||NEW STUDY ON GUN VIOLENCE
||WHAT NOT TO GIVE YOUR PETS TO EAT THIS THANKSGIVING
||HOW TO SET YOUR THANKSGIVIN TABLE
||HOW TO DRESS FOR A HOLIDAY PARTY
||THE BEST WAY TO APPLY MASCARA
||IS SEXTING CHEATING?
||MEANINGFUL THANKSGIVING CRAFTS
||PACHAS PAJAMAS: A STORY WRITTEN BY NATURE
||LIGHT UP LINKS
||TRANSFORMERS PRIME: SEASON THREE--BEAST HUNTERS
||HOW TO ADOPT AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
||WHY SINGING TO YOUR BABY HELPS BOTH OF YOU
|COOKING WITH THE KIDDOS
||REVAMPING THANKSGIVING LEFTOVERS
||BLACK FRIDAY APPS
|AT THE OFFICE
||WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR BOSS ASKS FOR YOUR FACEBOOK PASSWORD
||EMOJI ICONS--BRACELETS AND CELL PHONE CASES
||WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR SPENDING STYLES CLASH
Daytime soap opera fans rejoice! This week's cover celeb is the gorgeous Sean Kanan. Sean has starred on daytime soaps such as General Hospital (as A.J. Quartermaine), and on The Bold and the Beautiful (as Deacon Sharpe) as well as The Young and the Restless. Read this week's exclusive cover story with Sean, where we talk about parenting, being a gentleman, and how to keep the passion alive in a marriage!
Being a Southern girl at heart, actress Tess Broussard loves all things fried. "I'm from the south, so this is a tasty dish that I find comforting and delicious. Fried chicken is a family staple in general in our home." Instead of packing on the fats by frying, you can oven bake this chicken to score the same great deep fried taste.
Oven Fried Chicken
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup crushed buttery round cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
ground black pepper to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. Place eggs and cracker crumbs in two separate shallow bowls. Mix cracker crumbs with garlic salt and pepper. Dip chicken in the eggs, then dredge in the crumb mixture to coat.
3. Arrange coated chicken in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Place pieces of butter around the chicken.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Tess Broussard may be a Southern belle, but she is certainly no shrinking violet. As the co-star on Comedy Central’s hit show, Kroll Show, Tess handles herself like a lady—while still being dishing out the laughs. We spoke exclusively with the soft-spoken actress about pursuing your passion, what it’s really like to be a single mom, and why it can be fun to die—twice.
Let’s talk about your background, Tess.
I’m Chinese, Hawaiian and French. My Dad is Cajun; my parents met when my mom was in Europe modeling. They were married three months later.
Were you always into performing?
I would perform in high school and I loved it. I was also always a fitness buff. In high school I majored in every sport imaginable. I could bounce a quarter off of any part of my body. I was doing a lot of fitness and swimsuit modeling while I was at Pepperdine University.
I got an agent and she wanted me to go to acting school because I had a really thick southern accent. I was booking commercials and then got involved with Playboy. I was a Playboy model and I did a lot of their movies, too. It was an amazing experience. I got a part on the series, V. R. Troopers, and that was super fun too. I had too many broken bones from sparring and getting my butt kicked, so I didn’t do it after that. I did more hostessing work, and I did The Man Show with Jimmy Kimmel. Little by little I got to say more and more lines, which made me so happy!
Now let’s talk about you being on the Kroll Show.
I tried out for this show called Kroll Show. I wrote my own script and then I went really big with my audition. I got the part and I was so excited. I got called back to come back and be a regular on the show, playing Nick Kroll’s wife, Shannon. It’s a very dysfunctional family, to say the least.
You’re going into your third season now, right?
Yes, I have been on for two seasons and going into the third. In the second season, I get killed, two ways. The first way is violently by Dr. Armand because I had a relationship with his son! Oops me. [laughs] And then I die another way, too. But the juicy parts are so much fun.
So what is it like being a single mom?
It’s been a true delight. I did a lot of things that I wanted to do when I was younger. I had my daughter later on in life and now I can devote my time to her. It works for me. I don’t know what it would be like to have a husband and work together to raise a kid. I’m so used to being a single mom and I honestly love it.
You’re mom and dad.
That’s true. I’m very involved in her school. I am such a nerd. I love volunteering at her school’s library. She loves it because when I go to see her at lunch she runs up to me and hugs me. She likes to go shopping with me, too. We have a lot of fun together. She’ll even do the red carpet with me!
I have my kids with me a lot, too. It’s good for kids to see their moms working and doing something that they love, so they get the idea that work can fulfill you in a whole other way that doesn’t relate to them.
I think it’s great that you bring your kids with you. And I absolutely agree; with the way everything is today, your kids do become a part of your work life. I want to be a role model for my daughter, to encourage her to follow her dreams and make them a reality. Just like her mom did.
||CELEBRITY PARENTS MAGAZINE
|MOMS WE LOVE
||THE PERFECT DOG
||TESS BROUSSARD'S RECIPE
||HOW TO GET THE SLEEP YOU NEED AT NIGHT
||WHY PETS MAKE GREAT READING PARTNERS FOR KIDS
||HOW TO SET A GREAT THANKSGIVING TABLE
||HOW TO PICK OUT THE PERFECT PONCHO
||ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK: MAKING ORANGE WORK FOR YOUR SKIN TONE
||THE POWER OF A SINGLE MOTHER
||THE DIRTY SOCKS COME CLEAN
||HOMEDICS SHIATSU PRO FOOT MASSAGER
||BARNEY-3 MOVIE PACK
||HOW TO (POLITELY) PREVENT PEOPLE FROM TOUCHING YOUR BABY
||BABY BRAIN AT WORK
|COOKING WITH THE KIDDOS
||GETTING YOUR KIDS INTO CRANBERRIES
|AT THE OFFICE
||HOW TO DEAL WITH A CATTY COWORKER
||NEW CABBAGE PATCH KIDS DOLLS
||HOW TO AVOID GOING INTO DEBT DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Whether you got to know them reading the books or watching
the TV show, Max & Ruby are undoubtedly two of the cutest characters in
kids’ literature. We spoke exclusively with Rosemary Wells, the author and
creator of Max & Ruby, about the importance of early children’s literacy,
why e-books will never replace the intimacy of a good book, and why it’s
important in any relationship for one person to be the kite and the other
person to hold the string.
As the creator of Max
& Ruby, could you ever have imagined the success of those two adorable
brother and sister bunnies?
Not at all. What’s important to note is that I write the
books and that’s where I feel the real Max and Ruby live. The show is nice and
wholesome, and for that reason, it’s good TV. That said, I think that children
watch entirely too much TV, and I greatly believe in encouraging kids to read.
The first five years of life are so important. The American Academy of
Pediatrics has stated that there should be no TV at all before the age of 2,
and after that, an hour a day which should be supervised. I understand that’s
very hard to do for a family that’s busy, but families were busy 50 years ago,
I would think that kids
who are watching the show would then be inspired to go out and read the books.
That’s what you hope. The readership of children’s books has
fallen greatly in the past few years. Our libraries do not have the funds to
supply their shelves with books. Books are expensive and people’s discretionary
income is not at all what it was before the recession. So children’s books, as
an industry, have begun to cycle way down. Publishing is having a very hard
time, between the government defunding all the book buying, and the population
not having money. Nonetheless, the children’s libraries have lots of books and
have story hours. Some parents feel uncomfortable reading to their children,
but a few visits to the library will cover that. There’s no better way to learn
to read English than to do it with children’s books, because it’s simple. You
can even just read the pictures.
But without the TV
You can’t have the TV as a background noise. There has to be
a family agreement to have it off so people can gather their thoughts. When
your child is six to seven months old, put him or her in your lap for 20
minutes, and enter that wonderful world. All you have to do is convey a love of
story. Books allow children to escape to another world, and nothing compares to
it. TV doesn’t engender the love that a parent’s voice can project to a child. It
becomes a real memory for a child.
When your children
get old enough to read by themselves, you feel that sense of loss.
Oh, but you never stop reading, and reading aloud. When you
have children of different ages, you always read to the oldest one. The little
ones listen up. When I write, I never write for a specified age level. I always
write for the most intelligent child, because I believe that the most
intelligent child can live in the South Bronx, in East L.A., or in the rural
hills of Kentucky. Children learn up; they don’t want to be spoken down to. If
you’re reading Treasure Island to a
room full of older children, believe that the three-year-old in the room is
With you as a mother
(and grandmother), I would assume that you are a rock star to your kids and
I have five granddaughters. They span from a year old to two
who are almost four, to nine-year-old twins. I have an awful lot of kids in my
life. And I just love it. But to them, I’m just Ohmie. When your children grow
up with anything—even if they have movie stars as parents—they take it for
granted. They never bat an eye.
That’s true. I’ve
taken my kids with me on some amazing shoots; they’ve met some of the most
interesting people today, and it doesn’t even faze them.
That’s a good thing. I will teach my grandchildren to draw
and they want to sharpen my pencils; they pay it no mind, as if I were a
housemaid. It means nothing to them. It’s healthy.
Sitting here in your
living room, there are so many beautiful books. Do you ever fear for the day
when there will be no more books in the traditional sense?
I don’t like reading books onscreen. Children’s books on
screen don’t work. They are too expensive to do. The publisher has to cherry
pick their list. If you give a Kindle or a Nook to a child, they just swipe and
they don’t read. The book has to be read to them. The voice can’t keep up and
it’s just a mish mosh. And animation is so expensive, so some of these books
have animation out of 1981, which is just terrible! Picture books on e-books are
not good, and it comes as a barrier between the parent and the child. I think
for emergencies and special situations it’s okay to take out your iPad but it’s
not a book. I don’t like reading that way.
It seems impersonal.
It does! However, I love books on tape. I’m a big fan of
audible books; they’re great for kids. You’re picturing and imagining, so the
child is still using his imagination.
I think the sliding
motion can never replace actually turning a page.
You know what it is? It’s a loss of intimacy. But Jennifer,
it’s the way of the world now. It’s very sad to me, too. We agree on that.
We should point out
that Max & Ruby are not the only characters you write about. You’ve also
written historical books as well as some new characters.
That’s right. Yoko is one of my absolute favorite
characters. I always say that my books are completely non-fiction. They are all
based on real incidents from my childhood or my children’s childhood. Yoko is
based on three little girls from the first grade in my daughter’s school. Now,
this was 35 years ago, before there were sushi restaurants anywhere! These
three little Japanese girls came in with bento boxes for lunch that their
mothers had made for them. The Americans kids would say, “Raw fish? Ew! Get me
out of there.” But there were three little girls, so they would laugh and go
home and not care. So Yoko illustrates what it is to be a writer. Telling the
story of the three kids makes no emotional impact at all. So I saw the teasing
and the bullying and the insensitivity, and I saw it had no effect. But then I
thought, “Ah! Suppose there was just one
little girl. How would she feel?” And that’s where you change reality to make a
greater reality. It becomes a question of what is it to be like to be teased
for your language, or your lunch or your clothing? Children as a group can very
often be ruthless and verging on a mob mentality. So Yoko is about being one,
and once I had one, I had a story.
There have been quite a number of Yoko books, and there’s
also Sophie. What she is Terrible Two’s. Every problem is a simple one; Granny
comes in and solves the problem. I try to make it funny as well as real.
There’s also Felix, a new series based on an old character, but I’ve made him
older. He’s in kindergarten now, and he has a best friend named Wendy. She is
everything he is not; she’s bossy and pushy, and Felix is a sweet, dear wuss.
She always saves him.
I love that! I love
that she saves him, and not the other way around.
She faces down the bullies. He is the temperate judge. In
every relationship, there is the kite and the holder of the string. Felix is
the holder of the string, and she is the kite. And that’s the way it should be
in every good relationship, whether it’s in real life or written in the pages
of a book.
Summer Sanders, Olympic Gold Medal winning swimmer, will be
running in the NYC Marathon November 3. She spoke about the balancing act that is
motherhood/athlete and the transition from champion swimmer to social runner.
ON PARENTING AND
“I don’t walk in
the door and let things slide just because I’ve been gone,” she says. ‘No, you
don’t get to eat extra candy or watch more TV.’ I don’t bring mom guilt home.”
ON RUNNING VS.
“I love running
because I can feel myself sweat, which was such a novel, amazing feeling I
didn’t get in the pool. Plus, I can talk. I used to chat with my (swimming)
teammates during kicking sets, and my coach would get mad and tell me I wasn’t
working hard enough."
Essentials that keep
Summer Sanders’s life on track:
Her Running Friends
“I’ve got three local
friends who really push me; I run at another level when I get to run with
“I take along a
Ziploc or two of cereal (or I’ll bring it in a travel coffee mug and buy milk
once I get through security). I also bring mixed roasted almonds and cashews
with dried cherries and blueberries for the plane.”
“I knew what one was
when I lived in California, but I truly discovered it when I moved to a cold
weather town. I make chili, chicken tortilla soup, spinach-sausage soup, and
other meals that can be prepped at 9 a.m.”
“Although we try to
have a Sunday night meeting to plan the upcoming week, (husband) Erik
and I rely on our iCal. We program everything in there, whether it’s a ski
practice or a gymnastics meet, and just trust that we are paying attention to the
Courtesy: Runner's World
Dominique Dawes is inspiring kids to stay healthy—and
active. The Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics is now a co-chair for the President’s
Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, where she motivates kids to eat
healthier foods and focus on an active lifestyle. We spoke exclusively with
Dominique about keeping kids moving and the multiple benefits of exercise.
What has life been
like after retiring from the Olympics?
After I retired from my third Olympics in 2000, I did a lot
of motivational speaking. It’s something that I’ve been doing for 16 years now.
I’m passionate about impacting others in a positive way, to plant a seed that I
would love to see blossom, is a highlight for me. A lot of my focus has been on
leadership and building healthy self-esteem in women as well as young children,
and also living a healthy lifestyle.
How did you team up
Being a three-time Olympian, I learned a little about the
importance of physical activity, not only physically, but psychologically, as
well as good nutrition. That’s why I’m so thrilled to team up with Hormel
Natural Choice to promote their Raising Little Champions program. There are so
many preservatives in food, so this is a natural option. Being a working mom
yourself, you know the importance of being a role model for physical activity as
well as good nutrition. Putting all natural foods into your diet can make a
huge difference. I want to be someone who is not only talking the talk, but also
walking the walk.
Or for you, flipping
the flip. Or vaulting the vault.
[laughs] Yes, exactly!
How can parents keep
their kids physically active and healthy?
I’ve coached for a number of years and I’ve been an Auntie
for almost nine years now. I hope to be a mom some day to four children, but
we’ll see how many I pop out! [laughs] But let’s say it’s autumn, which is an
amazing time to have quality time with your kids. It’s an opportunity for
families to converse a lot more, and while quality time is important, make sure
that you’re moving while you’re doing it so that you’re killing two birds with
one stone. When you’re talking, you should be walking, or going down to the
local basketball court and shooting a basketball. You can play nice leisurely
activities, play, and find out what’s going on in your children’s head. It
doesn’t have to be hardcore or competitive, but it should be physical and fun.
It should be a family affair.
With my own kids, we
make a game out of cleaning up. I’ll give them things to put away, so they’re
both running up and down the stairs all the time. I put music on and we make it
Oh, how fun! I used to do that as a kid. You know, I’m a big
advocate of positive thinking and controlling your thoughts. When I was
younger, I used to put up positive sayings around my bedroom and on the
Obviously, it worked.
[laughs] Yes, it worked, but I still have a lot of negative
thoughts. But I recognize that they’re negative and they’re not helping me, so
I take them out. The point of the story, though, is that when my sister’s kids
were very young and I was an Auntie, I would tell her to have them post up
little exercises that they could do. They would do little froggy jumps and
push-up positions. I told her to put these exercises up throughout the house,
so that when one of the kids passed through a certain area, they would then do
the exercise. Then you’re doing it together as a family, as a team. It’s all
about working together and motivating each other.
How much exercise would
you recommend for kids?
I’m the co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness,
Sports and Nutrition. The President has come up with this criteria and I think
it’s great. Kids should get 60 minutes of exercise a day and adults should get
30 minutes of exercise a day. The importance of kids being active is crucial.
It’s not only for physical health but also psychological health. I know when I
was a child I looked forward to recess, to P.E., and I trained in the
gymnastics gym 5-7 hours a day. But I honestly think it kept me sane. I was
able to focus and concentrate better in school and get great grades because I
was able to burn off a lot of that energy. Everyone can benefit from exercise
and staying healthy. It’s one of the best ways to live a happier life.
You’re one of the founding members of Relationships First.
How did you become involved with this organization?
I have always been obsessed with connection. It’s the
priority in everything I do. In the professional context, if there is some
level of connection and respect, it’s great but if there’s no felt connection,
it’s hard to work with someone. I’ve had every version of connection and
disconnection in my life. I’ve been obsessed with finding out what would need
to happen to have the most profound level of intimacy available. That’s been my
journey my whole life. There’s the relationship with Other, relationship with
my very own self, and my relationship with God. I can tell that when something
is off, there’s a lack of connection in one of the three areas.
What are some of the goals of Relationships First?
It will start
communication and offer resources, support and video logs, making it an
epicenter for the therapeutic community and then it will open up to us
laypeople at large. My personal vision and along with many others is that it
would start with couple hood and then open up to every version of relationships,
such as parent to child, colleague to colleague. There’s support needed around
friendships, and then I’d like to go with one’s own version of spirit or God.
What made you think to do this?
Superficial is safe and I can understand why people would
want that. I always believed, with music and writing my new book—as well as being
with Relationships First—that my number one intention is this kind of service
of illumination or distilling complex subjects in a vernacular that makes sense
to people. I feel like I can bridge both
worlds; the academic world and the pop culture world. I’ll use it using my own
life as the case study to prove the point. It would be my own experience.
Is it hard to have that level of transparency?
It would be hard not to do it that way. Not to say that I’m
100% transparent but I have no reason to be secretive.
How is your little boy, Ever?
He’s amazing. It’s a unique challenge, being a parent. It
bonds me with other moms, but I am committed to full-blown attachment
parenting. The stages of life being attended to is a huge deal for me, combined
with this planetary service vocation I’ve committed to, plus the marriage which
is such a commitment to me.
How have you incorporated attachment parenting into your own
One big piece is how important community is. I breastfed,
and my son weaned himself a few months ago. I was prepared to continue on for a
long time. I also believe in co-sleeping and following his lead; keeping him
safe and free at the same time. It’s setting boundaries but exposing him to
paint and musical instruments. He came on tour with us last year and we were on
tour around the planet for seven months. That was a wild ride not only for the
parents but the village that we created to be around Ever. We wanted to create
as much consistency and routine as possible in that context. It was a lot;
coffee has become my new best friend. I never drank it before but it became a
mandatory liquid after Ever was born! [laughs]
I love how you include your son in your work life, too. I
think having your kids involved in that aspect of your life makes life so much
easier for you, and more interesting for them.
I agree. The whole idea of having to have a fragmented,
departmentalized version of life is dangerous. I think integration is key. I
built a makeshift studio in my living room to record my new record. No matter
what your job, there is a way to do it. It’s a commitment to be creative to
one’s lifestyle and one’s schedule.
And it’s also crucial to have a large support system,
whether you’re a single parent or not.
Absolutely. I remember being in Fiji and their village
living is my fantasy. There was a cute little boy there and I asked him where
his grandma was. He swept his finger around to point to everyone. Everyone was
a part of his world, whether they were blood related or not. You have to have
that, otherwise both children and parents are challenged. We become
What do you do to decompress?
My girlfriends are everything to me, and I love spending
time with them. But to take care of myself, I like to escape and bury myself in
a book, or go to the beach or spa. I realized that it’s impossible to have everything
revving at 100% on any given day. Every day is a challenge to figure out the
priority of the day. My son takes priority over everything, though.
Let’s talk about what you have going on musically?
Havoc and Bright Lights came out last year. The first song
was “Guardian.” “Empathy” makes me cry every time I hear it. I’ll be writing
records until I die. There’s this essential quality in me that likes putting
emotions and complex concepts and ideas to distill them to make them pithy and
clear to people. I believe knowledge is empowerment and I want to support
people to be who they want to be.