Posts Written On February 23, 2019

Entertaining and Celebrating: An Elegant Feast For Every Season By Kristal Damron

Make any meal a celebration with a new guide which brings together everything a host or hostess needs to create lasting memories around food and family. Seasonally organized recipes, menus, tablescapes and décor ideas, and wine pairings come together in one comprehensive resource. Entertaining and Celebrating: An Elegant Feast for Every Season [May 2019] brings together Chef Kristal Damron’s experience as a working mom, enthusiastic hostess, caterer and professional chef to show you how to elevate your dining experience.

A visual extravaganza, this coffee table treasure takes you through a year featuring monthly themes highlighting each season’s bounty. The themes are designed to spark your own creativity, with stylish table settings, four-course menus with cocktail and wine pairings, and suggested ways to serve that will wow your guests. Cultivating a warm and casual mood while dishing up flawless execution and service is what Entertaining and Celebrating is all about.

“In the fast-paced complexity of the modern world, many of us have
lost the art of slowing down to appreciate the simple pleasures in life,” Chef Damron says. “Preparing to entertain is an example: setting the table, creating an ambience, planning the menu and wine, paying attention to the details and beauty of things.”

It’s easy for a home cook to become overwhelmed at the thought of pulling off an elegant meal when shuttling the kids to soccer practice or working in that evening conference call. But Chef Damron makes a special dining experience accessible to everyone.

“Many of us have forgotten how to make dining meaningful and the rush to do other activities has become a priority,” Chef Damron adds. “As a result, we look for quick, easy fixes and convenience. Or we are unable to visualize how the event should look, and then, we talk ourselves out of planning it.”

This one-stop guide takes the stress and guesswork out of creating a memorable meal. Whether it is for weekday family dinners or more extravagant occasions, you’ll find yourself reaching for Entertaining and Celebrating again and again.

Working for more than 20 years in corporate finance, Chef Damron wanted to redesign her life to bring her family and community to the center. She switched gears, completed culinary school and started Reward Your Appetite Catering in Phoenix, AZ. She brings her culinary and catering expertise together with her passion for creating attainable elegance to everything from weekday dinners to special celebrations.

“To be able to sit together around a stylishly laid table, have a glass of wine, and appreciate each other’s company creates lasting memories. To listen to a person’s story and have them listen to yours, rejoicing, laughing, and reducing the stress of your life develops true community,” says Chef Damron.

In an inspiring and informative interview, Chef Damron can offer insights into the following:

  • How to cook and entertain for the seasons
  • Ideas for full menus, décor and drinks for every month of the year
  • How to work from an established menu and entertaining guide and pull it off flawlessly
  • How to pick and choose the recipes and ideas that work for your guests to put together a more unique gathering
  • Doing it all while maintaining an active family and work life

“It can be challenging to come up with ideas for how to create this kind of dining experience,” adds Chef Damron. “Searching for ideas on the internet can be overwhelming. I want to make it easy and provide ideas and inspiration that you can implement together or pick and choose what works for your entertaining style and your guests.”

ABOUT KRISTAL DAMRON:

Chef Kristal Damron is the owner of Reward Your Appetite Catering, a fine dining catering company committed to providing exquisite culinary dishes with exemplary service.

Chef Damron spent more than 20 years in corporate finance before redesigning her life around her family and her passion – entertaining. Chef Damron has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She graduated, with honors, from the Arizona Culinary Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, Jared, and their two daughters, Arianna Victoria and Alexandria Isabella. She and her family enjoy traveling, visiting parks and museums, and spending time with family and friends.

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Skin Care Predictions to Keep You on Track

Often the start of a new year, predictions in varying market categories are made. From top diets for the New Year, to new workout trends, to bucket list travel destinations. Let’s not forget the beauty marketplace. With the start of 2019, BREVENA Laboratories’ Skin Expert and Advanced Practice Esthetician Susannah Courteau is already seeing a few skin care trends that can help you ensure your healthiest skin ever.

Top 3 2019 Skin Care Trends: 

  1.  Replenishing Oils:  The use of replenishing oils in skin care has grown significantly in the past year.  I see this trend not only continuing but growing significantly in 2019.  We grew up hearing “fat free” food was the gold standard and up till recently, the same thing has been propagated in skincare. Thankfully we’ve learned that fat doesn’t actually make you fat (thank you avocados), and in skincare the right oils aren’t greasy and can actually help breakouts. There are a multitude of emollients and fat-based ingredients for the skin that are absolutely phenomenal.  They provide not only the right amount of hydration but anti-inflammatory effects as well that support the skins barrier function. Thank you to science, for putting the spotlight on the proper way to hydrate!
  2.  Blue Light Awareness: Technology is now part of our day to day existence and while we love our apps, they can have a negative effect on our skin.  Thankfully, awareness is growing about the many harmful effects that blue light can have on our bodies including the long-term damaging effects it can have on our skin.  I predict that the role of antioxidants and reparative ingredients in skin care will take on an elevated position in 2019.
  3.  Sheet Masks:  This is a current trend that I see increasing in the coming year.  I like to think that this trend is a reflection of the changing mindset in our society around self-care.  Multitasking has its limits and its hazards. Thankfully, we are beginning to realize the importance of self-care by slowing down and taking time for ourselves to relax and rebalance.  Treating your skin with something special like a mask or scrub is the perfect, healthy way to accomplish this, and it feels amazing!  Trade that last email for a hydrating mask instead.  I promise, you won’t regret it️.

“As you continue to evolve your own wellness regimen, consider these predictions and consider adding even just one of these into your routine to help you jump start a healthier you,” Susannah advises.

About Susannah Courteau: Skin Expert and Advanced Practice Esthetician Susannah Courteau is a member of BREVENA Laboratories’, LLC leadership and advisory team. BREVENA is a luxury skin care cosmetics company based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. A Minnesota native who graduated from St. Paul College as a licensed Esthetician in 2004, Susannah specializes in the medical side of esthetics, performing advanced skin treatments for complex conditions including acne, sensitized and irritated skin. Susannah’s extensive training and expertise lead her to become an Advanced Practice Esthetician and Spa Director at Sunbear Salon and Med Spa in White Bear Lake, MN. Susannah has partnered with BREVENA Laboratories as a Skin Health Consultant to further develop the brand’s line of clinical grade skin care products, ensuring the needs of the most sensitive skin types are met. Visit: www.Brevena.com

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