Let’s Get Ready To Cook–Top Chef Fort Worth

It gets hot in Texas, and it was hotter during the finals of Fort Worth, Texas Magazine’s annual Top Chef competition. An excited sold out crowd was on hand to cheer on their favorite chef, well some were on hand to eat the wonderful food.  I can say this with all honesty Chef Tom Colicchio better watch out, Chef Jon Bonnell and the cast of Fort Worth’s Top Chef are coming for you.

The cocktail hour before the main event had the excitement of a professional prize-fight with patrons discussing why their favorite chef was going to win.  There was talk of the restaurants where each of the participating chefs worked, and talk of trying all of them in the future.

Hal Brown, who is the founder and publisher of the Fort Worth, Texas Magazine and veteran sportscaster Scott Murray started the main event off with excitement.  All that was missing was “let’s get ready to rumble”. There was an introduction of each of the chefs that would have made any professional athlete envious.

Head judge, Chef Jon Bonnell led the chefs in a quick fire challenge, a blind taste test and then on to the main event.  The main event had 2 secret ingredients–beef and langostinos.  For an added challenge Chef Bonnell had each contestant to cut their own steak to showcase their butchering skills.

While the chefs cooked with their sous chef, there was conversation, food, drink and an auction to be able to eat each of the chefs final plates.  The big auction allowed attendees a chance to have each of the celebrity chefs to personally come to the winning bidders home to prepare dinner for a private party of 8.  The chef would furnish the food.  As an extra incentive, Hal Brown announced that a bartender and spirits had been added to each dinner.  The bidding was so fast and furious that each chef agreed to do the dinner twice, so there were two winners for each chef. The money raised from the auctions went to charities selected by each chef.

As the judges came back to the stage, Chef Bonnell announced the winner–Chef Stefon Rishel of Max’s Wine Dive.  Chef Rishel had been the favorite of the student chefs from O. D. Wyatt High School who were sitting on the table with me (he is their mentor).  They were as excited as he was.

The contestants in the Top Chef final were: Jerrett Joslin of The Wild Mushroom, Charles Youts of The Classic Café, Kalen Morgenstern of Tillman’s Roadhouse (she survived Gordon Ramsey in Hell’s Kitchen which makes her a shero of mine), and of course the winner Stefon Rishel of Max’s Wine Dive.  I know all 4 of the restaurants will see a jump in their reservations.

It is said everything is bigger and better in Texas, and on this hot night in Fort Worth, Texas it was.  Fort Worth, Texas Magazine’s Top Chef is ready for its closeup.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. 

Long-Term Care/Living-Care Insurance Discussion

Long term care insurance 2As women of a certain age, we must have or should have things in place as we mature.  We may have learned from the example that our parents and or grandparents shared with us.  Were they prepared for the time that illness over took them?  Maybe they recovered, but maybe it took a while.  You wanted your love one to be some place where they were comfortable.  Maybe they wanted to stay in their own home–they just needed someone to check on them daily.  Where was the money coming from for these services?  Do you even know how much it cost for these services

We all want our love ones and even ourselves to be able to go into our golden years with the best care possible.  We’ve takenLong term care insurance 1 out health insurance, but it is not long-term care insurance.  Long-term care insurance pays for items that health care insurance does not.  It can pay for the cost of an assisted living facility, assistance for caring for you and more.

Long term care insurance 3Medicare and Medicaid more often than not do not pay for these basically non-medical expenses.  Let’s just be honest here, the more insurance you have, the better the facility (yep, I said it). I know personally how much it cost when a love one is in an assisted living facility and needs 24 hour a day care. I’ve seen first hand the hardships of taking care of a love one who needs care–not just financially but emotionally. Long term care insurance can help financially and even emotionally.

Premiere of Lionsgate's One of my favorite people, Angela Bassett tells of her experience with caring for love ones.  She is continuing the talk on aging and long-term care insurance. She uses the term living-care, and that’s exactly what it is. Angela is on the second leg of an initiative called the LetsTalkTour (she is a spokesperson for an insurance company*). She talks candidly about living-care in the article below that was written by Brennan Williams for the Huffington Post. Please read the article and start the conversation.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/08/angela-bassett-genworth-lets-talk-now_n_7747416.html

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. Let’s talk about living-care.

*thisisyourbestyear does not endorse any insurance company, please check with you insurance carrier, and make comparisons to find the best plan for you or a love one.

Darla Davenport-Powell, doll maker ~ An Interview

I met Ms. Davenport-Powell at an event at the Potter’s House in Dallas. She is a force of nature that gives others encouragement. She gave me that little push that has enabled me to “go for it”. Read more about her, and be inspired.

The Dreher Report


In 1991, Darla Davenport-Powell created a doll and named her Niya in the full awareness of the influence that dolls have on African American children who play with them. Such is the toy’s significance that in the 1940s, African American sociologists Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark chose the doll when they conducted a test to determine the psychological effects of segregation on African American and white children.

Davenport-Powell joins a chorus of enterprising African American doll makers whose models of toy culture renew the spirit of childhood playtime and, more important, child advocacy. In this spirit, Davenport-Powell is a keeper of the doll making tradition as practiced by men and women throughout history: from the crude designs crafted by slave mothers to the papier-mâché dolls with the signature teardrop handmade by 19th century black doll maker Leo Moss.

When Davenport-Powell designed Niya, a dynamic multi-lingual doll, her creation made a…

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Old Ladies and Crazies

I love the story in the video below.  Each Sunday morning I tape Sunday Morning on CBS to watch after church.  I started watching when Charles Kuralt was the host.  Each time he went “On the Road” in his van, it seemed that I was traveling with him.  Over the years I’ve taken road trips with family and friends–they have been some of the best adventures.  When I saw this segment on a woman of a certain age, Inda Lou Lambert Schell who was also a fan of Charles Kuralt and his favorite places from “On the Road”, I knew it would be fun to watch.

Miss Lou and her husband of over 50 years had thought about going to some of Charles Kuralt’s favorite places that he had written about in his book “Charles Kuralt’s America” which featured 12 of his favorite places in America.  As would happen Miss Lou’s husband passed away, but she was not to be deterred.  She enlisted the assistance of her sister, informed her children that she was about to spend their inheritance, and with their blessings she and her sister set out to spend a month in each of the 12 places featured in the book.  Even with her sister getting ill and having to go home, Miss Lou completed her journey, even writing a book “Revisiting America”.

As Miss Lou says “God takes care of old ladies and crazies”.  What’s your excuse for not doing something out of the norm that you have always wanted to do.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–God takes care of us all.