Archive for May, 2009

Thought this would be a good note to start the holiday weekend. Sounds like a fun reason to let the kids play hooky if you think they’ve got what it takes to make the cut. Good luck and don’t forget who gave you the scoop. I’ll expect an autograph!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!



Boys and Girls Age 12 and Under Invited to Audition at Radio City Music Hall on June 8

Former American Idol Runner-Up Diana Degarmo, Ugly Betty Star Mark Indelicato

To Judge on Celebrity Panel

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., May 21, 2009 – The USTA announced today it will host its annual open casting call on Monday, June 8 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City to select children to perform at the 2009 US Open, August 31 – September 13.  Winners will perform live at Arthur Ashe Stadium during night sessions of this year’s US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The auditions are free of charge and will be held from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. ET.  Children 12 years of age and younger as of September 13, 2009, will be asked to sing “America the Beautiful” a cappella in front of a panel of celebrity judges from the music and entertainment industries including Diana Degarmo, the runner-up on Season 3 of American Idol, and Mark Indelicato, from ABC’s hit show Ugly Betty.

“The casting call has quickly become a popular US Open tradition as these young singers continue to captivate the New York crowds,” said Gordon Smith, Executive Director and COO, USTA.

The casting call will officially launch the US Open season, with tickets for the 2009 US Open going on sale to the general public the same day.  Tickets can be purchased by logging on to www.USOpen.org or by calling 1-866-OPEN-TIX beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 8.  Tickets can also be purchased on-site at the casting call at the Radio City Music Hall Box Office from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The USTA will announce the final selections in mid-July.  The winners will receive a US Open gift bag and tickets to their performance session — in addition to exposure in front of as many as 24,000 fans in Arthur Ashe Stadium.  For more information on the open casting call, including the official rules, log on to www.USOpen.org.


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There are some good discussions going on about this. My post over at NYC Mom’s blog was spurred by the newly released test scores in New York City. Kim’s over at Hormone-colored Days is a result of her own experiences raising a gifted child. Our experiences are coming from different sides of the coin but both add to an interesting discussion. Do you have a child who has tested for giftedness? Did your child not make the cut academically, yet they have an artistic gift you believe deserves extra attention (that’s what I’m dealing with)? Do you have feelings of resentment or question how the test is administered? Add your voice to the mix and feel free to leave a comment here, at Kim’s blog or at my original NYC Mom’s blog post. I’d love to know what other parents are thinking.

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Little Foodies


Erin over at Smallbites recently ran a great post on books that’ll encourage kids to develop a delicious relationship with food. Here’s an excerpt of her faves. And for the whole post and list of goodies, here’s a link. A few readers have even left comments with their time-tested literary good eats.

Board books:

For toddlers:

  • Eating the Alphabet (She credit this book with teaching her then-toddler daughter about such things as artichokes, radicchio and ugly fruit!)

For older children:

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I recently attended a conference hosted by Hidden Valley Ranch and it inspired the lettuce in bloom in the picture belowed (there’s also broccoli, brussel sprouts, collard greens, eggplant, peas and herbs growing). For a foodie mom, it was still an eye-opening experience. I live, breath and well, eat, food—and not just because I’m a food editor. I have two kids, and guess what? They need three meals a day plus snacks. I’ve taught a lunch box workshop at my daughter’s school the last two years and try to tell parents think of food as energy. Your kids need energy to get through the day. Breaking it down that way has helped many moms think of food differently as they try to pack a healthy, nutritious and delicious lunch. Most of all, though, food should be fun. No need to create hang ups, addictions or aversions. I’ll be passing on some great tips and tricks from my Chicago Love Your Veggies experience.
Meet my new vegetable garden.

Meet my new vegetable garden.

First tip: get kids involved from the beginning. Start growing something, anything. Even a basil plant, that you can turn into homemade pesto, is a farm to table lesson. Get them excited about it by playing a cute game at www.LoveYourVeggies.com. While you’re there, check out Veggie Monthly and get ideas for asparagus—in season right now.

Other Related Links



The Toddler Cafe

In Jennie’s Kitchen

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The mango salsa pictured below looks delicious and unassuming, right? Then why did my six year old ask “what’s that gross stuff on my dish”  last night? Dinner was simply pan-seared salmon with said salsa, steamed asparagus, carrots and rice. Honestly, I thought the salmon would be the fight—as usual. Being the fickle creatures they’re programmed to be, it was the refreshing, zingy mango salsa that she judged with just one look.

Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa

I knew full-well that my protein choice might be met with a frown but decided as long as I paired it with a starch and veggie she liked, at least her tummy would be full for bedtime. To my surprise, the salmon went over well, and she wolfed down the rice and carrots. I’ll give her a pass on the asparagus—even though this is the season to eat it in NYC.

And therein lies the trick to shedding your short order chef’s whites. Don’t expect kids to love everything you make, but do make sure there’s at least a few things on the menu they will. Studies show that it can take upwards of a dozen introductions before children take to a new food. And if they don’t even after all those attempts? Respect their opinion but don’t scratch it off your shopping list. You won’t like all their friends as they grow, so it’s just practice for tolerance on both your parts.


Makes 1 1/2 cups

Prep this salsa first so the flavors have time to marinate while you finish cooking the rest of the meal.

1 whole mango, diced fine

1 small red onion, chopped fine

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

fresh squeezed juice of one lime

Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/2 teaspoon minced jalapeno, optional

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; mix well using a spoon or rubber spatula. Let “marinate” on countertop for 30 minutes. May also be made one day in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

Visit me at In Jennie’s Kitchen for more mealtime solutions.

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Meet your new Foodie Mom!

Meet your new Foodie Mom!

My little blog that could got the attention of the PR folks at the MWW Group. Little did I know when I went to an event for the launch of 1-800-Flowers Spot a Mom campaign that I’d be spotted myself as a Foodie Mom just one month later. If you haven’t already, check out Julie Mulligan’s blog, (I’ll wait for you to peek and come back).

It gets better. Tomorrow I’m joining CEO Jim McCann, President Chris McCann and Julie to ring the opening NASDAQ bell. I’m honored beyond words. Not for just the sweet recognition, but because 1-800-Flowers is a family run business. Everyone involved is a genuinely nice person and it feels good to surrounded by such people. If you’ve been wondering what to you can do to make your own mama feel special, look no further. Flowers run a close seconds to diamonds as a girl’s best friend. Use type in this promotion code: SPOTAMOM at the checkout for a 15% savings on your order.</p>

POST MENTION (added after ringing the bell)

Take a look at the video footage:


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