Happy Holidays!

Tara Bitzan, Chicz Editor

Tara Bitzan, Chicz Editor

Thanks for all the wonderful feedback you sent us after our first issue of Chicz hit the stands in October! We knew we loved the magazine, but we were thrilled to learn that you loved it too! Not only did you send us your appreciation, but you also sent us your fabulous ideas to feature in upcoming issues.

A few of you even got so caught up with the new magazine that you sent us articles, and we’re happy to say, we printed them! A special welcome to contributing writer Amanda Herzog, a 7th grader who felt she had something to offer the “young chicz” in the area.

We’re already at work on your winter issue and would love your input. Please send us a note about what you think of Chicz or share your ideas with us.

In the meantime, enjoy every minute of the holiday season. Don’t get so caught up in the “to do’s” that you miss out on the real joys of the season – time with loved ones. My wish for you is that this time is unhurried, unharried and heartwarming.

Merry Christmas!
Tara Bitzan
Chicz Editor 

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Don’t be shy about fashion: Stand out with pops of yellow

By Annie Harman

Bring a ray of sunshine into your summer wardrobe! Cheerful yellow is associated with laughter, happiness, optimism, and good times.
You might initially dismiss yellow as a color that you can pull off, but you don’t have to go full out in yellow to embrace it. Since it’s normally a bright color, you don’t need much to give your outfit a bit of color or extra flair.
To make yellow work for you, it’s important to pick the right shade for your skin tone. Dark yellow or mustard tones suit pale skin, while those with an olive complexion should go for lemon yellows, bold yellows, or even super bright yellow. The right yellow will make your skin glow!
Whether you go with chunky jewelry, fun flats, bright nails, a unique handbag, or a lemon-colored outfit, you’re sure to feel summery with the use of yellow!

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Infuse your life with summer flair

By Annie Harman

When you think summer, some words that are bound to pop into your head are happiness, excitement, vibrant, and joyful. Who wouldn’t want all those things in their everyday life?
Having bright colors around you is a great way to help boost your overall attitude, and what better color to surround yourself with in the summertime than yellow!
Whether you want to drape your bed with it, decorate your dining room with it, have it in your garden, or dine and feast on its inspiration, there are infinite ways you can incorporate the color of sunshine to help you carry a stunning smile throughout the day.

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Say hello to summer with sunflowers

By Courtney Bitzan

This summer, brighten up your garden with sunflowers! Sunflowers are extremely easy to grow, as long as the soil is not waterlogged. Most varieties of sunflowers are heat and drought tolerant, are attractive to birds and butterflies, and make excellent cut flowers.
Following are tips for your summer sunflower garden:

Sunflowers grow best in locations with full sun and prefer hot summers to flower well.
The seeds, if possible, should be planted in a spot that is sheltered from strong winds. Also, plant them in the late spring, after it has thoroughly warmed.
The soil in which sunflowers should be planted should be average to rich. Avoid sandy soil.
Give the sunflowers plenty of room; make rows about 30 inches apart.
Mix in a fertilizer at the time of planting to ensure strong root growth.

Water plants infrequently to encourage deep rooting.
Some sunflowers may need support for a short period of time. Bamboo canes are a good choice for any plant that has a strong, single stem.
After your sunflowers have developed, using mulch can greatly reduce moisture loss.

Slugs and snails can be the cause of disaster for young sunflowers. Beer, coffee, copper, human hair, vinegar, and citrus rinds are all ways to aid in getting rid of these pests.
Greenflies and blackflies love sunflowers. Lightly spraying plants with soapy water, planting chives next to your sunflowers, or picking the pests off are all ways to reduce the aphids on your plants.


Squirrels are attracted to the seeds of sunflowers for their winter supply. A squirrel can very easily bite off a sunflower head, so try to avoid planting near walls or trees where squirrels will have easy access. Barrier devices will also work, such as white polyspun garden fleece or cheesecloth, to cover your plant heads.
If fungal diseases are spotted, such as downy mildew, rust, or powdery mildew, spray with a garden fungicide.

For sunflower bouquets, cut the main stem early in the morning before its flower bud has a chance to open. Arrange sunflowers in high containers that provide support for their heads.
When harvesting the seeds, look for when the head turns brown on the back. This means seeds are ready for harvest.
Cut the head off the plant and remove the seeds with your fingers.

Courtney Bitzan of Farwell is a 17-year-old student, part-time writer and adventure enthusiast.

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Lemony goodness

By Lori Mork

This recipe has been around forever, but is always a favorite for many.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. chopped pecans, divided
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
1 (8 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
2 (3.4 oz.) packages lemon instant pudding mix
2-2/3 cups milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine flour, 1/2 cup pecans and butter in a medium bowl and mix well. Press into bottom of an 8×11-inch baking dish. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let stand to cool.
Place cream cheese in a medium bowl. Beat with electric mixer on medium until fluffy. Add confectioners sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy.
Add 1 cup whipped topping to cream cheese mixture and fold in gently. Spread over cooled crust.
Combine pudding mix and milk in a medium bowl. Beat until thickened. Spread on top of cream cheese layer. Top with remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with remaining pecans.
Chill covered for one hour. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.


For the crust:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 Tbsp. salted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
Zest of one lemon

For the filling:
2 large egg yolks
1 (14 oz.) can fat-free sweetened
condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
6 oz. fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and lemon zest. Stir until graham cracker crumbs are moist. Press crumbs into prepared pan, pressing crumbs one inch up side of pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
Once the crust is cool, combine egg yolks and condensed milk until well mixed. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir until mixture slightly thickens. Gently fold in raspberries so you don’t break them apart.
Pour lemon raspberry filling evenly over graham cracker crust. Bake 15 minutes or until just set.
Cool to room temperature, then chill at least one hour before serving. Cut into bars. Keep bars in refrigerator up to five days.
* If you don’t fold the raspberries into the lemon mix gently, you will end up with pink bars.
* You can also use an 8×11-inch baking pan, but bars will be thinner.


For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

For the filling:
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar. Add butter and work into flour mixture with your fingers or pastry blender until it forms a dough. Press dough into bottom of an ungreased 9-inch square pan. Bake 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, flour, lemon juice and lemon zest. Pour over the warm crust. Bake until filling is set but not browned, 15 to 20 minutes.
Place pan on wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners sugar and serve immediately. Or, wrap them in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator before serving.


For the crust:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1/2 cup butter, room

For the filling:
4 large eggs
1-1/3 cups sugar
1 cup lemon juice, freshly
squeezed and strained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9×9-inch baking dish with aluminum foil.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Cut butter into chunks and add to flour mixture. Blend with an electric mixer at low speed until mixture forms coarse, sandy crumbs. Pour into pan and press mixture into an even layer. Bake 16 to 19 minutes, or until just lightly browned around the edges.
While crust is baking, make filling. Whisk together all filling ingredients in large bowl. When crust comes out of the oven and is still hot, pour in filling mixture.
Bake another 20 minutes, or until filling is set and does not jiggle when the pan is gently shaken.
Cool completely before slicing.
Top slices with confectioners sugar to serve.
Makes about 24 bars.

Lori Mork of Lowry is a mother, grandmother and dabbler in all things food, photography and decor related.

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Eat the rainbow!

By Carly Erickson, ND

What do a banana, a summer squash and ginger root have in common?
That’s right, they are all yellow! While eating a diverse rainbow of foods in your diet is important, yellow foods are wonderful because they contain compounds, called phytonutrients, which are anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and help to protect the brain, eyes, heart, skin and vasculature.
Phytonutrients are the compounds in plants that give them their distinct colors, smells and tastes. Lutein, rutin and zeaxanthin are the phytonutrients that give foods their vibrant yellow color and health benefit.

Some of the yellow foods, such as banana, corn and potatoes, are considered starchy foods and can cause an undesirable increase in blood sugar. To help prevent this, these foods should be combined with others that are higher in fiber, protein and even fat.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are fat-soluble phytonutrients so they need fat to help to be absorbed by the body.

Tips for getting more yellow foods:
• Keep frozen corn on hand to add into stir-fries and salads. You can also add yellow bell peppers or summer squash for an added pop of yellow.
• Have a Golden Delicious apple or Asian pear with nut butter for a quick and delicious snack.
• Have sliced pineapple for dessert. Pineapple is high in the enzyme bromelain, which helps to break down food, making it a perfect dessert.
• Make fresh lemon ginger tea with grated ginger and fresh sliced lemon. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and this tea is great for digestion. It’s perfect served warm or cold.
• Slice banana into oatmeal or cereal. Sprinkle with crushed walnuts or almonds for added fat, fiber and protein.
• Most importantly, be adventurous; try new things; mix and match; and eat the rainbow!

Food Options:
Asian pears
Bell peppers
Ginger root
Summer squash

Carly Erickson of Alexandria is a doctor of naturopathic medicine at the Dynamic Healing Center in Alexandria.

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Citrus Crush: A sophisticated version of a snow cone!

By Crystal Dey

Summer is hot. Ice is cold. It just makes sense to combine the two for a summer treat that is just right.
The Citrus Crush is a sophisticated version of the snow cone. It’s light and crisp, yet sweet and satisfying.
Whether you grab a dessert spoon or splash a little lemon soda on top, it’ll keep you cool when the weather heats up.

4 cups water
1 cup lemon juice (3 large lemons)
1 cup grapefruit juice (1 grapefruit)
2 cups sugar
Lemon and grapefruit slices for garnish
Makes 4 servings

In a saucepan, dissolve sugar in water; bring to a boil while stirring.
Cook solution uncovered for five minutes without stirring.
Remove from heat and chill in refrigerator until no longer steaming. Either place a towel under the pan or transfer to a ceramic bowl.
Juice lemons and grapefruit; add juice to water. Ladle into ice cube trays. Once frozen, remove cubes and pulse lightly in a food processor.
Rim a glass with sugar, garnish with lemon and grapefruit slices and spoon ice into glass.
Add a citrus soda if you wish to imbibe rather than scoop and savor.

Crystal Dey is a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. She enjoys converting cocktails to mocktails and concocting non-alcoholic drink recipes that people of all ages can savor.

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Sip into summer with this citrusy wine pairing

By Al Edenloff

If you like white wine, this story is for you. If you’re into reds and scoff at white varietals for not being complex or interesting enough, this story is also for you.
With summer kicking into high gear, now is the perfect time to uncork (or unscrew) a slightly chilled bottle of white wine to pair with your favorite grilled recipes.
Try Zesty Grilled Chicken Kabobs with a good chardonnay. Like a fine red wine with steak, this pairing complements both the wine and the food, taking each of them to a new level of deliciousness.
Chunks of chicken breast are marinated in a zippy, citrusy sauce of Greek yogurt, onion, garlic, saffron and plenty of lemon juice. Try not to skimp on the marinade time, so the chicken can absorb all those lemony flavors.
Also, mix the chicken around in the sauce a few times to get the full, earthy effect from the saffron. (Yes, saffron is on the spendy side but only a small amount is needed per recipe so it can be used in several other dishes as well.)
Remember to chill the chard. You want it to be about 50 degrees. If it’s colder than that, the aromas and flavors will be masked. Any warmer, and you risk losing acidity and structure.
Once the kabobs are done grilling, refill your guests’ chardonnay glasses and give a toast to summer.
Swirl the chard, notice its color, which can range from a pale yellow to a rich gold. Take in the aromas of fruit, butter, and in some instances, oak. Then take a sip. Depending on ripeness, you could taste lemon, apple, pear, pineapple, peaches or a blend. There may also be subtle notes of vanilla, butter and caramelized sugar. Who says white wines aren’t complex?
Now take a bite of the kabob and have another sip. The tartness of the kabobs should balance perfectly with the lush, creamy, citrus notes of the chardonnay. Hello, summer!


1 1/2 lbs. of boneless chicken breasts
32 oz. plain, non-fat yogurt
Juice of 2 lemons
1 yellow onion
A pinch or two of saffron
1 clove of garlic

Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes and put in a bowl. Grate onion over the chicken.
Add pulp and juice from lemons, yogurt, saffron and garlic. Mix well.
Marinade for 12 hours, stirring occasionally.
Put chicken cubes on skewers and place over a medium hot charcoal or gas grill.
Grill on each side for about seven minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink (160 degrees). Don’t overcook.

Al Edenloff of Alexandria and his wife, Celeste, were married in the heart of California wine country and enjoy sipping wine on their weekend date nights.

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Don’t let the sun steal your hair color

By the Hair A’La More staff

It’s that time of year again when we want to absorb the sun’s rays but not lose our hair color in the process.
Sun damage to the hair can manifest as faded hair color, brittle and dry hair shafts, and split ends.

Here are a few tips on keeping your color from fading in the sun and keeping it healthy all summer long:

● Keep your hair covered as much as possible whenever you are outside.

● Use a salon product that is formulated for the outdoors and has SPF or sunscreen in it.

● Before going into a pool, wet your hair, or wet hair and add conditioner to it. Having your hair wet or by applying conditioner to damp hair, it will be more resistive to chlorine penetrating into the hair and lightening your color.
Blondes will also benefit from this. Chlorine can make blond hair look gray or green.

Hair A’La More is located in Alexandria.

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Sizzling summer drinks for young ladies

By Caroline Roers

Family reunions and get togethers are a fun part of summer break.
Add a fun new twist by ditching the regular water and soda, and blending up these cool summer drinks for you and your friends.

Watermelon and Strawberry Lemonade
Ingredients: 8 cups seeded watermelon, 1 cup fresh strawberries halved, 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 cup white sugar, 2 cups water.
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Shirley Temple
Ingredients: 6 ounces lemon-lime-flavored carbonated beverage, 1 maraschino cherry, 1 dash grenadine syrup.
Directions: Pour soda and grenadine in glass over ice. Add cherry.

Orange Snowman
Ingredients: 1 can frozen orange juice concentrate, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 14 cubes ice.
Directions: Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Berry Mimosa Mocktail
Ingredients: 1/2 cup cranberry juice, 1 cup raspberry- flavored sparkling lemonade, 1 strawberry sliced in half.
Directions: Combine juice and lemonade in a pitcher and garnish with strawberry halves.

Blueberry Lemonade
Ingredients: 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup water, 1/2 to 1 cup lemon juice, 2 cups fresh blueberries.
Directions: Combine water, sugar and blueberries in small saucepan. Simmer over low heat and stir often until sugar is dissolved and blueberries start to soften. Strain off blueberries and cool the sugar water mixture. Combine lemon juice and sugar water and add enough water to make two quarts of lemonade. Garnish with extra blueberries.

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Plans for a sunny day? Don’t forget to protect your skin

By Jessica Sly

Sunlight is seen by many as a positive ball of energy. It provides light, supplies life to Earth’s vegetation, pumps our bodies with Vitamin D, and can make the days seem cheerier.
However, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can be harmful to your skin in more ways than one, especially when you get sunburned.
To reduce the risk of sunlight’s adverse effects and keep your skin healthy, limit your exposure time, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and wear sunscreen if you know you’ll be outside for an extended period of time.
Here are some ways that the sun can damage skin:

UV rays can cause both the thickening and thinning of the skin and hurts its elasticity. Over time, this can give the skin an appearance of leather, cause fine and course wrinkles, and make for easy bruising or skin tearing.

When you tan, it’s because the sun has caused your skin to produce more melanin, a pigment that protects skin from UV rays. The most noticeable pigment changes are freckles, which occur when the melanin-producing cells are damaged and darken. These could eventually turn into age or liver spots, which in fact are not caused by age.

When you are constantly exposed to sunlight, blood vessel walls can become thinner, causing easy bruising. It can also create the appearance of tiny blood vessels in the skin.

Moles can often form in sun-exposed areas, and UV rays can cause precancerous lesions that most often develop on the face, ears and backs of the hands. The lesions appear as small crusty bumps that can more easily be felt than seen.

Skin cancer is caused by frequent and prolonged exposure to UV rays. Examine skin regularly for growths or changes in existing lesions.

Jessica Sly of Alexandria is a writer/proofreader and has a passion for art of all kinds.

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