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 

Posted in Holiday, Welcome-Message | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Hard-boiled egg recipes

By Lori Mork

Colored Easter eggs are a time-honored holiday tradition, but one that leaves you with an overabundance of hard-boiled eggs. You can peel and eat them as is, slice them into a Cobb salad, make your favorite egg salad for sandwiches or add them to your special potato salad recipe.
But sometimes you’d like to try something different. Here are a few recipes I’ve gleaned from several sources to give you some options.


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 mashed hard-boiled egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom, optional
1 cup all-purpose flour

Combine butter, egg yolks and sugar in mixing bowl, beating until well combined.
Beat in vanilla, orange zest, salt and cardamom. Fold in flour.
Using a teaspoon, drop cookie dough 1 inch apart onto parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees about 10 minutes or until golden around the edges and set.
Cool two minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.


1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 tsp. dried minced onion
1 tsp. salt
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
All-purpose flour
3/4 cup panko crispy bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
*Spices of choice

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In large bowl, mix pork sausage, onion and salt.
Shape mixture into four equal patties.
Roll each hard-boiled egg in flour to coat; place on sausage patty and shape sausage around egg.
Dip each egg into beaten egg; coat with bread crumbs to cover completely. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 35 minutes or until sausage is thoroughly cooked and no longer pink near the egg.
* Add spices of choice to the sausage to flavor it to your preference.
** You can also use seasoned panko crumbs for a different flavor.


8 eggs, hard boiled
2 cups salted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1-1/4 tsp. almond extract
4 cups all-purpose flour

Separate yolks from whites of hard-boiled eggs. Mash or grate yolks finely and reserve whites for another use, if desired.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer in large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg yolks and almond extract. Slowly mix in flour until just incorporated.
Using a spritz cookie maker, press cookies onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake just until edges begin to brown, 8-10 minutes.


1/2 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup bottled chili sauce
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1-1/2 Tbsp. minced onion
2 tsp. sweet pickle relish
1/2 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
Fresh ground black pepper

Make a paste with the garlic and 1/4 tsp. of salt by crushing them together with the side of a chef’s knife.
In small mixing bowl, whisk together garlic, mayonnaise, chili sauce, ketchup, onion, relish and egg until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Use immediately, or store in covered container in refrigerator for up to two days.
Makes 1-1/4 cups.

12 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
4 cups vinegar
1 tsp. salt
2 med. onions, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. pickling spices

Place peeled hard-boiled eggs in a large sterilized glass jar. Boil remaining ingredients together for five minutes. Pour over eggs in the jar.
Cover; leave on counter overnight. Store in refrigerator.

Posted in Foodz, Holiday | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Think spring! Refresh your home with these budget-friendly ideas

By Lori Mork

Want to freshen up your home for spring, but don’t have a big budget? Here are some simple, inexpensive ways to spruce up your living space.

Paint. Nothing renews a room like a fresh coat of paint. Some of the hottest trends for this year include turquoise, raspberry, yellow and pale pink.
Don’t want to do the entire room? Pick one wall to accent in a different color from the rest.

Accessorize. Paint an armoire, mirror frame or wooden chair a fun, fresh color, or change out your draperies for a fabric in your room’s color scheme.
Another quick fix is to change out your accent pillows. Buy new or just recover them.
Add a new painting or a photograph and you’ve given your room a whole new look.

Pick one color. You don’t need to change your entire color scheme – just change one of the colors to a brighter tone. Then you can find some matching accessories to lighten up your day.

Change a rug. With all the beautiful, bright colors and patterns available, a new rug can give your room new life.

Lamp shades. You can easily change out a lamp shade to bring in color.

Lighting. Changing your lighting can add dramatic effects. Think floor lights behind a sofa or chest, or something as simple as changing bulbs to fluorescent or LED and save money in the process.

Wallpaper. Add some visual interest to your room with the new peel-and-stick wallpaper options or decals.

Fruits. Add fruits like kumquats or limes to a vase of water before filling with flowers. You can also set out a tray of bright green Granny Smith apples as a coffee table centerpiece.

Coasters. Turn inexpensive coasters into unique wall art. Simply tape coasters to colorful cardstock, then display them in ready-made frames.

Bedroom. Give your bedroom a lift with a headboard wrapped in a floral fabric, then throw in some inexpensive album frames filled with patterned paper for your walls.

Kitchen pick-up. One of the easiest rooms to give a facelift is the kitchen. Just add new dish towels, pot holders or canisters to add some sparkle. Be daring – try turquoise, yellow or bright red.

Posted in Crafty Chicz, Home & Gardenz | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Make this spring Eggs-tra special

By Jessica Sly

Send a secret message…
in an egg!

There are all sorts of ways to send secret messages: in a bottle, text messages, passing notes in class, anonymous letters left in mailboxes. This spring, use a new medium: an egg!
Take a plain egg and poke holes in each end with a needle or pin. You don’t have to make very big holes, but widen them a little more than a pinprick.
Using a bowl to catch the innards, blow in one end until the egg runs out the other end and the shell is empty. Carefully run water through the holes to rinse the inside.
Dye the egg the color of your choice and let dry. Cut out a thin strip of paper and write your secret message on it. Then roll it up as tightly as you can, so it will fit in one of the holes, and slide it inside the egg.
Now comes the fun part: delivering the message.
Nestle it in a little box with sisal grass, hide it among an Easter egg hunt or leave it inconspicuously among your addressee’s possessions. Leave it with a note that says something along the lines of, “Crack me!” or some other creative wording that encourages them to crack it open so your note doesn’t go unnoticed.
No matter which method you choose, it’s a great way to make an impression.

Posted in Crafty Chicz, Foodz, Holiday | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Give deviled eggs a colorful upgrade

By Jessica Sly

Potlucks, picnics, parties – deviled eggs are always welcome! This spring, spice up the festive flair with brightly colored deviled eggs to match your basket of Easter eggs.
Start by hard-boiling a cluster of eggs. Then peel them, cut them in half lengthwise and remove the yolks.
Prepare your food coloring by following the directions on the package for dying Easter eggs. Add the egg whites and let soak until they reach your desired hue. Dry them on a paper towel.
From here, prepare yolks with your favorite deviled egg recipe or try a new one!
These are sure to be an eye-catcher. But don’t admire them for too long. They’ll be gone before you know it!

Sweet Deviled Eggs

6 hard-boiled eggs
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. prepared mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Halve eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks.
In a small bowl, mash yolks with a fork and add mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper; mix well.
Stuff or pipe yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish with paprika. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Yield: 12.

Posted in Crafty Chicz, Eventz & Entertainment, Foodz, Holiday | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Take time to smell the wine

Reawaken senses with these wine sniffing tips

By Al Edenloff

After a long, cold, bleak winter, the arrival of spring reawakens your senses. Why not test your nose on a great glass of wine? After all, nearly as much emphasis is placed on a wine’s bouquet than as to how it tastes.
Granted, it can come across as pretentious to give a long monologue of the wine’s “nose,” such as the one delivered by Miles in the movie Sideways: “A little citrus. Maybe some strawberry. Mmm. Passion fruit, mmm, and, oh, there’s just like the faintest soupçon of like, uh, asparagus, and, there’s a, just a flutter of, like a, like a nutty Edam cheese.”
You don’t have to be stuffy about sniffing your wine. Have some fun with it. Here are some tips:

First, swirl wine in glass about 10 seconds so it mixes with the air and aromatic compounds are released and become more noticeable.
Quickly bring the glass to your nose. Don’t be shy. Stick your nose right into the glass and take a deep whiff. Some people have better luck taking several short, quick sniffs. Use whatever method works best. Keeping your mouth open a little as you smell the wine may also help.
Next, have some creative fun with what you’ve just experienced. Put in words the different scents you distinguished and start free associating.
Ask questions as you do this. Does the wine smell like dark berries, citrus, pineapple or some other kind of fruit? Are there any spicy notes like cinnamon? Are there any unusual aromas like leather, mushrooms or ash?
Sure, this can get over-the-top, but it can be fun to see just how descriptive you can be and whether your assessment matches others who are sniffing the same wine. Turn it into a game. Most wines list the bouquet characteristics on the label or on the winery’s website. See if any of their adjectives match what you noticed.
If they did, clink your glass, give a toast to spring and move on to the next (best) part: tasting the wine!

Posted in Drinkz, Eventz & Entertainment, Holiday | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Kiwi colada – an international invention

By Crystal Dey

Before Lorde busted out with the song Royals and it was revealed as the terrain where Lord of the Rings was filmed, New Zealand was known for another popular feature – Kiwi.
Not the fuzzy brown bird that is the country’s national symbol, but the kiwi fruit.
U.S. soldiers discovered the fruit during World War II while stationed in New Zealand. By 1952, the fruit was exported into the U.S. market.
Now, kiwi has infiltrated a classic Caribbean drink, creating the Kiwicolada.
The international green slushie arrives just in time for St. Patrick’s Day and springtime galas.

Kiwi colada

Serves 4
1 20-oz. can pineapple tidbits in pineapple juice
8 oz. coconut water
4 kiwis

Drain pineapple juice from canned pineapple. Combine juice with coconut water and pour into ice cube trays. Freeze overnight.
Fresh pineapple and pineapple juice are always best, but if you’re restricted by time, canned will work fine.
Wash kiwi fruit. Slice a few pieces off for garnish, peel and cube the rest.
Combine ice cubes, pineapple tidbits and kiwi in blender and blend.
Pour into glasses, garnish with kiwi slices.

Posted in Drinkz | Tagged | Leave a comment

The price of fashion – preventing common foot ailments

By Haley Seward

Fashion has its price; after all, not many women wear high heels to be comfortable. But you could be paying a higher price than you thought, in the form of corns, bunions, hammertoes or other foot ailments.
Although it’s hard to give up a stylish pair of heels, they may be more trouble than they’re worth.

What: Thick, hardened layers of skin that form at points of pressure or friction. Calluses form on the bottom of the foot and corns form on top of the foot and between toes. Corns are smaller than calluses and have a hard center, which is painful when pressed. Calluses typically are not painful.
Cause: Repeated friction and pressure from skin rubbing against boney areas or against a shoe. Some people are more prone to these due to heredity.
Treatment: Wearing loose or wide shoes; wearing socks with shoes; medications containing salicylic acid may break down rough skin; trimming or padding of problem areas; surgery.

Ingrown toenails
What: Sideways growth of nail that pushes into surrounding skin. Most often affects the big toe.
Cause: Toe injury, wearing shoes that crowd toes, poor foot hygiene, cutting nails too short or not straight across.
Treatment: Soaking feet in warm water, using antibiotic cream to stop infection, separating nail from skin, removing partial or full nail. Left untreated, an ingrown toenail can infect the underlying bone and lead to a serious bone infection.

Flat foot/fallen arches
What: Structural deformity resulting in non-formation of the arch or lowering of the arch usually due to hyperpronation. Can contribute to ankle/knee problems.
Cause: Some people never develop arches in their feet, while others’ arches fall over time due to weakened tendons from obesity, injury, arthritis, aging or constant wearing of shoes with little to no arch support.
Treatment: No treatment is necessary if you are not experiencing any pain. Wearing supportive shoes, custom orthotics and surgery are options for those with pain.
Hammertoe/Mallet Toe
What: Foot deformities occurring most often in women. A hammertoe has an abnormal bend in the middle joint of a toe. Mallet toe affects the joint nearest the toenail. Both are most likely to occur in the toe next to the big toe.
Cause: High heels or shoes with narrow toe boxes may force toes against front of the shoe, causing unnatural bending.
Treatment: Wear loose, wide shoes with low or no heals to relieve pain/pressure. Shoe pads/supports, toe slings and stretching exercises may help. Pain relievers and corticosteroid injections are options. Surgery is needed for severe cases.

Morton’s neuroma
What: Benign growth of nerve tissue often between third and fourth toes. May result in pain, burning, tingling or numbness between toes and in ball of the foot.
Cause: Ill-fitting shoes, trauma, high heeled shoes, heredity, repetitive motion activities, foot deformities.
Treatment: Padding, taping, custom orthotics, cortisone injections, surgery.
What: Painful, abnormal, bony bump on the joint at the base of the big toe formed when the big toes pushes against the next toe, forcing the joint in the big toe to get bigger and stick out. Smaller bunions can also occur on the joint of little toes.
Cause: Often an inherited structural defect, although it can be caused by stress on the foot or a medical condition such as arthritis. Years of wearing ill-fitting shoes, especially high-heeled, pointed shoes, can bring them on.
Treatment: Wearing loose shoes or shoes made of stretchy material that conform to the curves of your foot, custom insoles, padding or taping, icing, pain relievers and cortisone injections can alleviate symptoms. A number of surgical options are also available.
Toenail Fungus
What: Fungal infection under the nail that causes discoloring, thickening and crumbling edges of the nail.
Cause: Heavy perspiration, wearing shoes that crowd toes, wearing socks or shoes that prevent ventilation, diminished blood circulation.
Treatment: Antifungal creams and oral medications, antifungal nail polish, surgical removal of nail, laser or photodynamic therapy.

Plantar Fasciitis
What: Inflammation of the connective tissue running from the heel to the ball of the foot.
Cause: Severe stretching of tissue, muscle imbalance, bone deformity, foot structure, obesity, trauma, repetitive activities, improper shoes.
Treatment: Anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids, physical therapy, taping, night splints, orthotics, shock wave therapy, surgery.


Posted in Fashion & Beauty, Health & Fitness | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Greet spring with a walk

By Pete Pfeffer

We’ve made another trip around the sun, the days are longer, and the icy grip of winter is broken. The flowers will return, gardens will bloom and the trees will regain their leaves.
The Ancient Greeks tell a story about the incredibly beautiful Persephone. She is gathering flowers in a meadow when she is kidnapped by Hades to keep him company in the underworld. The rest of the Greek world is in anguish because with Persephone gone, flowers won’t bloom, trees won’t bear fruit and crops won’t grow. Her mother, Demeter, searches but is unable to find her.
Fortunately Apollo, making his rounds, spots her and reports her whereabouts to her father, Zeus. Zeus sends Hermes, his messenger, to retrieve her and all is essentially resolved. Persephone has been located and is about to be returned to her mother, the flowers are set to blossom and all will be restored. But there’s one little catch: If you eat in the underworld, you stay in the underworld…for good.
The question, of course, is who would eat in the underworld? Well, apparently there isn’t much else to do, and a good host always offers a snack. Hades did just this; he offered Persephone a pomegranate. Persephone knew the rules, but if she didn’t eat the pomegranate and had just a few seeds that wouldn’t count, right?
Wrong! The six little seeds she consumed equated six months each year that she would have to spend in the underworld. And, you guessed it: During those six months, nothing would grow or bloom. That makes that fickle groundhog and six more weeks of winter look generous.
Lucky for us, those six months have expired and spring has returned. With warmer temperatures it’s time to get outside. One of the best exercises for humans is walking. Everyone from fitness gurus to prominent brain scientists agree that walking is a human genetic requirement for health.
The perfect way to start is walking 10 minutes a day, increasing one minute a day until you reach 30. If you are more ambitious, try “Couch to 5K” (C25K), an app for your smart phone that will escort you from inactivity to running three miles in 30 minutes or less.
I recommend this even for seasoned walkers/runners who are restarting fitness programs to avoid soreness or injury.
It’s time to get outside and exercise! So start with a walk, or C25K, but be careful in the meadows, and beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

Peter Pfeffer is a doctor of chiropractic with HealthSource Chiropractic and Progressive Rehab in Alexandria.

Posted in Health & Fitness | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Get away with Zumba!

By Alyssa Stern

If a Mexican getaway vacation is not in your budget or on your calendar this spring, you can still enjoy the flares and spirit with Zumba.
Zumba was first created by a Colombian dancer during the 1990s. Zumba involves dance and aerobic elements. During a Zumba class, you will incorporate hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo and martial arts. Each instructor puts their own spin on each class.
Get ready for lots of lunges and squats to tone up your backside.
This is a type of exercise where you can dance like no one is watching. Instructors offer a variety of “levels” of activity for each maneuver. They will instruct you for your fitness level and offer additional movements to “take it up a notch!”
If you feel like you want to get the hang of things before you step foot into a group exercise class, there are a variety of free Zumba resources online and on YouTube. So crank up the computer speakers and shake your bum to your heart’s desire.
Grab your girlfriends and sign up for a Community Education class to give it a try. Even in Alexandria there are lots of opportunities to find other Zumba enthusiasts like you! Curves offers a circuit with Zumba, Lakes Area Recreation offers classes and classes are offered at the YMCA.
During a 60-minute class, you can burn more than 500 calories. You don’t need to be an expert in dancing to give Zumba a try. You may feel awkward at first, but stick with it. Once you learn the basic moves to the choreography, you will be in the front row leading the class.
We may live in Minnesota and have snow and subzero temperatures, but for 60 minutes you can be dancing on a white sandy beach with some heart-pumping music. You can even enjoy a margarita after class!

Alyssa Stern is a busy mom and certified group exercise instructor teaching spin/cycling and high intensity interval training. Visit her blog at alyssajeanstern.blogspot.com.

Posted in Fashion & Beauty, Health & Fitness | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I hope you dance . . . for better health!

By Crystal Hoepner

When did you last dance? Was it rolling your hips to the Macarena at your friend’s wedding? In the kitchen when your favorite tune came on the radio? Or, spelling out the Y-M-C-A with the hometown crowd at the basketball game?
Some people love to dance. Others shy away from it. As country singer Lee Ann Womack’s song says, “…when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.”
The simple act of getting up and dancing is a great way to be physically active. Anyone who has danced before knows it can be a fun cardio exercise, and research also confirms that dance carries tremendous health benefits.
Dance is a “moderate activity,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s physical activity guidelines, and adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity daily.
Proven health benefits of dancing include increased flexibility, stronger bones and muscles, greater endurance and stamina, better posture and balance, less tension and stress, and social connections.
According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, dance routines that require coordinated moves and memorization of specific steps can boost memory function as well, which helps prevent against conditions like dementia.
If you are tired of the treadmill and looking for a fun way to stay fit and healthy, it might be time to kick up your heels. You don’t have to know how to dance, and you don’t have to become a social dancer. You can dance as a form of exercise in the privacy of your own home.
To begin, get moving to the music of your choice. The first time through you might feel a little self-conscious, even if you are all alone at home. Try different songs or repeat the same song and use different moves. Just keep dancing around and once you get to the point where you’re getting your heart rate up, you’ll actually be getting a terrific workout.
So, the next time you’re feeling nervous, looking for a moderately intense cardio workout, or feeling a little blue…I hope you dance!

for flexibility, stronger bones and muscles, greater endurance and stamina, better posture
and balance, less tension and stress, and social connections.

Crystal Hoepner is a health educator with Douglas County Public Health.

Posted in Health & Fitness | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment