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Hello friends.

It’s been FAR too long since I’ve written a blog. It’s not that I’ve been idle. There has been a LOT going on. Crafting, cooking, travelling… yes all of it. And a new podcast!

In case you didn’t know, I’m what some call a multi-potentialite. Also known as a person with many pursuits or interests. I have always said that I bore easily, but it’s so much nicer to have a fancy multiple-syllabic term to connect to my “condition.”

One of those pursuits is a podcast I’ve been producing and co-hosting with the brilliant actress/writer/director/producer, Illeana Douglas. (Also a multi-potentialite. … see why we get along?)

It’s called I Blame Dennis Hopper, and is based on Illeana’s memoir of the same name. (Side note: Read the book. It’s absolutely fantastic!) So far, we have published 35 weekly-podcasts (maybe we’re not exactly NEW…). We’ve had actors, directors, producers, comedians on the show… an amazing array of talent. It’s not a typical talk-show type of format, where folks just come on to promote their latest project. Illeana has an incredible encyclopedic knowledge of film history, and a long list of talented friends. They come in studio, and with Illeana leading the way, really delve into their passions, their process, how they got to where they are, and what really excites them. And we’ve had a bunch of guests have fantastic revelations while chatting with Illeana!

Illeana and I always like to ply our guests with tasty snacks (we both know that feeding folks makes them more comfortable and happy.), like my microwaved potato chips (requested EVERY week), and she makes peanut or cashew butters, and we usually have something sweet to share too.

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If you’re a film fan, an Illeana fan, or just like interviews with fascinating folks, I highly recommend the I Blame Dennis Hopper podcast. It’s available on YouTube and iTunes. You can also look at our website, Instagram page and Facebook page to find out who is our most recent guest.

Listen in, comment, enjoy. Thanks gang… more Tamara stuff coming soon!

As many of you know, I’m a big fan of the bubbly, and Champagne — the real deal — has no equal.

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Friday, October 23rd, 2015 is the sixth annual celebration of the effervescent wine, made exclusively in the Champagne region of France. Originally designated in 2009 as “a Friday in late October,” World Champagne Day is dedicated to popping corks and raising glasses. International law dictates that only sparkling wine that comes from Champagne can be called… Champagne. So respect the title, friends!

A little while ago, I created an entire full-length Tamara Twist episode to sparkling wine, which you can view on YouTube. The episode is chock-full of recipes, crafting, traditions and trivia.

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If you only have a few minutes, check out my Champagne Sabering video here.

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So let’s drink a toast to World Champagne Day! 

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Enjoy!!

*Antique graphics courtesy The Graphics Fairy.

 

 

Who doesn’t love a pie?  Sweet or savory, when buttery crust is combined with delicious filling, something magical happens.  But, how ‘bout something more portable, freezeable, personal. Today on the Twist — Jam Jar Pies.

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Jam jars are normally used in canning, so they are made to be heat-resistant.  They serve as our twist on a nifty baking vessel for a classic pie. 4 ounces jars make for the perfect dessert size.

Here’s my video on how to make Jam Jar Pies!

Full recipe details are available here: Jam Jar Pies

Enjoy!

I first made these somewhere around 2010, before the big Kale craze. You may have heard of them before, but with it being kale season as well as the end of football season, I thought you might want to revisit the now-classic: Kale Chips.

Since this video was first shot, kale has had quite a revival. My buddy Bo Muller-Moore has become a small-business champion, and even Trader Joe’s is selling kale chips in a bag.

Trust me, make them yourself. You’ll love them.

DIY Soap Petals

Mother’s Day (in the US) is May 11th this year. Here’s a quick but special gift for any Mom.

 

Scented Soap Petals

These soap petals are, in effect, beautifully scented, teeny, tiny washcloths. A little treat for your guests and a great twist on the hostess gift.

Tools and Supplies:

  • Fabric Rose Petals — available at craft stores in the Wedding section.
  • Glycerin soap base, unscented – from craft stores, or sometimes found at grocery stores.
  • Essential oils –your fragrance makers. Get them at drug stores, craft stores, or online.

Instructions:

Cut the soap into cubes and place in a glass bowl, 5 oz will make about 75 petals. You can melt the soap using a microwave, but a double boiler is better at maintaining a constant temperature.

When the cubes have melted, stir in your essential oil. 5-10 drops is plenty. When choosing your fragrance, you can always use rose, as the petals are usually rose petals. But you can also consider the color of your petals – neroli or grapefruit oil for peach-colored petals or lavender scent for purple petals.

One by one, give your fabric petals a quick dip. It’s important to only dip one at a time, so they don’t stick together and make a mess. Make sure they’re fully coated. Remove them with chopsticks, tongs or tweezers. Cool on a metal rack and your petals are done!

Place in a pretty dish on your bathroom counter. For those who aren’t sure how to use them, a friendly note is always helpful (see below). No messy bar-soap, no ugly hand soap. Yay!

They can also be scattered to make a romantic bubble bath. But do remember to remove the petals before draining the tub or you’ll have to call a plumber.

I’ve included some text for you to put in your soap petal dish. (Soap Petal Labels)

Bonus Tip: I like to make mine semi-waterproof by covering with packing tape before cutting out.

If you’re looking for more fancy labels, check out the printables at my pal Cathe Holden’s blog, here.

 

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Hey everyone… I’m so happy to ring in 2014, and with it I offer our latest Tamara Twist video, Champagne-Palooza, now available online. Champagne is such a versatile, enjoyable and fascinating element of celebration, and perfect for our first in-depth episode.

These twists on champagne are, of course, well suited to New Year fetes, but sparkling wine can really be enjoyed any time of year.

In the video, you’ll find trivia, crafts, recipes and all manner of silly fun. I hope you enjoy it.

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I had a blast making this episode. Happy celebrating. And remember: Don’t ever let anyone dull your sparkle!

xo, T

With all the holidays and parties this time of year, this is definitely Champagne season.

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In fact, of the nearly 18 million cases of bubbly consumed in the US last year, 40% were sold in the last quarter.

And while that may be impressive, there’s no more impressive way to open a champagne bottle than by sabering it.

When a bottle is sabered, it appears that the sword is slicing off the cork, when in reality, it’s cleaving the ring from the bottle neck.

Here’s how I do it.

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