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So, who is that guy on the front of the invitation? Ellison Hurt's fifteen minutes of fame ... Print E-mail
by Sharon Adams    Tue, Mar 14, 2006, 11:58 AM

Invitation concept and design courtesy Holt Design, Inc.

Join us as we Listen to the Music at A Special Evening with the Doobie Brothers hosted by Alliance Data, benefiting Special Care & Career Services (SCCS), a Dallas United Way Agency, April 26th. 

Kristi and Jody Bare, Co-chairmen. Georgia and Douglas Smith, Honorary Chairmen.

scinvitecard2006_f1dblog.jpgWhen the invitation image opened, I had to laugh. What a cool way to interpret a black tie concert featuring the Doobie Brothers. Brings out the John Belushi in all of us. Riding the cycle is Ellison Hurt. His wife, Laura, and Stacey McCord were instrumental in the concept of A Special Evening events five years ago and have served on the SCCS board.

Special Care & Career Services has always been on the forefront in developing programs that promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of the community - where we live, work & play.

Since 1963 Special Care & Career Services has assisted thousands of children and adults with developmental disabilities lead independent lives. In 2005 the organization's two exemplary programs impacted a total of 938 individuals with disabilities: Early Childhood Intervention and Supported Employment Services.

Mark your calendars now for Wednesday, April 26th and join us at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center for an amazing evening. At last year's Tom Jones concert, everyone had a rockin' time, literally dancing in the aisles as Jones belted out "She's a Lady" and all of his hits. This year with the Doobie Brothers promises to be even more exciting.

Sponsorships are available. For more information call Cynthia Blackfox at (972) 991-6777 ext. 121 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Mark your calendar:Tickets go on sale March 19th and are priced from $80 to $200 and can be obtained by called 1-866-468-7621 or go to

For more information and Party Pics from last year:

Join in the fun!

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by Sandra Lewis    Wed, Mar 8, 2006, 02:21 AM

On Monday I felt lucky to land a window seat on standby status returning home one flight early from nine days in California – San Diego, Costa Mesa, and San Francisco for business, and then three days of pleasure in Healdsburg for the weekend wine barrel tasting event.

Somewhere over the Nevada desert I caught site of another jet flying some distance below and in the opposite direction; another jet just like mine filled with people either going to or returning from somewhere.

I wondered about the anonymous jet and its passengers. What was its final destination, who was on board and why? I’ll never know.

American Airlines claims to know why we fly and built a recent advertising campaign around this theme; mostly it’s a personal list – golf, Labor Day weekend, clean sheets, because kids won’t be kids forever, the list goes on.

Yeah, right.

That’s not the reason why in the first couple of months of 2006 I’ve made it halfway to Gold and a quarter of the way to Platinum status where the real perks start.

Travel means business. And mostly that means I travel alone.

Single-handedly I can tote my backpack, computer bag, and suitcase, navigate unknown airports and cities, manage Southern California traffic, and maneuver all the one-way streets of San Francisco.

I am woman, hear my roar.

Yeah, right.

Not at dinner time. I hate dining out alone.

But I deplore even more the thought of eating marginal room service or lukewarm food from a to-go container so I am forced to flee my hotel room.

I set out one evening this past week in San Francisco feeling apprehensive, uncertain of how my evening would unfold, good book in hand for comfort.

 I’m very glad I did.

Just a few doors down and across the street from the Prescott Hotel, I spotted Farallon with its elegant, jellyfish-looking lights hanging from the ceiling in the bar. The menu far exceeded what my company expense limits would allow, but I stopped in for a glass of wine simply because from the street it looked inviting.

I took the first empty chair I spotted at the bar, and over a glass of Pinot Noir I met and chatted with longtime friends and locals sitting to my right, Mike and Michael.

We laughed about the disappointing photography exhibit they had just browsed. Mike said he was glad to have gotten the intrigue of it out of his system. I learned that Mike is godfather to one of Michael’s daughters. And they both explained why they loved the city by the bay and I shared why I have a Texas-shaped heart.

Mike insisted I try the food at Farallon and left his tab open with instructions to the bartender to close it out after I had dined. A prior commitment prevented either from joining me for dinner.

So I enjoyed a luscious meal and even though I dined alone I didn’t feel alone.

I had made a chance connection with two delightful people who previous to that moment had been complete strangers to me. I ventured out and they opened their lives to me for the hour or so we chatted at the bar with the seaweed columns, the generous dinner offer totally unexpected.

I’ve reflected on that nameless jet that passed by a couple of days ago.  So close yet a safe distance away. That could easily be me, jetting in, around, and out of a beautiful city keeping my distance, succumbing to a hermit-like life in my hotel room.

I’m glad it wasn’t.

I took flight and came in for a landing in San Francisco all at once which was a thing of beauty.

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Your name carved in stone or emblazoned in brass: Print E-mail
by Sharon Adams    Mon, Mar 6, 2006, 04:01 PM

How your family, business or foundation can have a positive impact on your city and enjoy the view at the same time.

2005Fall4Bridge.jpgThere are many venues for donations in Dallas but very few are seen by over 100,000 people in just a few weeks’ time, are open year round and serve as a testament of your community spirit and dedication to making Dallas a more beautiful place to live.

I’m talking about the new donor naming opportunities in Phase II of A Woman’s Garden presented by the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, nearing completion after about 20 years of planning and implementation, at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

Now is the time to get in on one of the most fabulous opportunities for ongoing name recognition of your family, foundation or business supporting your community.
From the Acequia Garden, The Rockery, The Bride’s Walk to The Grotto and more, naming opportunities are available now and will disappear quickly, once the word gets out.

Donor Naming Ops and parties, too!
Permanent recognition in A Woman’s Garden is included in some of the underwriting opportunities for the April 19th Mad Hatter’s Tea and the May 17th black tie gala celebrating the completion of Phase II.

9FAG0835Talldblog.jpgMad Hatter’s Tea: You will see the wild, wacky, sophisticated and sassy at this too-much-fun event. Definitely a destination event for ladies from all over the United States, Mad Hatter’s Tea is held at the Dallas Arboretum and includes luncheon, fashion show, tours of the garden and much more. April 19th at the Dallas Arboretum. By reservation only. Linda Ivy, Honorary Chairman. Donna Miller, chairman. Teresa Smith, Co-Chairman and Underwriting chairman.
For more information, and Party Pics from past Mad Hatter’s Teas, click here:

Photo from 2004 Mad Hatter's Tea of Linda Ivy, Honorary Chairman 2006 MHT and her husband, Steve Ivy; Carolyn Rogers, president-elect, Women's Council 2006-07.  Photo by Dana Driensky.

A Woman’s Garden Phase II Gala opening : This festive black-tie event sponsored by Wachovia Bank will begin at 6:00 p.m. with cocktails and guided tours of the Garden, followed by a seated dinner at the DeGolyer Verandah and tented terrace. Tables are for 10 and it is the perfect opportunity to entertain clients and actually see your piece of the garden. May 17th. By reservation only. Honorary Chairman, Mrs. Eugene McDermott, Our Founder. Gala Co-Chairmen, Emilynn Wilson, Shelby Marcus, Patricia Cowlishaw. For more information:

Donor Naming Contact : For further information regarding donor naming opportunities, please contact Patricia Cowlishaw, phone: 972-239-1702, fax: 972-960-8799 e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Dallas Blooms, presented by Chase, a celebration of spring at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden begins March 10th and runs through April 17th. Last year, over 120,000 people visited the Dallas Arboretum during this celebration.

The Dallas Arboretum is arguably one of top five floral display gardens in North America. This year’s festival features more than 400,000 spring-blooming bulbs, 20,000 spring-flowering azaleas, 70,000 pansies and violas and thousands of other spring blooming annuals and perennials.

Not to be missed: Eiffel Flower
This year's festival theme is Eiffel Flower featuring a 15-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower atop a festive topiary filled with thousands of flowers and so much more!
Link to the Dallas Arboretum’s website for more information about Dallas Blooms:

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by Sandra Lewis    Sun, Feb 26, 2006, 10:33 AM

People rarely sit on the fence when it comes to liking or disliking Indian food. They either really dig it or don’t want to go near it. And a small percentage of those who don’t want to go near it have never even tasted it.

My parents used to fit into that last category.

I figured the earth would stop spinning on its axis before they would be adventurous enough as to give Indian food a try, but thanks to a little goading on my uncle’s part recently they were - and they liked it.

Last time I checked the earth was still spinning.

But I can't poke too much fun at non-adventurous eaters simply because I’m a hold out when it comes to one particular cuisine – sushi. I know it’s a shock especially for someone like me who loves food to be a sushi holdout, but in my book raw fish = fish bait.

I hear such wonderful things about this puzzling foodstuff from friends and from Ariel whose boyfriend got her hooked on sushi that I’m inclined to give it a try one of these days. But that’s a story for another blogging day.

I love Indian food for its unique combination of spices like exotic fenugreek and kalonji seeds; cinnamon and clove, two spices that Americans rarely reach for outside the holiday run from November to December. And, then there’s cumin and cilantro, a spice and an herb most commonly used in dishes from south of the border.  That's just to name a few.

Rarely does the average American recipe call for the same quantity of individual spices for a single recipe, salt and pepper don’t count. 

The  beef curry and carrot sambal dishes posted below call for five different spices; if you make your own garam masala that would increase the count by an additional nine spices.

If you aren't an Indian food convert yet you soon will be. 

Go ahead.

Try it, you'll like it. 

Dry Beef Curry
4 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oi
2 fresh green chilis, seeded and chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 lb. 4 oz. stewing or braising steak, diced
7 oz. canned tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 ½ teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons curry paste (see recipe below)
1 ¼ cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, to garnish

To make the curry, heat the ghee in a large heavy- bottom pan. Add the chilis and onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are light golden. Add the steak and cook, stirring frequently for 10 minutes, or until browned all over. Stir in the tomatoes and season with salt to taste.

Mix the ground coriander, 1 teaspoon of the garam masala, the cumin, the curry paste and coconut milk together in a bowl, then add to the pan. Stir well, half-cover, and let simmer over low heat for 1 ½ hours. Remove the lid from the pan and continue to simmer for an additional 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender and the sauce is very thick. If it dries out too much, add a little water. Transfer to a warmed dish, sprinkle with the remaining garam masala and chopped cilantro.

Carrot Sambal
1 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
1 ½ oz shredded coconut
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
12 oz. carrots, grated
4 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup golden raisins
4 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Heat the ghee in a small skillet. Add the coconut and mustard seeds and cook over low heat stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until the coconut is starting to brown. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the carrots, lemon juice, golden raisins, and mint. Mix well.

Curry Paste
4 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 curry leaves
2 dried red chilies
2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoon chili powder
5 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
½ cup vegetable oil, plus extra for sealing

Grind the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, curly leaves, and dried red chilies in a spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the turmeric, chili powder, vinegar, and water to make a smooth paste.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottom skillet, add the paste and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 10 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed and the oil rises to the surface.

Let cool, then spoon into a glass jar with a lid. To preserve the curry past, heat a little more vegetable oil in a clean pan, and pour it over the surface. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Sandra’s Kitchen Notes:

  • The recipes above can be found in “The Best Ever Indian” cookbook. The introduction section with its detailed explanations of Indianthebesteverindian.jpg spices, cooking techniques, and curry recipe is alone worth the price of the book (which won’t break your bank account to begin with).
  • If you have challenges locating the curry leaves for the curry paste, no worries. I bought curry leaves from my local Indian grocery then promptly forgot to include them. The curry was tasty enough without them.  Making your own curry paste is half the fun of Indian cooking so go for it.
  • Anytime I use whole spices in Indian cooking, I toast them for a few minutes to release their oils and heighten their flavor.  Be sure to let them cool before grinding.
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Mark your calendars! Join in the fun and support non profit organizations at the same time. Print E-mail
by Sharon Adams    Tue, Feb 21, 2006, 09:57 AM

Many people have asked where they can go to find out what parties are going on around town and how they can be invited. With most events, all you do is call or email the contact listed, ask to be put on their invitation mailing list.

Some upcoming fun parties: 
The contact information and details for these events can be found here:

*Feb. 24: Chefs Showcase benefiting Camp John Marc
(see listing below for the Harley-Davidson in the raffle);

06Invite.jpg* March 4: Gone to Texas benefiting Dallas Heritage Village (formerly Old City Park.)  Featuring Asleep at the Wheel (Invitation cover on left)

*  March 25: CONTACT Crisis Line presents Jay Leno, Live at the Majestic

*  March 25:  12th Annual Celebrity Gala benefiting Child Abuse Prevention Center

*  March 26, 27:  Art in Bloom Floral Symposim and Festival benefiting the Dallas Museum of Art

*  March 31: Fourth Annual Bowling Ball benefiting Family Gateway
(Yes, you really go bowling.)

* April 19:  Mad Hatter's Tea "Lavender and Roses" benefiting A Woman's Garden at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden sponsored by the Women's Council

*  April 26:  A Special Evening with the Doobie Brothers sponsored by Alliance Data benefiting Special Care & Career Services

* April 29: The Art Ball Gods and Kings benefiting the Dallas Museum of Art


Here are some online reliable sources for party listings:

*'s Events Calendar:


* D Magazine Events:

Email me if I can help with any questions!  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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