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With the December holiday season in full swing, it is so critical that adults (and children) cooking and prepping meals be aware of how to minimize the risk of food borne illnesses. The Food Safety Book: What You Don’t Know Could Kill You is so full of information and easy to read, it might as well be named “The Kitchen Bible.” This handy book will help you stay safe in the kitchen, and guide you to make smart choices when bagging your groceries and selecting the best fruits and vegetables in the grocery store or at the markets.

The Food Safety Book covers three themes: food safety, food quality, and food longevity. There are dozens upon dozens of times that I have opened my refrigerator and could not be certain how long specific vegetables can remain in the fridge, the last day leftover food should be consumed, proper thawing time, and the ideal storage location for food items. To assist in ensuring that you stay healthy and safe during these joyous occasions, I am giving away one hardcopy of The Food Safety Book to my readers!

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Bastille Restaurant Alexandria VA

Bastille is a must visit when you come to visit the Washington D.C. metro area. Set at the corner of North Fayette & Pendleton, this contemporary French restaurant is on the street level of The Asher, Old Town’s chic new apartment building. Bastille, just a ten to fifteen minute drive from Washington D.C., offers a fresh take on the classic French Brasserie with a menu fit for all ages. We sat on their outdoor patio space as the weather that morning was unbeatable. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day to explore the sites of D.C. Bastille has a European ambiance with the warmth of southern hospitality.

The waitstaff at Bastille was so genuine and attentive, but appropriately so. If a manual were to be written that highlighted quality service at a restaurant, it would quote Bastille throughout. Every staff member we met was so vigilant and personable. During our visit, we enjoyed Le Dejeuner, a Three Course Prix Fixe for $29 that includes one hors d’oeuvres, soup or salad, one sandwich or plat, and one dessert.

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The Embassy Row Hotel

During my second visit to Washington D.C., we selected a hotel within close proximity to the national monuments and museums, and just a short walking distance to several restaurants and shops. The Embassy Row Hotel is just steps away from the historic Dupont Circle, an exciting, cosmopolitan neighborhood that is charming and fun for all ages located in Northwest Washington D.C.. From a chic yoga studio and weekend farmer’s market, to a trend-setting dining scene and plenty exciting nightlife, there is something for everyone, and an abundance of access to it all.

We arrived to D.C. late on Friday evening after stopping in Baltimore for dinner. We were pleased to be able to park our vehicle in their overnight valet parking garage for $45/night as finding parking in the city, especially on the weekends, could be seen as a challenge. We stayed on the eighth floor, which boasted a stunning view of Embassy Row, a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue extending out from Dupont Circle, where you can discover most of the District’s foreign embassies. Just across the street, for example, is the Indonesian Embassy.

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Simply Charmed

I have attended several dinner parties and events this year, and I cannot tell you how many times I placed my cocktail or wine glass down and could not decipher which glass was mine, even between one or two individuals I was conversing with. It always ended up with starting over with a fresh cocktail. To help eliminate waisting precious libations and to add some spice to your beverage, Simply Charmed has the answer!

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Dona Chai

If you admire the comforting taste of chai with its powerful essence of fresh spices, Dona Chai would surely become a staple in your kitchen. I first discovered Dona Chai just over a month ago. It was love at first sip, I just had to have more. It took quite a feat of strength to resist enjoying the chai, either iced or hot, on a daily basis. I prefer an iced chai during the mid afternoon anytime of year, but always appreciate a piping hot cup of chai in the morning.

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