HOTLINE: Sunday, Nov. 17

Posted: Updated:
P.O. Box 25732
Scottsdale, Arizona 85255


Ballet Arizona’s Annual Nutcracker Festival planned for November 24th

Ballet Arizona, 2835 E. Washington St., Phoenix, 602.381.1096, visit

A family holiday tradition for 23 years, Ballet Arizona hosts its annual Nutcracker Festival on Sunday, November 24th from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at its new state-of-the-art facility in downtown Phoenix. A fun-filled day for the whole family, this enchanting event will include a special holiday brunch buffet, fun arts & crafts activities for kids of all ages such as pointe shoe decorating, mingling with costumed Nutcracker characters, seasonal holiday shopping, and special performances by The School of Ballet Arizona and Ballet Arizona. The performances are scheduled for 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Other local arts organizations will also be participating in the “arts & crafts” portion of the event.

“We are so excited to share our gorgeous new Ballet Arizona dance center with the local community,” said
Lauri Termansen, Nutcracker Festival event chair. “And there is truly something for the whole family at this
very special event!”

The cost to attend is $60 person. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 602.381.1096 or visit Limited tickets will be available for purchase at the door. All proceeds from the event will
benefit Ballet Arizona, including its education, outreach and performance programs.

Ballet Arizona, in its 34th season, is dedicated to preserving and celebrating classical dance while creating new and innovative works. Under the artistic direction of internationally acclaimed choreographer Ib Andersen - a former Principal Dancer with The New York City Ballet and The Royal Danish Ballet - Ballet Arizona follows his lead to the future of dance in Arizona. The School of Ballet Arizona, under the direction of Carlos Valcárcel, promotes access to the art form of ballet through dance education, with a focus on excellence in the form, directing each student to a life-long love of dance. Following this vision, Ballet Arizona connects to more than 25,000 children and families every year through its free and low cost outreach programs. Ballet Arizona is located at 2835 E. Washington St. in downtown Phoenix.


Arizona Education Foundation (AEF)
(480) 421-9376

The Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF) announced the winner of its coveted 2014 AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year title: Beth Maloney, fifth grade teacher at Sunset Hills Elementary School in Surprise in the Dysart Unified School District. The announcement was made at the Nov. 14th Teacher of the Year Awards Luncheon held at The Arizona Biltmore before more than 500 attendees including Arizona educators, elected officials and business leaders.

The annual Teacher of the Year program is the premier event of the Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF), a statewide organization that promotes and awards the exceptional efforts being made in Arizona’s public schools.

Beth Maloney is in her 15th year of teaching; this is her ninth year at Sunset Hills Elementary School in Surprise where she teaches fifth grade. Beth exemplifies excellence in the classroom with her students and serves as a teacher leader in her school and her district. To demonstrate her commitment to her students and colleagues, Ms. Maloney constantly uses the latest research to achieve success in her classroom. She attributes much of her students’ success to the integration of literacy into all content areas. Sunset Hills’ Principal Karen Winterstein writes, “Beth is a prime example of an educator who puts her heart and soul into working with all students. It is an honor to work with Beth as she leads by example first.” Ms. Maloney earned both her Bachelor of Elementary Education and Master of Educational Leadership degrees from National Louis University in Chicago. She is a National Board Certified Teacher.

As AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year, Ms. Maloney will have the opportunity to meet President Obama, compete for the title of National Teacher of the Year and attend international space camp in Huntsville, Ala. She will also receive a host of awards and recognitions including a $15,000 cash award, professional speech training, $7,000+ worth of equipment from SMART Technologies and a full scholarship toward an advanced degree at Argosy University.

“Ms. Maloney exemplifies excellence. Not only does she do an outstanding job with the students in her classroom, but she is poised and articulate. She will be a great spokesperson for all teachers in Arizona and an excellent advocate for education,” said Executive Director of AEF, Bobbie O’Boyle. “Thanks to our generous sponsors and donors, the Arizona Educational Foundation continues to be able to provide this distinguished award for the 31st consecutive year and celebrate the teaching profession.”

Additionally, AEF named its four Teacher of the Year finalists, called “Ambassadors for Excellence,” who will serve along with Maloney as spokespersons for their profession, advocating for excellence in the classroom by making presentations statewide to education, civic, government and professional organizations. Each Ambassador will receive a $5,000 cash award, professional speech training and a scholarship from Argosy University for 50 percent of the cost of tuition toward a master’s or doctoral degree in education and more. The five semi-finalists will receive a $1,000 cash award and a scholarship from Argosy University for 25 percent of the cost of tuition toward an advanced degree. The four Ambassadors for Excellence, along with the Teacher of the Year and five semi-finalists who were honored at today’s luncheon, will march in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl Parade. Blue Bell Ice Cream presented each of the teachers with a school-wide ice cream party.

The four 2014 Ambassadors for Excellence are:
• Dayna Burke, 1st grade teacher at Sahuarita Primary School, Sahuarita in the Sahuarita Unified School District;
• Tara Dale, 7th grade General Science teacher at Akimel A-al Middle School, Phoenix in the Kyrene Elementary School District;
• Tabetha Finchum, 4th grade teacher at Centennial Elementary School, Tucson in the Flowing Wells Unified School District;
• Jonathan Parker, 11th grade AP U.S. History teacher at Thunderbird High School, Phoenix in the Glendale Union High School District.

AEF invites Arizona’s business and professional community to support its Teacher of the Year Program and, in turn, champion the achievements of teachers statewide. AEF Education Platinum Donors who help make the event possible are Argosy University, APS, the Arizona Education Association, The Arizona Republic/12News/AZCentral, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, Intel Corporation, University of Phoenix and Wells Fargo. 

The AEF Arizona Teacher of the Year program is the only statewide program that spotlights the contributions of Arizona’s teachers. To learn more, please visit

About Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF)
The Arizona Educational Foundation is a nonprofit organization that fosters excellence in education by administering statewide programs that enhance the capabilities of Arizona’s schools.  It endeavors to strengthen the teaching profession, design high quality curricula, stimulate student achievement and celebrate the successes in K-12 public education in Arizona.  Since 1983, through its Arizona Teacher of the Year Program, A+ School of Excellence Program, Arizona Spelling Bee, Polly Rosenbaum Writing Contest and Principals’ Leadership Academy and UnitED, AEF identifies, recognizes and awards exceptional schools, leaders, teachers and students.  Visit or call (480) 421-9376 for more information.



Ryan Naylor is talking 3 Hot New Jobs and why the holidays are a great
 time to look for a job.
ESI - Product Manager (mid-level career)
Hot Industry - Manufacturing (News of Apple coming to Arizona bringing
 700 jobs in manufacturing)
 Job: Press Operator.  Green Leaf Paper
Seasonal Jobs Still Hiring
 Advance Security - Holiday Security positions
TIP: Why It's Best Time of Year To Look For Work
 What many job seekers are saying:
 1- "Getting a new job, might get in the way of my holiday plans!"
 -Show your work ethic and dedication.
 2- "I’ll start fresh in 2014″  Procrastination is easier!, Don't fall
 into this trap.


Thanksgiving Centerpiece, Table Dressing and Decorating Ideas

Here are some various different Centerpiece and Decorating ideas that will help make Thanksgiving more festive!  By repurposing some items you already have in your home, along with some inexpensive items you can get at Home Depot and/or any craft or dollar store this can be a very easy task.

-For a very urban natural decoration, use hot glue or rubber bands to surround a glass cylinder vase with Asparagus then tie twine, raffia or ribbon around to add a decorative touch. Place a pillar candle inside the vase.

-Also for a very natural urban fall look, use Burlap (sold in rolls at Home Depot) as a table liner under your Thanksgiving Decor!

-Create a Thanksgiving Floral Centerpiece by starting with a Faux Pumpkin for a base, cut out the top, place some styrofoam inside and arrange some Fall Floral Stems to create the arrangement!

-Place River Rock and/or Moss in any glass receptacle and place a candle or candles in the rocks.

-Place scented Pine Cones in a pot, in a dish, in anything for that matter. Pine Cones add a decorative touch to any fall/winter table!

-Add Fall Floral Garland, String Lights and some Glitter Turkeys and you are ready for an Amazing Thanksgiving Celebration!!

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving to All!!!


1) Should I brine my turkey and if so, what's the best way to do it? 
Brining your turkey is a great way to add flavor deeply into your turkey meat. So yes, I do recommend taking that extra step.  First, you'll need a 4-5 gallon bucket that can fit inside your fridge or a cooler about the same size.  The key is to be sure you've cleaned the inside of this container with warm soapy water and rinsed it well, even if it's brand new.  The turkey must be completely thawed and we'll do this the night before we cook the bird.  Remove the turkey from its wrapping and take out the package with the neck, liver & gizzards.  Rinse the bird inside and out and set aside.  In a large pot over medium high heat, combine 4 cups of good quality water with 10 oz. of Soy sauce, ¾ cup of sugar, ½ cup of salt, 2 Tablespoons of dried sage and 1 Tablespoon of garlic powder.  Bring this mixture up to a simmer, stirring well to combine.  Remove the pot from the heat and add enough ice to cool it down to room temp.  Put the turkey in your container then pour the mixture we just made over the top.  Now fill the container with water until the bird is completely submerged.  If you're moving shelves around in your fridge to put this into, fine.  If you're using a cooler, put plenty of ice over the top to keep the bird chilled.  The rule of thumb timing-wise, is about 1 hour per pound.  So plan accordingly and make sure the bird stays chilled the entire time.  About an hour before putting the turkey in the oven, remove the bird from the brine and rinse it off well then pat dry with paper towels.  It's ok to leave the turkey out, covered for one hour prior to putting in the oven.

2) We are buying a frozen turkey this year.  How long does it take to defrost? 
A turkey MUST be thawed in your refrigerator for the best and safest outcome.  Plan on 1 day for every 4 pounds of turkey.  But, I always add one more day, just in case.  And don't forget, if you're brining the turkey, you'll want it completely thawed 2 days before you cook it.  So, if you have a 16 pound turkey, that would be 4 days plus 1, so 5 days ahead of time I'll move the turkey from the freezer to the refrigerator.  Put the turkey on a large plate or tray lined with paper towels to catch any leakage, but DO NOT remove the plastic wrapping it comes in.  So, if you want a 16 pound bird thawed on the day before Thanksgiving so you can brine it, put it in the fridge the Friday beforehand.

3) Do you have any tips about keeping the turkey moist?  Ours always comes out a bit dry.
The reason why a turkey comes out dry is because it was overcooked.  Three things you can do to prevent this or fix it are; 1) Take the turkey out of the oven when the deepest part of the breast meat reaches 160 degrees. 2) Wrap the turkey in foil, turn it breast side down to rest for 20 minutes before carving.  This allows the juices to settle into the breast meat.  3) If all else fails, have a large pot filled with about 4 cups of chicken stock to dip the meat into just before serving.  Keep the stock warm, but not boiling.

4) What's the best temperature to cook my turkey and should I cover it with foil?
I see all sorts of recipes that call for high then low or visa versa.  Personally, I've had my best luck with a consistent temperature of 325.  Foil isn't necessary unless the top of the bird gets too dark before the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.  If that happens, simply lay a partially folded piece of foil over the top to deflect the heat. 

5) Should we cook our stuffing inside the turkey or in a casserole dish? 
I have to admit, dressing cooked inside the bird tastes a bit better thanks to the juices that come from the turkey itself, but the consequence of having to cook the turkey longer gives us dry meat.  Because the dressing has eggs inside, it needs to be cooked to 160 degrees or more to be safe.  That unfortunately means the turkey will be overcooked.  Cook your stuffing in a casserole dish and only use aromatics (diced celery, carrot, parsley & onion) inside the cavity.  You can still take some of the pan drippings (2 or 3 spoonfuls) and drizzle that over the stuffing after it comes out of the oven.

6) I always have trouble making gravy and hate the stuff in a jar.  Can you show me a simple gravy recipe, please?

Chef Dad's Turkey Gravy

4 Tbsp. (¼ Cup) + 1 Tbsp. Salted Butter
¼ Cup Wondra® Flour (Wondra is in your flour/baking isle at the grocery store)
3 Cups Chicken Stock
½ tsp. Kosher Salt
¼ tsp. Black Pepper
½ tsp. Kitchen Bouquet® (optional) Found in the grocer's gravy section.

1) Have all your ingredients pre-measured and ready to go.
2) Use a medium sized saucepan and melt butter over medium heat.  After butter is completely melted and bubbling, add the Wondra flour and reduce heat to medium low then whisk frequently for 5-6 minutes.  If you are doubling up this recipe, whisk for 10-12 minutes.
3) When your mixture looks light brown, raise temperature to medium and immediately start pouring in the chicken stock.  Pour stock with one hand while whisking with the other.  While continuing to whisk, let it come to a simmer.  Just a simmer, not a boil. This step is important to be patient.  The gravy will not thicken until it simmers for a bit.
4) Now that the gravy has come to a simmer, lower heat down to medium low again then add the salt and pepper.  Whisk it in for a minute to let the seasonings incorporate then give it a taste test.  You can make adjustments for more spices if you like.  But remember; add just a little at a time.  If you prefer brown gravy vs. a yellow one, add your Kitchen Bouquet now.
5) The final step is to add your last tablespoon of butter for a little richer flavor and a shiny gleam.  If the dinner is not ready to serve yet, simply remove from the heat and cover the pan.

Cook's Note:  If you're adding mushrooms or giblets, dice and sauté them in a little butter, salt & pepper before adding to your gravy.

This recipe should make enough gravy for at least 8-10 people.