Michelle Obama

5 Style Tips Every Woman Can Learn from First Lady Michelle Obama

February 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm , by

Looking to revamp your wardrobe? Take some style cues from our First Lady, who’s the subject of Kate Betts’ new book Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style. “I think people have forgotten that style is powerful,” said Betts, a contributing editor at Time. “Everybody can relate to beautiful colors or the way she presents herself, and I think she’s used her style to really connect with people.” We talked to Betts about some of the staples of Michelle Obama’s wardrobe, and why they can work for you, too.

1. Don’t be afraid to wear bold colors. “Michelle Obama has made color an expression of power so it feels more attainable by someone who might be afraid of wearing bold colors. People really notice you if you’re wearing a beautiful pink dress or turquoise cardigan.”

2. Your shoes don’t have to be high-heeled and painful to be chic. “High heels have gotten crazy over the past few seasons. When Mrs. Obama wears flats it’s not only about the fact that flats are back in fashion, but also that she’s wearing shoes that she likes.”

3. Keep your style fresh by taking fashion risks. “The risk that people talked about the most was when she wore a cardigan to meet the Queen. A lot of people thought she should have worn a jacket or something more formal. I think that was a perfect example of her saying, ‘This is who I am and the way I dress, and this is the way I feel great about myself.’”

4. Find your signature accessory. “I love the fact that Mrs. Obama wears a lot of floral prints and bold jewelry. She’s made that her signature.”

5. Mix in budget-friendly finds. “When Mrs. Obama wore JCrew gloves to the inauguration, most people could relate. It was a way of connecting to people and making herself very accessible.”

The Burger Bible from Top Chef’s Spike Mendelsohn

June 15, 2010 at 9:08 am , by

Love making burgers, but want to get more bang for your bun? Spike Mendelsohn, Top Chef Season 4 contestant and owner of D.C.’s Good Stuff Eatery (a Michelle Obama fave) gives us a glimpse of his new cookbook and shares tips for preventing boring burgers.

What can we expect to see in The Good Stuff Cookbook?
“Everyone loves to have cookouts in the summer and make burgers and sides, but most need guidance… this book is about sharing what we do at the restaurant because we’ve worked hard to perfect our unique recipes and know they’re working.”

Where’s the Beef?
Most of us think burgers and beef are one in the same, but Spike’s Good Stuff recipes also include turkey, chicken, pork, and lamb! “The thing to know is that ladies love turkey burgers,” says Chef Spike (a man we can relate to!). “For one of my turkey burgers, I add celery, scallions, apples, and lemon juice – then it’s all about sauces and toppings, like avocado or carmelized onions. I also have a pork burger with a tamarind glaze that I top with red cabbage slaw and grilled pineapple. If you like lamb, try the ‘Big Fat Greek Burger’ with whipped feta and cumin scented yogurt. There is even a fried chicken burger which features gingered honey mustard and sautéed collard greens. In other words, if you’re going to try different meats, there are ways that will make it the best burger you’ve ever had and we’ve fine tuned every combination.”

Spike’s Taste Tips
1. After prepping, wrap your patties in wax paper so ingredients can mesh together.
2. Don’t press your patties while they’re cooking – why risk losing any flavorful juices?
3. Make sure the burger is done right – heat a large skillet over medium heat or adjust your grille accordingly: 1 ½ mins on each side to sear / 2 ½ mins  for rare / 3 mins  for medium rare / 4 mins for medium.

4. Make your own condiments – this adds another layer of flavor to any burger (ie: seasoned mayo)
5. Serving burgers on potato buns makes a big difference – butter both sides and toast them.
6. Go-to burger boosters:  fresh herbs, applewood smoked bacon, and daikon radish.

Photo courtesy of:  Joe Shymanski