One of our favorite holiday activities (besides going to see the Radio City Rockettes and The Nutcracker) is baking yummy treats. Make your recipes healthier with these easy baking substitutions. You shouldn’t use all of them in one recipe, but by choosing a couple, you can enjoy your favorite desserts with a little less guilt.
Instead of: One cup of regular chocolate chips
Use: One-half cup of mini chocolate chips
Instead of: Whole-fat varieties of cream cheese, sour cream or evaporated milk
Use: Non-fat or low-fat varieties
Instead of: Whole or two-percent milk
Use: Skim or one-percent milk
Instead of: One egg
Use: Two egg whites
Instead of: The entire amount of shortening (butter, oil, margarine)
Use: Applesauce for half of the shortening
Tip: When baking light, lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees or cut the baking time by a few minutes. Desserts with less fat cook quicker.
Bake a Batch of Holiday Cheer
Sometimes, after all those long hours of rehearsal, you just want (and deserve!) to indulge. Try these scrumptious sugar cookies.
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Frosting and sprinkles (optional)
1. Using an electric mixer, cream the sugar and butter. Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream until well combined. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
2. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
3. Once chilled, roll and cut the dough into shapes. (Try the ballerina cookie cutter pictured!)
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes. Remove and let cool.
5. Frost and decorate if desired.
Tip: Skip the frosting. Opt for fresh fruit with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
A Spoonful of Honey
There’s only one thing worse than trying to rehearse with a cough: the taste of cough medicine. The next time you’re coughing up a storm, swallow a spoonful (two teaspoons) of honey instead. This all-natural cough remedy is not only tasty, it can actually be more effective than some over-the-counter cough syrups, according to a study at Penn State College of Medicine. Honey is high in antioxidants and coats and soothes the throat for instant relief.
Morning Tea Time
Have you ever stumbled into the bathroom before an early morning rehearsal and found yourself sporting puffy, red eyes? Try this: Steep two tea bags in boiling water, wring them out and stick them in the fridge or freezer until cooled but not frozen. Then place them on your eyelids for 5 to 10 minutes to help get the blood circulating and reduce swelling.
Quick Tip: Just one medium-sized orange provides 100 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. So during flu season, eat an orange a day to keep the doctor away!
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽
Guys, we all knew this was coming—"World of Dance" was eventually going to eliminate someone. But man, is it brutal to watch these talented dancers give their all, only to be sent home. It's the name of the game, though, and after last night's episode, only two dancers per division remain. (At least Misty Copeland guest-judging was a silver lining!) Here's what went down last night:
They've impressed the judges, now it's time for the Top 100 dancers to enroll at The Academy—and to impress the All-Stars. Welcome to So You Think You Can Dance Academy!
The 100 dancers who made it through auditions in NYC or L.A. are now at The Academy, which is basically a beautiful building with floor-to-ceiling windows. The show opens with that Mandy Moore-choreographed Academy routine which, even after watching it 12 times and trying to learn all the choreography at home, is still delightful.
This Nationals season, Dance Spirit followed four talented dancers from The Dance Awards, NYCDA, Showstopper, and Starpower for an inside look at everything that goes into the biggest competitions of the year. First up: Isabella Torres from Mid-Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts in Baltimore, MD, who competed at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals for the first time this year. (All photos courtesy Shannon Torres.)
Merritt Moore is a ballerina who just so happens to be graduating from Oxford University with a PhD in quantum physics. Is she even human? The jury is still out on that - but the 29-year-old, who earned her undergrad degree from Harvard, has actually found dance to be a powerful tool that assists her in her studies.