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EDITOR: Andrea Kirk
Michele Hunter
Mark Share
Matt Share
Josh Herz

By Nancy Mills


Wow. Did we have a blast. Cooking. Dicing. Chopping. And bonding. Not to forget all the calories we saved by cooking healthy at the recent Spirited Woman event, "A Low Fat Cooking Night to Slim Down After the Holidays with Chef Leslie."

Spirited Woman is all about "Creative Fun for Inspired Women" and fifteen spirited women showed up in the pouring rain to cook "healthy", mingle, and to find out some of Chef Leslie's best kept secrets. Chef Leslie McKenna is the owner ofChefs Inc., a fantastic cooking school on the Westside. She has cooked for Presidents and some of the top restaurants on the planet - from Valentino's to Campanile. Thousands of people attend her school's popular cooking classes each year, and because she is a "spirited woman," and thinks our events are great, she planned a special evening just for us!

The first thing Chef Leslie told us was that there are tons of dishes that seem exotic and perhaps high in calories, but can be made simply and easily - and are actually low in calories designed for you to lose weight. She also talked about substituting oil for butter, how to chop garlic (put the knife on top of it and crush), and how many of her "light" recipes are from Cooking Light Magazine. She has an association with them.

Then, she read the ingredients for our delectable dishes:Grilled Pear Salad with Goat Cheese, Fudgy Mocha-Toffee Brownies, Butternut Squash Spread with Pepitas, Sicilian Chicken with Orzo Pasta, and a Sherry Fig-Vinaigrette to die for. We were salivating as we listened in rapture. The next step she said, was breaking into groups of threes and fours to start cooking! That's when the panic set in. How were we going to do this?

Well, it turned out to be so much fun and a lot of laughs. Plus, it was so great working in teams. Covered in our white chef's aprons, we were chopping, and dicing, and slicing, and measuring and TALKING. Leslie was whirling around with her staff and was there to help when we needed help - like turning on the processor or using a thingamajig to peel the skin off of a squash.

Finally, after we prepared the food and were REALLY hungry from all the delicious smells and hard work, we took our food and laid it out in a glorious display. We toasted each other with a glass of wine, gave each other a round of applause, said the Spirited Woman chant together, "I am a Spirited Woman, I am enough as I am. Always.," and sat down to eat our amazing (low-calorie) meal in Spirited Woman Style.

It was a night to remember!

-- Nancy Mills - aka The Spirited Woman (nancymills@thespiritedwoman.com)

I invite you to join us at upcoming Spirited Woman events and workshops. Our next event is on February 10, "Sexy Tips for Your Most Romantic Valentine's Day Ever." We're all about "Creative Fun for Inspired Women."Join us! Sign-up at www.TheSpiritedWoman.com/events or call 888-428-1234.I also invite you to subscribe to the freeSpirited Woman Newsletter- it's fun and chock full of inspiration and information.

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