Wednesday, December 16th


by GMT

Posted on December 16, 2009 at 2:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 16 at 2:02 PM


A 20-plus year communications veteran, Jody manages a team of approximately 90 public relations professionals to provide strategic internal and external communications services to organizations such as American Airlines, Verizon, ExxonMobil, the U.S. Army, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and Omni Hotels, among others. Jody has extensive experience managing corporate reputation issues, as well as experience marketing products and services to consumers and businesses worldwide.

Among her many accomplishments, Jody has counseled numerous Fortune 500 companies through critical business situations. For American Airlines, Jody led the crisis response team for American Airlines following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Within minutes of the first attack, Jody put in motion a strategic support network of Weber Shandwick professionals across the nation to assist American Airlines during this unprecedented crisis situation. Just two months later, Jody again led the crisis response team for American Airlines following the crash of Flight 587 from New York’s JFK Airport to the Dominican Republic. Jody mobilized Weber Shandwick professionals to assist American Airlines in successfully navigating the ensuing barrage of media inquires by providing an informative and timely channel of communications with the company’s employees, partners, vendors and customers.

Recently, Jody worked with American Airlines to intensify its fuel conservation program amid soaring fuel prices. She helped develop a program encouraging employees to focus on saving fuel, resulting in an incremental savings of $45 million in on American’s yearly fuel bill and ringing up a total of more than $110 million in annual savings on fuel costs with an 18-month period.

Prior to rejoining Weber Shandwick in 1998, Jody was Director of Public Relations and Employee Communications for Sprint. There, she implemented large-scale, integrated communications programs, including product and service introductions, as well as merger and acquisition announcements. Jody also was responsible for managing a company Intranet for field and channel communications, as well as handling crisis communications, executive visibility and strategic philanthropic initiatives.

Previously, Jody was an Account Director with Weber Shandwick, where she managed the Texas Instruments Semiconductor Group account. During that time, she led the team that TI selected for the Supplier Excellence Award – presented to less than one percent of TI suppliers worldwide.

Jody earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communications from Texas A&M University. She has been profiled by PRWeek magazine as a “Top 20 Agency Manager” in the US and is a frequent speaker at communications industry and educational forums. She volunteers as a communications liaison for the Plano Independent School District and is an active volunteer at Centennial Elementary in Plano. 



709 Alta Drive
In the River Crest neighborhood of Fort Worth at the far west end of 7th Street
Special Appearances by Santa, Super Frog and Friends
Each Friday and Saturday night before Christmas
7:00 – 9:00 pm, weather permitting



Pecan crusted quinoa stuffed turkey with whipped sweet potatoes
Serves 4

4-4oz turkey medallions
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup cranraisins
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup whole grain bread crumbs
2 organic eggs
1 TB orange zest
2 TB fresh sage
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup celery
1 cup red onion

Turkey crust:
2 cups finely chopped pecans
2 cups whole grain bread crumbs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
5 organic eggs
1/2 cups wheat flour

Sweet potatoes:
8 whole sweet potatoes
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

4 cups fresh greenbeans
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups slivered almonds
Salt and pepper to taste

Lightly pound turkey. In a bowel mix cooked quinoa, cranraisins, golden raisins, whole grain bread crumbs, eggs, orange zest, sage, chicken stock, celery, and onion for stuffing. Place stuffing in center of turkey, roll into cigar shape.
In one bowl mix pecans and whole grain bread crumbs. In another bowl add flour. In a third bowl add eggs. Bread turkey using flour, egg, and bread crumbs pecan mixture. Place on sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
Roast potatoes, place in bowl and mix in maple syrup, heavy cream, and salt and pepper to taste.
 Saute fresh greenbeans in olive oil. Toast almonds in oven until brown. Add roasted almonds to greenbeans. Add salt and pepper to taste.   

Harry & David operates 136 stores nationwide in addition to its seasonal gift catalogs and popular website.  Founded in 1934 by brothers Harry and David Holmes, the Company is the nation’s largest direct marketer of gourmet fruit and food gifts, and is known for its popular Fruit-of-the-Month Club® gifts.  The company has 3 stores locally.



Entrée to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora cooks up the many flavors of Jewish life around the world

What we eat says so much about who we are and from where we come.  Do you like your matzah brie sweet or savory?  Is your chicken soup matzah ball or mulligatawny?  Does your menu feature a cheese torta or a tofu salad?  Wherever Jews have settled, they have adapted local tastes and ingredients to meet the needs of Shabbat and kashrut, creating a rich and diverse menu of flavors and styles, all still Jewish. In Entrée to Judaism, Tina Wasserman leads a culinary journey around the world and across the ages, from Spain to India, from Russia to Tunisia, sharing the histories and recipes of the great Diaspora communities and the many wonderful ways they have told their stories through food.

Accessible, easy-to-follow recipes for the novice home cook and expert chef alike.
Features “Tina’s Tidbits,” fun facts and great cooking tips for every recipe.
Includes over 275 recipes and dozens of full-color photos.

The book is available at both Barnes and Noble and Neiman Marcus stores.

About the Author
Tina Wasserman is an award-winning cooking instructor, specializing in contemporary kosher cuisine. Trained in nutrition and education, Tina holds degrees from Syracuse University and New York University, and is a popular food educator in her own cooking school and as a scholar-in-residence in communities across North America. In 1994, Tina was elected to Les Dames d’Escoffier, an international culinary society that honors women in the food and beverage industry. Tina has been the food columnist for Reform Judaism magazine since 2003.  She lives in Dallas, Texas, with her husband and is the proud mother of two grown children.


8 ounces Israeli couscous
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 -cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 7-ounce package of chopped mixed dried fruit, or 1½ cups assorted dried fruits
1/3 cup whole almonds, roasted and coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons pine nuts, lightly roasted
1/3-cup water or milk with 1 drop of almond extract added
Cinnamon and medjool date halves for garnish
1. Cook couscous according to package directions.  Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
2. Melt the butter in a 1 cup bowl.  Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine.  Pour the mixture over the couscous to coat thoroughly.
3. Add the dried fruit and toasted nuts.
4. Mix the teaspoon of almond extract into the water or milk and then add just enough to moisten the couscous.  Do not add too much or the mixture will be runny.
5. Pile the couscous into a pyramid shape on a clean serving platter.  Sprinkle with additional cinnamon and garnish with the medjool date halves.
Serves 10 or more people as part of a holiday buffet.  
Tina’s Tidbit:
An 8 ounce box of couscous contains more than a cup of couscous so add more water to the pot to keep the proportion of liquid to couscous consistant
If you need to make the couscous in advance, stop after step two and refrigerate the couscous.  When ready to complete bring to room temperature or warm in a microwave for a minute before proceeding to step 3

Latkes are traditionally served for Hanukkah because they are cooked in oil (to commemorate the vial of oil lasting for 8 days).  However they are a perfect accompaniment to beef or chicken and can also be made into small rounds and topped with sour cream and caviar for an elegant appetizer.
6-8 large thin skinned potatoes, California long whites or Yukon Gold
3 eggs, beaten well
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2-cup matzo or cracker meal
1 large onion, cut into 8 pieces
Oil for frying
1.      Grate the raw potatoes using the large grating disk on a processor or the largest holes on a grater if doing it by hand. Place grated potato in a colander, rinse with cold water and drain while you grate onion.
2.      Combine eggs, salt, pepper and matzo meal in a 3 quart bowl.  Mix thoroughly.
3.      Change to the cutting blade on your processor.  Add onions to the work bowl.  Pulse on and off 5 times.  Add ¼ of the grated potatoes to the onion and pulse on and off to make a coarse paste. Add to the egg mixture and stir to combine.
4.      Add the drained potatoes to the bowl and mix thoroughly using a large spoon or your hands.
5.      Heat a large frying pan or large skillet for 20 seconds.  Add enough oil to cover the pan to a depth of 1/4 inch and heat for an additional 20 seconds. Drop mounds of potato mixture into the pan.  Fry on both sides until golden.  Drain fried latkes on a platter covered with crumpled paper towels.  Serve with applesauce and sour cream.
Tina’s Tidbits: 
•Grated potatoes turn black when exposed to air.  Rinsing the potatoes under running water washes away excess starch and the discoloring culprit. 
•Always grate your potatoes separately from your onions that way you won’t lose any of the flavorful juice when you drain the potatoes
•The best way to drain fried foods is on a plate covered with crumpled paper towels.  Crumpling gives more surface area for absorption.

In deference to the heroine Judith who saved the Jews from annihilation by feeding salty cheese and wine to General Holofernes, getting him drunk enough so she could behead him, and scare off his troops; I have created this updated version of classic Kaese Latkes. A delicious treat all year long, not just for Hanukkah.
1 Tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1-cup whole milk ricotta
2 eggs
2 Tablespoon light brown sugar
Zest of ½ medium lemon, finely minced
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8-teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons whole-wheat flour
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
Unsalted butter for frying
1. Place the 1 Tablespoon of butter in a 1 ½ quart glass bowl and microwave on high for 40 seconds or until butter is melted.
2. Add the ricotta and eggs and mix well with a whisk to thoroughly combine.
3. Add the brown sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, nutmeg and salt as well as the two flours and stir well.
4.      Heat a griddle over medium high heat and rub the end of a stick of butter all over the surface of the pan to coat it well.
5. Drop heaping Tablespoons of batter on to the griddle and cook for 3 minutes or until the underside of the pancake is golden brown and the top is slightly dry.
6. Gently flip the pancakes over (it might be easier to use 2 small spatulas to do this) and cook for another 2 minutes until edges are barely crisp and both sides are golden brown.
7. Serve drizzled with additional melted butter, honey, or a dollop of sour cream if desired.
Yield: About 20 silver dollar sized pancakes
Note: recipe may be doubled if desired.

Tina’s Tidbits:
These pancakes are light as air and delicate so turning is best achieved using two spatulas, one in each hand to evenly brown both sides.
Whole wheat flour contains more gluten than white flour so les is needed in delicate foods to bind ingredients together.
A rasp-type grater like the Micro plane© is perfect for creating fine shards of lemon zest that will flavor the batter evenly without any bitter white pith from the inner peel.

History often gets transformed into a culinary creation and people often use a recipe to symbolize a part of that historical event.  Although all countries have a favorite fried recipe for Hanukkah, Dutch Jews also serve this rich mixture of vegetables at Hanukkah to recount a Dutch tale. During the Spanish siege of Leyden in 1574 the Dutch made a surprise attack on the Spanish camps at dinner time and the soldiers were forced to flee leaving their simmering pots of stewed vegetables and meat behind. This stew is symbolic of that siege and its parallel to the Macabean fight.
Dutch Hutspot

2 medium-large onions, diced
1 Tablespoon rendered chicken fat or vegetable oil
3 large Yukon or California white potatoes peeled and cut into 1/8ths
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into1/8ths
2 cups water or chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Additional Tablespoon chicken fat, optional
Cayenne pepper, optional
1 garlic flavored Polish sausage or knockwurst, finely diced, optional
2. Heat a 3 quart saucepan over high heat for 15 seconds.  Add the chicken fat or oil and heat for 10 seconds and then add the onions.  Sauté for 5 minutes or until onions are golden brown but not dark.
2. Add the potato chunks and carrots to the saucepan and add the water or broth; liquid should not cover vegetables more than half way.
3. Bring the vegetable mixture to a boil and then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cook the vegetables until they are very tender.
4. Remove pan from heat and then carefully drain the liquid from the pot. Reserve liquid for another use, if desired.
5. Mash the drained vegetables until they form a fairly smooth mass. (If you want, carrots and onions may be pureed in a processor but mash the potatoes by hand--DON’T USE A PROCESSOR for the potatoes).  If mixture appears too watery then return it to the stove and cook over moderate heat until excess moisture evaporates.  Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. 
6. Add seasonings and an additional Tablespoon chicken fat if desired.  Stir to combine. 
7. Add the diced sausage, if using.  Re-heat just before serving.
Yield: 1 ½ to 2 quarts.  Serves 8 or more people.
Never use a processor to mash white potatoes.  You will always get a consistency akin to wallpaper paste if you do!
Yukon gold and California whites are more dense varieties of potato that create a creamier consistency and less water in the finished mash.  They are also thin skinned and do not require peeling unless specifically called for in a recipe.
Browning onions caramelizes the natural sugars in the onion and brings out the sweetness in that vegetable which enhances most dishes

Halva refers to any Middle Eastern or Asian sweet that is made with sweetened cooked grain.  Originally a staple of the Sephardi repertoire, halva gained popularity in this country in the Ashkenazi community as a confection made from ground sesame seeds and sugar.  Even the comprehensive Food Lover’s Companion dictionary defines halva as a sesame seed treat.  This is actually much easier to make and is probably the ultimate Sephardi comfort food.  Bulgarian Jews adapted their Spanish heritage with the Ottoman culture to influence their culinary achievements.  This recipe is served for Hanukkah and is a nice alternative to fried pastries.

1 stick unsalted butter
1 ½ cups semolina (or cream of wheat) NOT semolina flour
3 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar (honey may be substituted although not traditional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup finely chopped walnuts (they should be fine but not a paste)
Cinnamon for sprinkling on top-optional

1. Melt the butter in a 2 quart saucepan over moderate heat.
2. Add the semolina and stir to completely coat the grains of wheat with the butter.
3. Continue to cook and stir the semolina until the mixture is light brown.  This should take about 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Boil for 3 minutes.
5. Carefully pour the boiling syrup into the semolina while you stir constantly. Avoid burning yourself with the spattering liquid.
6. Remove the pan from the stove and continue to stir for about 4 minutes until the mixture becomes thick.
7. Gently stir in the finely chopped walnuts and the vanilla until well combined.
8. Cover pot with a double layer of dishtowel and let the mixture set for about 30 minutes or until thick and all moisture has been absorbed.
9. Lightly butter an 11x7 glass casserole or 6-8 four ounce ramekins.  Stir the mixture one more time and then spread the semolina mixture evenly in the chosen container.  Smooth out the top/tops.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve warm or at room temperature.
Serves 6-8 people
Note 1: If using ramekins, chill and then unmold before you sprinkle with some cinnamon. 
Note 2: For a more Middle Eastern flavor, use 1 ½ teaspoons rosewater instead of vanilla and ½ teaspoon ground cardamom in the mixture.
Note 3: For a more Indian influence, add the zest of 1/2 orange to the hot sugar syrup and substitute ¼ cup raisins and ¼ cup grated coconut for the walnuts
Tina’s Tidbits:
•   Cream of Wheat is a good substitute for semolina, but will not create as fine a grain as semolina.  
•   For a more Middle Eastern flavor, use 1 ½ teaspoons rosewater instead of vanilla, ½ teaspoon ground cardamom and finely ground pistachios in the mixture.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year at the largest holiday festival in North Texas. Embark on the ultimate Christmas experience as you step into a world of elite holiday entertainment. With over one million twinkling lights, spectacular shows, special seasonal treats and new attractions unique to Six Flags Over Texas, guests will experience the adventure of the season.
“This year’s Holiday in the Park will take every guest on an adventure into the magical world of Christmas," said Bruce Mather, Six Flags Over Texas Entertainment Manager.  “Our shows and attractions are larger than life with elements never before seen in North Texas, like our all new Holiday Tree of Trees Light Spectacular and SantaLand.  This is why our park is the best place to experience elite holiday entertainment this season.”

New this Season!
Holiday Tree of Trees Light Spectacular
The only one of its kind in North Texas and making its debut to Six Flags Over Texas, this electrifying show will leave parkgoers frozen with amazement. Towering nearly 60 feet, 70 Christmas trees trimmed with tens of thousands of lights dance magically with computerized precision choreographed to majestic holiday scores. 
Showtimes : Sunday 11/29 and 12/6 - 6:30 (Tree lighting hosted by Santa Claus), 7:30 & 8:30.  All other days - 6:30 (Tree lighting hosted by Santa Claus), 7:30, 8:30 & 9:30

Open the golden door to SantaLand and enter the frosty glittering world of the Snow Queen, Santa’s keeper of all things naughty and nice. The journey continues through SantaLand with a personal visit with Santa in his workshop. Complete your trip with a visit to Mrs. Claus’ North Pole Emporium where children can hear stories read by Mrs. Claus and kids of all age can shop for holiday gifts, crafts and goodies. 
Hours: Open until 1 hour prior to closing

SantaLand Express
All aboard, all aboard, now leaving the Texas Depot, The SantaLand Express whisks you away to the fantasy world of SantaLand.
Opening until 1 hour prior to park closing

Sensational Holiday-Themed Entertainment
For sensational shows and attractions, Six Flags Over Texas offers the best variety in holiday entertainment.  Relax and enjoy All I Want for Christmas or Deck the Halls, laugh along to The Holiday Hams, watch as local choirs, dance groups and bands perform in the Holiday in the Park Stars of the Season and Rockin’ Round the Christmas Tree or sled down The Frosty Snow Hill.

Delicious Seasonal Food
No need to look very far to find all of your favorite holiday snacks this season. We have all kinds of holiday must-haves from candy canes and toffee to warm cider and hot chocolate. Make sure to visit Mrs. Gingi’s Cookie Haus to purchase Gingerbread cookies to decorate and show off your cookie creativity. However, it doesn't end with sweet treats. Get holiday helpings of smoked turkey legs, corn on the cob, foot-long hot dogs, sausage-on-a-stick and fajitas.

Along with the special holiday attractions, spectacular shows and tasty seasonal treats, guests can still enjoy several of their favorite thrill rides and kid coasters, including: Tony Hawk’s Big Spin, Titan, Mini Mine Train and Batwing.

Purchase a 2010 Play Pass for $49.99 (plus tax) and enjoy a season of unlimited thrills either at Six Flags Over Texas or any other Six Flags theme park.  Or you can purchase a traditional 2010 Season Pass for $59.99 (plus tax).  It’s has all the amenities of a Play Pass but also allows you to receive a value-book with hundreds of dollars on in-park savings, free, tickets for friends and opportunities for exclusive events.   Go to for more information on Six Flags Over Texas, Holiday in the Park or operating hours.