Posted in Chef Lane, Contest, Giveaway, holiday guest blog

Days of Christmas: Holiday Have to Have–GIVEAWAY! Membership to

You all know how much I love Julie Anne Rhodes and her Personal Chef Approach to meal preparation.  Since joining her website as a Premium Member, in just under a year, I’ve gone from a woman who (not in)frequently set her kitchen on fire, and whose son would beg to go out to eat rather than attempt a mouthful of my Better Off Dead culinary offerings to a fairly decent cook, if I do say so myself.  I’m even venturing out and sharing my own little recipes in a fitness community–to nice results.  I give Julie Anne a lot of that credit.

Why?  Because her Personal Chef Approach to cooking took a weight of stress out of meal planning and preparation, so I could just get down to the business of food.  I also give her site and recipes a lot of credit for me being able to lose 15lbs since this summer.  With my foods prepped ahead of time (especially my lunches!) it’s been easier to eat healthy meals–and tasty meals, too.  It doesn’t hurt that she is fantastically funny, and shares more than just how-tos for cooking on her site.  Premium Members have direct daily access to her in the Forums–worth the membership when you have a question!

As part of the Holiday Shopping Guide, Julie Anne has offered up a gift certificate for a month-long Premium Membership.  One lucky The Outside Lane reader will win an all-access pass to for a full month.

The winner will be selected from all the comments received on The Outside Lane through the month December 30th, with the prize being announced on December 31st–so you can opt to start your membership as part of your New Year Resolutions to get fit, eat better, learn to cook/cook better, get to know interesting people, or just try something new.

Like The Outside Lane on Facebook, and that will count as an entry into the contest, too!

Share The Outside Lane with friends on Facebook, or share individual blog entries, and those will also count as entries.  Lots of ways to stuff the ballot box in your own favor 😉

Here’s what you could get (from Julie Anne herself):

Premium Members enjoy all-access privileges to The PCA™ and receive insider-only tips, exclusive recipes (including archived info), and a weekly menu plan. The menu plan alone is worth more than the price of membership in time, ease, and effort saved! Premium Member benefits include:

WEEKLY MENU PLAN Eliminate any guesswork and save time with an entire week’s worth of meal ideas. Easily tailored to your family’s specific tastes, detailed menu plans come with easy recipes, ready-to-go grocery shopping lists, and heat-to-eat instructions.

PREMIUM RECIPE LIBRARY ACCESS Access a much larger variety of original recipes. Every recipe is one I created (not borrowed from another source) and each has been tested and approved by the clients of my multi-award winning Personal Chef Service. Many recipes also offer variations to accommodate specific tastes and are so easy that, “if you can read, you can cook!”

HOW-TO VIDEOS Some people learn easier when shown than told, which is why Premium Members can view simple step-by-step slideshows for some of the site’s most popular recipes.

ONLINE FORUM Gain a sense of community by joining others and myself as they share their experiences in the kitchen – whether they’re cooking for the very first time or professionally. It’s a G-rated space where you can ask questions, share your successes, and personal cooking challenges. Plus, you’ll gain the secret tips, tricks, and good advice I’ve learned in more than a decade as an award-winning personal chef.

  • CYBER LIVING ROOM An easy way to stay in touch and make friends with other members with your interests. Share thoughts, questions, reviews of local restaurants, events you’ve attended, or family and pet photos. Popular topics include the current week’s menu plan and The PCA™.
  • RECIPE SHARING Have a tried-and-true recipe? Here’s your opportunity to tell everyone about it and discover fellow member’s favorite dishes.
  • MEMBER PROFILES Give your postings a personal touch with the ability to upload a profile pic, your interests, talents, or any other information you want to share.

Inside Dish A monthly e-newsletter with tips on applying The PCA™, advice on safe-food handling, and advance notice of upcoming products, shows, and news! (Premium Members also gain access to archived issues of the newsletter.)

 Our version of “Dear Abby,” only with kitchen woes instead of those of the heart. Send in any cooking desires, queries, or catastrophes, and each month two member’s questions and answers will be featured in the Inside Dish newsletter.

So start commenting, sharing and liking, friends!  Can’t wait to see you in the Forums on!

Posted in Advice, Chef Lane, etiquette, Friends of Mine

Whine Dining

My guest blog about dining out with children is up on  If you are wondering what gift to get the aspiring chef in your life, I would highly recommend a membership to Julie Anne’s site.  Check her out!

Julie Anne’s blog is always a delight.  She shares her world travels and culinary finds, as well as anecdotes from her time as a top model and rock wife.  I like her current Personal Chef incarnation best because that’s where all the recipes, tips and tricks come from.

Posted in Women Worth Knowing

Women Worth Knowing: Julie Anne Rhodes

Used by permission, copyright Julie Anne Rhodes.

Julie Anne Rhodes is another Woman Worth Knowing I’ve never met in person.  She came to my attention with a literal sucker punch.  You see, an 8th grade classmate of mine was crying one morning because Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran and had gotten married.  I laughed at her.  She punched me in the stomach so hard, I had to go to the nurse’s office.  I learned two things that day:  Never laugh at a Duranie, and that there was such a thing as Julie Anne Rhodes.

Not long after, Julie Anne appeared in a People Magazine wearing what they called “a dress…only less.”  I remember this because I cut it out and kept it.  Julie Anne’s backless, bottom cleavage revealing frock lit my imagination.  I begged to have something similar, a more modest version, for a dance.  My mother compromised with me, and helped me make a headpiece similar to the one Julie Anne wore.  My date, definitely not Nick Rhodes, was underwhelmed.

Over the course of the next few years, I would see Julie Anne in candid photos with the likes of Andy Warhol and fashion shots as she made the globe with her husband and career, always wearing something that looked more like art than clothing.  Julie Anne made a huge impression on my taste.

Last year, I happened upon her blog, Jewels from The Roving Stove, and was delighted to find that she was wonderful to read.  Now an award winning chef and writer with a book on the way, she has gone from “VIP lounges in Versace, to service entrances in [her] apron.”

I tried a couple of her recipes and they were really good. My family liked them.  Her instructions were easy to follow, and I managed to cook them without setting my kitchen on fire.  I felt accomplished!  I sent her an email and she replied graciously, answering my questions and putting up with my effusive proclamations of, “OMG, and that hat!  I loved that hat!” Even better, she responded with a list of tools every kitchen should have, and I have been building my tool box using her template since.

Julie Anne writes about cooking with a passion.  I hate to call it cooking.  She writes about cheffing.  She cares about sharing what she knows, and making the world a healthier, tastier place.  There is a clear love of her work in her words, and it is a thrill to live vicariously through her blog, detailing her world travels and sparkling celebrity guest list.  Getting to know her through her writing was worth the punch in the stomach.  I do hope to meet her in person one day, if only to eyeball her wardrobe.  If I’m lucky, she’ll have been cooking.

Meet Julie Anne.

Name: Julie Anne Rhodes or just Jewels… I answer to both.

Preferred Job Title: Award-winning personal chef, writer, blogger

Industry: Food

Describe your family: ‘Leave it to Beaver’ meets ‘The Munsters’

What does the first hour of your day look like? Snuggled up with my dog Daisy and my laptop

The last hour? Snuggled up with my dog Daisy and my laptop

What makes you feel successful? Knowing my daughter is happy and has found her way in life, hearing “Mmmmmmmmmmm…” coming from the dining room of a client’s home, realizing people are actually reading my blogs, being told my agent (a top NY literary agent) wants to represent my book, and nearly being plowed down (to get to my food) by the crew of the last cooking show I did when the director yelled “cut”.

What brings you joy? When I stop to appreciate how blessed my life has been with extraordinary people, experiences and opportunities. Writing the blog is really just an extension of that joy.

What women do you admire? My Grandma was Auntie Mame, Endora, and Gloria Steinem all rolled into one. I adored no one more…

What do you like best about your closest friend? We’re both really busy and live in different time zones, so we may not speak or see each other for quite a while, but we just pick up where we left off without skipping a beat when we do. We just know each other so well instinctively that it is an effortless, but true friendship.

What do you like best about yourself? That I can still find that childlike wonder within that fuels my lust for life.

What advice would you give boys about girls? Old fashioned chivalry is sexy.

What were you like at ages 6, 12, and 24? In too big of a hurry to grow up at 6 and 12, then needed to grow up at 24. I never could do life traditionally like everyone else.

What advice would you give to your 6, 12, and 24 year old selves? Not to believe anyone that tries to tell you that you can’t achieve something, never stop dreaming, and always strive for those dreams. It doesn’t matter if you fail and it doesn’t matter what people think, so long as you know you gave it your best shot.

How do you overcome adversity? Constantly reprogramming my thoughts to think positively, so I see the glass half full. There is a lesson in every experience, even the hard ones, so there is always a gift to be had when you think positively.