Carla Hall Is Not Here for Your 7-Layer Holiday Salad

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Chef, cookbook author and cohost of The Chew, Carla Hall knows good food. The holidays are no exception. We chatted with Hall about how she handles the holidays, her favorite (and least favorite) dishes and how she plans to make 2018 a better year. She also generously shared some of her favorite holiday recipes and tips for dressing up a classic pound cake.

SheKnows: With the holidays coming up, how do you plan to tackle your holiday shopping? Are you a last-minute online shopper or do you like to get it all done early?

Carla Hall: I think I’m a combo of both. I always think I want to do it early but early for me is a week out. But I really try to order my turkey ahead of time. Mind you, I have not done that. I’m very methodical about my list so I have everything — dairy, the meats, poultry — in categories based on where it is in the store to get stuff. I like to get my stuff in the store, I don’t like to do online.

I’m so last-minute. Every year I think that Christmas is going to be further away from Thanksgiving than it is. I’m like, oh my gosh, why is it Christmas Eve and I’m still doing things?

More: Molly Sims Says Meditation Is a Great Way to Combat Mommy Guilt

SK: What’s the best/worst gift you’ve ever gotten?

CH: The best gift that I’ve ever gotten… my husband is such a good gift giver. He listens all year-round so he has things that I’ve said, that I’ve talked about. It was a collection of books that I wanted. He gives me lots of little things. So this collection of books that he gave me that I love.

But also he does these stockings, we have this tradition now of doing stockings — we didn’t really do stockings growing up, we did but it was like candy — but he would give me all little things, just little things… it could be like little toiletries or paper and pen and they’re all stuffed in this stocking and I love it. It is honestly one of my favorite things to get. It’s the gift that keeps on giving because they’re little things and they’re all around you so I love that.

The worst gift that I got was clearly something that was regifted to me, that was something that had nothing to do with my life or anything. A plate with a bowl attached. It was old looking, like somebody’s grandmother’s. And I know I have gray hair, but really, not yet.

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SK: What’s your favorite holiday food and/or tradition?

CH: My grandmother is my inspiration for all holidays because we went to her house for Sunday supper. A lot of our holidays would be at her house and the family would come and she would make her pound cake, her rolls and everything. So the one thing that everybody looks forward to is my grandmother’s five-flavor pound cake.

To dress it up for the holidays, I just take a lemon glaze (which is one of the five flavors) and I put the lemon glaze, which is simply powdered sugar and lemon juice, over the cake and I let it drip down the sides. I don’t need to cover the entire thing. And then I take some sugared cranberries — these are so simple, you take simple syrup, just sugar and water, but I add a little bit of ginger because I love ginger and cranberries together, and then you dissolve the sugar — you put the cranberries into that simple syrup and you just leave it in the refrigerator overnight for at least eight hours.

Then when the next day you drain the cranberries from the simple syrup you save that liquid because that’s going to be for your mocktails or your cocktails. You roll those cranberries in fine sugar. They are not only just a delicious snack, but they make my cake really festive and beautiful with the white and the red. Then you take a little bit of mint and you decorate it.

I love to do things that have two purposes, like making the cranberries and also the simple syrup.

More: Kelly Rowland Has Mommy Guilt Too — & That’s OK

SheKnows: Any traditional holiday dishes you absolutely can’t stand?

CH: I do not like a layered salad. I don’t like some kind of seven-layer thing where it looks pretty in theory and then when you go to eat it, if you’re the last person, you get the mush. You get all the mixed-up-like-it-was-on-somebody’s-plate. That’s just me, but I don’t like that. I also don’t like a Jell-O salad. But I love ambrosia! Go figure. I don’t understand it, but I love ambrosia.

But I don’t like Jell-O with nuts in it. Not my favorite.

SheKnows: What about Matthew and Noah? Any holiday dishes they really love?

CH: Noah does not like cranberry sauce. He doesn’t like cooked fruit. He loves cornbread dressing. [Matthew is] a vegetarian, so it’s all about the sides for him. I generally make all of the sides vegetarian, so he loves collard greens, cranberry dressing, stuffing, green bean casserole, sautéed mushrooms. I just love the sides, rolls, we love bread. Noah loves my sweet potato rolls.

But another thing that I love is I do a peach cobbler. Everybody loves a peach cobbler. To make it look festive for the holidays, I take the dough and I press out leaves.

The other thing I love to do — I love to get my little nieces who are 9 and 12 involved — is cookie making. One dough, three different cookies. I have this Linzer dough. It’s so soft and just melts in your mouth. When you put that with raspberry jam, it is just delicious. The same dough will make thumb prints. You just use a different jam — you can do sandwich cookies with maybe a chocolate ganache — and then even the cutouts and just have the kids make their own little decorative cookies. It’s just so simple to get everybody involved.

Linzer dough has some spices in it, so it’s not just your regular shortbread dough. And when I say you put it in your mouth and just melts… you’ve got to toot your own horn, I’m just saying. If you’re not tooting your own horn when you’re making dinner, you need to be making something else now. If you don’t like it, nobody else is going to like it.

SK: What’s your New Year’s resolution?

CH: Honestly, it has to be about family. I think spending more time… I took my first vacation this year in nine years, and I feel like I have to do more of that even if it’s something very simple. Even if it’s having a vacation in my town, taking time out to just unplug and be with family. Especially my nieces. I don’t want them to grow up and not know me. I want to make time for them.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Parents Save & Spend More on Their Boys’ Education Than Their Girls’

By Alex Wilson

We know that unconscious bias plagues women in the workplace — but we hear less about how it affects young children. This week, though, a Wall Street Journal report revealed some disturbing news: Two recent financial-industry polls suggest that families save more for their boys’ college education than they do for their girls’.

One study by T. Rowe Price from earlier this year looked at households with all boys and homes with all girls. Fifty percent of the boy-only families had money saved for college, where just 39 percent of girl-only households had money saved. Boy-only families also contributed to their children’s college savings more frequently than girl-only households.

More: Why Being a Mom of a Special Needs Child Makes Me a Better Employee

A separate study by LendEDU found that while 10 percent of men had their higher education paid for by their parents, only 6 percent of women said their parents paid for a majority of college. Fifty percent of women said their parents paid for none of their education.

“Parents should give a good hard look and make sure they are treating their children fairly and recognizing the potential of both their boys and their girls,” Roger Young, a senior financial planner at T. Rowe Price said to The Wall Street Journal. “We certainly see in society more broadly there are gaps between incomes of men and women.”

While women have a greater likelihood of going to (and graduating from) college, the way parents prepare for their kids’ education has a significant impact on that student’s financial life. A recent analysis by the American Association of University Women found that women typically have larger student loans than men — and don’t forget they make less money after graduation too.

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“The struggles of college graduates with student debt can be significant,” the AAUW study reads. “Women — especially women of color — are most likely to experience difficulties: 34 percent of all women and 57 percent of black women who were repaying student loans reported that they had been unable to meet essential expenses within the past year.” And because of the gender pay gap, women tend to pay back these debts slower than their male counterparts do.

So for parents who have the means, saving for daughters’ higher education as soon as possible, even if it starts with miniscule amounts, could greatly help those daughters’ educational and professional futures.

More: Your 5-Step Process to Effectively Taming Your Kid’s Tantrums

Educational consultant Steven Roy Goodman says that parents’ expectations of their children can both consciously and unconsciously affect how they prepare for that child’s future. “There is really no way to say this subtly: The parents had different life expectations for their sons and daughters.” Goodman told The Wall Street Journal, referencing a specific client. “They perceived that the young women were not going to have 40-year careers in the ways they expected their sons to have.”

Shereem Herndon-Brown, a former college admissions director and founder of Strategic Admissions Advice LLC, has witnessed a similar trend. He told The Wall Street Journal that he has seen parents push their daughters toward lower-cost schools because they didn’t believe they’d recoup the costs of tuition investment.

“I don’t think parents are going to admit to their 18-year-old daughter that they don’t want to pay as much for her education because they are thinking 10 years down the road to her wedding,” Brown said. “It’s an unfortunate reality.”

More: 8 Things Moms Who Homeschool Their Kids Want You to Know

Despite the persisting bias and reasoning is behind it, parents need to recognize that their college savings decisions have long-term effects on their children’s lives. And girls need just as much financial support as boys — or, until we close the wage gap, even more.

Originally published on Fairygodboss.

I Decided Not to Have Kids Because of My Chronic Illness

I was one of those kids growing up who wasn’t sure what they wanted out of life. With my parents splitting up when I was young and constantly fighting through the courts, having to change schools and living in poverty, I was a pretty confused child.

Even back as far as elementary school, friends of mine discussed their dreams of being married by 25, having three kids and working at the same school we attended. I was envious of them. They sounded so sure of themselves, so normal, and in my heart, I knew that didn’t sound like me at all. I didn’t know if I ever wanted to get married or have children. As it turns out, the chance of me having my own biological kids is slim.

More: My Children Might Contract My Chronic Illness

After high school, I went away to pursue my degree in creative writing. My life at college was vastly different than my life back home. For the first time in my life, I felt like I actually had some control over my life — that I had choices. I had just settled in when I began getting bizarre symptoms. Dizziness all the time for no reasons, strange pain or numbness in my limbs, awful stomachaches and headaches. Then I began passing out.

Several trips to the emergency room prompted a referral to a cardiologist, who put me through a dozen tests. Doctors discovered that I have something called dysautonomia, which is a form of autonomic dysfunction. Years later, new doctors found that I have a specific form of dysautonomia called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. POTS, essentially, is orthostatic intolerance that, according to the Cleveland Clinic, is a disruption in the “balancing act of blood vessel squeeze and heart rate response” when a person goes from a sitting to a standing position. Many people who have POTS, myself included, experience awful symptoms from the disorder even when they aren’t standing up.

After I was diagnosed, I was put on several new medications to try to curb the symptoms that were getting in the way of my everyday life. I tried a bunch of different meds that either didn’t work at all or helped very little. I still felt terrible all the time and was fainting daily.

Early into my diagnosis, my doctor told me that being pregnant with POTS is exceptionally hard on the body. Some women feel their symptoms get better with pregnancy, but based on my history, my doctor was confident I would be one of the ones who felt worse and would have my symptoms increase because I was already so symptomatic. Some of the meds I was on — ones that actually seemed to help a little — I’d have to wean off of while pregnant, increasing my risk of symptoms and fainting.

More: What not to say to the parent of a child with a chronic illness

Dr. Svetlana Blitshteyn, director of the Dysautonomia Clinic at Amherst Neurology, says that a single fainting episode probably won’t cause harm, but multiple episodes require intervention because of the damage it can do. POTS is also associated with having a higher rate of miscarriage than the average pregnancy, and I was told my odds of having a miscarriage due to fainting and landing on or hitting my stomach were far higher than the average pregnant person.

I was only 19 when I found all this out and didn’t know how I felt about any of it. Having a chronic illness, the first of many I would discover, was enough to think about. I didn’t even want to attempt to process potential pregnancy as well.

Then I started having seizures. To this day, after every test my doctor can think of performing, we still don’t know why I get them or what causes them. It’s possible one of the times I hit my head after fainting hurt my brain somehow or that one of the many medications I was on disagreed with my body, but we don’t know for sure. I’m kept stable by medications that could cause birth defects and, according to the Epilepsy Foundation, having seizures during pregnancy increases the risk of premature labor and miscarriages while lowering the fetal heart rate.

I know that having POTS and getting seizures doesn’t mean I can’t have a perfectly normal pregnancy and deliver a perfectly healthy baby. It’s definitely possible. I’ve thought extensively about what that means for me, my body and my health and know that pregnancy isn’t for me. There’s just too much risk involved for me to feel comfortable with it. My father lost a child that died due to complications, and I’ve grown up seeing what that loss does to a person. I don’t know if I could survive it.

More: Mom Pens Powerful Message to Anti-Vaxxers About Her Sick Daughter

I’m perfectly happy living my life child-free. Chronic illness already involves a ton of care and consideration and time that I don’t have to devote to someone else. I respect people who, if they were in my situation, would still choose to have kids because that is a big responsibility and a lot to deal with. At this point in my life, I feel more comfortable child-free and, if I change my mind, I know there are many children out there looking for a home. Chronic illness made my decision not to have kids for me, but at least I’m not confused anymore.

By Kelley O’Brien

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SNL Star Bill Hader & Wife Maggie Carey Announce Their Divorce

It’s been a bad day for celebrity relationships — even the ones that seemed stable and long-lasting. First, we learned that Jennifer Hudson has split up from her fiancé of nearly 10 years. And now, People magazine has revealed that Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader is separated from his wife, filmmaker Maggie Carey.

More: LeBron James Is Far Funnier than Amy Schumer in these Outtakes (VIDEO)

The site reports that they actually separated last July after 11 years of marriage — they tied the knot in 2006 — and they’re in the process of divorcing now. They share three daughters: 8-year-old Hannah, 5-year-old Harper and 3-year-old Hayley.

It’s especially heartbreaking because Hader, who was one of the best SNL stars in recent memory, actually quit the show just to move to Los Angeles to be with his wife, who was working there at the time. He joined the cast in 2005, just a year before he and Carey got married, and lasted eight seasons before calling it quits on having a long-distance relationship.

“The whole reason we’re moving to California is that we’re tired of being apart all the time,” he told USA Today in 2013, soon before he officially left SNL. “Doing SNL was a huge time commitment. You’d have weeks off and you’d have to go to L.A. It’s about rolling with the punches.”

More: 10 Stages of Spending a Friday Night In Via Amy Schumer and Bill Hader GIFs

While Hader is definitely best known for SNL, he also recently starred alongside Amy Schumer in Trainwreck (before you get any ideas about shipping those two like their adorably perfect relationship in the movie, she’s newly off the market). He also appeared in Superbad and Hot Rod. Carey has been more behind-the-scenes in Hollywood. Most recently, she directed the 2013 comedy The To Do List, as well as some episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

MUA Sparks Outrage After Crime Against Makeup Display Goes Viral

For some of us, entering a Sephora with money to burn and time to kill is an experience only rivaled by memories of recess. But it turns out that freewheeling through a makeup playground has its limits, as one MUA called out on Facebook.

Makeup artist Brittney Nelson snapped a photo of a ravaged Make Up For Ever display at a Sephora in Augusta, Georgia. The scene is triggering: more than $1,000-worth of shimmery, top-shelf pigments ravaged to smithereens.

More: Hand over the iPad: There are actually reasons social media is good for kids

“$1300 of Make Up Forever eye shadow destroyed at Sephora tonight due to a small child,” Nelson’s post began. “I’m sure he/she thought they were like finger paints and had no idea how naughty they were being. Tons of destroyed product and pissed Sephora cast members are not a happy place to be. Mammas, please shop for your makeup without your tiny humans. It’s not fun for you…or them…or the expensive product.”

MUA viral response

MUA viral response

Her post went viral. While Nelson’s plea may have been well-intentioned, the suggestion for parents to leave the kids at home understandably rubbed many commenters the wrong way. Her post launched a broader discussion about mom-shaming and the assumption that all children behave similarly, not to mention the misinformed idea that all mothers have access to child care and can leave their kids at home with the nanny while they run errands.

More: 20 reasons I’m scared to travel with my toddler

In an interview with Business Insider, Nelson admitted she didn’t actually see the crime against tester pigments take place. She assumed the culprit was a small child left to their own devices. “We walked in right as a lady and her kid were hustling out of there,” Nelson told Insider. “The glittery footprints helped us decipher it was a tiny human.”

Here’s hoping the destruction of makeup displays and mom-shaming are both shelved in 2018.

Here’s Why Kim K Didn’t Invite Her Surrogate to the Baby Shower

Last weekend, Kim Kardashian West celebrated the coming of Baby No. 3 with a cherry blossom-filled fete worthy of its own Instagram page. The usual Kardashian-Jenner suspects attended, along with Chrissy Teigen and Jen Atkin. However, there was one noticeable absence: the woman carrying Kardashian West and hubby Kanye West’s baby girl. On Thursday’s episode of The Real, Kardashian West opened up about why she didn’t invite her surrogate.

“I, um, I did not [invite the surrogate],” Kardashian West said on The Real on Thursday as noted by E News, adding that she did introduce her to the rest of her family earlier that day.

“You know, I just thought… I don’t know. It was, like, a weird decision to have to make,” she explained. “Of course, I would’ve wanted her to be there and be a part of it, but I hadn’t really gone that far in explaining it to my kids yet. So I have to figure that out first before they really see and then if we’re celebrating, you know, her, I just want to celebrate the baby. I think I have to explain it to my kids first and figure out how I’m going to explain it to them.”

More: Kim Kardashian West hated the aftermath of giving birth

In September, Kardashian West confirmed she and West were expecting a third child via surrogate. For months now, fans and the paparazzi have wondered about the identity of the mystery woman. While the decision not to invite the surrogate mother to the baby’s shower may seem questionable to some, the relationship between surrogates and intended parents is as unique as any relationship between two people.

Some surrogates prefer not to know the parents of the child they’re carrying. During her interview, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star explained that her surrogate initially had no idea she was carrying the couple’s child. However, this ultimately changed.

More: Tear-Jerking Pregnancy Announcements From IVF Parents-to-Be

“You could do it totally anonymously,” Kardashian West said. “You could go that route and I just felt like I wanted whoever’s carrying my baby, like, what if they weren’t a fan of me or my husband and what if they didn’t want to be carrying our baby? I wanted to give them that choice and be, like, proud and on the same page. I wanted a relationship with her.”

Considering the 24-7 media frenzy surrounding the Kardashian-Jenner family, perhaps opting to be a low-profile surrogate is best for all parties involved?

Check out the full interview below.

Kim Kardashian The Real

Kim Kardashian The Real

Is There Any Bad Blood Between Gwyneth Paltrow & Reese Witherspoon?

Is there any reason to believe that Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon are feuding? Oh yeah, the fact that they both own lifestyle companies. Since their companies kind of compete with each other, there must be all kinds of bad blood there, right?

More: Gwyneth Paltrow Offers Moving Message to Daughter After Weinstein Allegations

Ugh, Hollywood. This trope is getting really old.

Why do we have to insist on pitting women against each other whenever possible? We see it just about every time there’s a high profile celebrity breakup — there must be another woman to blame for the split, the headlines proclaim. Spoiler alert: A breakup is never an outside woman’s fault, because it’s a decision that can only be made by the two people doing the breaking up.

This situation is even sillier. Paltrow owns Goop, and Witherspoon owns Draper James. And according to a recent interview Paltrow did with People magazine, that means a lot of people think they’re against one another.

More: Gwyneth Paltrow Might Quit Acting to Expand Goop

“The media has tried to triangulate myself and Jessica Alba or myself and Reese Witherspoon, there is genuinely no competitive spirit between us,” Paltrow explained.

She added that she thinks that perception comes from the idea that these female actors shouldn’t be branching out and doing things like starting businesses.

“The instinct is women aren’t allowed to change,” she said. “We’re comfortable with you in this public persona. Stay in your lane, and if you’re going to leave your lane we’re going to pit you against every other woman who is trying to do the same thing. My personal opinion is that we need more women being entrepreneurial [and saying] I want to do something different, I want to be brave and having other women there to support them in the process.”

More: 11 of Our Favorite Gwyneth Paltrow Quotes of All Time

Bottom line: There’s no feud here. Stop trying to make one out of nothing.

David Chang Is Going to Be Reporting on Food at the 2018 Winter Olympics

I’m not much of a team-sports person (as in, I literally have never watched a full football, baseball or basketball game), but I looooove the Olympics. Gymnastics? Figure skating? Bobsledding? I’m totally there for it.

But this year, I have yet another reason to get excited for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea (and it’s not just the Nigerian women’s bobsled team, who are totally badass and need to be stars of a movie, like, ASAP).

More: EXCLUSIVE: Gabby Douglas gives advice for first-time Winter Olympians

NBC Sports has appointed David Chang — founder of Momofuku and the 2-Michelin-star restaurant Momofuku Ko, host of Season 1 of The Mind of a Chef, founder of Lucky Peach magazine and friend of Aziz Ansari — as their culinary correspondent during the games. He’ll be traveling to Pyeongchang to report on all the best food in the area, from Korean temple cuisine to street snacks and beyond.

Chang isn’t exactly an athlete, though he did create a sneaker with Nike. But he has worked with NBC before and in fact already filmed two programs in South Korea, which will be aired during the Olympics.

More: 27 of the best celeb tweets about the Olympics

The Olympics are always exciting, but this year, I’m even more motivated to tune in. Because there’s nothing better than watching athletes in peak physical condition perform wonderous feats while also drooling over the thought of binge-eating cheesy tteok-bokki with David Chang.

Ranking the Best Food Network Shows

If you’re anything like us, you draw inspiration from the Food Network every single day. With the holidays approaching fast, that’s truer than ever, and even better, most Food Network shows (past and present) are available on various streaming services, which means we can relive our favorites over and over.

Since some of the best Food Network series just returned for brand-new seasons (Holiday Baking Championship, Iron Chef), we’re celebrating with a little friendly competition. Have you ever tried to rank your favorite Food Network shows? Let’s see how our lists stack up.

10. Guy’s Grocery Games

Flavortown Market Fun Facts – Guy’s Grocery Games

Flavortown Market Fun Facts – Guy’s Grocery Games

Guy Fieri has a ton of presence on the Food Network, but his best show is definitely Grocery Games. At Flavortown Market, contestants tackle various challenges to “shop” for ingredients they can quickly transform into delicious, judge-ready dishes. It’s a race against the clock, each other and whatever challenges Fieri throws their way to make it to the $20,000 bonus round.

More: Why Guy Fieri Needs to Be Taken More Seriously

9. Beat Bobby Flay

Beat Bobby Flay

Beat Bobby Flay

Listen — sometimes it’s just really fun to see celebrity chefs get taken down a peg. Whenever contestants win this competition show, it’s awesome. And seeing how Flay’s fellow celebrity chefs and friends rib him in every episode makes it even more entertaining.

8. Chopped

Chopped After Hours: Halloween

Chopped After Hours: Halloween

Is Chopped the most recognizable Food Network series? Maybe. It’s certainly a fun, formulaic competition show that does best on its special episodes. In Chopped After Hours, the judges use the same mystery baskets as the contestants to whip up dishes of their own. We love bonus content! (Chopped Junior is also amazing in case you wondered why that isn’t on this list.)

More: Chef Seis Kamimura Should Have Won Chopped: Beat Bobby Flay

7. The Kitchen

Tricks of the Trade – The Kitchen

Tricks of the Trade – The Kitchen

The Kitchen is an Emmy-nominated talk show with some of our favorite celebrity chefs discussing their best tips, tricks and recipes. We love it.

6. I Hart Food

Hannah Hart Tries Deep-Fried Gnocchi Tots

Hannah Hart Tries Deep-Fried Gnocchi Tots

Hannah Hart rose to fame with her My Drunk Kitchen series on YouTube. She’s now a notable name in the food world with her very own Food Network series where she travels the country sampling delicacies at various restaurants. The format is familiar for long-time Food Network fans, but the star is new — and it’s awesome to see an openly lesbian woman on such a major channel.

More: Nate Berkus and husband Jeremiah Brent Are Happy to be TV’s Newest Gay Dads

5. Cutthroat Kitchen

Cutthroat After-Show: Cabbage

Cutthroat After-Show: Cabbage

The basic premise of Cutthroat Kitchen can be broken down by this quote from The Dark Knight: “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Alton Brown used to teach us about proper cooking methods and kitchen storage on Good Eats. Now he cackles maniacally while he pits chefs against each other with wild sabotages on Cutthroat Kitchen. It’s awful; we love it.

4. Unwrapped

How Chocolate-Covered Oreos Are Made – Unwrapped

How Chocolate-Covered Oreos Are Made – Unwrapped

Who doesn’t love to learn new stuff? Unwrapped goes behind the scenes of America’s favorite snack foods and reveals some secrets you probably didn’t know those foods were hiding.

3. Holiday Baking Championship

Take a Bow Cake – Holiday Baking Championship

Take a Bow Cake – Holiday Baking Championship

It’s back!!! Featuring a brand new selection of bakers who are ready to bring their holiday best to the judges’ table, our favorite seasonal series is airing Mondays at 9/8c on Food Network.

More: How to Build a Gingerbread House Without Crying

2. Kids Baking Championship

Kids Baking Championship S2 Trailer

Kids Baking Championship S2 Trailer

The only thing better than the various holiday baking shows is the Kids Baking Championship. It’s heartbreaking to see kids get sent home, but so cool to see how talented and hardworking they are.

1. Iron Chef Showdown

Top Three Ingredients – Iron Chef Showdown

Top Three Ingredients – Iron Chef Showdown

Iron Chef has seen quite a few iterations, and the newest is Iron Chef Showdown, airing Wednesdays at 9/8c on the Food Network. As always, host Alton Brown is on point with his food commentary and the competing chefs transform wild ingredients into gorgeous dishes that make our mouths water.

Ben Affleck Didn’t Realize Women We’re Going Through ‘Ugly & Disturbing’ Things

Oh, Ben Affleck. The A-lister who groped Hilarie Burton on live TV, got called out for it, apologized and then made callous jokes about the seemingly unending wave of sual abuse allegations in Hollywood is now trying to save face. How? By pretending that he had no idea that Hollywood has always been a cesspool of rampant sism and abuse for women, something literally everyone knew. OK, Ben.

More: Jason Momoa Apologizes for the ‘Truly Tasteless’ Rape Joke He Made in 2011

On Today, 48 whole hours after he was ripped apart online for acting like this is all a big ol’ joke at a Justice League press junket, Affleck told host Savannah Guthrie about how exciting it is that he’s finally opening his eyes to the abuse that has surrounded him for literally his entire career.

Justice League cast reactions to Ben Affleck’s joke 2

Justice League cast reactions to Ben Affleck’s joke 2

“It certainly feels like a really important moment,” he said. “It feels like a time when survivors are finding their voice and people are sort of — and I include myself in this — really discovering the terrible extent of this problem here in our country.”

Ben Affleck on the TODAY show

Ben Affleck on the TODAY show

He also talked about working for Harvey Weinstein, and how he knew that Weinstein behaved inappropriately, but didn’t do anything about that, because it’s what everyone did.

“I knew he was sleazy and kind of a bully, but unfortunately, that wasn’t that uncommon,” he said. “I was brand new to Hollywood, 24 years old. I had never made a movie; I didn’t know much of anything really. And, you know, it really is a shame because although I stopped working with Harvey a long time ago, those movies hold a special kind of place in my heart and to now look back on it and think like, ‘Gosh, some other people were going through something really ugly and disturbing (experiences).”

More: Did Ben Affleck Know Lindsay Shookus Before His Divorce?

Yep, Affleck, who says he’s just now learning about this problem, also didn’t do anything about this problem over the course of his career because it was a normal part of his everyday life. Is your head exploding yet? Because mine is.

And of course, Affleck reflected oh-so-thoughtfully on his own glaringly obvious (to everyone but Affleck) complicity in all this, by saying he would have changed some of his past behaviors, you know, all the way back when he was a dumb kid in 2003 who literally groped a woman on live TV.

“There’s plenty of jokes I wouldn’t have made or things I wouldn’t have done,” said Affleck, who joked about sual assault during a taped interview less than two days ago. “It’s just a time when… there’s just a heightened level of awareness, and that means one of the good things about that is the self-consciousness of, ‘How am I fitting into the world here? How are my actions affecting other people? How is this interaction going to leave this person feeling?'”

He continued, “It’s easy to sort of gloss over that stuff and get self-involved. The hard thing is to really, as I said, be mindful and live in the present moment.”

More: Evan Rachel Wood Is Not Ben Affleck’s Biggest Fan Right Now

Yep, God forbid you should be self-involved, Ben. No irony in that comment. None at all.