5@5 - Elizabeth Anne Winters
December 13th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

This Christmas Eve, tiny tots will probably know that Santa is on his way because they are tracking him with their iPhone app at the dinner table.

For better or worse, technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. It may seem hard to not play Angry Birds while your great-uncle tells for the umpteenth time how he used to walk 10 miles in the snow to school everyday (uphill...both ways, no less!) - but trust us, you can unplug for a few hours in order to get back to the root of the holiday season: time with friends and family.

Here to help you enjoy the holiday meals without the distractions of technology is Elizabeth Anne Winters, National Director of the National League of Junior Cotillions and author of the Official Book of Electronic Etiquette.

Now please, silence your phones.

Five Electronic Etiquette Tips at the Holiday Table: Elizabeth Anne Winters

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Etiquette • Think

December 13th, 2010
04:35 PM ET
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The former host of the Food Network's "Calorie Commando" was sentenced Monday to nine years in a California prison after pleading no contest to soliciting two homeless men to kill his wife, Los Angeles Superior Court spokeswoman Elizabeth Martinez said.

Juan-Carlos Cruz's wife was also in court during the sentencing, Martinez said.

Fertility issues were at the center of the murder-for-hire plot, according to sources close to the couple.

Authorities alleged that Cruz offered the two homeless men $500 to kill his wife, Shiara Davila-Morales of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.

Read Former Food Network chef sentenced in murder plot

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Filed under: Celebrity Chefs • News • Weird News

December 13th, 2010
02:15 PM ET
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Susan Candiotti is a New York-based CNN national correspondent.

Pay a farmer to have fresh vegetables and fruit boxed up and delivered to your house or neighborhood drop off point once a week? It sounds enticing. Truth be told, I’d heard of them, but didn’t realize the concept called Community Supported Agriculture has been around for about 20 years. I suppose I’m so used to going to a grocery store or occasionally, a farmers market, that I never investigated any other option. CSA devotees swear by the personalized farmer to home service and it’s growing in popularity. The LocalHarvest directory alone lists more than 2500 CSAs.

The price varies, but buying a share of the farmer’s crops runs about $500 for the growing season.

(I haven’t figured out how much I pay my local grocer.)

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Filed under: Business and Farming News • CSA • Farms • Farmstands • Local Food

Obama signs Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
December 13th, 2010
01:30 PM ET
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President Barack Obama signed a sweeping overhaul of child nutrition standards Monday, enacting a law meant to encourage better eating habits in part by giving the federal government more authority to set standards for food sold in vending machines and elsewhere on school grounds.

Among other things, the $4.5 billion measure provides more money to poor areas to subsidize free meals and requires schools to abide by health guidelines drafted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To help offset the higher cost of including more fruits and vegetables, the bill increases the reimbursement rate for school lunches.

The bill is about "giving our kids the healthy futures they deserve," the president said during a bill signing ceremony at a Washington elementary school. "Right now across the country too many kids don't have access to school meals."

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Filed under: Food Politics • Health News • News • School Lunch • White House

Lunchtime poll – have you been overserved?
December 13th, 2010
12:15 PM ET
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Nights are long, there's a chill in the air, seasonal cheer (and stress) is in high gear and at a seemingly endless string of holiday parties, the booze is flowing freely. Punch bowls and open bars abound at this time of year, and it seems a festive (or, again, stress-relieving) tipple is rarely more than a ladle away.

Per the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the distilled spirits industry makes a quarter of its yearly profits in the period between Thanksgiving and the New Year. How much are you helping 'em top that off?

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Filed under: Hangovers • Holidays • Sip

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