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The Chicago Tribune Names First Lady Michelle Obama One of the 2010 Good Eating Award Winners

Post by: Audiegrl

Children from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. help First Lady Michelle Obama plant the White House Vegetable Garden, April 9, 2009.  (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Children from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. help First Lady Michelle Obama plant the White House Vegetable Garden, April 9, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

Chicago Tribune~There’s a 1,100-square-foot organic vegetable, fruit and herb garden on the South Lawn of the White House. That patch of earth planted in March — the first time vegetables have been grown at the White House since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency in the ’40s — has yielded 700-plus pounds of lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, collards and more for meals at the White House and a nearby homeless shelter.

That garden, first lady Michelle Obama told reporters, is “one of the greatest things that I’ve done in my life.” It also signaled the first lady’s efforts to improve America’s eating habits, tackle childhood obesity and encourage fitness. She began by bringing those efforts to her new home, where chef-working mom Cristeta Comerford runs the White House kitchen, by adding chef Sam Kass (whose track record includes work at Avec) to mentor her local-sustainable efforts.

2010 Good Eating AwardOther first ladies have urged healthy eating at the White House ( Hillary Clinton pushed for a low-fat menu, while Laura Bush encouraged organic foods). But Michelle Obama has, in her first year, moved food and nutrition issues front and center. Her efforts dovetail with our appetite for the food-tube (she kicked off this year with an appearance on “Iron Chef America“) and America’s awareness that what you eat plays a major role in your health.

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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President Obama Gathers His ‘A’ List for First State Dinner

Posted by Audiegrl

Click here for list: Expected Attendees at Tonight’s State Dinner

The dinner honors India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

—What’s the hottest ticket in the nation’s capital? An engraved invitation to Tuesday’s White House state dinner, the first hosted by President Obama.

He and the first lady will honor India’s prime minister. But in a departure from the traditional venue — the elegant State Dining Room — the Obama’s will gather with a few hundred VIPs in a huge, heated tent on the South Lawn.

Glamor and Grace


The guest list for the black-tie gala remains a closely guarded secret. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, will certainly be there.

Several notables are good bets, such as Oprah Winfrey and Chicago hotel billionaire Penny Pritzker, as are top Obama aides David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett and Rahm Emanuel.

Tonight's Menu and Desert

Dee Dee Myers, who served as President Clinton’s press secretary, said the lobbying by people seeking an invite had probably been relentless. The first [state dinner] is always the most dramatic,” Myers said. “First impressions are important. That’s your A list, that’s your top game right there. By the time you get to the eighth state dinner, it’ll be a lot less important.”

The gargantuan tent affords a bigger crowd than could fit in the State Dining Room, which holds 140.

State dinners generally draw administration officials and members of Congress, the Cabinet and the diplomatic corps. Obama donors and corporate titans, Hollywood glamour, athletic greats and leading artists are bound to be thrown into the mix, possibly joined by some academics and journalists.

And the morning after, hotheads left off the list are bound to let off steam.

Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh

There’s always a few angry calls,” Myers said, “because people read the guest list” in the morning papers.

But until the dinner takes place, the heat is on, perhaps for no two people more than Desiree Rogers, the White House social secretary, and Cristeta Comerford, the White House’s top chef.

Myers was a guest at a few state dinners put on by Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is another guaranteed attendee Tuesday. As Secretary of State, she hand-delivered the invitation to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July.

Tented parties for state dinners aren’t entirely new. In President Clinton’s final year in office, he had about 700 guests under a tent for an earlier Indian prime minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee.

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President Obama and Prime Minister Singh Press Conference | The White House

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Obama State Dinner Challenges, Real & Imagined: A Vegetarian Guest of Honor, A Scarcity of Vegetables…

Vegetable veracity: The garden is low on crops, Mr. Singh is fond of fish, and about that beehive gift for dinner guests…

Please visit our friends at Obama Foodorama. They have more pictures and details about the tent, menu, chef, etc…they are a great source for anything food related at the Obama White House. 🙂

Jennifer Hudson to Perform Tonight

Oscar Winner will perform at the Obama administration's first state dinner Tuesday.

Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson will perform at the Obama administration's first state dinner Tuesday.

Politico/Nia-Malika Henerson—Award-winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudson will perform at the Obama administration’s first state dinner Tuesday, according to several sources.

Hudson, a Chicago native who performed at the Democratic National Convention in August 2008, will perform for 320 guests at the black tie affair.

The Obamas have had several soul singers perform at the White House. For the Governor’s Dinner, they drew on their Chicago connection and had funk band Earth, Wind and Fire perform for guests.

Hudson suffered a major family tragedy in 2008 when her mother, brother and nephew were killed. Obama, who was campaigning at the time, sent condolences to Hudson.

Hudson got her start as a contestant on American Idol and has been a winner at the Oscars and Grammys. She was recently tapped to play Winnie Mandela in a forthcoming biopic.


First Lady Michelle Obama Discusses State and Official Visits

As the White House prepares for tonight’s State Dinner in honor of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mrs. Gursharan Kaur of India, First Lady Michelle Obama hosts young women from the White House Leadership and Mentoring Program to discuss the history and protocol that surround State and Official Visits. The First Lady discusses how protocol and hospitality can help foster good relations and build strong friendships.

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Couple slips though security to crash state dinner
WASHINGTON – The Secret Service says it’s looking into its own security procedures after determining that two people crashed Tuesday night’s state dinner at the White House.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan says that President Barack Obama was never in any danger. Donovan says the party crashers went through the same security screening as the 300-plus people actually invited to the dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

source:

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Halloween at the White House 2009

Two Events, 2,000 Kids, & A 1,000 Pound Presidential Pumpkin



A volunteer decorates the North Portico of the White House

A volunteer decorates the North Portico of the White House

Obama FoodoramaPresident Boo-rack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama open the White House for Halloween…with a special focus on Military Families

President Obama and Mrs. Obama will host two different Halloween events today, for their very first All Hallows Eve at the Executive Mansion. The first event will be for school children, who are invited to come trick-or-treat, and the second will be for military families, the children of White House staff, and the children of residence staff. Yesterday, truckloads of pumpkins, hay bales, and other decorations were delivered to the White House (as well as cobwebs!) to prepare for today’s events, and a special 1,000 pound Presidential Pumpkin was trucked in from Wisconsin. And given that the White House is said to be haunted* by more than just the ghosts of Republican administrations past, it should be a very busy and authentic holiday!

On the North Lawn driveway, volunteers carve one of three massive pumpkins shipped in for the festivities

On the North Lawn driveway, volunteers carve one of three massive pumpkins shipped in for the festivities

2,000 lucky “local” kids…and the special White House treats
For the first event, the White House and Department of Education chose schools from DC, Maryland, and Virginia to send 2,000 kids, ages 6-14, to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for special trick-or-treating, which will start at around 6:30 PM. The kids and their parents will troop by the “front door” of the White House, which is the North Portico (getting spider’d at top of post). “Traditional candy“–special presidential White House M&Ms–will be handed out, as well as a sweet dough butter cookie made by White House Executive Pastry chef Bill Yosses. In keeping with Mrs. Obama’s nutrition agenda, kids will also be given a serving of a dried fruit mix made with cherries, apricots, pears, apples and papayas. They’ll also be treated to a National Park Foundation Ranger activity book.

Military Families, and Staff Kids…
trick_treat_1029At 7:00 PM, President and Mrs. Obama will host a reception for military families and children of White House and residence staff in the East Room, which will be co-hosted by Vice President Joe Biden and Mrs. Biden. The focus on military families is part of a continuing effort to support our troops and their families at home. Since January, President and Mrs. Obama have both appeared at numerous military bases; earlier this week, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden appeared at Game 1 of the World Series, which was dedicated to military veterans. The Fourth of July bash at the White House was in honor of military families, too. The Redmoon theatre company will perform. The Chicago-based company describes its productions as “equal parts pageantry, gadgetry, acrobatics, and ephemera,” so it should be quite a show.

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Redmoon to do Halloween show at the White House and treat Obama’s and military family’s with skeleton crew

Puppets designed by Kass Copeland may be used in Redmoon's Halloween presentation

Puppets designed by Kass Copeland may be used in Redmoon's Halloween presentation

Chicago Sun Times/Hedy Weiss—It’s still very hush-hush, top secret and high security in nature. But word has it that Chicago’s Redmoon Theater, which has made its mark during the past 19 seasons as the masterful creator of grand-scale spectacles staged both outdoors and in traditional theaters, has been invited to the White House for a special Halloween performance on Saturday.

Though all details of the event are being closely guarded until then, what is known so far is that an invitation from President Obama and the first lady has generated a beehive of activity at Redmoon, where skeletons and crows and other seasonal fright objects are being crafted, and where a lot of thought is going into which of these might be presented as gifts to the first family.

For minute-by-minute updates on Redmoon’s plans, go to the troupe’s blog.

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First Lady Michelle Obama Hosts a Healthy Kids Fair at the White House

Posted by Audiegrl

healthy_kids_1michelle obamaWhiteHouse.gov—Yesterday, the First Lady held the first ever Healthy Kids Fair on the White House South Lawn—a fun event created to teach parents and children the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

All afternoon, the kids took turns jump roping, hula hooping, and learning to concoct nutritious snacks and lunches. As the First Lady explained, the recipes — such as Sweet and Zesty Popcorn and Baked Sliced Apples — are easy to make and developed with today’s busy family in mind:

    “We want our children to eat right, not just because it’s the right thing to do but because quite frankly healthy good food tastes good and we want them to experience that. We don’t just want our kids to exercise because we tell them to. We want them to exercise because it’s fun and they enjoy it. And we want them to learn now how to lead good, healthy lifestyles so that they’re not struggling to figure out how to do that when they’re older.

    But as a parent, and I know all of you here today, we know that sometimes doing all that is easier said than done, because we all care but it is becoming so increasingly difficult to provide all that for our kids. And you all know that better than anyone here, as parents. We’re all pulled in a million different directions, working hard, working long hours, trying to do everything, be perfect parents. We love you guys so much we just want everything for you.”

healthy_kids_2michelle obamaAs the First Lady reminded her guests, one of every three children in the United States is overweight or obese—but if we take responsibility for our health, this preventable problem will be a thing of the past.

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One of the things I loved about the First Ladies speech was when she said, “my mother was also very clear in our household that you ate what she fixed“. You guys don’t know how many times I went to bed without dinner when my Mom fixed cabbage or liver. But the main enemy was ‘peas‘, they were just too squishy for my tastes. One fateful night I decided that if I just scraped the peas off my plate, and placed the plate on top of them, my Mom would think that I ate the peas. Well, I’m sure you can guess how well that turned out. 😉

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Celebracion! In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina (Full PBS Video)

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Previous Story with Slideshow of Photos at the Event

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Celebracion! White House Holds In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina

Posted by Audiegrl

Comedian George Lopez, actress Eva Longoria Parker and actor Jimmy Smits were last night's hosts

Comedian George Lopez, actress Eva Longoria Parker and actor Jimmy Smits were last night's hosts

Tuesday night the President and First Lady hosted the third installment of the White House Music Series, this one celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Fiesta Latina brought some of the country’s best Latin music performers to the White House, including: Mark Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Jose Feliciano, Pete Escovedo, Thalía, Tito “El Bambino,” Aventura, Los Lobos and Sheila E., with hosts Jimmy Smits, Eva Longoria and George Lopez.

In his remarks at the event, President Barack Obama said of the genre: “In the end, what makes Latin music great is the same thing that’s always made America great — the unique ability to celebrate our differences while creating something new.”

Enjoy some snapshots from “In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina” and in case you missed the livestream, you can still catch the program on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide (check your local listings).

Videoclip de la Casa Blanca Fiesta Latina

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White House to Throw Star Party Wednesday


20 telescopes will be set up on lawn for attendees to gaze at moon, Jupiter

OBAMA/MSNBC—President Barack Obama will welcome skywatchers to the White House Wednesday for an evening of stargazing with the first family.

A group of professional and amateur astronomers will set up more than 20 telescopes on the White House lawn during the presidential star party to mark the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009), a celebration of the 400th anniversary of famed astronomer Galileo Galilee’s first use of a telescope to observe the night sky. President Obama, his family and a group of local middle-school students are expected to attend.

OBAMA/Top targets on the celestial menu: The craters and mountains of Earth’s moon, Jupiter and its own moons, and other stars and objects.

The White House star party will begin Wednesday night at around 8 p.m. EDT with a kickoff address by President Obama to be broadcast live on NASA TV. It corresponds with World Space Week, which began Sunday and ends Oct. 10.

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