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From VIP entrances in Versace to service entrances in my apron

  • Julie Anne Rhodes

American Red Cross: A Red Tie Affair

It has been a while since I’ve walked a red carpet quite as glamorous as the Red Tie Affair at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in support of the American Red Cross Santa Monica Chapter last Saturday.

Julie Anne Rhodes

Julie Anne Rhodes at a Royal Film Premier

The event honored Betty White for her lifelong efforts as an animal activist, Josh Duhamel for raising over $250,000.00 through the marathons he immediately organized in aide of both Haiti and Japan, and the heroic medical team from St. John’s that flew instantaneously to Haiti to care for the injured.

Looking positively ravishing – swathed in full-length red gown with bejeweled collar, Christine Divine from Fox News presided as Master of Ceremonies. Other distinguished guests included Mrs. Josh Duhamel a.k.a. the drop dead gorgeous Fergie, Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy, Paris Hilton looking stunning as usual, Kathryn Joosten of Desperate Housewives, and National Red Cross President and CEO, Gail McGovern.

The Roving Stove gift certificate

The Roving Stove gift certificate

The Roving Stove donated a Romantic Dinner for Two gift certificate for the silent auction. I eagerly bid on the other goodies while Tatjana did her “duty” in the casino at the Black Jack, Roulette, and Craps tables.

Tatjana Rhodes at Red Tie Event for the American Red Cross

Card shark Tatjana Rhodes

A delectable four-course dinner was designed by celebrity Chef Nick Stellino, and you can find the recipes on his website. The program included the awards and honorees, live auction, and hauntingly beautiful performance by Romina Arena. An exceptionally inspirational and moving evening that raised a great deal of money for an enormously worthy cause. The Red Cross responds to over 7000 disasters every year, most of which we never hear about in the news, but all equally as devastating for those in need.

Betty White

Betty White accepting her Crystal Cross Award

“The Red Cross of Santa Monica is proudly spearheading the creation and establishment of a nationwide Red Cross program to aid and shelter animals during emergencies and to provide year-round pet CPR and pet first-aid classes. Betty White, with her lifelong advocacy of caring for animals, is the consummate embodiment of this national program.“

Josh Duhamel with Julie Anne & Tatjana Rhodes

Josh Duhamel with Julie Anne & Tatjana Rhodes

Also honored with the “Crystal Cross Award”, actor Josh Duhamel, who helped raise funds for the Red Cross Haiti Relief by leading a “youth Run for Haiti” on Santa Monica Beach. The run enabled more than three thousand compassionate young people to become involved in helping the citizens of Haiti through their fundraising efforts. Pouring rain did nothing to deter him from doing the same for earthquake and tsunami ravaged Japan just a couple weekends ago.

Julie Anne Rhodes

Julie Anne Rhodes

It was an especially sweet evening for me, since my daughter happened to be visiting from London to enjoy it with me, and such a pleasure to see everyone all dolled up. I know Tatjana and I had a ball getting ready ourselves – more about that next time. In the meantime, I want to thank the American Red Cross Santa Monica chapter and PeakPRgroup, for inviting us to be a part of such a spectacular evening. I’m renaming my Ruby Beet Risotto in memory of the evening, and honor of such a worthy cause.

Red Cross Ruby Beet Risotto

Red Cross Ruby Beet Risotto

Servings: 4


4 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound beets, peeled and coarsely shredded

2 cups Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

8 ounces Pecorino cheese, divided

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

salt and pepper to taste


1). In a medium saucepan, bring chicken stock to a simmer. Meanwhile, thinly shave two ounces of the cheese for garnish, set aside. Grate remaining 6 ounces of cheese, set aside.

2). Melt butter with olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, sauté until softened and beginning to brown. Add the shredded beets and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place half the cooked beets in a bowl; set aside. Add Arborio rice to the remaining beets and shallots, and stir well, for two minutes.

3). Add wine and cook over medium heat until liquid is almost completely absorbed. Add hot chicken broth, one cup at a time, stirring frequently until nearly absorbed, repeating the process until risotto is al dente in a thick sauce, about 20 minutes.

4). Stir in the grated cheese and caraway seeds and season to taste. Serve hot topped with Pecorino shavings.

Serving Suggestions: Serve with Arugula tossed in a Balsamic-Fig Dressing.

This post was first published April 12, 2011


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