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Manolo for the Big Girl | Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

Oh. My.

Francesca never ceases to be amazed to find out which mainstream clothing providers offer a selection in plus sizes.

Or, in today’s case, not exactly mainstream . . . and not exactly clothing . . . more like a studied lack of clothing . . .

Who knew that Frederick’s of Hollywood has a Plus-Size section?

Indeed! They acknowledge that fat women have powers of seduction!

Francesca cannot show too many examples, as most are definitely Not Safe For Work.

She will simply specify that most items in their plus-size page come in 1x and 2x, and some in 3x. And most work better for Pears than for Apples (though as always each woman must decide what works for her).

However, for Apples, they offer this little red velvet Santa thigh-high with princess seams.

Merry Christmas indeed.

Pie Times

Okay gang, we’ve got three more drinking days until Thanksgiving, and while that doesn’t mean much to me –I will be celebrating in my usual way by alphabetizing my shoes and watching John Cusack movies with my dog– those of you with so-called “family” and “friends” and “people who love you who DON’T work on commission” probably have some last minute preparations to do. So in the spirit of sharing (because I am all about sharing spirits) I would like to offer unto you my blue ribbon-winning, quick-and-dirty, smack-your-momma Chocolate Berry Pie with which I laid the culinary smackdown on a guy who worked for Martha Stewart and nearly made him cry in front of God and everybody. This is the first time the recipe has been published.

If you don’t make your own crust (i.e., if you don’t love America) this pie takes about ten minutes to prepare. Get fancy with it if you so desire, add chopped basil, chipotle, whatever. It’ll need to chill 8 hours or overnight, so make it the day before.

Ingredients:
1 8″ pie crust, baked and cooled.
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Guittard)
2 cups cream (That’s right. I said it.)
Salt
Fresh (not frozen) berries of your choice to fill an 8″ pie pan (1 lb)

Extra credit:
white chocolate for drizzling, apple jelly for glazing, mint sprig.

If you are using strawberries set aside a few pretty ones, core and quarter the remainder and dry thoroughly on paper towels, set aside. Scald cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, add chocolate chips, let set for five minutes, add a teensy pinch of salt and then stir until smooth.*

Dump fruit into pie shell, pour chocolate mixture over top until fruit is covered and pie is full. Thwunk on the bottom to remove air bubbles. Let chill overnight. If you want to get creative you can drizzle melted white chocolate over the surface of the cooled pie and decorate with the reserved fruit that has been brushed with melted apple jelly to make it shiny. Remove from fridge 30 minutes prior to serving.

*What you got here is ganache. If you’ve got some left over, whip that stuff, chill it until firm again, form it into little balls and roll those bastards in cocoa powder. Poof, you’ve got truffles. Totally cheap Christmas gift, and better than most you can buy.

Thanksgiving When You’re Not So Thankful

Last week, I wrote about Thanksgiving and how I love it. Just in case you’re wondering, I’m the sort of cockeyed optimist and holiday hussey who was very nearly assaulted by her co-workers one fine December 24th for still being in a good mood while working full time in retail over the holidays. And so it saddens me when I see situations like Scarlett’s:

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Let’s Get This Party Astarte

With the holiday party season rapidly approaching, many of us big girls are wondering where to find something superfantastic to wear and bemoaning the endless parade of eighties MOB dresses masquerading as festive formalwear facing us in store after store. It can get so depressing that one becomes tempted to simply cinch a black garbage bag into a sleeveless dress and go sit in a corner guzzling egg nog while trying not to be noticed. It might actually be more attractive than some of the alternatives that present themselves.

But you didn’t think we here at Big Girl would let you sink to that, did you? Have no fear. We’re here to help. And so is Astarte.
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MeMe Roth’s 15 Minutes

MeMe Roth of National Action Against Obesity announced that

“When I look at [American Idol winner and plus size model Jordin Sparks] I see diabetes, I see heart disease, I see high cholesterol. That’s what’s so sad about this – she is not the vision of health – she is the vision of ‘unhealth’… We have to stop with the ‘baby fat,’ ‘curvy,’ ‘goddess’ euphemisms and own this child health crisis.”

and while I say fair play to better child nutrition, this is the picture of unhealth to which Ms. Roth refers:

Jordin Sparks in Poppie Couture

Doesn’t she look absolutely beastly? I mean, it’s amazing she can even get out of bed. She probably has to wash herself with a dead cat on a stick and when she dies they’ll just have to cut the house away from around her and remove her bloated, Winnebago-sized corpse with that helicopter they use for sea mammal transportation.

On the other hand, please meet one of the lucky few who Ms. Roth has deemed healthy enough to work as one of her campaigners, Mister Marc Anthony:

Marc Anthony, anemic for two!

Once again.

Unhealthy:

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Healthy:

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And now for something completely different

Usually, on Fridays, Francesca discusses shoes. But today she has beautiful handbags on the brain. Lovely clutch bags whose prices even Francesca cannot justify, but are they not simply wonderful to gaze at?

Dolce & Gabbana

Stuart Weitzman

Michael Kors


Isabella Fiore

Francesca says: siiiiiigh

Happy weekend!

xoxo, Francesca

Book Recommendations by Francesca: We (Heart) Hercule Poirot

According to People magazine, J.K.Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, is “[s]lowly creeping up on Agatha Christie as the most read author not named Shakespeare.”

Francesca loves a good mystery, and has 2 bookshelves devoted to the work of Agatha Christie. Christie (1890-1976) produced 80 superfantastic mystery novels, most of which take place in England, France, or in what was formerly the British Empire. Francesca finds that her work from the 20’s and 30’s is most entertaining.

Christie created two of the most famous and beloved detectives of all time: Hercule Poirot and Miss (Jane) Marple.

Today we recommend the mysteries of Hercule Poirot! He is Belgian! He is little and has an egg-shaped head, and a huge mustache! He is exceedingly prim and neat and obsessed with symmetry! He uses his “little grey cells” to produce order and logic! He has a tremendous ego! He is Hercule Poirot!

Here, in order they were published, Francesca’s favorites:

Murder on the Links (1923) A Frenchman begs Poirot to come to him, but by the time Poirot arrives it is too late: The man has been killed, and his body dumped near a golf course. His wife has also been attacked; the son is in South America; the only male servant was recently dismissed; the female staff heard nothing. What is going on?

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd(1926) Considered a masterpiece of the genre. Mrs. Ferrar was suspected of having killed her husband. Now she, too, is dead. And then her fiancee, Roger Ackroyd, dies as well. Who among the multiple suspects is the killer?

Murder on the Orient Express (Also titled Murder on the Calais Coach) (1934) Traveling home by train from Istanbul, Hercule Poirot cannot sleep . . . he sees and hears much activity throughout the night . . . and in the morning, the man next door is dead, with multiple stab wounds. The evidence points wildly in many different directions – to 13 suspects in all! Can Poirot tease out the truth?

Death in the Clouds (Also titled Death in the Air) (1935) Once again Poirot is on his way home, this time from France to England by aeroplane, when a woman across the aisle and just a few seats behind him is murdered! Someone has killed her, practically under his nose . . . if only he hadn’t been snoozing in order to still the effects of air sickness! Which of the passengers has blood on his, or her, hands?

Death on the Nile (1937) Poirot really shouldn’t travel so much; everytime he goes away, he encounters murder. This time he’s on a boat, and the beautiful, recently married Linnet Ridgeway is found in her bed, with a bullet wound to the head. Has her former best friend, Jacqueline, lost her mind out of jealousy for the man they both loved? Or does someone else on the boat have a motive to get Linnet out of the way?

Five Little Pigs (Also titled “Murder in Retrospect”) (1942) Sixteen years after a woman is convicted of killing her husband, their daughter approaches Poirot and asks him to clear her mother’s name. Can Poirot solve a mystery based purely on witnesses’ testimony, with no extant physical evidence?

Happy reading!

xoxo, Francesca