Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
The good news is that I wouldn't have it any other way. Despite the fact that we are undergoing yet another cancer experience in our family of origin, and no one would wish that on anyone, I inherently accept that there will be hard times with the good ones, that all is not perfect and that life is not fair. Now that the cancer battler is me, I guess I have to believe this, but the saying that is attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, and goes something like this has always resonated with me:
"What lies in front of you and what lies behind you pales in comparison to what lies within you."
I only hope that I can live up to it. Much love my dear, and may we cherish the years together.
Monday, February 8, 2016
Sunday, February 7, 2016
I am a fan of the animation style that this movie exemplifies, even if I thought the story was a bit underwhelming. A girl helps a cat, and then discovers that he is a cat prince in a cat world that she is transported to in order to thank her for saving him. It is well worth watching just to see the world that is created but it is not one of my favorite Japanese animated movies.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
- 12 cloves garlic
- 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Crushed red-pepper flakes
- 2 pounds bone-in chicken, skin removed
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1 cup creamy unsweetened peanut butter
- ½ pound green cabbage, cut into 2-inch wedges
- 3 medium carrots, peeled, cut in 2-inch lengths
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 12 ounces waxy potatoes, like Yukon Gold
- Scotch Bonnet chile slices, to taste (optional)
- White rice, cooked, for serving
- Finely mince 6 cloves garlic and the ginger with a pinch of salt, plenty of black pepper and crushed red-pepper flakes to taste. Season chicken all over with salt, and rub with the garlic mixture. Marinate for three hours or overnight, refrigerated.
- Finely chop the remaining 6 cloves of garlic. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the onion, chopped garlic, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, until the onion is starting to become translucent. Stir in the fish sauce, then the tomato paste, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, until the paste and onions have combined and are a shade darker. Stir in 6 cups water, scraping up any browned bits.
- Add the chicken, bring to a boil and turn heat down to a moderate simmer. In a mixing bowl, stir a cup of the cooking liquid into the peanut butter, a splash at a time, to loosen it. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the pot, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cabbage and carrots, and simmer 10 minutes. Peel and cut the sweet potato and waxy potatoes into 11/2-inch chunks, add them and simmer 30 minutes, until the vegetables and chicken are tender and the sauce is like a very thick gravy. (The oil will be separating in the sauce.) If the chicken and vegetables are tender but the sauce is still a little loose, remove them, and let the sauce cook down. Add the chile if using. Taste, adjust seasoning with salt and serve over white rice.
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard, who would have been a good Wallender, plays River, who is grieving the loss of his partner and only friend, Stevie. He sees her and talks to her constantly, and relatively quickly we discover that she is not the only visual and auditory hallucination he has. People haunt him, and they have since he was a child. It is unclear if it is his conscience that is giving life to these hallucinations, or something else, but he is an excellent cop with a case clearance rate that offsets his peculiarities. His new partner is not quite as sanguine about his issues with seeing what what no one else sees, but he tolerates him, and they are a likable team. Very unusual and surprisingly good.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
- 8 ounces sliced bacon, sliced crosswise into 1-inch pieces
- 3 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 10 chicken thighs, with skin and bone
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, halved
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
- 3 tablespoons chopped tarragon
- 1 bottle dry or off-dry riesling wine
- Place large flameproof casserole or other heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add bacon, and cook until most of the fat has been rendered. Add onions and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mixture to plate, leaving behind as much liquid fat as possible.
- Place pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches (do not overcrowd pan), brown chicken pieces on both sides, transferring them to a plate after they are browned.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add mushrooms, garlic, 3 tablespoons of parsley and 2 tablespoons of tarragon. Sauté until mushrooms are coated in fat, about 1 minute. Return chicken pieces, onions and bacon to pan. Add wine, and raise heat to bring to a boil. Partially cover, turn heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour.
- To serve immediately, sprinkle with remaining parsley and tarragon. For best results, cool, and refrigerate overnight. The next day remove any chilled fat on surface with paper towels. Reheat gently, sprinkle with parsley and tarragon, and serve.
Monday, February 1, 2016
The Furious team is reunited under the ever stoic Vim Diesel, and they are joined by FBI agent Dwayne Johnson, who has a relatively minor but memorable role in this film. The opposition is valiantly played by Jason Statham, so it really is an action movie all star cast, and it does not fail to have endless chases scenes, frequent gun battles and the occasional hand to hand combat. It was exactly as I expected it to be.
Sunday, January 31, 2016
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 pound fresh fettuccine
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Bring salted water to a boil.
- While the water heats, melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; saute until fragrant and sizzling, about 2 minutes. Whisk the cream with the egg yolk in a bowl until blended; pour into the garlic butter. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir until hot but not boiling. Keep warm over low heat.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta, partially covered, until al dente. (The pasta will float when it's done.) Drain in a colander, shaking out excess water, but reserve a little cooking water. Pour hot pasta into the cream mixture and toss to coat (still over low heat). Add the cheese and keep tossing gently until cream is mostly absorbed. Season with salt and pepper. If sauce is absorbed too much, toss with a little pasta water. Serve in warm bowls.
Friday, January 29, 2016
The movie does something that is risky--it has two actors playing the character at two different points in time. Paul Dano is the young Wilson and John Cusack is the elder Wilson. The movie pulls this off quite well, and while it is very hard to watch, it is not because of the acting. Wilson had a very abusive father, both physically and verbally, and even though the band fired him as their manager, Wilson remained quite dependent on his father's approval, which he was never going to get. He developed crippling anxiety and at some point slipped into psychosis, the reason not being all that clear, but options include drugs, personality, primary psychotic illness or a combination of them. In any case, the story is well told, and the mid 1960's sequences are a glimpse of the music scene of the time.