Thursday, June 30, 2016
3 lb. beets
2 c. chopped pineapple
4 mandarin oranges
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Roast beets and peel them. Cut to the size that you want them to be. Cut pineapple to the same size. Cut the mandarin oranges in half once you have peeled them. Toss with the dressing (which you make by combining all the ingredients and shaking), or keep separate and dress separately, then add together carefully in a bowl or everything will be beet colored. Garnish with chiffoned fresh mint if desired.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
I, for one, am a fan of these when the aim for the movie night is to not think too hard. let the movie take you there. This is great for that.
Rudd becomes the caregiver for a young man with muscular dystrophy named Trevor. He is in a bad place in his life, and Trevor is sadly at the end of his life. Together they help each other have a little bit more of a life, and the script is for the most part cleverly written and aptly delivered.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
The whole cast of characters has been updated to fit the roles in modern society of the well off and the ultra rich so that we can all understand the class differences. The basic elements of Austen’s plot have been neatly rehabbed, too. Mr. Bennet, you’ll recall, had no sons to inherit his estate, which threatens his family with the eventual loss of their home. Sittenfeld’s Mr. Bennet faces crushing medical bills, which will just as surely leave his family homeless. Other translations to our modern times are equally as creative: Artificial insemination and sex reassignment surgery add complications inconceivable to a society once determined by primogeniture laws.
Sittenfeld’s cleverest but slightly irritating move is working a reality-TV dating show into her story. What might seem like a bit of pandering to pop taste is really a feat of satire. After all, just as the Austen Project recasts Regency romance in the 21st century so “The Bachelor” recasts modern dating in terms of Regency courtship. In either direction, the mashup is just as awkward and hypnotically bizarre. I found it underwhelming on the one hand, and on the other I could not put it down.
Monday, June 27, 2016
This is a recipe that is greatly improved by very thinly slicing the stems of the broccoli.
2 heads of broccoli
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
1/3 cup mayonnaise (this is more than is in the original, to thicken the dressing further)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot (or, you could just use a little extra red onion to simplify it)
Trim broccoli and cut it into large chunks. From here, you can either feed it through your food processor’s slicing blade, use a mandoline to cut it into thin slices, or simply had chop it into smaller pieces. I used the stem and the flowerets, but if you have a broccoli stem aversion you can just use the tops. (P.S. My favorite way to prep the stems is to peel them — the tough skin is why most people think they don’t like broccoli stems; the broccoli underneath is juicy and crisp — then use the mandoline or a knife to cut them into thin slices.)
Toss the sliced broccoli with the almonds, cranberries and red onion in a large bowl. Meanwhile, whisk the dressing ingredients in a smaller one, with a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the broccoli (if you’ve skipped the stems, you might not want it all; I otherwise found this to be the perfect amount) and toss it well. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Friday, June 24, 2016
But for once I would like to point out that while I have required above average amounts of medical assistance these past months, that I have just now really started to make progress on my creative recovery, and the local shop, Home Ec, has been a key ingredient in that success.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Socrates believes that knowledge is innate in man, but that man does not always allow knowledge to rule him. Emotions play a role and they can at times overwhelm knowledge. Socrates asserts that man knows the right thing to do, but does not always choose to act that way. Socrates warns the reader that what is good and virtuous is complicated. He rejects the notion that a certain amount of bad behavior can be outweighed by good behavior. The virtuous behavior does not negate the bad behavior.
Socrates states that all desire is for pleasure and nothing else. Man seeks happiness, even though what brings him happiness is not always good. This premise is necessary because without it there is not an explanation for why man does things that are not virtuous. The desire to do something outweighs the negative impact the behavior will have on your relationship with your parents, which is a virtuous relationship.
Socrates premise that mans desire for a course of action is in direct proportion to the amount of pleasure he will receive. This explains why man would seek pleasure in the short run, because it is an intense and overwhelming emotion that can interfere with man’s pursuit of what is virtuous, even of he has the knowledge of it. For example, man has the knowledge that marital fidelity is virtuous and will bring both he and his spouse happiness. Occasionally man is tempted to have sex with someone who is not his spouse. He is driven by the desire for immediate pleasure, and may not consider the consequences for his long-term happiness in the pursuit of his immediate desire. If he chooses to have an extramarital affair, the pain that he endures later outweighs the pleasure he enjoys in the moment.
Socrates argues that when man demonstrates a weakness of will, what is really happening is that he has not correctly assessed the damage that his pursuit of pleasure will have or that he has incorrectly assessed the amount of pain that he will endure based on his action. Socrates believes that if man was able to accurately measure pleasure and pain, and the consequences of them he would always act in a knowledgeable way. When man makes the wrong assessment, he errs. This can appear to be a weakness of will, but it is actually a failure of knowledge. I agree with Socrates in principle. For example, a robber chooses to hold up a liquor store to steal money for his own pleasure. He is aware of the fact that what he is doing is illegal and that he could go to jail if he is caught. Often the thief makes an inaccurate assessment of his risk of being caught. He is conscious of the bad possibilities that he faces with his action, but he makes the mistake of believing that he will not be caught. His emotions overrule his knowledge, and lead to his weakness of will.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
- 5 ounces rhubarb, washed and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups water
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and stir. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the mixture boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rhubarb is falling apart and the color has bled into the syrup, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and, using a fine-mesh strainer, strain and discard the rhubarb solids. Let the syrup cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a resealable container and store in the refrigerator.
Monday, June 20, 2016
This is a fitting end to the Rocky story (as played by Sylvester Stallone), and could be the beginning of the Adonis Creed story (ably portrayed by Michael Jordan). For one thing, it mirrors the arc of the original 'Rocky'. There’s the confident boxer from humble origins, his mentor, and the woman who becomes his friend, then his significant other and then his rock of support. There is also the famous boxer who gives our hero the boxing match chance of a lifetime, while at the same time finding out that he is not quite done with boxing himself. Armed with these elements, “Creed” then tweaks them, playing on our expectations before occasionally surprising us. It may be easy to predict where the film takes us, but that doesn’t reduce the power and enormity of the emotional responses it gets from the audience. This is a crowd-pleaser that takes its time building its character-driven universe. There are as many quietly effective moments as there are stand-up-and-cheer moments, and they’re all handled with skill and dexterity on both sides of the camera.
Sunday, June 19, 2016
Saturday, June 18, 2016
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1-1 1/2 pounds snow or sugar snap peas, washed and trimmed
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tempura sauce
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- 1. Place vegetable oil in a large, deep skillet or wok and turn heat to high. When it begins to smoke, toss in peas and cook, stirring almost constantly, until they are glossy, bright green and begin to show a few brown spots, about 5 minutes.
- 2. When peas are almost done, stir in ginger and garlic, and cook another minute or so. Toss with sesame seeds if using them.Turn off heat and remove peas to a serving bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Friday, June 17, 2016
The good thing about someone saying something out loud to you is that it gives you a chance to take a second look at it, and in my case, be more deliberate about doing things right. I now try to think "Am I moving on or am I stuck?" and while my usual answer is that at I am at least doing it the usual way, in some cases I have been spurred on to do something different.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
So, where do we stand post-Orlando? We have a public health emergency related to gun deaths in our country. If you own a gun you are 9 times more likely to kill yourself and 10 times more likely to die of a gunshot wound. Guns are more dangerous to their owners and the families of their owners than to anyone else. We have a Congress that is bought and paid for by the gun lobby. We have assault rifles for sale legally. It is overwhelming, the problem is so vast.
So, what to do? I have been writing to my senator weekly about the lack of hearings for the Supreme Court nominee, so I can include this, but what would be most effective? What is needed to move forward? That is what I do not know.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Family meals give us a chance to catch up on what has been going on and anytime you put 8-12 people around a table it feels festive. The other opportunity it affords it to put a nice meal on the table at least once a week. That could be a blessing or a curse, but it is a very welcoming crowd that allows for missteps in the kitchen, so the bar is not high to please people, and if something is a complete flop, we move on. No harm, no foul. My eldest son and his wife will soon be moving away, and I will definitely miss them, and their additions to the Sunday night menu.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
3 kohlrabi, peeled, stems trimmed off, grated (~1-2 c.)
1/4 head cabbage, shredded (2-3 c.)
3 carrots, peeled and grated (~2 c.)
4 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)
3 Tbs. mayonnaise
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste.
Combine the kohlrabi, cabbage, carrots, cilantro, and raisins (if using) in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, and salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the slaw, and mix until fully coated.Serve or store in the refrigerator. I made it right before dinner and it was delicious, but it also stores well, and could go on a picnic as well.
Monday, June 13, 2016
They start out as young and in love, but also broke and cut off from Lotto's family and their money. He is a struggling actor until Mathilde encourages him to write plays, and she is the one who gets the first one produced, and then he is off to success. The rest of the book is the juxtaposition of Lotto's view of the relationship with Mathilde's, and the inevitable differences therein. It is an interesting read, one that makes one reflect on one's own love life.
Sunday, June 12, 2016
Saturday, June 11, 2016
Friday, June 10, 2016
This is a very interesting book on two levels. The first is that it is about overcoming grief. The author's father died and she met criteria for major depression in the months that followed his death. She was almost completely disabled as a result and so her decision to train a very difficult bird to be at her beck and call was not one made in the sanest of moments for her. She juxtaposes her love of falconry with her love of her father and how she used one to come to terms with the other. The other interesting theme in this book is her theory about T.H. White using a goshawk as a way to either overcome his homosexuality or to come to terms with it. In either case, his was a failed attempt and hers was not. Very thoughtful and thought provoking read.
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Ricki (Streep) is an aging rock star want to be. Pete (Kline) left her because of her itinerant lifestyle and lack of stable parenting for her children, and married a woman who brought the children to adulthood. Unfortunately none of them are too fond of Ricki as a result.
Fast forward to the present. Ricki is now in a band that is essentially the house band in a bar where they are now forced to play some Lady Gaga in addition to their 70's standards. The band sounds amazing, and that is probably because there are some experienced rockers in it, including Ricky Springfield, who plays Streep's boyfriend. Ricki is called to the home of her ex-husband because her daughter has tried to commit suicide, and he wants her to come and see her. Pete is confused about what he hopes she will do, he just feels like she should be there, and the rest of the movie is about the attempts at healing old wounds in a broken family. Really, it is good, and not a down beat movie that the plot summary might imply. Try it.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
- 1/2 oz. dark rum
- 1/2 oz. coconut liqueur
- 1/4 oz. 151 proof rum
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 4 oz. pineapple juice
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Monday, June 6, 2016
The movie depicts Lennon as having a wild child mother who introduced him to the music of African Americans but who was not really able to be a parent to him, whereas Lennon's aunt was a buttoned down woman of post WWII England who provided structure, boundaries and reliability for him. Between the two they molded him into the man who would shake up the world of popular rock music. The tone is modest and sympathetic.
Sunday, June 5, 2016
- 6 whole Scotch bonnet peppers (see note above)
- 6 scallions, roughly chopped
- 1 (2-inch) knob fresh ginger, roughly chopped
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons freshly picked thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons zest and 1/4 cup juice from about 4 limes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large whole chicken, back removed, split in half along breastbone (4 to 4 1/2 pounds, see note above)
- 1/4 cup whole allspice berries
- 3 dozen dried bay leaves (about 2 loosely packed cups)
Combine peppers, scallions, ginger, garlic, thyme, allspice, nutmeg, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime zest and juice, olive oil, 2 teaspoons black pepper, and 1 tablespoon kosher salt in the work bowl of a food processor or the jar of a blender. Blend until a rough purée is formed, about 1 minute.
Place chickens in a large bowl or baking dish. Pour marinade over chickens and turn until thoroughly coated. Divide chicken and marinade between two gallon-sized zipper-lock bags, or place in a large baking dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place whole allspice berries and bay leaves in a gallon-sized zipper-lock bag and fill with water. Refrigerate chicken and bay leaves at least 10 hours and up to 1 day.
When ready to cook, remove chicken from bags, allow excess marinade to drip off, and transfer to a large plate. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and pile the coals against one wall of a kettle grill. Alternatively, set the leftmost burners of a gas grill to medium-high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Oil the grilling grate. Set bottom and lid vents to half open.
Drain bay leaves and allspice berries in a fine mesh strainer. Spread 2/3rds of bay leaves evenly over the cooler side of the grill (it's ok if some allspice berries fall through) in a pattern just large enough to fit the chickens. Lay the chickens over the bay leaves skin side up with the legs pointed towards the hotter side of the grill. Place 1/3 of remaining bay leaves over hot side of grill and immediately cover, with the vent above the chicken. Cook for 15 minutes.
Open lid and place half of remaining bay leaves and allspice berries on hot side of grill directly above the coals. Immediately cover and cook for another 15 minutes. Open lid, add 15 new coals to the pile of hot coals, then place remaining bay leaves and allspice berries on hot side of grill directly above the coals. Cover and continue to cook until the coolest part of the chicken breast registers 145°F on an instant read thermometer, about 20 minutes longer.
Uncover grill and wait five minutes until coals are hot again (if using gas grill, increase heat to high). Carefully lift the chicken off the bay leaves and transfer it to the hot side of the grill skin side up. Using tongs, drop the bay leaves into the grill directly onto the coals or burners so that they smoke. Cook the chicken until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip chicken and continue to cook until skin is crisp and charred and coolest part of breast registers 150 to 155°F on an instant read thermometer, 4 to 6 minutes longer. Transfer to a large platter, allow to rest 5 minutes, and serve.
Saturday, June 4, 2016
This was an uneven meal for me. I never know when that happens if it is because the restaurant is uneven or if I just ordered badly; in any case, it happened. I loved the sopes and really considered getting another order of them, that is how good they were. The clams al chipotle were amazing, but not quite filling enough. But the ceviche was just raw halibut, with hardly a hint of lime flavor, and none of the pickling that I think of with ceviche. Very disappointing.
On the up side, the atmosphere was nice, and the drinks menu was full of nice surprises.
Friday, June 3, 2016
If you can set those things aside, it is about a combat veteran who has gone over to the dark side in terms of working for the highest bidder. He is in Hawaii to negotiate a land acquisition for his employer, who is working in collaboration with the US Army. He has a military handler and quite by coincidence, his former love is married to the pilot who flies him in. The rest of the movie is centered on his realization that he can love again. I would have enjoyed some focus on the effect trauma in battle affected him, but you can't have everything.
Thursday, June 2, 2016
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup dry white wine or broth
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ¾ pounds large or extra-large shrimp, shelled
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
- Cooked pasta
- In a large skillet, melt butter with olive oil. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine or broth, salt, red pepper flakes and plenty of black pepper and bring to a simmer. Let wine reduce by half, about 2 minutes.
- Add shrimp and sauté until they just turn pink, 2 to 4 minutes depending upon their size. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice and serve over pasta or accompanied by crusty bread.