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Are You Watching?

 

It is glitzy.

It is glamorous.

It is garish.

It is too long.

It is narcissistic.

It is self- congratulatory.

It is way, way, way too long.

And it is boring.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am talking about the Academy Awards; that perennial bloated TV extravaganza where the preening star’s arms are not long enough to pat themselves on the back.

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This Sunday, February 22nd is the 2015 Oscar telecast.

I for one will not be watching. I have not watched it in over a dozen years. Ever since that class act, Johnny Carson stopped hosting, the show has sunk into mediocrity.

And did I tell you the the show is freaking way too long? The show needs a good editor. The show should be no longer than 2 hours; 3 at most. That would mean basically just handing out the statue with no musical acts and no more documentaries and no more banter and quips by the presenters. They may be great actors, but they are terrible at banter.

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Furthermore, it is always amazing to me that the men and woman who have written masterful movie scripts like The Kings Speech, The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, Schinlinder’s List, Gone With the Wind, Some Like It Hot, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Rear Window can’t write a coherent, intelligent script for the Oscar’s and instead produce such a stale, boring, tedious, dull, and monotonous TV show.

So no Oscars for me again this year!

Instead, I will be watching the far more exciting Local Weather Channel.

Are you going to watch the Oscars?

Why or why not?

Featured Recipe     Bacon Bourbon Caramel Pop Corn

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You can’t go to a movie without getting popcorn. Right?

Sometimes the pop corn is the best part of the movie.

So what is the perfect snack for watching the Oscars?

Pop Corn of course!!!!!

However……….

…………….you won’t get this pop corn at any movie theater I know.

This recipe helps make up for the boredom of the Oscars. And if that doesn’t work, just drink the left over bourbon.   E ROFLAO

Recipe can be doubled, even tripled..

This is what you will need for about 2 quarts pop corn:

About 6 cups of popped corn *

6 or 7 slices bacon

½ cup dark brown sugar

¼ cup dark corn syrup **

4 tablespoons butter

Pinch or two or three of sea salt

¼ teaspoon vanilla

1-2 tablespoon bourbon ***

¼ cup baking soda

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* It does not matter how you pop the corn. Do it the old fashioned way or use micro wave pop corn. It is your pop corn and your time. Do what you want. However, if using micro wave pop corn be sure to use plain pop corn, no butter or other ingredients on the corn.

** If you can afford the expense use real maple syrup for an even more decadent treat.

*** Optional

Here is what you do:

Pop the corn.

Fry or nuke the bacon till crisp. Drain on paper towels. Cool and break up into pieces.

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Place the popcorn and crumbled bacon in a large roasting pan. You may need more than one pan. Gently mix and place in a 250 degree oven, or on the ‘Warm and Hold’ function.

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Put the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan.

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Constantly stir the mixture over medium heat and bring to a boil. (Bubbles are forming around the edges of the pan.)

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Without mixing allow the mixture to boil for 5 minutes.

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Then remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the sea salt, vanilla, bourbon, and baking soda.

The baking soda will cause the mixture to fizz.

NOTE: If you want a sweeter caramel use more vanilla. If you want a more adult popcorn add more bourbon.

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Using a big spoon drizzle the mixture over the pop corn. Use a spatula or spoon and gently toss to mix and coat the pop corn.

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Bake in 250 degree oven for 1 hour stirring and breaking up the popcorn every 15 or 20 minutes with a spoon or spatula.

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Cool and break apart any clumps of pop corn.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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IF there are any leftovers, and I doubt there will be, store in a tightly covered container.

Bon Appétite
Cost

6 cups of popped corn         $1.72

6 or 7 slices bacon              $2.55

½ cup dark brown sugar      $0.31

¼ cup dark corn syrup         $0.16

4 tablespoons butter            $0.60

Pinch of sea salt                  $0.33

¼ teaspoon vanilla              $0.18

1-2 tablespoon bourbon        $1.30

¼ cup baking soda              $0.12

Total Cost = $7.27
Cost per cup of popcorn = $1.45

Quote of the Day

Warren Beatty

We want to thank all of you for watching us congratulate ourselves tonight.

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Henry Eulogy

Henry Weisl was a special friend. Henry was a special human being. He had a heart as big as the plains of Kenya where he and I first met. We hit it off immediately.

We were both birders. He was a substitute teacher in his retirement years. I had been a teacher years before. He was a gardener and loved roses. Me too. We, along with his lovely wife, Janet, loved to eat well. And Janet and I both love to cook. It was the beginning of a wonderful friendship that has spanned more than 20 years.

Henry had a warm and wonderful sense of humor. He had an easy, impish and always ready genial smile. Much of his charm was his boundless zest and enjoyment of life and for people. He always saw the positive in everything and everyone. I never saw him angry at anyone. Not once. Henry loved to help people too. He was a volunteer for many organizations. He was always willing to help out no matter the task. Henry gave of himself tirelessly and selflessly.

Henry and Janet are the most generous people I have ever had the privilege to know.

They had me as a guest at their house many times after our Kenyan trip was over. They took me out to dinner, to movies, and on trips to wonderful places nearby such as Longwood Gardens, the Philadelphia zoo, and so many other places. They would never let me pay for anything. I was their guest and they treated me like royalty.

I had to sneak around them on occasion to pay for a meal by excusing myself to go the ladies room. Instead I snuck off and paid for the dinner on the sly. Or I sent a huge fruit basket to them after I got home. They always protested.

Henry lived and enjoyed life to the fullest. He loved his roses and worked on them every chance he had. In fact, just a few weeks ago he sent me an email about all the things he was doing in and planning for his garden for next year.

Henry was a great friend. He was one of those all too rare people. He never judged. He was just always there to listen, ask a question, tell a joke, a great story, or offer suggestions. He was generous with compliments and always interested in what was happening in my life. And he cared. He genuinely cared. It showed.

Through his actions, his words, and his gracious life Henry Weisl touched my heart. Henry Weisl touched my soul.

Over the eons men and women have tried to achieve immortality; and to that end they have waged wars, conquered nations, built empires, constructed mansions, written great books, composed heavenly music, or made great fortunes. These people may be famous. Their names may be etched forever in the history books. But many of them have not achieved immortality.

For I believe the way to achieve immortality is to touch another person’s heart; to touch their soul. For when we touch another’s heart and soul we leave a part of ourselves in that person. And that person in turn carries a piece of us to every person they touch; and so on and so on and so on over the years.

Henry Weisl touched my heart and my soul. And I am confident that he has touched the hearts and souls of many of you here today to honor him as well. So I know Henry has achieved immortality. For when we all leave this memorial today we will have a piece of Henry within us to share and pass on to every person we meet.

That my friends is immortality.

I will never see or talk with Henry again. But his joyous, generous, and loving spirit lives within me and within hundreds of others. I feel so lucky at this moment to have known such a wonderful, kind, and loving spirit. Rest in peace, my dear, dear friend.

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Can Red Wine Help You Lose Weight?

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If you like wine as much as I do I have some absolutely, positively wonderful news for you.

Drinking red grape juice or red wine may help you lose weight according to some research done at the Ohio State University.

 

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According to Science Digest:

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One of the chemicals, ellagic acid, proved particularly potent: It dramatically slowed the growth of existing fat cells and formation of new ones, and it boosted metabolism of fatty acids in liver cells.

These plant chemicals are not a weight-loss miracle, cautions Shay. “We didn’t find, and we didn’t expect to, that these compounds would improve body weight,” he said. But by boosting the burning of fat, especially in the liver, they may improve liver function in overweight people.

“If we could develop a dietary strategy for reducing the harmful accumulation of fat in the liver, using common foods like grapes,” Shay said, “that would be good news.”

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Finally some good news we can drink a toast to!
And at my age I need glasses, and glasses, and more glasses!
wineCheers!!!!!

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Featured Recipe    Chicken Cutlets in Butter Caper Sauce

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Since I am using cutlets this recipe is quick and easy. Yet it is elegant enough for company or a special event.

This is what you will need for 4 people:

4 chicken cutlets

Flour for dredging

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter

2 medium shallots

1 clove garlic

¼ cup Vermouth

Squirt of lime juice

¼ cup capers

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: Spaghetti

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Here is what you do:

If using, put up some water and cook the spaghetti according to package directions.

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Dice the shallots and press the garlic.

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Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken.

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Dredge the chicken in the flour until well coated.

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Cut the butter into 12 tablespoons. Trust me on this, it is much easier to do this now rather than have to stop and do it in the middle of making this dish when things are hectic. Cut the lime in half too.

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Since this is a fast moving recipe, I have found it easier to get all ingredients together near the skillet before I begin. That includes slicing the butter, getting the capers and Vermouth measured and ready to go.

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Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and brown well on each side, about 2-4 minutes per side. Do not over cook. Cutlets are very thin so you want to make sure you do not overcook.

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When browned on both sides and cooked through, remove the chicken from the skillet. Tent with foil and place in the oven on the Hold Warm Function.

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If needed, pour all but 1 teaspoon of the oil from the skillet. Lower the heat and add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the skillet.

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Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until translucent about 2 minutes or until translucent.

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Add the Vermouth and a squirt or two of lime juice.

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Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Cook until the liquid is reduced to about 2-3 tablespoons, this will take about 3-5 minutes.

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Then reduce the heat to its very lowest setting.

Slowly whisk in the rest of the butter, one piece at a time, whisking and letting each pat melt before adding the next pat of butter.

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When all of the butter has been added and melted, stir in the capers. Heat a minute or two.

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If using spaghetti, drain the spaghetti and divide between four plates.

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Top with chicken and spoon sauce over chicken and pasta.

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Serve with a glass or two of red wine and a salad.

Bon appétit!!!
Cost

4 chicken cutlets                  $6.03

Flour for dredging                $0.42

1-2 tablespoons olive oil       $0.52

1 ½ sticks butter                 $1.52

2 medium shallots               $0.78

1 clove garlic                      $0.15

¼ cup Vermouth                 $0.28*

Squirt of lemon juice           $0.25

¼ cup capers                     $1.48

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: Spaghetti             $1.49

*If you shop around you CAN find inexpensive Vermouth. I bought 1000 liters for $5.00 a year ago at Trader Joe’s. I am receiving absolutely, positively no remuneration of any kind from Trader Joe’s to say that. I am just trying to help you find inexpensive ingredients.

Total cost = $12.92
Cost per person = $3.23

Quote of the Day

I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I’m cooking.

Julia Child

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