Month: December 2014

Review of the movie Chef

The Biker Chef got the movie Chef for Christmas. It seemed like a good pick for him considering the title, the star-studded cast (including writer, director, producer Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, Robert Downey Jr., and young actor Emjay Anthony), and that it’s billed as a comedy. I thought it would be good for an evening in on the big, comfy couch (dubbed “the Quicksand”), on a cold December night. I thought he might find a thing or two to relate to, enjoy a film portrayal of the restaurant life, and the dynamics of the kitchen. Did he relate? Oh, yes. He had me pause the movie at least three times and asked, “Is this a set-up?” “Did you write the screenplay?” “Has someone been following me for the past couple of years?” It was great. I laughed. I denied everything. (I honestly didn’t know a thing about the movie before we watched it.) Although, I would love to be the food writer/reviewer Ramsey Michel (portrayed by Oliver Platt), my reviews have not yet been picked up and retweeted millions of times, and there are no offers to by my brand (there’s still time). What happened in this movie, much like what happened to me when watching Julie and Julia, the inner longings are tapped and brought to life by those who have...

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Christmas Carolers and Stage North’s A Christmas Carol

Quote of the Day: Here we come a-caroling among the leaves so green. Here we come a wandering, so fair to be seen. Love and joy come to you and to you glad Christmas too. And, God bless you and send you a happy new year!   My sister Joy and I are directing the children’s choir for a local production of “A Christmas Carol.” Stage North is a brand new theatre company, started by Gary Hirsch and Kevin Yeager. They invited us to lead the music, and we’re having a ball working with these girls. They are fun-loving, energetic, creative, kind, and talented. We have a few songs where they can let their personalities shine. For “Some Things for Christmas” and “Nuttin’ for Christmas” many of them wrote their own lyrics. We are the pre-show music, entertainment at intermission, and come in for the final number “We wish you a Merry Christmas” and curtain call. I think they’re having fun and getting some good performance experience as well. During the down time, the entire first act and most of the second act, we hang out in our own space, the old cafeteria. The theatre is located in the former Franklin Junior High School. I brought in three of my theatre boxes and a bag of props for each group. They are in three rows for the performance, and that...

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International Dinner – Phở

Phở, a Vietnamese soup, was the second course for our International Dinner. We chose Phở because we wanted something from the Asian continent, and the Chef has sampled it in several places, the best being in Pittsburgh, and he wanted to try his hand at making it. To make the broth for Phở, boil one whole chicken in a large stock pot for 3 -4 hours, by then the chicken will be falling off the bones, at that time, separate the meat from the bones, discarding the bones. Strain the stock, simmer to reduce the stock to concentrate flavors. In the meantime, you can prepare your rice noodles, cooking and cooling. Also, you can prep the additional ingredients for the soup. We used: green onions, thinly sliced fresh bean sprouts sliced sweet red peppper chopped fresh cilantro sliced jalepenos or seranos, for heat thinly sliced, smoked pork diced chicken meat from the stock We also had available Hoysin sauce and Siracha sauce. Ladle the brothe into deep bowls, and let the guests add ingredients of their choice. Warning: with the noodles and all the protein are quite filling, so if you’re serving several courses, keep the portion small. It is really a meal in itself, often served on the streets of Asian towns in large...

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National Composer Night Out

This is a special press release post for composers and musicians who would like to participate in National Composer Night Out  in May, 2015. I’m including the info that Danielle Cristal sent me on the event with links to apply on their website. American Composers Forum Seeks Participants for National Composer Night Out Applications Available Now to Participate in National Celebration of New Music Saint Paul, Minn., Nov. 17, 2014 – Beginning today, composers and community groups can apply to participate in American Composers Forum’s (ACF) National Composer Night Out, a campaign designed to connect composers and communities throughout the United States physically and virtually in a tapestry of new music events. National Composer Night Out, in honor of ACF’s 40th Anniversary, will take place on Thurs., May 14, 2015. American Composers Forum invites composers, performers, producers and new music fans to participate in National Composer Night Out (NCNO) in two ways: host an event of their choosing in their community and/or submit an audio file with a short sound bite of a new musical piece. The application deadline to host an event is Jan. 9, 2015, and the deadline to submit a sound bite is May 1, 2015. Submissions are accepted via the National Composer Night Out webpage. National Composer Night Out will have events ranging from professional composers conducting concerts to small gatherings of new music lovers....

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Review of A Christmas Story at The Ordway in St. Paul, MN

Quote of the Day:  Either no one will go see this show, or millions of people will. said famous movie reviewers Siskel and Ebert when they first saw the movie A Christmas Story back in 1983. Roger Ebert says, “It’s Norman Rockwell meets Mad Magazine or The National Lampoon…Jean Shepard has a bite to him.” They talk about what makes this show so great, the true emotion that comes from those moments in childhood, the longing for a special gift, despite all the grown-ups saying, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” The brother who won’t eat. The mother who stretches her resources and...

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