Sunday, November 30, 2014

Palermo Bakery Chicago

Palermo Bakery Chicago

Staten Island's best place for coffee & a snack: Pasticceria Bruno is your 2014 Reader's Choice Award winner By Pamela Silvestri

Pasticceria Bruno
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Whether it's an after-school stop for
a teenager or an oasis during the day for a harried parent, a most treasured place is an outfit that offers a great cup of coffee and snack to go along with it. Here are your 2014 Readers' Choice Award picks for such spots.
And the winner is: Pasticceria Bruno 1650 Hylan Blvd., Dongan Hills, 718-987-5859; 676 Forest Ave., West Brighton, 718-448-0993,  PasticceriaBruno.com — with 3,405 votes. Of course it's a winner with 3-star Michelin chef Rick Laakonnen at the Dongan Hills location, Food Network's "Chopped!" champ Franco Franzese in West Brighton and acclaimed Biagio Settepani as pastry chef for both operations. The pretty cafes offer both sweet and savory treats for the discerning patron looking to savor an espresso or cappuccino, not necessarily have a full meal. SILive Pasticceria Bruno

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Hostess posa per rivista italiana La Turkish la licenzia: «Troppo sexy»

Zuhal Sengal, 31enne, spedita a casa per le foto «compromettenti». Secondo la compagnia aerea: «Ci sono standard e comportamenti che richiediamo al nostro staff»
Il Corriere della Sera

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Red Cross seeks $1.68 billion for 2015 to help civilians in armed conflicts By AP

The International Committee of the Red Cross is asking donors for $1.68 billion next year to help people caught up in armed conflicts, its biggest request ever and 25 percent larger than the current budget. ICRC President Peter Maurer says the budget reflects the needs of people suffering from the changing nature of armed conflicts and other violence. He told reporters Thursday at the organization's headquarters in Geneva that "new kinds of crises, in new combinations, often with a regional dimension" are expanding costs and needs in many places. He says Syria remains the largest Red Cross operation, followed by South Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Congo, Israel and the occupied territories, Mali, Central African Republic and Ukraine. Fox News ICRC

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Echinacea Benefits and Side Effects

Echinacea, also known as coneflower, is a wild flower that grows naturally in meadows and moist low-lands throughout the mid-west. While Echinacea is most commonly known for it medicinal effects, it is also a common garden plant with beautiful purple flowers. Health Benefits of Echinacea There are three varieties of Echinacea: Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea pallida, and Echinacea angustifolia. All three varieties are commonly used to support a healthy immune system. Echinacea is most commonly used for immune system protection and to help shorten the duration of the common cold. Echinacea is thought to serve as a stimulant to the body's immune system by activating white blood cells, whereby making it more difficult for foreign bodies to infect cells. Some evidence from other clinical studies appears to indicate that Echinacea may have antiviral and antifungal effects, possibly adding to its infection fighting ability. These studies are not conclusive. Usage Guidelines When taking Echinacea for the common cold, you should start taking it as soon as you notice symptoms. It is commonly recommended to take Echinacea for three weeks at a time, and to rotate with other immune boosting herbs. Because the strength of Echinacea can vary according to manufacturing practices, it is recommended that you follow manufacturing guidelines on dosage amounts. Precautions Because of Echinacea's effects on the immune system, you should not take this drug if you have multiple sclerosis, AIDS, tuberculosis, leukemia, and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. People are more likely to experience allergic reactions to echinacea if they are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies. Also, people with asthma or atopy may be more likely to have an allergic reaction when taking echinacea. NutraSanus Gardening Know How (Image by Duncan Harris)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

P.A.C.E. program teaches independence to youths with disabilities By Hosea Sanders

It's a program that's been around since the late 1980s, and it has helped hundreds of students go from living at home to living in a dorm to just simply "making a living" - a transition just like any other young adult. Hallie Puttrich loves her part-time job at the high-end Mario Tricoci salon on the Magnificent Mile. She works here three days a week earning while she's learning. The most important lesson for the 23-year-old is "that it's okay to be myself," she said. The young Buffalo Grove woman is disabled, but the people say that's not getting in her way. "She comes in and introduces herself and walks up and says, 'My name is Hallie and I'm going to be here helping,'" said Mallory Fritz, assistant general manager of Mario Tricoci Salon and Day Spa. "It's just been a delight to have her around."

Puttrich is so confident because of a program called Professional Assistance Center for Education (P.A.C.E.), at National Louis University. "They work alongside typical workers because we set up the expectation for them that when they actually go into a work setting, they will be held to the same expectations as anyone else in the workplace," said Selima Hargadon, P.A.C.E. executive director.

Twenty-seven students live in dorms, go to class two days a week and work three days. On the weekends they are just like any other young adults, learning what it's like to live on their own. "We teach them basic life skills that they need to operate in their own living space as well as how to get to work, what's expected of them at work and how to manage their balances between work and play," Hargadon said.

Jacob Scott says the program has expanded his horizons, teaching him how to be like any other 22-year-old. "I'm learning it by doing new things by trying new things," Scott said. "By pushing myself to go to work, by pushing myself to problem-solve." By the time they finish the two-year program, students say they are more than ready to take on the world. "I'm hoping to get a job to move on with my life and hopefully sustain an independent living," Scott said.

The P.A.C.E. program has been so successful that it has become the model for other independent living programs all over the world. In fact, right now there are students from as far away as South Korea and Saudi Arabia studying right here in Chicago.

To learn more about P.A.C.E., visit www.nl.edu/pace/ABC News (Video)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Palestinian dancer seeks change through ballet

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories - Ramallah dancer Shireen Ziyadeh wants to use pirouettes and plies to change the place where she grew up, training aspiring ballerinas to show that "something beautiful comes from Palestine". In tights and a white tunic, her hair scraped back in a flawless bun, the 24-year-old Palestinian repeats instructions to a group of tiny dancers in pink tutus and slippers at her ballet school in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The idea of teaching ballet to little girls came to the young management studies graduate four years ago. "I wanted to bring something new and offer them other perspectives on the future," she told AFP. "Ballet, which is a major art form, is a good way to revolutionise traditional Palestinian culture," she said. "I'm not only teaching them to dance but also how to integrate with others." Ziyadeh's is not the first ballet school in Ramallah - she herself learned to dance here in her childhood - but she is one of just a handful of teachers across the Palestinian territories. "Teaching ballet and its philosophy (here) is also a way of showing the world that something beautiful comes from Palestine," she said. Opened in May 2011, the Ramallah Ballet Centre says on its website that it offers "the ability to dance, act and think in more positive ways". AFP AsiaOne

Jolie

My lil Butterbrot.

Percent of Youth Without Jobs in Europe

A reason why international students are learning German in Germany with the hopes to land a job in Germany.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Barry Manilow

Mandy

Tony Bennett The Christmas Album * Snowfall

My Favorite Things

Taming Your Inner Critic: 7 Steps to Silencing the Negativity By Amy Morin

The private conversations you have with yourself can be either a powerful stepping stone or a major obstacle to reaching your goals.  If your inner monologue repeats things like, “I’m going to embarrass myself,” or “No one is going to talk to me,” as you walk you into a cocktail party, you probably won’t appear relaxed and approachable. Or, if you’re thinking, “I’m never going to get this job,” in the middle of an interview, you’ll struggle to present yourself in a confident manner. Often, those negative predictions can quickly turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Your thoughts greatly influence how you feel and behave which can cause negative self-talk to become downright self-destructive. Telling yourself that you’ll never be successful or that you aren’t as good as other people, will reduce your feelings of self-worth and deter you from facing your fears.

If you tend to be overly critical of yourself, you’re not alone. Most people experience self-doubt and harsh self-reflections. Take steps to proactively address your negative thoughts and develop a more productive dialog with yourself. Here are seven ways to tame your inner critic:

1. Develop an awareness of your thoughts.
2. Stop ruminating.
3. Ask yourself what advice you’d give to a friend.
4. Examine the evidence.
5. Replace overly critical thoughts with more accurate statements.
6. Consider how bad it would be if your thoughts were true.
7. Balance acceptance with self-improvement.

The Power of Your Inner Dialogue

Your inner dialogue will either fuel your success or prevent you from reaching your full potential. While your inner critic can help you recognize areas where you want to improve, overly harsh negative self-talk will cause your performance to suffer and reduce the chances that you’ll reach your goals. Practice taming your inner critic and silencing the negativity so you can coach yourself in a productive and helpful manner. Forbes Gesund Leben (November 2014)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Courage

Courtesy of Candy Spelling

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie (Video) with Leanne Brown, NYU Alumna, Food Studies Scholar & Avid Cook, and New York University President John Sexton.

My Pumpkin Pie Recipe. I work with Fresh Pumpkin and Sweet Potatoes.

Bake a pie crust with a mixture of butter and margarine. Make pumpkin pie filling. Bake 4 sweet potatoes in foil 1-1/2 hours in 390/200 oven. Slice 2 lbs. of pumpkin and roast in oven 1 hour. Then puree sweet potatoes and pumpkin. Mix 1/2 c whipping cream. In food processor mix 3 eggs and 2 egg yolks, 2-1/2 c light brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1-2 T cinnamon, 1 T ground ginger, 2 tsp nutmeg. Mix well. Add additional brown sugar & spices to your preference. Bake in 350/180 oven approx. 50 min. Make sure to cover sides with foil while baking. Allow to cool. Add a side of whipped cream if desired.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Xiao Hui Wang

Biography - Between Two Worlds (Video)

Madam Xiao Hui Wang (WANG Xiaohui), a renown artist who divides her residence between Shanghai and Munich, works mainly in photography but also creates in the field of sculpture, design, film and media art. She has also made a name for herself as an author. Her artwork has been presented in museums and galleries in numerous countries – most of them solo shows. Many of her works are collected by private collectors and public institutions. She has received numerous awards for her artwork both at home and abroad. To date, she has published over 50 books and art catalogues. Her autobiography, "My Visual Diary", has been a best seller for years and won important prizes in China, like the "Shanghai Excellent Book Award." Therefore, she is regarded as the "Youth Idol" by Chinese media. She has been a professor at Tongji University in Shanghai where she founded the institute "Xiao Hui Wang Art Center" in 2003. She was the general designer for the theme pavilion- "Urban Footprint Pavilion" at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. The city of Suzhou opened the "Xiao Hui Wang Art Museum" in 2013 and the city of Zhuhai established "Xiao Hui Wang Art Academy" in 2014. Prof. Wang is a recipient of the "German-Sino Friendship Award", issued by the German government.

Being a "Cultural Ambassador", she plays an active role in culture exchanges between China and Germany. She has also been recognized by the influential magazine "Phoenix Weekly" in Hong Kong as one of the top50 "Chinese who Impact the Future of the World". Moreover, Prof. Wang's recent honors include Honorary Member of the BFF (German Association of Photographers and Designers), the "International Star Artist Award" at Art Masters in St. Moritz, "Photographer of the Year" by Shanghai Media Group, "Artist of the Year" by South China Media Group, "Most Valuable Female Artist by Harper's Bazaar, "Gorgeous Awards for Artists" by Jaguar, "Most Successful Woman" by Jessica in Hong Kong, "Artist of the Year" by China Luxury Association, "Female Pace Setter" and "Excellent Designer" and "the Top 10 Leading Images in Creative Industry" by the city of Shanghai. She was also voted the "Most Sympathetic Artist by 2.76 million netizens from NetEase.com. Amazon.com (Chinese) and Amazon.de (German). MADAME October 2014 (German)

Cute Pup

Amazon.de

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Only 7 Kale Recipes You’ll Ever Need By Venus Wong @ Refinery29

It’s no exaggeration to say that kale has reigned supreme in the vegetable kingdom for the past few years. With a fan base that encompasses everyone from Hollywood stars to chain restaurants, it’s one of the most buzzed-about foods of our time. The truth is, the chameleon-like superfood has many culinary uses. It has taste and texture that make it an ideal ingredient for so many dishes — it can be tossed in a salad, blended in a smoothie, or boiled in a soup. Yes, these crunchy greens are definitely here to stay.

Parmesan Broth with Kale and White Beans
Broth adapted from Jennifer Perillo
This broth is not only fairly quick to make, it could be used for all sorts of things, from cooking risotto to soaking beans, but I find it to be so exquisite on its own, I prefer it with only a couple simple additions. I used beans and kale, but you could also add tiny stelline (star-shaped) pasta or a good tortellini. I imagine it would be out-of-this-world to use with an Italian Wedding-style Soup, and I don’t even think I could handle the luxury if you added a poached egg to the below soup, too.
Heads-up: I forgot to mention this earlier, but a downside of this soup is that the residual cheese on the rinds enjoys releasing from the rinds as it cooks and gumming itself to your pot, giving you a fun scrubbing job. The best way to avoid this (this time, or in the future) is to tie the cheese rinds up in cheesecloth so the flavor infuses but less of the cheese. A second way is that if you have a nonstick pot you haven’t gotten rid of, use it here. It will be easier to clean. The way I do it (since I always forget to use cheesecloth) is to keep using that cheesy pot to make the soup after you’ve used the broth, stirring and scraping. I find that only a little is left at the end this way. Hope that helps.
Note: I usually double this. Broth 8 ounces cheese rinds, any paper at the ends removed
6 cups water
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
Handful of flat-leaf parsley
Salt, to taste

To serve
2 to 3 ounces tuscan kale (also known as black or lacinato kale; this is the thinner, flatter leaf variety), washed and patted dry (updated measurement)
1 1/4 cups cooked white beans (from about 1/4 pound dried), with their cooking liquid if fresh (usually about 1 1/2 cups) (updated measurement)
Thin slices of baguette, toasted
Olive oil and parmesan for serving
Make the broth: Bring all broth ingredients to a boil in a large pot, then reduce it to a simmer. Simmer for one hour. Pour broth through a strainer. Your yield should be approximately 4 1/2 cups. You can use this right away or cool it before storing it.
Turn the broth into soup: Prepare kale by removing tough stems and center rib (I often use kitchen shears for this), then cutting the leaves into thin ribbons. Add them to the broth, along with the beans. Add bean cooking liquid if you wish; this not only stretches the intense parmesan broth further but adds a gorgeous extra depth to the soup. Simmer ingredients together for 10 minutes, until kale leaves wilt and beans are warmed through.To serve: Ladle a small amount of beans, kale and broth into a bowl. (It’s so rich, we like it in smaller portions.) Top with a slice of toasted baguette. Drizzle baguette and soup lightly with your favorite olive oil and grate some fresh parmesan cheese over. Time and Smitten Kitchen

Young, Fit...and Diabetic By Temma Ehrenfeld

Thirty-seven percent of Americans have pre-diabetes, fasting blood sugar levels considered higher than desirable. Natalie Bernstein, a svelte nursery school teacher, had taken a routine blood test when her doctor called her during the school day with bad news: She had diabetes. It wasn’t a complete surprise, because her mother and younger sister both suffered from the condition. Her sister, Sonia, had juvenile diabetes, or Type 1, which is linked to an unfortunate gene. But Natalie’s diagnosis was Type 2 — and she was only 35. At 5 feet, 7 inches, Natalie weighed 122 pounds, ate the occasional cookie and spent her days with small children. Keeping her weight up was her challenge: She tended to drop pounds fast when she worked out at gyms, so instead she walked several miles daily. “I felt fine,” she says. “Diabetics are really a heterogeneous group,” says endocrinologist Ping Wang, who runs a fast-growing Diabetes Center at the University of California, in Irvine. The old division — Type 1 shows up young, Type 2 in middle-aged people with bad habits — is giving way to a much more complex picture, embracing more people. More than 12 percent of Americans ages 20 and older have some form of diabetes, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although a third of that group has not been diagnosed. Another 37 percent, including me, have pre-diabetes, fasting blood-sugar levels considered higher than desirable. Diabetes is not a single biological process; rather, its a name for symptoms related to high blood-sugar levels. When we eat a meal, the starches convert to glucose, aka sugar, and the bloodstream can only handle a small amount of glucose at a time, less than we ordinarily eat in a modern diet. So the pancreas releases insulin, which lowers the blood-glucose level. In Type 1 diabetics, the immune system is attacking the pancreas, and it doesn’t make insulin. Type 2 diabetics do make insulin and the vast majority doesn’t have an autoimmune problem. In the classic explanation of Type 2, age and a fatty body make us insulin-resistant, and the pancreas has to release more insulin to do the job. Over time, it can’t keep up. About 85 percent of people with a diagnosis of Type 2 are overweight, one among many reasons to keep off those extra fat layers. Many heavy people, however, don’t develop diabetes and some Type 2 diabetics don’t fit the insulin-resistance model. In short, people can end up with high blood sugar for a variety of reasons. A small number have a known genetic defect and so are called monogenetic diabetics. Researchers think that other genetic abnormalities will emerge. A sugar-heavy diet or yo-yo-dieting may work against you, too, but the research is still evolving. As science progresses, the basic advice to stay fit and reasonably slim remains the same. Yahoo! Health  

Gentleman featuring Shaggy

MTV Unplugged

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ex-German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is being treated for leukaemia at a clinic in Cologne.

The shock diagnosis came after he sought treatment for a minor sports injury. Westerwelle, 52, received the diagnosis after a knee injury he sustained while jogging on holiday in Mallorca, friend and FDP party colleague Werner Hümmrich told the Kölner Express on Saturday. Doctors found irregularities in the politician's blood during a routine preliminary screening, said Hümmrich, and gave him a concrete diagnosis on Thursday. Westerwelle is already receiving treatment at Cologne University hospital, a clinic spokesman confirmed. He is shocked, said Hümmrich, "but also prepared to take up the fight and is confident that he can conquer the cancer. He's in good physical shape and has many friends - me included - who will help him through this difficult time and give him the necessary strength." The Westerwelle Foundation made the announcement on the politician's Facebook page on Friday. Treatment is aimed at his "full recovery," wrote the foundation in statements in both English and German, without going into further details. "On behalf of Guido Westerwelle and his family we kindly ask to refrain from further inquiries." Westerwelle's successor in the post Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, currently in Turkey, expressed his support, wrote Spiegel Online. The Local-Germany

AFI Fest Honoree Sophia Loren Talks Life and Loves By Bob Verini

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - When Sophia Loren is thrown a tribute like Nov. 12's scheduled gala at AFI Fest, attendees can get an intoxicating glimpse of classic-era Euro cinema glamour, of which Loren remains one of the last living representatives. Film fans recall a half-century's worth of skillful performances in every genre. Looking both forward and back, AFI will screen a restored print of Oscar-nominated "Marriage Italian Style," as well as a new version of Jean Cocteau's "Human Voice," helmed by son Edoardo Ponti. As for the lady herself, after competitive and honorary Oscars, a record 10 David Di Donatello awards, five Golden Globes and threescore trophies and tributes, you'd think it would all be old hat by now. "Never enough. Never enough," she burbles. "I feel very important when they give me an award. I like it, I like it, I enjoy it. I feel like a star." MGM's lire kept her in the city long enough to attract producers, who featured the sprightly ingenue in a series of frothy sex farces beginning with Vittorio De Sica's "The Gold of Naples." "Comedy was fun for me because I come from Naples," she says. "All the dialects and the gestures of everyday life, I had it all inside of me, in my blood." The diva is in a reminiscent frame of mind these days, with new memoir "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life" in bookstores. "Especially for me, because I did not have an education in acting, actually. I learned to play scenes through the things that happened to me in life. So I always check inside myself. 'What can I pull out to give the best I can give, emotionally?'" There was plenty to draw upon when De Sica tapped her for the melodrama "Two Women." She's a shopkeeper escaping war-torn Rome with her adolescent daughter, only to encounter rape and death in the countryside. "I was a little scared. That was an imposing and a very difficult role for me. But De Sica sent me a telegram: 'You trust me. If I ask you to do that, it means that I think you can do it well. You'll be great.'" Loren takes pride in her cinematic legacy, citing 1977's "A Special Day" with Mastroianni as one she wishes critics and buffs would revisit. Yet real, not reel life brings her the greatest gratification. She still cooks ("What do you mean, still? I cook"), eggplant Parmigiana being a favorite. "Also pasta fagioli. If I smell beans, I get emotional, I love them so much." Above everything else, is family. "Since I was a kid, my dreams in life were always to be married in a white dress, which I didn't. To have children, which I did, two wonderful boys. And to be a grandmother, that was the greatest." Chicago Tribune and IMDb

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Gavin MacLeod Talks About Reuniting With 'Love Boat' Cast After More Than 25 Years By Michael Rothman

"The Love Boat" went off the air in 1987, but the original cast was given a chance to reunite this week in Florida and Gavin MacLeod, who played Captain Merrill Stubing, says the opportunity was a "once in a lifetime experience." All six original members were joined by 25 guest stars to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Princess Cruises. A-listers like Florence Henderson, Loni Anderson and Charo joined the original six to celebrate the cruise line's half century anniversary. "Being together with the other five from the show, it just rejuvenates all our relationships," MacLeod, 83, told ABC News of Wednesday's reunion in Fort Lauderdale. "I saw my [show] daughter Jill [Whelan, who played Vicki Stubing on the show]. Collectively, this was fabulous. It just made us feel how blessed we are to have had that job that turned into so many years." "The Love Boat ran from 1977 to 1987 and was one of the most successful shows of all time. [Written and Executive Produced by the late Aaron Spelling.] ABC News

Friday, November 7, 2014

Good Housekeeping Oatmeal, Raisin & Walnut Cookies

Recipe in The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook. Mix 1/2 cup butter mixed with margarine, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, beans from vanilla pod, 1 egg, 3/4 cup flour, 1 cup oats, 1 cup chopped walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoon. Bake 375 degrees Fahrenheit oven for about 12 minutes. I baked at 180 degrees Celsius oven for 14 minutes. You can also mix with dates, dried cherries, coconut, pecans, chocolate chips, for the cookie recipe of your choice.

World powers in Vienna ahead of Iran finale

Senior negotiators from six world powers are gathering in Vienna on Friday to kick off a flurry of final meetings before a November 24th deadline to strike a landmark nuclear deal with Iran. On Sunday and Monday US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet in Oman together with former EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. Ashton, who will continue chairing the negotiations until the deadline, will chair another meeting of political directors from the P5+1 powers on Tuesday. The grand finale then starts in the Austrian capital on November 18th when the six powers and Iran begin a final round, likely including Kerry and other foreign ministers at the end. The deal being sought would see Iran scale back its nuclear activities in order to ease long-held fears it might develop atomic weapons under the guise of its civilian programme. After more than a decade of rising tensions the Islamic republic, which denies seeking the bomb, wants the lifting of painful UN and Western sanctions. In months of negotiations, progress appears to have been made on some areas but several key issues, most notably Iran's uranium enrichment capacities, remain to be resolved. The Local-Austria

Haitian President Martelly: 'I'm Trying To Re-Establish Confidence' By Samiha Shafy

Last week, Haitian President Michel Martelly visited German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He is seeking to attract investments from Germany and other European countries to Haiti. "I'm going around, trying to re-establish confidence," Martelly says. "How do we create jobs for people? We invite investors, we offer incentives, we create wealth for our people, and things start changing." In January 2010, a massive earthquake struck Haiti, claiming more than 200,000 lives and even destroying the presidential palace. The country has struggled to rebuild. Worse yet, many donor countries have failed to meet the pledges they made to Haiti. "I don't even want to talk about that money anymore, although we do ask those who promised to help to try and keep their promises." SPIEGEL ONLINE English

The purrfect cup of coffee? Inside Madrid’s cat café By Bárbara Sánchez Ramos

A cup of coffee at La Gatoteca costs €4 – not cheap, but then you also have to consider your drink comes with your own cat to stroke for the next half hour or so. The first, and so far only, cat café in the Spanish capital – next door to the Reina Sofía art museum on Argumosa street – opened its doors a year ago, providing an imaginative solution as to how to bring abandoned cats in touch with potential adoptive families. On EL PAÍS's visit the two-floor space is occupied by 14 felines, who seem to have made themselves at home and, when not curled up asleep, make their way between the tables, perhaps in the hope of persuading one of the customers to take them home. Over the last year, Aznar says she has been able to place 24 felines. La Gatoteca owner Eva Aznar says she got the idea from Japan, where there are around 200 cat cafés. EL PAÍS English

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How big of a country music fan are you?

Want to see how well you know today's country music hits? Take our quiz and see how you score. The CMA Awards begins at 7 p.m. CST, Wednesday at Bridgestone Arena. The Tennessean

Fresh ways to doctor stuffing mix

Let’s be clear about something... When making stuffing, it’s always better to slice and dry your own bread cubes. Hands down, the taste and texture are better. But let’s also be realistic. In the chaos of getting the many components of Thanksgiving dinner on the table in a timely manner, many of us won’t have the time to make that happen. It’s all good. Truth is, you can make a pretty respectable stuffing using those bagged stuffing mixes. Fresh Ways With Stuffing Mix: Start with a 12-ounce bag of stuffing mix, flavor of your choice. Prepare according to package directions, but add one of the following combinations before baking the stuffing. • Cherry-berry nut: Add 1 cup chopped dried cherries, 1 cup chopped dried cranberries, 1 cup chopped toasted pecans and the zest of 2 oranges. • Double onion: Caramelize 2 thinly sliced onions in a bit of butter over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until well browned. Add to the stuffing mixture and proceed as directed, also stirring in 2 bunches chopped scallions. • Forest mushroom and rice: Saute 8 ounces of mixed mushrooms in butter until well browned. Add the mushrooms and 1 cup cooked wild rice to the stuffing mixture. • Orchard ginger: Add 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, 1 diced large apple and 1 diced large pear. South Bend Tribune I make stuffing by sautéing yellow onions and apples, raisins (sometimes dried cherries), dried bread and oregano until moist. Adding a lil powdered bouillon, salt, and pepper. Then I add to the pan crushed walnuts. I stuff the turkey to the rim and the result is spectacular.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Play to Stay: Sour Patch Kids Opens Brooklyn House for Touring Bands By Max Willens

Artists Can Stay at the 'Brooklyn Patch' in Exchange For Content. Bands and touring musicians looking for sweet relief from their touring schedules may soon start dreaming about Sour Patch Kids. A couple weeks ago, the Mondelez-owned candy brand opened up a house in Brooklyn where touring bands can recover from the rigors of the road. It's called the Brooklyn Patch, and according to Mondelez marketing director Farrah Bezner, the Patch represents a long-term investment in indie music culture. "We wanted to be able to contribute," Ms. Bezner said, pointing out that the Patch is meant to start long-term relationships with indie music artists and their fans. When one gets down to brass tacks, the overall goal is to drive awareness and regard for the Sour Patch Kids brand among a specific demographic. "Our target consumer," Ms. Bezner said, "is teenagers." The four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom house is in a historic landmark building on a quiet street in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn; Ms. Bezner asked that the address be kept private. The NUE Agency is serving as lead agency, while the Participation Agency handled its design and experiential elements. "We want people to feel at home," Ms. Bezner said. Quid Pro Quo Nevertheless, there is a quid pro quo associated with staying at the Patch. Artists who stay at the house are expected to create some content that Sour Patch Kids can share across a number of digital channels, which include a Brooklyn Patch-branded Tumblr as well as the brand's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Ms. Bezner said it is also exploring the possibility of adding further amplification partners. Even though it's too early to tell if the Patch will bear any fruit, Ms. Bezner and her agency partners have already started planting additional seeds. An Austin Patch should be ready in time for SXSW in 2015. Advertising Age

Raglans

White Lightening

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Record British strawberry season 'to last until December' By Dan Hyde

It is a record year for strawberries, with 150 million punnets already produced – and more than a month of picking still to go. Fruit farms will still be picking British strawberries in December for the first in history, after the long summer and mild autumn produced a record crop. The British Summer Fruits Association said "ideal" growing conditions had yielded sweet, plump fruits for longer than usual. Strawberries have benefited from high levels of sunshine, low humidity, warm temperatures and cooler nights, experts said. This year 98 in every 100 strawberries sold in Britain over the summer were grown in the UK. Strawberry farming had also been "transformed" by the use of glasshouses which were originally built for crops such as salads and flowers, Mr Olins said. The glasshouses provide a "controlled environment", allowing berries to benefit from constant temperatures and humidity throughout the entire. Mr Olins added: "We have produced the biggest crop of the nation’s favourite berry this year – the British strawberry is a remarkable success story." The Telegraph

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Duet with son highlight for Streisand: 'I had to sing with him'

Within just a few weeks of the 50th anniversary of Barbra Streisand's first No. 1 album, "People," which topped the charts in October 1964, Streisand has set a new record with her 10th No. 1 album — becoming the only artist to have had a No. 1 album in each of the past six decades. This new album, "Partners," features duets with some of the world's greatest vocalists — Babyface, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Billy Joel, John Legend, John Mayer, Lionel Richie, Blake Shelton, Stevie Wonder, even Elvis Presley. And yet, for Streisand, perhaps the most thrilling part of this creative work was recording a duet with her son, Jason Gould. Several years ago, Gould came to Streisand and said, “You know, I think I'm going to sing.” When she later heard a recording he made, “I nearly fell off my chair, how beautiful his voice is. His musicianship ... he just floored me so I had to sing with him. ... He played me 'How Deep Is the Ocean.' I said I have to sing that song with you, because it's perfect lyric for a mother and a child.” Mother and son performed together live in 2012 and 2013, and their duet of "How Deep Is the Ocean" now makes its appearance on "Partners." Rounding out the album are some of Streisand's best-known tunes: "People" with Stevie Wonder, "The Way We Were" with Lionel Richie and "Evergreen" with Babyface. Ironically, Streisand — the Oscar-winning, Emmy-winning, Grammy-winning and Tony-winning performer who has sold 245 million albums worldwide — claims she doesn't love to sing, at least not in front of other people. “I love to sing in a recording studio,” she told Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric. “It's just because there's nobody watching.” Then, it can be just her and the music. Still, this notoriously private person isn't afraid to go public on issues she cares about, whether it's gay rights or politics or women's heart health. In recent years, cardiac disease in women has become a major focus of her philanthropy, including personal contributions of $10 million to endow the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. We'll have lots more on that, and some exclusive glimpses of her new campaign, in the coming weeks. Yahoo! News