Tag Archives: family
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Have you ever wondered what exactly happens once pet owners leave for the day? Well, I can’t say for sure but The Secret Life of Pets which came out on DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital release in December has some theories. The story follows the lives of a number of pets in some Manhattan apartments. The main character, Max (voiced by Louis C.K.) is a doted-on single dog whose life is turned upside-down when his owner brings home a big shaggy shelter dog named Duke. Their personal dislike of each other takes a serious turn when the two of them get caught by animal control thanks to a neglectful dog-walker. When they are unexpectedly rescued by a rogue team of abandoned pets (a pig, a dog, a lizard and a surprisingly fierce bunny) they have to pretend to be abandoned as well. Meanwhile, the tiny fluffy dog named Gidget (Jenny Slate) who loves Max realizes something is amiss and pull together a band of pets to go and rescue them.
In a world of so many remakes, reboots, spinoffs and adaptations, it’s refreshing to find some unique content. My favorite parts were really at the beginning as we got to know the animals in the building, from the fat disinterested cat to the guinea pig who has been lost in the ducts for weeks trying to remember where his owner lives. It’s a fun and exciting story with enough humor to keep the grown-ups engaged and enough silliness and adventure for the little ones. Great movie to watch under a heaping pile of blankets as winter trudges on.
Post by Alison Hein.
Preparing Eggs Benedict is not difficult; rather, it’s a little complicated. Too many things are happening at once. Should I worry about my muffins toasting or my eggs poaching? My bacon browning or my Hollandaise emulsifying? Well, the sad truth is, all these things must be tended if you want to have your muffins crisped, your eggs gooey, your bacon browned and your sauce hot, all at the same time.
This is the occasion to ensure your “mis en place” is well-executed. Assemble your ingredients, gather your pots and pans, perhaps enlist an assistant. Then toast, boil, brown and drizzle your way to a worry-free breakfast in bed.
2 English muffins
4 slices Canadian bacon
Hollandaise sauce (recipe below)
Fresh parsley, for garnish
Split muffins in half and place in toaster. Toast when other preparation is completed.
Eggs should be as fresh as possible for perfect poaching. To poach eggs, fill a heavy saucepan with enough water to cover eggs (3 to 4 inches) and heat until very hot and simmering, but not boiling. Break eggs into individual small dishes. Or you can use an egg poacher. Carefully pour the first egg into the simmering water. Immediately use a wooden spoon to wrap the cooking white around the egg yolk to prevent the white from feathering. Repeat the process with the remaining eggs, and cook for about four minutes, until the white is firm but the yolk is still soft. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain. Trim edges if necessary.
While eggs are poaching, heat a small pan over medium heat. Add Canadian bacon and cook until warmed through and slightly browned.
To assemble, place two muffin halves on each of two plates. Place a slice of Canadian bacon on each muffin half. Then top each with a poached egg and drizzle with Hollandaise sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings.
4 egg yolks
1 ½ teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
½ cup (1 stick) butter, bubbling hot
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Melt the butter in a small saucepan until it is bubbling hot. While butter is heating, combine egg yolks and lemon juice in a food processor with a couple of quick pulses. With food processor on, slowly stream in the hot butter until Hollandaise emulsifies. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and pulse the Hollandaise one more time to combine.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Happy long weekend! If your geography is anything like mine, Memorial Day weekend means guaranteed rain. So if the sky opens up and the coal on your grill are hissing from the raindrops, maybe you can run inside, take cover under your blankets, and watch a movie with the kids. And if your kids are fans of scary things that aren’t actually scary (like my kid) you can load up Goosebumps the movie! Goosebumps is an homage to author R.L. Stine and to the menagerie of monsters he’s created over the many years of writing scary books for children. And the premise is pretty weird for this one. Zach has recently moved to a new town. R.L. Stine (Jack Black) is the creepy and reclusive new neighbor, though he is only known as Mr. Shivers. Despite warnings to stay away, Zach can’t help himself, mostly because of Stine’s alluring daughter, Hannah.
So Zach learns the true identity of Stine, who also reveals that his monsters came to life and he had to trap them in their books. Guess what happens? Yup, a creature gets unlocked. And then Slappy the evil living ventriloquist’s dummy, gets out and he releases all the evil on the small Delaware town.
Although filled with CGI monsters and other odd baddies, the movie is not particularly scary. Action, comedy, rampaging creatures are what fill the time. It’s a harmless and entertaining movie and Jack Black usually brings a fun element to movies. Available streaming, Goosebumps is a good family movie to while away the rainy spring evening.
Post by Alison Hein.
Go dust off your waffle iron and whip up some morning magic! These lightly sweet, chocolatey treats take only a little effort, and are sure to delight both young and not so young. A touch of cocoa powder in the batter is enough to provide a hint of decadence – great for brunch or special occasions.
Make sure your waffle iron is well-heated before you begin. Each waffle will take about 5 minutes to cook. If you’re planning a big breakfast shindig, preheat your oven to low and then turn it off. Pile each waffle onto an ovenproof plate as they finish, cover them with a light tea towel, and keep them warm until you’re done cooking.
No need to waffle on this one – all it takes is a little alchemy to produce a bewitching breakfast in bed.
2 cups flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sour cream
Combine flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. In separate bowl, add milk, eggs and vanilla and beat until frothy. Pour oil into liquid mixture and stir well. Using a wooden spoon or hand mixer, gradually add liquid mixture to dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Stir in sour cream.
Spray waffle iron with cooking spray and heat to high. Pour ½ cup to ¾ cup batter into center of iron, making sure you have enough batter to evenly spread across the surface of your waffle iron. Cook until waffle is deep brown and crisp, and pulls away easily from iron, about 5 minutes. Serve warm with melted butter and maple syrup or chocolate sauce. Top with fruit, if you like.
Makes 4 to 5 waffles.