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May 5, 2017 |

Archive for » May 5th, 2017«

Today’s 10 Best Deals on Kitchenware: an Indoor Grilling Solution and a Lid Organizer (You Know You Want One)

Here’s something you didn’t know you needed until right this minute: a container lid organizer (amirite? OK, you only sorta need it). This mDesign Food Storage Lid Organizer keeps all your lids in one place (and from toppling over). It’s on sale today for $10.39 (down from $12.99).

 

So you’ve packed your whole family’s lunches for a day trip—now how do you keep them cool and carry them without hauling a bulky plastic cooler? How about this. The HomEquip Meal Prep Lunch Bag with 6 Portion Control Food Containers is on sale today for $23.43 (down from $48.75)

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If you’ve ever been in a cooking or storage situation where you can’t find a lid for the pot you’re using, consider this: the Instant Pot Sealing Ring , which works with pots, steamers, and Instant Pots, is on sale today for $12.79 (down from $59.99).

If you missed out on celebrating Star Wars Day yesterday, don’t worry: Every day can be Star Wars Day if you have the right kitchen gadgets. Like this Star Wars Death Star Kitchen Timer with Lights and Sounds—you guys, it comes with lights and sounds—which is on sale today for $14.99 (down from $17.99).

Looking forward to canning and cooking lots of this summer’s best produce? You’ll need the right equipment. Consider this T-fal Polished Pressure Canner and Cooker. Its 22-quart capacity and two racks are on sale today for $69.99 (down from $129.99).

Things you definitely need for all the delicious grilling and barbecuing you’ll be doing this summer: these Gloue Silicone Pastry Brushes, which are a steal today, priced at $5 for a set of four.

Just in case you’ve recently watched that documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and are as obsessed with it as I am, here’s a PSA that this Breville Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor (which is really similar the one he uses in the film) is currently on sale for $239 (down from $300).

If you live in an apartment with no private outdoor access, but still want to get in on all the summer grilling action, consider an indoor grill. This five-star rated model, the Chef’s Choice Professional Indoor Electric Grill, is on sale today for $98.79 (down from $130).

If you really love it when your countertop and pantry storage all matches, then this is the set for you. The Dragonn 10-Piece Airtight Food Storage Container Set is on sale today for $79.95 (down from $130).

Nothing beats an on-site beverage dispenser for outdoor playtime or rec rooms. This Carlisle TrimLine Clear Premium Single Base Beverage Dispenser, which holds three gallons (ice tea for days) is priced at $60.29 (down from $67.30).

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My Senior Moment: Gifts from the heart

I’m still a child at heart in spite of this old body, because I love receiving gifts. I know Proverbs says it is better to give than to receive, and I do love presenting loved ones and friends with gifts I hope they will like and maybe even cherish, but I also enjoy being on the receiving end.

I adore a pair of silver and yellow topaz earrings that my mom and dad purchased for me one year on my birthday. Every time I fasten those lovely pieces of jewelry on my ears, I remember shopping with my parents in the jewelry department at Sears and how delighted they were with my choice.

Over the years, my friend Judy has presented me with several gifts that reflect how well she knew me, especially my love for NASCAR racing. Thanks to Judy, for a while — until flip phones were outdated — I owned a Ryan Newman cell phone that looked like a car and its ringtones were a racing motor or a beeping horn. Also, I still carry a thumb drive in my purse that is a Dale Earnhardt No. 88 race car.

Judy is also the reason why I own a clay pottery dial telephone that really works and a cowboy boot clock, both reflections of my love for all things southwestern in design and colors.

It is especially gratifying to me when one is remembered by a friend when the friend is on vacation.

On a shelf in my living room is a clear crystal cube with a sea turtle captured in the middle of the cube. Kathy brought that back to me when she was on a Caribbean cruise. And a beautiful blue and white glass tile from St. Augustine was a souvenir from a town she knew I loved.

Her best gift to me was after I started writing My Senior Moment column. She presented me with a tag for the front of my car with the words “My Senior Moment” written on a background of a southwestern desert scene complete with a perfect cactus. How well she knew me.

This week I received two gifts that warmed my heart.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned to a friend at work that I was fond of Fiesta dinnerware and that wanted to start collecting it again to match two platters that were all I had left of my original set that I purchased in the 80s.

Tuesday morning, this dear woman presented me with a gift bag containing a perfect buttercup yellow Fiesta bread and butter plate to kick off my quest to again fill my cabinets with color.

It was a good feeling knowing that on a busy trip out of town, she took the time to choose something she knew I would enjoy.

Last night, I did enjoy a slice of cake covered with fresh strawberries that made a delightful picture on my yellow plate.

My other present was a perfect kokopelli from my granddaughter. A kokopelli is an interesting little curved figure in southwestern lore that plays a nose pipe and his images adorn many a wall painting in New Mexico and Arizona.

He’s supposed to bring good luck, which he did for me because it made me happy to receive this gift from my sweet Madeleine.

She had discovered him at the Goodwill store, covered in rust. This teenager refinished the little statuette and painted him turquoise, my favorite color.

I’m a lucky woman and I only have to look around me to know it’s so.

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Survivors Swing Band to play at Branford Compassion Club fundraiser



BRANFORD The Branford Compassion Club feline rescue and adoption organization has something to swing about. BCC is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a Swing Cats Cocktail Party May 19 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Pine Orchard Yacht Country Club (2 Club Parkway).

Attendees will be transported back in time to a 1940s nightclub and get “in the mood” with dancing to the spirited music of the aptly named Survivors Swing Band, a seven-member professional ensemble playing 13 instruments, inspired by its lively 95-year-old sax player Jules Bashkin. As for dress, ’40s attire is optional. Tickets are $75 a person, available through brownpapertickets.com or by emailing bccspecialevents32@gmail.com.

As Branford Compassion Club has survived and grown from a group of concerned cat lovers working out of their homes to an 80-plus-member organization of volunteers with its own Feline Rescue Adoption Center at 2037 Foxon Road in North Branford, the Survivors gleefully carry on their mission to keep alive the music of Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller and other musical giants of the 1930s and ’40s.

“I’m so proud of all our dedicated volunteers and supporters who have helped Branford Compassion Club reach this amazing milestone,” said BCC President and Shelter Manager Patricia Cotton. “It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s all worth it when you see homeless cats and kittens go home to loving families and know that we make a difference in the everyday lives of those less-fortunate cats whom we care for in our area colonies. We celebrate all that, and look forward to more decades of compassion.”

BCC’s founding members — Eunice Lasala, Ann Marie Lorello and the late Friskie Wheeler — bonded over a common concern about the growing population of feral cats in the area. To alleviate cat hunger and suffering, they formed Branford Compassion Club in November 1997, working out of their homes to feed, trap, neuter and release the cats to colonies, which now number about 10 along the Shoreline. They never dreamed that one day BCC would operate its own shelter, which, since its opening in February 2011, has found homes for more than 1,300 felines.

The Survivors, who have a musician in each age group from the 50s to the 90s, have played more than 350 gigs — many to standing ovations, they note — all over the state since their start in 2011, with a nostalgic repertoire of dance-band music of the swing era. Next month, they will perform at the International Festival of Arts Ideas in New Haven.

“We’re really proud of that,” says Bashkin of the invitation, which came after they pitched themselves to the festival. “We called and told them what we do, and they checked us out and called back. … It’s good for us, and we’re happy to be a part of it.”

In addition to dancing and generous hors d’oeuvres stations, there will be a silent auction featuring such items as a New Haven restaurant tour led by Register food writer Stephen Fries; gift certificates to area beauty, health and restaurant establishments; a tour of WTNH News 8 with anchor Darren Kramer; a New Haven night on the town with Shubert Theater and Shell Bones gift certificates; a chef series KitchenAid mixer by celebrity cook Betty Ann Donegan; works by local artists such as cut-paper artist Martha Link Walsh and fiber artist Owen Luckey; home items; wine baskets and much more.

Cotton notes that this event is one of only two major annual fundraisers that help defray the considerable expense of keeping the privately funded nonprofit shelter open and vibrant. The other is Animal Awareness Day, Oct. 1 on the Branford Green, featuring the Blessing of the Animals.

BCC’s Feline Rescue Adoption Center is open to the public Saturdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. To donate or volunteer, visit branfordcompassionclub.org or call 203-483-6369.

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Tips for a vintage kitchen remodel – Post

When you renovate an older home, the goal is not always to replace old with new. In fact, some renovations are all about preserving the past with a design that reflects and pays respect to the yesteryear features that make your home unique.

Whether you’re planning a renovation for a 60-year-old home, or working to infuse some retro charm into a newer place, the ultimate goal is capturing the nostalgic feel of older homes: the classic lines, hardwood, moldings and woodwork, and features like fireplaces or stonework, bannisters or windows and doors. 

The kitchen can be a particularly challenging room to renovate because the blend of old charm with modern convenience and functionality can seem at complete odds. These ideas from the design experts at Elmira Stove Works can help you combine practical function with timeless features for a room filled with character and purpose.

 

Keep cabinet facades true to the era. Updating the cabinets is practically a necessity for any vintage kitchen remodel. Although many older kitchens lacked the cabinet space modern homeowners desire, you can still achieve a retro look with ample storage by focusing more on the shape and style than on the quantity. With this approach, you can add as much storage and as many functional amenities as your space allows while still capturing the right look for the era. Opt for sleek and understated styles; for extra flair, incorporate exaggerated angles and curves common to mid-century design. Material and color options abound, so you’re free to go bold and glossy or more subdued.

Design with a focal point in mind. In a retro kitchen, standout elements such as colorful appliances can enhance the space and act as a focal point in the room. Stainless steel has become almost default in kitchens from coast to coast. Whether your home is on the beach, in the mountains or in a suburban neighborhood, for those who find beauty in the past, choosing a retro refrigerator or a vintage stove might be a better choice. These appliances act as a major design element in the space, and fortunately there are plenty of options when it comes to retro appliances with exciting pops of color. 

Let the details bring it all together. Vibrant color is the signature of any retro kitchen, so don’t forget to carry that design element through the space with accessories like dishes, cookbooks and vintage relics that celebrate bygone days. Other details like hardware, small appliances and utensils that harken the past can bring a cohesive look to the kitchen for a seamless style that feels like stepping back in time.

Bringing old character to life can be a tricky proposition when it comes to remodeling, however, with the proper focus on appliances, major features like the cabinetry and small details that make a big difference, you can confidently create a new space that takes you to another time. 

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The Grill May Be Manhattan’s Most Luxe Time Machine

New York’s long boom of new restaurants that traffic in the retro-luxury fantasias of earlier, more decadent eras has finally reached its apogee in the most anticipated opening of the year, Major Food Group’s The Grill. While Le Coucou has given us quenelles de brochet once more and Thomas Keller promises to restore continental cuisine at TAK Room, Mario Carbone’s menu of both faithfully reconstructed mid-century dishes and new ones inspired by the era, served in one of the most treasured rooms in the city, reaches beyond the simple “old-is-new-again” paradigm.

It’s shown in everything from the the names of the dishes — like wild pheasant Claiborne, a literal dream dish of the legendary New York Times food editor Craig Claiborne — to over-the-top details like the Tom Ford-designed $6,000 uniforms and the $10,000 trolley carts, where service captains will debone Dover sole, plate filet Peconic, and flambé desserts.


Wild Pheasant Claiborne


The menu’s propensity for the guiltless luxuries of upscale restaurants past is particularly present in the wild pheasant Claiborne. It’s a riff on pheasant Souvaroff, a one-pot course where foie gras, black truffles, endive, and Madeira are sealed with the bird in a puff-pastry-lined pot and baked to create something like an incredibly decadent pot pie. At The Grill, the dish is prepared in a millennial-pink Le Creuset — stacks of pink cast-iron pots dominate the shelves in the kitchen, which is otherwise stocked with more serious gold-rimmed plates and utilitarian cookware — and when ready, the pastry is punctured to fill the air with the scent of truffles.

The unabashed hedonism of the cuisine goes hand-in-hand with the spectacle that diners have come to expect at Major Food Group restaurants like Carbone; those impulses combine most spectacularly in an egg noodle dish called pasta a la presse. Parts of a duck, squab, pheasant are roasted, and then paired with bacon, tomatoes, and onions on a platter.

A tuxedo-clad server wheels a cart topped with both the platter and a Victorian-looking duck press over to a table and piles in the ingredients. Then the server starts to crank: The juices, both meaty and vegetal, slowly dribble into the now-empty pan, forming a small pool of jus.


The pressing of the duck, pheasant, squab, bacon, and more for the pasta

When he’s finished, he rolls the cart away and whisks the jus-filled pan to the kitchen, where a chef will pour the sauce onto bright yellow egg noodles. After being garnished with grated parmesan, the waiter brings the deceptively simple-looking dish back to the table for the diner.

Other dishes simply use sauces from times past or drop names that rarely appear anymore: Ravigote, a classic acidic French sauce with shallots, capers, and herbs, is usually paired with vegetables or tête de veau (boiled cow’s head). Here, The Grill pairs the sauce with tuna for a dish that Carbone describes as “nicoise-y,” referring to the classic salad of tomato, Nice olives, anchovies, olive oil, and hard-boiled eggs.


Tuna Ravigote


Filet Peconic

A filet Peconic refers to seafood from the Peconic Bay on Long Island. Carbone dry-rubs and roasts a 10-ounce filet in the hearth, and dresses it with Island Creek oysters that have been smoked over the grill and finished in a white wine butter sauce.

As for dessert, there is the grasshopper Charlotte, lemon chiffon, and a Nesslerode coupe with frozen custard, candied fruits, currants, and whipped cream. But the day before the restaurant officially opened, Carbone pointed to the cherries melba flambé, a combo of cherries jubilee and peach melba — the latter being a dessert that Escoffier created over a 100 years ago at the Savoy London.


Cherries Melba Flambé

Gary He

Here, housemade vanilla ice cream is dressed with cherry compote. Once the dessert arrives at the table, the first of the season’s cherries from Santa Barbara are flambéed in bourbon, then ladled over the ice cream. As to why he’s sourced cherries from the north and west, Carbone says he likes sweet and sour together.

Even Claiborne would approve: Of fresh cherries, he once wrote, there’s no surer sign of early summer.

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Porcelain vase stars Grecian maidens

Q: Enclosed is a photo of a porcelain Limoges vase that has been in our family for well over 50 years. It was given to a relative who had been assisting a dear friend. On the base is the mark “Limoges — France” with a star in the center. The vase is hand-painted, and approximately 10 inches high and 9 inches wide. Each side is decorated with a young woman with blond hair wearing a Grecian-like gown. Gold leaf is generously applied on the edges and both handles. It is in good condition; there are no chips or cracks, but there is some wear on the handles.

In current years, we have wondered about its origin, background and approximate value. Any information would be most appreciated.

A: The mark you described was used by Latrille Freres. It produced porcelain in a factory in an old abbey in Limoges, France, from 1899 to 1913. Hand-painted porcelain decorated with classic scenes of ancient Greece was popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Your vase would probably be worth $225 to $275.

Q: I have a set of dishes that belonged to my aunt. Each piece is marked with the enclosed mark. My aunt purchased the set in 1936. She paid $25 for the entire service for 12, including the all the serving pieces. Each dish is decorated with a cream background and roses in the center. The border is embellished with a 24-karat gold lacey design. I am her goddaughter, and she gave me the set when she went into an assisted-living facility. They are placed in my china cabinet, and I rarely take them out because I don’t know whether they are too valuable to use. I have researched online and found some information on Sebring China Co., but I hope you can provide more about the history and value of my dishes.

A: Sebring China Co. made semi-vitreous pottery from 1887 to 1948. First, it was located in East Liverpool, Ohio, and then in Sebring, Ohio. “Pegasus” is the name of the basic shape of the dishes, and it was decorated with a variety of patterns. “Royal Delight” is the pattern of your set; it was made from the 1930s to the 1940s. The mark with the outline of the state of Ohio was often used on Sebring China Co. dishes.

Similar sets of dinnerware made by Sebring China Co. can be found selling in the range of $200 to $250.

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PGA chief: Trump is good for golf

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images



NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – President Trump gets a lot of grief for playing so much golf. One person who’s definitely not complaining: The head of the PGA of America.

CEO Peter Bevacqua told CNNMoney he sees the president’s golf habit as a good thing for the growth of the sport.

“You want the right kind of attention, but when you have the president playing golf and saying that golf is a good thing, that’s good for the game,” Bevacqua said.

“President Obama was good for the game,” he added. “President Clinton was good for the game. I think President Trump, again, being a proponent of the game, understanding the power of the game, is good.”

Trump criticized Obama for playing golf in office, and said he himself would be too busy to play if he were elected. But Friday marked Trump’s 21st day at one of his own golf clubs since taking office.

He says he isn’t always playing golf on those trips, but the press has sometimes been kept out of view and can’t verify that.

Trump played a lot of golf long before he became president, and Bevacqua said Trump contributed to the sport’s growth as a private citizen. He noted that the Trump Organization, the president’s business empire, employs many PGA pros on its 12 U.S. golf courses.

The PGA holds five major, moneymaking tournaments for pro golfers, but its main job is to grow the game in the United States and support golf pros at clubs, who introduce newcomers to the sport.

That makes it distinct from the PGA Tour, which serves pro golfers, and the U.S. Golf Association, which is the sport’s governing body in the United States and Mexico and oversees courses and clubs.

In 2015, shortly after Trump announced for president and called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, the PGA pulled the Grand Slam of Golf and the Junior League Golf Championship, a tournament for children and teens, from Trump’s course outside Los Angeles.

The Grand Slam was canceled indefinitely, but the Junior League tournament is still being played. Bevacqua insisted that moving the two tournaments was about loosening up a tight schedule, not politics.

The KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship is still scheduled for Trump’s course near Washington later this month. And the 2022 PGA Championship will be played at Trump’s course in Bedminster, New Jersey, where the president is spending this weekend.

In this political climate, holding a golf tournament at a Trump course inevitably makes a statement, but Bevacqua insists that’s not the PGA’s intent.

“We go do venues that we think, and know, can conduct major championships on golf courses that have very demonstrably open membership policies,” Bevacqua said. “We’ve always kind of put our head down and said, hey, this is why we’re going to these championship sites, and we’re not going to become part of presidential politics or any politics for that matter.”

Bevacqua sees Trump’s passion for golf as an opportunity to get more publicly funded courses built in the United States. Under the New Deal, President Franklin D. Roosevelt oversaw the building of more than 250 public golf courses.

“That’s a powerful story because those golf courses are open to everybody, they’re very affordable, and now we’re bringing golf’s best and one of golf’s major championships to those public venues year after year. We think that’s a powerful signal for the game,” Bevacqua said.

The White House declined to comment on the possibility of such a public works project. But Trump, in an interview with Golf Digest in 2014, said he thinks golf was “always meant to be” an elite sport.

That is in conflict with what Bevacqua has said is one of the goals of the PGA — changing the perception that golf is expensive and not for everyone.

“They’re working so hard to make golf, as they say, ‘a game of the people,'” Trump said at the time. “I think golf should be a game that the people want to aspire to through success.”

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