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May 23, 2017 |

Archive for » May 23rd, 2017«

Titanic relics sail toward auction

The Titanic may be under 2.5 miles of water, but wreckage from the doomed ship could fetch close to $220 million at an auction this year.

Premier Exhibitions proposed the sale in a May 18 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Jacksonville, Florida. The Atlanta-based company and its RMS Titanic unit filed for Chapter 11 protection in June, amid a fight over artifacts it recovered from the vessel with the help of the French government.

More than 1,500 people died after the Titanic, the biggest passenger liner of its day, hit an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in April 1912. The wreck wasn’t located until 1985.

In a 2008 article in National Geographic News, oceanographer Robert Ballard described how he found the ship while helping the U.S. Navy investigate sunken submarines. Starting in 1987, Premier Exhibitions worked with the French government on dozens of dives to recover artifacts including jewelry, clothing and dinnerware from the ship’s watery grave.

Premier resumed the hunt in 1993 without French involvement, and was subsequently named the “salvor-in-posession” of the site, according to a regulatory filing. The company and the French government continued to squabble over rights to the items until a bankruptcy judge last year rejected France’s efforts to establish its interest.

Last year, Premier exhibited a selection of artifacts in Las Vegas, among them a pair of blue and white striped men’s pajamas, a traveling receipt for “one canary in a cage” and a pair of never-worn white gloves.

The combined collection of 5,500 artifacts has an estimated market value of $218 million, according to a 2014 appraisal included in the docket.

Artifacts from the Titanic have been the subject of intense interest in the past. A fur coat worn by a first-class stewardess fleeing the shipwreck went for the equivalent of $235,000 this year in the U.K., and items as small as a cracker from the lifeboat survival kit have sold for the equivalent of $23,000, according to the auction house Henry Aldridge Son.

Pending federal legislation may boost the price of the artifacts Premier is looking to sell. A proposed rider in the 2017 Congressional Appropriations Act would ban any exploration of the Titanic not approved by the Secretary of Commerce, which could mean no new salvage dives for the next several years. Meanwhile, bacteria discovered on the wreck may be accelerating its disintegration, according to a 2011 Unesco report on the research. In the end, Premier’s artifacts could be the last to go on sale.

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Callie’s Cabin: Tuna panini too good to be true

Say hello to the panini sandwich wonder. It’s an Italian hot sandwich consisting of two slices of bread — baguette of French bread — stuffed with cheese and meat and fried on a grill, pan or broiled. This present-day, popular grilled sandwich goes back to the 20th century. And, you don’t have to travel far to find one at restaurants around the lake. But you can also do it yourself at home.

One late spring, chilly afternoon after viewing the movie “It’s Complicated” I made my first panini inspired by Meryl Streep’s dish, a hot cheesy French sandwich called croque monsieur. It wowed and wooed male characters Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin — and me.

It’s a simple sandwich with an egg base, ham, tomato, cheese and bread — one or two slices. I chose to go the Italian panini route — no eggs.

Tuna Cheddar Cheese Panini

2 tablespoons finely chopped cucumber

2 tablespoons chopped celery

1 tablespoon chopped red onion (optional)

3 tablespoons mayonnaise with olive oil (store bought)

3-ounce can albacore tuna in water, drained

Ground black pepper to taste

2-3 tablespoons European style butter with sea salt

4 thick slices artisan European style French bread made with organic flour (or a baguette)

4 slices cheddar cheese

1 Roma tomato, sliced

Fresh basil, chopped (optional)

In a bowl, combine cucumber, celery, onion, mayo, tuna and pepper. Stir and chill in refrigerator. Place four bread slices on a cutting board. On medium heat, use a large skillet to add butter, melt, and add bread. Top two slices bread with tuna mixture, cheese and tomato. Then top with the other two slices of buttered bread. Place another smaller pan (or spatula) on top of sandwiches. Cook about three to five minutes on each side or until brown. You can also use the oven broiler.

*I put tomato on the sandwich after it was cooked. Slice each sandwich in half. Top with fresh basil. Serves two.

A panini press or grill are nice to achieve grill marks. But two skillets or an oven broiler can achieve the toasted grill imprint, sort of. The crunch of the soft but crispy bread, gooey cheese and creamy tuna with bits of goodness are well, good (especially if you use premium ingredients).

It’s comfort food with a wholesome twist. Serve with a green salad. A scoop of chocolate gelato spread on top of a whole grain honey graham cracker (open face or a sandwich) paired with iced tea or coffee will complete this scrumptious Mediterranean meal to love.

Motto: No need to go to Italy for comfort food. You can get it in the comfort of your home in the mountains.

Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is

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Brooklyn Kitchen Moving To Industry City

SUNSET PARK, BROOKLYN — The Brooklyn Kitchen, a kitchen supply shop that hosts cooking classes, is moving from its Williamsburg home of nearly 10 years to Industry City for a temporary stay that may become permanent.

“We see this as a ‘pop-over,'” co-owner Taylor Erkkinen told Patch. Their Industry City lease runs through the end of the year, but “if it works out in the next couple of months then we’ll plan on staying,” she said.

The reason for the move is two-fold, Erkkinen said. First, the landlord at their Frost Street location in Williamsburg is “untrustworthy.” And second, the impending L train shutdown could deal a big blow to business, with fewer options to get out to North Brooklyn.

Plus, Industry City “feels like it’s a hotbed of creative spirit and small creative industries,” Erkkinen said. “I like that it’s all independent, lots of interesting characters existing and doing their own thing.”

While the signature cooking classes will remain, Erkkinen said their retail offerings such as kitchen gear and local non-perishable food will largely go by the wayside.

“We’re closing down the retail part,” Erkkinen said. “What we’ll bring to Industry City for re-sale will be a very very small concerted effort. We’ll be doing a couple of knives, honing steels and some small accessories. Just some vital, vital essentials.”

Because the move isn’t permanent (for now), the Williamsburg space will still be used for events and private cooking classes.

Click here for more information on Brooklyn Kitchen.

Image via Google Streetview

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How to make the most of grilling season

There’s nothing better than the flavor and presentation of food cooked on a grill.

The slightly smoky flavor and ease of preparation makes grilling one of the top cooking methods any time of the year. Even when there is a chill in the air, stepping outside to grill a meal is quick and easy.

Now that summer is around the corner, many of us are dining al fresco, and that often includes a grilled dish. Almost any food can be grilled, from steak to portobello mushrooms, and occasionally a food that you wouldn’t imagine, such as thickly cut Greek cheese (Halloumi), which grills perfectly.

For those who don’t have access to an outdoor grill, I’ve had success with cast-iron indoor grilling pans. Indoor grilling pans, which can be found in any cookware store, add a depth of flavor similar to outdoor gas grilling. I own two square ones that fit over a burner and can accommodate two servings of protein or four pieces of fresh corn or sliced eggplant.

Here are some of my tips to make the most of your grilling.

What to grill?

Most important, you need to know which foods are best grilled. Any cut of meat or chicken is ideal for grilling.

For dark-meat chicken, I recommend cooking it first in the oven to get it about three quarters done and then finishing it on the grill to avoid overly dark or blackened skin. Chicken breasts cook quickly – about 3 minutes per side. I recommend you pound the chicken to an even thickness to assure perfect doneness.

Fish is best if you choose steak fish (such as tuna, salmon, swordfish or shark) or whole fish (such as snapper or bass). Shellfish, including shrimp, scallops, clams and lobster, are wonderful on the grill and can be served room temperature or as part of a salad. I tend to avoid thin fish fillets for grilling as they are too delicate for the high heat and difficult to move off the grill.

All kinds of grilled vegetables are wonderful. My personal favorites are asparagus, mushrooms, onions, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, cauliflower, unripe tomatoes and corn. Consider buying a grill basket for smaller veggies to avoid them falling into the grill. For the vegetarians among us, both tofu and tempeh are delicious in their grilled form, especially paired with a flavorful marinade.

Get the grill ready

To prepare the grill, heat is of utmost importance for a guaranteed non-stick surface. If your food is not ready to turn easily, simply leave it another minute to insure the proper sear. If you are grilling something with little to no marinade, be sure to spray the grill lightly with vegetable cooking spray or brush lightly with olive oil.

The marinade

My favorite element in grilling is the marinade. A marinade can be as simple as vinaigrette with a few fresh herbs mixed in, and sauces such as salsas, pestos and reserved boiled marinades add a ton of flavor to just about any grilled food.

Because there’s no sauce or fat in the pan, and most grilled foods cook fairly quickly, a marinade not only tenderizes but adds flavor. I usually marinate dishes for at least two hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator, depending on what you’re preparing.

I recommend reserving the leftover marinade and bringing it to a boil in a small saucepan for four or five minutes, to kill any bacteria, along with a little red wine, if desired, and you have an amazing sauce to drizzle over your grilled dish.

There’s the rub

Fish is one exception where the marinade can actually cook the fish, so don’t marinate fish and shellfish for more than an hour. This is where a spice rub can be the perfect flavor enhancer. I often use spice rubs for tuna, salmon or shrimp.

Simply toast a few of your favorite spices, such as cumin, mustard seeds, peppercorns and coriander. Grind them in a coffee or spice grinder, coat the fish lightly with olive oil, then sprinkle the spices and a pinch of sea salt. You’ve now elevated your fish to another level.


Grilled bread

I love the taste of grilled bread and often serve it lightly brushed with extra virgin olive oil and rubbed with a cut clove of garlic, as you might enjoy in Tuscany. Grill the bread for three or four minutes on each side and serve with chopped tomatoes, olives, mushrooms. Or, serve it plain, with a few shavings of Parmesan Reggiano. I often make hummus or a spread, such as a white bean puree, to serve guests while they are having a chilled glass of wine.

Amanda Cushman is a culinary instructor, food writer and cookbook author. She can be reached at

Grilled Shrimp with Heirloom Tomato Salad

Shrimp is marinated for an hour and then grilled and served on top of a bed of mixed greens. Scallops can be used in place of the shrimp if desired. Recipe by Amanda Cushman.

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and de-veined

5 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 cup virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced

6 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1/4 teaspoon salt


3 large Heirloom tomatoes of mixed colors, large dice

1 shallot, minced

1/4 cup basil, chopped

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup virgin olive oil

Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

4 cups mixed salad greens

1 half of a small ripe papaya, peeled, diced, garnish

Combine the shrimp with the lime, olive oil, cumin, jalapeno, cilantro and salt in a medium bowl. Toss and allow to sit at room temperature for one hour.

Combine the tomatoes, shallot, basil, balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss well and set aside.

Turn the grill to high and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and place on the grill, discarding the marinade. Lower the heat to medium and cook the shrimp until pink and slightly curled, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate.

Add the mixed greens to the tomatoes. Taste for seasoning.

Divide the greens between four serving plates, top with the shrimp, and garnish each serving with the diced papaya.

Yield: 4 servings.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Balsamic, Dijon and Soy Marinade

This marinade can be used with lamb chops, pork tenderloin, chicken or salmon. It is best to marinate overnight for steak. Recipe by Amanda Cushman.

1 1/2 pounds skirt, flank or hanger steak, scored


3 shallots, minced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

Fresh ground black pepper


1/2 cup dry red wine

2 scallions, julienne, garnish

Place the steak in a shallow baking dish.

Combine marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour over steak and marinate about 2 hours or overnight, refrigerated.

Half an hour before grilling, remove the steak from the refrigerator. Heat the grill on high for about 5 minutes. Grill the steak for about 7 to 8 minutes on each side for medium-rare meat. Reserve the leftover marinade. Place cooked meat on a cutting board and set aside loosely covered with foil.

Bring the leftover marinade to a boil in a small saucepan with the red wine. Boil for 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside. Meanwhile, slice the meat thinly against the grain. Place on a serving platter and pour the marinade over the meat. Garnish with the julienne scallions and serve.

Yield: 6 servings.

Grilled Bread with Rosemary-Scented White Bean Puree

This is a perfect dish to make ahead, as it can be served room temperature. Feel free to substitute chick peas for the white beans and add other herbs such as thyme or Italian parsley. Recipe by Amanda Cushman.

1/4 cup virgin olive oil

2 medium shallots, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 16 ounce cans Cannellini beans, rinsed, drained

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped


2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded, chopped

2 tablespoons virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 loaf crusty Tuscan bread, sliced in 1/2-inch slices

Virgin olive oil for brushing

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and sauté the shallots and garlic for 1 minute. Add the beans and salt, pepper and rosemary, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low and cook for about 7 minutes.

Using a fork, mash up the beans in the skillet to form a rough paste. Add water as needed when the beans become too thick. Set aside.

Combine the tomato with the olive oil and minced garlic in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Heat the grill over high heat. Brush the bread with a little olive oil and grill on both sides until toasted and charred slightly, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the bread to a serving platter. Spoon the puree on top of the bread and garnish with the tomato.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer

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Where to shop to get your summer rental ready

Dear Franny The Shopaholic: I need a deal on dishes and silverware for my summer rental property. — Joseph V., Wildwood/Philadelphia

Dear Joseph: At Boscov’s, get Gibson Stainless Steel 20-piece service-for-four flatware sets in three styles regularly $19.99 on sale for $5.99. Boscov’s also has 15 styles of dinnerware sets for four by Tabletops Unlimited, Gibson or Oneida less than half price for $19.99. At that price buy some extra, and store for next year in case of breakage. In case you need water and wine glasses, Dollar Tree is your best bet.

Dear Franny The Shopaholic: My grandpop wants an old-fashioned webbed beach folding chair that has a higher back. I can’t find anything even with a regular-size back. I even wonder if they still make that type. I would like to have it for Father’s Day. — Favorite Granddaughter

Dear Favorite Granddaughter: The Vermont Country Store sells both the regular American-Made Webbed Aluminum Lawn Chair for $59.95 and the Deluxe with the higher back for $69.95. They also sell the replacement webbing for $19.95. Call 800-564-4623 or go to www.ver

Dear Franny The Shopaholic: You are amazing at finding the obscure. I was wondering if you could find the dish-liquid bottle that has a flat convenience top. The type you lightly press your fingertips on top and the liquid comes up from the bottle. Not the type you have to turn the bottle over. My sister has one but there are no markings on it whatsoever. Good luck and thanks! — Carol M., Margate

Dear Franny The Shopaholic: Thank you. I did find quite a few of which I emailed you the links to. The least expensive is at IKEA for $5.99. A super-size, no-touch stainless steel dispenser is at for $26.99.

Dear Franny The Shopaholic: Please find me a good deal on a stainless steel dishwasher. — Paul W.

Dear Paul: Sears has on sale a Kenmore or a Fridgidaire stainless steel dishwasher on sale for $249.99. I emailed you the links. You might want to wait until next weekend for the big Memorial Day sales to see if you can do better.

Steals of the Week


Whole seedless watermelon: $3.99.

A 2-pound bag of extra jumbo 16- to 20-count shrimp: $16.

Chock Full O’Nuts coffee: $2.49.


Porterhouse, N.Y. strip or T-bone steak: $6.97 per pound with the coupon on page A16 of Sunday’s Press.

Bing cherries: $1.99 per pound.

Top round, London broil twin-pack: $1.67 per pound.

Banana Boat suntan lotion: half price.


Summer toys, inflatables, pools, squirt guns, and bubbles are half price at Rite Aid. All Wet Wild cosmetics are 40 percent off.

Tide Simply Clean Fresh laundry detergent is $1.99 at JR’s Fresh Market. Limit six.

Timeless tank tops by Hastings Smith for misses and petites are half price for $4.99 at Boscov’s. Any size 300-count 100 percent cotton sheet sets, from twin to king with four pillowcases (two for twin) is on sale for $29.99.

Guardians of the Galaxy six-pack of Titan Hero series action figures regularly $49.99 is on sale for $39.99 at Target.

A Toshiba 49-inch 4K Ultra HDTV, with Chromecast built in, is on sale at Best Buy for $349.99.

Kleenex facial tissues are 99 cents at CVS.

Warp Speed, Delta and Menace water towables for your boat are half price at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Bumble Bee canned clams are 99 cents at Walgreens.

Kmart has 30 percent off swimwear for the family.

A Black Decker 20-volt line trimmer is on sale at Sears for $89.99.

Aldi has a pound of strawberries for $1.49.

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Senior PGA Championship 2017: Scores, live updates from Trump National

We’re live all week with scores and exclusive live updates from the 2017 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Trump National Golf Club outside Washington, D.C.

SCORES: Senior PGA Tee times, leaderboard



Here’s more information on this year’s event:

The 2017 Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid will be held at Trump National Golf Club, Washington, D.C., in Potomac Falls, Va. This will mark the first time that the most historic and prestigious championship in senior golf will be conducted in the National Capital area.

DATES: The 2017 Senior PGA Championship will be played May 25-28. It is a staple of the Memorial Day Weekend sports calendar.

FIELD: The field for the Senior PGA Championship consists of 156 players. 

RELATED: The complete 2017 Senior PGA Championship field list

COMPETITION: The tournament consists of four rounds of stroke play. After two rounds, the 156-man field will be cut to the top 72 players and ties. The winner is the player with the lowest total score after 72 holes. If two or more players are tied after regulation, the title will be decided in a sudden-death playoff.

TEE TIMES: Tee times generally run from early morning through mid-afternoon. The official tee times will be released the Friday before the tournament begins.

HOST VENUE: Trump National Golf Club, Washington, D.C., was created in 2009, when Donald Trump bought what was then known as the Lowes Island Club. Since taking over, Trump has added the Championship Course to the facility’s original course, now known as the River Course, and added a tennis center among other amenities during a major renovation project completed in 2015.

HOST COURSE: The only course in Washington D.C. area with large-scale Potomac River frontage, it measures 7,693 yards and was designed to take advantage of the river from both a visual and playability perspective. It is comprised of 007 bentgrass greens, pennlinks tees and fairways, while the rough is a mix of fescue, bluegrass and ryegrass.

TV TIMES: Golf Channel will broadcast the first two rounds, while NBC will carry the two weekend rounds. The airtimes are:

Thursday and Friday, May 25-26

1 to 4 p.m. (Eastern) on Golf Channel.

Saturday, May 27

1 to 4 p.m. on NBC

Sunday, May 28

3 to 6 p.m. on NBC

TOURNAMENT HISTORY: The oldest and most prestigious major championship in senior golf, the Senior PGA Championship was founded in 1937 and first played at Augusta National Golf Club. The list of winners through the years includes many of golf’s biggest names, including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Hale Irwin, Gary Player, and Sam Snead, who won the title a record six times. 

Over the years, the tournament has been staged at such prominent venues as PGA National, Firestone Country Club, Ridgewood Country Club, Aronimink Golf Club, Valhalla Golf Club, Oak Tree Golf Club, Canterbury Golf Club, Bellerive Country Club and the Kiawah Island Resort.     

TROPHY: The winner will have his name engraged on the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy, one of the most distinctive trophies in all of golf. It is named for Alfred Severin Bourne, an original member at Augusta National and longtime friend of PGA Professionals. Bourne donated $1,500 to pay for the 30-pound trophy and create an endowment for the tournament.

FUTURE SENIOR PGA CHAMPIONSHIP VENUES: The 2018 Senior PGA Championship will return to Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Harbor Shores also was the host venue for the 2012, 2014 and 2016 editions of the tournament.


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The One-Skillet Steak Dinner That Readers Are Obsessed With

When you think of “steak dinner” you probably don’t think “weeknight meal,” but this one-skillet steak and spring veg with spicy mustard may change your mind. This easy, super-springy dish comes together in less than 30 minutes, and our readers can’t stop making it. This recipe was featured in our April issue, and a month later, we still see the Instagrams of cast-iron skillets filled with steak, bright green asparagus and peas, and a drizzle of zingy mustard sauce in our tagged photos every day.

Senior food editor Claire Saffitz, who developed this recipe, can’t believe how popular it’s been, but would go to bat for steak as an ideal weeknight protein. “Pairing it with fresh-tasting spring vegetables lightens it up. The combination feels sort of healthyish but is also satisfying,” she explains. “It really is a quick recipe, and it uses frozen peas. Nobody should ever shell fresh peas on a weeknight!” Claire has also been tagged frequently on social media with readers’ photos, but her favorite review so far came from a staffer’s doctor. Apparently the doctor loved the recipe so much that she couldn’t stop talking about it during a recent check-up.

Keep on tagging us at #bareaders on Instagram—we want to know what will be the next beloved dish. (Previous hits include kimchi udon and cranberry-lime pie.) Check out some of our favorite ‘grams (okay, including some BA staffers) below:

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FYI, that last, non-Instagrammed photo comes from Randye Hoder, aka mom to Emma Wartzman, assistant to the editor-in-chief. Hoder made all of the one-skillet dinners from our April issue, and although the chicken with buttery orzo was her No. 1 favorite, this is a close second. “I’m a sucker for a one-skillet dinner. This one caught my eye because it looked so beautiful,” Hoder raves. “But it’s earned a spot in my regular dinner rotation because it’s easy to make, healthy, has a bit of a kick, and it’s delicious. A definite new family favorite.”

And now, go make it yourself:

This mustard sauce is meant to have some zing, but if you want less heat, swap smoked paprika for the cayenne.


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