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March 23, 2018 |

Archive for » March 23rd, 2018«

Meet Gov. Greg Abbott’s Indian-American ‘kitchen cabinet’

Last fall, Abbott named Sujeeth Draksharam of Sugar Land, president of Sirrus Engineers Inc., a civil engineering firm, to the state Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Sanjiv Yajnik of Dallas, president of financial services at Capital One Financial Corp., is perhaps the Texas Indian-American closest to the governor.

Yajnik is board chairman of the nonprofit Texas Economic Development Corp., which is paying for Abbott’s India trip.

“Sanjiv Yajnik was born in India, but he will tell you he’s a native Texan,” Abbott said. “He gives the best pro-Texas, chamber of commerce speech you’ll ever hear.”

Over the past four years, Agarwal has given Abbott’s campaign more than $163,000, and Yajnik has given nearly $13,000, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission. Since 2013, Naidu has hosted three parties for Abbott and contributed a total of $22,500 to him. In that time, Draksharam gave Abbott about $22,000.

Computational journalist Andrew Chavez contributed to this story.

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Teach Less, Learn More


Recently I heard a phrase about raising children. I remember it being in an ALIEN Audiobook Novella. I cannot say for sure. You might think what a strange place to learn about parenting. Yet, since millions of people learned about child rearing from Captain James T Kirk’s number 2! Spock.

Yes, I may have learned later in life, that Dr. Spock and Dr. Spock were two different people. One was a pointy-eared Vulcan whose full names was S’chn T’gai Spock. The other a politically controversial, pediatric psychoanalyst named Ben. Even armed with the truth, I like to believe we all have a little S’chn T’gai in each of us.

The phrase I heard, went something like this,

“Learn from your children, but do not teach them to be like you.”

I attempted to search for versions of it online but found no exact matches. Nothing made me feel the way that phrase had. Finally, something Google couldn’t recover. I am sure it was my fault. I’d hate to be accused of being a “Googlist.” Even saying that might upset the Twittersphere. But, saying that might make me a “Twitterist.” It is a never-ending pit of misunderstanding. If I was smart I would stop now. But, my momma ain’t raised me to be a quitter! Sorry.

I am sure the author took a turn of phrase they once heard, then bent it towards their purpose. Much like we all do with the information we hear. We filter it. Not always with malice. It is simply how we process the world. Seeing is the filtering of light, and hearing is the filtering of inaudible sound waves.

We assume we all agree on what blue looks like. However, we have no way of knowing of how we perceive it. When it comes to sound we can all agree that the song, “A Tooty Ta Ta” is evil. Rather than building my cas,e I suspect I have just deconstructed it. It’s best to get back on point. I read another story that supports this concept. Here is my version, as I remember it.

A cook was rubbing Calphalon cookware with vegetable oil after cleaning them. When asked why, he said, “an older cook taught him to always do so after cooking.” Then the older cook was questioned. He was in the middle of rubbing, vegetable oil on recently used stainless steel cookware. When asked why, he claimed that he had learned it from an older cook. Then the 3rd cook was questioned. He was in the middle of rubbing oil on his cast iron pans.

You can see how misunderstanding compounds over time. Well-meaning information passed down over time can become twisted. No longer relevant. Even worse it can become harmful as the reasoning gets lost over time.

To follow the ending of the story, you must know cast iron cookware requires seasoning. A process that protects the pan to create what is called an “easy-release finish.” The separating of food from the pan. Non-stick cookware does not need such treatment.

This story is tantamount to the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Imagine you are a childlike non-stick pan being slathered with olive oil by your cast iron parent. The action may not hurt you, but you know you don’t need it. Your parents are only doing what their parents did. So, they keep doing it. They become frustrated when you resist. Eventually, you come to resent them for forcing their ways on you.

Their loving behavior becomes a wedge instead of a bond. Rules, by definition or for the masses. We are individuals. We need edges, but we also need freedom. Working towards the more difficult Platinum Rule is worth investigating. “Treat others the way they want to be treated.” That seems much more aspirational and rewarding.

I like the pan metaphor. I believe Graham Nash did as well. His lyrics in “Teach Your Children” tell a sorrowed filled story of growing up and growing old. Separating from the pan, if you will. It is easy to get caught up in the beautiful harmonies and miss the underlying message in the song.

It starts with passing wisdom onto our children. By the end, the children are teaching the adults. Very Kung Fu, the teacher has become the master. If you fail to listen closely, you may miss the song is about love. The simultaneous struggles of growing up and growing old. A constant cycle. The song’s refrain is first presented to the children and then from the children back to the parents.

Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,

So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.”

Each of us has personal hopes, dreams, and fears. How we handle each of these cannot necessarily be passed on. As the money people say, “Past Performance Is No Guarantee of Future Results.” Just because something worked for us, it does not mean it will be the right solution for our children. Even if we have the best of intentions, we must let our children follow their path. Our fears may be their greatest desire. Who are we to stand in their way?

I am not advocating harmful behavior. But, suppose you are afraid of travel. If you pass this fear down to your children, who dream of exploration, you may stifle their desires. Worse, you may build a moat between you both. Like the pan, wouldn’t it be nice to prepare each other for an “easy release?”

In reality, we are all someone’s child. No matter how saggy, pudgy, grey, hairless, or hair that is growing in all the wrong places, that we become. If we can see each other as children on a journey, then we can learn to appreciate the differences in one another. We can stop being Googlist and Twitterist and focus on being “Human-Beans.”

Some people prefer Burger King over McDonald’s, neither is right or wrong. Some people even like the new Taco Bell Nacho Fries. Huh? Who are we to judge. Perhaps we all would benefit from “teaching” less and “learning” more?

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Category: Cookware Pans  Tags: ,  Comments off

The best dish soap you can buy – Business Insider

 The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

best dish soapShutterstock/Business Insider

The Insider Pick:

  • A top-quality dish soap has a pleasant scent if it has a scent at all, cleans the most stubborn pots and pans, and is eco- and hand-friendly. Puracy Natural Liquid Dish Soap is our top pick because it’s effective on grease, safe for the environment, and gentle on your hands.

If you want your favorite cookware, cutlery, dishes, and other kitchen items to last, your best bet is to hand wash them. This is true even if you have one of the best dishwashers around. Within the confines of the dishwasher, it is much like a war zone with debris flying everywhere. In some circumstances, the contents will bang against each other. The dishwasher can be unforgiving, even if your cookware is deemed dishwasher safe.

Therefore, a high-quality dish soap is indispensable. And, before I go on, I must make it clear that you should never use dish soap in a dishwasher. Dishwashing detergent does not produce suds. Dish soap does. The suds will escape from the dishwasher any way they can. This may lead to overflowing, and over time, it will damage the inner workings of your appliance.

When writing this guide, we consulted the website of the Environmental Working Groupa neat organization that seeks to “empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.” The group examines various products to find out if they contain ingredients that could cause harm to individuals or the Earth.

EWG assigns each product a grade ranging from F, a potential hazard to the environment or your health, to A, least concern about potential hazards caused by a product. 

Consider “Subscribe Save”

If you find a dish soap you like on Amazon, we recommend buying it through the “Subscribe Save” program. This allows you to save up to 15% off of the regular price. Plus, you can cancel your subscription at any time, even after just one delivery. However, it’s nice to have items you regularly use arriving right when you need them without having to remember to hop online to order them again.

We shuffled through hundreds of buyer and expert ratings and reviews of dozens of dish soap brands. The ones that are included in our guide demonstrated the ability to cut through grease, remove dried- or burnt-on food debris, have a non-offensive scent, and are not harsh on your skin.

Read on in the slides below to find out why Puracy Natural Liquid Dish Soap is our pick and why you might prefer the Dawn Dish Soap Platinum Power Clean Dishwashing Liquid, the Seventh Generation Dish Liquid, the Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner, and the J.R. Watkins Liquid Dish Soap.

Category: Cookware Pots  Tags: ,  Comments off

‘Shark Tank’ inventor sues neighbor who said he ran ‘whorehouse …

The “Shark Tank” reality show contestant who boasts of inventing sanitary dinnerware has filed a defamation lawsuit alleging a former neighbor wrongly accused him of “running a whorehouse” out of his co-op unit.

Kyle Donovan, 46, claims Marina Shafir-Zats, 41, his one-time neighbor in a co-op on E. 25th St. at Second Ave. in Gramercy, fired off an email blast last September to board members with the bombshell assertion.

“It came to my attention that the owner of the basement is running a whorehouse,” Shafir-Zats’ email stated, according to Donovan’s suit, filed late Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court.

She also allegedly wrote she “constantly see(s) women dressed like prostitutes and walking into the building and going downstairs to the basement,” the suit states.

The comments, the suit alleges, caused Donovan “damage to his personal and professional reputation, personal humiliation, mental anguish, lost business opportunities, and emotional distress.”

Shafir-Zats couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

But Donovan told the Daily News he was raised by grandmothers who took him to church three times a week, and emphatically denied Shafir-Zats’ allegations.

“She obviously defamed me and slandered my name,” he told The News. “In the end, all I have is my reputation.”

Donovan explained he’d hosted a party at the building when he got back from filming Shark Tank, which aired in January — and that nothing inappropriate happened.

The Gramercy building features both commercial and residential units, and his was used for business, said Donovan, who sold his share in January, records indicate.

It isn’t immediately clear whether Shafir-Zats lives in the building or uses her unit for business.

But emails attached to Donovan’s civil complaint indicated he’d been embroiled in a long-running legal dispute with the co-op board — and that members were weighing ramped up security in the wake of Shafir-Zats’ email.

Donovan admits there were several years of bad blood, and claimed it was related to selling his unit.

When Donovan tried selling his unit, he claimed he learned the space was actually classified as “storage” and not commercial as he had been told — dragging down its selling price.

Donovan told The News he and the co-op have since settled that dispute.

Donovan, who bills himself as a “multifaceted entrepreneur and inventor,” recently appeared on Shark Tank to pitch products related to his iFork line, according to reports in January.

These products are utensils featuring a small ball on the back, so that they don’t make contact with a table – which Donovan claims reduces contact with germs.

These utensils can then attach into the interlocking iCup and iPlate, allowing diners to carry their dinnerware in one trip, said Donovan, who now lives in Orange, N.J.

Donovan also runs NV Magazine, a publication geared toward “urban business professionals and entrepreneurs.”

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Category: Dinnerware  Tags: ,  Comments off

You Can Now Customize Your KitchenAid Mixer With These Designs So Your Registry Priorities Have Changed

kitchenaid mixer custom bowlKitchenAid The Patterned Ceramic Bowl, $99.99, KitchenAid.com. (Photo courtesy of KitchenAid)

What better way to start a new marriage than with an Instagram-worthy home aesthetic? KitchenAid is looking to help newlyweds brighten up their wedding registries with a mixture of something old with something new.

The brand’s beloved five-quart stand mixers, a staple on couple’s wedding registries, are now getting the custom makeover treatment with fresh new designs, bringing an added personalized element to the kitchen. 

The newly-revamped bowls, which will all fit on all 4.5-and-5-quart tilt-head stand mixers, come in a range of patterned, solid and textured styles. The additions can take the place of more traditional stainless steel or glass bowls that usually occupy counter space with stand mixers.

KitchenAid The Patterned Ceramic Bowl, $99.99, KitchenAid.com. (Photo courtesy of KitchenAid)

KitchenAid The Patterned Ceramic Bowl, $99.99, KitchenAid.com. (Photo courtesy of KitchenAid)

KitchenAid The Solid Ceramic Bowl, $79.99, KitchenAid.com. (Photo courtesy of KitchenAid)

KitchenAid The Textured Ceramic Bowl, $99.99, KitchenAid.com. (Photo courtesy of KitchenAid)

One particularly pretty design features a tropical-inspired monstera leaf motif sure to brighten up any kitchen; another is decorated with soft, watercolor-like florals. For bakers who prefer to keep things a little more understated, KitchenAid is offering a textured white bowl, a nautical-inspired striped bowl and a chic solid black bowl depending on mood and taste. 

The newest additions will be available in summer 2018. Find the mixers here, and start your wedding registry with The Knot.

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Country Living Fair to return to Lebanon

The fair is expected to draw more than 25,000 visitors from across the country.

The Country Living Fair will bring the magazine’s content to life and gives readers access to a unique shopping experience in four special outdoor settings across the country. Each fair features 200-plus vendors from more than 25 states. Vendors will include antiques sellers, food purveyors, artists, furniture makers, crafters and more. 

Guests will also have a chance to meet Country Living editors and special guests; attend cooking, crafting and do-it-yourself demonstrations and book signings; sample locally sourced artisanal food; and participate in make and take workshops.

The fair will include some local Tennessee vendors, including Bradley’s Creamery, a Brentwood artisanal ice cream inspired by old-fashioned Southern favorites; Cousins Maine Lobster, a Murfreesboro food truck that serves up fresh lobster, lobster rolls, soups and sides; JBS Mercantile, a Mt. Juliet modern farmhouse-style home décor business; Love Fig a Nashville business with playful and fun kitchen accessories; Scarlett Scales Antiques a Franklin antiques shop; Southern Fried Design Barn a Lebanon supplier of paper goods; and more.

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There will also be many fair favorites coming from afar including Farmhouse Frocks from Amish Country, Ohio with Amish-made clothing for all sizes designed by a mother-daughter trio; Green Bubble Gorgeous, a Delta, Ohio handcrafted luxury bath and body goods store; juNxtaposition, a Pittsburgh business that features “junk” repurposed into one-of-a-kind jewelry; South Porch Antiques, a Spencerport, New York antique and vintage designs store; and more.

There will be a number of special guests at the fair, including:

• Rachel Ashwell with Shabby Chic and author of “My Floral Affair: Whimsical Spaces and Beautiful Florals.”

• Amie Sikes and Jolie Sikes-Smith from “Junk Gypsies.”

• Elliott Farmer, a Food Network chef and television personality.

• Maneet Chauhan, a Food Network celebrity chef and owner of Chauhan Ale and Masala House.

• Joanne Palmisano, award-winning interior designer and regular DIY Network contributor.

• Kim Leggett with City Farmhouse and author of “City Farmhouse Style.”

• Trace Barnett from The Bitter Socialite and Food Network Star season 13.

• Amy Howard with Amy Howard Home.

Attendees will be able to engage with Country Living at the fair by using the hashtag #CLFair and share their favorite finds using the hashtag #CLFairFinds.

 Additionally, the 2018 Country Living Fairs will have make and take workshops, including a wood-burning class sponsored by Walnut Hollow. View the selection of workshops available and for a nominal fee, pre-register to attend one at stellashows.com. Classes are limited.

The fair will be April 20-22 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and gates open April 20-21 at 8:30 a.m. for early-bird ticketholders. 

Tickets are $13 for a one-day admission in advance and $18 at the door. Three-day weekend passes are available for $15 in advance and $25 at the door. An early-bird three-day weekend pass is available for $40 and grants early admission April 20-21 at 8:30 a.m. For children 16 and younger, admission is free. 

The 2018 Country Living Fair in Wilson County is sponsored by Rachel Ashwell and is produced by Stella Show Management Co. For tickets and additional information, including a list of vendors, contact Stella Show Management Co. at 866-500-FAIR or stellashows.com. For tickets and additional details, visit countryliving.com/fair.

Category: Accessories  Tags: ,  Comments off

The best dish soap you can buy

 The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

best dish soapShutterstock/Business Insider

The Insider Pick:

  • A top-quality dish soap has a pleasant scent if it has a scent at all, cleans the most stubborn pots and pans, and is eco- and hand-friendly. Puracy Natural Liquid Dish Soap is our top pick because it’s effective on grease, safe for the environment, and gentle on your hands.

If you want your favorite cookware, cutlery, dishes, and other kitchen items to last, your best bet is to hand wash them. This is true even if you have one of the best dishwashers around. Within the confines of the dishwasher, it is much like a war zone with debris flying everywhere. In some circumstances, the contents will bang against each other. The dishwasher can be unforgiving, even if your cookware is deemed dishwasher safe.

Therefore, a high-quality dish soap is indispensable. And, before I go on, I must make it clear that you should never use dish soap in a dishwasher. Dishwashing detergent does not produce suds. Dish soap does. The suds will escape from the dishwasher any way they can. This may lead to overflowing, and over time, it will damage the inner workings of your appliance.

When writing this guide, we consulted the website of the Environmental Working Groupa neat organization that seeks to “empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.” The group examines various products to find out if they contain ingredients that could cause harm to individuals or the Earth.

EWG assigns each product a grade ranging from F, a potential hazard to the environment or your health, to A, least concern about potential hazards caused by a product. 

Consider “Subscribe Save”

If you find a dish soap you like on Amazon, we recommend buying it through the “Subscribe Save” program. This allows you to save up to 15% off of the regular price. Plus, you can cancel your subscription at any time, even after just one delivery. However, it’s nice to have items you regularly use arriving right when you need them without having to remember to hop online to order them again.

We shuffled through hundreds of buyer and expert ratings and reviews of dozens of dish soap brands. The ones that are included in our guide demonstrated the ability to cut through grease, remove dried- or burnt-on food debris, have a non-offensive scent, and are not harsh on your skin.

Read on in the slides below to find out why Puracy Natural Liquid Dish Soap is our pick and why you might prefer the Dawn Dish Soap Platinum Power Clean Dishwashing Liquid, the Seventh Generation Dish Liquid, the Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner, and the J.R. Watkins Liquid Dish Soap.

Category: Cookware Pots  Tags: ,  Comments off