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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Songs of the Week: from the late Ephraim Lewis


"Drowning In Your Eyes"

Feel the ground it's slipping away
Like a sigh that greets the close of day
Feel the water's welcoming arms
Embrace me in their quiet calm
I can't hear what you say anymore
Just the sound of trees on the ocean floor
Irresistibly drawn from the shore




I'm drowning in your eyes
I'm floating out to sea
Helpless on the restless tide
That flows between you and me



Moving slowly as if in a dream
The colours change from blue to green
All around me reflections of you
In forests deep I'm passing through
In the swell of the storm we're as one
We're dancing in the morning sun
Could it be that we've only just begun




I'm drowning in your eyes
I'm floating out to sea
Helpless on the restless tide
That flows between you and me


I'm drowning in your eyes
I'm floating out to sea
Helpless on the restless tide
That flows between you and me


Lying here beside you
I try to reach you but you're so far...




I'm drowning in your eyes
I'm floating out to sea
Helpless on the restless tide
That flows between you and me


I'm drowning in your eyes
I'm floating out to sea
Helpless on the restless tide
That flows between you and me

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saturday Beefcake: Dessert



Not exactly a dessert tray, but you can still take your pick.

Saturday Beefcake: Something on the Side



Swiss Chard with Currants & Feta

Swiss Chard, 500 grams
Garlic, one large clove, finely chopped
Virgin Olive Oil, two tablespoons
Sea Salt, one half teaspoon
Ground Black Pepper, one quarter teaspoon
Dried Currants, three tablespoons
Water, one third cup
Feta, crumbled, one third cup





1. Cut the stems and center ribs from the chard, careful to remove any tough parts near the base
2. Cut the stems and ribs crosswise into one eighth inch slices and coarsely chop the leaves
3. Heat the garlic in the oil in a large 4 quart pot
4. Add chard stems and ribs, salt, pepper
5. Add currants and cook, stirring about one minute
6. Add chard leaves, water, and increase heat to moderate
7. Cover. Cook for about five minutes until leaves are tender.
8. Remove from heat. Stir in feta.

Saturday Beefcake: Main Course




Golden Turkey Sausage

Turkey Sausage, one kilo
Virgin Olive Oil, two tablespoons
Onion, chopped, about six cups
Sea or Kosher Salt, one half teaspoon
Ground Black Pepper, one teaspoon
Butter, unsalted, one half stick
Granny Smith Apple, one, large, cored, peeled, finely chopped
Broth, one and three quarters cup, vegetable or unsalted chicken

1. Lightly score the sausage
2. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in large skillet
and brown half the sausage: about four minutes
3. Transfer to a bowl and clean skillet.
Add remaining oil and repeat process with remaining sausage.
4. In the newly clean skillet cook the onions
in the butter for fifteen to twenty minutes. Salt. Pepper.
5. Stir the apple and the broth into the onion mixture. Stir occasionally
and simmer briskly for about six to seven minutes.
6. Add sausage. Stir. Simmer for a minute.

Speaking of simmering, here is Rusty Joiner, truly a main course.

Saturday Beefcake: Primo Piatto


Whole Grain Pasta with Chicken

Chicken Strips, 500 grams
Broccoli Florets, 500 grams
Whole Grain Spaghetti, 500 grams
Oyster Sauce, premium brand, one half cup
Hoisin Sauce, two tablespoons
Sesame Oil, one tablespoon
Garlic and/or Anchovy Paste, two teaspoons
Peperoncino, crushed, to taste
Scallions, chopped, one half cup




1. The concept here is much like Pasta alla Verdura except that chicken is involved.
2. The chicken is cooked in a large pot in water, enough to eventually cook the spaghetti. Cook it for about three minutes.
3. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon while the water is still boiling and throw the broccoli and cook uncovered for about three to five minutes.
4. Remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon and drain.
5. Return the water to boiling and add salt. Cook the spaghetti.
6. While the pasta cooks, shred the chicken.
7. Reserve one cup of the water before draining the pasta.
8. Add one third of the reserved water, the hoisin and oyster sauces, sesame oil, the garlic or anchovy paste and half of the scallions to the chicken. Stir.
9. The pasta and chicken/broccoli are combined and could be divided into four bowls or placed in one large bowl.
10. Garnish with remaining scallions and peperoncino. Stir.



Something a little different to get started on your evening meal.

Food of the gods.

Saturday Beefcake: Bottoms for Cocktail Hour



Artichoke Bottoms

Artichoke Bottoms
Sour Cream
Alfalfa Sprouts
Soy Sauce
Egg Yolk, hard cooked

1. Spread each bottom with sour cream
2. Top with sprouts
3. Sprinkle the soy sauce over the sprouts
4. Top with half an egg yolk.
5. Bottoms up




from recipetips.com:

Artichoke Bottom




The fleshy base section of the artichoke, which is referred to as the artichoke bottom. The artichoke is a tall plant that is a relative of the thistle plant and native to Mediterranean regions, but is also grown in other parts of the world. It consists of tough, pointed, green leaves that are tightly packed around a gray-green base or bottom. It is the fleshy base of the leaves and the fleshy center or heart of the artichoke that are the sections of the plant most suitable for eating. Artichoke bottoms have a tender texture and flavorful taste, similar to the artichoke heart. The bottoms, like the heart, can be served as snacks, appetizers or as a tasty ingredient for salads and other side dishes.

Saturday Beefcake: AFternoon Delight

Have a snack ...



Or two ...

Saturday Beefcake: Lunch

A Spanish tortilla as opposed to a Mexican tortilla is also an Italian frittata. Whatever you call it, it's great for lunch. Have something delicious for lunch and still quite healthy.




Chickpea Tortilla/Frittata

Virgin Olive Oil, four tablespoons
Onion, chopped
Red Bell Pepper, chopped
Garlic Cloves, four
Peperoncino, chopped, one half teaspoon
Spinach, 500 grams, clean, shredded
Chickpeas, cooked, 400 grams
Eggs, six
Parsley, chopped, two teaspoons
Coarse Salt
Ground Black Pepper





1. Heat half the oil in a large skillet
2. Add onion, pepper, garlic and saute for about about ten minutes.
3. Add the shreds of spinach. Stir them into the mixture. Add the peperoncino.
4. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Salt. Pepper
5. Add the chickpea mixture to the bowl.
6. Wipe out the skillet. Add the remaining oil. Make sure the skillet remains relatively hot.
7. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and cook over low heat for ten minutes until the tortilla/frittata is almost cooked through.
8. At this point you want to turn the tortilla/frittata over. There are many methods. One is to slide it onto a large plate, invert the pan over the plate and then flip it back into the pan.
9. Cook for five more minutes.
10. Cut into wedges.

Here's one more of Mr. Andy Ashton to help work off that lunch.

Saturday Beefcake: Something Healthy for Breakfast

We have it on good authority that many are up the Grove and the Island sucking up the last drop of party to be had. May we suggest something healthy for breakfast.




Pumpkin Seed and Apricot Muesli

Jumbo Rolled Oats, 50 grams
Golden and/or Dark Raisins, one tablespoon
Pumpkin Seeds, one tablespoon
Almonds, chopped, one tablespoon
Apricots, dried, three tablespoons, chopped
Orange Juice, fresh, two tablespoons
Apples, two, small, peeled, grated
Milk, nonfat or soy, three tablespoons

1. Mix everything except the apples and milk
2. If you do this the night before, it will give the mixture a softer texture
3. Add apples when ready to eat. Mix. Pour the milk over it.






Sweet

Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday's Main Event: Saludos a Todos

From Latino Gay Men of New York:

Hello everyone! Saludos a todos!

Latino Gay Men of New York has planned 2 fantastic events for you!

5 October 2007: A Special Screening F En El Fuego

Come join us as we screen a film by award-winning filmmaker Dante Alencastre documenting the struggles that transgender and lgb people in Peru face on a daily basis. A discussion will follow.




2 NOVEMBER 2007: Dia de los Muertos Celebration

In November we will be hosting a very special celebration of El Dia de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) with poetry, music and an altar. Save the date for! This celebration will be open to ALL people, not just Latino or LGBT folks, so be sure to invite all of your friends too! Also, if you know how to play a musical instrument and would like to be a part of the celebration respond at lgmny@hotmail.com.

First Friday Forums are always at the same time and place: 1st Friday of > each month, from 8-10:30pm at the LGBT Center at 208 W 13th St.

If you would like to learn more about Latino Gay Men of New York, please > visit our website or MySpace.




We look forward to seeing you Friday!

Saludos!

Latino Gay Men of New York ha planeado dos eventos estupendos para ti en octubre y noviembre!

Viernes, 5 de Octubre 2007: Proyectamos La Pelicula En El Fuego.

Proyectaremos un documental sobre la vida de transgeneros y gente lgb en Peru. Despues, hablaremos de varios temas relcaionados con la pelicula.

Viernes, 2 Noviembre 2007: Celebracion Del Dia De Los Muertos

En noviembre tendremos un evento muy especial, celebrando el Dia de los muertos. Habra poesia, musica y un altar. Aparta la fecha y invitales a tus amigos que todos estan bienvenidos a este evento! Tambien, si sabes tocar un instrument musical y desea ser parte de la celebracion, escribenos a lgmny@hotmail.com.

Los foros First Friday Forums son siempre: el primer viernes de cada mes, de 8-10:30pm en el Centro LGBT en 208 W 13th St, entre las 7a y 8a avenidas.

Si desea saber mas de Latino Gay Men of New York, visita nuestro sitio web

Nos veremos el proximo viernes y en noviembre!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gay Thursdays: A Boy's Own Story


Twenty-five years ago in September, 1982 what was virtually an instant gay literature classic was released--Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story.

After States of Desire, White said he wanted to do one life in depth. He came up with an individual journey, a personal history, a personal American history through adolescent territory.

Although it is the story of a teenage homosexual coming to terms with his sexuality, it is also the picture of a boy growing into manhood and coming to terms with his power and his power to love. The reader is invited to think through a retrospective into internalized oppression, into pre-liberation consciousness.

"When I was child and wanted an older lover, he was envisioned as a savior, someone who would free me from the tyranny of my parents, who would value me." (E.W. in States of Desire)

White referred to the 60s--at the time of the book's release in 1982--as an era of unconscious in Art in which the artist struggled to get at his genius to "derange himself." The protagonist in A Boy's Own Story gives himself to similar business: he arrives at the point where he is "not a boy at all, but a principle of power."

According to White, "A writer's responsibility is to show characters in this period as as somewhat deformed," that is, victims of internalized oppression. He has indeed created a charming, intelligent hero, yet reared in a selfish individualistic point of view--an historical symbol, if you will of the modern gay movement.

In 1982, White believed that "we are emerging as a real force," but that power needed to be used wisely, much as its young counterpart in this novel. Traditionally gay people have identified, sympathized and empathized with the marginalized and the underdogs within society and White encouraged the community not to forget that allegiance. He was addressing a tendency to be indifferent and abandon the working class. All of this was opined, of course, before the movement, the community and White himself were sideswiped by the onslaught of AIDS and HIV. The plague was only a bit more than a year old.

There was then and now a virulent anarchic stance within the American mentality, something which makes White's hero understandable. In the anarchic, selfish sense, he has yet to learn to use his power wisely or unselfishly. He is seductive, grandiose and ultimately sinister. Given his charm and intelligence, he is a two edged sword of a sort. He seduces the reader into following him through an abyss of power and male sexuality, a misdirected path in which he virtually turns into the oppressor from which he yearns to be free.

The reader is warned, "I wanted someone to love me. Someone adult. Someone under my power."

White wrote a collective and respective mirror. "Neither my father nor I moved very gracefully over that boat. We were both afraid of the water, he because he couldn't swim, I because I was afraid of everything." Rather than consider this vivid portrait of a personality an excellent study of the parent-child polarity full of psychoanalytic symbolism, White called it a "history of moods." He added, "Psychology loves stories which actually falsify experience." In his opinion human decisions are more "influenced by pure accidents of the moment or of the environment ... The ideal novel has no subject at all, with style and mood replacing plot." It is not White's intention in this book to imply the traumatic cause and effect relationship of psychoanalytical narrative.

Edmund White is the architect of a style so rich and intricate taking us to a resolution beyond the adolescent experience in A Boy's Own Story--"history of moods" notwithstanding--with the grown up author reflecting on and embracing the teenager within. He called it "a coming to terms with the post-liberation aspect, the prefiguring of happiness." It takes place well before the novel's conclusion, but it is clearly its true destination.

This comes from a conversation with the author that took place around the time of a 1982 book signing he did for this milestone in gay reading at the gay bookstore par excellence, Giovanni's Room of Philadelphia.




"Intellectuals have often imagined I must have a trained and well-stocked mind," he writes, "whereas in fact all I have is an alert face, a quick tongue and a few journalistic tricks."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Wednesday Word: As the World Turns ...



... taking a chance on love.



chance (chns) n.
1.
a. The unknown and unpredictable element in happenings that seems to have no assignable cause.
b. A force assumed to cause events that cannot be foreseen or controlled; luck: Chance will determine the outcome.
2. The likelihood of something happening; possibility or probability. Often used in the plural: Chances are good that you will win. Is there any chance of rain?
3. An accidental or unpredictable event.
4. A favorable set of circumstances; an opportunity: a chance to escape.
5. A risk or hazard; a gamble: took a chance that the ice would hold me.




From Dartmouth newspaper:



Eisenhower was president, a postage stamp cost 3 cents and Jean Passanante '75 was toddling around her parents' house in Olivette when As the World Turns debuted on Aug. 2, 1956. Now, as head writer, Passanante is helping to usher the soap into its second half-century.

Passanante got the job last April, moving up from co-head writer. Before ATWT, as it's known to fans, she wrote All My Children and was the last head writer for Another World. [She was also part of the early 90s renaissancie of One Life to Live.]

Although she turned out to be a natural, in the beginning Passanante never thought about writing for a soap opera. Born and raised in Olivette in the house where her parents lived for 53 years, she wrote for the school newspaper as early as junior high and performed in high school shows before heading to Dartmouth College to study drama.

Passanante appeared in two movies, including John Sayles' The Return of the Secaucus 7. But living in New York and needing to make a living, she wound up working in theater management for 15 years. Administering the National Playwrights Conference and spending four years as artistic director of the New York Theatre Workshop taught her, she says, “so much about writing and about structuring a drama.”

As Passanante worked with writers, including a stint as director of writer development for ABC Daytime, people kept telling her, “You ought to write yourself.” Finally, in 1991, she “decided to give it a shot.”

Executive producer Christopher Goutman is equally enthusiastic about Passanante, with whom he previously worked at Another World.

“Jean is extremely intelligent, extremely thorough, passionate about her work and a great intellect,” Goutman says. “To juggle almost 30 characters, multiple story lines and to try to find new ways to provide entertainment and enlightenment to the audience is a gigantic challenge."




******
Okay, the story of Luke and Noah's love is not perfect and, perhaps, some day soon those who continue to enjoy the continuing stories known as Soap Opera won't have to apologize for liking them. Nevertheless, many kudos are sent to both Chris Goutman and Jean Passanante for allowing this story to be depicted on Daytime television screens. Chances are the story will end soon. The experienced viewer can tell these things.

Speaking of chances, it is laudable that Goutman and Passanante took this chance. Luke and Noah kissed passionately very much like their heterosexual counterparts--a very big deal. It is a wonderful surprise that the passion was once again depicted today and, of course, in true Soap Opera fashion they were discovered by the person who objects the most to the coupling.

Thanks for taking a chance on love.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tuesday Talent: Alice Ghostley


This weekly feature originally titled, The Tuesday De-Briefing, has to do with those talented individuals who need to be in the public's eye more often on account of the many gifts they possess. Of course, most are fetching young men--something that would not be lost on lusty Bernice Clifton, the last public persona created and played to a large audience by Alice Ghostley who recently passed away at the tender age of 81.

Of course, Ms Ghostley had a career than spanned decades, therefore, there is no reason to call for appreciation of her talent. 'Tis sad in these parts because her Bernice is a source of much inspiration.

From the excellent Designing Women Tribute site:





... keeping up with Bernice can be extremely difficult since she has an arterial flow problem above the neck that causes her to behave rather outrageously. Bernice sends the group health tips and enters everyone in contests. She's been known to phone Suzanne to say, "if you're not going to eat all the food in your refrigerator, why don't you just put it in a cab and send it over to me?" Bernice lives in a retirement community called Hillcrest Leisure Land, and, since she is easily bored there, makes frequent visits to Sugarbakers for the afternoon. After a while, the ladies become used to Bernice's eccentricities --- often delegating the responsibility of entertaining her to Anthony ... Her father was a Southern Baptist minister and when "all her circuits are burning," Bernice is a scripture authority.
... Her odd behavior drives Suzanne absolutely crazy, and she often refers to Bernice as a "little fruitcake." Anthony is the subject of her motherly attention ---and alternately her uninhibited lust. Actually, Bernice often implies that Anthony is hot for her --- along with many others with whom she claims to have had wild encounters. However, she has been known to claim Anthony as her illegitimate son and frequently breaks into a song of her own invention when Anthony is near --- "Black Man, Black Man." She also does not look favorably on any of his girlfriends --- commonly referring to them as she-beasts.

Bernice is very active, participating in senior citizen beauty contests and dance contests, but she has been known to loudly question the concept that growing old gives you a talent for arts and crafts.

Alice Ghostley

... it was her role as Esmeralda, the nervous supernatural babysitting maid on the popular series Bewitched, that first brought Alice national popularity and recognition. Esmeralda was a shy sorceress who faded from sight when she got nervous. "That seems to happen continually", laughed the talented comedienne during the series. "I disappear so regularly, I may end up as only a voice-over".
Alice's recurring character of wacky Bernice on Designing Women became so popular that she appeared as a semi-regular during the series final two seasons --- a performance for which she received an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Married to actor Felice Orlandi for over 50 years, the two made their home in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles until his passing in May, 2003.

*****
A quote from The Bewitched Book:

"It's funny ... I seldom watch myself, and I don't know why. I guess I watch the screen and say, 'Is that what I really look like? Oh, dear, I wouldn't watch this if I were someone else.' ... It's always difficult for me to critique myself."

Interestingly enough she says that her favourite episode on Bewitched is called, "Samantha's Magic Mirror" in which Samantha conjures up a more attractive mirror double to boost Esmeralda's self-image. Ghostley was brought on to replace Marion Lorne who had passed away. Both were champions at playing bumbling, yet loveable women.




Ghostley's Bernice has been adopted by this website and log because it is a character who uses her confusion to help arrive at the truth and a character full of life in her senior years with more than a little bit of lust in her heart.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Extended Weekend with Thorsten Kaye and Cameron Mathison

From Carolyn Hinsey: All My Children star Thorsten Kaye (Zach) has ... declared this "The Year of the Dance" in honor of his co-star and friend Cameron Mathison (Ryan), who debuts Tuesday night on Dancing With the Stars.




"I was going to offer a free round of drinks to fans for every week that he wins, but I can't really afford that since ABC didn't pick up the show that I pitched, 'Drinking With the Stars,'" jokes Kaye.

Kaye will offer weekly reviews of his pal's performance on SoapOperaWeekly.com.

Copied from the message board on TK's official site:

Hey Guys,
Didn't really know where to post this , it seemed that this was the busiest place on the message board. I need a favour...my dear friend Cameron is dancing on television (why?...I don't know) and I ... made a bet with some people that he would win the whole thing...my vote alone is not gonna be enough...so please ...show some love...If he does win, there will be a big party in New York, and everybody is invited.




I know I don't write on here very often, but I do visit, and your thoughts and ideas do not go unnoticed...I love you guys.

Thorsten.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Song of the Week: Valerie Simpson

When Valerie Simpson's first solo album was released in 1971, Rolling Stone immediately reviewed it as a neglected masterpiece, a designation not lost on the likes of Luther Vandross. She and her husband-collaborator, Nickolas Ashford already had a resume with credentials a yard long. Perhaps Motown didn't quite know what to do with the producer of Diana Ross' solo album--a producer with some obvious influence on Diana's delivery. Perhaps there was less effort put behind it than there should have been for work of this magnitude. Hard to say, but surely easy to speculate. Here are, for you, dear reader, three songs from the two solo albums she recorded before taking to the airwaves with Nick. Here is also access to some of their history:


From Warr.org




Exposed (Valerie Simpson: 1971)

At this point Simpson sings with a gospel flavor that brings her surprisingly close to fellow New Yorker Laura Nyro. Most of the tunes here are not radically different from Ashford & Simpson's Motown production: two songs are repeated from Ross' 1970 solo album, both standouts ("Can't It Wait Until Tomorrow" and "Now That There's You"), and tunes like "Love Woke Me Up This Morning" are cut from the same cloth. More interesting are tracks like the hard-hitting, Grammy-nominated "Sinner Man" (which sounds more like Aretha Franklin than anything that was coming out of Motown) or Simpson's strangely calm, string-carried version of the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out" - completely the opposite of label mate Stevie Wonder's frantic take on the tune the year before. But the album's centerpiece is the opening "I Don't Need No Help," which begins with a stirring two-minute a capella vocal and continues with just her pounding piano for accompaniment as the lyrics form a tribute to artistic self- confidence. This record was unnoticed at the time; it's available now on CD as The Best Of Valerie Simpson, together with six tracks from her self-titled followup.




Valerie Simpson (1972)

Quite solid, in the same gentle/passionate mold as Simpson's debut. Some of the high points are the gorgeous opener "Fix It Alright," the lovely soft-rocker "Keep It Coming," the pensively self-critical "Could Have Been Sweeter" and the What's Going On-style social commentary "One More Baby Child Born." There are two versions of the sarcastic anti-technology "Genius": the first is piano-based and dramatic, the second sly and funky. The single "Silly Wasn't I" is a bit overdone (with its forced "ha ha ha" refrain), but still enjoyable. Despite all this, the record flopped, and the pair soon began recording as Ashford & Simpson. Francisco Centeno made his first appearance on bass here: he would keep the gig for about a decade. Other musicians include Nat Adderley Jr and Simpson (keys); Ray Lucas, Buddy Williams and Charles E. Collins (drums); Keith Loving Illidge (guitar) and Ralph MacDonald (percussion). (DBW)


This is from David Hinckley's article from last Sunday's New York Daily News:



The music of Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson has filled pretty much every music joint in America. From Motown anthems like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" to their own hits like "Solid," they've written songs that are at home in football stadiums, arenas, theaters and juke joints. They're now filling Feinstein's at the Regency, where Ashford and Simpson play through Sept. 29.

"It's definitely a different kind of show," says Simpson. "When you're that close to the audience, it's like you're under a magnifying glass."

"You move differently than you do when you're filling the stage at Radio City," says Ashford. "You have to be bigger than life there. Here, the people can see every wrinkle in your face.

"When you walk off the stage, you know exactly how you did. The most beautiful feeling in the world is when you know you connected."

They're familiar with the feeling. In a world where three months is a long run, songs like "You're All I Need to Get By" have sailed through four decades, and the hits don't stop coming. Just this year Amy Winehouse recorded Ashford and Simpson's "Tears Dry on Their Own."

But Simpson says they don't write songs with the idea that they'll last forever.
"We're not thinking of longevity," she says, laughing. "We're just hoping to get a hit. We had no idea those early Motown songs would endure the way they did."
It didn't hurt that a song like "You're All I Need to Get By" got a world-class treatment from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, but Ashford and Simpson's own rendition makes it clear the song has plenty of power all by itself.

That wasn't part of a master plan, either.

"We don't know where the songs come from," says Simpson. "We don't sit down and tell ourselves we have to write a song."

"There's no one way," says Ashford. "Valerie will play something, I'll sing some words, it can go from there. You just live your life and the music comes out of you. We write about our life, our experiences, our love."

Ashford and Simpson, a Bronx native, met at a Harlem gospel event in 1964 ... They recorded as Nick and Valerie, but found faster success as writers. Their first hit wasn't exactly a love song. It was "Let's Go Get Stoned," which Ray Charles turned into a major hit. "A lot of people don't know we wrote that," says Simpson, "When they find out, they usually say something like, 'Wow, how old are you guys?'"

They hit the charts as singers in 1973 and first scored with "It Seems to Hang On" in 1978. Besides "Solid," they also had major hits with "Found a Cure," "Count Your Blessings," "I'll Be There for You" and "Outta the World."

Meanwhile, they were the afternoon hosts for several years on WRKS (98.7 FM) and they're also restaurateurs, first with 2-0/20 and now with the Sugar Bar on W. 72nd St. Asked if the restaurant biz is harder than the music biz, Ashford laughs.
"No comparison," he says. "In music, there's just two of us. In the restaurant, you have to deal with everybody."

They're also working on a musical adaptation of E. Lynn Harris' novel "Invisible Life," with a reading planned in October. Ashford allows that it has been "a challenge," but Simpson says it's "important that this story get out there. It says things people need to hear about being gay." They also have a CD collection of their Warner Bros. material coming out soon, with some remixes of their hits. Simpson says she ordinarily dislikes remixes, "but in this case, they're well-done, by people who are really passionate about the songs." So they're keeping busy.

"We're blessed," says Simpson. "The phone still rings."



For more on Ashford & Simpson and other Motown music go here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Saturday Beefcake: Dessert



His name is Josh, aka, sex on a stick. 'Nough said.

Saturday Beefcake: Dinner


This is a piatto unico combining first and second courses: Teriyaki Salmon

Salmon Fillets, 4 at 125 grams each, skinless
Soy Sauce, two tablespoons
Dry Sherry, one tabelspoon
Brown Sugar, two tablespoons
Garlic Cloves, two, crushed
Ginger Root, freshly grated, one teaspoon
Sesame Oil, one tablespoon
Sesame Seeds, two tablespoons
Scallions, two, chopped
Rice Noodles, 250 grams, cooked
Cilantro leaves, chopped, three tablespoons
Preheated Broiler



1. Place the fillets in a foil-lined broiler pan.
2. Mix together, soy sauce, sugar, sherry, garlic, ginger, half the oil
with a couple tablespoons of water.
3. Brush the mixture over the salmon and set it aside for ten minutes.
4. Cook the salmon under the broiler for five minutes. Be sure to turn it
halfway through. Brush with more of the soy mixture.
5. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet add the noodles and green onions. Heat thoroughly. Stir in the cilantro.
6. Serve the salmon over the noodles.



If this were a classic Italian meal, this would be two courses with the noodles making an entrance on its own and more than likely being dressed a bit more. Of course, were this an Italian meal the pasta would not be made of rice. This is, nonetheless, a very tasty repast as would be the accompanying subjects of the photography, as in the second photo where it seems they are about to become a piatto unico of their own,

Saturday Beefcake: Snack






Uplifting and calorie free.

Saturday Beefcake: Lunch


Moroccan Tomato & Chickpea Salad


Red Onion, one, thinly sliced
Chickpeas, cooked, 400 grams
Tomatoes, four, chopped
Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice, four tablespoons
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, one tablespoon
Fresh Basil, Fresh Parsley, or Mint instead of Basil, one handful chopped
Paprika, pinch
Cumin, ground, a dash
Coarse Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

This is very simple and to the point, as should
be all afternoon delights following a morning of hard work and/or play:
mix all together and then put it aside for ten minutes or so.
This can accompany a main course such as a grilled chicken breast,
or do it solo.

Eating chickpeas regularly is very beneficial as are most afternoon delights.



Saturday Beefcake: Breakfast


Orange Mascarpone French Toast

Part One:
Oranges
Sugar, one half cup



Part Two:
Mascarpone, 500 grams, room temperature
Orange Marmalade, five tablespoons
Honey, teaspoon
Coarse Salt
Orange Juice, freshly squeezed, one half cup





Part Three:
Orange Juice, freshly squeezed, one half cup
Milk, two cups
Eggs, four
Cinnamon, a pinch
Nutmeg, a pinch
Vanilla, one half teaspoon
Unsalted Butter
Almond oil
Twelve Slices of Favorite Bread




1. In part one you are making the topping for the finished product.
2. Gingerly peel the skin from the oranges making sure that the bitter white doesn’t come along with it.
3. Cut it into thin strips and boil three times to remove bitterness, straining the water after each time.
4. After the third draining put the rind strips aside, and add the half cup of sugar and a half cup of water in the same pot and simmer until the sugar is dissolved.
5. Return the rind to the pot and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Cool the rind. Refrigerate.
6. To make the mascarpone filling from part two, thoroughly mix all of those ingredients in a small bowl. Some replace the honey with maple syrup.
7. Part three is for the batter for the toast. Brioche slices can be used, but they are not necessary.
8. The mascarpone mixture should be room temperature, by the way, so it is easy to manipulate
9. Mix the juice, milk, eggs, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Pour into a large shallow dish, like a pie plate.
10. Melt the butter with a little almond oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
11. Quickly dip the slices into the egg mixture and put them into the skillet.
12. When half are finished on one side, dollop the mascarpone onto them, with a border of about one half inch all around and place the cooked side of the remaining slices on top.
13. Then cook the top of the sandwich.
14. When finished, remove the rind from the liquid, delicately dry them off and place them on the French toast sandwiches.
15. The perfect follow up to a morning romp.



Nothing like something creamy and sweet to start the day.