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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday Beefcake Happy New Year: This is the Best Part

Saturday Beefcake Foreplay

Saturday Beefcake: Le Plat Principal

The word entrée is French. It originally denoted the "entry" of the dishes from the kitchens into the dining hall. In the illustration from a French fifteenth-century illuminated manuscript of the Histoire d'Olivier de Castille et d'Artus d'Algarbe, a fanfare from trumpeters in the musicians' gallery announces the processional entrée of a series of dishes preceded by a covered cup that is the ancestor of the tureen, carried by the maître d'hôtel. The entrée will be shown round the hall but served only to the high table (though it does not stand on a dais in this hall), where the guests are set apart by a gold-and-crimson damask canopy of estate.

In traditional French haute cuisine, the entrée preceded a larger dish known as the relevé, which "replaces" or "relieves" it, an obsolete term in modern cooking, but still used as late as 1921 in Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire.

In France, the modern restaurant menu meaning of entrée is the course that precedes the main course in a three course meal,[14] i.e. the course which in British usage is often called the "starter" and in American usage the "appetizer." Thus a typical modern French three course meal in a restaurant consists of "entrée" (first course, starter (UK), appetizer (U.S.)) followed by the "plat" or "plat principal" (the main course) and then dessert or cheese. This procession is commonly found in prix fixe menus. [from Wikipedia]

by any other name, very tasty

Your Saturday Beefcake Appetizer: Tasty!

Beet Falafel with Hemp Seed–Tahini Dressing

Charlie and Kathleen Schaffer
Schaffer’s Genuine Foods

Moroccan Spice Blend:
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon cloves

Beet Falafel:
1/2 pound peeled beets
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon salt
1 cups panko bread crumbs, plus more for coating
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Canola oil as needed

Hemp Seed–Tahini Dressing:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup hemp seeds
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon harissa
1/4 teaspoon salt

3–4 slices pita bread, halved

To make the Moroccan spice blend, combine all of the spices in a spice grinder and grind until smooth.

To make the beet falafel, place the beets in a food processor. Pulse until the beets are finely chopped and empty into a large bowl. Place the chickpeas, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the food processor and purée until smooth. Empty into the bowl with the beets.

Heat a medium sauté pan with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions, salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the spice blend, and sauté until the onions are translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add to the beets and chickpeas.

Add the panko, honey, parsley, egg, egg yolk, lemon zest, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the spice blend to the beet mixture and mix well. Shape a tablespoon of the mixture into a small ball and place on a plate. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. Chill the falafel for at least half an hour.

To make the hemp seed–tahini dressing, combine the sour cream, hemp seeds, honey, lemon juice, tahini, lemon zest, garlic, harissa, and salt in a blender and process until smooth. Chill until needed.

When you’re ready to fry the falafel, pour a 1 1/2-inch layer of oil into a heavy-bottomed pot. Heat the oil until ripples begin to form on the bottom. Working in batches, roll the chilled falafel balls in panko to coat and carefully lower them into the hot oil. Fry until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer the fried falafel to paper towels to drain.

Stuff the pita bread halves with the hot falafel and finish with hemp seed–tahini dressing.

Saturday Beefcake Self Love

Hey! What's not to love?

Have a Happy New Year's Eve: Suggestions from Saturday Beefcake Past

Jacob who became the father of Israel by virtue of a bowl of lentils, which he'd been preparing, and used to buy his elder brother's birthright (and, by the way, went on to wrestle an angel) filtered that patriarchal event through many centuries so that the food became an Italian New Year's tradition: a required item on the New Year's menu -- Eve or Day, their shape brings to mind tiny coins and people eat them in the hope that they won't want for anything for the coming year.

Lentils are very versatile, and, not to mention, nutritious. Therefore, two recipes are offered -- one more traditional than the other along with young gentlemen who seem to be quite versatile themselves. While it wouldn't be right to refer to them as nutritious, it seems they may know a thing or two about nutrition and wrestling angels

Zuppa di Lenticchie (Lentil Soup)

2 tablespoons fruity Olive Oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 small fennel bulb, diced
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup lentils, rinsed, etc.
2 teaspoons sea salt
pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1. Heat half the olive oil in large pot.
2. Add garlic, onion and fennel. Saute until soft [5 minutes]
3. Add the broth and lentils. Bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender [about 45 minutes]
5. Serves 6 people. Drizzle olive oil over each serving and garnish with fresh basil.
[Romano or Parmesan cheese]

Lentil Tapenade

One Cup Lentils
20 ounces of Broth (Chicken or Vegetable)
Chopped Garlic, 2 tablespoons
Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, dried and slivered
Aromatic Olive Oil
Anchovy paste
Capers, three tablespoons
Olives, any Mediterranean type, pitted, chopped, 1/2 cup
Fresh Lemon Juice, two tablespoons
Sea salt and ground pepper
Chopped Italian Parsley
One Lemon Slice

1. Rinse and drain the lentils
2. Simmer the lentils in the broth with the garlic and tomatoes in a large saucepan from 30-45 minutes or until they are cooked
3. Place the saucepan ingredients in a processor for about 30 seconds, scraping the sides several times.
4. Add the oil, a couple drops of the anchovy paste, capers and chopped olives, lemon juice and salt/pepper to taste. Continue processing until smooth, once again scraping down the sides.
5. Add 1/2 cup of the parsley; pulse several times to blend.
6. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with lemon and parsley.
7. This is for crostini, or fresh bread, or pita chips and the recipe is a variation of Julee Rosso's who probably knows a lot more about nutrition than wrestling angels.

Would there be a way to celebrate holidays in the US without the ubiquitous pumpkin? It is everywhere from the end of October until the end of the year. Here is offered another way to make use of its attributes putting it together with that universal favourite, chocolate. Togetherness and cookies are part and parcel of this time of year.

Today's message is comfort, sweetness and togetherness.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Puree c. 500 grams
2 slightly beaten eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
12 oz chocolate chips [milk is preferred by author, but semi-sweet might work]
4 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder

1. In a large bowl combine pumpkin, eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and chips.
2. In a separate bowl, blend flour and baking powder.
3. Combine the ingredients in these two bowls and stir until well combined.
4. Use two teaspoons to place on ungreased cookie sheet in small dollops. They will bake at the size they are created.
5. 375 degrees from 10 to 15 minutes.
6. Cool 'em.

Indulge the sweetness.

Limoncello doesn't seem to be every one's cup of tea. It seems, however, that the creamy version is a hit with everyone.

Cream Limoncello

Vodka, one litre of good quality vodka
Lemons, six washed and dried
Sugar, three cups
Lemon extract, one teaspoon
Whole Milk, one quart
Half & Half, 20 ounces

1. First, make the lemon liqueur. Zest the lemons. Place in a large glass container with the vodka and lemon extract. Let sit for 1to 2 weeks. Shake daily.
2. Once the mixture is ready, in a large pot, add the sugar and half and half and milk. Heat till sugar dissolves, stirring it about 5 minutes.
3. Continue heating until it comes to a boil, remove from heat, do that 5 times. After 5 times let cool.
4. When mixture is cool add the lemon/vodka mixture and mix. Strain into a pot through a strainer to catch lemon rind and curds
5. Bottle and refrigerate. Can be kept in freezer.

The gentleman pictured here are certainly viable entries on many personal hit parades, choice of beverages notwithstanding.

Saturday Beefcake: Your New Years Eve Midmorning Adrenalin Rush

It's the Last Day of the Year Saturday Morning Beefcake

... let us act as if it the first all over again.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Feature: Celebrate Llanview


Sponsorship Provided By:
YES Vodka, Dana Hotel and Spa, Robert Jeffrey Salon, and Wilde Bar & Restaurant

For Immediate Release 30 December 2011

Contact: MPE Productions, Inc.
Producer: jasondspitzer@gmail.com

Save the Date!

Chicago Welcomes Stars of ABC’s One Life to Live to Sidetrack Video Bar as they “Celebrate Llanview!” honoring 43 years on the ABC Network. Come to Chicago to watch the very last episode with fans of the show on January 13, 2012, once again being held at Sidetrack Video Bar.

Following the success of “Celebrate Pine Valley!” in September, “soap opera socialite” Jason Spitzer will welcome past and present actors from ABC’s ONE LIFE TO LIVE for “Celebrate Llanview! A Tribute Party" honoring the Series Finale, benefitting Season of Concern.

“The event was a huge hit with the fans and the actors,” says Jason of the All My Children event back in September. “We raised over $5000 for Season of Concern and I would love to raise even more in January. I hold a special place for Season of Concern in my life and believe in what they do. To be able to do this again for them and the dedicated soap fans, I think we’ll have even more success this January!”

Festivities begin at 11AM CST when the actors make an appearance on ABC 7 Chicago’s 11AM Newscast with meteorologist Tracy Butler broadcasting live from the Sidetrack Video Bar interviewing the actors. At 12PM, it’s the “Live from Ultra Violet” talk show where Jason will interview the actors about their time on the show and take questions from the fans. After the One Life to Live finale, stay for the live auction and the meet & greet session.

Scheduled to appear are Ilene Kristen (Roxy Balsom), David A. Gregory (Robert Ford), Nic Robuck (James Ford), Lenny Platt (Nate Salinger), Josh Kelly (Cutter Wentworth), Tonja Walker Davidson (Alex Olanov Buchanan), Mark Dobies (Daniel Colson), & Don Jeffcoat (Joey Buchanan). Many more actors and special guests will be announced over the next several weeks. (Talent attendance is subject to change without notice.)

Tickets are available for purchase online at www.seasonofconcern.org General Admission tickets are $35 and at this time, all VIP packages are sold out. All ticket proceeds benefit Season of Concern. For more information, please visit their website. Doors open at 11AM and you must be 21 and over to attend. Mark your calendar to “Celebrate Llanview!” in Chicago on January 13th!

For updates, follow us on Twitter!
@CelebrateLlanvw, @SOConcern, #OLTLChicagoFanEvent, #OLTL


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gay Thursday: A Tale of Two Tims

Giovanni Vitacolonna reflects on how his friend Tim Scott, the late actor, and Tim Horn, the current editor-in-chief of AIDSmeds, have inspired him. Go here

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday Word Comes From Teilhard de Chardin

We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate each other.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday Talent: John the Beloved

Et Verbum Caro Factum Est et Habitavit in Nobis. And the Word was Made Flesh and dwelt among us. The Word that came forth from God was made Flesh. Exegesis of ancient philosophy and thought places much emphasis on the power of the word. The Word that came from God took form in humanity. That’s what Jesus is supposedly all about: God and humanity as one and the same entity.

John, the Beloved Disciple is the attributed author of the above quote which is essential to the Liturgy of the Word in Roman Catholic ritual, and is part of that ritual on Xmas. John was the one whose head rested on the chest of the Lord during the Last Supper. John was the one to whom the Lord entrusted his mother when he was dying. John is usually depicted as a young handsome man. He is the Beloved above and beyond the rest of the disciples.

A type of intimacy was attributed to and recorded about John's relationship to Jesus. Let it be said here and now that Jesus Christ, according to the accepted Sacred Gospels, one of which was accordingly written by John the Beloved, said absolutely nothing that directly condemned same sex relationships.

The theology that John’s writings exhibit has to do with the Divine inhabiting and becoming flesh and eventually overcoming the mortality of the flesh. It is the cornerstone of Xtianity.

It is John who is the only disciple who survived martyrdom and lived to a ripe old age. It is John who had numerable mystical visions that gave the world the Book of the Apocalypse, a.k.a. Revelations. It is John who points the way to overcoming the ravages of the Beast upon humanity. It is John and his relationship with the god-made-man that may very well point the way to acceptance of all human beings being exactly what God made them in all their glory.

John’s Feast is December 27th and celebrated during the Octave of Xmas.

Speaking of beloved John, was Jesus gay?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Days Are Already Getting Longer ...

Our duty, as men and women, is to proceed as if limits to our ability did not exist. We are collaborators in creation. ~ de Chardin

This is a magical time of year. This is the time of year to manifest divine gracious gifts, most of which are the great people in our lives. It is magical because it is that time to shed the light on who we are. It is when we enthrone the Sun God, the symbol and the manifestation of self, in Latin, ego which also means "I".

The longest hours of daylight accentuate the virtue of loving one's self. Here comes the Sun King!

In both Northern and Southern hemispheres, it is a celebration of light in our life cycles ...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Saturday Beefcake: Thank You and Goodnight

A Blast From Your Beefcake Post: Trevor Adams in 2010

We saw Trevor more than once yesterday and he was part of the sign off in one of his sexiest poses.

So, we thought we'd spend Sunday with him.

He has a website: www.trevoradamsgym.com

from his website:

6. Do you have any special dream? If you could choose 5 most important things for you in life, what would it be and why?

The 5 most important things for me in life would be total happiness. Its really hard to some them up in 5 reasons because there are always more things. The simplest things in life like eating your favorite foods to taking a nap can be very soothing, but after careful consideration, I would have to say that:

#5 being able to travel whenever I want would be important because I like to meet new people and see other places, #4 to go across seas to Europe one day to look around, network, and slap some bitches would be great too, lol #3 to be very successful in whatever the future brings to me, #2 start my own animal charity #1 be happy.

7. Do you think we are living in a better society concerning hate, war, human rights, sexual behaviors, etc?

Yes and No. Its interesting that Civil Rights have pretty much been "equalized" and women's rights isn't as big an issue as it use to be yet there is the concern for gay marriage. The Constitution states all men are created equal, (learned that in the 3rd grade). Eventually Politicians will interpret it that way and establish equality throughout the human race, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual pref, immigrant status, financial status or the number of tatoos you have where the sun doesn't shine.

Although I won't get married, I don't see that depriving others of that right for unethical reasons is fair. When 2 people decide to get married, then they share a special bond for one another and that has to be one of the best feelings in the world. Now regardless of whether people are gay, straight, or even side-ways, they should be able to validate their feelings for one another on a marriage certificate, without outside interference from anyone.

"If you don't like same sex marriages, then don't marry someone of the same sex and mind your own damn business." Wanda Sykes