Expect the Unexpected

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Archive for the month “May, 2013”

Amy’s Baking Company: Unappetizing viral madness

Kitchen Nightmares was a nightmare for Gordon Ramsay as well as Amy and Samy Bouzaglo.

Kitchen Nightmares turned out be a real nightmare for Gordon Ramsay who walked off on the show, while Amy and Samy Bouzaglo have become viral media villains. Samy is also facing deportation from the U.S.

When Gordon Ramsay comes off as the calm voice of reason on his show — watch out. After almost a hundred episodes of his Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, the celeb chef walked out without accomplishing his mission — helping struggling restaurant owners change their ways and become successful.

And it was a sh*tshow.

See the infamous Kitchen Nightmares episode here:

Read more…


Recipe Reveal: You need a biscuit

Don't travel 1,000 miles for a biscuit, make your own.

Don’t travel a thousand miles for a soft, fluffy biscuit. It’s so easy to make your own.

Who would travel 1,000 miles just to eat a biscuit?

Ummm… ME

In 2003, my husband asked if I’d like to go with him to his annual National Institute of Governmental Purchasing convention. Heck, no.  A bean counter’s convention was not exactly my idea of fun. The locations, amongst other things, were usually uninspiring.

Too bad, he said, it’s in Nashville, and….

Say no more! NASHVILLE? The convention is in NASHVILLE?? Ahh, yeah sure honey, I’d love to go with you to the convention, of course! Read more…

Oklahoma Tragedy

Thoughts and prayers for the victims and families caught up in the wildly destructive tornado in Oklahoma.

Happy Eliza Doolittle Day!

Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) entices Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) by offering her chocolates in the film My Fair Lady.

Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) entices Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) by offering her chocolates in the film My Fair Lady.

May 20th is Eliza Doolittle Day, named for the beloved Cockney flower girl in the musical My Fair Lady.

This isn’t a widely celebrated holiday, not as popular or well-known as the likes of Arbor Day, but it has its special allure and fans.

I plan to celebrate the day by attending a My Fair Lady reading with professional actors.

The date for Eliza Doolittle Day came from lyrics in the song Just You Wait, in which Eliza sings:

“One day I’ll be famous, I’ll be proper and prim,
Gone to St. James so often I will call it St. Jim.
One evening the King will say, “Oh, Liza, old thing,
I want all of England your praises to sing. Read more…

Quelle surprise! The sidewalks of New York

Ugohenge at Rockefeller Plaza

Ugohenge at Rockefeller Plaza

Stonehenge-like rock towers, a piece of the Berlin Wall, pop-macabre porcelain, and a line of teens anxiously waiting to get inside a clothing store to buy shorts and bathing suits.

Those were a few of the things I encountered in New York yesterday when I started my Broadway Vacay Staycay, shorthand for “I’m taking a week of vacation to commute into the city and see Broadway shows.”

While making my way in and out of the theater district I saw some interesting things (I don’t mean the scads of “Hop On Hop Off” bus tour shills or the scuzzy-looking mock Elmo characters, although there were plenty of those “interesting” individuals around).

I saw some cool things, starting with Rockefeller Plaza. Near the skating rink, there were nine tall rock figures that looked like they were swiped from Stonehenge. I had no idea what they were so I googled them and discovered they’re an art installation by Ugo Rondinone who made them from bluestone. He calls them “Human Nature.”  Read more…

The Red Sox are a team!

Red_SoxIt’s a shock to the system to see the Boston Red Sox acting like a team again. After two horrendous years as the gang that couldn’t pitch (or hit) straight, they had become a major league embarrassment. But miracle of miracles, they’re back.

Last night’s game, which the Sox won 3-2 over the Twins in the 10th, was a perfect example of scrappy teamwork at its best. It took four pitchers and a key bunt from Will Middlebrooks who hadn’t even attempted a bunt since 2008, to rally the team and win. Even if the Sox tank the rest of the season, we’ll always have this game to remember. Read more…

Poetry Friday: Emily Dickinson woman of mystery

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

Oscar Wilde observed that “as soon as you understand a great work of art, it dies for you.

I think that’s one of the charms of Emily Dickinson’s poetry. It’s like a puzzle. You can put a lot of the pieces together, but some don’t seem to fit. A word or description is unusual, or a poem’s meter or rhyme is off. Is the puzzle defective or was this the author’s plan and we just don’t get it?

We don’t know. Emily Dickinson, the “Belle of Amherst,” died in 1886 at the age of 55. At that time only a handful of her works had been published. A seemingly modest country girl, she never married and became a recluse. After her death, her sister found hundreds of her poems as well as several letters she wrote (and likely did not send) to an unknown “master.” Perhaps an unrequited love? Read more…

Arrested Development: The Bluths are baaaack!

Vulture reimagined the cast of Games of Thrones with Arrested Development.

Vulture re-imagined the casts of Games of Thrones and Arrested Development.

After a seven-year absence, the bumbling Bluths from Arrested Development are back! It’s time to say hello again to the family that put the “dysentery and fun” into dysfunctional.

On May 26, 15 brand-spanking new episodes of Arrested Development are being released on Netflix. I’m betting a lot of fans will be spending their Memorial Day weekend in front of the tube rather than at the family barbecue.

As part of its promotional campaign, Netflix has been touring the country with a Bluth Banana Stand. As you know, there’s money in that banana stand. The stand spent this past week in New York City, and last night at Yankee Stadium. Those lucky ducks! I bet at Fenway Park we’d get the Cornballer. Read more…

Ephemeral Art: 3D Sidewalk Chalk

Already on this blog we’ve seen some amazing ephemeral art —  the foam of cappuccinos, sandcastles, The Gates, and a Rainbow Ribbon Jell-O Mold.

And then there’s sidewalk chalk art. Unbelievably vivid trompe l’oeil images. A lot of work is involved for something so short-lived that will all wash away with the first cloudburst.

Artist Edgar Mueller creates "Ice Age"

Artist Edgar Mueller works on a plain sidewalk

Read more…

Recipe Reveal: Chocolate Almond Lace Cookies


Chocolate Almond Lace Cookies

Have you ever bought cookies that looked fabulous but were disappointing because they tasted terrible? Time to just say no to pitiful overpriced pastries!

Bakeries and grocery stores sell what they call “Chocolate Almond Lace Cookies” (aka Florentines) in my neck of the woods in Connecticut. They look great! Two crispy lace cookies filled with chocolate, what’s not to love?

Unfortunately, the cookies are usually soft and flavorless and come pre-packaged in bulk from some anonymous source. Oh the pain, Will Robinson, the pain, something that looks so good but is soooo bad.

But good news, you can make these cookies yourself! Crunchy almond disks with real chocolate in the middle. Great for a special occasion or just for fun! Read more…

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