Sunday, October 26, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Montclair Township Animal Shelter Pet Spotlight: Bailey

Meet Bailey, a lovely two-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier mix and a true sweetheart.

She is not very large, weighing in at about 50 pounds. Bailey is a pretty mellow lass -- she doesn’t pull the leash when going for walks (which she LOVES) and is very friendly with anyone she meets. Cuddling is her forte; she is really affectionate, showing everyone a doggie smile that warms up your insides.

Bailey knows how to sit and will give you her paw when asked. Bailey loves kids and adults, but would do best in a home with children in their teens and older. She’d prefer a place where she gets all her love from humans, but she does get along with some dogs. A nice house with a fenced-in yard for her to run around and have fun would be great, but she is also happy to live in an apartment or condo, as long as she’s taken for walks or hikes.

Bailey is also pretty much housebroken, her vaccines are up-to-date, she is neutered, and very healthy. She’s also micro-chipped, so if she were ever lost she could be easily found and identified.

If you are interested in adopting Bailey, please come meet her at the at the Montclair Farmers' Market on Saturday, October 25. Or pop by the Montclair Animal Shelter, 77 North Willow Street, during the hours of 2-6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 2-4 p.m. every other day

You can also call the shelter between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and one of the volunteers will provide more information on how to adopt her: 973-744-8600.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Words That Make Me Giggle : Spatchcock


a fowl such as turkey that has been dressed and split open for grilling.

–verb (used with object)
to prepare and roast (a fowl) in this manner.

(Wild Turkeys roaming the lawn at Lambert Castle Paterson NJ)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Conspirators in Kingsland Park Nutley NJ

Ricardo (Ricky) and Rosalita (Rosie), two members of the herd who found me at the Montclair Township Animal Shelter, conspiring to do something mischievous in Kingsland Park in Nutley.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Disney's Feast : A First Look

Feast is the story of one man's love life as seen through the eyes of his best friend and dog,
 Winston, and revealed bite by bite through the meals they share.

Friday, October 17, 2014

New York City : October Afternoon

The Original Quaker Oats Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Sometimes sharing the classics is what it's all about on FoodieFriday.

The Original Quaker Oats Oatmeal Cookie Recipe


1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time Time: 08 min
Variation: Bar Cookies: Press dough onto bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered. 24 BARS.

 Variation : Stir in 1 cup chopped nuts. Substitute 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or candy-coated chocolate pieces for raisins; omit cinnamon. 

 HIGH ALTITUDE ADJUSTMENT: Increase flour to 1-3/4 cups and bake as directed.


Spooky Zoo At @TurtleBackZoo ~ Tix Available ~ Order Now

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Porcupine and Tiger in the Tree Of Life at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom

Karl Strauss Mosaic Session Ale Is Unstoppable

Karl Strauss Brewing Company's newest beer--Mosaic Session Ale--wins a prestigious bronze medal in the Session Beer category at the Great American Beer Festival.

Karl Strauss Brewing Company’s Mosaic Session Ale is taking the beer world by storm! Mosaic has medaled in every competition it’s been entered in, and the beer most recently took home a bronze medal in the Session Beer category at the esteemed 2014 Great American Beer Festival® in Denver.

“We are thrilled that Mosaic is doing so well in competitions,” says Paul Segura, Brewmaster, Karl Strauss Brewing Company. “It’s always validating when your peers give props to your beer, and to see Mosaic win yet another medal just proves how special this beer is.” The Great American Beer Festival® is the country’s largest and most prestigious beer competition featuring 5,507 competition entries from 1,309 breweries, hailing from 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

“This beer is on fire—the batch we made was supposed to last months, and instead it was gone in just a few weeks!” Mosaic Session Ale was first brewed as a small-batch beer at one of the company’s satellite breweries before quickly becoming a fan-favorite. Mosaic is the latest release in the company’s hop-inspired Coastal Reserve Series and showcases the newly developed Mosaic hop, known for its intensely citrusy and vibrant tropical flavor and aroma.

"This beer is San Diego in a glass—hoppy as hell, dry, and easy to drink. And its lower ABV means you can enjoy more than one,” says Segura. After the initial run, production was immediately scaled-up and the company officially launched the beer in May of 2014. Karl Strauss is now making plans to ramp up production in 2015 to satisfy increased demand.

Mosaic Session Ale Medal Wins To Date:
Great American Beer Festival® – Bronze Medal - Session Beer – 2014 California State Fair Commercial Craft Brew Competition – Gold Medal - Session Beer – 2014 Los Angeles International Commercial Beer Competition – Bronze Medal - Session Beer – 2014

Karl Strauss Brewing Company has pioneered the San Diego beer scene since 1989 with innovative beer releases like Big Barrel IIPA, Wreck Alley Imperial Stout and Mosaic Session Ale. The brewery has won 65 medals over the past four years and its Red Trolley Ale is one of the most award winning beers in the world. The company is currently ranked #41 on the list of the country’s top craft breweries with sole distribution in California. 2014 is on pace to be another exciting year of double-digit sales growth, with the main brewery tasting room and beer garden in Pacific Beach now open.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Postmodern Jukebox: Fred and Ginger Styling of Paula Abdul's Straight Up

Postmodern Juke is the brain-child of Scott Bradlee, a Jazz musician who both loves, and hates, contemporary popular music. In what can only be called genius, he restyles modern songs into the Jazz influenced styles of 20th Century music. Hits from Madonna, Bon Jovi, Lorde, and Lady Gaga have all been given the post modern treatment and the results are an aural masterpiece.

Paula Abdul's break out hit "Straight Up" featured her dance skills (in the MTV video.) Now image taking that hit and giving it the full Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers treatment:

More Details of @GovChristie Supporters Revealed

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Montclair To Open State's First Bike Depot

Montclair area commuters will now have a secure place to store bicycles at the Bay Street train station. Montclair Township, in partnership with the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, will unveil its new Bike Depot during a ribbon-cutting ceremony to be held on Thursday, October 16, at 10:00 a.m., at the Bay Street station in Montclair.

The Bike Depot – the first of its kind in the state – will provide safe, secure, weather-protected storage for bikes, helmets and personal items. The new depot, which also has a 24/7 security camera, is available to anyone for a small membership fee; members will use an access card to gain entry.

“Most bike racks at NJ Transit stations are out in the open, leaving bikes subject to be vandalized or stolen,” says Cyndi Steiner, executive director, New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition. “Because commuters can now store a bike securely in the Bike Depot, a safer, higher quality bike can be ridden to the train station, providing alternative transportation options to commuters from a greater distance. The Bike Depot will serve as a model for other NJ Transit train stations.”

The Bike Depot is made possible through grants from Sustainable Jersey, PSEG, Partners for Health, and in-kind support from The Pinnacle Companies, a local real estate developer with a focus on sustainable projects. Additional sponsorships are available for companies with a bike/pedestrian or sustainability vision.

“Montclair wants to expand access to our six commuter train stations by providing alternative transportation options and the new Bike Depot is an integral part of this,” said Mayor Robert Jackson. “Not only is it another step toward becoming a more sustainable community by helping reduce vehicle emissions and lowering our carbon footprint, it also encourages residents to adopt a more healthful lifestyle. We thank all our sponsors for their generous support for this endeavor.”

Cormorant in the Tree of Life at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom

Save The Date: Terre a Terre / Chakra Chefs Team Up For Fall Dinner Oct 22

Following the success and reception of the Terre a Terre / Chakra Harvest Dinner in Paramus earlier this month, Chefs Todd Villani and Thomas Ciszak have decided to do it again, with a few new surprises, on October 22 at Terre a Terre in Carlstadt.

Each of these collaborative dinners showcase the flavors of the season from local sources including Bracco Farms, Terhune Orchards, and Shibumi Farm. The unique styles of each chef take what’s local and make it global.

The dinner at Terre a Terre will be a 5-course dinner, but instead of the usual wine pairing, tea will be paired with each course. Tea sommelier Chris Cason of Bergen County’s Tavalon will pair teas that were specially selected for the meal. Tea, like wine, has a complex profile, sadly in the American experience we’re become accustomed to bitter brews that include fannings and inferior teas. (sorry Lipton) Cason will explain the nuances of each tea and perhaps will open a whole new world of beverages for the dinner guests.

Call Terre a Terre at (201) 507-0500 to reserve your space today. 

Read the full story: Thomas Ciszak To Guest Co-Chef At Terre A Terre Oct 22 on Devil Gourmet.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Batman Stamps Now Available At Your Local Post Office

In honor of Batman’s 75th anniversary as the protector of Gotham City, he will join the elite ranks of American pop-culture icons that have been given this honor. The stamp collection will feature multiple images of the Caped Crusader from artistically distinct periods across his comic book history, exhibiting the evolution of the Dark Knight over the past seven-and-a-half decades.

“The U.S. Postal Service has a long history of celebrating America’s icons, from political figures to pop-culture’s most colorful characters. We are thrilled to bring Batman off the pages of DC Comics and onto the limited edition Forever Batman stamp collection, marking his place in American history,” said U.S. Postal Service Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Nagisa Manabe. “Over the past 75 years Batman has captured the imagination of fans around the world — from comic books to television, film, video games and beyond,” said Jim Lee, renowned comic book artist and co-publisher of DC Entertainment.

“Today Batman is more relevant than ever and his popularity continues to expand, reaching the generations to come in the next 75 years and beyond.” Showcasing eight unique designs in a pane of 20 stamps, the Batman Limited Edition Forever Stamps celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Super Hero. The set includes Batman depicted from the four eras of comic book history as well as the four incarnations of the famed Bat emblem:

Batman’s Legacy First appearing in the comic book Detective Comics #27, which hit newsstands March 30, 1939, featuring artwork by Bob Kane and a script by Bill Finger, Batman emerged from the shadows to become the one of the world’s most popular Super Hero and dominate media. In feature films, television shows, radio, video games, publishing and merchandise, this most human of Super Heroes has battled some of fiction’s greatest villains using his intellect, cunning and an arsenal of gadgets to further his quest for justice.

These stamps chronicle the evolution of the character, from his origins to present day. Batman spans generations fighting for justice in the pages of the comics, on the silver screen, and in the imaginations of fans across the world. The Batman Limited Edition stamps are being issued as Forever stamps and always will be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.

Batman Stamps are available at your local post office or online at 

Bounty Of The Harvest At The Ramsey Farmers Market

Look Up! God Is In The Details On Church Street In @MontclairCenter

God is in the details - Mies Van Der Rohe

I discovered this first hand looking up while walking along the northern portion of church street in Montclair NJ.  Glorious painted gables, spectacular stonework, tiled roofs undulating with the spirit of the people contained within - just look up!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Green Bean Casserole Will Be Banished !

There is this vile dish in the United States called Green Bean Casserole. It consists green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and french friend onions. Somehow this dish has become a staple of American Thanksgiving despite it being created in 1955 by someone at the Campbell Soup Company called Dorcas Reilly.

First of all, people should always be wary of anyone named Dorcas. Come on, you know Dorcas probably received more wedgies and was pushed into more school lockers than the entire chess club – who names a kid Dorcas ? I am sure Dorcas’ revenge on the world was green bean casserole.

Secondly, it contains Campbell's Soup - talk about a salt fest - blech!

The original recipe card for this dish is in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron Ohio. Anyone for a road trip to Akron ?

If you have not guessed, I cannot stand Green Bean Casserole. Or at least that's what I thought until I made it using fresh ingredients - I'll be sharing that recipe real soon!

Favourite Words : Slacktivist, Slactivism

Slacktivism (sometimes slactivism) is a portmanteau formed out of the words slacker and activism. The word is considered a pejorative term that describes taking "feel-good" measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little or no practical effect other than to make the person doing it feel satisfaction; sometimes with a large dollop of schadenfreude.

Examples of activities labelled as "slacktivist" include signing internet petitions, putting a ribbon magnet on a vehicle, or joining a Facebook group. Slacktivists also include Anonymous people who send off email comments, written in all caps, to bloggers.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How Yelp Works....

Today Is A Great Day To Ride The Endangered Species Carousel at @TurtleBackZoo

The Endangered Species Carousel at Turtle Back Zoo is great fun no matter what the weather outside!

Guests can ride a panda, alligator, a tiger or one of the other 30 other endangered or threatened animals on this custom built carousel.

The carousel house features mosaic floors and stained glass windows. The small fee to ride is so worth it (and how often do you get to ride a lion!)

God Only Knows Launches BBC Music

The Beach Boys' masterpiece God Only Knows remade with the help of a few friends
 to celebrate the launch of BBC Music.
To find out more go to BBC Music

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Giraffe in the Tree of Life and Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom

Naked, Nude, and Nekkid (Understanding The Difference)

There is a difference.

Three very distinct meanings.

Naked means you have no clothes on, simple enough.

Nude means you have no clothes on and are doing something artistic. Makes sense. Think of all the nude paintings in the National Gallery – no one refers to them as naked (save for school children)

Nekkid is a whole other ballgame. Nekkid means you have no clothes on and you are doing something that you don’t want people to find out about.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Classic Remixed: The Beekman Boys Macaroni and Cheese with Mushrooms and Kale Recipe #sundaysupper

The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell has become a favourite around here, so much so that in addition to writing a review I had to share one of the recipes from the book. Macaroni and Cheese with Kale and Mushrooms is true to the nature of the book as includes notes from the authors about options as well as space for our own notes and ideas to make what was passed down your very own. In addition, margin notes include detailed information about cooking greens, which has already inspired me to rethink other classics in which kale might just become a great addition.

The Fabulous Beekman Boys Mac N Cheese #recipe
Macaroni and Cheese with Kale and Mushrooms:
•3/4 pound kale, stems cut from leaves (about 5 1/2 cups)
•8 ounces elbow macaroni
•1/2 ounce (1/2 cup) dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
•3 tablespoons olive oil •4 garlic cloves, minced
•3/4 pound cremini mushrooms, halved and thinly sliced
•1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
•1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
•1/4 cup all-purpose flour
•2 cups milk
•1 1/2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
•1 teaspoon salt
•2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
•2 tablespoons unsalted butter
•1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the kale for 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the kale to a colander (keep the pot of cooking water at a boil). Run the kale under cold water to stop the cooking and then drain and squeeze out any liquid. Coarsely chop.

Add the macaroni to the boiling kale-cooking water and cook according to package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the dried porcini with 1 cup warm water. Let stand until the mushrooms have softened, about 20 minutes. With your fingers, lift the mushrooms from their soaking liquid, leaving the grit behind. Line a fine-mesh sieve with paper towels, a paper coffee filter, or cheesecloth. Pour the mushroom-soaking liquid through the sieve into a bowl. Reserve the liquid. Coarsely chop the mushrooms.

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the porcini and cremini mushrooms, thyme, and sage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have wilted and released their juices, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the mushroom-soaking liquid, milk, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted. Add the macaroni and kale and toss to coat.

Transfer the mixture to a 9 X 13-inch glass baking dish or individual ramekins. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the panko and toss to coat. Scatter the butter crumbs over the mac and cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the top is crunchy and golden brown. Serves 8

Instead of a 9 x 12 baking dish I used a few gratin dishes and divided the mac and cheese among them so some can be enjoyed right away and the rest can be stored for later in the weekend.

Moving forward I know that I will probably do two versions of this recipe, dividing the cheese sauce in half before adding the macaroni and kale, and adding cayenne and Dijon mustard to one portion as the authors suggest. The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook is available at Williams Sonoma, including the Montclair store on Valley Road, as well as Watchung Booksellers In Watchung Plaza

Discovering New Jersey : Peddie Memorial - First Baptist Church in Newark NJ

The First Baptist church was formed when part of the congregation of the Lyons Farms Baptist Church split on June 6, 1801. Permission to form this new church was granted by the Lyons Farms Baptist Church on July 24, 1800.

Their first ceremony, on the day of the organization, was the baptisms of Joseph Smith, Abigail Hobdey, Reuben Kellum and Jemime Bruen, performed in the Passaic River. Services were held in an old private schoolhouse, "White School House", on the corner of Clinton Ave. and Spruce St. until 1805. (Many years later, long after the church moved, this building was burnt down by a vandal).
In that year the church purchased the lot at the corner of Academy and Halsey streets measuring 87 x 100 feet for the purpose of building a "meeting house and burial ground". The church building was erected in 1806 and dedicated on September 16, 1806. The building was enlarged in 1810, improved in 1841 with the addition of a vestibule and a Sunday school room. A new church was built and it was dedicated on May 23, 1869. This building was abandoned around the turn of the century and was used by the United States Post Office for a time.

The present structure was built in 1890 by a monetary gift from a Newark Merchant, T. B. Peddie. The interior of the church is round with the pews set in theatre style seating. The balcony goes around the entire church with seating in the three quarters in front of the alter. Each window on the lower floor is made of Tiffany glass.

Griffins are present on the ends of the balcony. They once held a gas line that lit the interior of the church. Originally a statue of St. Peter stood on the roof but it was struck by lightning and never replaced.

The church grew not only in numbers but also in its commitment to mission. The present building was dedicated to God in 1890 by the generous gift of Thomas B. Peddie, who served two terms as Mayor of Newark and was later elected to Congress, representing the sixth district of New Jersey.
Thomas Peddie's vision was that the church building should be "open to every great meeting of a proper kind that people desire to hold, and should be dedicated to religion, to education and to the social purposes for the good of all the people." His vision of the church "for the good of all the people" continued to be realized when eight Chinese Christians were baptized in 1923. The demographics in Newark changed drastically during the past century, and the church responded to this change by warmly welcoming people of all ethnicities and nationalities.

Today, the church is an international church with people representing over twenty nations from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America,and West Indies.

On their International Sunday in 2004, the church celebrated God's gift of diversity with the reading of Scripture in ten languages, the music and dance of Africa, and the feast of delicious food from many nations
It is the congregations desire that they grow in strength and maturity, not to take pride in successes, but to glorify God and to care for His people, especially the weak, the poor, the lost, and the marginalized.