Tag: Oscars

Oscars: The 88th Academy Awards

There has been a huuuuuge amount of criticism of Hollywood and the academy of Arts and Sciences for the lack of diversity in its industry. Taking the biggest hit in the media for the “whitewashing” are this years Oscars for its lack of minority nominees. It is two years since the Academy nominated a black …

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“Citizenfour” Wins Documentary Feature Oscar

Tonight the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature to “Citizenfour” directed by Laura Poitras.

Congratulations to Ms. Poitras. Thanks to Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill of The Guardian who went to Hong Kong with her. But most of all, thank you to Edward Snowden for his sacrifice that we might know what our government is doing in our name.

"Citizen Four" Wins Oscar photo 1000_zps75519101.jpg

Left to right: Producer Dirk Wilutzky, Director Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden’s girlfriend, Lindsay Mills and Editor  Mathilde Bonnefoy.

The Intercept’s Laura Poitras Wins Academy Award for ‘Citizenfour’

By Peter Maas, The Intercept

Laura Poitras, a founding editor of The Intercept, won an Academy Award tonight for her documentary “Citizenfour,” an inside look at Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency whistleblower.

“The disclosures that Edward Snowden revealed don’t only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself,” Poitras said in her acceptance speech. “Thank you to Edward Snowden for his courage and for the many other whistleblowers.” Snowden, in a statement released after the award was announced, said, “My hope is that this award will encourage more people to see the film and be inspired by its message that ordinary citizens, working together, can change the world.”

The film, which has been hailed as a real-life thriller, chronicles Snowden’s effort to securely contact Poitras and Glenn Greenwald in 2013 and meet them in Hong Kong, where Poitras filmed Snowden discussing the thousands of classified NSA documents he was leaking to them, and his motives for doing so. The film takes its title from the pseudonym Snowden used when he contacted Poitras in encrypted emails that were revealed in her documentary.

“Citizenfour” will air on HBO Monday, Feb 23, 9 PM EST. As soon as it’s available, it will be featured here and at our other site, The Stars Hollow Gazette.

Live Blog: The Oscars

2014 Oscars photo imagesqtbnANd9GcS0FzgIQB7weIXEGHE-3_zpsd9d1da12.jpg Welcome to the Live Blog of the 88th Academy Awards from fabulous downtown Hollywood or, in my case, on the couch in the family room with my lap top, a pitcher of martinis and Parmesan popcorn, Oh, and lots of napkins. I will be appropriately dressed for the occasion in light blue sweat pants and tee shirt by LL Bean and wearing my sequined blue suede pumps and diamond earrings

Feel free to critique the couture, I am sure there will be plenty of tastefully “coutured” ladies and gentlemen in designer gowns and tuxedos, as well as, well as the faux pas, unintentional and otherwise.

After last years hosting flop by Seth MacFarlane, this year Ellen Degeneres takes the honor for the second time. I haven’t been to any of the movies that were nominated this year but I did watch Disney’s Best Animated Picture nominee “Frozen” on Netflix. Everyone is talking about the nominated song “Let It Go” which will be sung by actress and singer Idina Menzel who was the voice of the “Elsa” in the movie. If it’s anything like the movie, it will be a show stopper.

I’m also hoping that investigative journalist, author and the producer of the “Dirty Wars which is nominated for the Best Documentary Feature award.

So on with the show. The nominees are:

Best Picture

   American Hustle

   Captain Phillips

   Dallas Buyers Club





   12 Years a Slave

   The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actor in a Leading Role

   Christian Bale (American Hustle)

   Bruce Dern (Nebraska)

   Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)

   Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)

   Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Actress in a Leading Role

   Amy Adams (American Hustle)

   Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

   Sandra Bullock (Gravity)

   Judi Dench (Philomena)

   Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

   Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)

   Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)

   Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)

   Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)

   Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

   Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)

   Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)

   Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)

   Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)

   June Squibb (Nebraska)

Best Animated Feature

   The Croods (Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco, Kristine Belson)

   Despicable Me 2 (Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Chris Meledandri)

   Ernest & Celestine (Benjamin Renner, Didier Brunner)

   Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho)

   The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki)

Best Cinematography

   The Grandmaster (Philippe Le Sourd)

   Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki)

   Inside Llewyn Davis (Bruno Delbonnel)

   Nebraska (Phedon Papamichael)

   Prisoners (Roger A. Deakins)

Best Costume Design

   American Hustle (Michael Wilkinson)

   The Grandmaster (William Chang Suk Ping)

   The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin)

   The Invisible Woman (Michael O’Connor)

   12 Years a Slave (Patricia Norris)

Best Directing

   American Hustle (David O. Russell)

   Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)

   Nebraska (Alexander Payne)

   12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)

   The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)

Best Documentary Feature

   The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen)

   Cutie and the Boxer (Zachary Heinzerling, Lydia Dean Pilcher)

   Dirty Wars (Richard Rowley, Jeremy Scahill)

   The Square (Jehane Noujaim, Karim Amer)

   20 Feet from Stardom (Nominees to be determined)

Best Documentary Short

   CaveDigger (Jeffrey Karoff)

   Facing Fear (Jason Cohen)

   Karama Has No Walls (Sara Ishaq)

   The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life (Malcolm Clarke, Nicholas Reed)

   Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall (Edgar Barens)

Best Film Editing

   American Hustle (Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, Alan Baumgarten)

   Captain Phillips (Christopher Rouse)

   Dallas Buyers Club (John Mac McMurphy, Martin Pensa)

   Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger)

   12 Years a Slave (Joe Walker)

Best Foreign Language Film

   The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)

   The Great Beauty (Italy)

   The Hunt (Denmark)

   The Missing Picture (Cambodia)

   Omar (Palestine)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

   Dallas Buyers Club (Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews)

   Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (Stephen Prouty)

   The Lone Ranger (Joel Harlow, Gloria Pasqua-Casny)

Best Original Score

   The Book Thief (John Williams)

   Gravity (Steven Price)

   Her (William Butler, Owen Pallett)

   Philomena (Alexandre Desplat)

   Saving Mr. Banks (Thomas Newman)

Best Original Song

   Happy – Despicable Me 2

   Let It Go – Frozen

   The Moon Song – Her

   Ordinary Love – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Best Production Design

   American Hustle (Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler)

   Gravity (Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woollard)

   The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn)

   Her (K.K. Barrett, Gene Serdena)

   12 Years a Slave (Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker)

Best Animated Short Film

   Feral (Daniel Sousa, Dan Golden)

   Get a Horse! (Lauren MacMullan, Dorothy McKim)

   Mr. Hublot (Laurent Witz, Alexandre Espigares)

   Possessions (Shuhei Morita)

   Room on the Broom (Max Lang, Jan Lachauer)

Best Live Action Short Film

   Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me) (Esteban Crespo)

   Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything) (Xavier Legrand, Alexandre Gavras)

   Helium (Anders Walter, Kim Magnusson)

   Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?) (Selma Vilhunen, Kirsikka Saari)

   The Voorman Problem (Mark Gill, Baldwin Li)

Best Sound Editing

   All Is Lost (Steve Boeddeker, Richard Hymns)

   Captain Phillips (Oliver Tarney)

   Gravity (Glenn Freemantle)

   The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Brent Burge, Chris Ward)

   Lone Survivor (Wylie Stateman)

Best Sound Mixing

   Captain Phillips (Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro)

   Gravity (Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro)

   The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick, Tony Johnson)

   Inside Llewyn Davis (Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff, Peter F. Kurland)

   Lone Survivor (Andy Koyama, Beau Borders, David Brownlow)

Best Visual Effects

   Gravity (Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, Neil Corbould)

   The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds)

   Iron Man 3 (Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash, Dan Sudick)

   The Lone Ranger (Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, John Frazier)

   Star Trek Into Darkness (Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton)

Best Adapted Screenplay

   Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke)

   Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)

   Philomena (Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope)

   12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)

   The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)

Best Original Screenplay

   American Hustle (Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell)

   Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)

   Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack)

   Her (Spike Jonze)

   Nebraska (Bob Nelson)

The Oscars and the Ladies in Red, White, Blue, Gold . . .

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

And the winners are . . . No, not the awards recipients, I’ll get to those, it’s the dresses. There wasn’t quite as many fashion faux pas as in year’s past, although there were some, well how shall else can I say, losers. Most of the ladies were quite elegantly gowned, well coiffed and bejeweled.

Of course there are the ladies in red, who always stand out. The red carpet chuckle was Olivia Munn discussing the hazards of wearing red lipstick, telling the interviewer that she had opted for lip stain.

There were not as many wearing my favorite color as in years past but these ladies’ choices were outstanding:

Sally Field 2013 photo oscars-2013-sally-field-red-carpet__zpsb43125e6.jpg

Best Supporting Actress Nominee Sally Field, Lincoln

Jackie Weaver Oscars 2013 photo JW_zps837e1c3d.jpg

Best Supporting Actress Nominee Jackie Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Jennifer Aniston Oscars 2013 photo Jennifer-Aniston---Oscars-2013-in-R_zps01208715.jpg

Actress Jennifer Aniston

Kerry Washington Oscars 2013 photo elle-01-2013-oscars-red-carpet-kerr_zpsf64a0083.jpg

Actress Kerry Washington

Olivia Munn Oscars 2013 photo slide_282789_2144067_free_zps5918a9f5.jpg

Actress Olivia Munn

Marcia Gay Harden Oscars 2013 photo slide_282789_2144118_free_zps1008c743.jpg

Actress Marcia Gay Harden

As I noted previously, I always look for actress Helena Bonham Carter whose intentional “fashion statements” in the past have been show stoppers on the red carpet. Although a toned down this year, she had her fun, along with director Tim Burton, with her hairstyle:

Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton Oscars 2013 photo helena_bonham_carter_tim_burton_zpsbeb86b32.jpg

Songstress Dame Shirley Bassey strode down the red carpet in an understated black sheath.

Shirley Bassey Oscars 2013 photo shirley_bassey_zps2e6544d7.jpg

Later, she arrived on stage in a stunning gold to sing the song that launched her international career, Goldfinger, in a tribute to the 50th anniversary of James Bond films. Needles to say she had the audience on their feet.

Shirley Bassey Oscars 2013 photo imagesqtbnANd9GcQyh3e812M6JITOl32ZN_zps693d73d5.jpg

The oldest nominee Emmanuelle Riva, Actress in a Supporting role is 85, looking very elegant in Lanvin.

Emmanuelle Riva Oscars 2012 photo slide_282789_2144357_free_zps0778aa5f.jpg

While the youngest nominee for Best Actress, nine year old Quvenzhane Wallis, charmed everyone in her bright blue Armani Junior gown that looked like it was sprinkled with fairy dust and carrying her puppy dog purse.

Quvenzhané Wallis Oscars 2013 photo wallis_1_zps25cb772e.jpg

The surprise of the night was actor Jack Nicholson introducing his co-presenter for the Best Picture award, First Lady Michelle Obama wearing a glittering, custom smoke gray Naeem Khan gown and Sutra Silver at Fragments jewelry.

First Lady Michelle Obama Oscars 2013 photo michelle-obama-oscars-2013-surprise_zpsdb00f3c3.jpg

Your Invite to the 85th Academy Awards

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I need a break from all the yammering about sequester, austerity, cliff and whatever the topic du jour is, at least for a few hours. The chance to sit in front of the big tube with a drink and a bowl of popcorn or other finger food and watch the glitz and glamor as the stars walk down the red carpet and make fools of themselves bumbling the lines of acceptance speeches.

Tomorrow night at The Stars Hollow Gazette, I will be hosting a live blog of the 85th Academy Awards starting at 6:00 PM EST when the march of celebrities into the Dolby Theatre begins. Unlike past years, I have actually been inside a movie theater and watched four movies that have been nominated for awards, Best Movie nominee Les Miserables; Best Animated Feature nominee Brave; Best Costume Design nominee Mirror Mirror; and Best Visual Effects nominee The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

This year’s show will be hosted by actor, comedian, producer, etc, Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame so be prepared for a lot of bleeping.

Once again I will be ensconced on the couch in my comfy sweats and sequined blue suede pumps with a pitcher of my favorite libation (vodka martinis and lots of olives) and plenty of popcorn sprinkled liberally with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. If you prefer something more exotic to drink or an appetizer a bit more sophisticated than popcorn, you can check out my previous entries here and here (yes, I am being lazy but I’ve been busy).

These are this year’s winner predictions over the The New York Times Carpetbagger:

Best Picture: “Argo”

Best Director: Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”

Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Supporting Actor: Robert De Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, “Les Misérables”

Best Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, “Argo”

Best Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Animated Feature: “Wreck-it Ralph,” Rich Moore

Best Documentary: “Searching For Sugar Man,” Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn

Best Foreign Language Film: “Amour,” Austria

Get ready for the party and live blog with us tomorrow night.

Oh, and the nominees are below the fold.

The Oscars, Politics and a Few Red Dresses

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

“If George Valentin could speak, he’d say, “Formidable! Merci beaucoup,” ~ Jean Dujardin, Best Actor, “The Artist

That was Frenchman Dujardin’ reaction to winning the Oscar over favorite American George Clooney. There were the expected winners, “The Artist” taking the top three awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Dujardin’s Best Actor, putting the movies total statue count at six. It was followed closely by “Hugo” with five. The win for Best Actress by Meryl Streep for her portrayal of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady” was an upset for favored nominee, Viola Davis for her role in “The Help“. I’m sure Melissa Harris Perry is pleased, she hated “The Help.” You can find all the winners marked with an asterisk in last night’s Live Blog diary.

It was an interesting night that was both old and new. Old in the age of many of the winners, Christopher Plummer, Best Supporting Actor, at 82 is the Academy’s oldest recipient.”You’re only two years older than me, darling!” Plummer said to the Oscar he was clutching. “Where have you been all my life?” In the ninth stint as host, a much older, comedian Billy Crystal along with a receding hairline was a lot of funnier than last year’s co-hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway. The new was that the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress wasn’t the first award given. As with last year all the life time and humanitarian awards are given the night before at a special ceremony, much like all the technical awards, with the winners announced and introduced en masse. It does shorten the show and the tedium.

There were some politics, inevitable in an election year. On of the proudest moments was when “A Separation“, became the first Iranian movie to win the Best foreign Language Film. In his acceptance speech, director Asghar Farhadi read a statement graciously thanking the Academy:

“At this time, many Iranians all over the world are watching us and I imagine them to be very happy,” director Farhadi said while accepting the Oscar.

“At a time of talk of war, intimidation and aggression is exchanged between politicians, the name of their county, Iran, is spoken here through her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics.”

“I proudly offer this award to the people of my country, the people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.”

During last night’s broadcast, Center for Consumer Freedom, a corporate front group run by right-wing PR flack Rick Berman that is closely tied to the food industry purchased air time to run an attack ad on the Humane Society of the United States claiming that only a small percentage of their donations went to shelters. Of course they forgot to include the work the Humane Society does fighting animal cruelty in the courts and in legislatures. Sheesh

One of the most obvious politic quotes came from Tom Hanks, introducing Christian Bale, slyly  quipped, “A dark knight, an American psycho, a charismatic crack addict — you’ll get to choose one on Super Tuesday!”  That’s about right.

Then there were the fashions with the usual hits and misses. Most of the men looked dashing in their tuxedos wit a few minor faux pas, like George Clooney’s Armani pants pooling around the top of his shoes and a number of more well endowed ladies in ill fitting stapless gowns. But the talk of the night were the ladies in red, or shades of red.


Ladies in Red left to right: Livia Firth in Valentino for the Green Carpet Challenge; Natalie Portman in vintage Christian Dior; Jane Seymour.

I guess it’s a matter of taste.

An Invite to the Oscar Party

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I need a break from reality, at least for a few hours. The chance to sit in front of the big tube with a drink and a bowl of popcorn or other finger food and watch the glitz and glamor as the stars walk down the red carpet and make fools of themselves bumbling the lines of acceptance speeches.

Tomorrow night at The Stars Hollow Gazette, I will be hosting a live blog of the 84rd Academy Awards starting at 7:00 PM EST when the march of celebrities into the Kodak Theater begins. Like last year, I haven’t seen any of these movies. If it weren’t for all the hype about a few of them, I couldn’t even tell you the plot. This year’s show will be hosted by Billy Crystal who has been referred to as “the Oscars’ answer to the Texan oil well firefighter, Red Adair.”

Some folks make this show like the Super Bowl with special drinks and food. Some go as far as getting dressed. Some go for simple, while some just go all out for exotic drinks and fancy food. The fanciest I get is putting on my sequin-adorned blue suede pumps with my sweats, an extra olive in my martini and maybe some fresh grated Parmesan cheese on my popcorn. Last year I listed some of the special drinks that were concocted specially for some of the nominees. This year there is only one drink that the “in” crowd will be sipping, the martini, in honor of the movie, The Artist, that is expected to win “Best Picture”. I like mine with vodka.

In perusing the internet for new treats that would be suitable for the event, I found a great piece in the New York Times that has the recipes for 101 appetizers that can be made in 20 minutes or less. Here are just a few that sounded tasty.

On Bread or Crackers

  • Toss high-quality crab meat with minced shallots, a little tarragon or a lot of parsley and/or basil, and enough mayonnaise to bind. Also good on lettuce leaves.
  • Chop shrimp fine, then sauté in a minimum of oil, or poach quickly and drain. Mix premade pesto with mayonnaise so that it is gluey. Combine cooled shrimp with sufficient pesto to bind; chill.
  • Beef tartare: Carefully pulse good beef in food processor. For each pound, add an egg, a teaspoon dry mustard, a tablespoon Dijon mustard, a tablespoon Worcestershire, Tabasco to taste, 1/2 cup chopped scallions and a touch of minced garlic. Salt and pepper, if necessary. Amazing stuff.
  • Bruschetta

  • Bruschetta is the basis for so many good things. Don’t make it too crisp, and start with good country bread. Brush thick slices with olive oil. Broil until toasted on both sides. While it’s still hot, rub with cut clove of garlic on one side (optional). Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and serve, or top with prosciutto or tapenade.
  • Top bruschetta with chopped, well-cooked broccoli rabe or other greens tossed with minced garlic and olive oil while still warm. Health food, practically.
  • On Toothpicks

  • Cut chorizo into chunks. Cook in a lightly oiled skillet until nicely browned. Kielbasa is equally good (or better), if not as hip.
  • Portable Caprese: Skewer a small ball of mozzarella, a grape tomato and a bit of basil leaf. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with oil.
  • A no-brainer: Cut slab of bacon into 1/2-inch chunks. Cook in a skillet, a broiler or a high-heat oven until nice and crisp. Skewer with a grape tomato.
  • Crab cakes: For each pound crab meat, add an egg, 1/4 cup each minced bell pepper and onion, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons bread or cracker crumbs, salt and pepper. Shape into small cakes and refrigerate, if time allows. Dredge in flour, then brown in oil (or oil mixed with butter). Serve with lemon wedges, aioli or tartar sauce.
  • On Skewers

  • Chicken kebab, Greek style: Cut boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1-inch chunks. Toss with minced onion, minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, crumbled bay leaf and oregano. Skewer. Broil, turning occasionally, until browned.
  • Pork kebabs, West Indian style: Mix 1 tablespoon garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, a pinch of nutmeg, a teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves, 1/4 cup chopped onion and the juice of a lime. Toss with 1 pound pork shoulder (you need some fat or these will be tough) cut into 1-inch cubes. Skewer and broil about 5 minutes.
  • Finger Foods

  • Shrimp cocktail: Combine ketchup with chili powder, pepper, lemon juice, Worcestershire, Tabasco and horseradish. Make lots, because people will be double-dipping. Serve with cooked shrimp.
  • Soy ginger wings: This time baste with equal parts vinegar and soy sauce, mixed with a couple of tablespoons each minced ginger and sesame oil. You can sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on the wings.
  • Dips and Spreads

  • Hummus: Truly one of the great culinary inventions. Mix four parts well-cooked or canned chickpeas with one part tahini, along with some of its oil, in a food processor. Add garlic, cumin or pimentón and purée, adding as much olive oil as needed. Stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste; garnish with olive oil and pimentón.
  • Boursin: Maybe you have a few Ritz? Mash cream cheese with minced garlic (if you have roasted garlic, so much the better), pepper and small amounts of minced thyme, tarragon and rosemary.
  • Little Sandwich Triangles

  • Layer cooked ham and cheese (Gruyère, Cantal or good Cheddar) on thin bread, then press and grill in a not-too-hot skillet with butter or oil.
  • Cheese quesadillas: Use 4-inch tortillas; on each, put grated cheese, scallions and minced canned green chilies or chopped fresh poblanos. Salsa and beans are optional. Top with another tortilla. Griddle with oil, turning once, about 5 minutes.
  • You Might Need a Fork

  • This is easier than carpaccio: Cut trimmed filet mignon into 1/2-inch or smaller cubes. Toss with arugula, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Make parsley pesto (parsley, garlic, oil, lemon juice) in a food processor. Sauté whole shrimp or small pieces of fish in oil. Arrange fish on small beds of the pesto. You can put this on bread and forget the plates.
  • Soups and Wraps

  • Bisque: Heat shrimp, lobster, fish or chicken broth with minced onion and chopped tomato for 5 minutes. Add chopped shrimp or lobster to the simmering stock, and cook another two minutes. Purée, then add heavy cream or half-and-half, along with salt and pepper. Serve in small cups garnished, if you like, with a piece of cooked shrimp or lobster.
  • Gazpacho: Chop 2 pounds of tomatoes and a cucumber; blend with a couple of slices of day-old bread, torn into pieces, olive oil, sherry vinegar, garlic (optional) and anchovies (optional). Add a little water (or more oil) to the blender, if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve in small cups. Optional garnishes include minced bell pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, a piece of anchovy, and/or parsley.
  • Broil a good hot dog, roll in a good tortilla spread with brown or Dijon mustard. Slice. You know everyone will eat them.
  • Get ready for the party and live blog with us tomorrow night.

    And The Nominees Are

    Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

    It’s that time of the year. No, not the State of the Union address. pfffttt. The Academy Awards nominations were announced this morning. It’s Oscar time, you silly gooses!

    The 84th Academy Awards will be presented on February 26th hosted by one of the best hosts since Bob Hope, Billy Crystal and will air on the ABC network at 7 PM EST/ 6 PM CST.

    As we did last year, we here at Stars Hollow, will be hosting a live blog and Oscar party. Prior to the big night, I will once again have food and drink suggestions that will entertain your palate as you watch the festivities. So get ready there is barely a month to prepare.

    And here are the nominees:

    Best Picture

    “The Artist”

    “The Descendants”

    “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”


    “Midnight in Paris”

    “The Help”


    “War Horse”

    “The Tree of Life”

    Best Actor

    Demian Bichir, “A Better Life”

    George Clooney, “The Descendants”

    Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”

    Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

    Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”

    Best Actress

    Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”

    Viola Davis, “The Help”

    Rooney Mara, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

    Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”

    Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn”

    (The rest below the fold. We wouldn’t want to hog the stage. 😉

    An Invite to the Oscar Party

    Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

    I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I need a break from reality, at least for a few hours. The chance to sit in front of the big tube with a drink and a bowl of popcorn or other finger food and watch the glitz and glamor as the Stars walk down the red carpet and make fools of themselves bumbling the lines of acceptance speeches.

    Tomorrow night at The Stars Hollow Gazette, I will be hosting a live blog of the 83rd Academy Awards starting at 7:00 PM EST when the march of celebrities in to the Kodak Theater. (yeah, I know I said I needed a break from reality but who said a blog was reality?). I haven’t seen any of these movies. If it weren’t for all the hype about a few of them, I couldn’t even tell you the plot. The hosts this year will be Anne Hathaway, the youngest host in the history of the Oscars, and James Franco, a Best Actor nominee for his tour de force in 127 Hours.

    Some folks make this show like the Super Bowl with special drinks and food. Some go for simple, while some just go all out for exotic drinks and fancy food. The fanciest I get is an extra olive in my martini and maybe some fresh grated Parmesan cheese on my popcorn. So for chuckles here are some of the more exotic drinks in honor of some of the nominees and a few recipes for nibbles to munch as you watch.

    The Natalie Portman

    This is quite ambitious but looked so pretty in the glass. My experience with some of these types of drinks is, Look, Don’t Drink.

    Named for the best actress nominee (for “Black Swan”) and created by Eamon Rockey of  Compose.

    Beforehand, chill red wine that’s been sweetened  slightly with sugar (about a tablespoon per half cup of wine) and steeped with  lemon peels.

    Next, combine one and a half ounces of Brooklyn gin,  three-quarters of an ounce of lemon juice, a half-ounce of triple sec, a  quarter ounce of gum syrup and an egg white.

    Shake and strain into a cocktail  glass.  Using a funnel, pour the red wine into the bottom of the  glass so it forms a deep layer of color.

    Mist the top of the cocktail with  absinthe (if you don’t have a spare mister, drizzle a few  drops of absinthe) and garnish with a few dashes of Angostura bitters.


    The James Franco is another ambitious cocktail that requires a lot of pre-prep. However, It was amusing that the drink is kept shilled with a chunk of frozen rock.

    The  Helena Bonham Carter goes for the simple. It starts out with a chilled glass that has been rinsed with absinthe, then the absinthe is discarded. I know where it can be “discraded”. Never waste absinthe.

    Here some really tasty recipes for appetizers that are fairly simple, can be made ahead and some only take about 20 minutes to prepare.

    These would not last 5 minutes in my house

    Cheese Straws With Pimentón

    These eggs required hot smoked paprika which I found inmy local Stop ‘n Shop

    Smoky Red Devil Eggs

    Make this dip a day ahead

    Greek Goddess Dip

    For something warm and spicy, this is great. Worth the extra time but can be madea head and reheated under the broiler

    Queso Fundido With Chorizo, Jalapeño and Cilantro

    Another one that wouldn’t last in my house. If you like shumai, double this

    Shrimp and Cilantro Shu Mai

    This would be a great brunch recipe, too

    Toasts With Egg and Bacon

    An Asian twist on Swedish meatballs

    Scallion Meatballs With Soy-Ginger Glaze

    Story-Telling is Only Human, so the News Media gets into the Act

    A narrative is a story that has a beginning, middle and end. It engages the reader’s mind and heart. It shows actors moving across its stage, revealing their characters through their actions and their speech. At its heart, a narrative contains a mystery or a question-something that compels the reader to keep reading and find out what happens.


    A traditional news feature starts with an anecdote or scene, moves to a nut graph that tells the reader where the story is going and then spends the rest of the piece explaining and supporting the nut graph.

    A narrative, on the other hand, lets the story unfold through character, scene and action-usually without summing up the story and telling readers what it’s about. A narrative also attaches a little story  to a big story — it is built around theme.

    In journalism, a Nut graph is a paragraph, particularly in a feature story, that explains the news value of the story. […] ie, “in a nutshell” paragraph



    News Feature v. Narrative: What’s the Difference?

    Rebecca Allen — January 9, 2006

    In a Nutshell, People like Stories.  

    Fight! Food Fight For Life!

    Food, Inc. Pictures, Images and Photos

    This is my first time posting an essay here.  This is too important to not spread around.

    Cross posted at
    http://www.myleftwing.com/ and  http://firefly-dreaming.blogsp…

    One of my favorite things about the Oscar nominations is the new list of documentaries to see, on this list this year is Food INC.

    Watching Oprah interview Michael Pollan, http://www.michaelpollan.com/ the other day talking about the Oscar nominated documentary Food INC. which he narrated, I was so intrigued I ordered the movie and watched it today.

    For the sake of you and your families health, for the sake of the health of the planet, for the sake of the soul of the human race please I beg you to watch this documentary. You can get it through amazon for 10 bucks here: http://www.amazon.com/Food-Inc…

    It is priceless in terms of what you get and you can pass it on to everyone you know.  Yes it is that important!

    You know how you get little snippets of what is going on and you think you know but this documentary pulls it all together starting with the seed all the way to the plate and the grave.

    It is gripping and had me shaking just like you do when you are cold.  I kid you not this film of where we are is like a cold splash of reality.  The bottom line message is we vote for this every time we buy something to eat.  If everyone saw this movie and we changed our buying habits the change would be powerful and swift.

    Enough about the movie you just have to see it and get back to me.

    More about this amazing man Michael Pollan after the jump……. talk about heroes this guy is way up there on the list!

    EXPOSED: The REAL 2008 Oscar Best Picture Nominees

    The News Corpse Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is proud to present its Oscar nominees for 2008.