Welcome to the Friday 5ive, a weekly blog post featuring five things that caught my attention this week.
We're all talking about and waiting for election results, so I'm going to skip that.
1) On Saturday, my sister-in-law Brigette and I virtually cooked a three-course dinner from Ina Garten's new cookbook, Modern Comfort Food. We FaceTimed each other as we started on dessert, Boston Cream Pie, which ended up being a three page recipe. We started at 10am, and making the cream, the chocolate glaze, and the cake took at least three hours. The hardest part was cutting the two very thin cakes into two layers each, something I had never attempted before. My pie didn't look like the photo in the book, and for some reason my chocolate glaze was not thin enough.
The Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip appetizer was very good, I think the carmelized onions made all the difference there. My husband would have preferred a creamier texture, so maybe next time I'll add more cream cheese.
The big winner was the Skillet Roasted Chicken and Potatoes. I thought maybe our choice of entree was a little bland, but the buttermilk marinated chicken thighs were tender and juicy, and the drippings from the chicken gave the potatoes layered underneath them a wonderful flavor.
We virtually shared our dinners together and it was so much fun, more family members want to join in next time.
|Brigette's & my chicken entrees|
2) On 81st Street near me, a group of neighbors got together to build and decorate birdhouses. Many people created them with their children, and they proudly displayed them on trees along 81st St. Late one night, a woman cut down all the birdhouses and destroyed them, leaving a note that said that they were not allowed to tie anything to trees along the street, that it damages the trees. It became quite a controversy, and I didn't understand why she didn't leave a note asking them to take them down, she just destroyed them on her own. (They have still photos from security cameras of her deed.) Anyway, the families got together and created more birdhouses and now they are displayed in the front window of a real estate office on 81st Street. It's a great way to build community spirit.
3) It was so warm on Thursday that we ventured out to our favorite neighborhood restaurant, Lusardi's, for dinner. Our table was outside, right on 2nd Ave. During dinner, we heard a man singing Frank Sinatra songs. We looked over and he had parked his bike, with his IPad attached, and had a microphone and was strolling along the street singing. After he had sung a few songs, he walked from table to table and asked for donations. We happily gave him something, but I did find it odd that the restaurant would allow him to do it. Then he packed up, grabbed his bike, and moved down the street to the next group of outside restaurants. Ya gotta love the ingenuity of people; if the places where he normally performs are shut down, he goes to the people himself.
4) After starting Jenny Colgan's new novel, Christmas at the Island Hotel, last week, I was in a Christmas mood. I don't watch many Hallmark Channel movies, but I saw that One Royal Holiday starred some of my favorite Broadway actors, so to get my head out of all the politics, I watched it. Laura Osnes (she played Cinderella on Broadway) plays Anna, a young nurse going home to Connecticut for Christmas. She runs into a young man James (Aaron Tveit, star of Broadway's Moulin Rouge) and his mother, played by Victoria Clark (who was the Fairy Godmother to Osnes' Cinderella!), whose plane is grounded during a snowstorm. James is the Prince of a Northern European country, his mother the Queen, and they go with Anna to her father's inn. It's a charming story, and this movie is elevated because of the quality of the performances. I hope that more Broadway performers (Krystal Joy Brown from Hamilton and Motown, The Musical plays the town mayor here) are put to work in Hallmark movies.
5) I also watched a new movie on Apple TV+- On The Rocks. Rashida Jones' Laura is married to Marlon Wayans, and they have two young girls. They live in New York City, and he travels frequently for his job. Jones is struggling to write her next book, and begins to have doubts about her husband's fidelity. She shares her fears with her father Felix, played by Bill Murray. Felix cheated on Laura's mom, and he suggests that they follow Laura's husband to see if he is cheating. This may be Murray's best role yet, allowing him to combine his comedic skills with his vulnerability as the bon vivant Felix. He is fantastic here, he and Jones have a great chemistry as father and daughter, and the movie is a love letter to New York City. Sofia Copppla beautifully directs this fanastic film. If you have Apple TV+, this is a must-see.
Stay safe and socially distant, wash your hands and wear a mask.