Archive for February, 2014



We’re celebrating Oscar week with a “Flashback Friday” with Oscar winner Jack Lemmon. The star of such films as “Some Like It Hot”, “Mister Roberts”, “The Apartment”, “The Odd Couple” and his Oscar winning role in “Save The Tiger”, was a very kind man.


Disney’s Frozen: Jello For The Kids




2 boxes (6 oz.) Berry Blue Jello


1. Follow directions on Jello Box.

2. Pour liquid into deep pan.

3. Refrigerate over night.

4. Cut into cube shapes and place on a white platter. Decorate with “Disney’s Frozen” characters. (sold at most party supply stores)



Best known for her comedic roles on “Cheers” and “Frasier”, Bebe Neuwirth is back on Broadway in “Chicago”. I stopped by for a visit after her performance.

Chocolate Chip and Walnut Bundt Cake




3 cups flour

2 1/2 sticks of butter (softened)

1 3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

4 eggs

Sour Cream ( 8 oz.)

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups min chocolate chip morsels (semi sweet)

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°F.

1.  Grease (with butter) and flour ( about 2 tbs.) a large bundt pan. (at least 10 inch pan) Tap out excess flour.

2. Combine flour, sugar and baking powder in large bowl.

3. Beat sour cream, eggs and vanilla together.

4. Add butter and  sour cream mixture to flour mixture. Beat on low speed until thoroughly combined. (You want it fluffy.)

5. Add chips and walnuts and fold in.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

6. Mix topping ingredients in a separate bowl and pour over top of batter.

7. Bake for about one hour. Do a toothpick test to see if dry. If not bake an additional 10 minutes.



Everyone has their personal favorites, but I know many people, like myself, who were big fans of Madeline Kahn. From “Young Frankenstein” to “High Anxiety” to “What’s Up Doc?”, she was one of the best comediennes around.

John Contratti’s Homemade Meatloaf



2 lbs. chopped meat

2 cups of the inside of Italian Bread (with a little water, to moisten, squeeze out excess water)

2 eggs

2 cups bread crumbs

1 lb. fresh mozzarella (sliced)

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

3 hard boiled eggs (sliced)

2 cans (8oz.) Del Monte sauce

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. dry parsley

1 tsp. dry oregano

parmesan cheese

Step 1:

1. In a bowl, mix  wet bread and eggs with chopped meat.


2. On  wax paper, spread out bread crumbs. Spread out chopped meat on top.

3. Put sliced hard boiled eggs and mozzarella on top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and chopped garlic. (see photo)

Step 2:


4. Roll meat into a loaf and put into deep baking pan. Pour Del Monte sauce cans around meatloaf. Fill each can (half way) with water and put around meatloaf.

5. Sprinkle oregano and parsley around meatloaf.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

6. Bake in oven for 1 hour. (cover with aluminum foil for the first half hour and then remove for the final half hour)

7. Every 15 minutes, scoop some sauce over the meatloaf.

Serve hot.

Sweet Potato Fries



1 lb. of sweet potatoes (rinsed, dried and cut into fries)

2 tbs. sea salt

1 tbs. black pepper

2 tsp. brown sugar

1 tbs. chopped parsley

1/2 cup butter plus 1 tbs.


1. Put sweet potato fries in a ziploc bag with all seasonings. (except butter) Shake well and let sit for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease the bottom of  a large baking pan with 1 tbs. of butter.  Put fries in pan. Spread butter pieces all over the tops of the fries.

3. Bake in oven for about 25-30 minutes or until fries are tender or crisp. (depends on your taste)

Serve warm.

Tomato Bisque Soup




4 tbs. unsalted butter

1 Spanish onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

4 cloves garlic  (minced)

5 tbs. all-purpose flour

5 cups chicken broth ( low-sodium if canned, homemade preferred)

1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes (with liquid), roughly chopped

3 tsp. fresh parsley 

1 tsp. fresh thyme

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2  tsp.  sea salt

1 tsp. black pepper


1. Heat butter in a large soup pot over medium heat.

2.  Add the onion, carrots and garlic. Stir occasionally, until soft. (about 6-7 minutes)

3. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.

4. Pour in the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Add parsley and thyme. Stir.  Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

5. After about 30 minutes, working soup in batches. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.

6. Using a sieve over a large bowl, strain the tomato puree. Return the puree to the pot and reheat over medium heat.

7. Whisk the heavy cream, sea salt and pepper into the soup. 

Serve hot. 



She was on her way to becoming very well known, when I first met actress Kristin Chenoweth. Today you can catch her on Broadway, on television and in movies quite often. I think it’s time to update the picture.

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman



Like many, I was sad to hear the news about actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. I had the wonderful opportunity of filming a scene with him in the film “Flawless” many years ago. He was one of today’s best actors.