John Contratti and Jared Zirilli

If you’re a fan of Donna Summer music, then check out “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on West 46th Street. I visited backstage with the very talented Jared Zirilli after the performance. Also, check out Jared’s very talented wife, Whitney Bashor this Fall in the new Off-Broadway musical, “Ordinary Days”.


Shrimp and Lentil Arugula With White Wine



1  1/2 lbs. medium shrimp (cleaned and tail removed)

2 lbs. fresh arugula (rinsed and drained)

1 (10 oz.) can lentils (rinsed and drained)

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

1 lemon (juiced)

1/2 cup  dry white wine


1. In a large skillet, add garlic and 2 tbs. of olive oil. Sauté shrimp for five minutes and set to the side.

2. In the same skillet, add arugula and lentils. Add about 1 tbs. of olive oil. Cook on a medium heat for about 4 minutes. (stir occasionally)

3. Add shrimp back to the skillet. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Add lemon juice and white wine. Stir. Raise heat to high for 3 minutes and then serve.

Serve hot

*Optional: You can add a cup of chopped walnuts in step 2, if you like.

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day




3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 cups butter softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 (12 oz.) package semi sweet chocolate chips

1 cup white chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375°F.

1.Mix flour and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Stir in chocolate and vanilla chips.

2. Drop rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. (Or make them larger as in photo, about 2 tbs.)

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes. Remove to wire racks and let cool completely.