Eileen West

16 Dec 18
wassock

(This was originally written for the Stainland Lions newsletter a while back but I wanted to send it to somebody so here it is) The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry… Having signed up for something ambitiously epic in early summer, I’d planned a series of big runs and races to complete […]

16 Dec 18
Pam's Pictorama

Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: I stumbled onto this photo, somewhat outside of my usual bailiwick of cats and toys, and purchased it for its slice of life from the past quality. The woman is identified on the back where, despite evidence that it was pulled from a photo album, the neat pencil writing is still legible, […]

16 Dec 18
Site Title

  “A cat can look at a king” “Curiosity killed the cat” was another.   My mother had loads of funny expressions and consequently when I’m not sure whether I should take a raincoat to cricket I think of her homespun philosophy.   Whenever there’s a patch of blue sky “big enough to make a […]

16 Dec 18
Blockbusters Reviewed

Toy Story 3 grossed $1.067 billion over a $200 million budget, becoming the highest-grossing film of 2010 and the 25th-highest-grossing film of all time.  It is a sequel to Toy Story 2 (1999) and is the 3rd film in the Toy Story franchise.  It is rated G for some scary scenes (in Australia).  The following […]

15 Dec 18
Bulletin Board

Life (and death) as we know it Or: Not exactly what he had in mind — leading to: What is right with people? Rusty of St. Paul  reports: “It was a long week of life (my brother NOT needing heart surgery after being told he NEEDED heart surgery) and death (our friend calling for emotional […]

15 Dec 18
CowboyPoetry.com

Read our end-of-year message, and thanks for pitching in. _____ CowboyPoetry.com celebrates our Western heritage and today’s working West, dedicated to preserving our important history and to promoting the Western arts that carry on those traditions.  It’s a part of the non-profit Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry. The Center was formed to serve a […]

15 Dec 18
Stephen Williams' Blog

December 2018 marks the centenary of women being able to stand for election to Parliament.  The Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act was passed just a few weeks before the general election held on 14th December 1918 so only sixteen women candidates stood. Three years later the first Liberal woman MP was elected.  Margaret Wintringham was […]

14 Dec 18
SCNG
By Eileen Shields Contributing writer #gallery-1479878-2 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1479878-2 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-1479878-2 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1479878-2 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */ Uyen Kirshenbaum, executive pastry chef for the David LeFevre/Simms restaurants in Manhattan Beach, who has a killer recipe for holidayyule logs. (Eileen Shields, contributor) Uyen Kirshenbaum, executive pastry chef for the David LeFevre/Simms restaurants in Manhattan Beach, prepares a holiday yule log. (Eileen Shields, contributor) Uyen Kirshenbaum, executive pastry chef for the David LeFevre/Simms restaurants in Manhattan Beach, prepares a holiday yule log. (Eileen Shields, contributor) Uyen Kirshenbaum, executive pastry chef for the David LeFevre/Simms restaurants in Manhattan Beach, prepares a holiday yule log. (Eileen Shields, contributor) A holiday yule log, baked by Uyen Kirshenbaum, executive pastry chef for the David LeFevre/Simms restaurants in Manhattan Beach. (Eileen Shields, contributor) The original yule log was a block-like log burned on the Christmas hearth through the twelve days of Christmas. Each year, a hunk was saved to light the following year’s log. It is the origin of the delightful dessert that originated in France in the 19th century — made of sponge cake filled, rolled and covered in chocolate to resemble a miniature log. Uyen Kirshenbaum, executive pastry chef for the David LeFevre/Simms restaurants in Manhattan Beach, knows quite a bit about yule logs. Even as a kid growing up in Orange County, she knew she wanted to be a baker. “I got my first cookbook as a Christmas gift when I was a freshman in high school: The Mrs. Fields cookie book,” Kirshdenbaum said. Still, Kirshdenbaum said comes from a traditional Vietnamese family, so she dutifully graduated from UC Irvine and took a sensible, corporate job, before shucking it all for culinary school at Ecole Lenotre in Paris —the land where pastry was born. She began her food career at Patisserie Gaulupeau in Versailles. From there she moved on to several high profile French restaurants in Las Vegas, including Guy Savoy and Le Cirque. In 2011, she opened a rustic French Bistro called Gorge in West Hollywood, as owner and operator. Its closing left her bereft and burned out from the pressures of running a business. Unsure of her next move, she headed to the South of France for eight weeks to work in a kitchen as a humble cook and feed her soul. Revived, she returned to the U.S., was introduced to Chef LeFevre, and it all unfolded from there. For the past three-plus years she’s spearheaded the Arthur J restaurant’s popular cake-of-the-month program, which in December is Kirshdenbaum’s take on a classic yule log. Inspired by memories of her time in France, where the holiday season means yule logs or ‘Buche Noel’ in every beautiful pastry shop, the chef’s log is a “cleaner, modern twist,” in keeping with the mid-century modern concept of the Arthur J. This log is less rustic, but still festive, down to the classic decorations of meringue mushrooms and chocolate twigs and sprinkles. For those of you who’d like to attempt your own log cake, Kirshdenbaum offers up her recipe. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] Chef Uyen’s Yule Log Cake Recipe The sponge 8 Egg Whites 3/4 cup sugar 8 Egg Yolks 1/4 cup sugar 2/3 cup Dutch processed Cocoa Powder, sifted In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until very frothy. While the mixer is on medium speed, slowly sprinkle in the three-quarters cup of sugar and whip until the mixture reaches soft peaks. Transfer the mixture into a different bowl. Next, whip the egg yolks and the one-quarter cup of sugar on high speed until thick and doubled in volume. Add half of the soft whipped egg whites to the mixing bowl with the egg yolks and gently fold by hand with a rubber spatula. Next, add the cocoa powder and continue to fold until it is combined. Lastly, fold in the rest of the egg whites. Spread the batter onto a 16-inch-by-12-inch cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes and test with a skewer for doneness. Let cool. The cream filling 14 oz heavy cream 1/3 cup sugar 2 tsp vanilla extract or any flavoring of your choice Whip the ingredients together to a medium firm peak. Assembly Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sponge. Flip the pan over on to another piece of parchment directly on your work table. Peel the parchment off the bottom side and spread the filling evenly over the sponge. With the short end, facing you, gently roll the sponge into a spiral. Let it set in the refrigerator (make sure it sits on its seam) for at least 2 hours before frosting with your favorite frosting or icing. Don’t expect perfection The home cook should remember, Kirshdenbaum said, that not every bake brings perfection. “Unlike cooking,” she said, “with baking sometimes you don’t know that you’ve failed until you’ve done all the work, you’ve washed all the dishes, and it finally comes out of the oven and you’re like, man, I messed that one up.” Or give yourself a break this holiday and instead purchase a yule log from The Arthur J. The chocolate flourless yule log with peppermint cream that serves 6 to 8 people is $52. They are accepting orders until Wednesday, Dec. 19. Kirshdenbaum admitted even she doesn’t cook on Christmas. “We usually get take-out” she said. “I have a big family, but nobody cooks except for me. We send out for whatever one of my sisters is willing to go pick up.” Sign up for The Localist, our daily email newsletter with handpicked stories relevant to where you live. Subscribe here.
14 Dec 18
BC FILM INFOHUB

Pennies From Heaven in 35mm Monday December 17th @ 7:20pm Tickets: $12 Alamo Drafthouse (445 Albee Square West Brooklyn, NY 11201) Arrive early for fun and prizes with Out of Tune’s programmer and host Jeremy Wein. Fresh off a huge sucess with THE JERK, Steve Martin stars in this adaptation of the 1978 BBC dramatic miniseries of the […]

14 Dec 18
Daily Breeze
By Eileen Shields Contributing writer #gallery-1677133-3 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1677133-3 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-1677133-3 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1677133-3 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */ Uyen Kirshenbaum, executive pastry chef for the David LeFevre/Simms restaurants in Manhattan Beach, who has a killer recipe for holidayyule logs. (Eileen Shields, contributor) Uyen Kirshenbaum, executive pastry chef for the David LeFevre/Simms restaurants in Manhattan Beach, prepares a holiday yule log. (Eileen Shields, contributor) Uyen Kirshenbaum, executive pastry chef for the David LeFevre/Simms restaurants in Manhattan Beach, prepares a holiday yule log. (Eileen Shields, contributor) Uyen Kirshenbaum, executive pastry chef for the David LeFevre/Simms restaurants in Manhattan Beach, prepares a holiday yule log. (Eileen Shields, contributor) A holiday yule log, baked by Uyen Kirshenbaum, executive pastry chef for the David LeFevre/Simms restaurants in Manhattan Beach. (Eileen Shields, contributor) The original yule log was a block-like log burned on the Christmas hearth through the twelve days of Christmas. Each year, a hunk was saved to light the following year’s log. It is the origin of the delightful dessert that originated in France in the 19th century — made of sponge cake filled, rolled and covered in chocolate to resemble a miniature log. Uyen Kirshenbaum, executive pastry chef for the David LeFevre/Simms restaurants in Manhattan Beach, knows quite a bit about yule logs. Even as a kid growing up in Orange County, she knew she wanted to be a baker. “I got my first cookbook as a Christmas gift when I was a freshman in high school: The Mrs. Fields cookie book,” Kirshdenbaum said. Still, Kirshdenbaum said comes from a traditional Vietnamese family, so she dutifully graduated from UC Irvine and took a sensible, corporate job, before shucking it all for culinary school at Ecole Lenotre in Paris —the land where pastry was born. She began her food career at Patisserie Gaulupeau in Versailles. From there she moved on to several high profile French restaurants in Las Vegas, including Guy Savoy and Le Cirque. In 2011, she opened a rustic French Bistro called Gorge in West Hollywood, as owner and operator. Its closing left her bereft and burned out from the pressures of running a business. Unsure of her next move, she headed to the South of France for eight weeks to work in a kitchen as a humble cook and feed her soul. Revived, she returned to the U.S., was introduced to Chef LeFevre, and it all unfolded from there. For the past three-plus years she’s spearheaded the Arthur J restaurant’s popular cake-of-the-month program, which in December is Kirshdenbaum’s take on a classic yule log. Inspired by memories of her time in France, where the holiday season means yule logs or ‘Buche Noel’ in every beautiful pastry shop, the chef’s log is a “cleaner, modern twist,” in keeping with the mid-century modern concept of the Arthur J. This log is less rustic, but still festive, down to the classic decorations of meringue mushrooms and chocolate twigs and sprinkles. For those of you who’d like to attempt your own log cake, Kirshdenbaum offers up her recipe. [related_articles location=”left” show_article_date=”false” article_type=”automatic-primary-tag”] Chef Uyen’s Yule Log Cake Recipe The sponge 8 Egg Whites 3/4 cup sugar 8 Egg Yolks 1/4 cup sugar 2/3 cup Dutch processed Cocoa Powder, sifted In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until very frothy. While the mixer is on medium speed, slowly sprinkle in the three-quarters cup of sugar and whip until the mixture reaches soft peaks. Transfer the mixture into a different bowl. Next, whip the egg yolks and the one-quarter cup of sugar on high speed until thick and doubled in volume. Add half of the soft whipped egg whites to the mixing bowl with the egg yolks and gently fold by hand with a rubber spatula. Next, add the cocoa powder and continue to fold until it is combined. Lastly, fold in the rest of the egg whites. Spread the batter onto a 16-inch-by-12-inch cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes and test with a skewer for doneness. Let cool. The cream filling 14 oz heavy cream 1/3 cup sugar 2 tsp vanilla extract or any flavoring of your choice Whip the ingredients together to a medium firm peak. Assembly Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sponge. Flip the pan over on to another piece of parchment directly on your work table. Peel the parchment off the bottom side and spread the filling evenly over the sponge. With the short end, facing you, gently roll the sponge into a spiral. Let it set in the refrigerator (make sure it sits on its seam) for at least 2 hours before frosting with your favorite frosting or icing. Don’t expect perfection The home cook should remember, Kirshdenbaum said, that not every bake brings perfection. “Unlike cooking,” she said, “with baking sometimes you don’t know that you’ve failed until you’ve done all the work, you’ve washed all the dishes, and it finally comes out of the oven and you’re like, man, I messed that one up.” Or give yourself a break this holiday and instead purchase a yule log from The Arthur J. The chocolate flourless yule log with peppermint cream that serves 6 to 8 people is $52. They are accepting orders until Wednesday, Dec. 19. Kirshdenbaum admitted even she doesn’t cook on Christmas. “We usually get take-out” she said. “I have a big family, but nobody cooks except for me. We send out for whatever one of my sisters is willing to go pick up.” Sign up for The Localist, our daily email newsletter with handpicked stories relevant to where you live. Subscribe here.
13 Dec 18
Marin Independent Journal
Opening this week “Anna and the Apocalypse”: A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven — at Christmas — forcing Anna and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival. With Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming, Sarah Swire. Directed by John McPhail. (1:33) R. “Becoming Astrid”: Depicting the early years of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, the world’s third most-translated children’s writer, credited for more than 100 books. With Alba August, Trine Dyrholm, Maria Bonnevie. Directed by Pernille Fischer Christensen. (2:03) NR. “Ben Is Back”: Nineteen-year-old Ben Burns unexpectedly returns to his family’s suburban home on Christmas Eve. Ben’s mom, Holly, is relieved and welcoming but wary of her son’s drug addiction. With Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges, Courtney B. Vance. Directed by Peter Hedges. (1:43) R. “Mortal Engines”: In a post-apocalyptic world where cities ride on wheels and consume each other to survive, two people meet in London and try to stop a conspiracy. With Hera Hilmar, Hugo Weaving, Jihae. Directed by Christian Rivers. (2:08) PG-13. “The Mule”: Broke, alone and facing foreclosure on his business, Earl Stone takes a job as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. With Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Taissa Farmiga. Directed by Clint Eastwood. (1:56) R. “Once Upon a Deadpool”: A Deadpool fairy tale that gives zero f’s. With Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin. Directed by David Leitch. (1:56) PG-13. “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”: Miles Morales becomes the Spider-Man of his reality and crosses paths with his counterparts from other dimensions to stop a threat to all reality. With Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld. Directed by Peter Ramsey, Robert Persichetti Jr., Rodney Rothman. (1:57) PG. “Vox Lux”: An unusual set of circumstances brings unexpected success to a pop star. With Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Raffey Cassidy. Directed by Brady Corbet. (1:50) R. Special screenings Harmonia: 2200 Marinship Way, Sausalito; intuitionmedicine.org/events. Dec. 21: “Searching for the Lotus-Born Master,” followed by discussion with director Laurence Brahm. 7 p.m. $20. Lark Theater: 549 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur; 415-924-5111; larktheater.net. Dec. 15 and 19: “The Met: La Traviata.” 9:55 a.m. Dec. 15; 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19; Dec. 15: “Anna Karenina: Musical.” 2 p.m.; Dec. 16: “The Winter’s Tale: Shakespeare’s Globe.” 1 p.m.; Dec. 16 through 20: “Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki.” 7 p.m. Dec. 16; 8:15 p.m. Dec. 18; 2:40 p.m. Dec. 20; Dec. 20: “The King and I: From the London Palladium.” 6:30 p.m. Novato: 922 Machin Ave., Novato; novato.org. Dec. 15: “The Polar Express.” 6 p.m. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. The Redwoods: 40 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. Dec. 17: Mill Valley Seniors for Peace presents “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.” 3 p.m. San Geronimo Valley Community Center: 6350 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Geronimo; sgvcc.org. Dec. 17: “Take Me to the River,” followed by discussion. 6 p.m.; Dec. 19: “American Circumcision,” followed by discussion. 6 p.m. Smith Rafael Film Center: 1118 Fourth St., San Rafael; 415-454-1222; rafaelfilm.cafilm.org. Dec. 16 and 20: “Deconstructing the Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour.” 4:15 p.m. Dec. 16; 7 p.m. Dec. 20. Sports Basement: 100 Vintage Way, Novato; eventbrite.com. Dec. 15: “Reel Rock 13.” 5 p.m. $5. Now playing “At Eternity’s Gate”: Famed but tormented artist Vincent van Gogh spends his final years in Arles, France, painting masterworks of the natural world that surrounds him. With Willem Dafoe, Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac. Directed by Julian Schnabel. (1:50) PG-13. “Beautiful Boy”: West Marin teenager Nicolas Sheff seems to have it all — good grades, editor of the school newspaper, actor, artist and athlete. When Nic’s addiction to meth threatens to destroy him, his desperate father does whatever he can to save his son and his family. With Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney. Directed by Felix Van Groeningen. (2:00) R. “Bohemian Rhapsody”: A celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. With Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Ben Hardy. Directed by Bryan Singer. (2:14) PG-13. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”: Celebrity biographer Lee Israel makes her living profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack. With Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells. Directed by Marielle Heller. (1:46) R. “Creed II”: Under the tutelage of Rocky Balboa, light heavyweight contender Adonis Creed faces off against Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago. With Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson. Directed by Steven Caple Jr. (2:10) PG-13. “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch”: The Grinch and his loyal dog, Max, live a solitary existence inside a cave on Mount Crumpet. With help from Max, the green grump hatches a scheme to pose as Santa Claus, steal Christmas and silence the Whos’ holiday cheer once and for all. With Rashida Jones, Tristan O’Hare, Scarlett Estevez. Directed by Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier. (1:30) PG. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”: In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans of raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. With Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler. Directed by David Yates. (2:14) PG-13. “The Favourite”: In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah governs the country in her stead. When a new servant Abigail arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. With Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz. Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. (1:59) R. “Free Solo”: Alex Honnold completes the first free solo climb of famed El Capitan’s 3,000-foot vertical rock face at Yosemite National Park. With Tommy Caldwell, Jimmy Chin, Alex Honnold. Directed by Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. (1:37) NR. “Green Book”: A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South. With Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini. Directed by Peter Farrelly. (2:10) PG-13. “Instant Family”: A couple find themselves in over their heads when they adopt three children. With Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner. Directed by Sean Anders. (1:59) PG-13. “Maria by Callas”: Never-before-seen footage and performances offer insight into the life and career of renowned opera singer Maria Callas. With Fanny Ardant, Joyce DiDonato, Maria Callas. Directed by Tom Volf. (1:53) PG. “Mirai”: A young boy encounters a magical garden which enables him to travel through time and meet his relatives from different eras, with guidance by his younger sister from the future. With Haru Kuroki, Moka Kamishiraishi, Gen Hoshino. Directed by Mamoru Hosoda. (1:38) PG. “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”: A young girl is transported into a magical world of gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice. With Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman. Directed by Lasse Hallström, Joe Johnston. (1:39) PG. “The Old Man & the Gun”: At the age of 70, Forrest Tucker makes an audacious escape from San Quentin, conducting an unprecedented string of heists that confound authorities and enchant the public. With Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek. Directed by David Lowery. (1:33) PG-13. “The Possession of Hannah Grace”: When a cop who is just out of rehab takes the graveyard shift in a city hospital morgue, she faces a series of bizarre, violent events caused by an evil entity in one of the corpses. With Shay Mitchell, Grey Damon, Kirby Johnson. Directed by Diederik Van Rooijen. (1:25) R. “Ralph Breaks the Internet”: Video game bad guy Ralph and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz must risk it all by traveling to the World Wide Web in search of a replacement part to save Vanellope’s video game, “Sugar Rush.” With John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Gal Gadot. Directed by Phil Johnston, Rich Moore. (1:52) PG. “Robin Hood”: A war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown. With Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn. Directed by Otto Bathurst. (1:56) PG-13. “Shoplifters”: A family of small-time crooks take in a child they find outside in the cold. With Lily Franky, Sakura Andô, Mayu Matsuoka. Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda. (2:01) R. “A Star Is Born”: Seasoned musician Jackson Maine discovers — and falls in love with — struggling artist Ally. She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jackson coaxes her into the spotlight. With Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott. Directed by Bradley Cooper. (2:15) R. “Tea with the Dames”: What happens when four legends of British stage and screen get together? With Dames Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright and Maggie Smith. Directed by Roger Michell. (1:34) NR. “What They Had”: Bridget returns home at her brother’s urging to deal with her ailing mother and her father’s reluctance to let go of their life together. With Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Robert Forster. Directed by Elizabeth Chomko. (1:41) R. “Widows”: A police shootout leaves four thieves dead during an explosive armed robbery attempt in Chicago. Their widows have nothing in common except a debt left behind by their spouses’ criminal activities. With Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki. Directed by Steve McQueen. (2:09) R. “The Wife”: A wife questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm with her husband, where he is slated to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. With Christian Slater, Max Irons, Glenn Close. Directed by Björn Runge. (1:40) R. — Los Angeles Times and staff report
13 Dec 18
Intrigue

If you’re spent from spending time and money on everyone but you, it’s time you plan a getaway! Check out these top hot spots to travel in January.