Archive for June, 2008

How Much Would You Pay People to Have Babies and the Great European Population Crisis

How Much Would You Pay People to Have Babies and the Great European Population Crisis

The New York Times ran an interesting Sunday Magazine cover story on the population crisis facing many European countries.  In Italy, for example, a small Southern Italian town has instituted a ”baby bonus:” “…in 2003 Falivena let it be known he would pay 10,000 euros (about $15,000) for every woman — local or immigrant, married or single — who would give birth to and rear a [...]

M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening

M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening

I went to see M. Night Shyamalan’s new film The Happening and was pleasantly surprised.   Shyamalan’s critics have been harsh over the last few years and The Happening wasn’t an exception (as the film has received a lukewarm reception thus far). Nevertheless, Shyamalan delivered a Hitchcock-like film which included same wonderful tension, horror, and well placed humor. Go and see [...]

Recipe: Roasted Chicken Breast Sandwich

Sometimes all you really need to get you through the day is a really good sandwich!  My sandwich ingredients change constantly and usually map directly to whatever leftovers are in the fridge.  Here’s a quick recipe for the sandwich I put together today: Grilled chicken breast Red onion Tomato Fresh Basil Olive Oil Prosciutto di Parma Whole Grain Bread (sliced) [...]

Southern Italy Bagnara Calabra Province of Calabria

Southern Italy Bagnara Calabra Province of Calabria Calabria was, and continues to be, a poor region (by northern Italian standards), however the people tend to lead happy lives.  From a culinary perspective, Calabrians tend to consume: swordfish sardines cod (Baccalà) pork lamb goat eggplant chili pepper Lemon Fruit (pears, peach, cactus pears, mulberry, etc.) From a production and economic perspective, there’s [...]

Tomato Salad Recipe

Tomato Salad Recipe

One of the reasons I love the summer season is the availability of locally grown tomatoes and hence the amount of times I can utilize our tomato salad recipe for lunch or dinner..  Tomatoes are incredibly versatile and, like extra virgin olive oil, are a staple of eating well.  My favorite Summer-time use for tomatoes is the simple and elegant tomato [...]

David Brooks and the Detoriation of Financial Mores

David Brooks and the Detoriation of Financial Mores

In my view, David Brooks is one of the preeminent op-ed writes in the US.  Brooks constantly gets “it” right and his latest piece, “The Great Seduction”, published on June 10 in the New York Times talks about the startling economic reality in the US.  Here’s snip it from the piece: ”a typical US household with income under $13,000 spends, on average, $645 [...]

What is “Equally Shared Parenting” and How Do Couples Work Together

What is “Equally Shared Parenting” and How Do Couples Work Together

A recent New York Time Sunday Magazine article (and video) got me thinking about whether it’s practical to share all responsibilities as a married couple and my initial gut reaction is NO and here’s why: not all individuals have equal skill sets (yes you can use skill set when talking about a marriage).  Just like a typical corporation, getting things [...]

How to Repair Deck Steps and Railings

How to Repair Deck Steps and Railings

I’ve always been a fan of This Old House and my fondness for the show even pre-dates the purchase of “our old house!”  Recently, our deck needed some repair (railing, step, and gate work) and we consulted a local carpenter who bid on our project and came in a bit high on the estimate.  So in turn I think I’ll be handeling most of [...]

Why Does Pizza cost $21.95 and How To Make Your Own Pizza Dough

Why Does Pizza cost $21.95 and How To Make Your Own Pizza Dough

I recently headed to a local pizza joint for a large pie (half mushrooms, half pepper) and when the bill came over I almost threw hot pepper flakes at the owner!  The price of the large pie was $21.95. I calmly made my way over to the cashier’s desk and politely asked the owner’s wife to please do something about [...]

Basic Hummus Recipe

Basic Hummus Recipe

  Who wants to cook when the temperature outside is nearly 100 degrees?  I certainly don’t want to fire up my stove, so why not whip up a batch of hummus: 1 can (large) of chickpeas (save some of the water from the can) 1 half lemon (squeeze for lemon juice) Salt to taste Olive oil (1/2 cup) Tahini Paste [...]