News

Fourth 'Bourne' a cerebral ride

Concord Monitor Living - Thu, 08/09/2012 - 00:00
Film review

The fourth film in the Bourne franchise, The Bourne Legacy, may seem heady and intentionally disorienting and hard to follow at first - until you realize it's really about drug addiction, and the lengths to which a junkie will go to get his fix.

Structurally, yes, it's loaded with all the lies, schemes and high-tech trickery that are staples of the espionage genre. But a deeper, more individualistic source of tension propels the film along. Think of it as Drugstore Cowboy with an international scope and more explosions. That may help as you compare it with the first three films in the series that starred Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, the amnesiac CIA assassin of Robert Ludlum's novels, and established Damon as the rare action star who can actually act.

Categories: Concord News

Fresh from the market

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 08/08/2012 - 00:00
Check out these fabulous dishes made using summer's bounty of local foods Embed multimedia (photos, galleries, audio, map):  Home plate Home plate Home plate

Last week, thanks to a grant from the Capital Area Wellness Coalition, I spent a few days rounding up local food from people who sell every Wednesday at the Canterbury Community Farmers Market. Pork and goat cheese mozzarella from Our Place Farm in Loudon. Bicolor corn and tomatoes from Warner River Organics. Tomina's Lemon balm cookie dough made in Laconia. A tangy fresh cow milk cheese called quark from Brookford farm in Canterbury, along with just-spun cream and beets and, best of all, bread flour made from wheat they grow themselves. Maple syrup and cucumbers from North Family Farm (which happens to be owned by my brother- and sister-in-law).

Categories: Concord News

Quick and tasty

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 08/08/2012 - 00:00

Salty olives and capers and a good-quality chicken sausage make all the difference in this Paleo Diet-friendly main course. To reduce prep time further, shop at a salad bar for cut vegetables. Feel free to add red bell peppers, eggplant or tomatoes, and adjust the cooking time accordingly. The recipe was tested using an organic apple chicken sausage.

Chicken Sausage With Squash and Fresh Herbs

1 medium red onion

12 ounces cooked chicken sausage (in links)

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed

1½ pounds mixed summer squash and zucchini

½ cup mixed fresh flat-leaf parsley, basil and/or thyme leaves

½ cup pitted kalamata olives (about 25)

¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more to taste

¼ cup capers, drained

half a lemon

Cut the onion into very thin slices. Cut the sausage crosswise into 2-inch chunks.

Categories: Concord News

Inspired "creamed" corn

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 08/08/2012 - 00:00
Soup sparked the idea for this dish

There are few foods as simple, delicious and complete as fresh seasonal corn on the cob. When it's really fresh, I'll even eat it raw. No boiling, no butter, no salt. It's perfectly sweet and tender right off the stalk.

Still, even perfection can get boring, and I recently began wondering what else I could do with fresh corn. I thought back to my days as the host of the Food Network's Cooking Live, when one of my guest chefs whipped up some corn soup and thickened it with pureed corn.

Of course, I'd known that any pureed vegetable will thicken a stew or soup. But corn has a secret ingredient - Duh! - cornstarch. I was astonished by the creaminess and thickness of my guest's soup.

This recipe was inspired by that soup. Creamed corn is thus named because it usually depends on cream for its creaminess. That's a problem for me for a couple of reasons. The cream not only makes the dish too rich, it also tends to mask the flavor of the corn.

Categories: Concord News

'Hope Springs' has real punch

Concord Monitor Living - Tue, 08/07/2012 - 00:00
Streep, Jones play stuck-in-rut couple

Here's how surprisingly effective Hope Springs is: It will make you want to go home and have sex with your spouse afterward. Or at least share a longer hug or a more passionate kiss.

You don't have to be married for 31 years like the stuck-in-a-rut couple Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones play to feel inspired by the film's message about the importance of keeping your relationship alive. It sounds like a cliche because it is a cliche, and more: It's a cottage industry, one that's launched countless afternoon talk show episodes and shelf after shelf of self-help books.

Categories: Concord News

What's so fascinating about ferns?

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/05/2012 - 00:00
Learn more about living fossils with a loooooong history

The recent rain has brought much needed moisture to our region and returned the woods to a panorama of lush textures and colors. Some of the main contributors to this array of verdant frilliness are ferns.

Ferns are ancient plants. Fossil records show that they first appeared about 360 million years ago. If that isn't reason enough to appreciate them, I don't know what is. But there is more to like about ferns.

They have a fascinating life history. Instead of producing flowers or seeds like other vascular plants they make spores, sometimes millions of them. One scientist estimated that a single leaf from a wood fern produced 7 million spores! The spores come in little cases called sori. In some species they are found on the underside of the leaf or frond, while in other species they grow on a separate fertile frond. The pattern of the sori on the leaves or the shape and color of the fertile frond are often used as distinguishing identification features.

Categories: Concord News

Nip your transportation budget in the bud

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/05/2012 - 00:00
Think outside the box when booking

Last week I gave a somewhat grumpy overview of airfare pricing, tempered a bit with an alert to watch for a probable drop in fares across the board around Aug. 20-21. But let's say the drop doesn't help you that much - perhaps you're traveling as a family of four or more. Is there anything else you can do to reduce the overall cost of vacationing? Indeed, yes!

Categories: Concord News

It's not easy being green

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/05/2012 - 00:00

There's still enough summer left for optimism, but the season is going by fast. If you didn't plant it, cultivate it or nurture the heck out of it this year, you've probably had a so-so year for certain plants. Take heart, for it wasn't entirely your fault.

Many of the old standbys, some of our most beloved perennial plants (orange daylilies or phlox panniculata, which are renowned for their steadfast endurance), have bloomed and gone by in a flash.

And what a tsunami of blueberries we've had - many were coming way ahead of season and all at once, but now there are none or few blueberries left.

Geraniums, those classic and stalwart sun-loving heat-tolerant favorites, under-performed for many. Liberal pruning encourages dense growth, and geraniums like well-drained, fertile, moist soil, but never wet leaves.

Categories: Concord News

Olympic avoidance

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/05/2012 - 00:00
Trying to avoid spoilers in this social media-driven world is a sport all its own

Mandy Hauck turned 25 on Wednesday, but she avoided Facebook and her happy birthday messages to steer clear of Olympic spoilers about her favorite sport, fencing.

Hauck has also deleted her iPhone apps for CNN and ESPN, opting for news from the London Games the old-fashioned way, via TV coverage that's time-delayed by NBC for prime time.

The network is making live streams of the action available in real time online. Hauck's hanging tough, though, in favor of doing actual work during the day as the marketing communications manager for a software company in Atlanta, a job that requires her to stay on Twitter while she attempts to stay away from its main page and trending topics.

Categories: Concord News

Sister-in-law needs to be stood up to

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/05/2012 - 00:00
Baggage Check

Q: How do I keep the peace with a sister-in-law who is bigoted, ignorant and rude to my children?

I am almost at the point of not allowing my children to be in her presence, but she is at virtually every family gathering or holiday that we spend with my husband's parents (who are fine).

I swear, she is one of the worst people I've ever met, and I often marvel at the fact that she's related to the man I chose to spend my life with.

A: Hopefully, that very man is standing up to her. He's got the most significant role in this, as it's ultimately his duty not to let the family member he was born with do damage to the family he chose.

Together, you can agree to limit your exposure, to initiate more visits with just his parents or to have a private conversation with her.

Categories: Concord News

Steeped in politics

Concord Monitor Living - Sun, 08/05/2012 - 00:00
Tampa Bay Diverse history woven into Republican convention host city

In a twist of irony, many visitors to August's Republican National Convention will travel between their hotels and the downtown event on a busy road named to honor President John F. Kennedy, a Democrat.

Kennedy Boulevard, a gateway to downtown from the west, was so named in 1964 partially because of a special connection between Tampa and the 35th president. Kennedy had waved to massive crowds lining that road from an open-topped Lincoln Continental on Nov. 18, 1963. The next time he rode in that car, four days later in a motorcade through downtown Dallas, he would be shot to death.

A statue of JFK now stands at the present site of the University of Tampa, looking out over his eponymous thoroughfare.

Categories: Concord News

Stadium becomes world's largest synagogue

Concord Monitor Living - Sat, 08/04/2012 - 00:00
New Jersey

In a New Jersey sports stadium transformed into what was called the world's largest synagogue, tens of thousands of people celebrated the completion of the reading of the Talmud, the book of Jewish laws and traditions.

The program at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Wednesday night combined a festive atmosphere of singing and dancing with more the serious pursuits of prayer and reflection; it was dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust.

"Tonight is a night of inspiration and opportunity," Rabbi Elly Kleimnan told the gathering.

Rabbis from around the world addressed the audience during the five-hour program, and speeches and prayers in Hebrew and English were streamed by audio and video throughout the stadium's concourses.

The celebration, called Siyum HaShas, marks the completion of the Daf Yomi, or daily reading and study of one page of the 2,711-page book. The cycle takes about seven and a half years to finish.

Categories: Concord News

A cooperative musical endeavor

Concord Monitor Living - Sat, 08/04/2012 - 00:00
Songwriters bring it on for show's Broadway debut

Don't bother trying to figure out who wrote what in Bring It On: The Musical.

Co-song creators Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt and Amanda Green enjoyed reading reviews of their show as it toured the country and critics tried to untangle their contributions. Some saw Kitt's fingerprints all over a song he didn't write. Another was certain Miranda could be heard in something he had no part of.

"Usually when someone tried to do that guessing game, they got it wrong," Miranda said with a laugh. "That just feels like it's a credit to our process."

Inspired by the teen cheerleading movie franchise, Bring It On: The Musical was as risky a move for the creators as one of the human pyramids the performers do onstage. Yet all three are now basking in the glow of its well-received Broadway debut.

Categories: Concord News

'Wimpy Kid' not so wimpy

Concord Monitor Living - Fri, 08/03/2012 - 00:00
Movie Review Third installment true to its origins

Maybe it has to do with the lowered expectations surrounding something with "Dog Days" in its title being released during a traditionally less stellar time in the movie-going season, but the third installment in the Wimpy Kid franchise turns out to be not so wimpy after all.

Although it paints everything with the same broad sitcom strokes as its predecessor, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, culled from the third and fourth books in Jeff Kinney's wildly successful "novel in cartoons" series, proves nimbler and truer to its origins than last year's Rodrick Rules.

Despite the fact that this "school's out" edition is hitting theaters at a time when many kids in the country are getting ready to go back, the modestly budgeted Fox 2000 presentation should still come within spitball distance of the $53 million taken domestically by No. 2.

Categories: Concord News

Back in town, friends in tow

Concord Monitor Living - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 00:00
Concord Now an organic farmer, musician returns for one-shot show Embed multimedia (photos, galleries, audio, map):  Homegrown sounds

One of the beautiful things about being a musician is that you can take your music along wherever your heart may lead you. You cannot necessarily take your band mates and fans along, however, especially if your heart happens to lead you to an organic vegetable farm in the Middle of Nowhere, Montana. Which is why veteran New Hampshire musician Laurie

Sargent will make an appearance at the Spotlight Cafe at the Capitol Center for the Arts next Thursday night.

"There's a saying that New England girls always go home," said Sargent, whose career highlights include a top 40 hit with the band Face To Face, a stint as a recording artist for Sony Records and a handful of other distinctive musical ventures with the bands Morphine, Twinemen and the Chip Smith Project. "I'm really excited about coming back and playing with musicians that I know and trust."

Categories: Concord News

Who fans trade in tickets, 33 years later

Concord Monitor Living - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 00:00
Rhode Island

By MICHELLE R. SMITH

It was December 1979 when Emery Lucier learned the concert he was eagerly awaiting in Rhode Island by British rock band The Who had been canceled over safety concerns. The 17-year-old was so angry he knocked over a chair in his high school classroom.

"I just remember being so upset about the whole thing," he said.

Lucier, now 50, of Milford, Mass., held onto the ticket, for which he paid $25 ($12.50 for the ticket and $12.50 more for the scalper). On Tuesday, he and nine other people traded in tickets from that canceled show and got new ones for The Who's final appearance on its Quadrophenia tour in February at the Dunkin Donuts Center, the same venue it was supposed to play 33 years ago.

Categories: Concord News

Jermaine Jackson wants family truce

Concord Monitor Living - Thu, 08/02/2012 - 00:00
Feud led to guardianship battle over Michael's kids Embed multimedia (photos, galleries, audio, map):  Michael Jackson Doctor

Jermaine Jackson called yesterday for an end to the public feud that has embroiled his family for more than a week, saying issues over the care of his mother and with late brother Michael's estate should be handled privately.

Jackson wrote in a statement first released to the Associated Press that he regrets the public turmoil that resulted from his mother Katherine's 10-day trip to an Arizona spa. The trip sparked a missing person's report and a driveway confrontation between relatives at the home of Katherine Jackson before a judge stripped her of guardianship duties.

"Mistakes have been made and irrational things have been said on both sides in a highly charged emotional environment," Jermaine Jackson wrote. "It is time for us all to draw a line in the sand and move towards peace, co-operation, love and healing."

Categories: Concord News

Building a better burger

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 08/01/2012 - 00:00
Living gluten-free as a vegetarian is hard, but veggie burgers don't have to be off the menu Embed multimedia (photos, galleries, audio, map):  Gluten-free veggie burger Gluten-free veggie burger

Before I stopped eating gluten, I was a vegetarian - and the backbone of many meals was the simple, versatile veggie burger. Nuke one of those babies for a minute then top with traditional hamburger fixings. Or use some red sauce and cheese to make a pizza burger. Or cheddar and salsa for Mexican night. Once, during a rather busy stint covering New Hampshire's Legislature, I ate veggie burgers every day for a month.

Alas, most of those burgers are full of gluten, which adds protein and binds together other ingredients to give them a meaty feel. That's good for taste and texture, but bad for those us with gluten sensitivities. In fact, the first clue to my own allergy involved something called "wheat meat" and a whole lot of hives.

Categories: Concord News

Skillet muffins

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 08/01/2012 - 00:00
Embed multimedia (photos, galleries, audio, map):  Food Deadline Skillet Blueberry Muffins

What do you do when you are hankering for blueberry muffins, but don't have a muffin pan handy? Or maybe you just don't feel like cranking up the oven on a hot summer day.

Why not just make blueberry pancakes? To answer that, we need to look at the differences between pancake and muffin batters. Though recipes will vary, most pancake and muffin recipes call for equal amounts of flour and eggs. But while pancakes call for more liquid, muffins get more (often way more) sugar, fat and baking powder.

That's why muffins are dense and cake-like, while pancakes are light and fluffy.

So while muffin batter cooked in a skillet may resemble a pancake, the taste is all muffin. These are even topped with a blend of cinnamon-sugar (just as you would a muffin); this caramelizes beautifully when you flip them. And while muffins can take half an hour to bake, these pancake-style muffins cook up in just minutes.

Categories: Concord News

Changing a cat's conduct

Concord Monitor Living - Wed, 08/01/2012 - 00:00
Animal Planet star delves inside the minds of felines

Many cats are tail talkers. If those tails start to twitch and wag, watch out for fangs and claws, warns cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy.

If you try to pet a cat when its tail is wagging and get bitten, "You had it coming," said Galaxy, who helps solve behavior problems, both human and feline, on his Animal Planet TV show, My Cat From Hell.

When a cat's angry enough to wag its tail or the fur on its back stands up, its ears flatten and eyes dilate, the owner needs to figure out what's wrong, he says.

Galaxy figures cats and owners equally share the blame for relationships gone wrong, but when it comes to changing behavior, cats are the easier students - by a wide margin.

His house call kit is a guitar case loaded with cat toys and treats. But there's no magic wand in the box, he says. It takes time and hard work. "You get what you give."

Categories: Concord News
 
Admin Login