Wednesday, November 30, 2011

EnterTRAINment Junction

I saw rock legend Neil Young at EnterTRAINment Junction! Well, not in person, but I saw his photo alongside the big train display he donated.
Sheila here.

My girlfriend Sharon and I took our boys up to West Chester for a day of fun with the trains and a visit with Santa. I hadn't been to the train wonderland with Eric for a couple of years, and I was surprised to see so many new things (including Neil Young's train exhibit).

EnterTRAINment Junction is 25,000 square feet of a train lover's dream. It's a real history lesson to walk through time, seeing how trains have helped to build our country. Of course, Eric and Christopher just ran through that part of the Junction, hooting and hollering about things they spotted, and only taking time to stop when they wanted to push the buttons to make the trains move, cows moo, or church bells ring. Two miles of track are busy with steam engines, passenger trains, and diesel locomotives. Everywhere you look, there are trains, tiny people, and right now, little Santa Claus figures all over the place. You can't look at it the same way twice.

EnterTRAINment Junction also added a funhouse earlier this year, and Chris and Eric scared us to death when they ran into Curtain Chaos -- it's a maze of red and white curtains -- and the boys almost disappeared on us! We found them, and the four of us laughed our heads off, running into walls and plowing through the curtains. The A-Maze-N Funhouse also boasts a Mirror Maze, which is one of the largest of its kind in North America, an Ames Room, where the boys seemed to grow or shrink by walking across the room, and the Outer Limits: Journey Through the Black Hole. It includes a spinning vortex tunnel that'll make you feel like you can't stay on your feet, along with a room full of glowing planets.

Of course, the best part of all was our time in the Main Street Holiday Trains room, all decked out with Christmas trees, a candyland, Santa's toy-making machine, and snow in every direction, followed by our Christmas journey through a winter wonderland on the way to see Santa Claus himself. In one room, snow was falling indoors! Even our four-year-old's figured out it was made of tiny bubbles, but they loved catching the "flakes." Eric stopped to check out Prancer in the reindeer stable, and the guys were treated to sugar cookies from Mrs. Claus before they sat on the Jolly Old Elf's lap and told him about their Christmas wishes. Funny how two boisterous boys got very quiet and polite when it was time to see Santa. (That made their mommies proud!)

We wrapped up our visit with some playtime in the Imagination Junction - a railroad-themed entertainment center where kids can climb, slide, bounce, crawl, and even shovel coal on a steam engine. Our boys worked off some steam, then clutched their Thomas the Tank Engine sticker books as we headed for the car. It was a fun day full of new Christmas memories for all of us.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dreaming of the Beach

Hi everyone. It's Rob, and I'm dreaming of a warm, sunny, beachy vacation.

Pretty sad considering that winter doesn't officially start for another 3 weeks.

For the last two years I have vacationed with friends. We all went to the UK earlier this year. We spent a few days in London and a few days in the countryside. The trip was fun and educational, but it was expensive. We also did a lot of running around, so it wasn't too terribly relaxing. Last year, we all went to Nantucket. Again a lot of fun, but expensive and not too relaxing. Well, we are all planning a vacation in March. I want it to be relaxing and inexpensive. I don't care where we go as long as it is to the beach. I want a book, a drink in my hand and sand under my feet. I also want to hear waves and feel the sun.

I haven't taken many beach vacations. I have been to Caye Caulker in Belize. I have also been to Miami. Other than that, I don't know much about island vacations. Some of the ideas being tossed around: Cabo, Atlantis, the Rivera Maya. I told my friends, I will go anywhere as long as it is inexpensive. I have never been to an all inclusive resort. The price sounds right, but will it be too crowded. I don't like cruises. Per Sheila's suggestion, I have checked out vacation beach rental by owner That's also a possibility. I'm sure we will find something. I'm sure it will be fun. I won't complain as long as it is INEXPENSIVE AND RELAXING. I don't want to do a lot of running around. If you have any suggestions email me

Monday, November 28, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

So do you like a real or fake Christmas Tree? I totally understand some circumstances that may keep you from getting a real tree every year, but it's something you must do from time to time. Marzullo here, and if your looking for a new Christmas Tradition I can't express enough to you HOW AWESOME of a experience the Big Tree Plantation in Morrow will be for you and your family. When I think tree farm, this is exactly what I think of. You can actually take a horse drawn carriage ride or tractor ride out to the trees, and they give you a saw and a sled and you can chop it down. I have had real trees in the past but my girlfriend has never had a real tree, so this was a big deal and it was well worth it. It took a while of going through the trees but we finally found our perfect tree, we chose a 7 foot Canaan Fir. In addition they have so many other varaities Colorado Blue Spruce, Scotch and White Pines, with live trees from 2 feet to 22 feet tall. If you do not want to cut down your own you can choose a pre-cut which includes Fraser Fir, Canaan Fir, Noble Fir, Douglas Fir, Scotch Pine, and White Pine. They cut and wrap it for you with the help of Moeller's Lacrosse Team volunteers, and while they do that you can hang out in The Winter Wonderland and see Santa and his real reindeer out behind the barn. Plus the gift shop is something out of Santa's workshop. Even if you already have your tree make this trip to Morrow and start a new tradition this what Christmas is all about!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Black Friday!

Good Friday morning....Dan Wells writing I hope this note finds you well!

The holiday shopping season has begun here in the Tri-state as stores opened their doors at midnight -- a few hours earlier than they normally do on the most anticipated shopping day of the year. A few retailers even had lines of shoppers when they opened on the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

We're told retailers hope the earlier openings will make Black Friday shopping more convenient for Americans who are more likely to be worried about high unemployment and the other challenges they face in the weak economy.

Black Friday is important to merchants because it kicks off the holiday shopping season, a time when they can make 25 to 40 percent of their annual revenue. It's expected that shoppers will spend nearly $500 billion during the holiday shopping season, or about 3 percent more than they did last year.

About 34 percent of consumers plan to shop on Black Friday, up from 31 percent last year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, and 16 percent had planned to shop on Thanksgiving Day itself. For the weekend, 152 million people are expected shop, up from 138 million last year. get people to shop, merchants pulled out of their bag of tricks. Only a few opened last year at midnight, but several more stores followed this year. Some are offering to match the prices of competitors. Others are offering layaway plans that allow shoppers to pay as they go.
But the deals are what's driving many early shoppers into stores. After all, Americans are focusing more on bargains these days, a habit they picked up during the economic downturn

It remains to be seen whether that enthusiasm will linger throughout the holiday shopping season. But analysts seem to agree that if retailers want shoppers to keep coming back, they'll have to keep discounting.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Good Morning Everyone, We are taking a break from the BLOG on this holiday. However, we wanted to send a SPECIAL THANK YOU, to all of you who choose to spend your mornings with us every weekday. This morning Rob, Sheila, and I have reflected off air of what we are thankful for and we are thankful to do what we do each and everyday and we are so blessed in our professional and personal lives. We THANK YOU for allowing us to do what we do. We are also very thankful for our new friends and co-workers who have joined us over the last year, we are a team, we are a family, and we are thankful for all that comes with it. HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Tribute To Those Who Feed Us

Finally! We are done with the cook-off!

Hi, it's Sheila. Don't get me wrong. I have LOVED tasting everyone's cooking for the last week and a half, and I have enjoyed seeing another side of the Fox 19 Morning team during our friendly competition, but I am so glad my day in the kitchen is over. It's a lot of work!

Our contest has given me a new appreciation for the fantastic chefs and food experts who contribute to our show every month. Rita Heikenfeld, Giovanna Trimpe, Amy Tobin, Kia Crittenden, Barbie Hahn, this is for you. It's also for any chef who comes in on a not-regular basis, from Jean-Robert to Todd Kelly to "Gramma" Debbie Ganaway, Chefs Louis & Meredith and every other foodie we love here in Cincinnati. (I'm sorry if I'm forgetting someone!)

When you cook for TV, you have to do everything twice -- cook one version for the cameras (and for Rob and me to eat!), and prepare another one to demonstrate how to make it on TV. I forgot my salt, pepper, and garlic powder because I put it away when I was at home making the Oven Barbecued Pork for my entry! I had to schlep two boxes full of dishes, meat, tablecloth, fruit, and more into the station at 3:30 in the morning! And I woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, wondering what I had forgotten to do to get the dish ready. I ended up lying there, smelling the pork roasting for an hour before I got back to sleep!

It's all worth it when you see smiles on the faces of your friends eating the food, but let me tell you something, it'll be a long time before I agree to do that again! Watch Rob sweat today at 8:15, and watch Xtra to see which one of us won the contest.

And log onto to our friends' wonderful food websites for some great recipes for your family!
Rita Heikenfeld:
Giovanna Trimpe:
Amy Tobin:
Kia Crittenden:
Barbie Hahn:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Guest Blogger 5chw4r7z

5th annual Cincinnati Unchained and Holidays in the Bag
Last night we were treated to a mini “Taste of Over-the-Rhine” with venders serving their specialties as we learned about events for the upcoming Holiday Shopping/Event Season in OTR.
Jean-Fran├žois Flechet, owner of taste of Belgium and Rob Williams, Fox19 news anchor80 local businesses throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky will offer shoppers specials this Saturday during the fifth annual Cincinnati Unchained, an event created to encourage shoppers to purchase holiday gifts from local, independent stores.For every dollar spent at a chain $0.57 leaves the community.For every dollar spent at a local independant store $0.73 stays in your community.Local businesses get less subsidies and pay more tax per acre than chains. Money spent at a local independent shop is an investment in your neighborhood. Independent businesses recirculate revenue locally twice as much and have four times the economic impact per square foot while consuming a fraction of the land.So I want to be clear, you don't have to drive to OTR to shop but you can. Support the independent merchants closest in your neighborhood.For a full list of participating businesses and more information click here.This Saturday, the 19th is going to be a busy day. We have in addition to Unchained;Balluminaria in Eden Park beginning at 4pmCrafty Supermarket Holiday Show! at the Clifton Cultural Arts CenterCINCINNATI CORNHOLE CHAMPIONSHIP at the American Can LoftsSloane Boutique Grand Opening Party 1216 Vine Street OTRLooking ahead to next week we have;OTR Bar Crawl, Wednesday November 23rdSpend the night before Thanksgiving in Over-the-Rhine. A unique drink will be available at each bar or restaurant in the neighborhood, including Abigail Street, A Tavola, Senate, Lavomatic, The Lackman, MOTR, Neon’s, Grammer’s and The Drinkery!Holidays in the Bag, Friday November 25thAvoid the rush of the malls by shopping Over-the-Rhine for unique, local gifts in a relaxed atmosphere. Over-the-Rhine is holding its fourth Holidays in the Bag event. Buy the official reusable holiday shopping bag at Coffee Emporium on Central Parkway or other retail shops in OTR from November 21 – 25 and receive a 20% discount at participating stores. Proceeds from the sales of the holiday bags benefit the Freestore Foodbank.And much much more, check out the full holiday schedule HERE


Monday, November 21, 2011

Meet Mr. Bo-Tis

Good Morning, Frank Marzullo Here....Let me be the first to say I love Thanksgiving, the food and everything that goes with it, including family. I have never been one to put the Christmas lights up or a tree until after Thanksgiving. However, this year is a little different with my parents coming in town this weekend we wanted to have the house decorated for the holidays, so we started this weekend. This is the first Christmas that my girlfriend and I have spent together so we want to make it special and start our own traditions. We have decided to put two trees up this year one is my former tree that I got last year, all pre-lit with my green and red ornaments. It is very traditional but now that I do not live in a apartment, I want a real tree. There is something about the smell of real pine and the twinkling lights. So we will be getting our real tree this week to put up in time and we have been buying our decorations like crazy. By the way I never realized how much decorations are, my oh my. We also have our stockings up, including two for Mr. Benson and Mr. Otis. The outside is simple with white snowflake lights, with the exception of Bo-tis. This is a combination of Mr. Otis and Mr. Benson, a furry light up white dog with a Christmas hat on. It has been the centerpiece of our holiday so far! I just hope the tree does not dry out before Christmas! I will show you my unique way of watering the tree later.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cranberry Salsa

Happy Friday Crew! Dan Wells writing, I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits!

Cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie are an indispensable part of traditional Thanksgiving dinners...RIGHT? Well, I have a new spin on cranberries at the dining table, how about cranberry salsa.

Here's a good salsa recipe that calls for those fresh cranberries stacked up in stores right now.


1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries

1 large Granny Smith apple, cut into quarters

2 or 3 navel oranges, peeled, ends trimmed

1 or 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, or to taste, trimmed

1 to 3 sprigs of cilantro, or to taste

1/4 or 1/2 cup sugar, or to taste

1. Chop the cranberries, apple, oranges, jalapeno peppers and cilantro separately in a food processor.

2. Mix the chopped ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in the sugar.

3. Chill for 3 to 10 hours for the flavors to blend.

Makes 10 servings

-- "Living Well: More Than a Cookbook," National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences

- Per serving: 72 calories, 0 fat, 3.1 grams fiber, 0.6 gram protein, 19 grams carbohydrate, 1 milligram sodium, 0 milligrams cholesterol

I just thought it might be useful as we all head into the Thanksgiving and Holiday season! Plus, If you didn’t know the season for fresh cranberries is short, so stock up while you can. You should be able to find fresh cranberries through December. After that, the only fresh cranberries you'll find will be in frozen form.

Cheers Dan

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thank You Notes

Good morning, Katy here… This week my goal has been to start my Thank You notes for the wedding. As I writing earlier this week, I realized my hand was cramped after writing ONE note! That got me to thinking… when was the last time that I wrote a note in cursive? It’s been forever! I was amazed that I haven’t hand-written a note in so long, but realize that writing notes is becoming less and less popular. Everything is electronic. Typing and texting is our main form of communication now.
Here’s where I get philosophical… What’s that mean for the future? I was watching a PBS special the other night, where celebrities dug into their family history, learning about their relatives and when they came over to the United States. So much of the research was finding hand-written documents that have been preserved for over a hundred years. What sort of documents will be preserved for the future if they are all on the computer? I guess you could print stuff out, but it takes the personal touch out of the document. A e-signature isn’t the same as your own John Hancock, in my opinion. And what about letters? I love reading old letters and journal entries from my grandparents, parents and even myself! My mom still has a journal that I wrote when I was about 8 years old, documenting our family vacation driving across the county. I also saved a few notes that I passed to my friends during middle school. They are both neat mementos about some of my life experiences. Technology is a great thing, but there are a few things that I’d like to hang onto for my kids someday. Hand-writing notes and journals is one of them. So I think one of my New Year’s resolutions is going to hand-write things more. Better start those cursive exercises again, my writing is a little rusty.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lollipop Concert

My pre-schooler got a little culture this weekend.

Hi, it's Sheila. I took Eric to the Cincinnati POPS' Lollipop Concert Saturday, and we were accompanied by my friend Megan Wells and her daughter Ali (Dan's wife and daughter). First of all, there's nothing funnier than a four year old kid, and Ali and Eric are both four -- double the funny! Being a princess is a lot of hard work for mommies. Ali made sure her mom helped her with a special pink dress and a fashion staple for little girls, black Mary Jane shoes. It made me miss having a little girl to dress up like a doll! Eric was very excited about going to what he called the Popsicle Party. He had no clue he was going to hear classical music!

They were the cutest thing when we got to Music Hall. Eric helped Ali out of the car and took her by the hand. Then he promptly ran off and left her behind until I fetched him back. Let's just says he's a gentleman with a short attention span!

This was the first Lollipop Family Concert since John Morris Russell returned to Cincinnati as conductor of the POPS. You can tell he's a dad because he relates so well to the kids in the audience, and he picked a great subject for the first show -- trains! A big screen behind the orchestra showed the audience maps from the pieces' countries of origin, along with photos and films of trains and inclines. Most of the songs were recognizable, from the theme song for Thomas the Tank Engine (complete with a steaming Thomas on stage!) to a medley from Polar Express. My Eric got excited when he saw Santa on the screen. He and Ali had fun doing choo-choo motions and stomping for one of the songs too. And they were happy to see that you really do get a lollipop at the end of the Lollipop Concert. The next one is scheduled for January 28 at 10:30 a.m. at Music Hall.

We ended our outing with a trip to Taste of Belgium on Vine Street for waffles and cookies. (Megan & I induled in Jean-Francois' Belgian Frites -- to die for!) It's no wonder Eric wouldn't take a nap on Saturday after all of the sugar, but as Megan pointed out, it's okay to bend the rules of nutrition when it's a special day out with Mommy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fox19 Morning News Cooking Competition

Frank made penne with vodka sauce. It was really good.

He took it very seriously, and freaked out when the burners failed to work properly. However it tasted good.

Good morning everyone. Rob here.

I cook next week. Unlike Brad Underwood, I don't cook that often. Don't get me wrong; I like cooking. I just don't like to eat what I have cooked. Is that weird? I digress. Stephanie cooks today. She's making risotto. I think that's risky. Has she not seen the show Top Chef? Risotto is like kryptonite to the contestants. We will see how it turns out for her. Watch her cook at 8:15.

I decided to make Tonkatsu for the cooking competition. What is that you ask? It is a popular dish in Japan. It consists of a breaded deep-fried pork cutlet. It was introduced to Japan by the Portuguese in the late 19th century.

A pork fillet is salted, peppered, dredged lightly in flour, dipped into beaten eggs, coated with panko (Japanese style bread crumbs) then deep fried.

All that is easy. However, finding the sauce that goes with the dish was a little difficult. It is called bulldog sauce. (don't ask me why) I looked in the international aisle at Kroger, but couldn't find it. I knew that Jungle Jim's sold the sauce, but do you know how far that is for me. I then remembered that there is an Asian Supermarket in Evendale. It is called Cam's. Found it there, no problem. So I'm set for the Fox19 cooking competition. Hope I make my mother proud.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls, Anyone ?

So, my girlfriend and I are big foodie people, we love trying food, eating food, and once we get on something we do not let it go. One of the restaurants we go to in town has this appetizer called buffalo chicken egg rolls, this my favorite appetizer of all time, and yesterday we decided to make them. Actually, she made them for me since she does not eat chicken or meat. It is the perfect football afternoon snack. Here is how we made them. You have to first start by buying egg roll shells, which you can buy at many grocery stores they are usually in the produce section. Take a 8 ounce chicken breast and poach it in boiling water with some salt. While that is cooking lay out the shells on a clean counter top. Once the chicken is cooked pull it a part and mix it with a hot sauce of your choice. Then lay some chicken on the shell towards one end so you can eventually fold the shell. On top of the chicken lay some slaw, lettuce, or cabbage of your choice for a slight crunch. Then sprinkle with blue cheese before rolling. Then you must role them and fold them into a closed egg roll shape. Lay them on a baking rack which is on top of a cookie sheet, this will allow them to cook on all sides. I also recommend that you brush them with some olive oil to give them a crisp shell. Then back them in a 375 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven and serve using your favorite ranch dressing as a dipping sauce. These were awesome and by baking them you keep them a tad better for you instead of frying. This makes about 14 rolls. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Who Dey? Who Me?

It's an understatement to say Cincinnati is excited about Sunday. The orange-hot Bengals host the Steelers at home. A win could mean the Bengals take the AFC North lead...and bragging rights to your loud Pittsburgh friends, I'mLookingAtYouDanWells.
But one fan is more pumped than most. I will not only watch the action this weekend...but also be part of it. This Sunday...I'm becoming a Ben-Gal!
Okay, not really. But the Ben-Gal Cheerleaders were kind enough to invite me to practice with them and live out one of my fantasies: to experience the life of an NFL cheerleader! I've been learning the pre-game dance, and will dance with the Ben-gals at Paul Brown Stadium before this Sunday's game.To say that I'm excited...and nervous...would also be an understatement.But the girls have been more than supportive. I went to my second practice last night at Paul Brown Stadium. Although I had learned most of the dance (Disclaimer: That doesn't mean well), I didn't know the formations the girls would be taking on the field. What I also didn't know, was that we would be going out on the field last night. Yes, the night of the first flurries of the season.But as my teeth were chattering on the field, I could only think one thing as I looked up at the stands: how cool is this? Although I was on the dance team in high school, I've never before done something of this magnitude.
The Ben-Gals get to perform on the field in front of thousands of fans every home game, but the girls don't let it go to their pretty heads. They demonstrated infinite kindness (and patience) with me as I learned the dance.
So your probably wondering, after all this practice, will I score or fumble with the dance? Join us Monday on the FOX19 Morning News to find out!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mini - Moon

This cooler weather has me thinking about warmer days in sunny Key West. That’s where Tom and I went for a few days after the wedding… I called it our “Mini-Moon”. But, I thought I’d share a few pictures from our adventure! We’ve always wanted to travel to Key West, and now we know why so many people love it! It was beautiful! (Not to mention… warm and sunny in the 80s!). We decided to hop on a ferry boat one day and head out to Ft. Jefferson on the island of Dry Tortuga. We’re both fans of history, and Ft. Jefferson delivered! It’s an old Civil War prison where the union held war prisoners. We enjoyed walking around then spending time on the beach lying in the sun! We also visited the Hemingway house, where I got to see all of the 6-toed cats. I think that was one of the highlights of the trip. But I think our favorite activity was the sunset wine cruise we took around Key West. Sailing around sipping wine during sunset was definitely a great way to end the trip! Oh, and I also tried escargot for the first time. Needless to say, I did not like it very much!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wicked Good

Most people know this about me. If I could, I would chuck just about everything to be a Broadway star.

Sheila here.
My husband Ric likes to joke that I'd even leave him and the kids in the dust for a shot at stardom on the Great White Way. Not true. And anyway, not gonna happen. Ha! But one of the things I love about seeing Broadway shows - even when they're not in New York City - is that for a couple of hours, I can imagine being that leading lady.

Mainly, I just love seeing the incredibly talented people who take me to another place for a little while. Last week, my daughter Katie and I went to Oz. Wicked is Katie's all-time favorite musical. (Keep reading to find out mine.) it must be the favorite of many, because it's always such a hot seller in Cincinnati. I was lucky enough to see it in New York about 6 years ago, and I absolutely fell in love with the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz story. Wicked tells the tale of her early friendship with Glinda the Good Witch and how they eventually were forced to become enemies. It's also a story of love, girl power, and rising above the lack of acceptance many of us feel at some time in our lives (think Defying Gravity). Not to mention, the music and lyrics are incredible. If you haven't seen it, treat yourself, and treat your teenagers if you can!

For me, when it comes to musicals, Wicked is only topped by one, and it's all because of Julie Andrews. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music. I absolutely love that movie to this day - everything about it - from the Rodgers & Hammerstein songs to the Austrian scenery. I have no idea how many times I've seen it. I'll bet it's once a year for every year of my age. It also edges Wicked because it's a true story.

If you get downtown to see Wicked or do some Christmas shopping, check out Nicholson's for the restaurant's new Sunday brunch. The Scottish pub and restaurant is offering some delicious special drinks while Wicked is in town, but the new brunch fare is permanent. We tried the traditional Scottish breakfast and a couple of different versions of Eggs Benedict, and it all tasted great. The eggs are offered with short ribs, smoked salmon, or crab cakes. You can also find a Bloody Mary menu and entrees like Tipsey Berry French Toast with Drambuie whippped cream or Chicken & Waffle Sliders. Nicholson's is the latest downtown eatery to get into the Sunday brunch business, and this trend was badly needed. I remember a few years ago, my husband Ric and I stayed downtown for our anniversary, and on Sunday morning we couldn't find anyplace to get breakfast or brunch! What a shame! Now we have choices, and I'm all about supporting local businesses.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Never Too Early for Christmas!!

That's how I feel.

Hi everyone. Rob here.

I don't really like Halloween. Thanksgiving kind of freaks me out. Way too many food issues.

However, Christmas I love everything about it. (except the parking lot congestion) I love Fountain Square during Christmas. Unlike a lot of people, I don't mind the ice rink. I enjoy seeing families getting out on the ice, and the kids with the hot cocoa. I already have my radio set on 93.3. Listening to Christmas music actually puts me into a better mood. That's hard to do at 3:15 in the morning as I drive into work. One of my favorite songs is, "What Child is This?" by Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige. Take a listen

I also love the specials that hit the TV this time of year. You know the ones that have been running since I was a kid. The ones were all the animals look like they were made out of carpet. I love. Don't watch the whole show, that would be weird right? I usually just watch for a few minutes and feel like a kid again.

So for me it's never too early for Christmas. I love this time of year. However, I will wait until the very last minute to do my Christmas shopping. It is always to early for that.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Over the past week and a half I have gotten a lot of feed back from you our viewers, more so than anything else I have ever done here at FOX19. We kicked off Dare Frank where you went to our Facebook Page and submitted DARES for me to do. I have had many questions about which DARE did I like the best and what I am going to do next. Let me start with I thought broadcasting from the top of Great American Tower, belly dancing, and getting kids off to school were my favorites. The views from Great American Tower were simply awesome, I would love to have a weather center on top at 655 feet in the air. The belly dancing was a real challenge but I think for learning the routine quickly I did pretty well, plus you saw my belly, I mean what else says great morning tv while eating your breakfast. So what is next? Well I am taking a a day or two off as we will be working on a new series on what we always have wanted to do, but I am taking new DARES as we speak. Just e-mail me at or visit our web page at and click on DARE Frank! What would you like to see me do?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fall Cocktails

Good Friday Morning! Dan Wells writing, I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits.

With the weekend mere hours away, I thought I'd dig up some cool fall cocktails, if you're in the mood.

According to a "mixologist", (yup, it's a real profession) as the sweltering days of summer lead into the unsettled, chilly days of autumn, most of our tastes change accordingly.

We tend to seek out warm drinks which help the body beat the new chills to which we're exposed. We are also inclined to choose flavors of the season: the apples are ripe, the cranberries that are prime for picking, and sweet honey (significant during Rosh Hashanah). Many of these flavors are found in some of our favorite fall cocktails. These are just a few.


Apple cider is a big hit in the fall months and this warm drink features that wonderful, distinct taste. The liqueur used is Tuaca, a hidden treasure from Italy which has deep roots and a hint of vanilla and citrus flavors. Just as the season is a transition between summer and winter, these flavors mark a smooth transition between the fruitier and warmer libations.

•2 oz Tuaca
•hot apple cider
•whipped cream
•cinnamon stick for garnish

1.Pour the Tuaca in an Irish coffee glass.
2.Fill with hot apple cider.
3.Top with whipped cream.
4.Garnish with a cinnamon stick.


Taste a bit of the Old World with a tradition that stretches back centuries. Mulled Wine is perfect for fall entertaining when something warm and zesty is called for. The trick to the perfect Mulled Wine is a slow warm up that allows all of the spices and sweet flavors to meld together.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

•One bottle (750 mL) of red wine (suggestions: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot)
•One peeled and sliced orange (keep peel to add zest to taste into cooking pot)
•1/4 cup of brandy
•8-10 cloves
•2/3 cup honey or sugar
•3 cinnamon sticks
•1 tsp fresh or 2 tsp ground ginger (allspice can be substituted)
•Serves 4-6

To make the perfect cup of Mulled Wine, combine all ingredients in either a large pot or a slow cooker. Gently warm the ingredients on low to medium heat (avoid boiling), for 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure that the honey or sugar has completely dissolved. When the wine is steaming and the ingredients have been well blended, it is ready to serve. Ladle the Mulled Wine into mugs (leave seasonings behind) and enjoy!


Save the traditional Hot Toddy for later, this is the season of apples. This toddy is a taste infusion of hot apple cider, honey and lemon. Depending on the brand, apple brandy can create an overpowering appleness, but a smooth Canadian or rye whiskey is a perfect blend with the sweet flavors.

•2 oz whiskey or apple brandy
•1 tsp sugar
•hot apple cider
•lemon wedge for garnish
•cinnamon stick for garnish
•2-3 whole cloves for garnish
1.Coat the bottom of an Irish coffee glass with honey.
2.Add the whiskey or apple brandy.
3.Fill with hot apple cider.
4.Stir well.
5.Garnish with the lemon, cinnamon stick and cloves.

It's a tradition that every fall thousands of hunters pack their gear, don their long johns and trek through the fields with one goal, getting the big one. Returning to camp, whether successful or not, cannot get much better than if there's a great drink waiting for you.

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Yield: 1 Drink
•1 1/2 oz whiskey
•1/2 oz cherry brandy
•maraschino cherry for garnish
1.Pour the whiskey and cherry brandy into an old-fashioned glass with ice.
2.Stir well.
3.Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

5. Manhattan
Classic and classy. When a Martini just won't do, the Manhattan steps in and takes care of all desires. Sweet flavors, warming whiskey and smooth palate are characteristics which place this drink into the fabulous fall cocktail line-up.

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Yield: 1 Drink
•2 oz rye whiskey
•1/2 oz sweet vermouth
•2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
•maraschino cherry for garnish
1.Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes.
2.Stir well.
3.Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
4.Garnish with the cherry.

Just a few ideas to make the weekend a bit "warmer" (pun intended)! Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy Hallo - Christmas

Good morning, Katy here… now that Halloween is over, is everyone ready for Christmas?! Wow… Just a few days into November and we’re already talking about the holidays. Now, I never thought I’d say this... because I’m a huge Christmas cheerleader. (I admit, yesterday, after Rob said on the air that 93.3 started playing Christmas music 24/7.. I tuned in for a little Christmas cheer) But it’s TOO early! Phew.. ok I said it. It’s too early for Christmas stuff just yet. Listening to Christmas music when it’s 68 and sunny just didn’t feel right, so I switched stations. The weird thing is, when I got home yesterday, I saw a least a half dozen commercials on TV about holiday sales and deals. Really. Do they push the holidays on us a week earlier each year? It sure seems like it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll probably have my Christmas tree up a couple days after Thanksgiving… but let’s get through a majority of fall before we start talking about Christmas! I guess if there’s one positive note out of this, it’s that I’m already starting to think about gifts for family and friends. I can thank all those commercials for that. But then, that’s what they want, right? On another note, Tom and I had our first “trick or treat” on Monday. We got to pass out candy at the house, which was a lot of fun. I think I could get into the Halloween thing more next year!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Autumn & Applesauce

What is it about autumn that makes us want to eat?

Sheila here. A lot of people think it's some age old instinct to put some fat on our bodies for a scarcity of food in winter. Of course, we don't have to worry about that anymore! But the abundance of apples, and pumpkin, and squash have inspired me to cook some new (old) things.

My mom used to make homemade applesauce for my dad. I remember her spending a lot of time in the kitchen peeling and boiling lots and lots of apples, then mixing and mashing, and adding sugar and cinnamon until it was just right. And she always made a lot to put in the freezer for later. It was so good warm, cold, or right out of the freezer like a dessert! In my memory, I feel like it was a long process, so I haven't made Mom's version too many times.

So I was really happy when my daughter Kasey posted a recipe for homemade applesauce on her All Things Mamma blog. She makes it in the crockpot. Yes, you still have to do all the peeling, but once you add your water, sugar, and cinnamon you can walk away! Kasey is a great cook, and her blog is full of yummy recipes, household tips, and even contests, so check it out.

Here's Kasey's Crockpot Applesauce recipe. When I made it I used Jonagold apples, and it was perfect. And the amount of sugar and cinnamon is totally flexible, depending on your taste. Ric, Katie, and Eric LOVE cinnamon, so I pile it on there. For me, food, family, and friendship go hand in hand. Sharing a special recipe or dish is a way of sharing love. So here's some love and friendship from our family to yours!


7-10 fresh, semi-tart apples, like Jonagold

Peel and dice into small pieces and add to crock pot.

Cover with water.

Add 1 tsp of Cinnamon and 1/4 cup of Sugar.

Cook on High for 3 hours.

When finished – poor off excess water and smash with potato masher, fork or even a whisk. If you’d like smoother applesauce, use a mixer, blender or food processor.

Serve warm or chilled.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween is over, on to Thanksgiving

We all dressed up yesterday for Halloween. I was the Cowardly Lion.

Hey everyone. Rob here.

Anyone who knows me, knows I don't dress up for Halloween.

I like to be comfortable, which Halloween costumes are not. They're also often itchy. Before yesterday it has been about 10 years since I dressed up for Halloween. That was also for the Fox19 Morning News. The last time I dressed up for fun when was I was kid. Probably in middle school. Yesterday the lion costume was uncomfortable and itchy, but also fun.
I know it doesn't look like I'm having fun, but I am.

I did the make-up myself. Actually proud of the job I did. I looked up "face painting lion" on Google images and copied what I saw.

The entire morning show dressed up like the cast of Wizard of Oz. Sheila - "Dorthy" Frank -"Scarecrow" Katy - "Glenda the Good Witch" Dan - "Flying Monkey" Brad "Tin Man" Everyone looked great. But look at the Tracey as The Wicked Witch of the West. She looks fantastic. While we all looked like an off off off Broadway cast, Tracey looked straight out of Wicked. I was probably the most skeptical of dressing up during the show, but it was a lot of fun. Felt like a kid again.