Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Indy is ready for some football!

The biggest NFL game of the year is just two hours away, in my hometown, but I’m missing it because I fell down some stairs. Good morning, Brad here.
We have been talking about it for over a week now, showing you pictures and videos from Indianapolis as the circle city gets ready to host Super Bowl 46 this Sunday. This past weekend I had planned to head home to check out everything Super Bowl Village had to offer. That didn’t happen. I’m wearing a boot on my right foot because I fell down the stairs, sprained my ankle and tore two ligaments. Idiot.
While sitting at home watching movies and catching up on my DVR I kept getting text messages with photos emails with videos of downtown Indianapolis from friends and family who spent their weekend having fun. If I sound a little bitter, I am.
However, I must give it up to my city! Indy does it right. For about 10 days multiple streets are closed around Lucas Oil Stadium. There are stages set up for concerts, a zip line through downtown, the large roman numerals on the circle and my favorite the Indy Cars. Leading up to Monument Circle sits 33 Indy cars, each with the design of all the NFL teams and one with the logo for Super Bowl 46. Check out the Bengal car!
It’s really the ultimate fan experience and it’s less than 100 miles west on Interstate 74, so I encourage you to check it out before it’s gone. I will get to catch of glimpse of it traveling through Indy this weekend but I do wish I could spend more time than a pass through. As for the game, sorry little Manning, I’m cheering for the PATS!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday Dinner

Marzullo Here: So this weekend we did not to do much, and sometimes those are the best weekends. One thing we did do which I always find time for, is that we cooked and we ate. On Sunday I had a craving for Lasagna, however I changed it up a bit and I wanted to go with roll ups instead of regular Lasagna. I got the idea from Giada on the Food Network, and I altered the recipe just a bit. I started by making a quick marinara sauce and then I got into the Lasagna. I start my making a bechamel sauce which is a white sauce that goes on the bottom of your baking dish. It is fairly simple, you melt butter in a pan and then head flour and saute it together. Then you add milk, salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg and continue to heat and stir until it becomes thick and set it aside. Then boil your noodles but do not cook them all the way through make them al dente. While the noodles cook steam some fresh spinach to wilt it slightly. Then tear it apart and add it in a bowl with riccota, one egg, Parmesan, romano cheese, and some basil. Stir this fully then had scoops on to each noodle. After you spread it roll them and place them seam down in the baking dish on top of the bechamel sauce. Then after they are in the pan cover with the marinara sauce and top with fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh parsley. Then bake covered for 20 mins and uncovered for a additional 10 mins. You can always add more sauce afterwards but it is a nice twist to traditional lasagna.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Progress Report: Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields

Karma is cool.

Sheila here. I'm not just saying that. I am seeing a wonderful example of it in the construction of the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields in Fairfield. Miracle League fields are special places where kids and adults with special needs get to step onto a field of dreams. Quite simply, they get to play baseball, many for the first time in their lives. Construction is finally underway after four years of fundraising and planning.

Bringing a Miracle League field to his old stomping grounds was one of the dreams of Reds legend Joe Nuxhall after he saw a feature story on ESPN. His son Kim and a lot of kind and generous people are making Joe's dream come true. I don't have to tell you what Joe Nuxhall meant to Cincinnati, Fairfield, and Hamilton. His character education program, scholarships for high school seniors, and other local efforts to help children? That's all good Karma.

I'm not sure if you know what Kim means to the folks up that way in Butler County, but I saw it firsthand last month, and I witnessed it again yesterday.
Kim, Joe, and Reds great Sean Casey put together a Joe Nuxhall Character Education program several years back to bring to local schools. Kim was a teacher in Fairfield schools and saw the need for it. Last month Katy Morgan and I joined Kim and some athletes and teachers at an "I Can" basketball game at Fairfield Intermediate School. I was really touched to see the way the kids reacted to Kim, even though he is no longer in the classroom every day. When he walks into a classroom or the gym, the students cheer for Kim like he's a rock star. I've never asked him about this, but I'm sure it's because they know he cares about them, and still stands up for them and inspires them. That's good Karma too.

Now the good Karma is coming full circle. Construction started on the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields at Hatton Park in Fairfield on December 28th. Since then water and storm sewer lines have been installed, the foundation for the building was poured along with footers for the patio and pavilion area, and the main electrical conduit for the building and parking lot lights are in. There is still a lot of work to be done, but we could be watching our first Miracle League game at the field by this July.

Katy and I got to attend an appreciation luncheon yesterday at Receptions in Fairfield, where Kim honored the people who are making his dad's dream come true. "The Mayor" Sean Casey was there to thank them too. Sean doesn't even live in Cincinnati any more, but he travels back here regularly to see the progress and help it along. Sean said something that really resonated with me: "You don't make a life by what you get. You make a life by what you give." Two young ladies with special needs also touched listeners with their letters to the giving people in the audience. Jesse Hutson and Karlee Thomas can't wait to play baseball, so they can forget about doctors and surgeries for a little while, and feel "normal" by taking part in America's pasttime. I can't wait to see them on that field.

The fundraising efforts and the work have reached two big milestones: One million dollars in monetary donations and one million dollars worth of "in kind" donations, from architectural and engineering designs to construction and electrical work. Not everyone can donate thousands. In face, one donor gave $2.47. Every little bit means the world to Kim and his family, and will make an impact on special kids. But I think it would please them so much to have thousands and thousands of local people "invested" in this great project. We all loved Joe, and what I love more is knowing how he will continue to touch so many thousands of kids and their families who just want to go out and enjoy a baseball game for a little while. You can find out more about the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields here:

And be sure to like the page on Facebook to watch the progress: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Joe-Nuxhall-Miracle-League-Fields/126938827383004

Here's a list which shows how all of the good Karma is not only paying off, but I believe creating even more. Maybe you can support these businesses and special people.
The Hatton Foundation donated $500,000 in a matching grant.
Other big donors include Mercy Hospital, Clemmons & Wolterman Law Office, Union Central Life Insurance, the Pfau Foundation, Butler County, and of course, the Nuxhall family. But the effort continues because an endowment is needed to ensure that the field can be maintained and used for years to come. The goal for that is $500,000, and every donation, no matter how big or small can make an impact.
Lots of companies, groups, and workers are helping by donating their services and equipment.
Bown Industries, LSI Lighting Industries, John R. Jurgensen, Ernst Concrete, Halcomb Concrete & Foundations, Dallis Homes, Bayer & Becker Engineers, DHA Architects, Magna Engineers, Lykins Oil, KoKosing, Enerfab, the City of Fairfield, the Fairfield Community Foundation, and local Ironworkers.
And an extra special shout out to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers #648. Some of them are unemployed right now, but they are all working hard on the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields. Their good Karma will inspire me for years to come.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Where Is All The Snow ?

Good morning, happy Thursday! It’s Katy… and recently I’ve been getting the same question here in the newsroom and out in public. Where is all the snow?! Hard to believe we’re now at the end of January, and we’ve gotten by with a pretty mild winter (*Shh! Don’t tell Mother Nature!) As much as I am enjoying the mild weather, I have to admit.. I do miss the snow. It may be that most people yern for what they don’t have. If you remember last year, we had quite a bit of snow! In fact, this time last year, we had already logged 28.6 inches of snow! Compare that to the 2.0 inches that we’ve seen this year! (On average, we should have seen about 10 inches of snow by now… which puts us 8 inches behind for the year).

So… why so little snow this year? You remember the Storm Team talking about the La Nina winter that’s set up for us this winter. For our region, that typically brings a slightly mild, wetter winter. Take a look at the outlook that NOAA put out back in October, which basically follows what a typical La Nina would bring to the United States. Our region is under the “average “ temperature, seeing temperatures right around 40 degrees, with wet conditions. The reason why? The Jet Stream. The Jet Stream hasn’t been able to pull in the arctic air we need to produce snow. Instead, many southern systems have formed, pulling in warmer air from the south, with shallow cold layers in the upper levels. The result is more rain than snow.

But we still have the rest of January, February and early March to get through. Will we see a big snow at all this year? According to Chief Meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer, it may not happen. The pattern this winter has been pretty steady, with a west to east jet flow, keeping us around average with rainy conditions all winter. I’ll have to agree with Steve. The chances are dwindling for a cold, deep snow to form. But, being in the business of meteorology… I won’t completely rule it out. I’ve been in the line of work long enough to know that Mother Nature can and DOES surprise you. We’ll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My REVIEW of Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales!

Happy Wednesday. Dan Wells writing, and I hope your day is off to a good start.

This past Sunday afternoon was a day spent with Disney Princesses. I had the pleasure of taking my family to see Disney Live! Three Classic Fairy Tales at US Bank Arena. This was the first live theater experience for my daughters, and let me tell you, it was a great introduction to live entertainment.

The show started at 12:00pm and kept a good pace, especially for two young kids who tend to get distracted (my girls are two and four years old).

Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy greeted the audience and then began to tell the story of "Snow White". The set was close, magical (in that Disney sort of way) and the pace was perfect. A word of warning for next time, the Evil Queen in the Snow White story can be frightening for young kids who may not be familiar with the story. (my girls almost cried) However, all those fears went away when the goofy seven dwarves took the stage and the girls pulled their faces out of my jacket!

"Cinderella" was the next Fairly Tale. My girls loved Cinderella (that's they're favorite story) and what's nice about this story was a well placed intermission in the middle of the story.

Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" was the last princess featured. The costumes for the Beauty and the Beast were big, sparkly, beautiful, and the music was fun as well.

The grand finale featured all three couples in their wedding garb (I think this is what my girls imagine their wedding will be) and then everyone was joined by Mickey Mouse and friends.

The entire show was about an hour and a half long and was the perfect length. In closing, if you get the chance to attend the next Disney Live! event....go for it, you won't want to miss it when one comes close again!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Beating the Winter Blues

We are starting a new series here on the morning news. It will hopefully give you ideas on how to beat the winter blues.

Hi everyone. Rob here.

We all headed to Rockquest in Sharonville yesterday. Everyone except for Brad Underwood. He's already beating the winter blues. He's on vacation in Florida.

Rockquest allows people of all ages and all levels of climbing ability to act as Spiderman for a bit.

The wall we scaled was 4 and a half stories tall. I took a picture of Sheila, Katy and Tracey climbing the wall. Katy's way up top, but all three made it to the top. Actually, everyone made it to the top except for one. (I will allow you to guess who that is)

It was challenging and surprisingly grueling. The height can freak you out for a while. It did me, but the more you climb the easier it gets.

The expert climbers who guided us yesterday were fantastic. They made us feel comfortable and most importantly safe. Find out more at www.rockquest.com

Our Dan Well has some advice for men and what not to wear. If you want to know more, email him at dwells@fox19.com

Monday, January 23, 2012

Come Chat With Me

Good Morning...Frank Here...Did the rolls of thunder wake you up this morning? We had some areas of heavy rain up to a half of inch in spots, but for the most part no wind damage here at home. So where is the snow? Where is the cold air? What is going on? I know all questions you have as we have only seen 2 inches of snow this season. We have addressed all of these questions on air and now I have another way you can chat with me. Join me every morning on FOX19.com for a morning chat while you enjoy breakfast and get the kids to school. On mornings when the weather is the story we will be here with you as Meteorologist Katy Morgan will join me to answer your questions. Then on other mornings we will just chat about whatever is on your mind, so let the questions fly. I will include a link here for you to find our chat or you can simply go to our homepage at http://www.fox19.com/ and click on the chat with Frank link. Here is the direct link: http://www.fox19.com/category/229883/frank-marzullos-weather-chat

Friday, January 20, 2012

Jamaica, Mon!

No passport? No problem, mon!

What do you pack when you go on a tropical vacation? Sunblock? Swimsuit? Trashy romance novel?

How about a passport? Whoops...forgot that one.

This was my reality last Thursday night. I had just fought through Cincinnati snow and 8 hours of flight delays to get home to Delaware. The next morning my lovely boyfriend and I were headed to Ochos Rios, Jamaica.

Or so I hoped. I realized with terror as I was having dinner with my parents, little brother, and boyfriend that I left my passport in my apartment in Cincinnati. Immediately Team Stephanie went into action. My wonderful friend Cassie Wissel faxed my passport to me Friday morning (at 7am no less!) and my parents tore the house apart looking for my birth certificate. According to the U.S. Department of State website, you can enter Jamaica with only a photo I.D. and a birth certificate.

No problems, right? Not so much. Lordhamercy!

U.S. Airways stopped me at the gate, saying there was "no way" I was getting to Jamaica. After demanding that they pull up the country exception policy and crying enough to embarrass my boyfriend, we got on the flight. Thought Jamaica was laid-back? Jamaican customs officials claimed there was no birth certificate policy with the U.S., and locked my boyfriend and I in an interrogation room for an hour. After a lot of documents, pleas, and tears...we somehow got in the country. Customs demanded that I FedEx my passport ASAP to Jamaica.

Now...I don't want to sound like Negative Nancy. We got in the country and had a wonderful next five days. We swam, snorkled, sailed, and drank a few too many Jamaican Smiles :) We stayed at Couples Tower Isle in Ochos Rios. The resort hosted the most amazing Jamaican steel drum band and dancers at dinner. But we didn't stay on the resort...we also hiked up the slippery Dunn's river falls in Ochos Rios.

Relaxed yet? I was too...but too soon. Although my passport was supposed to arrive Monday...it wasn't set to be delivered until Tuesday afternoon...after our flight! I requested that the passport be held in Montego Bay near the airport. A $150 cab ride later and a lot of patience....and we were home bound for America.

The moral of the story is....always remember your passport...and don't believe everything you read online. And relax, mon! Everything will work out fine :)

- Stephanie

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Today we remember those making a journey many of us pray we'll never have to make! We celebrate those that have passed through the valley and are on their way to the mountain top. We celebrate those that are no longer with us. I'm talking about breast cancer patients and survivors. Hi...Tracey here.

It's the 19th of the month and that means it's THINK PINK here at FOX19.

I don't know what it's like to hear the words, "you have breast cancer." I've come as close as I hope I ever will. Just a short time ago, I spent much of my time driving one of my best friends, a single mom, back and forth to chemo, trying to convince her 2 daughters that she was going to be okay as she could barely lift her head from her pillow. I am thrilled to share with you that her journey has her making her way up the mountain side to the mountain top :)

Every month, we here at FOX19 hear the stories of the most courageous women and a few men too, that I'll ever meet in my lifetime. The 19th of every month, we commit to raising awareness for the 1 in 8 women that will be diagnosed with breast cancer. We call this day, THINK PINK! We wear pink. We tell you about events in the community that help the cause. We shed tears along with those that are making the journey and with those whose loved ones did not. We'd love for you to join us in the fight. Won't you help the close to 300 thousand that will be diagnosed this year? Won't you commit to making sure your girlfriend gets her yearly mammogram? We invite you to visit the special section on our website we call THINK PINK. Share your breast cancer stories and events with me. traceyjohnson@fox19.com and together.....WE'LL THINK PINK!!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Steamboat Springs

Greetings, friends, from Steamboat Springs, Colorado!

Marzullo here. I know the weather was a bit rough at home on Tuesday, here it was about 8 below here when you had your thunderstorms. If you have been watching some of our broadcasts you know I have been here LIVE as part of the 23rd Annual Steamboat Weather Summit. It has been a great time learning from some of the tops in our field while at the same time hitting the slopes.

To start, on the work side of things, did you know the field of space weather is one of the fastest growing areas of forecasting? It's increasingly important to know when solar flares may occur and radiational storms could take out radio transmissions for several hours. Airlines, especially, have to have a heads up.

On the fun side I have been getting a lot of ski time as we got 11 inches of much needed fresh powder here. This morning on the Xtra you will see me try to snow board. I took part in this yesterday and I have to be honest that's the only reason I am writing this blog.

I am so sore right now I can't move, so I said "Oh, let me lie here with my glass of wine and a few Advil and write my blog. Seriously though, I loved it and found it really challenging, but I have never been so sore or felt so out of shape. In the meantime, stay tuned for my live reports from Steamboat on Fox 19.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I’m still coming down from my sugar high…

Good Tuesday, Brad here.
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to be a judge in cookie contest for a great cause, Cookies4Cancer. The event was put on by hospitality science students at Antonelli College in West Chester. The money raised went to the Bowman and North families who are both dealing with cancer.
A mix of 20 amateur and professional bakers sold their cookies to the public to raise the funds for the families, but before that I was a judge with some baking superstars. We had to judge all the cookies and announce a winner and runner up. The other judges were: Chef Pamela Sturkey, formerly of mesh restaurant in West Chester Twp.; pastry Chef Megan Ketover from the Netherland Hilton; Chef Ronnie Givens from Morrison’s; and General Electric executive Christian H. Blake .
I must say it was a blast, I have never done anything like it and it showed. I ate the first two cookies then realizing there is no way I could eat 20 cookies! It was so interesting watching and listening to the real chef’s taste, critique and compare all the cookies. It was especially fun to watch Chef Sturkey and Chef Ketover. They took tiny bites and then placed the rest of the cookie on a napkin and number it. Later they would take another bite and compare some more. So, like a nerd and a fan of the two, I followed their lead.
The winning cookie was from Cleveland, it was a tea cookie with fresh raspberry jam on top with an icing glaze sealing it all in. very delicious. However, my favorite cookie which was actually the runner up was this sugar cookie made by a 17 year old high school student from Hamilton. Sarah Stumpf and her sugar cookie covered in green and red sprinkles. It was so good, a very simple sugar cookie, but soft and full of flavor. Sarah actually sells them through her email, she has a business card and even a good company name, Cookies For College. She makes Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Crème Pie, Gingersnap, Snickerdoodle and Sugar. She told us that she is hoping to go a culinary school for college. Good Luck Sarah, so far so good with the cookies.
I think I would love to do something like this again, I just hope there’s a smaller number of samples to taste, my sugar levels were that of a kid on Halloween.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King, Junior Day

"There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we now have the resources to get rid of it. The time has come for an all-out world war against poverty … The well off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for 'the least of these." -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior

Good morning, it's Sheila.
Today is Martin Luther King, Junior Day, and there may have never been a time when his words about poverty are more true than they are today. I was watching an interview with Congressman John Lewis last fall after the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth died. Of course, Rev. Shuttlesworth marched alongside Dr. King during America's civil rights movement. Rep. Lewis told his interviewer that he believes many have forgotten Dr. King's commitment to ending poverty in America, so today I think it bears repeating as we commemorate those principles for which Dr. King stood.

Millions of Americans will pray today, and many will march, and they will celebrate people who carry on Dr. King's legacy. How many of them will help the poor at a time when so many in our great country need help? I know that Jenny Laster will. I interviewed Jenny last year on MLK Day. Jenny is the director of the African-American Leadership program at the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, and she witnessed Dr. King's work as a child growing up near St. Louis in the 40's and 50's. At the age of 70, Jenny decided to pursue her Ph.D. in the MLK program at the Union Institute and University here in Cincinnati because she wanted to inspire others to make Dr. King's vision a reality. When I interviewed Jenny, I asked her how she would commemorate the holiday, and she told me she would help the poor. Jenny told me she often goes through her home and cleans out what she doesn't need, and she donates the clothing and household items to the poor -- she pointedly said she never sells any of it. That stayed with me. Now, every time I take some work clothes to Dress for Success or give kids items to the
Madonna House or the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, I think of Jenny, and I think of Dr. King. It seems rather a small thing, but it's one way of taking care of another person in need.

In the early 90's, I was able to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center and the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Being in those places was very meaningful for me, and as I left I picked up a small card which I carry in my wallet. The card carries this Living The Dream Pledge: "In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and work, I pledge to do everything that I can to make the world a place where equality and justice, freedom and peace will grow and flourish. On the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday, I commit myself to living the dream by:
Loving, not hating
Showing understanding, not anger
Making peace, not war.

Today's public commemoration in Cincinnati is themed Be the Change - Live the Freedom. Let's face it. Our world still needs change. The challenges of violence and poverty still resonate, and people still suffer. But each and every one of us can make the conscious decision that we will be the change - even if it's in the seemingly small offerings of clothing for the poor, or a shoulder when someone needs it to lean on, stopping bullying, or mentoring a child. We all have different reasons for honoring Dr. King - I like to think that he will best be remembered if we take some action and show concern for "the least of these."

Here's a link, if you'd like to take part in today's events Downtown.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Freezer Bowl

If I had to put together my “perfect” football forecast, it would be 30° at kickoff with cloudy skies and flurries. But I would never, I repeat, NEVER wish -8°F with a wind chill of -34°F upon anyone! That’s just nuts! But it happened, and many Cincinnatians remember that frigid afternoon in football 30 years ago this week!

Good morning, Katy here… and I’m talking about The Freezer Bowl, which took place on January 10th, 1982…30 years ago this week! I’ve actually heard stories of the Freezer Bowl before, from my husband’s parents. They lived in Lima (and still do today) but came down for the game that afternoon. (They were prepared for the cold.. but I don’t know if anyone knew it would be THAT cold!)

When the Bengals and Chargers took to the field, the air temperature was around -8°F. But that wasn’t the half of it. Winds were blowing 20 mph, gusting to 30… making the wind chill an unbearable -34°F. Actually, the wind chills were modified later in 2001 to -34°F using a more modern and realistic math equation to calculate the wind chill. Using the old equation in 1982, wind chills were reported around -55°F, and up to -80°F! Believe it or not..46,000 fans showed up for the game!

Based on the climatology from the National Weather Service, that day went down as the 6th coldest day in Cincinnati history, considering an average temperature of the high and low. (the average from that day was -9°F. The coldest average day on record is a three way tie of -12.5°F all set in January. 20th of January 1985, and the 17th and 18th of January 1977.

Chief Meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer was working at the game that day, and remembers the wind swirling around Riverfront Stadium… and even recalls the San Diego QB yelling out a few “choice” words as he was making his way to the field. Ha. This was pretty cold for Cincinnati, but can you imagine the San Diego Chargers playing in this weather?!

Needless to say, you know how this one ended. Cincinnati won 27-7.

By the way, if you were at that game.. I found a cool t-shirt for you! check it out.. http://www.homage.com/store/tees-tops/t-shirts/sports/football/freezer-bowl-82

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Football, Food, & Friends

People ask me all the time what my co-workers are like.
Does Rob really eat all of that food?
Is Frank ever in a bad mood?

Sheila here.
People also want to know if we are really friends.
The short answer is yes. Ric and I had my Fox 19 Morning News friends over to watch the football game Saturday. I don't want to talk about the Bengals' loss. As Rob said, "that game hurt my feelings!"

A few of our friends couldn't make it, but Rob and Stephanie were there, along with Katy, Dan, Brad (and their husband, wife, daughters, and girlfriend). Rob didn't eat as much as you would think. He's training for the Boston marathon. Katy is one of the smartest women I've ever met, and Stephanie is really funny! We are all getting to know her better, which is really fun. Dan is the sweetest dad. You should see him with his girls. Brad has a really cute girlfriend, and she made some amazing Buffalo Chicken Dip.

We had a great time talking about everything BUT work, watching the game, and eating A LOT of food. I made a soup which Rita Heikenfeld prepared on our show years ago. It's always a good dish for having people over, and several of my buddies wanted to recipe, so I thought you'd like to have it too. Enjoy!

1 pound very lean ground chuck or ground turkey
1 generous cup chopped onion
1 tsp garlic
1 jar chunky style pasta sauce - 19-29 oz.
3 cans de-fatted beef broth
1 can chopped tomatoes with chilies
1 bag frozen soup vegetables - 16 oz.
1 box frozen mixed vegetables 10 oz.
1 can drained beans (I like black beans)
1/4 cup bulghur wheat (I substitute barley)

Handful of fresh spinach or other greens
Low fat cheddar or parmesan cheese

Directions:Saute meat with onions and garlic. darin fat. Thaw frozen vegetables. Add remaining ingredients, except for cheese. Bring to a boil. Lower to simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables tenderize. Throw in the greens for the last minute. Garnish with cheese.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Not To Be All Frank Like.....

But this morning I wanted to talk about food. Specifically, eating brunch at Take the Cake in Northside. It is all kinds of awesomeness. Tried to go Saturday morning, but it was closed. I was bummed. It is only open for brunch on Sundays. Went down the street to the Bluejay Restaurant, which was also very good. Ventured back to Northside the very next day, best decision I made all day. That's how much I was craving the food at Take the Cake.

It doesn't have a traditional menu. It is written out on a black chalkboard. It is fluid. Determined by what's fresh and delicious.

I decided to order steak on top of biscuit. There were also black beans, a perfectly poached egg, and guacamole.

I'm not Tom Colicchio from Top Chef, but I thought it was a perfectly composed dish.

One other great thing happened during brunch. A woman (the owner I think) cracked a tart slightly, as she was taking it out o the pan. Looked over at us and said, "I think someone is getting a free dessert." I rarely eat dessert, but I ate this one. It was worth every single calorie. Take the Cake, check it out!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Still Dreaming Of Food

It is hard to belive I have not seen or talked to you since last year! I know bad joke, right? Happy New Year to everyone, it has been awhile since we have talked but it is good to be back with you after some vacation time. Marzullo Here: I have to say while time is off is amazing after while you miss your everyday routine, maybe I can do without the waking up at 2:45am, but that means I would not be able to do what I so enjoy and that is waking you up every morning. We spent about 10 days down in Southwest Florida, a few years ago my parents bought a place in Cape Coral, Florida which is between Naples and Fort Meyers. With us gone for several days we decided to make it easier we would just drive so my girlfriend and I divide the drive up with the first leg to Atlanta and then onto Cape Coral the next day. So much I could talk about, yes the weather was fantastic with temperatures near 80 degrees and sunny our first 4 days and then it cooled down a bit into the 60 degree range before warming back up our last 2 days. One thing on want to touch on is the best meal I have had in a very long time. The restaurant is called Bistro 821 and if your heading to Naples anytime soon it's on 5th avenue in old Naples. A very comfortable atmosphere with food that will dance in your mouth with every bite. You will recognized most things on the menu but the tastes are amazing and presentation even better. My girlfriend who loves seafood had the seabass and prawns duet with a miso sauce while I went with the fork tender pot roast and the largest carrot I have ever seen. The gravy for my pot roast was a parsnip gravy and was served on the most amazing mash potatoes I have ever had. What was even better was the appetizer which was a goat cheese potato fritter with a demi glaze...OH MY AMAZING! I love food we are both foodies and trust me if your in the area this place is a must, especially for a special occasion, it was a our anniversary and it was the perfect way to spend the evening. The second part of my trip I loved was our spa and relaxation day but I'll save those stories for the air. It is good to be back and now lets track some snow!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Bengals Trivia!

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

The Bengals (9-7) are back in the postseason for the third time in seven seasons! This morning, I thought I'd dig up some fun Bengals trivia for you.

Check it out.

When Paul Brown originally attempted to form the Bengals, it was his intent to join the NFL and not the AFL.

In 1973, Essex Johnson became the first Bengals player to ever gain more than 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game.

The first Bengals quarterback to ever throw for more than 3,000 yards in a season was Ken Anderson in 1975.

Wide receiver Eddie Brown caught more touchdown passes from Boomer Esiason than any other player.

The first Bengals receiver to put up 200 or more receiving yards in one game was future Hall of Famer Charlie Joiner. He caught seven passes for 200 yards in a 1975 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Boomer Esiason threw more touchdown passes against the Houston Oilers than he did against any other NFL franchise.

Ken Anderson threw more touchdown passes against the Houston Oilers than he did against any other opponent.

The first Cincinnati Bengals player to put together a 1,000 yard rushing season was Paul Robinson in 1968. This would be the only 1,000 yard rushing season of his career.

The worst win-loss record by a Bengals starting quarterback who started at least 16 games for the team during their career is 4-20 and is the property of David Klingler.

Boomer Esiason's first career NFL touchdown pass was caught by M.L. Harris.
Carson Palmer's first NFL touchdown pass came in his first game ever, it went for six yards and was caught by Kenny Watson.

The Cincinnati Bengals had no 1,000 yard rushers during the entire 1970′s.

At one point over a span of six consecutive games in 2007, Carson Palmer threw seven straight touchdown passes to receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh without another player on the team catching one.

The Bengals joined the AFL in 1968 and then the NFL in 1970 as part of the NFL-AFL merger.
While with the Cincinnati Bengals, Charlie Joiner once accumulated 200 yards receiving in one game.

During Carson Palmer's senior season at Santa Margarita Catholic High School he threw 71 touchdown passes.

Boomer Esiason was the first quarterback taken in the 1984 NFL Draft… even though he wasn't selected until early in the second round. Esiason was selected in the first round of the USFL
Draft that year by the Washington Federals.

The final play of quarterback Boomer Esiason's career was a 77 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Darnay Scott.

Paul Brown, the founder and longtime Head Coach of the Cleveland Browns also founded the Cincinnati Bengals.

Linebacker Reggie Williams, a Dartmouth graduate, served on the Cincinnati City Council while playing for the Bengals.

The Bengals unique tiger-striped helmets were debuted for the 1981 season.

Have a great weekend!
- Dan Wells

Thursday, January 5, 2012

We Bought A Zoo

Growing up in a family with five kids, going to the movies was quite a treat. It is the same for my family today. It's not cheap for a family of six to catch a movie, popcorn, candy and a hot dog of course. It's what I look forward to the most!

Tracey here.
Monday was a special day for our family. We decided to go to the movie. We were celebrating Genevieve's 7th birthday. Before taking in a movie, we always check a particular website. It is www.pluggedin.org.
You choose the movie and it gives you everything you want to know from the positives to the negatives....right down to the number of profanities, sex scenes etc. It lays it all out.
We were sure we were going to see the movie, " We bought a Zoo." It is rated PG and the story line seemed to be one we'd all enjoy. After visiting this particular website, I was both appalled and saddened to see the profanity in the movie. Many of you may think, "what's the big deal?" The bottom line, I don't choose and will not sit with my little one only to hear language that I don't think is appropriate for her at her age. Does she hear it elsewhere? I hope not, but, probably. I just don't want to send the message that I think it's okay. Am I boycotting the movie? Absolutely not. I actually think it looks like a great movie. I love that it tells the story of a wonderful marriage and deals with real life issues like the pain of losing your soul mate and how to cope and help your kids with the loss of a parent. Bottom line here....I just want to offer you a resource that I find helpful as a parent.

So, I'll probably just have to wait until it comes out on video. Unfortunately, I won't have any of that yummy theatre popcorn to go along with my movie. But, I could make a hot dog in my microwave!:)
Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Vacation In Movies

I had a fantastic Christmas vacation. I spent a good part of it just making myself relax! And what better way to kick back than with a good movie?

Sheila here.
I saw some dear friends and I had tons of great family time while I was off for the holidays. Katie and I got facials and caught lunch at Jean-Robert's Table (get the Frites! They'll change your life!) We also met my buddy from San Francisco at Trio's, and munched on Margherita pizza and calamari. Mmmm.

Eric and I hit the Jump Zone and the indoor swimming pool, and Ric and I had two dates! We met up with friends for dinner at The Precinct (and a steak that'll change your life!), and we chowed down on hot dogs while watching The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

I have been waiting forever for that movie! I read all three books in the series by Stieg Larsson, and I loved them. Rooney Mara gave an Oscar worthy performance as the unlikley hacker and heroine, Lisbeth, and let's face it - Daniel Craig is easy on the eyes. It's a great murder mystery with lots of twists, and it's true to the book. A warning--there are disturbing elements in this novel, and since the movie sticks to the book, there are some pretty graphic scenes, including a rape scene which is very difficult to watch.

I also caught up on a whole bunch of movies on my DVD player, On Demand, and Showtime. Horrible Bosses - really raunchy, but funny. Crazy Stupid Love is so good - Ryan Gosling coaches Steve Carrell on how to pick up women after Julianne Moore tells him she wants a divorce.

It's got an unbelievable twist, and it's really cute. Nobody's Fool garnered Paul Newman an Oscar nod several years back, but somehow I missed it. I liked it a lot. I also checked out The Mechanic - about a hit man who ends up training the son of a man he kills. Very violent, but a good story which had me rooting for the hitman. The Holiday with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet was a cute chick flick for a slow afternoon with nothing better to do. And if you haven't seen The Help, order it On Demand or at your local Red Box. It's a must see with strong, funny women during the Civil Rights movement in the South. It was my favorite movie of 2011.

Hey, it's winter, it's cold and gray. Perfect movie weather, and the heavy clothes we're wearing can hide all of that popcorn (or hot dogs) we eat!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Honky Tonkin New Years

Good Tuesday morning and Happy New Year. Brad here, just back from Nashville Tennessee where I rang in the New Year. It was a first time visit to the city and I can say with confidence I will return. The weekend went too fast but here are some of the highlights.
Friday night it was all about Broadway. If you are familiar with downtown Nashville you know what I mean when I say Broadway and we aren’t talking about a play. Several blocks of bars, restaurants, cowboy boot/hat shops, bright lights and lots of music. I’m not a country music fan, but it was nice to be there and experience it. Live music all the time, a cold beverage and some BBQ, yes I’ll have seconds.
Saturday, it was about exploring. There are multiple universities just outside the downtown area. Vanderbilt, Belmont, Lipscomb to name a few. Vanderbilt’s campus is beautiful, very old buildings, ivy lined sidewalks, tall brick clock towers. The campus is huge, much bigger than I thought the school was. Coincidentally Cincinnati was playing Vanderbilt in the Liberty Bowl on Saturday, so we had to do it...The UC pose of the vandy logo at the football stadium. Oh yeah, UC won 31-24! Then it was off to downtown to check out a new city. Printers Alley, the historic government area, the arts district, a couple stops for a drink and some food, all just so much fun. Then we came across Occupy Nashville. They are still camped out in front of the State Capital Building and directly in front of the War Memorial, where the concert was that we went to.
HERE COME THE MUMMIES!! I know, I talk about these guys all the time, but this is why the trip to Nashville happened. They are from Nashville and the venue was packed! What a great show and countdown to the New Year.
Overall an amazing time, very nice people and a great atmosphere, sunny and 60 degrees all weekend helps too!