Monday, August 1, 2016
Dog Days of Summer
The dog days of summer are now officially here, August 1: baseball games seem longer this time of year; enough of Canadian football even though the Stampeders and the Argos are off to good starts; after these last two weeks of politicians and biased news networks, it is time for a break from politics (until Labor Day); two more weeks until prepping for the new academic year begins; so lets’ think about some good things for these dog days.
GREAT SUMMER SALAD - WATERMELON, FETA AND BLACK OLIVE SALAD
1 small red onion 4 limes 3¼ pounds watermelon (sweet and ripe)
8 ounces feta cheese 1 bunch fresh italian parsley 1 bunch fresh mint (chopped)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil ⅔ cup pitted black olives black pepper
Peel and halve the red onion and cut into very fine half-moons and put in a small bowl to steep with the lime juice, to bring out the transparent pinkness in the onions and diminish their rasp. Two limes' worth should do it, but you can find the fruits disappointingly dried up and barren when you cut them in half, in which case add more.
Remove the rind and pips from the watermelon, and cut into approximately 4cm / 1½ inch triangular chunks. Cut the feta into similar sized pieces and put them both into a large, wide shallow bowl. Tear off sprigs of parsley so that it is used like a salad leaf, rather than a garnish, and add to the bowl along with the chopped mint.
Tip the now glowingly puce onions, along with their pink juices over the salad in the bowl, add the oil and olives, then using your hands toss the salad very gently so that the feta and melon don't lose their shape. Add a good grinding of black pepper and taste to see whether the dressing needs more lime.
A NICE SANGRIA –
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup orange flavored liqueur (recommended: triple sec or Grand Marnier)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 orange, thinly sliced
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced 1 unwaxed apple, cored, and cut into thin wedges
1 (750-ml) bottle sparkling water, chilled
Combine everything but the sparkling water in a large plastic container or glass pitchers. Cover and chill completely, 1 to 2 hours. When ready to serve, add the sparkling water.
GREAT SUMMER ENTERTAINING DISH - Fresh Corn Risotto with Wild Rice and Pancetta
This dish is perfect for entertaining. Get guests involved: One can stir the risotto while another tosses a salad. Don't rush risotto; it takes time and stirring.
2, 14 - ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth 2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil 8 ounces pancetta, chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped (1 cup) 1 1/4 cups uncooked arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 cup cooked wild rice” 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Shaved Parmesan cheese Snipped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
In a medium saucepan, bring broth to boiling. Reduce heat to low and cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons butter and the oil over medium-high heat. Add pancetta; cook and stir about 8 minutes or until nicely browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove pancetta and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in pan. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to reserved drippings; cook and stir until onion is tender.
Add rice to onion mixture in saucepan; cook and stir over medium heat about 3 minutes or until rice begins to brown. Stir in half of the cooked pancetta. Carefully add wine and crushed red pepper.
Slowly add 1 cup of the simmering broth to the rice mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup of the broth to the rice mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, cooking and stirring constantly just until rice is tender and the broth has been absorbed. (This should take about 20 minutes total.)
Stir in corn, cooked wild rice, the 1/2 cup cheese, the 2 tablespoons butter pieces and black pepper. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Divide risotto among six shallow pasta dishes or bowls. Sprinkle risotto with the remaining cooked pancetta, shaved cheese and parsley.
Tip * To cook wild rice, rinse 1/2 cup wild rice, lifting the rice with your fingers to clean thoroughly; drain. In a small saucepan, combine wild rice and 1 cup water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 40 minutes, without stirring, or until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. If needed, drain. Makes about 1-1/4 cups.
WEEKEND GETAWAY – Holland, Michigan
In 1964, the city of Holland (30 miles southwest of Grand Rapids) purchased what turned out to be the best landmark this Michigan town of 33,000 could hope for: a Dutch windmill built in 1761. Today, visitors can watch it grind grain into flour at Windmill Island Gardens, a lush 36-acre patchwork of canals, dikes, wetlands and gardens. Nearby, re-created Dutch shops sell wooden shoes and delftware, as well as imported foods. Want even more European charm? Have lunch on a patio at Alpenrose Restaurant and Cafe, or stop by DeBoer’s Dutch Brothers Bakery, a family-owned business with 200 years of experience baking traditional crisp, buttery krakelingen cookies.
Later, take a tour of New Holland Brewing Company. Then for dinner, order a potato-bacon pizza and a pint of brown ale at the brewpub’s restaurant. The brewery stands just a block from the chic new City Flats Hotel, an ecofriendly boutique property with bamboo-fiber bed sheets and recycled-glass bathroom counters. Rooms from $149.
It’s worth getting up early to savor a quiet morning on the golden sand beach at Holland State Park, 8 miles west of downtown. You could spend the day here—changing in the park’s pavilion when the day warms up, snagging a hot dog at the concession stand, snapping photos of the picturesque lighthouse—or venture back into town. Pick up a bottle of wine at Butch’s wine shop or grab a bite to eat: sandwiches, soups and salads at lunchtime and a fine-dining menu in the evening. Be sure to save a few hours to shop. The Holland Peanut Store sells an array of candy and nuts; Tikal draws women with gauzy sundresses and chunky jewelry; and SandCastle for Kids offers a great selection of timeless toys. End your weekend getaway with dinner at the hotel’s CityVu Bistro, a rooftop restaurant serving flatbread pizzas, steak, seafood and pasta. Its floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the spinning blades of Holland’s iconic windmill.
For those on the east and west coasts, fly into Chicago, Holland is only a two hour drive from Chicago.
GREAT SUMMER READS – The Boston Girl
Anita Diamant’s novel following a women’s life through a period of dramatic change: Diamant creates a wonderful portrait of a woman who both expresses and helps create the definition of modern woman.
"Inside the Saga, Secrets and Sale of CAA,"
James Andrew Miller: For most of the past 40 years, Creative Artists Agency has been the most innovative, most influential and, yes, most feared talent agency in Hollywood. From its launch in 1975 by five young agents who broke from then-dominant William Morris, it ascended in the 1980s and '90s under Michael Ovitz, who perfected the packaging of clients - actors, writers, directors - into a single project and began representing nontraditional clients like Coca-Cola. ... But now that dominance is under attack. Employing his signature oral history style, James Andrew Miller (Live From New York, Those Guys Have All the Fun) charts CAA's past, present and future with exclusive access to all the players. Pre-order August 9. http://bit.ly/2aibdIb
"Employee #1: Apple"
Craig Cannon in The Macro: Bill Fernandez was the first employee at Apple after Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Mike Markkula incorporated it. He's currently working on his own startup, Omnibotics. http://bit.ly/2axoe0v
FUN READ -- "The Yunited States of Yuge," by Caity Weaver in GQ: "A journey through the very luxurious America that Trump already runs. Caity Weaver explores one part of this beautiful republic that Donald Trump has made great again: His portfolio of exclusive real estate properties." http://bit.ly/29VrTUN
GREAT SUMMER MOVIES – There are none.
BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to Lynda Carter (65) Santa Barbara, CA.; Mark Cuban (58) Dallas, TX.; Bob Dole (93) Washington D.C.; Danny Glover (70) Del Mar, CA.; Dorothy Hamill (60) Palm Desert, CA.; Corlan Harrison … a nice person; Anita Hill (60) Norman, OK.; Don Imus (76) Westport, CT.; Justice Anthony M. Kennedy (80) Alexandria, VA.; Ted Lindsay (91) Bloomfield Hills, MI; Sandro Suffredini …famous soccer player.
OUT AND ABOUT - Grace Potter, St. Lawrence ’06 was one of the musical performers at the Democratic National Convention last week.
SPOTTED – Old friend Beth Elmore in town last week, always a pleasure to see the Trenton, Illinois native.
MORGAN STANLEY ON 2016 - Morgan Stanley analysts in a research report: "The US election is the latest political risk to markets, with the potential for serious fundamental consequences from campaign proposals. However, evidence points to a divided government & policy incrementalism, rather than sweeping near-term change ... Policy incrementalism, not transformation, is the most likely election outcome."
POLITICS 101 - Using a mix of polling data, 3rd party models, betting market probabilities, and academic studies, Politico developed and rank likely election outcomes based on 3 key principles: “1) Republicans should maintain House control; 2) The electoral map is not being remade, and favors Democrats; 3) Policy transformation is hard. Currently, Clinton White House outcomes are heavily favored."
WHAT WE LEARNED IN TRUMP'S CLEVELAND - Politics is full of compromises, and nominees like Mitt Romney, John McCain and George W. Bush also strayed from the traditional GOP agenda in various ways. But Trump has strayed in so many crucial ways - rejecting entitlement reforms, attacking the Iraq war, questioning America's commitment to protect NATO allies - that his nomination has raised questions about what the GOP agenda really is and what it will become.
The simmering tensions between conservatism and populism that boiled in Cleveland will complicate Trump's campaign for the White House, but they could also define the battle for the party's identity for decades to come.
THE CONVENTIONS - Clinton's Convention Is Made for TV. Trump's Was Made for Twitter: Hillary Clinton put on a better television show in Philadelphia than Donald J. Trump did in Cleveland. Expectations had it the other way around. Mr. Trump is the bona fide television sensation, a former maestro of a hit reality series, and he had promised to bring some 'showbiz' to the proceedings. Yet it's Mrs. Clinton who has had the celebrities and musical acts that 'Tonight Show' bookers' dreams are made of - Alicia Keys, Meryl Streep, Paul Simon, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz and Lena Dunham. It's Mrs. Clinton who has had the more professionally produced show. It is Mrs. Clinton who has had the bigger ratings, by several million people.
WHAT TO DO WITH BILL - If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, Bill Clinton will not become a regular at cabinet meetings, his wife's advisers say. He will not be invited into the Situation Room. He will step away from his family's foundation work and may not even have an office in the West Wing, given the undesirable optics of a former president and husband looking over the shoulder of the first female commander in chief. But the steps that Clinton aides are planning to shape his new life do little to address a potentially thornier problem: Historically, when Mr. Clinton does not have a job to do, he gets into trouble. ...Putting Mr. Clinton to good use, while containing his less helpful impulses, would be a major test for Mrs. Clinton as president, given the spotlight and pressure they would be under and her limited ability in the past to rein in his excesses.
Both conventions are over! Thank God. Now it's on to the debates which kick of Sept. 26th at Hofstra. 98 days until the election.
THE SWAMI’S WEEK TOP PICKS –
Major League Baseball Game of the Week: Saturday August 6, 7:05 p.m. ET, CSN: San Francisco Giants (61-44) vs. Washington Nationals (61-44), two first place teams face off, both currently struggling – Giants win 3 – 2.
Season to date (54 -39)
MARKET WEEK – Last week the first reading of U.S. second quarter GDP showed the economy grew at just 1.2%, well below market forecasts. The worse-than-expected report saw the U.S. dollar and yields close sharply lower on Friday. Equities staved off an early morning sell off to finish higher on the day and remained largely unchanged for the week.
After a busy week of earnings that saw Alphabet (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB) all report strong results, this coming week is a little quieter on the calendar. We will get earnings from the following:
Monday: Mitsubishi UFJ Bank
Tuesday: Aetna, AIG, Honda, Pfizer and Procter & Gamble
Wednesday: HSBC, Met Life, Rio Tinto, Standard Chartered and Tesla
Thursday: LinkedIn, Toyota and Viacom
Friday: Berkshire Hathaway, Royal Bank of Scotland and Virgin America
This coming week's U.S. economic data will be highlighted by Friday's employment report for July. After the impressive June report, Fed officials will be hoping the trend continues. The employment sector continues to be the highlight of the U.S. economy, and after GDP came in at a disappointing 1.2% growth, the employment sector is becoming more important for Fed officials. Current estimates are for and increase of 180,000 jobs in July. Estimates will be revisited after Wednesday's ADP employment report. ISM manufacturing data and weekly jobless claims data are due earlier in the week.
DRIVING THE WEEK - Welcome to August! What will polls fully conducted after the Democratic Convention show us about the state of the race? ... President Obama heads to Atlanta, Ga. On Monday to speak at the 95th National Convention of Disabled Veterans ... July jobs report on Friday expected to show a gain of 175K and unemployment dropping to 4.8 percent from 4.9 percent.
Next week: Higher Education, what next.
Until Next Time, Adios.
August 1, 2016
#VII-11-313CARTOON OF THE WEEK – Pokemon Go