Archive for the ‘television’ Category

Sputnik, Clafoutis, and watermelon salad….that’s what been happening in my world!
July 16, 2012

Softshell crabs Linwoods style on creamed corn bed, with béarnaise sauce….

Ok,….I ate this weekend at a restaurant I haven’t been to in several years. Not for any particular reason, but Linwoods just isn’t on my beaten path…and I just haven’t thought about it. How sad for me…had the most amazing meal there Saturday evening…my first soft shell crabs of the year, served on a creamed corn puddle, with pickled green beans.

Watermelon salad…love the composition of it, hated to mess it
up, but I did!!

And a watermelon salad with feta cheese and little scoops of cucumber sorbet on the top. So pretty…so delicious.

It’s a French classic….for a reason.

But you can’t always eat out, and I had a big bowl of fresh cherries from Whole Foods at half price that needed a home….so I made a cherry clafoutis(pronounced kla-foo-tee’). The recipe I use is from an old French cookbook I’ve had for probably 25 years, but there are plenty of other versions around….one of which I will provide below. But it’s a delicious eggy dessert that can accommodate almost any fruit…I added blueberries to the one above. And dead easy. This recipe from Williams-Sonoma is pretty close to mine…

Saved from the trash….now to be recycled. Sigh.

OK, I know some consider me a recycling freak…and maybe that’s true, because I spend part of my time here at work saving bottles and cans from the trash bins, and walking them over to the recycling bins. You know who you are, people.

I know, I know…what was I thinking???

And this Sputnik looking light fixture I won at an auction two years ago at Center Stage…it’s been sitting in their development office ever since. I went down last week, to finally take it home(and do what with it I still don’t know)….but I forgotten how big the damn thing really is. Probably 40-50 inches in diameter. So there I was on a super hot day, struggling with this thing on Calvert Street, trying to get it in the car without damaging it. Guess where it is now? That’s right, back in the development office. I’m coming up with plan B.

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Preakness week wrapup….check.
May 21, 2012

Just hangin’ with Cam Newton and Torrey Smith….look how happy I am.

This past week has honestly been a whole lot of the P word for me. You know, that big old party over on Northern Parkway that we call the Preakness….you know the one. The picture above is one of my fav moments there…Once I heard the Raven’s Torrey Smith(who is really the nicest young man in the world…seriously sweet) say Cam Newton(once an Auburn Tiger and now the Carolina’s Panther’s hotshot new quarterbackk) was in the Under Armour tent…nothing was gonna keep me away. Creepy obsession? Maybe. One woman asked me was he dreamy…me: “Yes, the dreamiest.” And also very nice…and they were both dressed like a million dollars!

My lemon yellow hat this year…..

Found my hat at Hats to Hose, on Reisterstown Road….they always have some gorgeous chapeaus…and because I had waited until the last week to go pick one….there was only  a few yellow ones(I wanted yellow to go with navy) left…and two were too small for my huge cranium. But this one really worked….I loved it! As for shoes?

J. Crew comes through again….

Picked these from J. Crew…and they were remarkably comfortable, even for clomping around the infield of Pimlico. THe only danger in shoes like these, is the tip-over…you unwittingly place your foot on uneven ground, and….over you go. At best, you’re embarrassed, at worst, you end up with a sprained ankle. Neither happened to me.

Ha-ha….beat you again Bodemeister!

And my Twitter pal I’ll Have Another is on his way to the Belmont! Who knows, maybe he’ll be the first triple crown winner in 34 years. In one tweet, he said, “Got my hooves crossed for a good run today.” Is he cute or what?  I just love that horse.

My mega pill carrier…

Several people in the newsroom have had some fun at Donna’s expense, regarding her industrial size pill carrier. It is indeed my first foray into the pill organizer world that my Mother in habited for many years. But when I found this one at Target before I went to Uganda…it solved my vitamin problems. That’s the only diff between Mom and me…she carried prescription meds, and mine is full of vitamins. Sigh.

Why, why, why mix your peanuts????????????

And just a little nudge to companies that ship things to people. If you send me biodegradable packing peanuts, I’ll compost them. If you send styrofoam peanuts, I’ll recycle them. If you mix them, I’m mad. And here’s why. It took me a good 30 minutes to sort through them all to pick out the ones I can compost. So why do that to your customers? Why? Just pick one, and I’ll deal with it. Mix them and I biodegrade. So stop it.

Working the night shift…
February 23, 2012

Here we are, making tv widgets.....around the clock...

Most of tend to think of people who work shift work, as perhaps factory jobs, where things roll around the clock…or maybe a 24 hour restaurant. My Dad worked over 40 years at a place that made cast iron pipe in Birmingham, Alabama. He would change shifts every two weeks as I remember. Imagine, for two weeks working 3:30am-noon, then two weeks day shift, and then two weeks 8 pm to 3:30 am….it must have been brutal, a continual sort of jet lag.

AC yes, but we didn't have a clothes dryer for years!

That was why we got air conditioning back in the day…he was trying to sleep during the hot summer months with 3 little girls running around screaming outside the windows. Yeah.

And as I’m sure some of you have noticed, I am now on the night shift. Television is also a business, like hospitals or factories, that operate 24-7. And those shifts have to be covered. So I’m working mid afternoon until after the 11 pm newscast. A man I saw at Whole Foods tonight said, “Wow, I see you on the 11 o’clock newscast. I know that’s tough.”

And while there positives and negatives  about everything…here’s the positive I have found in this move.

I have yet to achieve this look....

-I have time for all kinds of appointments! Hair, doctors, yoga class…running errands…You have good quality daytime hours to do things, and when your off hours are at night, many things aren’t open, or you don’t have the energy after work.

nap like a rock star...

Naps. I try to take a little while before I get ready for work to lie down for a little while, and maybe even take a nap…which I love. The nap is a much underrated pleasure.

Muffy!

-Feeding the cats. OK, that sounds truly weird, but Muffy is a grazer, and weighs almost nothing…that’s because  when I feed the cats in the morning, she nibbles and then wanders away, and Baby Girl gobbles everything she left. So now I feed Muffy several times a day, and she is actually gaining a little weight. Score!

People on the night shift. Rod Daniels(who brings in Big Pup Bandit every now and again), Kai Reed, Gerry Sandusky, Tom Tasselmyer, Jerome Chester , Sheldon Dutes…all great people I enjoy being around very much. And working on a shared project….a terrfic 11 pm newscast…is something we all share and craft together.

So it’s all good…much to my surprise, I’m enjoying being on the night shift…more than I ever thought I would. Now what has taken a beating is this blog, because I haven’t quite found the groove that allows me to do it as often. But I promise to put out a blog at least once a week. And maybe I’ll find the time to do more than that.

Someone asked had I deserted the blog for Facebook….no…but a Facebook post takes a few minutes if that, and a blog takes a block of time. If you aren’t on FB and Twitter, I encourage you to try it…you might find it much more rewarding than you think. On Twitter, I’m @donnahamiltontv, and on Facebook Donna Hamilton WBAL-TV. And it’s easy. Really.

My Big Fat Pork Butt…..Perfected
January 20, 2012

See the raven head?? See it???

Ok, I ran out of purple pretty quickly in my closest…it’s just not a color I seek out, for some reason. So now the Ravens have made it another week in the playoffs, and I wore my best purple dress LAST Friday, sooooo….the bottom half of my dress is purple. I don’t know if anyone can see it on the news, but trust me, it is. And I have on the Ravens earring s you see above…and that’s just gonna have to do it this purple Friday.

All coated in herbs, salt and pepper, ready for searing..

Though for good luck, I think I may again make the pork butt in apple cider….but I did something different last week, that’s worth repeating. Instead of apple cider, I used fresh sqeezed orange juice.

OK, NOW they're ready for the compost pail....

Not that I’m a fresh squeezed snob, but I had some oranges and tangerines that were starting to harden on the outside, but inside, they were perfection. Fished them out of the compost bin(where the hubby had put them), cut them in half and squeezed out the juice. Ta-da!

Pour this in around the roast....or heck, mix with vodka...

A nice comfy bed of veges for the butt to cook in...

And I used a different recipe in the end…(not wildly different)…and this one called for deglazing the pan after searing the meat and the veges, with a little bourbon. That just can’t be wrong. Here is the recipe for My Big Fat Pork Butt Perfected, that I found on a blog called Bootnik.Oh, and it calls for brining the roast(which I did for 12 hours) so start a day ahead….remember you still need a good 4 hours of cooking time.

 I leave you this Friday with some words from the late Ron Smith, whose memorial service knocked me out this week…really, it was amazing.

What is a mere individual to do? Live as sane and decent a life as you can, love your family and friends, and understand that everybody is in this together.”

Here, here. Have a great weekend everyone, do something nice for someone, be sane and decent, and because Ron would want me to say it…Go Ravens!

Love you Octavia Spencer!
January 16, 2012

Octavia Spencer, Auburn woman, all the way!

Let me just say up front I adored the movie The Help….and I adored equally Octavia Spencer in her role as Minnie. So last night when Octavia won Best Supporting Actress, I fully expected to like this funny and thoughtful Auburn woman’s(that’s right, she’s an Auburn grad who grew up in ‘bama!) acceptance speech, and I did. She referred to Martin Luther King Jr., whose life we celebrate today, saying, “”With regard to domestics in this country, now and then, I think Dr. King said it best: ‘All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance.’

And in truth, most of us who work are “the help” to someone, or some small business or some large corporation…but when you do your job with your whole heart and your best effort, whether you’re cleaning someone’s home(a job that truly uplifts humanity) or a sanitation engineer(ditto) or work in a department store or in an office or on tv…doing the best you can do uplifts all of us, and in the end, I think it lifts you up too. And that, I think, is partly what Dr. King was saying. Happy MLK day everyone…now get out there and uplift someone…or yourself!

 

Purple Haze: What the WBAL team is doing this Sunday!
January 13, 2012

Let your purple freak flag fly!!

Saw this car on my drive to work this morning(before you lecture me about taking a picture in my car…I was stopped at a traffic light!), but it made me think, what is everybody doing this Sunday for the Ravens playoff game? Here’s what I’ve found out so far:

J-Fran, in purple as always on Friday...

Jennifer Franciotti, who is the truest Ravens fan I know, is working this Sunday. Before you say, “Awwwww, that’s too bad“, let me add that she is at the game! So the girl is happy, you know? Wouldn’t be anywhere else. At home though, her family is saving her some Buffalo wings and sliders, and a glass of wine for when she gets home.

the I-team's Jayne Miller...also a big fan...

11 News I-Team lead investigative reporter Jayne Miller will take some time from investigating, and as a season tickets holder, will also be at the game Sunday. What’s she eating? She tells me she will definitely hit a few tailgates, menu TBA, and probably have a Guiness at the game…depending on how cold it is. “What’s the difference between a playoff game and a regular game?”, she asked me. Not knowing of course, she replied, “At a playoff game, everyone STANDS, all the time!”

Mindy Basara and me....comparing our purplicity....

Mindy Basara will watch the game from home….and she was thinking wings, but their grill has been acting funky, so they may switch to chili…or maybe a complicated buffalo wing dip thing, but she doesn’t have all the ingredients to it. She’s hoping she can con her hubby into shopping for it AND making it. Love that, girl.

And yours truly, as mentioned on Facebook,  is making a Pork Shoulder Braised in Apple Cider..a recipe I saw on the Today Show last week. It looks AMAZING…and I have the pork…just need to score the cider. IF you would like the recipe…here it is!

the lovely Sarah Caldwell sports some purple too....

Sarah Caldwell will also be watching the game from home….I asked her if she was making something special…..she said negatory on that…but you never know. Maybe she’ll change her mind.

John Collins.....a working man...

Meterologist John Collinsis working Sunday, so he too, will not be tailgating or baking purple pastries, or throwing a pork shoulder in the oven.(I’ll save you some John).

Lowell Melser.....looking lavender

 11 News reporter Lowell Melser has a little problem…which is kinda hilarious(Chris Daschille laughed out loud when he heard it). Lowell’s wife was invited to a baby shower on Sunday…that starts at 1 PM. And they did not reschedule. Yeah. So, things are a little up in the air…maybe view part of the game at a bar in Canton, maybe pizza in his basement on the BIG screen…you know. He’s keeping it loose(except being a little stressed over the baby shower thingie.)

hope you have a great time on Sunday…that the Ravens win(yeaahhh!)…that no players get hurt…that no one throws rocks, and you all come home safe…’cause we miss you!

Crazy Time….
December 23, 2011

It’s that time of year when we have so much on our collective minds, that our collective heads want to spin off of our collective shoulders…I gave my husband a list (he’s off today-I’m working) that made him turn a little pale. But he shook it off and sailed off into the early morning hours to: pick up wine across town, pick up a gift (that I would tell you about but my daughter reads my blog) on the other side of town, get a rib roast for Christmas dinner(should have done this myself), get a special kind of bread at Eddie’s, pick up the dry cleaning, find fresh coconut, recycle an old non-working piece of electronica…you know the drill.

But while it’s a crazy day, it’s also a day I think many of us are taking an inner collective sigh, that this weekend, will bring the holiday.  My son and the lovely Jennifer get in tonight(she also has to work today)…but we’re all thankful we have jobs, that we’re all healthy, that we all love each other, and that …well, life is good, I suppose. Very good.

 I think about this being the second Christmas without my sweet Momma…she loved Christmas, and worried extraordinary amounts about what she was getting everyone…I hated that she worried about it, but nothing would stop her. She has, of course, passed that perfectionist trait along to her daughter….alas. But I don’t worry about things as much as she did.  Really, I don’t.

So let’s all take a collective sigh, screw our heads back on…and get on with the day. And the holiday. Keep it safe…keep it peaceful…keep it kind…keep calm and carry on. Wishing all of you the best time with friends and family. And I’ll see you next week. Oh, and come home safe, ’cause we miss you!

Sunday Pot Roast…and ‘bama cheese…
December 19, 2011

What a treasure trove of cheese....

OK, my sisters and I have gotten to the point that instead of us buying individual gifts for siblings, in-laws, nieces and nephews, etc., we give a family gift…usually of food. Which, as you know…I love. Audrey, who lives in Gulf Shores.. came across a little fromagerie(tho they don’t call it that)…called Sweet Home Farm in Elberta. An homage to Sweet Home Alabama, I’m sure.

Perdido Pass is water passage that separates Florida and Alabama

And all the cheeses are named for places in LA(lower Alabama)….like Perdido(as in Perdido Pass), Montevallo, Bayside Blue….and they are soooo good!

Made an old-fashioned pot roast this weekend…though with an Italian twist….Strocotto…

Giada's Pot Roast....with red wine and beef broth...

Pot Roast with Porcini mushrooms by Giada di Laurentiis-here.Not difficult at all, just don’t get started too late…it takes about 4 hours to prep, cook and puree the veges into a sauce.

Sunday lunch for 7....

We had a few friends over for Sunday lunch…which seemed perfect for pot roast..here’s what the table looked like. And see that little feather wreath around the flower base?

LIttle feathery napkin holders(she found them at Pier One)

A friend brought me these napkin holders….that are so much fun….and look like they were madefor the feather wreath.

Used Magnolia leaves for place cards....free!

It's alive!! (SO far....)

And I love this “living wreath” I found this year on One King’s Lane….It likes the cold weather on the door….all you have to do is water it once a week or so. Think it will survive the winter? We’ll see, won’t we….And last but not least…finally… a server for sea salt.

Got this from The Salt Works....

One of my guests this Sunday really loved this….she has sea salts from different places, but thought….how do you serve them? I found this at a really amazing website(if you like salt!)…The Salt Works-here. These people are serious about salt…whether it’s in your food or your bath.

Their collections are 25% off right now....

And they have “salt collections” like you see above, some of which are flavored…Spanish Rosemary, Thai Ginger, Lime Fresco …and they all come with the little glass tray and 3 wee, tiny spoons…free shipping(you know I love that), and 25 % off right now. Great gift!

 

Tricks for some….and treats for others!!
October 31, 2011

OK, I think this may be my favorite Jack-o-lantern so far this year….violent, well yes, a bit…but come on…it’s Halloween!! And not too hard to do…assuming you have an axe blade you can plant in his little pumpkin skull.

All you need is an evil laugh soundtrack.....Ha-ha-ha-ha....

This one’s good too….

maybe too much work????

And I found a great fun treat for the kids…(thanks Baltimore Sun)…..here’s the recipe.

Halloween pizza!!

This is super easy to make….just needs some storebought sugar cookie dough for the crust, some candy corns, chocolate, and gummy worms….and think how cool your kids will think it is. If they’re not impressed…stop spoiling them.

Wheeee...let's stop doing news and dress up in costumes!!

I was watching the Today Show this morning against my better judgement…their Halloween show is my least favorite. Serously, I really don’t like this show. I know, I know…why do I watch? I don’t know. Heaven forbid something serious happen during this hour…you’d have someone is the costume of a bride or a prince, telling you about something horrible that happened.

But I digress….poor, poor Savannah Guthrie..that girl got the dirty tricks this year. SHe is paying her dues, seriously. While Ann Curry gets to be the adored and beautiful Kate Middleton…

…and Natalie Morales is the glamorous Pippa Middleton

….Savannah is ….wait for itPrince Charles, big ears and all.

I watched her…. thinking that she is a really good sport, but I don’t think she liked it much….The woman below in blue(never could figure out who she really is-do you know?) was complaining about her costume of a pregnant Victoria Beckham, Savannah replied dryly, “Well, at least you’re a girl!”

I feel you sister…and on national tv, too. Maybe next year, you”ll be the princess.

The perfect day off…..from toes to Zoe…
October 27, 2011

Ok, I had a couple of days off this week…in the middle of the week…with nothing really planned for those days. Unusual for me. And lovely. And for at least one of those days, I think I put together the perfect  schedule….Step one: start the day nice and slow…

A little iPad, Today Show, and green tea....bliss!

Step 2: a little tv….got to watch Regis and Kelly….can I say I will miss Regis? They have this odd, cranky chemistry that is gonna be hard to replace with someone younger and cooler.

Oh Regis...waxing poetic over something....

Step 3: Take daughter to lunch….always good to catch up with my girl. She had the gumbo…I had the grilled salmon salad(and a glass of wine-at lunch!)

Good eats in Canton...love Langerman's...

Step 4: Pedi at About Faces in Canton.

How decadent is a mid-week, mid-day pedi??

My toes really needed some attention, and I had a gift certificate to pay for it. How fabulous is that?

the color: "You Don't Know Jacques"

Step 5: Make another cup of tea at home, and catch up on magazines and catalogues. They’ve been waiting patiently… for a look-see, or the recycling bin.

Neiman Marcus gift book.....oooh, lovely.

Step 6: Lazy girl’s dinner…carrryout!Went to the new Manchurian Rice in Harbor East….they were pretty fast. Chicken and mushrooms, and Mongolian Beef…both delish(served on real dishes of course…all the better to fool you with).

Wow.....it's good they have a powerful fan system.....

Step 7: Glass of wine and catch up on Rachel Zoe Project…..

Oh, Rachel...you're a Mommy(with a baby in Chanel!)

This show is my guilty pleasure that I can only watch alone, or with my daughter…who understands me. I mean, it’s so MAJ…..obvie.

Step 8: Go to bed a little early and read my other guilty pleasure….The Faefever Series by Karen Moning. Seriously, I’m a little ashamed of liking these books so much, so don’t tell anyone. Please.