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The comfort cookies you’ll want to bite into this Fall

kyle.mack | posted Wednesday, Oct 9th, 2019

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 26

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 26

 

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup (125 mL) Becel® Original

1 1/4 cups (300 mL) all-purpose flour

1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/2 cup (125 mL) firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar

1 egg

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

1/2 cup (125 mL) HERSHEY’s CHIPITS Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

1/4 tsp (1 mL) flaked sea salt

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

 

  1. In large bowl, beat together Becel® Original, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla until blended. Gradually add flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

 

  1. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter onto ungreased baking sheets, about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden.

 

  1. Remove from oven; sprinkle with flaked sea salt. Let cool for 2 minutes in pan on rack; transfer cookies directly to rack and let cool completely.

Tip: Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped pecans or walnuts to cookies, if desired.

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Spiced Caramel Snickerdoodles

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Makes: 26

 

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup (125 mL) Becel® Original

1 1/3 cups (325 mL) all-purpose flour

1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda

1 tsp (5 mL) cream of tartar

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar, divided

1/4 cup (60 mL) firmly packed light brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

1/2 cup (125 mL) HERSHEY’S CHIPITS Sea Salt Caramel Chips

2 tsp (10 mL) ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp (2 mL) each ground ginger and nutmeg

1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; set aside.

 

  1. Beat together Becel® Original, 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl. Beat in egg and vanilla until blended. Gradually add flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in sea salt caramel chips.

 

  1. Stir together remaining sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cayenne pepper in a shallow bowl or plate.

 

  1. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Roll balls in sugar mixture, then place on ungreased baking sheets, about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

 

  1. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden. Let cool for 2 minutes on rack; transfer cookies directly to rack and let cool completely.

Tip: For Spiced Caramel Snickerdoodle Sandwich Cookies, simply spread cream cheese frosting and store-bought caramel sauce between 2 cookies.

Antoni Porowski On Success and His Foodie-Future

Kyle Mack | posted Tuesday, Oct 1st, 2019

Antoni in the Kitchen, the debut cookbook by Antoni Porowski, provides an intimate look into the life of the Queer Eye foodie. As the food and wine expert on Queer Eye, the heartwarming reboot of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Antoni has charmed viewers around the globe with his recipes and brown eyes alike. Peppered with culinary-anecdotes of his past, Antoni steps beyond traditional celeb-cookbook territory and shares his heritage with readers.

Dina Pugliese sat down with Antoni ahead of his cooking class, in partnership with Scotiabank Amex, to talk about cooking-culture and how he has paved his way outside of Queer Eye and into a foodie-future.

D: How did you go about choosing the 100 recipes for the book?

A: The decision to come up with 100 recipes wasn’t my own, it was thanks to my genius editor and co-author Rux Martin and Mindy Fox, when they first came up with that I was intimidated. I don’t write recipes down, I don’t understand measurement. Everything is in the palm of my massive gigantic hand, and I sort of had to learn how to do all of that. When I decided that I wanted to make this my memoir, with queer eye we help other people and as all five of us go off into our side projects and other things we are passionate about, we get to sort of look at our own stories. My memoir has been through food. It is how I’ve said I love you to so many people, its how I show up for other people, its how I say I’m sorry, it’s my polish heritage, food is everything for me. All the important conversations I’ve ever had have been around the table, around a meal.

D: You are the heart of Queer Eye, and have a huge sense of empathy – that’s not something that can be taught. Does that come from your upbringing? Where did you get this sense of empathy?

Antoni Porowski for Breakfast Television – Taken by Kyle Mack

A: I think I am just a very sensitive person and I take on other people’s emotions; Sometimes to my betterment and sometimes to my detriment. I don’t know how to not be like that, I feel for people.

D: Queer Eye showcases such intimate conversations, people must feel safe in your presence. You don’t feel judged by Antoni, you just want to share.

A: I am judgemental enough with myself, I don’t like to be like that with our people. It’s kind of like “treat others the way you want to be treated”; I know that’s a thing we hear all the time but it’s the simplest things in life that our school teachers, parents, and mentors have taught us…they are all true.

D: The Golden rule – Do unto others! applies at all times, in all ways.

A: The Golden Rule!

D: You talked about how you had self-doubt when going into Queer Eye, yet you have maintained this sense of humility.  How do you deal with all of this success and all of this fame?

A: I think that it is a daily reprieve. I have days where I am more anxious and I get overwhelmed by the gravity of it. It is a lot going on, but I try to keep things as simple as I can. I have a lot of conversations with my father who reminds me every day to be humble. I think that it is a thank you to my parents for raising me right; I was a brat when I was a kid, but I think I’m just trying to figure out, and I’m doing my best.

D: With the cookbook, the Emmys, the fans, do you feel worthy now?

A: By saying that I am worthy of it, it kind of assumes that I deserve everything that I have and I don’t think anyone deserves this, but I can say that I am immensely grateful for it and I don’t take it for granted – I remember every single day. When I walk into my apartment and see the life that I have, the friends that I met, my castmates, the way that I can show up for my family, I am an incredibly grateful man.

D: Speaking of your family, Johnathan recently went public with the news that he is HIV positive. It’s been a pivotal point in breaking down stigmas when it comes to the diagnosis, do you applaud him for having the bravery to do that?

A: 100%. I think that we have this incredible platform – I don’t think any of us knew what this show was going to be. For Johnathan, it took a lot but he also knows that he doesn’t want people to feel lonely or whatever it is that people are going through. He has lived a life and a half, squared, to infinity and beyond, and he is using that platform to show people that they are not alone in their experience and that they are perfectly imperfect. I have a lot of respect for him.

 

 

Thor’s Blu-ray/DVD Reviews: Oct. 1

Thor Diakow | posted Tuesday, Oct 1st, 2019

Hit the movie titles for trailer links.

October 1, 2019: Spider-Man: Far From Home, Chernobyl, True Detective: The Complete Third Season, The Addams Family/Addams Family Values 2-Movie Collection, Avatar & Legend of Korra Complete Series Collection.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

SYNOPSIS: Tom Holland returns as everyone’s favorite web-slinger in SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, the next chapter after Spider-Man: Homecoming. Our friendly neighbourhood wall-crawler decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plans to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks! Spider-Man and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) join forces to fight the havoc unleashed across the continent, but all is not as it seems.

While this Spidey adventure doesn’t quite soar as high as Homecoming, it still contains plenty of dazzling eye candy, plot twists, witty banter, crazy CG action, cool gadgets, and one rather outstanding performance from Gyllenhaal. Holland once again proves he’s the perfect actor for this role, which is ironic given the shaky cinematic future of the character thanks to the complicated Sony and Marvel rights issue (though we are getting at least one more Holland adventure in 2021). For those looking for a wealth of insightful information into the production and a bevvy of behind-the scenes tidbits, the bonus features do not disappoint.

Bonus Features:
•World Wide Web-Slinger: An in-depth look at Spider-Man’s web-slinging adventure around the world featuring new interviews and behind-the-scene with the cast and crew.
•New Original Short, Peter’s To – Do – List: Peter has a few errands to run before he can leave on his class trip.
•Teachers’ Travel Tips: Mr. Harrington & Mr. Dell present a few tips on how to traverse the European continent.
•Stepping Up: Explore how Spider-Man was introduced in the MCU, the ways Tom Holland transformed the character of Peter Parker, and what the future holds for Spider-Man.
•Suit Up: The suit doesn’t make the hero – but it does play a big role in who they are and who they can become. This piece examines all of Peter’s different suits in the movie, and with behind the scenes footage, we see why some suits are better than others.
•Far, FAR, Far from Home: The film’s illustrious locations serve story points and establish tone, but they’re also amazing to travel to! Hear from the cast on their experiences filming on-location.
•It Takes Two: A special look at the chemistry between Jon Watts and Tom Holland.
•Fury & Hill: MCU stalwarts Cobie Smulders and Samuel L. Jackson are back as Agent Maria Hill & Nick Fury!
•The Ginter-Riva Effect: A look at the villain sub-plot and how William Ginter-Riva ties Spider-Man: Far From Home all the way back to the beginning of the MCU.
•Thank You, Mrs. Parker: A look at Marisa Tomei’s reimagining of Aunt May, from Homecoming to Far From Home.
•The Brother’s Trust: A quick look into some of the amazing work Tom Holland and his brothers have done through their charity, The Brothers Trust.
•The Jump Off: Interviews with the cast & crew take us through all of the amazing stunts of Far From Home.
•Now You See Me: We examine the evolution of Mysterio and why Jake Gyllenhaal was the perfect fit for the role.
•Stealthy Easter Eggs: Allow E.D.I.T.H. to reveal some of the hidden Easter Eggs you may have missed!
•Select Scene Pre – Vis: A side by side comparison of the Pre-Vis with the film
•Gag Reel & Outakes
•Never-Before-Seen Alternate & Extended Scenes
•Catch a first look at the all-new series “Alex Rider” coming soon! When Alex leaves his ordinary teenage life to go on a dangerous mission to work as an undercover agent at the Point Blanc academy, he must call upon skills he didn’t even know he had as he investigates the sinister truth behind the school. Alex Rider is based on the series of best-selling novels by Anthony Horowitz.

Chernobyl

SYNOPSIS: On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Soviet Union suffered a massive explosion resulting in one of the worst human-made catastrophes in history. CHERNOBYL tells the story of the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices to save Europe from unimaginable disaster, all the while battling a culture of disinformation. Jared Harris portrays Valery Legasov, a leading Soviet nuclear physicist. As part of the response team, he was one of the first to grasp the scope of the unparalleled disaster that occurred. Stellan Skarsgård plays Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina, who is assigned by the Kremlin to lead the government commission on Chernobyl in the hours immediately following the accident. Emily Watson portrays Ulana Khomyuk, a Soviet nuclear physicist committed to solving the mystery of what led to the Chernobyl disaster.

Essential viewing when it comes to TV drama; Chernobyl is masterfully crafted in every aspect and makes for one of the most engrossing, terrifying, and thought-provoking series in recent years. Equal parts harrowing and heartbreaking, the precision writing mixed with top-notch performances – and stunning production design – make this one brilliant, albeit disturbing must-see show.

True Detective: The Complete Third Season

SYNOPSIS: 1980: Will and Julie Purcell, the children of feuding parents Tom and Lucy Purcell, go missing a week after Halloween in West Finger, Ark. 2015: Retired detective Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali), who originally investigated the crime, is asked to look back on the twists of the unsolved case with a true-crime documentary producer.

True Detective‘s third season starts as a slow burn, which gradually beautifully builds into an extremely compelling mystery. An incredible cast – highlighted by Mahershala Ali, Stephen Dorff, Carmen Ejogo, Scoot McNairy, and Mamie Gummer – help give the writing a pristine quality as the season unspools and the viewer is pulled more into the unfolding crime drama. Taking a page more from the moody and introspective first season (and dispensing with the somewhat ham-fisted approach the second season brought) this season is a riveting character-driven saga well worth your time.

The Addams Family/Addams Family Values 2-Movie Collection

SYNOPSIS: THE ADDAMS FAMILY When long-lost Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) reappears after twenty-five years in the Bermuda Triangle, Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia (Anjelica Huston) plan a celebration to wake the dead. But Wednesday (Christina Ricci) barely has time to warm up her electric chair before Thing points out Fester’s uncommonly ‘normal’ behavior. Could this Fester be a fake, part of an evil scheme to raid the Addams fortune? Based on Charles Addams’ beloved cartoons and following the success of the hit TV series, The Addams Family is a visual funhouse, packed with plenty of treats, tricks and turns by director Barry Sonnenfeld. ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES It’s love at first fright when Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia (Anjelica Huston) welcome a new addition to the Addams household – Pubert, their soft, cuddly, mustachioed baby boy. As Fester (Christopher Lloyd) falls hard for voluptuous nanny Debbie Jilinsky (Joan Cusack), Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) discover she’s a black-widow murderess who plans to add Fester to her collection of dead husbands. The family’s future grows even bleaker when the no-good nanny marries Fester and has the kids shipped off to summer camp. But Wednesday still has a Thing or two up her sleeve.

As a ’90s kid I totally remember seeing BOTH of these frightfully funny flicks on the big screen. They’re together for the first time on Blu-ray so it’s a good time to add them to your home collection. Relish the past glory of the late, great Raul Julia, appreciate the inventive special effects, and marvel at how young Christina Ricci was! The Addams Family has been and will continue to be rebooted in many forms down the road but these movies have earned their endearing place in the genre.

Avatar & Legend of Korra Complete Series Collection

SYNOPSIS: For the first time together on Blu-ray & DVD, experience the complete Avatar saga with Aang and Korra. From the discovery of Avatar Aang in the frozen iceberg in Avatar: The Last Airbender to Korra’s heroic journey to set things right in Republic City through The Legend of Korra, relive all the epic air, earth, water and firebending in this ultimate Avatar collection.

A must-have for fans of both shows as they come in one epic package and are loaded with insightful bonus features that help illustrate the lasting impact of both shows’ legacies. Rarely do animated series attain such a level of quality storytelling, mature themes, and breathtaking visuals.

Bonus Features:
The Making of Avatar Featurettes
Original Uncut Animatic “The Avatar State”
Behind the Scenes with the Avatar Cast & Crew
The Women of “Avatar: The Last Airbender (The Legend of Aang)”
Audio Commentaries with the Cast & Crew of The Legend of Korra
Scene Bending Animatics
“The Making of a Legend: The Untold Story” – Parts I & II
Plus Featurettes, Animatics, Shorts, and More!

Mike Yawney reviews the Nintendo Switch

kyle.mack | posted Wednesday, Sep 25th, 2019

Two years after introducing the ground-breaking Switch, Nintendo has released an updated version of the popular console. The Nintendo Switch Lite cuts back on some of the features, but in return eases the burden on your wallet. We’ve had a chance to use the new system over the past week. Read our review to decide if the Lite version is right for you and your family.
Smaller and Lighter
Nintendo has created a more compact version of the Switch, making it ever so smaller, and lighter. The Switch Lite comes in at roughly 120 grams lighter than the original. On paper, it doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s noticeable. Size-wise, imaging removing one of the Joy-Cons from the original Nintendo Switch. This gives roughly you the footprint of the new version.
It’s surprising to see how the subtle changes in size and weight make such a big difference on how it feels in your hands. Switch Lite feels much more like a portable console compared to the original Switch. Part of the reason is it’s more stable. Since the Joy-Con controllers can’t be removed you don’t get the slight wiggle that you did on the original Switch.
D-Pad Makes a Comeback
Dual analog sticks have become the norm of modern-day consoles. While they work great for shooters and adventure games, the accurate control needed to play older 8-bit, even 16-bit just Isn’t there. Thankfully Nintendo has reintroduced the classic D-pad into the design of the Switch Lite.
If you tried playing some of the classic NES and SNES games on the Nintendo Switch you may have noticed the controls feel slightly off. The D-pad makes playing those classic titles much more enjoyable, Even newer versions of classic games like Tetris 99 just play better with the D-pad.
The Screen
Sure, smaller footprint means a slightly smaller screen. The screen size has dropped from 6.2 inches down to 5.5 inches. Will you notice it? Probably not. The resolution remains the same. It still looks beautiful
Battery
Just how good the battery life on the Nintendo Switch Lite is compared to the Switch really depends on which model of Switch you own. The original Switch, released back in 2017 held 2.5 to 6.5 hours worth of charge. Recently Nintendo launched a newer version which has a better battery life of 4.5 to 9 hours. The Switch Lite will get you anywhere between 3 and 7 hours. A slight upgrader if you owned the original
Games 
Strange to say this but if you are thinking about buying the Switch Lite you need to know that not all games are playable on the system. There are a few games that simply don’t support handheld mode which is the ONLY mode supported by the Switch Lite.
Games like 1-2 Switch, Just Dance and Nintendo Labo/Labo VR all require either HD Rumble or motion control. This is not an option on the Switch Lite. The Joy-Cons are non-detachable. The number of games that you cannot play is few, however, they do include favorites like Super Mario Party.
Game Sharing
This could be an issue for families with more than one Nintendo Switch. Nintendo forces you to dedicate one Switch in your home as a primary Switch. Any other Switches in the household will be considered secondary Switches. While you can transfer digital games, even saves from the primary Switch to a secondary Switch, the secondary Switch MUST be connected to the internet to play these titles. If you cannot connect at least once every three hours, you will not be allowed to play the game. You can also ONLY play games through the account that originally purchased them, which could be problematic if parents are buying games for kids from their account.
Some users (including myself) have found that dedicating your Switch Lite as the primary console alleviates this problem as it won’t have to go online for authorization…but if someone back home wants to play they would have to play through the owner’s account, not their own. This could cause problems for cloud saves if they did log into the game owner’s account.
Another workaround is to buy physical game cartridges instead of digital files. The only downside here is you have to carry those little things around with you wherever you go…and hope no one loses or misplaces one.
No Docking Allowed
This may be a deal-breaker for some. The Original Switch was called Switch for a reason, You could place the portable console in a docking station and use it like a traditional console along with your television, This latest version can’t be connected to a TV. It’s portable only. For some, it may not be a big deal. Personally I use my Nintendo Switch on the go and have maybe only docked it one or two times in the past two years.
The Bottom Line
Nintendo’s new Switch Lite feels much more like a portable console than the original Switch ever did. It’s more compact, more stable and has quickly become my go-to for gaming on the go. If you want to play your favorite Nintendo games on the go then this is the console for you! It feels like the perfect portable gaming machine. It just becomes problematic in households with multiple Switch consoles and multiple gamers. You’ll need to come to an agreement on who plays what games and where so you don’t have to buy multiple copies of digital titles.
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