What we’re watching…
Tiger King | Netflix
OK, so if you’re not already watching this one you are completely on the backburner. Remember how people went crazy from Netflix’s 2017 “Making a Murderer” mini-series? We think this one blows it out of the water – in fewer episodes. Dive into the life of exotic animals, murder, murder-for-hire and polygamy in just seven episodes. There are not many shows that expertly can describe the term “degenerate” as well as this Tiger King.
Self Made | Netflix
Actress Octavia Spencer freaked us all the fuck out in “Ma,” but she’s so damn inspiring in this Netflix flick inspired by the life of Madame C.J. Walker, whose beauty products made her into the first woman to become a self-made millionaire. If you’re looking for a little hope in all of this self-isolation, this is probably the one film that’ll get you pumped to get back out there – once we all can, of course.
Tom Segura: Ball Hog | Netflix
We’re suggesting this one because none of us can decide if Segura’s latest Netflix special is hilarious or just ehh. There were LOL moments, like his discussion of loving his kids over his wife or telling us just how slutty our moms are, but then there are predictable moments where it’s easy to just shake your head and wait for the next joke. However, Segura is worth a watch so you can make the call for yourself.
Atlanta | FX or Hulu
There are only two seasons of this dramedy created by Childish Gambino (actor name: Donald Glover). Glover plays Earn, who’s trying to piggyback the stardom of his cousin, on his way to becoming a big name in the hip-hop game. We like this one because every time we think we have a handle on what happens next, we realize, yeah, we definitely don’t. It’s a good watch if you have the time, which, yeah, you do.
Transparent | Amazon Prime
Jeffrey Tambor plays a transgender woman named Maura and dives into how family, friends and those on the outside world interact with Maura on a daily. We love this show for an eye-opening insight into how we subconsciously treat each other even if we don’t think that’s what we’re doing. If you don’t believe this is worth a watch, well consider this: Transparent won a Golden Globe last year for Best Series, which is unheard of for a series from a streaming service.
When We Were Kings | HBO Go
This ultimate David vs. Goliath’s story is probably one of the best in sports history. Perhaps what’s extremely interesting is that “David” is Muhammad Ali, arguably the best boxer of all time and Goliath would be George Foreman, the former heavyweight boxer and indoor grill magnate. It’s said that 1 billion people watched the epic fight between these two in 1974. This doc goes into excellent detail about why.
Consider following the following…
@andrea_cipriani_mecchi | Instagram
This Philly-based photographer has created a series of images of people in isolation passing the time from their front door. The black and white series entitled “Family at a Distance” takes a look at how many of us, young and old, are dealing with being forced to stay at home. Definitely worth a follow and as independent small biz, someone we should consider giving some love to once this all clears up. | instagram.com/andrea_cipriani_mecchi/
Racist History | Facebook
Think of the most mundane thing you can imagine: medicine, food, child care, partying and this Facebook video series expertly portrays the racial insensitivity behind all of it. This isn’t hatespeech, it’s just a really good series of digestible mini-docs on Facebook that examine how hate began here in America. Consider it a bit of education in how we shouldn’t act. | facebook.com/Racist-History-196848580832824/
@PhillyFoodies | Instagram
It might be cheesy (pun intended) to say that this page makes us hungry but it’s no lie. Despite some of our favorite restaurants feeling the effects of the essential business order, this page has been rife with some great looking cuisine from area eateries. What would be the icing on the…(OK, we’ll chill with the puns) is if this page could get some insight on the restaurants offering deals during this difficult time. But for now, we’ll take what we can get. | instagram.com/phillyfoodies/
Cafe Jazz Live Radio | YouTube
For those of you transitioning into working from home with distractions in the background, this station helps to provide some calm during the interludes of quiet. It’s live so it never ends besides the five-to-15 second ads that help pay for your sanity during this time. For us, it’s been the calm to what has been quite a time to be alive in Philadelphia. | youtube.com/watch?v=fEvM-OUbaKs
Tony Baker Comedy | Instagram
Tony isn’t local but we don’t care. He’s hilarious and if you’re an animal lover, you’ll certainly get a kick out of his voiceovers. A touring comedian, we think after going down the rabbit hole of his greatest hits on the Gram, you’ll be amped for when he comes to Philadelphia, which was supposed to be later this spring until some bitch named COVID-19 C-blocked that idea. | instagram.com/tonybakercomedy/
Doug Mar | TikTok
Doug Mar is a Keystone State native who killed Vine (not literally, Vine did that all by itself) when Vine was a thing. He’s not merged to the Tik Tok platform and has been equally comical. Is his content bordering on the juvenile side of things? Sure. But can life use a little levity right now? You tell us. tiktok.com/en
What we’re listening to….
Hosted by Ryan Starr, this Philly-based podcast focuses on the creative minds that have helped to transform a variety of spaces. Since 2015, Starr has been hosting a bi-weekly podcast. But thanks to COVID-19, he’s been in production of a daily episode and they’re admittedly pretty enlightening especially when it comes to how attempting to cope as a creative right now isn’t exactly the easiest. | HiResPod.com
Two comedians looking at the history of comedy. It’s a good laugh but it’s also great insight into the history of some of the weirdest or intricate stories out there. Hosted by comics Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds, we think you’ll be left enlightened and amused after these collections of episodes, now running six years strong. | allthingscomedy.com/podcast/the-dollop
Imagine learning about the weirdest shit out there by two guys who ply their trade as comedians recalling historic moments in both American and world history. Chris DiStefano and Yannis Pappas do the damn thing in this hour-long look at life as we’ve come to know it. One of their most recent, which focuses on the history of the stock market is certainly a must-listen. | historyhyenas.com/
This Podcast Will Kill You
Picture this: a pair of grad students studying diseases and their humble beginnings providing insight on how shit like the coronavirus even happens. It goes way beyond a fish market in China, trust me. Plus, these two have no issues talking about pus, vomit, feces or whatever else can kickstart a worldwide pandemic. Pretty appropriate given today’s times, we’d say. | thispodcastwillkillyou.com/
The Why: Philly Explained
We love WHYY for a ton of reasons and this daily podcast is one of them. The Why explores a local story and then dives into the architecture of how it all began. Hosts Annette John-Hall, who brought us all insight into the man that was Bill Cosby in Cosby: Unraveled is joined by co-host Shai Ben-Yaacov for deep discussion and, admittedly, some really insightful journalism. | podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-why-philly-explained/id1439189807
What we’re betting on….
Like most sites, this one, aka Riverwinds, offers a signup bonus. Here, it’s a 100 percent deposit match of up to $250 with code $250MATCH. You’ll also find free daily games, a link to a sportsbook and a rewards program. Going on through April 9 is the King Cash Race to Rivers. Earn wheel spins based on Loyalty Points earned in a given day. Wheel spins will award mile amounts or Bonus Money prizes. Earn 2,475 miles in total, the distance between Las Vegas and Rivers Casino, to complete the race and win the grand prize, which looks to us to be $2,500 in bonus money.
One of the biggest names in gambling, you can play your first day risk-free up to $200. Live dealers and a referral bonus plan are available. The sportsbook links to FanDuel, which offers traditional sports betting, when sports return, and a fantasy sports site that, in recent days, has featured free horse racing, sim and even WWE games.
Mohegan Sun Casino’s entry here features $10 free and $500 bonus on deposit. There’s a link to a sportsbook and a referral program. What we really liked about this site were the number of promos and contests to check out. They are too numerous to list here, so visit the site to see their April offerings.
Another local option to consider, it has a generous signup program: $25 free on sign up and up to $500 deposit bonus. Use promo code: WELCOME. We also love the link to PokerStars online poker. Finally, you’ll see the standard online options and a rewards program.
What we’re drinking…
The CDC has issued three mandates that civilized society must implement to avoid total extinction at the hands of the coronavirus:
- Maintain an appropriate social distance
- Wash your hands
- Drink copious amounts of alcohol while self-isolating
OK, we made the last one up, but it sounds like a good idea. Fortunately, some of the finest local bars and bartenders are sharing their favorite – and simple–to–make cocktail recipes. And, since you also need food, some of the area’s hottest chefs have offered up their best at-home recipes as well. Enjoy, stay safe and do your part by staying home and indulging.
Kinsey Bourbon Lemonade
Courtesy of Lee Noble, Art in the Age mixologist
1.5 oz. Kinsey Bourbon
4 oz. Homemade lemonade
Glassware: Collins glass
Garnish: Lemon wheel and sprig of mint
Instructions: Add Kinsey and lemonade to a cocktail shaker full of ice, shake and strain into a collins glass. Garnish with lemon wheel and spring of mint.
Courtesy of Matt Giarratano, Bluebird Distilling bar director
1.5 oz. Bluebird Distilling Vodka
1.25 oz. Simple Syrup
1 oz. Lime Juice
5 Mint Leaves
Glassware: Collins glass
Garnish: 3 blueberries on a toothpick
Instructions: Muddle, shake, double strain
Courtesy of Fitz Bailey, Coopers’ Craft mixologist
2 oz. Coopers’ Craft Bourbon
6 oz. Yellow Tomatoes or Yellow Tomato Juice
3 Sprigs of Cilantro
A squeeze of Lime
Dash of Soy Sauce
Pepper to Taste
Dash of Your Favorite Hot Sauce
Glassware: Highball Glass
Garnish: Speared mozzarella, celery stalk
Instructions: Puree cilantro/tomatoes then combine all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Vigorously shake and strain into ice-filled glass, top with garnish.
Courtesy of George Reilly, Owner of The Twisted Tail
2 oz. Devil’s Cut Bourbon
1 oz. Pedro Ximenez Sherry
2 dashes Black Walnut Bitters
Glassware: Rocks glass
Garnish: Lime wheel + bourbon-soaked maraschino cherry
Instructions: Spritz inside of rocks glass with absinthe. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, over ice. Stir and strain into a rocks glass, over a fresh 2-inch ice cube. Garnish with a lime wheel and bourbon-soaked maraschino cherry.
Philly chefs say eat this…
Since it’s never a good idea to drink on an empty stomach, and you can eat only so many Pop-Tarts and Hot Pockets until your insides violently rebel, we’ve also rounded up some great recipes from some of the most noted chefs in the area.
Courtesy of Fond chef-owner Jessie Prawlucki-Styer
Chef Jessie says: “One of my all-time favorite pastry basics to make is pate a choux. It’s a bit of baking magic, the way they triple in size as they bake, solely by way of steam and gelatinized starches and proteins, puffing into hollow shells for any filling you can imagine. It’s the base for cream puffs, eclairs, Parisian gnocchi, and other treats. I love to eat fresh choux shells right out of the oven, so it’s just a step further to add cheese and herbs to the batter and make a savory treat, gougeres.”
6 oz. Milk
6 oz. Water
4 oz., or 1 stick Butter
1.25 cups All Purpose Flour
1.5 tsp Salt
1.5 tsp cracked black pepper
4 oz. Grated Gruyere
2T- 1/4c Rosemary, or any combo of herbs chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Sift flour with salt.
3. Whisk eggs, and remove 2Tbsp to use as an egg wash.
4. Have a mixing bowl and mixer with paddle attachment ready.
5. Bring milk, water, and butter to a boil – make sure they only fill the pot about 1/3-1/2 full.
6. Remove pot from heat and stir in flour and salt (I like a wooden spoon for this). Return to medium heat and cook until it’s a firm mass that pulls away from the pan, about 1-2 minutes. Dump into mixing bowl, and mix on medium speed for about a minute.
7. With the mixer running, add eggs, little by little. Scrape down and continue to mix until smooth and well-combined. If it’s still quite hot, cover and cool a bit.
8. Mix in cheese and herbs.
*batter can be chilled for up to 24 hours at this point*
9. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (a greased pan should be fine, too). Drop blobs onto a pan, about 2 Tbsp each, 2” apart. Use a pastry brush to tap egg wash onto tops of gougeres, and to gently press in any spiky bits of batter.
10. Bake for 20-30 minutes, rotating the pan after 15 minutes. Gougeres should be bronzed and firm to touch
Potage Parmentier (Potato Leek Soup)
Courtesy of Forsythia chef/owner Christopher Kearse
3 large leeks
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sliced shallots
1/3 cup sliced onions
1 lb (about 1 large) Yukon gold potato, peeled
3 garlic cloves crushed and skin removed
6 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 sprigs thyme,2 sprigs parsley, 2 bay leaves
1. Cutaway and discard the dark green leaves and roots from the leeks, leaving only the white and palest green sections. Then cut them lengthwise and rinse in water to get rid of the dirt. Chop the leeks into pieces about 1/4 inch wide
2.Melt the butter over medium heat in the saute pan, and add the leeks, onions, garlic, and shallots. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes
3. Cut the potato lengthwise into quarters, then cut crosswise into strips about 1/4-inch thick
4. Make a sachet, wrap the thyme, parsley, bay leaves and some fresh-ground pepper in the cheesecloth and secure with twine
5. Add the potatoes and sachet/ herbs to cook for another 2 to 4 minutes
6. Add the chicken broth to the mixture. Stir, and taste to adjust seasonings as needed. Bring the pan to a simmer, then reduce the heat in order to simmer for 30 minutes. Cover with lid
7. After 30 minutes, remove the soup from the heat and let it stand and cool for 15 minutes. Remove the sachet
8.In batches, puree the soup until fine. Return the soup to the rinsed-out pan and bring to a simmer. Add heavy cream and simmer for 5 minutes
Tortang Talong (Eggplant Omelette)
Courtesy of Lalo and Bourse Food Hall co-owner Neal Santos
1 medium Chinese eggplant, grilled, cooled, and skin peeled.
1 tsp of fish sauce or salt
1/4 cup of chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup of chopped sweet banana pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tsp of garlic minced
1 tsp of ginger minced
1/2 cup of leftover sausage, or bacon
1/4 cup of cilantro for garnish
1/4 cup of pickles for serving
Banana ketchup or regular ketchup for serving
Prepare ahead of time:
Roast your eggplant on a grill or in your oven for 15 minutes underneath the broiler, or directly over the flame of your gas burner. The skin of the eggplant should crack until blackened and soft. Cool the eggplant in a ziplock bag and let the steam continue the cooking process. Once completely cooled, the skin of the eggplant should peel right off.
One the day of:
Whisk your eggs until creamy and consistent in a large enough bowl to fit your eggplant. Add fish sauce or salt. Dip your cool and peeled eggplant into the batter and mash the flesh of the eggplant with a fork.
Heat a medium or large skillet with oil to 350 degrees. Saute your peppers, onions, garlic, ginger and sausage. Cook until softened and set aside. Clean your pan and reheat with oil to 350 degrees. Gently slide your eggplant from the bowl to the pan and fry your egg and eggplant. Add your filling back to the omelet and let the batter set. About 3 minutes. Carefully flip your tortang talong and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Serve with the stem on with rice, pickles, cilantro and some banana ketchup.
Sojourn Philly Pasta
Courtesy of Rex 1516, Jet Wine Bar, Cafe Ynez culinary director Lucio Palazzo
Chef Lucio says: “My go-to dish is pasta with tomato and sardines or tuna (or both.) The key is to keep really high quality dried pasta on hand. I recommend Rustichella d’Abruzzo. You make a simple sauce by sautéing diced onions, sliced garlic in a LOT of olive oil (more than feels comfortable.) You then add a pinch of chile flake and let it toast for a minute until fragrant.
“Next, you add a can of crushed whole San Marzano tomatoes. Let it simmer for a few minutes and add a pinch of oregano. Finally, add your tinned fish. Simmer the sauce until it all kind of melts together, just twenty minutes or so. Boil your pasta, add a ladle or two of the water to the saucepan, and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce, and mix vigorously with another splash of olive oil and a knob of butter. No cheese required, but freshly grated breadcrumbs are a fantastic textural contrast.”