Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Oy! What A Year We Had ...

Lots on my mind as we wind down another year …

I keep thinking about Leelah Alcorn, the transgender girl who killed herself because her parents told her she was wrong, and a sin, and an abomination … and that since God doesn’t make mistakes, she must have been mentally ill to think she as transgender.

Too bad they couldn’t have thought, “God doesn’t makes mistakes so She sent us a transgender child to open our eyes and the eyes of the world.” Maybe then Leelah wouldn’t have walked in front of that truck.

I think about all those LGBTQ kids who felt they could no longer go on this year because of being bullied by friend, fellow students, teachers and their own parents. Think of what any of those kids might have accomplished if we all just learned to accept people for who they are, and not what we think they should be.

My sister died this year … I remember one of the last times I talked with her, about a month or so before she passed. She didn’t seem to know who I was, didn’t even ask about Carlos — which she always did — and just talked about what was on the TV screen she was watching. I realized then that the sister I’d loved my whole life was leaving me. I realized then that things would never be the same.

I still called and still talked and made sure that, even if she didn’t quite understand, the last words she heard from me were, “I love you.”

I also realized then that when she did go, on February 15, she was in a much better place, and didn’t hurt, and had her hair, and was laughing with my Mom. It’s not a God thing, it’s a universe thing.


I’m a happily married man, to another happily married man. 

When I met Carlos I never thought this was a possibility … even after Massachusetts and Iowa … even after California. Then the tide started turning and we started talking about it; we both wanted to be married, we both wanted to have a husband. We wanted that. And then to have my Dad ask to be there, well, that was the icing on the wedding cake, with the added cherry of having marriage equality come to South Carolina … South FREAKING Carolina … after we got back from Washington.

Amazeballs.

We used to shop at Kroger until we learned that Kroger has a ‘Meh’ attitude about Open Carry in their stores; I’d always said that if the day came when I had to ask someone to move their assault weapon so I could get a loaf of bread, it was time to shop elsewhere.

So we did; we went back to Publix — where we shopped when we lived in Miami — and now Publix is in the news. But for a good reason: starting tomorrow, Publix stores will offer full benefits packages to their employees’ same-sex spouses.

Guns. Equality. I choose equality.

Of course, when you factor in that kid who shot his mother with her own gun in a Wal-Mart, Kroger should be prepared for that to happen in one of their stores.


Lotsa coming out parties this year, too, and lots of Coming Out Toaster Ovens and copies of The Gay Agenda—a one page pamphlet, actually, featuring one word: “equability”—being sent out from HOMO HQ.

Michael Martin took his boyfriend to prom and came out at the same time. Daniel Franzese, who played the  'almost to gay to function' in Mean Girls is now openly gay; as is Derrick Gordon, a sophomore starter for the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team; Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman, two country music stars … yes, country music … decided to live their lives as gay men out and proud. 

Nate Alfson, a high school, baseball and volleyball coach for a Catholic high school came out as gay and kept his job!
Chip Sarafin, an offensive lineman for the Arizona State football, came out, as did John Fennell, who represented Canada in the luge at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. 

British singer Sam Smith came out with the release of his debut album, In the Lonely Hour, saying the album “is about a guy that I fell in love with last year, and he didn’t love me back.” Tyler Glenn, the lead singer of Neon Trees and a Mormon, also came out; Mitch Eby, a Junior and defensive end for the Chapman University Football team, too.

Federico Díaz, Uruguayan actor and telenovela heartthrob, is now openly gay, along with high school swimming star, Jack Thorne, and Pete Cahall, principal of Washington DC’s Wilson High School who chose the school’s annual Pride Day event to finally tell his students that he is gay. Adam Joseph, Philadelphia meteorologist for 6ABC, announced the birth of his first child, publicly, acknowledged his partner of five years, Karl, and came out as gay.

Brad Thorson, a former college football player and former player for the Arizona Cardinals and Neal Baer, the executive producer and showrunner for CBS' 'Under the Dome' are out and proud; and after years of speculation, rumor, questions, guesses, dreams, Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe came out as gay.

Kristian Nairn, an actor from Game of Thrones, came out, and so did Democratic Arizona State Senator Steve Gallardo, after listening to the arguments for that Arizona anti-LGBT, so-called religious freedom bill;  Matt Kaplon, student and baseball player for Drew University, came out to his team and the world last weekend after being inspired by the coming out story of NCAA basketball player Derek Schell; Brazilian diver, and Olympic hopeful, Ian Matos came out as gay, saying he was inspired by fellow diver Tom Daley’s coming out.

Djuan Trent, Miss Kentucky 2010, came out as lesbian on the heels of that federal judge ruling that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages from other states. Marcus Juhlin, a Swedish football player, is gay; so is actress Ellen Page and retired Premier League footballer Thomas Hitzlsperger.

Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, a U.S. snowboarder who missed the cut for Team USA, has come out as lesbian, and Michael Sam said he was gay, making him the first openly gay professional football player in this country.

We’ll be restocking the shelves with kitchen appliances and pamphlets as soon as possibly, because after last year we made need even more!

Politics. 

You cannot keep Obama down; even after that ridiculous 2104 mid-term election fiasco, he is not gonna  sit idly by and let the Republicans run roughshod over this country and try to turn back the clocks to the 1950s, when The Gays were in closets, and women couldn’t chose and racism was fun.

Gossip. I do so loves me some gossip. Paltrow? Loathe you, but you keep me in stitches with your shenanigans. 

Lohan actually made her stage debut and, while the reviews weren’t great, she wasn’t a major screw up … onstage. Off-stage she’s still Party Hardy Lohan. 

And Justin Bieber … I’ve made fun of your size … I’ve called you a talentless hack and a spoiled brat … I giggled when you wet yourself after getting arrested …, I found you obnoxious and ridiculous and just plain sad … That’s all.

Police shootings. And most of the victims are Black. Please try to tell me there isn’t a double standard when Michael Brown, a Black man, gets gunned down in the streets for allegedly stealing some cigars and Eric Garner, a Black man, gets choked to death for selling loose cigarettes, but Julia Shield, a White woman, strapped on armor and drove around a Chattanooga neighborhood shooting at people and police, and was just arrested. 

Explain to me the difference between John Crawford III, a Black man, holding a BB gun in a Wal-Mart and is shot to death by police, but two white men who go into a Wal-Mart, take BB guns off the shelves, load them and then start shooting are simply arrested.

There should be no difference, yet because there seems to be one, we have a lot to talk about in 2015.

It’s been a year of ups and downs, and highs and lows, but, for me, the ups and the highs outweigh the rest. I’m still here, still loved and in love, still Dad to some weird wild wacky pets. Still living in Small-town South Carolina. Okay … that might be a down.
I kid.

Tomorrow, we are off to the Round-The-Way-Gays, Neal and David’s, New Years Day, Newlyweds — three couples in our little group got married last year — and Not-So-Newly-Born Party. It’ll start 2015 just right!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Guns Are His Right ... And He Used His Right To Kill His Wife

Martin Gaytan, a 24-year-old Texas gun enthusiast — Enthusiast? In my house we just call ‘em ‘gun nuts’—has been charged with murder after he allegedly shot and killed his wife, Monica, during an argument over the weekend.

Gaytan has always said he believed the right to bear arms was necessary for “protection” from foreign and domestic governments, for home defense, to fight off “muggers and rapists,” and because “it’s my right,” but over the weekend, during a fight with his wife, he took the gun from her hands — she must also be an “enthusiast” — and shot her several times.

He calls it self-defense, although if he’d taken the gun from her … ?

The Gaytans had been married for a year and had a five-year-old child.

That’s all … except, well, guns don’t kill people, but gun nuts who think they know how to handle a gun and then whip it out during an argument, using it to shoot the mother of their child several times, kill people.

Just sayin.’

Different Parents, Same Issue, Different Outcome

Josh Alcorn was assigned the male gender at birth but that never felt right, and when he was fourteen he learned what ‘transgender’ meant; he learned that maybe he wasn’t Josh, that maybe she was Leelah. And suddenly everything seemed right; right up until Leelah told her parents.

In a post to her Tumblr blog, Leelah wrote:
After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong.”
Can you imagine telling your parent your deepest, darkest secret, one that will finally allow you to live in the light, and having them tell you that you’re wrong?

Leelah’s parents took her to a therapist, a Christian therapist; she says all they did was tell her she was selfish and, again, wrong; they told her to look to God for help. But Leelah knew God couldn’t help, so she waited; she was sixteen, and would wait until she was 18 and then leave home and live her life; at 18 she could begin transitioning.

Still, she rebelled in the only way she knew how: she came out at school as gay, hoping this would shock her parents into understanding who she was; it didn’t. While Leelah’s friends understood, and accepted her as a gay man, her parents grew angrier:
They felt like I was attacking their image, and that I was an embarrassment to them. They wanted me to be their perfect little straight christian boy, and that’s obviously not what I wanted. So they took me out of public school, took away my laptop and phone, and forbid me of getting on any sort of social media, completely isolating me from my friends. This was probably the part of my life when I was the most depressed … I was completely alone for 5 months. No friends, no support, no love. Just my parent’s disappointment and the cruelty of loneliness.”
Finally, her parents relented — not in accepting their child was transgender, or even gay mind you — and let her have her phone back, let her have her social media back, let her have her friends back. But nothing else changed.
“After a summer of having almost no friends plus the weight of having to think about college, save money for moving out, keep my grades up, go to church each week and feel like shit because everyone there is against everything I live for, I have decided I’ve had enough. I’m never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. I’m never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. I’m never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I’m never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I’m never going to find a man who loves me. I’m never going to be happy. Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out. “
Leelah Alcorn stepped in front of a moving tractor trailer truck on southbound Interstate 71 in Union Township last Sunday morning.  Now her parents have no child, whether boy or girl; all they have are the memories of an unhappy child, desperate to be heard, to be understood, to be loved; to be herself.

The story could end there, with my heart breaking at the idea of what was done to Leelah Alcorn in the name of God, but there’s another story, this time of a girl assigned the female gender at birth and how her, his, parents dealt with it.

Shiloh has never felt female, has always more identified with male gender, and when she told her mother how she felt, well, her mother said:
“She wants to be a boy. So we had to cut her hair. She likes to wear boys’ everything. She thinks she’s one of the brothers.”
Shiloh even asked to be called John, and her parents, and her family, call him that. His parents don’t know if this is a phase, if they have a daughter who is a tomboy, or a son who desperately wants to be himself, but what they do know is that they love their child, and will do whatever is necessary to make their child happy. They have not looked at Shiloh’s desire to dress and act like a boy as “just a phase.” Instead, the couple has embraced their child, and given her the opportunity to explore who she really is.

And that meant going out with Dad and the brothers one night when Mom was sick; John asked to wear a suit just like his brothers, and so he was given a suit. And all the pictures of John in that suit show a happy child, a contented child, a loved child. And John’s, or Shiloh’s, parents must be happy knowing that their child feels loved and accepted as Shiloh or John, with short hair or long hair, in a suit, or a dress, because, really, that’s what parents should be doing for their children.

At least that’s what Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are doing for John. They are letting their child explore gender, find himself, or herself, where he or she fits in, without fear of being unloved, unwanted.

I’d ask who the better parents are, but it’s very clear the better parents are the ones whose child is still here, walking a red carpet in a suit, and not walking in from of a semi-truck on the highway because her parents told her she was wrong.
Brad and Angelina via Inquisitr
Leelah Alcorn via Patheos

Monday, December 29, 2014

Rush Limbaugh: At Least He Admits He's Racist

This morning I talked about Stupid Anna Kooiman and lo and behold I found some more stupid, this time in the guise of Stupid — possibly drug addicted — and Racist Rush Limbaugh.

Back Story: one interesting email from the Sony Hack details the idea that ounce Daniel Craig is done playing Bond, the role should go to Elba … Idris Elba. If you don’t know him, he’s British, talented and, yes, hot. Oh, and he’s Black, too, which is what has caused Limbaugh’s gut to heave and contract. He says Elba cannot be James Bond because he is black.

Limbaugh told his shrinking syndicated radio show audience that Bond was intended to be a white man by creator Ian Fleming:
"James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish. Period. That is who James Bond is, was, but now [they are] suggesting that the next James Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Briton, rather than a white from Scotland. But that’s not who James Bond is and I know it’s racist to probably point this out."
It is racist, Rush, and also slightly wrong, because you see, in Fleming’s first books about the secret agent, Bond wasn’t Scottish; he only began adding hints of a Scottish ancestry to 007’s back-story after the success of Sean Connery’s first movie as Bond, Dr No, in 1962, so, Rush, you’re wrong about Bond being Scottish.

But then he Doubles Down on Dumb by saying that casting Elba as Bond is akin to casting George Clooney and Kate Hudson as Barack and Michelle Obama in a presidential biopic … Kelsey Grammer as Nelson Mandela the next time a film was made about the South African freedom fighter.

Rush? Honey? Step away from the prescription meds because I’ve got a secret to tell you: Bond is not a real person so he could be played by any number of actors, Black or White, Asian, Latino … heck, Bond might even be female one day.

As for the Obama’s, or Mandela, or even Abe Lincoln, well, since they are real people, then they should be played by actors of the same race in a film, but even if they weren’t, it would probably be okay because it might make interesting storytelling.

That kinda makes sense, but the only think that you said that makes any sense at all is, “I know it’s racist to probably point this out.”

It is; you’re a racist. Sit down.

As a palate cleanser from Rush's lunacy, i need a little Idris Elba, looking very Bond.

via The Guardian

WTF? Gwen Stefani

I like Gwen, I really do, but I cannot help but wonder why she dresses either like a rock-n-roll princess or a toddler.

I mean, this looks like she rolled a kindergartner on her way to school stole her outfit and, possibly, her lunch money.

Why, Gwen, why?

FoxNews: The Dumbest "News" Network Ever

I know! You know! But still ...

It all began with, yes, yet another airline disappearing over the ocean in Southeast Asia and the conspiracy theories are up and running already; it was a terrorist attack; it was hijacked; it fell into the ocean and sank; a UFO beamed it up.

But, while not so much a conspiracy theory, the dumbest explanation by far for what might have happened to lost AirAsia Flight QZ8501 comes from, naturally, Fox News and one of its blonde news pundits.

Anna Kooiman, the dim-bulb-blonde in question, wondered, out loud and on air, if the … wait for it, it’s absolutely precious … seriously … if the metric system is to blame for the plane’s disappearance; and then, to throw gasoline onto the fire of her own stupidity, she asked if international flights are unsafe for Americans because of the metric system.

Kooiman also seemed to think that Americans should be scared of international travel because international pilots are trained to use the metric system and American pilots are not. Even when Fox’s own guest expert, FAA spokesperson Scott Brenner, explained that while there are differences between American pilots and international pilots, the differences in how we measure things does not make international flights less safe.
KOOIMAN: “Even when we think about temperature, it’s Fahrenheit or Celsius. It’s kilometers or miles. You know, everything about their training could be similar, but different.”
BRENNER: “I think you see a large reliance on automatic pilot and the requirement that pilots use that automatic pilot more often than probably more than in the US. A lot of that is just because a lot of crashes are due to pilot error. So, if you try and eliminate any potential risk, you try and eliminate the pilot’s ability to make incorrect inputs into the aircraft.”
KOOIMAN: “It’s not just a difference in the way that we measure things? Is it not as safe in that part of the world? Because our viewers may be thinking, ‘International travel, is it safe? Is it not safe?’”
BRENNER: “It’s incredibly safe. It’s the safest mode of travel you can have. But just on training, I believe our U.S. pilots are very well trained… They also actually fly the aircraft when they’re in the cockpit versus, a lot of times as soon as those wheels are up, a lot of times folks are required, foreign pilots are required to hit that autopilot almost until wheels come back down again.”
So, it’s the metric system, y’all, coming at us from some evil, no doubt Democratic, empire and hell bent on destroying the very fabric of America.

Fix News. The Dumbest Bunch of News “People” Anywhere.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

I Ain't One To Gossip But ...

Word out of Hollywood is that Jennifer Aniston has hired an Oscar strategist named Lisa Taback, who previously worked on the Oscar campaigns for The King’s Speech and The Artist.

Seriously, Aniston wants an Oscar so badly, that she’s hired someone to help her win it? And what exactly does an Oscar strategist do? Here’s how I’d do it: Hey Jen? Get yourself a part in a film of substance for a change and try to act for a change. No need to go sans makeup or have a scar put on your face. Just be good at your job … for a change.
M’kay, I wouldn’t last long in the Oscar Strategist job.

Here’s how I see an Oscar in Jennifer Aniston’s future … cut to 2034, a retired former comic actress Jennifer Aniston appears on a TV screen eating a sandwich, and then begins to sing …

♫♪ My bologna has a first name … it’s O-S-C-A-R …♪♫

Aniston.Oscar. My work here is done.

Oh Gwynnie, now it’s not just Martha throwing shade at you, it‘s Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

And she out-elitists Paltrow at every turn! It seems Paltrow — Oscar winner … sorry Jen … best-selling cookbook author, lifestyle “expert” — wanted to work with Yahoo as an editor for the website’s food division but Mayer put the kibosh on that because … wait for it … I’m loving it … Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t have a college degree.

According to a new book, Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo! By Nicholas Carson, Mayer — a 39-year-old Stanford grad who’s a stickler for degrees — “balked” at obtaining Paltrow’s services, despite Paltrow’s ego and fame and website and ego and star power and ego, because she “disapproved of the fact that Paltrow did not graduate college.”

To be fair, Paltrow did attend the University of California, Santa Barbara — a feat that at least two biographies of Goop attributed to her family’s long relationship with UCSB alum Michael Douglas — but left after one year to become an actress.

And so, twenty years later, hoping to be a contributor to Yahoo, Goop gets the news that college dropouts, no matter large their egos, needn’t apply.

My.Heart.Weeps.

Are Kim Kardastrophe and KrayKray West headed for a d-i-v-o-r-c-e?

Well, maybe yes, maybe no. I say no because their marriage seems to be one based on media attention, not actual love for one another because the pair rarely spend any time together at all. I mean, Kanye spent Thanksgiving eating dinner in Paris with male friends, while Kimmy was at home basting the turkey all by her lonesome.

And now, because he’s ALLEGEDLY working on new music, he may spend Christmas away from his shrew wife and Kimmy is livid … well, she’s mad because for her to be livid you’d have to first explain what livid means.

Still, a couple of weeks back,  the couple did get to spend some quality time together during a family outing to Disney On Ice at Staples Center … until the middle of the show when Kanye up and left and never returned.

Perhaps one of his male friends was hungry?

Still, I’m guessing this mess of a marriage works because they rarely see one another, I mean, with one having an ego the size of his wife’s ass and the other having an ass the size of her husband’s ego.

Selena Gomez used to be BFFs with Taylor Swift; and they’re still friendly every now and again, when Selena breaks up with Justin Bieber for a hot minute to sing a song about how much she loves him and then go back to him so she can break up with him again.

But, apparently she now misses Little Biebs so much that she spent most of Swifty’s birthday party sobbing on the terrace over her broken relationship with that egg-tossing-drag-racing-Sizzurp-slurping too.

According to witnesses at TayTay’s 25th birthday party — attended by fellow media whores Jay Z and Beyoncé — at Swifty’s NYC penthouse, Selena was reportedly crying out on the terrace because she misses her Little Man and shouting, at anyone who would listen:
“No one understands me! My boyfriend doesn’t even understand me.”
Oh honey, we understand you. You’re a delusional young girl who thinks your life is wrapped up with a Twit.

Problem is, you don’t understand that.

Gosh, the folks at NBC”s Today Show are really desperate to grab some ratings away from Good Morning America, even going so far as to cancel an interview with Amy Adams because she wouldn’t talk about The Sony Hack.

Really.  Adams was in NYC to promote Big Eyes, which comes out on Christmas Eve and was directed by Tim Burton and distributed by The Weinstein Company. No connection to Sony whatsoever.

And yet, when Amy Adams went on Today all they wanted to talk about was the Sony Hack. Adams came to the set, and although she’d already told producers she did not, and would not, discuss The Hack, she once again had to tell the bigwigs that she would prefer to avoid the subject, given this was a four-minute interview and she was there to talk about her movie which, again, has nothing to do with Sony.

Adams says she was told that Today is a news organization — how’s that for high-larity? — and she was told no one dictates their interviews. Adams didn’t balk, and was, in fact, shown on TV screens as an upcoming segment and then … nothing.

The show bounced her, pulled her segment and completely wasted her time, though Today execs are spinning it that Adams was at fault and behaved like some kind of hellcat.

Who says hellcat anymore?

Here’s the deal: she was there to talk Big Eyes and had just four minutes to do it, but they wanted to talk The Hack because they’re desperate to appear relevant. Now they’ll be hard-pressed to ever get Adams back or any other actor who wants to promote a film and not Sony.

Stupid move, NBC ... NBC ... No.Body.Cares.

Last week, several unfinished tracks from Madonna’s latest album were leaked onto the internet by someone or a few someone’s who just couldn’t wait to hear some auto-tuned dance tunes from an aging, surgically enhanced diva.

But the best part of this is how Madge, speaking in that clipped British accent she’s not-yet-quite-perfected, tells the tale of living in a “state of terror” since the leak:
“Obviously there is a person, or a group of people behind this that were essentially terrorizing me. I don’t want to sound alarming, but certainly that’s how I felt. It’s one thing if someone comes into your house and steals a painting off your wall: that’s also a violation, but, your work, as an artist, that’s devastating. I’m an artistic person, I’m very expressive. I’m sorry if words alarm people, but that’s what it felt like. It was not a consensual agreement. I did not say ‘hey, here’s my music, and it’s finished.’ It was theft.”
Oh, it’s theft all right, but, Madge, seriously, calm yourself down … settle ... settle … sip some tea … because leaking your music, or what passes for music these days, is not terrorism.

Nobody died, dear, though I’m sure ear drums will be bleeding.

So after The Interview was made — detailing in all its high comedy the assassination of a country’s leader because that’s funny stuff — Sony found its emails hacked and all kinds of bad stuff happened.

So, Sony pulled the move after what Homeland Security called "not credible threats" of something happening should the film open on Christmas as planned and then ... cue publicity ... and now cue Sony saying they will release The Interview on Christmas after all.

Now, I know they were hacked and all kinds of private info and emails were released, but, show of hands, who feels like Sony just played The Hack for more publicity for what was bound to be another Franco bomb?

And seriously, now they’re playing it like it would be unpatriotic if you don’t go see this piece of crap.

F**k you Sony. This was just a stunt and I ain’t buying that … or a ticket to this piece of schlock.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Photo of the Week


During the holidays, a Gay Couple came home to find a rather nasty slur scratched into their door, beneath their shimmering, glittering wreath, but instead of fighting hate with hate, they decided it might be best to teach the little bastards vandals a lesson into how to make their hate scrawls a little prettier.

I love it!



From Our Kitchen

We had a nice mellow and lazy Christmas, just the two of us ... and The Kids. Late breakfast, a few gifts exchanged. Then we cleaned out a closet, created a garbage bag of clothes to give to Goodwill, walked the dog, bathed the dog, read a little, watched an old movie and then it was time to eat.

And, since Carlos cooked most of Thanksgiving dinner, I decided to tackle Christmas. But what to serve; we didn’t want Turkey again; we’re not big fans of Prime Rib; ham didn’t seem to fit.

Then I realized we had a large Pork Tenderloin in the freezer because when we CostCo — yes, it’s a verb now — we buy a large Pork Tenderloin to cut into boneless chops because it’s cheaper and I’m all about the coins, you know. So, Pork Tenderloin it would be, but how? 

A quick Google search and I found Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Sauce from The Pioneer Woman and here’s how it’s done.

For the Cranberry Glaze — clockwise from Top Left:

Red Wine; I used a Merlot but anything works; Chicken Stock; Cranberry Sauce — canned is fine, this is Carlos’ Homemade stuff; Butter, Olive Oil, Chopped Rosemary, Chopped Onion, Minced Garlic.
Note: The Pioneer Woman doesn’t use garlic, but I found that blasphemous so I tossed it in.

Sauté the onions in the butter and oil, add the garlic and rosemary and cook until onions are tender; add the wine and chicken stock; add cranberry sauce and cook on low flame until it reduces to a thicker consistency.
I also plagiarized the recipe by throwing in a full spring of rosemary while it simmered. Sue me!
For the Pork:

The Pioneer Women salted and peppered the pork, but, well, I like to be different. I processed some Garlic, Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme and Olive Oil; then I decided it needed to be pastier so I threw in a small chunk of Fresh Parmesan and processed it again. 

Coat all sides of the tenderloin liberally with salt and pepper, and then rub the herb blend all over it as well. Heat Butter and Olive Oil in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat and sear the pork loin on all sides.

Finally, put it in the oven  I cooked it on a rack, above a mix of Rosemary, Tarragon and Thyme, floating in some Red Wine and Cjhicken Stock  and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 160-degrees. At Casa Bob y Carlos we have a probe in our oven, so there’s no need for a timer; it just cooks until the right temperature is reached and BAM done! 

Remove from oven and let sit for fifteen minutes, then slice, place on platter and spoon over top some cranberry glaze.

Then I decided to make Ina Garten’s Leek and Artichoke BreadPudding; as Blobby, and Ina, might say, How easy is that? It’s easy; first the ingredients ...


From the bottom left: Pancetta, thin sliced and crisped for about 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven; day old White Bread — I used a loaf of French Bread, cut into cubes and dried, then toasted in the oven alongside the Pancetta; Ina says remove the crust, Bob says leave the crust on. I win.  Leeks, the whites and some of the greens, cut into ½-inch slices and washed thoroughly; 9-ounces frozen Artichoke Hearts, Salt, Pepper, Chicken Stock, White Wine, Eggs, Heavy Cream — though next time I’ll half the cream with low-fat milk; Butter, Nutmeg, Tarragon and Gruyere — though Swiss works fine, too.


Heat butter in a  skillet on medium heat; add the leeks and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; add the wine, salt and pepper, and cook five minutes more; take off the heat and add artichokes, bread cubes, tarragon, and chives.


Whisk eggs with cream, nutmeg, chicken stock, and salt; spread half the bread mixture in a baking dish and sprinkle the top with the cheese; add a second layer of the bread mixture, followed by cream mixture, and the rest of the cheese; press down lightly so bread absorbs the cream. Then top with the diced or chopped Pancetta.

Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes — or, as I did, in the fridge overnight — to let the bread absorb flavors, and then bake 45 to 50 minutes at 350, until it’s golden and puffy.

Of course, we needed a vegetable and, well, I opted for something we’ve never had before, Roasted Winter Vegetables.


In one bowl add Beets, peeled and quartered, Carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise, Turnips — I couldn’t find them so I used Parsnips — peeled and quartered; Thyme sprigs. Toss with a tablespoon of Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper; place on a roasting dish.

In another bowl, add some unpeeled Garlic Cloves — as many as you like; Red Onion, peeled and cut lengthwise into quarters; Fennel Bulbs, cored and cut lengthwise into quarters; Thyme sprigs. Toss with a tablespoon of Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper; place on another roasting dish.

Bake the first group of veggies — The Beets and Friends — in a 425-degree oven for about 45 minutes; when they have about 25 minutes left, rotate the pan, then slide the second pan — The Fennel Group — in the oven too, and turn that pan when there’s about ten minutes left.

Remove both pans, combine veggies, top with chopped Thyme and serve.

How easy is that? Plus it was delicious and, yeah, easy, and different, and pretty to look at, too. Martha Stewart can kiss my a**.

To top it off, we had Carlos’ Chocolate-Vanilla Cheesecake, for which I am forbidden to share his recipe; who does he think he is?