Month: August 2009

Hit the Road for Food

With the Labor Day weekend approaching, I thought I’d share a site that I love for road trips (but you can even use it in your own home town) – is the brainchild of Jane and Michael Stern who have written a series of food based books (and, apparently met as art students at Yale – see, even I learn something new when I re-visit sites!) and contribute to one of my favorite NPR shows, “The Splendid Table“.  For those outside of Minnesota, “The Splendid Table” is hosted by a woman who, I swear, shares her love of food and cooking unlike anyone else I have ever heard – really, it’s worth checking out here!

But we’re here to discuss  Jane and Michael have cris-crossed the country looking for local food created by local cooks.  Whether you’re hitting the highway this weekend and need to find the perfect stop between here and there, or you’re staying in town and want to try a local treat, check out’s recommendations.  In addition to Jane and Michael’s take on a restaurant, you’ll also find user comments to give you one or two more perspectives on a place.  Personally, I like the “must eats” part of the restaurant profile – anyone who has eaten with me knows I need direction!

So, this weekend hit the road and hit for good eats along the way.

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!


Stock Up Chicago!

boozeWell, in case you missed it, Chicago (actually all of Illinois)  is implementing yet another tax and this one affects your drinking, sweet tooth, and, for some of you, sanitary habits.  Yep, starting Tuesday, Illinois is raising taxes on booze, candy, and dandruff shampoo.  However, not all taxes or items are created equal in Illinois!

The dandruff shampoo is the clearest – unless a doctor prescribes the shampoo, you’ll see a tax increase to 6.25%.  On the other hand, what constitutes candy is up for grabs.  Chocolate bar = candy (6.25% now).  Chocolate covered peanuts = food (so no tax increase and stays at 1%).  Makes sense, right?  Only in Illinois!

The highest tax increase, though, affects booze and is based on the product’s alcohol content and is calculated by the gallon.  Technically, the distributor is the only one facing a tax increase; however, I think we all know that the tax increase will quickly make its way to all of us.  So, just how much is this tax increase? A six pack of beer goes from 10.4 cents to 13 cents, a bottle of wine increases from 13 cents to 28 cents, and a fifth of most spirits jumps from 90 cents to $1.71 – ouch all around!

For those who wonder where this money is going, the state plans to use it for public works projects like roads and schools.  I’m sure they’re starting with the giant pothole right outside my house.

So, if you live in Illinois, spend today (Monday) stocking up on dandruff shampoo, candy (if you can figure out what is candy and what is food), and booze before the latest in a series of tax increases takes place.  Or, have a flaky scalp, cavity-free teeth, and a happy liver and use your money savings for other vices!

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!

Rolling Stone’s Top 100 (of 500) Songs

11028291-11028294-slargeWell, I’m pleased to say that the Bright-Yellow readers are a reading bunch (or at least more opinionated about books than movies)!  Let’s see what you think about music….

In 2004, Rolling Stone listed their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  I’m only listing the top 100 but you can find the complete list here.  So, what do you think? Are these really the best?  Personally, I disagree about U2’s “One” ranking higher than “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and I’m glad that my parents raised me with their music since it dominates this list and I think only three songs from my teenage years show up in the top 100!

Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section and thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!

1. Like a Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan

2. Satisfaction, The Rolling Stones

3. Imagine, John Lennon

4. What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye

5. Respect, Aretha Franklin

6. Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys

7. Johnny B. Goode, Chuck Berry

8. Hey Jude, The Beatles

9. Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana

10. What’d I Say, Ray Charles

11. My Generation, The Who

12. A Change Is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke

13. Yesterday, The Beatles

14. Blowin’ in the Wind, Bob Dylan

15. London Calling, The Clash

16. I Want to Hold Your Hand, The Beatles

17. Purple Haze, Jimi Hendrix

18. Maybellene, Chuck Berry

19. Hound Dog, Elvis Presley

20. Let It Be, The Beatles

21. Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen

22. Be My Baby, The Ronettes

23. In My Life, The Beatles

24. People Get Ready, The Impressions

25. God Only Knows, The Beach Boys

26. A Day in the Life, The Beatles

27. Layla, Derek and the Dominos

28. (Sittin on) the Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding

29. Help!, The Beatles

30. I Walk the Line, Johnny Cash

31. Stairway To Heaven, Led Zeppelin

32. Sympathy for the Devil, The Rolling Stones

33. River Deep – Mountain High, Ike and Tina Turner

34. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, The Righteous Brothers

35. Light My Fire, The Doors

36. One, U2

37. No Woman, No Cry, Bob Marley and the Wailers

38. Gimme Shelter, The Rolling Stones

39. That’ll Be the Day, Buddy Holly and the Crickets

40. Dancing in the Street, Martha and the Vandellas

41. The Weight, The Band

42. Waterloo Sunset, The Kinks

43. Tutti-Frutti, Little Richard

44. Georgia on My Mind, Ray Charles

45. Heartbreak Hotel, Elvis Presley

46. Heroes, David Bowie

47. Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon and Garfunkel

48. All Along the Watchtower, Jimi Hendrix

49. Hotel California, The Eagles

50. The Tracks of My Tears, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

51. The Message, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

52. When Doves Cry, Prince

53. Anarchy in the U.K., The Sex Pistols

54. When a Man Loves a Woman, Percy Sledge

55. Louie Louie, The Kingsmen

56. Long Tall Sally, Little Richard

57. Whiter Shade of Pale, Procol Harum

58. Billie Jean, Michael Jackson

59. The Times They Are A-Changin’, Bob Dylan

60. Let’s Stay Together, Al Green

61. Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On, Jerry Lee Lewis

62. Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley

63. For What It’s Worth, Buffalo Springfield

64. She Loves You, The Beatles

65. Sunshine of Your Love, Cream

66. Redemption Song, Bob Marley and the Wailers

67. Jailhouse Rock, Elvis Presley

68. Tangled Up in Blue, Bob Dylan

69. Crying, Roy Orbison

70. Walk On By, Dionne Warwick

71. California Girls, The Beach Boys

72. Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, James Brown

73. Summertime Blues, Eddie Cochran

74. Superstition, Stevie Wonder

75. Whole Lotta Love, Led Zeppelin

76. Strawberry Fields Forever,The Beatles

77. Mystery Train, Elvis Presley

78. I Got You (I Feel Good), James Brown

79. Mr. Tambourine Man, The Byrds

80. I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Marvin Gaye

81. Blueberry Hill, Fats Domino

82. You Really Got Me, The Kinks

83. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown), The Beatles

84. Every Breath You Take, The Police

85. Crazy, Patsy Cline

86. Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen

87. Ring of Fire, Johnny Cash

88. My Girl, The Temptations

89. California Dreamin’, The Mamas and The Papas

90. In the Still of the Nite, The Five Satins

91. Suspicious Minds, Elvis Presley

92. Blitzkrieg Bop, Ramones

93. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, U2

94. Good Golly, Miss Molly, Little Richard

95. Blue Suede Shoes, Carl Perkins

96. Great Balls of Fire, Jerry Lee Lewis

97. Roll Over Beethoven, Chuck Berry

98. Love and Happiness, Al Green

99. Fortunate Son, Creedence Clearwater Revival

100. You Can’t Always Get What You Want, The Rolling Stones

100 Movies to See Before You Die (according to Yahoo!)

movie-reelWell, apparently yesterday’s post about the 100 books to read was quite a topic so I’m following it up with Yahoo!’s list of 100 Movies to See Before You Die (I have seen 68 – better than my book number of 48).  Yahoo! explains their choices this way, “To choose the titles for the list, we considered factors like historical importance and cultural impact. But we also selected films that we believe are the most thrilling, most dramatic, scariest, and funniest movies of all time. Some of these films you’ve seen, and some you may not have heard of, but we believe that each one is a timeless classic that you absolutely have to see.”  The link here (and above) takes you to the Yahoo! page with a longer description of each film.

I’m sharing this in part because of the response to yesterday’s post but also because as I went through the list of books yesterday, I spent a few minutes on a few trying to remember if I actually read the book or just saw the movie!  So, how many of these have you seen?

1. 12 Angry Men (1957)
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
3. 400 Blows (1959)
4. 8 1/2 (1963)
5. The African Queen (1952)
6. Alien (1979)
7. All About Eve (1950)
8. Annie Hall (1977)
9. Apocalyse Now (1979)
10. The Battle of Algiers (1967)
11. The Bicycle Thief (1948)
12. Blade Runner (1982)
13. Blazing Saddles (1974) –
14. Blow Up (1966)
15. Blue Velvet (1986)
16. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
17. Breathless ( 1960)
18. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
19. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
20. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
21. Casablanca (1942)
22. Chinatown (1974)
23. Citizen Kane (1941)
24. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
25. Die Hard (1988)
26. Do the Right Thing (1989)
27. Double Indemnity (1944)
28. Dr. Strangelove (1933)
29. Duck Soup (1933)
30. ET the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
31. Enter the Dragon (1973)
32. The Exorcist (1973)
33. Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)
34. The French Connection (1971)
35. The Godfather (1972)
36. The Godfather, Part II (1974)
37. Goldfinger (1964)
38. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1968)
39. Goodfellas (1990)
40. The Graduate (1967
41. Grand Illusion (1938)
42. Groundhog Day (1993)
43. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
44. In the Mood For Love (2001)
45. It Happened One Night (1934)
46. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
47. Jaws (1975)
48. King Kong (1933)
49. The Lady Eve (1941)
50. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
51. The Lord of the Rings (2001)
52. M (1931)
53. M*A*S*H (1970)
54. The Maltese Falcon (1936)
55. The Matrix (1999)
56. Modern Times (1936)
57. Monty Python & the Holy Grail (1975)
58. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
59. Network (1976)
60. Nosferatu (1922)
61. On the Waterfront (1954)
62. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
63. Paths of Glory (1958)
64. Princess Mononoke (1999)
65. Psycho (1960)
66. Pulp Fiction (1994)
67. Raging Bull (1980)
68. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
69. Raise the Red Lantern (1992)
70. Rashomon (1951)
71. Rear Window (1954)
72. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
73. Rocky (1976)
74. Roman Holiday (1953)
75. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
76. Schindler’s List (1993)
77. The Searchers (1956)
78. Seven Samurai (1954)
79. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
80. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
81. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
82 . Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
83. Some Like It Hot (1959)
84. The Sound of Music (1965)
85. Star Wars (1977)
86. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
87. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
88. The Third Man (1949)
89. This is Spinal Tap (1984)
90. Titanic (1997)
91. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
92. Toy Story (1995)
93. The Usual Suspects (1995)
94. Vertigo (1958)
95. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
96. Wild Strawberries (1957)
97. Wings of Desire (1988)
98. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
99. Women on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown (1988)
100. The World of Apu (1959)

Prove the BBC Wrong!

BOOKSA friend and fellow book clubber, forwarded this email to me today.  While I’m a big reader, I find it hard to believe that most people will have read only six of these 100 books.  I’m glad to know that I’m way above average!  How many have you read?  Most importantly, thanks for reading Bright-Yellow along with whatever number of books you have read on this list!

100 Books
Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?
Instructions: Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien –
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte –
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling –
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee –
6 The Bible –
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte –
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell –
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott –
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier –
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien –
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell –
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy –
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams –
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck-
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll –
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis –
34 Emma-Jane Austen –
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen –
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis –
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini –
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden –
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne –
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell-
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown –
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving-
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins –
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery –
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood –
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding –
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel –
52 Dune – Frank Herbert –
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen –
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens-
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night – Mark Haddon-
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck –
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov –
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt –
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold –
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas –
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac –
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding –
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville –
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens-
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker –
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett –
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce –
76 The Inferno – Dante –
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt –
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens –
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker-
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro –
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White –
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom –
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle –
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery –
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams –
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole –
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare –
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl –
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo-

Peach Cobbler – from Eli’s Cheesecake

Remember a few weeks ago when I visited Eli’s Cheesecake and their fabulous Farmer’s Market?  Well, I neglected to mention that while Eli’s primarily makes cheesecake, they also make a lot of yummy, delicious baked goods (and savory goods, too!).  Jeff went back with me to visit the Farmer’s Market and I learned that his “most favorite dessert” is peach cobbler – perhaps because the peach stand was offering this Eli’s/Wright College recipe for it.  Well, I decided to be a nice wife and have now made this recipe twice – both times successfully!  Jeff has declared it his favorite dish I make which, while a compliment, makes me feel like all of those other, more complicated efforts were a big waste (because this is so easy).

It’s still peach season so grab some peaches and enjoy! Thanks Eli’s and your partner Wright College for this recipe.

Eli’s/Wright College Farmers Market Peach Cobbler

1 stick (4 oz.) butter, melted

1C. plus 3T. granulated sugar, divided

1C. all-purpose flour

2tsp. baking powder

1/4tsp. salt

1C. milk (skim is fine)

1tsp. vanilla extract

3-4 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, thinly sliced

1/2tsp. cinnamon

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Pour melted butter into a 2-quart baking dish (11×7 or 8 inch square). In a mixing bowl, combine one cup of sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt; stir to blend.  Stir in milk and vanilla until blended.  Pour batter over melted butter. Toss peaches with remaining 3tsp. of sugar and 1/2tsp. of cinnamon.  Arrange the peach slices over the batter. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Top will be browned and cake will begin to pull away from sides of pan.

Serves 6

BTW – I took a photo of our partially eaten cobbler to insert in the post.  Jeff said the photo looked like chicken instead of cobbler – well, he does like meat!

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!  Don’t forget to subscribe on the upper right hand corner (that way you won’t miss a day of Bright-Yellow!) and share Bright-Yellow with others!

Bake Some Bread (as in money) with Wise Bread

wisebread-logoWell Bright-Yellow fans, I’m going to share with you my most favorite site for money saving tips and ideas – Wise Bread. For those who are not familiar with this site, it’s a blog that is chock full of coupons, financial strategies, first hand accounts of money management, and new ways to save money.  Really, this site is fantastic.  Unemployed, partially employed or working full-time, everyone can benefit from Wise Bread.

The page I’m linking you to is the home page which is sort of the highlights.  For the most part, the articles are written by freelancers or people like me who just have a story to share.  The site does have other sections that I recommend (btw – I totally can’t spell that word – every time it’s too many c’s or too many m’s!) checking out for a more in depth look at financial topics – definitely check out the page with the top financial blogs.

And, you know how sometimes I give you a link to a fabulous freebie or coupon? Well, more often than not, you can thank Wise Bread for that little nugget!  Every day, Monday through Friday, Wise Bread posts links to fantastic discounts and freebies.  For example, today you can score a free NoDoz sample (so you can stay up reading all of the past Bright-Yellow posts?!?!) or a set of Oneida steak knives for just $3.95!

So, there, one of my secrets is out – but I hope it helps you and that you enjoy Wise Bread as much as I do! And, Twitter folks, you can follow Wise Bread – @wisebread.

For those who asked for a One Kings Lane invitation – I’ll send those on Saturday.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read yesterday’s post and let me know if you, too, want an invitation!

Thanks for reading Bright-Yellow!