The Whopper Takes On Canada

by Gerri Willis

Burger King’s acquisition of Canadian coffee and donut chain, Tim Horton’s, has drawn criticism from many corners including our friends to the north, who are concerned that the classic chain will get an apple pie makeover, but the most succinct critique I heard today came from a Burger King customer on the streets of New York who had just finished lunch. “It’s the American Whopper,” she said.

Not anymore. BK says the deal is virtually complete with only Canadian regulators needed to sign on. Analysts and pundits continue to describe the acquisition as fueled by a desire to lower costs, especially tax costs. Corporate tax rates in the US are 35 percent versus 15 for Canada.  Yet Burger King CEO Daniel Schwartz told reporters today in a conference call that lower taxes weren’t the “driver for the deal” and described the rate differential as not meaningful.

Instead, the company says it needs a strategy to more effectively compete in the fast food niche of the restaurant business which is sorely lacking respect from millennials, who prefer fast casual restaurant chains like Chipotle. No doubt BK needs to fix its image and improve its offerings but the tax backlash the company is receiving isn’t helping it burnish its appeal. Usually milquetoast senators are telling reporters that they are boycotting the burger chain.

Adding to the revelations, the White House’s poster boy for tax fairness, Warren Buffett, who famously proclaimed he has been under taxed for years, is financing the $10 billion Burger King deal and stands to make a tidy profit. As my mom said, things are getting curiouser and curiouser.

Here’s what I think: If tax policies don’t change, BK is the beginning of the wave of U.S. companies which will move offshore to become more competitive. And yet, the administration is adamant in refusing to even consider a more competitive rate for corporate profits. In fact, the Treasury department is engaging in backdoor efforts to stop these moves offshore. And, that will be a waste of time because the more that companies believe regulators are closing the door to these so-called inversion deals, the more likely they are to pursue them. So, in effect, the White House’s policy may speed the result they are hoping to prevent.  Hey, White House, if even your tax fairness guru isn’t with you, it might be time to change sides.

Recipes to Switch Up Your Grilling Routine

Recipes to switch up your grilling routine this summer with Chalk Point Kitchen Executive Chef Joe Isidori

 

 

Spicy Tuna Sashimi Burger

 

5oz Yellowfin Tuna loin

2T spicy mayo

½ avocado, sliced lengthwise

2.5oz package radish sprouts

4 rings pickled red onions

Togarashi to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Martin's potato roll

Extra virgin olive oil

 

For Spicy mayo

 

1T Sriracha

1c Japanese mayo

 

Mix together in a small bowl.

 

For pickled red onions

 

1 red onion, sliced into rings

1.5c water

.5c cider vinegar

1pc clove

1pc star anise

¼ stick cinnamon

 

Bring water and vinegar to a boil. Place onions and dry spices into a mason jar. Pour heated vinegar solution over the onions and dry spices. Steep 45min then cool. Best if used the next day.

 

For Tuna

 

Season tuna loin with salt, pepper and togarashi. Apply olive oil on both sides and place on heated grill.

Grill both sides for approximately 2.5 minutes. Remove and rest. Slice tuna against the grain into thin strips.

 

For assembly

 

Lightly toast Martin's potato roll. Arrange sliced tuna on the roll. Apply spicy mayonnaise and top with pickled red onion, sliced avocado and radish sprouts. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Heirloom Tomato Salad

 

1lg Heirloom tomato, cut into large 1.5” pieces

¼c zinfandel vinegar

¼ extra virgin olive oil

4lg basil leaves, torn

Salt and pepper to taste

Buttermilk dressing

 

For Buttermilk dressing

 

1c Japanese mayonnaise

½c buttermilk

¼c sour cream

1 t garlic powder

1 t onion powder

1 t dijon

½c dill chopped finely

1T apple cider vinegar

1T lemon zest

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl.

 

For assembly

 

Apply a small pool of buttermilk dressing on a plate. Dress cut heirloom tomatoes with vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. With a slotted spoon, place marinated tomatoes on the dressing. Garnish with torn basil.

 

 

Grilled Zucchini

 

1lg zucchini, sliced lengthwise into just under ½ inch strips

½c garlic aioli

1 sprig picked parsley

¼c chopped katamala olives

1 t ground coriander

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and pepper to taste

 

For garlic aioli

 

6 cloves of garlic

1c Japanese mayonnaise

 

Roast garlic at 400F for 45 minutes or until meltingly soft. In a blender, place roasted garlic and mayonnaise and blend until combined.

 

For Zucchini

 

Season zucchini with sea salt, pepper and coriander. Place on heated grill and cook on one side rotating to form two hash marks. Approximately 3 minutes.

 

For assembly

 

Place grilled zucchini on a plate in a single layer spread out. Spoon garlic aioli on top. Sprinkle chopped olives. Garnish with picked parsley.

 

 

 

Shrimp Salad

 

3 Mexican Gulf white shrimp (U12), poached and chopped

½c lemon aioli

1 t chopped tarragon

15pc capers

1 t ground coriander

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 pint court bouillon

 

For Lemon aioli

 

½c Japanese mayonnaise

1 t lemon zest

1 t lemon segments

 

Zest one lemon. Then trim zested lemon. Remove segments with a knife and remove seeds. In a blender put mayonnaise, zest, segments and blend till combined.

 

For Shrimp and Court Bouillon

 

1 ½c water

½c white wine

1 lemon juiced

1 onion, chopped

½ celery, chopped

1 garlic clove

1 t black peppercorns

1 sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

 

Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Drop to a simmer and add shrimp. Poach for about 5 minutes until just cooked. Remove and shock in an ice bath until cool. Peel and chop.

 

Assembly

 

In a large bowl, mix shrimp, lemon aioli, tarragon and capers. Season with salt, pepper and coriander. Spoon onto a plate and enjoy with your favorite chips.   

 

 

 

Strawberries and Cream

 

1 pint fresh strawberries, husked and quartered

2 leaves basil, torn

½c confectioner's sugar

1c heavy cream

1 vanilla bean, split in two

 

For strawberries

 

Macerate strawberries with ¼c confectioner's sugar and half vanilla bean scrapped. Let sit for 30 minutes.

 

For whipped cream

 

Combine cream, ¼c confectioner's sugar and remaining half of vanilla bean scrapped. Whip until soft to medium peaks.

 

For assembly

 

Spoon macerated strawberries in a small serving bowl. Top with whipped cream. Garnish with basil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italian Summer Cooking with Executive Chef Andrea Montobillo of Asellina

Roasted Branzino in Aquapazza

ingredients

portion

u/m

Branzino filet

4.4

oz

Ciabatta Bread

1ea  2”

slice

Capers

0.1

oz

Taggiasca olives

0.1

oz

Cherry tomatoes

1.2

oz

Thyme

0.1

oz

Rosemary

0.1

oz

Lemon zest

0.01

oz

Fish stock

1/4

cup

Tomato sauce

1/6

cup

Parsley

0.1

oz

Salt

0.1

oz

Pepper

0.1

oz

Evoo

1

oz

Garlic

0.1

oz

Leeks

0.5

oz

White wine

.1/4

cup

 

Season a 2 inch slice of Ciabatta bread with extra virgin olive oil salt pepper and place in the preheated oven  at 350 degree until is golden and toasted

In a medium size sauté pan add olive oil one clove of crushed garlic a spring of rosemary and tyme.

When the oil is hot add the filet of Branzino (previously seasoned with salt and pepper) with the skin down.

When the branzino has a nice crust flip the filet and place it into an oven pan and roast in the oven.

In the same pan add capers, olives, parsley, cherry tomatoes, leeks. Cook for 30 second and deglaze with white wine.

Add the fish stock and the tomato sauce. And cook for couple of minutes.

At this point the branzino will be done.

Place the toasted bread in the middle of a shallow bowl, poor the Aquapazza sauce on top of the bread.

Place the branzino on the top of the bread and finish with olive oil and lemon zest

 

Pizza Estiva

Arugola

0.5

oz

Burrata

5

oz

Heirloom tomatoes

1

ea

Extra virgin olive oil

1

oz

Pizza dough

10

oz

Salt and pepper

to taste

 

 

Start charcoal fire or preheat gas grill to medium-high heat.

Pat or roll dough on a well-floured counter to about 8-inch circles; they do not need to be perfect.

Brush both sides of crust with additional oil. Using hands, lift each crust carefully and place on grill. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until bottom is lightly browned and top looks set. Using long handled tongs, remove crust from grill, grilled side up, to a platter or baking sheet.

Place the sliced heirloom tomatoes in the middle of the crust season with extra virgin olive oil. Place the burrata on the top, add the arugula and season with extra virgin olive oil and Vincotto vinegar, salt and pepper.

Carefully slide each pizza onto the grill. Cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes until bottom of crust is browned. Remove from grill and serve immediately

 

 

 

Pizza Dough

Caputo flour 

5

lb

fresh yeast

0.3

oz

salt

1

oz

water

3.2

lb

Combine the flour, salt in the bowl. Dissolve the yeast into the warm water. Combine the flour and the yeast/water  In a stand mixer beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.

Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 10 oz balls. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.

Bresaola Salad

Arugola

1.5

oz

Shaved baby fennel

0.8

oz

pecorino

0.5

oz

Bresaola

2

oz

lemon

.1/2

ea

Olive Oil

0.1

oz

Salt and pepper

to taste

 

 

Slice the Bresaola very thin and place in the middle of a flat plate.

Season with salt pepper, extra virgin olive oil and lemon.

In bowl season the Arugola and the shaved baby fennel with salt pepper, extra virgin olive oil and lemon.

Place the Arugola on top of the sliced bresaola and finish with shaved pecorino cheese

GM Compensation Fund Officially Open For Business

by Gerri Willis

Today is the first day that victims of the GM ignition switch disaster can file claims for compensation. Those claim forms can be found at:

http://www.gmignitioncompensation.com/pocdocuments.php prepared – there’s some pretty complicated paperwork to be filled out. A total of 12 forms await filers.

Ken Feinberg, who is running the victim’s compensation fund, says he expects claimants to accompany their applications with relevant data such as police reports, black box data, photos of the car, any warranty and medical records. Even the car itself may become an important part of his evaluation of claims.

Navigating those forms, he says, may be easier than you first think, because many are specific to the situation of each victim. For example, families filing on behalf of family members who have died will file different forms than survivors. Even so, some claimants may find the process daunting. Feinberg says there is help available for anyone in that category.

“We will assist any family member, anybody filing a claim if you are having trouble getting through the documentation or locating documentation, “he says. “We will work with you. We are not adversarial. We are trying to get money out the door to eligible claimants.”

Feinberg invited people to contact the office directly. That number is 1-855-382-6463.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers say they expect hundreds of claims to be made today, but Feinberg said such estimates are “sheer speculation,” adding that the typical trend in such cases is a spike in applications in the first month and the last month of the program, which in this case is December. Feinberg has also run high-profile compensation funds in the wake of 9-11, the Boston bombing and the BP oil spill.

GM has set aside $400 million to compensate victims, raising questions about how the number was derived. Feinberg said he couldn’t speak for GM, and in the past he has said there is no cap on the fund. Initially, the company said 13 people died due to loss of control of their vehicle when their ignition switch slipped into the off position and power brakes and steering went out. Airbags also would not deploy under those conditions. Recently, the company raised that estimate to 19, but as least one plaintiff attorney says the number could be far higher.                 

Recipes From Friday's Cooking Segment with Chef Scott Leibfried

Carolina BBQ Chicken

  • Grilled chicken breast
  • Roasted tomatoes
  • Onions and peppers
  • Sweet corn
  • Baby kale
  • Scallions
  • Red quinoa
  • Cilantro

BBQ Sauce

  • Mustard of choice
  • Vinegar
  • Agave
  • Onions
  • Garlic

Saute the quinoa, roasted onions and peppers, sweet corn and baby kale over a medium heat.

Grill the chicken at the same time.

Move the sauteed ingredients into a large bowl and top it with the sliced grilled chicken.

Add the homemade Carolina BBQ sauce on top.

Add green onion and cilantro for garnish.

Balkan Burger

  • Spiced chicken burger
  • Fennel cabbage slaw
  • Sliced tomato
  • Roasted red pepper spread
  • Cucumber mint yogurt

Fennel Cabbage Slaw

  • Shaved cabbage
  • Shaved fennel
  • Shredded carrots
  • Jalapeno
  • Rice wine vinegar

To Assemble:

Heat the chicken burger

Heat the 100% whole wheat laffa(pocketless pita)

Spread roasted red pepper spread on half of the laffa

Spread cucumber mint yogurt on the other half

Finish with sliced tomatoes and jalapeno slaw

Serve with a side of pickles

Save Big Money on Clothes

by Gerri Willis

I hate spending a lot of money on clothes. Smart shoppers know they don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to dress well. Mitt Romney, who can afford any label he wants, talked on the campaign trail about how he bought Kirkland brand dress shirts at Costco. Seeing an item you bought at full price marked down is always a downer. So, to get some great tips on buying clothes at a discount, I  went to Andrea Woroch, a personal finance expert.

First off, Woroch says store markdowns typically start on Thursdays, contrary to conventional wisdom. Yes, you normally see sales advertised for the weekends, but sales associates have to get out ahead and change prices on individual items beforehand, and that means better selection and prices for people in the know.  Second, you always want to shop out of season and that means buying summer items at the end of the summer when they go on sale. Hold off buying for fall and winter until after Christmas to score deep, deep discounts. Retailers mark down seasonal merchandise dramatically to clear out store shelves and make room for spring clothing.

To track prices, consider using apps like Hukkster, which tracks price drops and will alert you when coupons become available. Also, many of the big chain retailers, like Abercrombie & Fitch, have aggressive social media platforms and alert loyal customers to the best deals. The downside of signing up for the apps is that you may get more info than you want about merchandise.

Discounters are a great way to go – with chains like TJMaxx and Marshalls offering steep discounts on brands you already know. Local consignment shops stock quality clothing at a steep discount. Choose a consignment store in a wealthy neighborhood for the best finds. Another great place to go for slightly used brand name clothes are online consignment shops like www.thredup.com and www.recycleyourfashions.com.

My girlfriends and I make scoring big discounts a game. It’s hip to be cheap!

         

Don’t miss The Willis Report 5pmET on FOX Business

Ways to Save Money at Lunchtime

by Gerri Willis

Not too long ago, I started adding up all the money I was spending on lunch at work and I was shocked out how much money was slipping through my fingers. About the time I ate a wilted spinach salad speckled with green eggs that I bought at a nearby deli, I started thinking there’s got to be a better way. Given that the average American spends nearly $1,000 a year for lunch just two days a week, chances are you may be as frustrated as I was. But here’s the thing, how do you pack a meal that will be appealing by the time the lunch hour rolls around?

Today on the Willis Report, we will be examining this topic, but in this blog I’ll give you my solutions. First off, I stay away from the routine – no PBJ, forget the turkey sandwich (it gets soggy!), and, as much as I love tuna fish, I avoid it so that my office mates don’t turn up their nose at the smell.

A typical lunch I like to make starts with greens dressed in a simple dressing. On Sunday, I sometimes make a grain or rice based salad I can mix in with the greens to give it heft. This weekend, I made a quinoa salad (a good source of protein!) with raisins and chopped walnut mixed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. I added in corn I had cut off the cob that my husband and I had grilled outside. There’s always an avocado floating around, so I bring one and cut it up at work, so it doesn’t get brown in the salad bowl in the office frig.

Like anything, planning is essential, so that you can keep your prep time to a minimum. I try to play off whatever I cook over the weekend so that I don’t have to do so much work. Not only am I saving money, but I like the idea that I know exactly what is in my lunch!

 

Don’t miss The Willis Report tonight 5pmET on FOX Business

Cutting Your Commuting Costs

by Gerri Willis

Saving money is no big sweat when you’re talking about saving on items like clothing or travel. After all, those purchases are discretionary. You can buy them, or you can stay away – it’s all up to you. But when it comes to commuting – well, that’s a must-have. You’ve got to make it to work, so we spoke with John Nielsen, AAA’s automotive engineering and repair managing director, about what you can do to cut back your commuting costs.

With 10.8 million of us traveling an hour each way on our commute, it’s no surprise that spending on commuting is high. The average household spends $3,000 a year on all gas purchases, but it could be less if you took these simple tips from Nielsen:

 

  • Stop driving so aggressively. According to the Energy Department, tailgating and swerving in out of traffic costs you big time. Aggressive driving lowers your gas mileage by a third! For more savings, keep it under the speed limit. You spend about a quarter more per gallon for every five miles per hour you drive over 60 MPH.

 

  • Don’t get stuck in traffic tieups. True sometimes there is only one way to get where you’re going. But more often than not, you can find a way around traffic snarls. Idling just 10 minutes is the same as driving five miles when it comes to gas consumption. Check out traffic apps like Waze to get traffic alerts and to find the lowest gas prices. Google maps’ “faster route” navigation can help you avoid backups.

 

  • Use pre-tax dollars to save. Some employers have commuting programs that allow workers to save on their commute by using pre-tax dollars to buy train tickets or parking.

 

Don’t miss The Willis Report tonight 5pmET on FOX Business

Shop Smart & Save More on Groceries

by Gerri Willis

Planning to bring home the bacon? Good luck, bacon prices are up 14 percent from two years ago. And, that’s not the only item in your grocer’s aisles that is rising in prices. Fresh fruit prices are on the march, as are avocado prices. Thinking you’ll skip the high prices of steak and have a pork chop instead? Forget it. Pork chops prices are obscene and so is the lowly ground chuck. Fortunately, there are ways to save. Tod Marks, senior projects editor at Consumer Reports, gave me his best ideas.

Marks says you don’t have to spend every weekend cutting coupons to save and offered some great strategies for getting the best prices on darn near everything. Start by getting your favorite store’s loyalty card. This allows you to access to special offers that you might otherwise not get. It may sound like a small thing, but chains like Safeway and Stop & Shop offer gas discounts when you sign up.

Simple changes can make a difference. Marks recommends buying bagged produce, like apples or potatoes, and multipacks of items like soap and soda, to save as much as 36 percent. (Just make sure you can use all those apples before they go bad!)

Avoid stopping at the drug store for a last-minute gallon of milk. According to Consumer Reports, there are better places to pick up the item on your grocery list you forgot. Dollar stores are carrying a larger proportion of food items, as much as 66 percent of their sales, and savings can be dramatic. Consumer Reports price differences of as much as 28 percent.

If you like to use apps to shop, Marks recommends an app called “Boxed,” which helps users find the best prices for bulk shopping. Also, “Checkout 51” locates the best items for cash back offers.    

Otherwise, shop smart. Shopping advocates advise you trust, but verify. If something is advertised as a good deal, break down the per unit prices and make comparisons with other stores.

We’ll have more from Marks tonight on The Willis Report at 5pm ET on Fox Business.

The Honor Roll of Best Hospitals 2014-15

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/best-hospitals/slideshows/the-honor-roll-of-best-hospitals-2014-15/18

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