Section 2

A. Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle
From a Southern Living Cookbook and prepared by Patty Higgins
Makes 10 t0 12 servings
hands-on time: 15 minutes
total time: 15 minutes

1 (15 oz.) store-bought angel food cake (or bake your own)
2 (7 oz.) containers frozen strawberry cheesecake bites
3 (4 oz.) containers refrigerated vanilla pudding
1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
2 cups thawed extra-creamy whipped topping
½ cup sliced fresh strawberries

1. Cut cake into 1-inch slices. Cut slices into 1-inch cubes to yield 6 cups. Reserve remaining cake for another use.
2. Place half of cake cubes in a 3-qt. trifle bowl. Top with half of cheesecake bites. Stir together pudding and sour cream until blended. Spoon half of pudding mixture over cheesecake bites.  Repeat layers once. Top with whipped topping and strawberries. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Note: SL tested with Sara Lee Cheesecake Bites and Swiss Miss Creamy Pudding.

B. Jam Sandwich Cookies
Handed down from Andy’s Momm AnnaMay Sorenson, and prepared by Vicki Sorenson

1/2 cup Crisco
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 teas Almond flavoring (vanilla works too)
1 1/2 cups Flour, sifted
1/2 teas Salt
1/2 teas Baking Powder
Preserves of choice (we use strawberry or raspberry).

Grease an 8 in. pan with crisco. Blend Crisco, sugar, egg and almond flavoring. Combine in a small bowl, flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the Crisco mixture and blend well. Divide the dough in half and spread 1/2 of the dough in the bottom of the greased pan. Spread the preserves over the dough until well covered, this will take at least a small jar of preserves. Spread the remaining dough onto a piece of waxed paper slightly larger than the pan, carefully turn it over onto the preserves. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Edges will turn light brown.

Note: I always make these in a 9X13 pan. I make the dough recipe as is, spread the entire amount in to the bottom of the greased 9×13 pan. Spread with a large jar of preserves. Make the whole recipe again and spread it onto a piece of waxed paper, slightly larger than the pan and carefully turning it over onto the pre-serves. I also bake it at 350 degrees and take it out as the sides start turning golden brown.

Once you remove the cookies from the oven, sprinkle powdered sugar generously over the top and let them cool before cutting them.


Section 2, part 2

K: I love this dress – please let Cynthia know.

This is one of my favorite lines from a movie/play [SWEET MAGNOLIAS]: I’m not crazy. I’ve just been in a very bad mood for 40 years.
My two cents: I like it, too, but what about what I’m wearing?
(2) Marcie F. in PA (referring to Brian Biro’s Thought for the Day in BLAINESWORLD #880): Nice piece!!! A dad who “gets it.”
(3) Elaine B. in PA: Referring to joke 1……I tied a string to my daughter’s house swing 39 years ago.
(4) Colleen D. in PA: Why no pictures of the bra art? Let me know when you will be at the Striped Zebra.
Response: Bra picture, hopefully, will run in an upcoming issue. The sponsoring group is trying to put together a calendar, and I believe I may be one of the featured “models” in that. As for Zebra Striped Whale, that will take place on Saturday, August 31 from 2-4 p.m. See you then!
(5) Win H. in NJ: If you get a chance, holler when you’re in the neighborhood.  I’d love to visit over some great ice cream … not that just you and Cynthia wouldn’t be great … ice cream just makes everything so much better.
Response: See above for date and time. Alas, Cynthia won’t be with me this time around.
(6) Mary C. in NC (referring to her mention in BLAINESWORLD #880): Thanks, Blaine. There is my 15 minutes.
(7) Kim and Bob H. in NC: Thanks for covering the White Horse GIVE ME LOVE event, Blaine!  You’re a peach.
(8) Dewitt R. in NC: Thx for rollergirl plug.
(9) Seth W. in PA: Double Stuf Oreos Don’t Actually Have Double The Creme


Section 4, Reviews

A. I hope LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER is remembered come Oscar season because, to date, is it the best film I’ve seen this year . . . based on a true story, it traces the life of a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades and the tumultuous civil rights movement . . . Forest Whitaker is superb in the main role, as is Oprah Winfrey as his wife . . . David Oyelowo’s work as his son is equally outstanding . . . I also enjoyed seeing Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy and Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson . . . Kleenex alert: Bring some with you, especially for the ending . . . rated PG-13.
Note: This film has already been added to my list of favorite film. If you’d like to see
this list, send an email to: and put FAVORITES in the subject line.

B. THE SAPPHIRES is now out in DVD format . . . my review from BLAINESWORLD #871 follows:

Don’t miss THE SAPPHIRES, a film inspired by a true story about four Australian Aboriginal girls who get discovered by a talent scout (Chris O’Dowd) who gets them a gig signing for American troops in Vietnam . . . the music is outstanding, and so is O’Dowd–an actor who has been great in just about everything I’ve ever seen him in . . . rated PG-13.  

C. I’m generally an upbeat kind of guy and consider myself a positive thinker . . . so when I came across THE ANTIDOTE: HAPPINESS FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN’T STAND POSITIVE THINKING (Canongate Books) by Oliver Burkeman, I was intrigued by the premise.The author contends that trying too hard to be happy is making us miserable. In fact, he presents many interesting examples in this book that may well be considered as a celebration of the power of negative thinking.
Among them:* [Attending a motivational seminar featuring Dr. Robert Schuler] *Here it is, then,” Dr. Schuller declares, stiffly pacing the stage, which is decorated with two enormous banners reading “MOTIVATE” and “SUCCEED!”, seventeen American flags, and a large number of potted plants. “Here’s the thing that will change your life forever.” Then he barks a single syllable–“Cut!”–and leaves a dramatic pause before completing his sentence:  ” . . . the word impossible out of your life! Cut it off! Cut it out forever!” . . .It is only months later, back at my home in New York, reading the headlines over morning coffee, that I learn the news that the largest church in the United States constructed entirely from glass has filed for bankruptcy, a word Dr. Schuller had apparently neglected to eliminate from his vocabulary.I also liked how he cited the work of Albert Ellis:* What Ellis had grasped about his unstated beliefs concerning conversation with women–an insight he would later extend to the beliefs that lie behind all instances of worry or anxiety–is that they were absolutist. To put it another way, it wasn’t just that he wanted to be less shy, and that he wanted to be able to talk to women. Rather, he had been operating under the absolutist conviction that he needed their approval. Later, he would coin a name for this habit of mind: “musturbation.” We elevate those things we want, those things we would prefer to have, into things we believe we must have; we feel we must perform well in certain circumstances, or that other people must treat us well. Because we think these things must occur, it follows that it would be an absolute catastrophe if they did not. No wonder we get anxious: we’ve decided that if we failed to meet our goal it wouldn’t merely be bad, but completely bad–absolutely terrible.And Burkeman shared this neat way of behaving at funerals:* Francisco parked the van, and we walked into the cemetery. It took a moment for my eyes to adjust to what I was seeing. Many of the gravestones were only rough concrete slabs, or stubby pieces of wood, but almost none were unattached. Next to each, sitting in folding chairs, or cross-legged on the ground, were groups of two, three, or four people, sometimes more, holding murmured conversations and drinking tequila from paper cups. In one corner, a mariachi band in full costume strolled from grave to grave, serenading every headstone in turn. I stopped a woman who was carrying armfuls of rugs and chairs towards a nearby headstone, and asked what she was doing. “Oh, it’s my mother,” she said brightly, gesturing at the grave. “We come every year.”I don’t think that THE ANTIDOTE has made me a negative thinker. However, it has made me open to the possibility that there are many different ways to look at happiness.
D. Heard BALANCE: A STORY OF FAITH, FAMILY AND LIFE ON THE LINE (Hachette Audio), written by Nik Wallenda with David Ritz and read by Steve Gibbons.

It’s the thrilling story of high wire artist Wallenda who when he was four years old, watched a video from 1978 of his great grandfather, Karl Wallenda, walking between the towers of the Condado Plaza Hotel in Puerto Rico, stumbling, and falling to his death because of a faulty balance pole. Nik  then heard his father quote his great-grandfather, “Life is on the wire, everything else is just waiting,” and he vowed to be just like the words resonated deep within his soul and he vowed to become just like Karl Wallenda.
The first half of the book recounts the author’s childhood and upbringing, and the second half focuses on Nik’s more recent exploits. Most thrilling was his account of how he became the first person ever to walk across Niagara Falls. I was especially impressed by the fact that shortly thereafter, he spent three hours cleaning up trash left by the crowd.
BALANCE also presents an interesting behind-the-scenes view of what circus life is all about–including the economics of the profession.

Section 12A, NC events


(4) Movement Theatre Workshop

September 16 at 6:00pm until November 18 at 8:00pm

  • If your home had a voice, what stories could it tell about you? How does that space shape how you live? Revisit a childhood home and sense the rich and sometimes painful stories residing there. Where at home are you most peaceful? What is home to you?Embark on a life changing and personally expressive experience by joining Barrie Barton for, “There’s No Place Like Home,” a 9-week movement theater workshop. Engage in expressive activities using movement, story, writing and art to recall and discover your relationship with home, past and present. Explore how the physical, sensory, emotional and cultural role of home or lack of home shapes your life. We will create a collaborative, community-based movement-theater piece to be performed for friends and family.Plan now to register for this workshop beginning on Monday, September 16 for 9 weeks, with Monday, October 7 off. Class is held at Jubilee! Community, 46 Wall St. in Asheville, from 6:00 pm.- 8:00 pm. Cost of the course is $95. All experience levels welcome.For Information and To Register Call: (828) 658-1217 or go


Please note:
The gigs at Atlanta Bead in Asheville will begin next week instead of this week !

Coming Monday August 19 – Atlanta Bread (North) 633 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, NC
Coming Tuesday August 20 – Atlanta Bread (South) 848 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, NC

(6) Launched in 2007, the Asheville Wine & Food Festival celebrates all that’s worth savoring in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This year’s festival, August 22-24, 2013 and presented by EDISON at The Grove Park Inn, offers four signature events. What began in February with 16 local chefs competing in an Iron Chef-style competition, the WNC Chefs Challenge comes to a heated close during the festival. Elixir brings an elaborate cocktail party and mixology competition on Thursday night. Sweet offers a decadent evening of desserts on Friday. And the Grand Tasting on Saturday is a smorgasbord of food, wine, beer, and spirits, plus cooking demonstrations, the WNC Chefs Challenge finale, and a chance to meet cookbook authors, farmers, chefs, winemakers, brewers, and much, much more. Come sample the best of Western North Carolina’s food scene!

(Photo courtesy of Camilla Calnan Photography.)

(7)  Philosopher, Author and Activist Cornel West to Speak at UNC Asheville

Cornel WestCornel West

Cornel West, author of Race Matters and Democracy Matters, will discuss the role of race, gender and class in American
society in a public lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16 in the Kimmel Arena at UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center. The event is free and open to the public.

A leading political commentator, progressive activist and public intellectual, West is professor of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary, and professor emeritus at Princeton University. He graduated from Harvard University in three years and was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D in philosophy from Princeton.

West appears often on news networks including CNN, on the political comedy programs, Colbert Report and Bill Maher Show, and he is co-host of the public radio program, Smiley & West. West appeared in and provided commentary for the Matrix films, has guest-starred on 30 Rock, and he was once named MTV “Artist of the Week” for his contributions to spoken word and hip-hop albums.

West’s most recent book, co-authored with Tavis Smiley, is The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto (SmileyBooks, 2012). He has written or contributed to more than 20 books and is an American Book Award winner.

West’s lecture at UNC Asheville is sponsored by the university’s Department of History, National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Professor, Thomas Howerton Distinguished Professor of Humanities, Dean of Humanities, and Office of Multicultural Student Programs. For more information, visit the university’s Cultural Events website or call 828.251.6674.

(8) Imagine taking courses just because you want to learn something–and can do so without taking exams or writing papers. That’s what I do when at OLLI (Osher Life Learning Institute) at UNC Asheville. The fall schedule has just been announced, and here’s a course I’m looking forward to is taking: “Quiet on the Set: Four Comic Actors From the Classic Silent Film Era,” taught by my friend Chuck Fink. It runs on Thursdays from Oct. 17-Nov. 7 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. For more information, please click:


Section 12B, PA/NJ events


(2) Fred W. in PA: I’m going to be participating in a “Fly and Ride” event this Saturday at the Horse Park of New Jersey in Allentown. The event starts after 3 pm, and benefits PALS (Patient Airlift Services). If you can’t join in the fun, please help P.A.L.S. with a donation. Here’s the link:

I’m team 6, Blazing Saddles. Hope to see you there.

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