Arts, Entertainment, Living

A night to remember at the Kelly Awardds

Saturday, 28 May 2011 11:33 PM Written by

Bill Wade/Post-Gazette
Luke Halferty of Central Catholic, crowned best actor at the Kelly Awards.

Congratulations to Pittsburgh Schenley, Hampton and Woodland Hills, winners of the best musical Kelly Awards three budget categories at tonight's ceremony at the Benedum Center. I just got home from the show and I have to say, do yourself a favor next spring and get yourself to a high school musical. If you could see the talent and the energy and the joy onstage at the Benedum Center tonight for the annual Kelly Awards celebration of high school musicals, you'd understand.

I was a Kelly judge for the first time this year, and the process was eye-opening, intense and rewarding. It culminates in the showcase tonight that's a tribute to all the people involved, from the 3,000 students in 29 Allegheny County schools, the faculty members and parents and community volunteers, to the folks at Pittsburgh CLO, the judges and the accountants at Deloitte Touche who donate their time and know-how to make the Kellys a mini-Tonys here in Pittsburgh.

My favorite parts of the Kellys is the production numbers that are just for the Kellys. There's a production number at the top of the night featured the nominees from all the individual acting categories singing a mash-up of "Once in a Lifetime" and "Rain On My Parade." Later in the show, the best actor and actress nominees perform numbers from their individual shows, but re-created as a team effort. Then there's the stirring "Eyes on the Goal" finale, a big production number that includes two performers from each of the 29 eligible schools, including one of Schenley's Things from Seussical -- the bouncy balls of energy known as .

For more on the big night, images and a list of winners, visit

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Weekly Menu for the Week of May 30

Friday, 27 May 2011 09:39 PM Written by

 Welcome to my weekly menu!!!

So what are your Memorial Day weekend plans? If you haven't planned your menu yet you may want to take a peek at what we are having on Tuesday night. BBQ chicken and Baked Beans! The Baked Bean recipe is for a double batch. You could make them this weekend and have leftovers on Tuesday. These also freeze very well. I will make a double batch and freeze them in small zip-lock bags and enjoy them all summer long!

We have another great menu with quick and tasty dinners for these crazy May days!!! Remember – you can take any dinner with you to the ball park or lacrosse field or wherever you may be going with the right containers.In fact, we are having Mac and Cheese on Wednesday. I will prepare the dinner in my French Corningware – you know the one with the glass lid? I will pack the entire thing in a large basket or cardboard box – because the bottom will be so hot, right? I then dish it up out of the back of my Suburban ... and there have been a few times where I feed others.  Everyone still gets a hot dinner and a chance to see or play in the game! Don't knock it till you try it! Packing dinner on the go is really very simple! Have a GREAT weekend!!!

If you would like to receive an email notification when the menu has been published please follow the link below and sign-up!

You can also follow the menu on Facebook and Twitter!!! Go to Kristen Kill Reisinger's Menus That Save on Facebook and click like!!! You will receive updates and pics throughout the week. Also follow the menu on Twitter - @menusthatsave.

ALWAYS check your coupons!!! Not only the ones we receive in our newspapers and mid-week mailers but also online! Check out

Follow the plan so you can save time, money, and a few calories! Remember – cooking our own food is healthier than ordering in and eating out any day!!! Your family, wallet and waistline will thank you!

I hope you all enjoy your week, the recipes and the savings!


Happy Memorial Day!!!


BBQ Chicken
Baked Beans
Cole Slaw

BBQ Chicken (adapted from Food Network)

2 quarts of water
2 T. of kosher salt
¼ cup of brown sugar
2 minced garlic cloves
4 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 T. of dried thyme
6 bone-in chicken breasts or chicken legs or thighs
2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce

Mix the water, salt, brown sugar, garlic and thyme in a 2-gallon sized zip-lock bag. This is the brine and will help season the chicken. Add the chicken, close the bag and refrigerate anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours – depending on how much time you have.

Preheat oven to 375˚. Prepare the grill by spraying Pam on the grate and then preheat the grill to medium heat. Take the chicken out of the brine and pat it dry with paper towels. Place the chicken on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the grilled chicken to a jelly-roll pan or cookie sheet and place in the oven. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and cover it with BBQ sauce and cook for an additional 30 minutes basting a second time with BBQ sauce about half-way through.

Baked Beans

These are my favorite baked beans! This recipe makes 2 - 9x13 trays or 2 - 2 qt. casserole dishes. It freezes great or you can halve it pretty easy if you don't want to make that much.

2 pounds hamburger
1 diced white onion
1 chopped green pepper
4 (21 oz. each) cans of baked beans
1 44 oz. bottle ketchup
2 T mustard
1 cup brown sugar
1 t garlic powder
2 T Worcestershire
1 bottle KC Masterpiece Hot and Spicy Barbecue Sauce

Brown meat, onion and pepper, and drain. Mix baked beans, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, garlic powder, Worcestershire and barbecue sauce. Add beef mixture. Place in the casserole dishes, cover, and bake at 300 for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.


Macaroni and Cheese
Steamed Broccoli

Macaroni and Cheese (the ooey, gooey, non-low-fat kind of mac-n-cheese your grandma made)

1 box of elbow macaroni
1 stick of butter
4 cups of shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack blend – I usually buy the big bag at Costco
8 oz. Velveeta, cubed
2 cups of ½ and ½
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350˚.

Cook the macaroni according to its directions. Place the butter in the pot and return the macaroni once the butter has melted. Stir the macaroni until it is covered with butter. Add the cubed Velveeta and stir until it just starts to melt. Pour the macaroni into a large casserole dish that has been lightly greased. Add the shredded cheese about 1 cup at a time and the ½ and ½ and mix together. Season with salt and pepper. Place it in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes.


Walking Tacos!

Walking Tacos
1 lb. ground beef
Taco seasoning
Shredded lettuce
Shredded cheddar cheese
Small bags of Frito Chips or a large bag of Fritos

Brown the ground beef and drain. Add the taco seasoning and keep warm. To assemble, open up the small bags of Fritos and gently crush a bit. Spoon in some taco meat and add cheese and lettuce and salsa. Give the kiddos a fork and let them eat the tacos out of the bag!

If you choose to buy the big bag of Fritos – it is a bit cheaper – just crunch up some Fritos into the bottom of a bowl and add the taco meat and toppings. Rather than a "Walking Taco" you are serving up Taco Bowls! Either way it is a fun way to have dinner! Throw down a table cloth on the floor – or picnic blanket – in front of the TV and order a family movie and enjoy the start to a GREAT weekend!!!


BBQ Chicken Pizza
Mexican Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza

1 (12 in.) pre-baked pizza crust (Boboli)
½ cup of BBQ sauce – leftover from Tuesday's Dinner
Leftover chicken cut into chunks
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 cup of shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese – Mexican blend cheese
¼ cup of fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 400˚. Sauté onions in a large skillet in 2 t. of canola oil. Spread the BBQ sauce over the pizza crust. Top with the chicken, cilantro, grilled onions and cheese.

Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is bubbly.

For Ranch lovers, drizzle ranch dressing over pizza when it comes out of the oven or serve it on the side to dip.

*** If you are using fresh pizza dough, pre-bake the crust before adding the toppings.

Mexican Pizza:

Flat bread or a pre-baked pizza crust (Boboli)
Olive oil
Minced garlic
Chili powder
Leftover taco meat
1 cup Monterey Jack/cheddar cheese blend
Sour cream
Shredded lettuce

Brush the flatbread with olive oil, minced garlic, and sprinkle chili powder on top. Cover with Monterey Jack/Cheddar blend cheese and bake in a 450˚ oven until the crust is crisp and the cheese has melted – about 8-10 minutes.

Top with leftover taco meat. Sprinkle additional cheese on top and place under the broiler until the cheese has melted and the toppings are warmed.

Dollop with salsa and sour cream and fresh cilantro if you have some on hand. Add shredded lettuce, tomatoes and sliced olives.

And now for the shopping list. As always, double check your pantry, fridge and freezer to see if you already have any of the items listed below. This will reduce your spending and create less waste! And NEVER shop without a plan!


Cole slaw - GE special
Onion - GE special
Green pepper
Red onion
Tomatoes for tacos and Mexican pizza


Kosher salt
Brown sugar
BBQ sauce – 2 bottles - GE special
44 oz. bottle of ketchup - GE special
Mustard - GE special
Garlic powder
Olive oil
Chili powder

Canned Goods/Ethnic Foods/Dry Goods
4 – 28 oz. cans of baked beans
Box of elbow macaroni
Taco seasoning
Boboli or other prebaked pizza crust- 2 if making more than one pizza

Seafood/Meat Case/Butcher
6 bone-in chicken breasts or thighs or legs - GE special
3-4 pounds of hamburger - GE special on value pack

Frozen Foods

Shredded Monterey Jack/Cheddar blend cheese – 6 cups total – maybe more
8 oz. velveeta
Half and half
Cheddar cheese
Sour cream – for tacos or Mexican pizza


Fritos – a large big or several small bags for "Walking Tacos"

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Dirt 3 - Review

Friday, 27 May 2011 09:20 AM Written by

Solid driving games are tough to come by when they’re not called Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport.  Both of these series seem to have the genre in a stranglehold, but with two driving sims dominating the scene, there is always room for an arcade-style racer, and that’s where Dirt 3 comes in.

Dirt 3 is the new rally car racer from Codemasters, and (obviously) it’s their third attempt with the series. In the interest of full disclosure, I have never played Dirt 1 or 2 so I won’t be able to comment on improvements or fallbacks from the previous installments, but it will be a different take on the game since I’ll be reviewing this as a standalone title.  

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To read recent TV news and views, click here.


TV Q&A with Rob Owen 


Submit a question to TV Q&A by clicking here.


This week's TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below) responds to questions about “Psych,” “The Mentalist” and a KDKA-TV news report.

As always, thanks for reading, and keep the questions coming.
- Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

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Is it too early to shop for winter?

Friday, 27 May 2011 12:00 AM Written by

For some reason this past week, I have been obsessed with shopping for winter, including a new winter coat, faux fur collar and gloves. Though I haven’t ordered the collar or gloves yet, I did pick up a fantastic, custom-made, winter wool coat on Etsy. I SO hope it fits!!! I haven’t even updated my Summer wardrobe yet, and I’m already thinking about winter wear.  And, now that I think about it, I did the same thing last year.  Last July, I purchased my first pair of winter boots from DSW.

When I purchased these winter items, I am SO EXCITED to take them home from the store or to await their arrival in the mail. However, that excitement quickly turns into sadness, knowing I have to put these items away for months until I can wear them.  Even though Pittsburgh weather is crazy, I don’t think it’s going to be winter coat or boot weather anytime soon.

What do you think? When is it TOO early to purchase winter apparel?  Have a great extended weekend everyone and be sure to check back on Wednesday for another Clutch post!

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San Francisco-based guitarist/educator Bruce Forman has been around the West Coast jazz scene a long time now.  A talented player solidly in the bebop traditions of Jimmy Raney, Barney Kessel and Tal Farlow,  he's recorded his own albums and worked alongside jazz luminaries including two departed Pittsburgh-born giants (Ray Brown and Stanley Turrentine), Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson and onstage with the likes of Richie Cole.

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'Friday Night Lights': The Reality Series

Thursday, 26 May 2011 12:00 AM Written by

4th_forever_blogCurrent TV tries to appeal to fans of "Friday Night Lights" with a reality TV version of the show: "4th and Forever" (9 tonight).

"4th"  follows the 2010 football season at Long Beach Polytchnic High School, a powerhouse football high school that was coming off a disappointing 2009 season.

The docu-series introduces its players early in tonight's premiere episode, complete with high-gloss shots of them riding the bench in a smoke-filled locker room (makes you wonder, who's smoking up?).

Read more after the jump. ...

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Elvin Bishop's "Raisin' Hell Revue" great live CD

Thursday, 26 May 2011 12:00 AM Written by

51YDrsVA4wL._SL500_AA300_This new CD, "Raisin' Hell Revue" (Delta Groove Records), featuring Elvin Bishop and a bunch of other fine blues and R&B artists, was put together from a live show on the 2010 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, a boatload of music and fans who spend a week at sea drenched in the music.

The album features Bishop, the veteran guitarist whose music spans genres and eras, but it also features other artists in sparkling performances.

Bishop revisits but doesn't sing his own 1976 hit, "Fooled Around and Fell in Love," but largely spends most cuts working his guitar chops behind the tough vocals of Texas blues singer Finis Tasby, exciting young blue-eyed soulman John Nemeth and one vocal turn by saxman Terry Hanck.

Tasby and Nemeth handle most of the vocal chores, and that's just fine, because they represent great old blues and excellent young soul and R&B. Nemeth actaully sings on "Fooled Around," and his not-quite-falsetto works magic on the classic tune. He also crackles on "Night Time Is the Right Time," in a rousing duet with Lisa Leu Anderson, and breathes fire into the Hank Ballard classic, "Tore Up Over You." It's Nemeth at his hair-raising best.

Tasby shows his still-considerable vocal chops on "Whole Lotta Lovin'," the very bluesy "Down in Virginia" with Nemeth on harp, a poignant "River's Invitation" with a beautiful Hanck sax solo, and the classic "It Hurts Me Too."

Sometimes these kinds of CDs come off without focus, and don't work too well. This one works. And cooks. The talent is terrific, the band is sharp and the fun comes right through the speakers.

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