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Are you getting all your vitamins?

Tips to revamping your diet in 2020

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diet, gay news, Washington Blade

Be more proactive about your diet in 2020. (Photo courtesy StatePoint)

StatePoint — Getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need each day is one of the most important things you can do to feel your best.

The good news is that you don’t need to devote hours each week to meal prep to ensure you’re healthfully getting essential vitamins. As you make your 2020 plans to revamp your diet, here are a few things to keep in mind:

• Don’t follow fads: When it comes to your wellness, it’s best to rely on basic science, not the latest fad diets or sports drinks and supplements that rely on added sugars, fillers, preservatives, artificial flavors, sweeteners, dyes and negatives. Look for products that transparently list all their ingredients.

• Drink your vitamins: Did you know that liquids are the most bioavailable form for your body to absorb nutrients? For complete health on-the-go, consider drinking your vitamins. One effective solution is Drink Nutrient, which offers single-serve stick packs that make it easy to get the essential vitamins you need. Among its offerings is Vitamin Coffee, a natural sustained energy booster made from 100 percent Colombian Arabica coffee that offers 50 percent of your daily essential vitamins in each serving. Served hot or cold, it’s a good choice for anyone who needs a caffeine boost without the crash. Or, to get 100 percent of your daily essential vitamins and 610 mg of electrolytes in one go, consider Vitamin Booster+, which contains real fruit juice, less than one gram of sugar and is only 15 calories per serving.

• De-stress: Too much stress can compromise your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. So take steps to relax and unwind. Whether it’s through meditation, journaling, cooking or jogging, discover what hobbies and wellness activities help you reduce your stress levels and be sure to make time for them.

• Refuel wisely: If you hit the gym frequently, you likely have tried one or two sports drinks and know how important it is to refuel quickly and wisely after a workout. For optimal high performance, consider upgrading your drink of choice. With double the electrolytes of leading sports drinks, Liquid Nutrient has a potassium-to-sodium ratio intended for high-quality hydration as well as amino acids for mental focus and muscle repair.

• Maximize meals: To maximize meals, make sure the bulk of the calories you consume are not “empty.” Empty calories, such as added sugars and solid fats, contain little to no nutritional value. Fill up on dark leafy vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds and good-for-you fats like avocado and salmon, while avoiding chips, cakes and other junk foods.

Don’t let your busy lifestyle get in the way of ensuring you’re getting all the nutrients you need to feel your best. This new year, resolve to revamp your diet for optimal nutrition.

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Food

Kane’s Cuisine: Molly’s monochromatic melon salad

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipes

WASHINGTON – Today’s recipe comes courtesy of Molly Baz and her new-ish cookbook (new to me, anyway), “More is More.” 

“This salad,” she writes, “is all about letting peak summer melon shine. You’ll make a nutty, green pistachio oil to drench it in, and then toss the fruit with thinly shaved fennel and tons and tons of thick shards of Parmigiano Reggiano. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s crunchy and soft simultaneously; it is THE summer salad moment.” 

Melon is the least exciting part of any fruit plate situation but tell me you don’t develop some respect after tasting it with the savory treatment as prepared in this dish. 

Photo by Dan Balinovic
  1. Add ¼ cup fennel fronds to a food processor with ⅓ cup salted, roasted pistachios, pulsing while slowly adding ⅓ cup good olive oil. Season with flaky salt
  2. Thinly slice 2 fennel bulbs and the flesh of one melon. Toss in a large bowl with flaky salt and the juice of 2 lemons 
  3. Using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, shave 5 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano 
  4. Plate by starting with a small handful of fennel/melon, topping with cheese and pistachio oil, and repeating once 
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Advice

Ask Pastor Brandan

For those in the LGBTQ+ community who have questions about their faith, life, & the intersection of religion in their daily lives

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Photo Credit: Rev. Brandan Robertson

The Los Angeles Blade is pleased to introduce a new bi-weekly column for members of the LGBTQ+ community who have questions about their faith, life, and the intersection of religion with sexual orientation or gender identity in their daily lives.

From [email protected]:

“Pride Month is a time of celebration, but I often feel conflicted because of my religious upbringing. How can I fully embrace and celebrate Pride while honoring my faith?”- Caroline, Redding, CA 

So many queer people live in the tension between having pride in the queer identity and dealing with the shame they inherited from a religious upbringing- this is true even for many queer people who are no longer religious! Religious trauma from toxic religious doctrine or rejection from our churches or families is very real for many queer people, and can negatively impact our mental health and our overall wellbeing for a long time.

Even as a Pastor, I seen my therapist weekly and a large amount of what we spend time unpacking is how religious experiences and beliefs I no longer hold to continue to cause me anxiety, fear, and shame. So first, know that you’re not alone. A lot of us experience this sense of inner conflict, even after being out for years! 

During Pride month, you will inevitably come across a religious person on social media saying “Pride is a sin!”- but they’re being disingenuous. It’s true, the Bible does call pride- or arrogance- a sin. But there is another kind of pride, one rooted in a deep sense of gratitude- the pride that these same Christians will quickly embrace when they sing “I’m proud to be an American!”

That second kind of pride is what we’re embracing at in Queer Pride celebrations. It’s gratitude to our queer forerunners for fighting to help us live and love more freely. It is gratitude to our queer family for the love, support, and endless contributions we make to the world. And for many of us, it is gratitude to God, who made us queerly beloved and delights in us just as we are. This is what Pride, at its core, is supposed to be. 

On top of the celebration, Pride is also, of course, a continuation of the resistance movement started at Stonewall, a recognition that queer folks are still marginalized and threatened in the US and around the world, and it’s a commitment to continue the fight for equality, dignity, and justice for all queer folks.

For me, channeling the wide array of emotions I feel because of the toxic religious teachings I grew up with towards activism and advocacy has been a healing path for me- so perhaps when you feel inner conflict around Pride, channel that towards speaking up and acting up for your fellow queer siblings. Turn that inner conflict towards speaking words of truth- that queer people are made in the image and likeness of God and are just as worthy of life and love as every other person in the world.

Don’t allow your inner conflictedness to bog you down in shame during this season- allow it to motivate you to celebrate harder, advocate more fiercely, and enjoy this sacred month. Happy Pride! 

“I was taught that sex outside of marriage is a sin, but as a queer person, marriage hasn’t always been an option. How can I understand my sexual ethics in a way that aligns with both my faith and my identity?” – Shane, New York, NY 

Hey Shane- thanks for this question. You want to know what’s crazy- there is not a single verse in the Bible that says premarital sex is a sin. In a few places, some translations of the New Testament render the Greek word porneia as “fornication”, which does mean premarital sex, but virtually no Greek scholar believes that is an accurate translation of that word.

Instead, what the Bible actually condemns is excessive sexuality- meaning allowing our sexual desire to control us. This is a sexual ethic that I think all people should embrace- being in control of and mindful about how you engage your sexuality, rather than using it as a compulsive behavior or as a means of escaping or numbing ourselves.

One of my favorite Scriptures that guides my own ethics comes from Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:12 when he writes “All things are permissible, but not everything is beneficial”. In other words, this ethic is based not on a rigid sense of rules, but on considering what is beneficial- healthy, and good- for us.

Whenever I think about my own sexual behavior, I try to ask myself both why am I doing this and if this is beneficial to me. If I can be mindful about my intentions, knowing that I am entering into a sexual experience consensually, joyfully, healthily, and with clarity of mind, then I can’t see why I would consider it sinful or wrong.

There is no one-size fits all sexual ethic that is prescribed by the Bible, so by asking this question each of us can discern what is a beneficial and healthy sexual practice for us. The only thing the Bible is concerned with is that we maintain self-control and that our actions are always loving towards God, neighbor, and self. I hope this helps!

If you have a question you’d like Pastor Brandan to answer please send it to:

[email protected]

******************************************************************************************

Rev. Brandan Robertson is a noted author, activist, and pastor based in New York City. Known as the “TikTok Pastor,” he engages over 220k followers and 5.5 million views with his inclusive theological content. Robertson has authored, edited, or contributed to 23 books and his writings have appeared in esteemed publications like TIME Magazine and The Washington Post. He holds degrees from Moody Bible Institute, Iliff School of Theology, and Eastern Illinois University, and is pursuing a PhD in Biblical Studies at Drew University.

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Food

Kane’s Cuisine: Fagioli for all you frociaggine

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipes

WASHINGTON – Firmly in my bean era, it was only a matter of time before I made pasta e fagioli, a traditional Italian soup of which Carla Lalli Music has a beautiful version that I have lightly modified below. 

Happy Pride! 

I used heirloom yellow eye beans from Rancho Gordo, which were heavenly in this. 

Photo by Dan Balinovic
  1. Soak ½ pound dry beans overnight in water seasoned with salt
  2. Make a double-batch of sofrito: In a food processor, pulse 1 large or two medium-sized yellow onion and 6 garlic cloves until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with 1 fennel bulb or four celery stalks and 4 carrots
  3. Heat a 6-quart Dutch oven over medium. Add ½ cup olive oil and cook vegetables for about 3 minutes, seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, checking and stirring every 5-10 minutes, until everything is soft but making sure it doesn’t yet begin to take on color, about 25 minutes. Continue to cook with the lid on, stirring more frequently, until sofrito begins to brown, about 15 minutes more. Uncover and continue to cook until the vegetables are starting to fry in the oil
  4. Transfer ½ of the sofrito into a Tupperware and freeze for the future. Add 6 anchovies, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon turmeric, and 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup tomato paste and cook until it turns a deep brick-red, about 3 minutes
  5. Add beans along with their soaking liquid. Add 3 bay leaves and enough water to cover the beans by 2-3 inches. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high, season with salt and pepper, and reduce heat. Partially cover the pot and simmer gently, stirring every 20-30 minutes, until beans are starting to soften, 1-2 hours
  6. When beans are tender, stir in a bunch of kale or half a head of green cabbage along with a parmesan rind. Cook with lid askew for 30-45 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Spoon about 3 cups of soup into your food processor, blend until smooth, and stir back into your pot
  7. Cook ½ pound pasta (I used ditalini, but any short pasta shape will work) until 2-3 minutes shy of al-dente. Drain pasta and add to your soup, tasting and adjusting seasoning again 
  8. In a separate skillet, brown 1 pound ground pork until cooked through and then add the meat to your pot, stirring to combine

Serve drizzled with olive oil, fried bread, and grated parmesan (or gruyere, which I used by mistake but turned out to be delicious)

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Food

Kane’s Cuisine: Melissa Clark’s buttery breakfast casserole

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipes

WASHINGTON – Health food this is not. Make it for guests, as I did on Saturday, and you will feel less guilty about the calories (and sodium, fat, cholesterol…)

Recipe lightly adapted from Melissa Clark, New York Times Cooking

  1. Heat oven to 500° F. Slice 1 pound croissants crosswise and toast on a baking sheet, cut side up, for 5-10 minutes until well browned. Allow to cool and tear into bite sized pieces 
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add 1-2 bunches scallions, white and light green parts, and 1 pound sweet Italian sausage. Cook until mixture is well browned, about 5 minutes, breaking up the meat 
  3. Stir in 2 teaspoons finely chopped sage. Remove from heat and toss with croissants in a large bowl
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together 8 eggs, 3 cups whole milk, 1 cup heavy cream, 1½-2 cups grated gruyère cheese, salt, and pepper
  5. Lightly butter a 9×13” baking dish. Turn croissant mixture into the pan, spread evenly over the bottom. Add custard mixture and press into croissants. Cover and refrigerate overnight 
  6. When ready to bake, heat oven to 350° F, scatter remaining ½-1 cup grated gruyere over top. Transfer to oven and bake for 45 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and garnish with remaining scallion greens
  7. Serve
Photo by Dan Balinovic
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Advice

The Los Angeles Blade introduces ‘Ask Pastor Brandan’

For those in the LGBTQ+ community who have questions about their faith, life, & the intersection of religion in their daily lives

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Photo Credit: Rev. Brandan Robertson

The Los Angeles Blade is pleased to introduce a new bi-weekly column for members of the LGBTQ+ community who have questions about their faith, life, and the intersection of religion with sexual orientation or gender identity in their daily lives.

From [email protected]:

I grew up in the church, and it was a really meaningful experience for me. But once I came out as gay, I saw Christianity’s true colors- no one acted like Jesus, they only condemned and rejected me for who I loved. Why would any gay person want to be a part of such a hypocritical religion that has no room for us? – Jace, Philadelphia, PA 

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Jace, thanks so much for your question. First, let me say- I get it. While I am a Christian pastor, I have often found myself asking why I keep showing up to participate in a religion that has done so much harm to me personally as a queer person and to so many in my community.

There have been periods on my journey where I have all but walked away from the church- and those periods have been really healing for me. No one needs to participate in organized religion to have a meaningful life. But for me, I’ve always been drawn back because of a sneaking suspicion that the Christians with the loudest megaphones and the most power don’t actually represent the radical, social and spiritual movement that Jesus began.

The more I’ve studied the Bible and the Christian tradition through the ages, the more I’ve realized that the modern Christian establishment is a distortion of the faith of Jesus and of many millions of Christians throughout the ages. I’ve spent nearly a decade studying the Bible in academic settings and have been blown away by how much of what is preached as “clear” truth- like that being gay is condemned as a sin in Scripture- is far from the truth. There’s not a single verse in all of the Bible that says anything about homosexuality, but rather six verses that are condemning a common ancient form of sexual exploitation between men of high status and men of lower status.

Isn’t it strange that the modern Church has interpreted these verses to condemn loving, consensual same-sex relationships while turning a blind eye to the exploitation that high status men have been enacting towards lower status folks in their own churches? I also discovered that there is a ton of queer stuff in the Bible- there are men who fall in love with each other, women who commit their lives to one another, boys who dress in women’s clothes, and gender-queer individuals who are welcomed with joy into the early church. That’s all really in our Bible. 

When I started to realize this ignorance and hypocrisy, I personally felt motivated to reclaim the faith of Jesus and the Bible for myself and my community. And when I started this work, I quickly discovered that there is a long lineage of queer people who have been queering Christianity for centuries.

I also discovered that there have been other traditions- like the liberationist, womanist, and feminist traditions- that have reclaimed the Christian faith as a source of inspiration for their own spirituality and fight for a more just and equal world. But the largest institutions of Christianity have consistently marginalized these traditions and voices, which is why most people don’t know about them and just assume that Christianity is inherently corrupt. (Which again, is a reasonable assessment based on what is seen publicly!)

So I’ve made it my work to not only reclaim this faith as a queer person, but to work publicly to expose the distorted version of the faith that is being perpetuated and shine a light on the millions of progressive, inclusive, justice-oriented Christian communities that exist around the world.

I do this work not because I think that queer people need Christianity, but because I have met thousands of us who still feel a deep connection to our faith and have a right to claim it as our own. No one- be it a pope, a bishop, a denominational president, or a local pastor- has the authority to tell us we cannot and do not belong. And there is space for us- most people don’t realize that a majority of mainline Christian denominations in the U.S. are fully affirming of queer people today- so while the largest and loudest churches may spew toxic queerphobia, across every state in our nation there are hundreds of inclusive churches that welcome queer people to come just as we are.

I also think it is vitally important for progressive Christians to make our voices louder in society, taking some of the power and authority away from the queerphobic Christians who are just assumed to be the ones with the authority to speak for “true Christianity”.

When we simply write off Christianity- or any religion- as inherently queerphobic, we are consigning millions of queer people around the world to suffering, because in every corner of the globe there are governments enacting policies, justified by their queerphobic religious beliefs, that criminalize or discriminate against queer people.

One way that we can help to combat this is to show that there are other ways to be Christian- ways that are rooted in a good reading of the Biblical text and that take seriously the teachings of Jesus- that affirm queer people’s lives and love. Because the truth is that Christianity isn’t going away any time soon, so it’s vital that the queerphobic versions of it are countered with a progressive, inclusive faith. 

So Jace, all of this is to say that if the Christian faith (or any religion) is a source of trauma and harm for any queer person, I say leave it behind. But if you feel drawn to faith but feel like there’s no space for you, know that there has always been a faithful strain of Christianity that has been committed to inclusion, reformation, and justice, and there are likely communities near you that will welcome and affirm you as a queer person if you’d like to be a part of them. (I recommend using gaychurch.net to find these communities!)

At the end of the day, I’ve come to know, deep in my bones, that queer people are loved by God and that we have so much to offer the Church and the world, and I pray that more and more people will wake up to see that! Thank you for your question!

If you have a question you’d like Pastor Brandan to answer please send it to:

[email protected]

******************************************************************************************

Rev. Brandan Robertson is a noted author, activist, and pastor based in New York City. Known as the “TikTok Pastor,” he engages over 220k followers and 5.5 million views with his inclusive theological content. Robertson has authored, edited, or contributed to 23 books and his writings have appeared in esteemed publications like TIME Magazine and The Washington Post. He holds degrees from Moody Bible Institute, Iliff School of Theology, and Eastern Illinois University, and is pursuing a PhD in Biblical Studies at Drew University.

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Advice

After 16 years together, my wife suddenly wants children

‘I don’t want to be stuck in restrictive heteronormativity’

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(Photo by Nyul/Bigstock)

Dear Michael,

A few months ago you answered a letter from a guy who wanted a baby but his boyfriend didn’t. I’m in the opposite situation. Carol and I have been together for 16 years (we’re married) and all of a sudden she wants to have a baby. This was never on the table until her dad died last year suddenly of a heart attack.  

Since then she’s been a different person. She tells me that she wants to focus on something “bigger” than just enjoying life and also wants some sort of sense that “life will go on.”

To me, being queer has always meant that we get to fully live life in the present, for us.  We don’t have to focus on having kids and all that entails: fertility stuff, sleep deprivation, diapers, babysitters, PTA obligations, college tuition, etc. Let straight people deal with those headaches while I enjoy myself. 

I don’t want to be stuck in restrictive heteronormativity, giving my time and energy to a kid who’s going to go from crying to whining to tantrums to rebellion to not talking to me. And then expect me to pay their bills after they’re 18.  

And why crowd the planet even more? In my opinion, having a baby on this planet is selfish sentimentality.

Carol and I always saw 100 percent eye-to-eye on this issue but now she’s gone over to the other side. I have shared all of the above to shake some sense into her but haven’t gotten anywhere. This was not our agreement at all.

I know you can’t change someone else, but doesn’t she owe our relationship a commitment to the life we already agreed on? I’ve suggested grief counseling but she says no.

Michael replies:

No one owes their partner a commitment to not change. It’s a guarantee that we all change over time. Relationships challenge us to stay with someone as we both evolve in big and sometimes unexpected ways over the years. There’s no way around this challenge if you want to stay happily married. 

It’s also true that you don’t have to keep living with someone who changes in ways you don’t want to accommodate. So, if Carol is certain that she wants to be a mom and if you are certain that you don’t, you can leave.

It makes sense that you’re sad and angry (putting it mildly) when your wife suddenly wants to completely upend your life. That said, you’re not going to improve your marriage by criticizing Carol or insulting her wish to parent. And if you pressure her to give up a deeply held wish, she will likely resent you.

Instead of these tactics, how about being curious regarding her desire to parent? What “bigger” meaning is she hoping to get from life? How does she think her father’s untimely death affected her, not just on this issue but possibly in other ways as well?

There’s great value in being curious about our partners’ differences rather than contemptuous or critical. That’s a path toward greater intimacy, in that we get to deeply understand the person we are spending our life with. While you may not stay with Carol, you still might want to have a close and caring relationship with the woman you’ve spent 16 years with. Understanding her better might also help you make some peace with her desire to parent.

I also want to encourage you to consider that there are many ways to be gay, lesbian, queer — to be just about anything. You could say it’s “heteronormative” to want to parent; but you could also view it as a common human (and non-human) desire that is unrelated to sexual orientation. Carol has different ideas for how she wants to live. This doesn’t mean that she is foolish.

I’m curious about why you have such an unrelentingly negative view about parenting and kids. Is it possible that you’ve had some tough experiences in your life that have shaped this view? 

I’m not pushing you to change your mind, but you might consider talking with some parents to get some sense of what parenting, and children, are actually like. 

You might open up your thinking, and your heart. You might decide you are willing to lean in Carol’s direction, or you might not. In any case, I’m hopeful that you would get a more balanced picture of what parenting and childhood can be. 

Michael Radkowsky, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist who works with couples and individuals in D.C. He can be found online at michaelradkowsky.com. All identifying information has been changed for reasons of confidentiality. Have a question? Send it to [email protected].

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Food

Kane’s Cuisine: Indonesian chicken salad (without mayonnaise!)

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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Indonesian chicken salad- without mayonnaise! (Photo by Christopher Kane/LA Blade)

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipes

FIRE ISLAND PINES, N.Y. – Last Monday, before heading home to Washington, I made lunch for my friends who were working from their home in the Pines. After our pasta night, they wanted a light meal, and I knew just what to do: my all-time favorite, go-to chicken salad by Martha Rose Shulman for New York Times Cooking

Let’s be honest, most chicken salads are mediocre, and many are terrible (why do people add RAISINS?! Disgusting.) An unremarkable lunch that simply gets the job done when you need to scarf something down during a busy workday is fine, but I want more for you; for all of us. 

You will never suffer through another middling, insipid chicken salad after making this recipe just once. Here you’re getting the brightness, the bite, and the complex savoriness of ingredients commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine such as fresh mint and cilantro, lime juice, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and buttermilk. Divine. 

And because it does not rely on mayonnaise to moisten the poached and shredded chicken breasts, Schulman’s recipe is also low-fat, which you should be sure to tell everyone who showers you with compliments when you bring a bowl to your next barbecue, cookout, potluck, pool party, Fourth of July party, or picnic this summer.  

  1. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a rolling boil. Add 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts and once the water is brought back to a boil, cover and remove your pot from the heat and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes 
  2. As you’re waiting, thinly slice 6-10 scallions (both white and green parts), sliver ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chop ¼ cup cilantro, julienne 1 red bell pepper, and mince 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper. Add everything to a large bowl and toss together with 2 cups mung bean sprouts
  3. After chicken is rested (at which point it will be fully cooked through), remove the lid, drain the water, shred the meat, season with salt, and combine with the ingredients in your large bowl
  4. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, 2 teaspoons minced ginger, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tablespoon fish sauce (preferably Southeast Asian), and a pinch of cayenne. Stir to combine and mix in 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (creamy or smooth) along with ⅓ cup buttermilk

Taste and adjust seasonings and then serve over romaine lettuce leaves and/or bread, for sandwiches

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Business

The Abbey’s owner acquires commercial district on Fire Island NY

Included in the acquisition are ten buildings over two acres along 320 feet of Fire Island Pines’ main pedestrian thoroughfare

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Courtesy of Tristan Schukraft

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – Tech entrepreneur and hospitality visionary Tristan Schukraft is expanding his portfolio of iconic LGBTQ+ venues with the acquisition of 75% of the Fire Island Pines commercial district, one of the most celebrated queer community hubs in the United States.

The purchase includes a variety of businesses including the Pavilion nightclub, The Blue Whale, the Canteen, a hotel and pool deck, retail shops, and docks, all considered the heart of Fire Island’s vibrant gay community. The currently non-operational hotel will be renovated and transformed into The Tryst Fire Island, the third location for Tristan’s budding luxury hotel brand for gay travelers.

Schukraft, CEO of Tryst Hospitality and MISTR, is on a clear mission, telling the WeHo Times: “Fire Island Pines has been a queer hub for multiple generations of the LGBT community. As businesses and neighborhoods turn over, it’s important for the next generation of gay entrepreneurs to invest in our communities, preserve our culture and help them thrive as safe havens for the LGBT community.”

Included in the acquisition are ten buildings over two acres along 320 feet of Fire Island Pines’ main pedestrian thoroughfare, including the only hotel zoned within the Pine’s commercial district. All the businesses will operate as planned for the 2024 season.

This fall, Tryst Hospitality will invest in thoughtful enhancements to these properties, focusing on elevating the guest experience while maintaining the Fire Island Pines as a world-class LGBTQ+ travel destination. The most significant investment will include a major renovation to the hotel, which will open as The Tryst Fire Island in time for the 2025 season.

Tryst Hospitality and its brands are part of Tristan’s vision for a global portfolio of gay businesses that champion diversity, luxury, and adventure. Tristan founded MISTR, which provides free online PrEP across the United States to more than 300,000 patients. 

He launched Tryst Hotels, a luxury brand catering to the discerning tastes of gay travelers, that are located the most iconic LGBTQ+ travel destinations. Tryst Hotels encourage you to be your best self, even on your worst behavior.

The Tryst Puerto Vallarta will open this Summer in the heart of the Zona Romántica and begin taking reservations in the next few weeks. The Tryst San Juan is open now but will begin extensive renovations later this year. Fire Island will become the brand’s third location in 2025.

Tristan owns and operates The Abbey Food & Bar and The Chapel in West Hollywood, the iconic gay nightlife venue, twice named the best Gay Bar in the World, frequented by A-List talent and neighborhood regulars alike, and named the top nightlife drop off and pick up point in the world for both Uber and Lyft.

This fall, Tristan will re-open a newly renovated Circo, a well-known LGBTQ+ nightlife venue in San Juan, Puerto Rico walking distance to The Tryst San Juan. In the coming months, Tristan will announce more acquisitions as he expands his company and truly embraces the moniker “the CEO of everything gay.”

For more information and to sign up to be one of the first to book your stay, please visit trysthotels.com and follow @trysthotels on social media.

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at [email protected]

The preceding article was previously published at WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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Food

Kane’s Cuisine: Fire Island Pasta

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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Colu Henry’s orecchiette with corn, jalapeño, feta, and basil. (Photo by Christopher Kane/LA Blade)

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipes

FIRE ISLAND PINES, N.Y. – This weekend, dear friends of mine were kind enough to invite me to their new home in Fire Island Pines, a beautiful Horace Gifford property steps from the beach. 

They and their friends have been doing housework and yardwork in preparation to rent the house out during the high season, but everyone knew better than to ask me to trim trees or power wash the balconies. Instead, I happily volunteered to cook. 

I know where my strengths lie. 

LA Blade White House correspondent Chris Kane (far left) & friends at Fire Island Pines off the Eastern Shore of Long Island, New York.

On Friday, I made Alison Roman’s chicken thighs braised with tomatillos, which I served with an assortment of toppings: cilantro, sliced radishes, and diced jalapeno and raw onion (quick-pickled with lime juice to lessen the bite). 

On Saturday, I managed to convince five other gay men to eat pasta. Can you imagine? Colu Henry’s orecchiette with corn, jalapeño, feta, and basil was good enough to make everyone forget about the calories and carbs.

Recipe lightly adapted from New York Times Cooking: 

  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook 1 pound orecchiette until 2-minutes short of al-dente (as indicated in the cooking instructions on the box). Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water 
  2. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce: In a 12-inch skillet, melt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter and cook 1 jalapeno, diced, along with 4-8 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced, for 2 minutes
  3. Add corn kernels from 5-6 ears, cooking until it starts to brown, 4-6 minutes. Season with salt. Add ¼ cup pasta water and simmer until reduced by half, about 1-2 minutes
  4. Add pasta to the skillet, tossing to coat with the sauce. Add 8-10 ounces crumbled feta cheese and another ¼ cup pasta water, stirring until the sauce becomes smooth and creamy and glossy
  5. Stop and admire her glow-up

Stir in ½ cup basil and top with more basil

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Food

Kane’s Cuisine: Alison Roman’s baked ziti

LA Blade White House correspondent Christopher Kane shares his love and passion of cooking writing in his weekly column

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Photo by Dan Balinovic

The LA Blade’s intrepid Washington D.C.-based White House correspondent serves up another of his delicious weekly recipes

WASHINGTON – File this one away for when the weather cools enough that the prospect of turning on your oven doesn’t make you homicidal. Yes, I realize baked ziti is not a summertime dish. No, I don’t care. 

If you hadn’t heard, Alison Roman started a new season of Home Movies, out on YouTube. Her latest video was for cheesy baked shells, which reminded me that I’ve had her baked ziti recipe saved in my New York Times Cooking app for years – but had never made it. 

Well, folks. The dish surpassed my (very high) expectations. 

I have said it once and I’ll say it again: If you want recipes for healthy food, look elsewhere. I am usually cooking with a lot of salt, fat, and carbs. Sometimes you’ll get a salad, but if I am eating a salad, chances are it’s an accompaniment to a main dish. 

Speaking of, the celery salad I wrote about in September 2023 (with cilantro, scallion, sesame, lime, and fish sauce) would be amazing with this baked ziti. 

Photo by Dan Balinovic

Recipe adapted from Alison Roman, New York Times Cooking

  1. In a Dutch oven or other large, heavy bottomed pot with high sides, heat ¼ cup good olive oil over medium. Cook 1 onion, diced, for 8-10 minutes. Add 4 cloves garlic, smashed or diced, and cook for 1-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons tomato paste and cook until it turns a deep brick-red color, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  2. Add 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushing them with your hands, along with another 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 20-30 minutes 
  3. In a medium bowl, combine 1 pound whole milk ricotta, ½ cup heavy cream, and ½ cup parmesan or pecorino. Season with salt and pepper and set aside
  4. As the sauce cooks, heat oven to 425° F. Place a large pot of heavily salted water on the stove and heat on high 
  5. Cook pasta until 2 minutes short of al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, drain and rinse the noodles in cold water
  6. Mix pasta water with the sauce once it’s done cooking/reducing. Transfer 2 cups of the sauce into a large bowl with your pasta, tossing and stirring to distribute evenly. Spoon more sauce onto the bottom of a 3-quart baking dish (a 9×13” Pyrex works well). Add a third of your pasta, followed by a third of your remaining sauce, half the ricotta mixture, and a third pound of mozzarella. Repeat, beginning with the pasta, one more time. For the final layer, add the last third of your pasta and the last of your sauce before dotting with your remaining mozzarella and shaving more parmesan on top

Bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve, garnished with basil

Photo by Dan Balinovic

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