Archive | December 2014

Marsala Pork & Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Creamy Marsala Pork Loins

Seared Pork Loin Chops in Creamy Marsala Sauce
White
Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus  with Parmesan
Fried Pierogies Smothered in Marsala Sauce

Creamy Marsala Sauce:
4 thin slices Prosciutto, chopped
1 Shallot or 1/2 small Onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup Marsala Wine
2 teaspoons fresh Chives, chopped
1 teaspoon Dry Oregano
1 cup Heavy Cream

Pork Chops:
4 Pork Loin Chops, boneless
Salt and Pepper to taste
Flour for dredging
Oil for searing

Asparagus:
1 bunch Asparagus (White or Green)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Drizzle of Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
5 or 6 thin slices Prosciutto, cut into 1×3 pieces
Parmesan Cheese, freshly and coarsely grated

Pierogies:
8-12 frozen Pierogies, any flavor
2 Tablespoons butter

Season the chops with salt and black pepper, then dredge them in flour. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat with a little bit of oil. When the pan and oil are hot, brown the chops on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Take them out and place them on a plate to the side.

Prosciutto is going to add great flavor and texture to the sauce. Add the prosciutto and onions to the pan and cook them until the prosciutto is brown and the onions are just turning brown, about 2 or 3 minutes.

Add 3/4 cup of Marsala wine to the pan along with the chives and oregano. Scrape the burnt pieces off the bottom of the pan and bring the liquid to a boil.

Next, add the heavy cream and stir occasionally until the sauce has thickened, about 3 or 4 minutes. Return the chops to the pan and lower the heat, then let it simmer about 5 or 6 minutes. Turn the chops often to heat them thoroughly, but also to get that yummy sauce all over them.

Serve the chops topped with the sauce and garnished with some freshly chopped chives.

Rinse the asparagus and trim at least an inch off the bottom of each spear. Line a baking sheet with foil and lay the asparagus down in a single layer. Drizzle olive oil, lemon juice, and sprinkle the salt over the asparagus. Turn the spears to coat them.

Place the prosciutto pieces out on a flat surface and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over them.Lay the asparagus on the prosciutto evenly, so the same amount of the tip and base of the spear sticks out. Roll the spears to wrap them and then place them back onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle a little more Parmesan over them and then bake in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the asparagus is slightly roasted.

For the pierogies, heat a pan on medium heat and melt the butter. Add the pierogies, still frozen, and cook on both sides just until they are thawed, but cooked just as crispy or tender as you like them. Use some of the leftover Marsala sauce on the top.

~Robert Clement

‘Tis The Season To Be Beggared

BrokeAhhh… so Christmas is upon us again, and what better time than the Christmas season for everybody to be sticking their hands out in an attempt to get in your wallets and pocket books? Let’s face it, this is the time of year when the overwhelming majority of us are putting the proverbial beat down on our budgets and accounts. For most of us, it’s next to impossible in this economy to absorb the cost of the holiday season within our own families, no less being in any kind of position to be shelling out cash to foundations and charities. Hell, a large percentage of us probably feel like WE qualify as a charity and could desperately use whatever donations anyone was willing to give us to help us survive the crippling financial hit we’ll be enduring over the course of the holiday season. The sad truth is that while our hearts are telling us we should show compassion for the less fortunate, we’re also secretly saying to ourselves “Enough asking me for handouts already, I can’t even afford MY OWN damn life.” That sounds incredibly callous, but the truth is the truth regardless of what kind of bogus politically correct fronts we put up to shroud what we’re really thinking. Yet here we are going through another holiday season where charity after charity and foundation after foundation continue tugging at our holiday heart strings to pinch every dollar they can from us. Now before you jump to conclusions and form a lynch mob to hunt me down for saying what most people are afraid to admit, let me tell you a little something about myself. No matter how tight money is for me at any given moment, I ALWAYS help the less fortunate. I can’t even drive by a legitimate homeless person without giving them a few dollars, even if it’s my last few dollars. Why? Because it helps them IMMEDIATELY. It makes an instant impact on their lives when they desperately need any help they can get. So it begs the question… if that’s the type of person I am, then why would I be writing an article on a charity website that appears to be knocking the way so many charities relentlessly attempt to milk every dollar they can from us? Well, it’s not the less fortunate I have a problem with at all… it’s the red tape and endless bullshit that surrounds the process that I have a hard time stomaching. Hear me out.

Considering this is a cancer charity, and also that cancer is the #1 funded group of charities in the world, I’ll use cancer charities as an example. Let’s start with the entire concept of cancer research. Let me begin by quoting two-time Nobel Prize winning PhD Linus Pauling: “Everyone should know that most cancer research is largely a fraud and that the major cancer research organizations are derelict in their duties to the people who support them.” What many people don’t realize is that you cannot patent products of nature. As a result, major corporations or big pharmaceutical companies aren’t interested in finding ways to treat and/or cure cancer that won’t make them rich. Many natural sources have been proven to treat and/or cure cancer or certain degrees of cancer, such as the graviola tree, which I documented in this C4C article: Cancer’s Not-so Secret Cure?

Billions upon billions of dollars are being put towards “cancer research,” but only the type of cancer research that can find a patentable solution so the people funding it can get filthy rich off it. There’s even a conspiracy theory telling us that these very funders actually pay reputable people to debunk the usefulness and validity of natural cures and treatments in order to keep their investments safer and their self-serving goals in tact. In addition, research suggests that only 5% of cancers are hereditary. That means the non-inherited causes of cancer (the lifestyle choices we make, the foods we eat, and our physical activity levels) have a direct impact on our overall cancer risk. In other words, 95% of all cancer is preventable. Yet the rate of cancer is rapidly INCREASING, not diminishing. Basically, they’re hiding or not even searching for cures, treatments, and preventative methods in order to serve their own get rich purpose. Does this mean that ALL of the people who work in the cancer research industry are consciously part of a conspiracy to hold back a cure for cancer? Author G. Edward Griffin explains “It’s obvious that these people are not consciously holding back a control for cancer. It does mean, however, that the pharmaceutical-chemical cartel’s medical monopoly has created a climate of bias in our educational system, in which scientific truth often is sacrificed to vested interests. If the money is coming from drug companies, or indirectly from drug companies, the impetus is in the direction of drug research. That doesn’t mean somebody blew the whistle and said “hey, don’t research nutrition!” It just means that nobody is financing nutrition research. So it is a bias where scientific truth often is obscured by vested interest.” This point is similarly expressed by Dr. Sydney Singer: “Researchers are like prostitutes. They work for grant money. If there is no money for the projects they are personally interested in, they go where there is money. Their incomes come directly from their grants, not from the universities. And they want to please the granting source to get more grants in the future. Their careers depend on it.”

Give-Me-MoneyTheir careers… depend on it. In other words, if they don’t research what they’re told to research, regardless of whether or not they can find natural or easier cures, treatments, or preventative measures… they’re unemployed. So if you’re donating to one of these major “research” charities, where is your money going? It’s going towards keeping thousands of people across the country employed in white coats running in place on their funded mouse wheels trying to find a patentable cure. In addition, a large portion of money donated to cancer research by the public is spent on animal research which has, since its inception, been widely condemned as a waste of time and resources. For instance, consider the Congressional Testimony by Dr. Irwin Bross, former director of Sloan-Kettering, the largest cancer research institute in the world: “The uselessness of most of the animal model studies is less well-known. For example, the discovery of chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of human cancer is widely heralded as a triumph due to use of animal model systems. However, here again, these exaggerated claims are coming from or are endorsed by the same people who get the federal dollars for animal research. There is little, if any, factual evidence that would support these claims. Indeed, while conflicting animal results have often delayed and hampered advances in the war on cancer, they have never produced a single substantial advance either in the prevention or treatment of human cancer. For instance, practically all of the chemotherapeutic agents which are of value in the treatment of human cancer were found in a clinical context rather than in animal studies.” In fact, many substances which cause cancer in humans are marketed as “safe” on the basis of animal tests.

Now let’s look at things from another angle. I’ll use one of the most popular foundations that’s currently campaigning as an example, The Jimmy V Foundation. The median net income for an individual in the United States last year was roughly 28 thousand dollars. Let’s consider that if we removed the higher income professions from that median, such as multi-million dollar athletes, for example, that median would drop even lower for the actual “average American.”¬† For argument’s sake, let’s use 25 thousand for the “average American.” That’s roughly 12 dollars an hour on a 40 hour average over 52 weeks. ESPN’s net worth is 40 BILLION dollars. ESPN is owned by Disney, whose net worth is 84 BILLION dollars. Their latest campaign commercials feature the likes of :

Dick Vitale – Net worth 15 million, 1 million annual salary.

Carmelo Anthony – 124 million dollar contract with the Knicks.

Colin Kaepernick – 126 million dollar contract with the 49ers.

Eli Manning – 97 million dollar contract with the Giants.

Robin Roberts – Net worth 25 million, 14 million annual salary.

Grant Hill – Net worth 180 million.

Tony Gonzalez – Net worth 30 million.

Ray Lewis – Net worth 45 million.

Landon Donovan – Net worth 12 million, 4 million dollar annual salary for the Galaxy.

Danica Patrick – Net worth 18 million.

That’s just to name a few. So in essence, you have a 40 BILLION dollar network that is owned by an 84 BILLION dollar company putting multi-millionaires on the screen to ask the average 25 thousand dollar a year American to give them money for research. Research the experts and Nobel Prize winners are calling a fraud and derelict in their duties to the people who support them. Jimmy V was a great man, and I’m sure the intentions of those who endorse and support his charity are sincere, but the cold hard truth is that the war on cancer is widely regarded as a complete failure and misguided witch hunt for a get rich patentable cure. In the 20 years since the Jimmy V foundation was founded, cancer percentages have risen, not fallen. The problem has gotten worse, not better. In his wonderful and touching speech, Jimmy V said “It may not save my life, but it might save my children’s life, or someone you love’s life.” The intention was powerful and sincere, but these clearly aren’t the results he had in mind. The same criticisms can be said for any “research” based charity, as research costs have blown well beyond the 100 billion dollar mark. It’s just easy to pick on ESPN & Disney when they’re a 40 billion dollar network and 84 billion dollar entity putting billions of dollars worth of spokespeople on our televisions to ask the average struggling American for money.

Disney MoneyDisney released 16 movies in 2014 that grossed a total of 1.6 BILLION. Another 16 last year that grossed 1.5 billion. 17 more in 2012 that grossed 1.5 billion. They’re basically averaging 100 million dollars gross per movie. 2015 will probably exceed those numbers considerably with a new Star Wars movie on the horizon. Yet they’re asking YOU, the average 12 dollar an hour struggling American, for donations. (10 dollar minimum) If the average American made even the minimum donation, it would amount to roughly 2% of their paycheck. Disney has numerous sources of income, but even if we just took their movies that average a 100 million dollars gross each, 2% of that would be 2 million dollars. Now multiply that by 16 movies and you have 32 million dollars over the course of a year. You’ve got yourself a deal, Disney. For every 2 million you donate, I’ll chip in my 10 bucks. Oh wait, I forgot about the 2.2 BILLION dollars you make off theme parks annually. 2% of that is almost another million per week. So go ahead and donate the original 2 million we discussed, and then another million per week… and you can have my 10 dollars. Oh wait, I forgot about merchandise sales. I read recently that you made over 10 BILLION in merchandise sales just on the Cars movies alone, so that figure must be astronomical when you factor in all of the other movies and non-movie merchandise. What’s 2% of holy freaking shit? I can’t even keep up with the math. You know what? I think it’d be easier if I just walked into a hospital, picked out a bunch of random children who are suffering through cancer battles, and surprised them directly with my 10 dollars. That might be a little weird though. Just handing a sick child 10 dollars? I know, I’ll use the 10 dollars to buy a gift, wrap it, and give it to them as a surprise Christmas gift. Yeah, that sounds better. Especially when for many of them, this will be their last Christmas, and for many others, they won’t be getting much for Christmas either way because their parents are going broke trying to afford their medical bills. Yeah, I think I like that idea better because then I get to directly touch and affect the lives of children, rather than waiting around for researchers to find some miracle pharmaceutical winning lottery ticket cure. Unfortunately, if research takes another 100 billion dollars and 20 more years of unsuccessfully searching for a cure, hundreds of thousands of these children will have passed away, so I’d much rather just give it to them directly while they’re still alive, if that’s ok. You’ll be able to handle that research thing with all those billions you make without me, right? Come to think of it, I watch ESPN, and I watch and go to overpriced sporting events, and I’ve been to the theater to see Disney movies, and I’ve been to Disneyland, and I’ve even bought my son and nieces and nephews Disney toys, merchandise, clothes, and DVDs, so technically speaking, I’ve already donated numerous times. I mean, in a matter of speaking, I, along with millions of other average Americans, are directly responsible for your movie and merchandise gross profits, along with the outrageous salaries of the athletes and sportscasters, so they can just take my portion out of their ridiculous salaries and give it to you for my donation. What’s 10 dollars to someone making 124 million anyway? Melo’s my dude, he’ll cover me.

Facetiousness aside, there are many charities that directly and immediately help out the sick and needy. Charities that don’t have the benefit of million and billion dollar supporters or funders, or numerous big money fundraising sporting events, etc. I’ve always been a big fan of the Make a Wish Foundation myself, they do wonderful work. No matter how tight the holiday season is for you though, always remember there are people worse off than you. Don’t be a Scrooge, or get thrown off by the seemingly endless amount of hands asking for your money. Find a worthy cause, individual, or family that lacks resources and needs help and give them something, anything, even if they’re not asking for it. Pay it forward. I don’t care if it’s a random person living on the street, do something that makes a direct difference and impact in someone’s life. It doesn’t even have to be money. Walk up to any homeless person and hand them a fresh homemade sandwich or bowl of lasagna, and watch the reaction you get. A sandwich that might take you 5 minutes and 2 dollars to make, or a bowl of lasagna that probably would’ve ended up being the leftovers you forget about in your fridge and wind up throwing away anyway will make a homeless person feel like they just won the lottery.

Christmas presents piled underneath a christmas tree.This will be the third year that Comedians for Cancer provides surprise gifts for children going through cancer battles. You may not think you can make much of a difference, but if you saw the joy on a sick child’s face when they get even a random 5 or 10 dollar gift they weren’t expecting, you’d know that even the smallest amount makes a WORLD of immediate difference. I take the Christmas gift fund, purchase as many gifts as possible in the widest range of interests I can and then hand deliver them to surprise unsuspecting sick children. I sit with each one, tell them a few jokes to get them laughing, ask them what sort of things they like, and then pull a gift from the bag that best fits their responses and interests. Unfortunately, being a smaller charity during this time of year we get overshadowed immensely, so donations are very hard to come by. It usually winds up being a small total and then a much larger total when I put as much into it as I can afford out of my own pocket to keep the entire process possible, but the reactions are priceless, and easily the most rewarding time of year for me. Are we just another one of the hands being held out to some? Probably. But all we can do is continue to make people aware of what we do and give them an opportunity to make an educated decision on whether to support us or not.

I knock research for its vested interests and lack of progress, but we obviously still need and will always need research until a cure is discovered. Research charities do a lot of good work and positive things, but researchers get literally BILLIONS of dollars a year. Research is great if they can find a cure, but it doesn’t help the child or the family of a child who only has a year or two to live. Comedians for Cancer focuses on those who are currently suffering and in need of direct immediate help, so any and all donations are IMMENSELY appreciated and put to direct good use. Even just 5 dollars is one extra child getting a surprise gift on Christmas and a chance to smile during a very difficult time. So if you deem us worthy, take the time to donate anything you can afford and help us put some smiles on their faces. If you can’t afford a donation, please use the Twitter and Facebook buttons below to share this so we can get the exposure that can potentially lead to donations from people who aren’t even aware that we exist, or what we do. For those of you not familiar with what we do, we’re a network of over 1500 comedians across the country, and we host and/or provide comedians for cancer charity and fundraising events that help individuals who are currently suffering through cancer battles. Christmas is the only time of year we lobby for direct donations, because we purchase Christmas gifts for unsuspecting sick children going through current cancer battles. We obviously appreciate direct donations at any time, but the remainder of the year is spent providing a service to raise money, not ask for it. Happy Holidays and God bless.

~Jamie Capria

 

Christmas Gift Fund

Christmas presents piled underneath a christmas tree.Every Christmas, Comedians for Cancer purchases Christmas gifts for children who are currently going through a cancer battle. These gifts have done wonders for children going through their battles and brought smiles to many unsuspecting faces when they desperately need them the most. These gifts and smiles are made possible by donations made to the Comedians for Cancer Christmas Gift Fund. Normally, we post donation access to this fund in late November. This year, we’re getting a little bit of a late start, so hopefully your generosity can help us make up some lost time and ground. Every little bit helps, even the the smallest amounts. So please use the donate button below to donate today and help us help them.