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Go Guide

Dining out

Pho at Chateau de Saigon
Beckysteinphotography.com

Spice up your holiday

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What are the flavors of the season?

Well, if you go by the contents of your cookie exchange, the ingredients in your mulled wine or the scents emanating from your local branch of Yankee Candle, then the so-called “sweet spices” — cinnamon, clove, nutmeg — set the agenda.

In the early days of the Spice Route (say, some time in the 15th century), these ingredients weren’t earmarked for sweets exclusively, but also were used in savory dishes, often as a display of wealth by royalty and merchants. But, over time, Westerners have learned to associate most East Indian spices, with the exception of pepper, with desserts and pastries.

If, like me, you enjoy sweets in moderation and savories in excess, why don’t you celebrate the flavors of the season with these dishes? In addition to these spices, I’ve added a couple more sweet flavors that show their savory side in the right plate of food.

Movies

Final ‘Hobbit’ leans too heavily on action
Todd Eyre

Final ‘Hobbit’ leans too heavily on action

Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy serves as a monumental testimony to what can happen when a director with boundless imagination, advancements in technology and a beloved story come together. The result is magic.

But Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy ends on a different note, with uninspired battles and muddled characters.

» Also reviewed: 'Annie' | 'Foxcatcher' | 'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb'

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Family fun

Marvel comic book heroes, villains rumble in arena

Marvel comic book heroes, villains rumble in arena

Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment, may be the real-world equivalent to Tony Stark, the billionaire hero in the Marvel comic series “Iron Man.”

According to Forbes, Feld, like Stark, is worth billions. Although he doesn’t fly the skies in a super suit, his other worldly powers find him orchestrating some of the greatest family-friendly shows on Earth.

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Movies

Lead actors bring ‘Annie’ back to life
Barry Wetcher

Lead actors bring ‘Annie’ back to life

“Annie,” a musical that the decades have rendered into a punchline, is modernized, made more streetwise and brought back to life in a production backed by Jay Z and various members of the Will and Jada Pinkett Smith empire.

The new “Annie” is intimate and hip, sarcastic and flip. It opens by mocking the cliched redheaded cheerfulness of the Depression Era comic strip, and proceeds to give the little orphan sass to go along with a heart so big it melts all of New York.

Visual arts

Affordably priced art at annual ‘December Show’

Affordably priced art at ‘December Show’

Christmas comes and we all have the same thoughts on our minds. Presents and time with family, you say? How about, hatchet-wielding women and sepulchral black crows?

Those are some of the images conjured up by the artists in Whitespace Gallery’s “The December Show.” You can’t accuse these iconoclastic creatives of catering to the cliches of the season in this showcase for gift-giving.


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