Tag Archives: summer

Kitchenwise: Tomatoes are the stars of Chilled BLT Soup

Everyone knows Joyce Kilmer’s love song to trees — “I think that I shall never see/ A poem lovely as a tree.” That’s the way I feel about tomatoes. Accordingly, Chilled BLT Soup puts the “T” in BLT.

Yes, there’s bacon and lettuce, and some toast, too, in the form of croutons. But the star of this show is the tomato in its season.

How do you know whether you’re buying a good tomato? To start, pick it up. It should feel heavy, which lets you know it’s ripe and juicy. Then take a whiff of the stem end. It should smell strongly like … a tomato. Once you get it home, store it on the counter, out of the sun. If it’s not fully red, just leave it alone. It will continue to ripen at room temperature. Don’t put a whole uncut tomato in the refrigerator. Chilling it will kill the flavor and the texture.

You want to salt your tomatoes ahead of time, before you cook them, a step that helps to concentrate their flavor. First salt the large tomatoes, which form the base of the soup. Then salt the quartered tomatoes, which provide crunch.

The tomatoes in this recipe don’t need to be seeded or peeled. That’s because you’re going to puree them in a blender until smooth. (Use a blender, not a food processor, which doesn’t produce a smooth texture.) Also, if you seed the tomatoes, you lose a lot of the jelly surrounding the seeds — and that jelly is where the tomato essence lives.

On the chance that you’ve somehow underrated tomatoes before, this deeply flavorful and refreshing soup will show you what you’ve been missing.



Start to finish: 1 hour 30 minutes (30 active), plus chilling time

Servings: 4

3 pounds large tomatoes

Kosher salt

2 cups 1/2-inch bread cubes

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 slices bacon

1 pound cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

Black pepper

1 cup shredded romaine

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Core and cut the large tomatoes into 1/2-inch thick wedges. In a large bowl toss the wedges with 1 teaspoon salt and set them aside for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, on a large rimmed sheet pan toss the bread cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil until they are well coated. Sprinkle them very lightly with salt and toss again. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven until they are golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Set them aside to cool.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until it is crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. When the bacon is cool, crumble it and set it aside.

In a strainer set over a bowl toss the cherry tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let them drain for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise with the garlic, the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the tomato juice from the drained cherry tomatoes and stir well.

Working in batches, transfer the tomato wedges and their liquid to a blender and blend until very smooth. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the sherry vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the cherry tomatoes and chill the soup until it is cold.

To serve: Spoon one-fourth of the soup into each of the four soup bowls. Drizzle each portion with some of the mayonnaise and top with the bacon, the romaine and the croutons.


Nutrition information per serving: 380 calories; 250 calories from fat; 28 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 13 mg cholesterol; 573 mg sodium; 27 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 13 g sugar; 8 g protein.


Sara Moulton is host of public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals.” She was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years and spent a decade hosting several Food Network shows, including “Cooking Live.” Her latest cookbook is “Home Cooking 101.”

Mighty ducks play ball in Madison

In the bottom of the third, the Madison Mallards were locked in a heated battle with the St. Cloud Rox.

The Minnesota team scored four runs off starter Mike Reitcheck, and they led the Ducks 4-1 as they went into the bottom half of the inning.

The Mallards were ready to try to take back the July 3 game — but not before the Ping-Pong Twerk Off. In this mid-inning competition, two contestants on opposite sides of the infield wear a bag of Ping-Pong balls strapped to their, um, twerker. The first one to booty-shake fast enough to empty all the balls from the bag wins.

This is part of the show outside of The Show.

Mid-Inning entertainment

Mallards general manager Tyler Isham explains, “Some baseball games are long and not always a lot of fun. Even when we lose, these activities provide entertainment and keep the fans coming back.”

“We have 17 inning breaks in every game and 17 chances to provide fans with entertainment during the game,” Isham says.

Each activity bears the stamp of a local business.

There’s the Pony Hop — four guys bouncing across the field on what appear to be large stuffed Hobby Horses — presented by Jet’s Car Care Clinic in Madison.

There’s the Beef Jerky Toss sponsored by the Beef Jerky Outlet in Sun Prairie.

Crowd-pleasing activities on the electronic scoreboard include the Nitty Gritty Burger Shuffle — a Three Card Monte video game in which fans have to guess which animated hamburger contains the pickle slices. The shuffle is sponsored by Madison’s Nitty Gritty Birthday Bar and Restaurant.

Friendly venue

Games are played at Warner Park on Madison’s north side. There’s a county-fair ambience mixed with those goofy mid-inning antics welcoming the roughly 6,500 fans to each home game.

The ballpark is modest in size. The grounds contain a gift shop, food vendors and beer stands offering local craft beers.

There’s also a play area, with a bounce castle and kiddie zip line, as well as other activities.

Seats run $10–$15 and there are a variety of group ticket options that include food and beverages.

Isham says the Mallards’ aim is to provide an affordable evening of fun for fans of all ages.

Northwoods League

The Mallards are part of the Northwoods League, which provides a summer internship for some of the country’s leading college players while offering ball fans semi-professional baseball plus some sideline entertainment.

The team, established in 2001, is owned by entrepreneur Steve Schmitt, who owns The Shoe Box shoe store and Rookies Sports Bar in Black Earth just west of Madison.

Schmitt also owns Northwoods League member teams the Green Bay Bullfrogs, the Kenosha Kingfish and the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. Other Northwoods League teams in Wisconsin include the Lakeshore Chinooks in Mequon, Wisconsin Woodchucks in Wausau, La Crosse Loggers and Eau Claire Express.

The off-field antics entertain, but baseball makes the Northwoods League parks summer destinations for sports fans.

There are 18 teams in five states, with the league boasting north and south divisions.

By agreement with the league, headquartered in Rochester, Minnesota, the Mallards’ roster can include 30 active full-time players, as well as 10 limited-term players who may sub during the first few weeks of the season — before the colleges have ended the spring semester.

A summer with the Mallards constitutes an unpaid internship for the college athletes, Isham says.

“We work with colleges all over the country to attract the best players we can,” he says. “Over time you establish good working relationships with the coaches and schools and it’s beneficial for everyone.”

The Mallards’ roster currently consists of players from 27 colleges, including the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

The team’s season commenced May 31 and continues through Aug. 14. The regular season consists of 36 home games and 36 away games over 78 days, followed by six days of playoffs. Teams finishing in the top half in their division stand a good chance of being in the playoffs.

Players benefit

What do the players get for all their hard work?

“We have professional MLB scouts in the stands for almost every game,” Isham says. “This is the players’ chance to be seen in action.”

During the first 15 seasons, the Mallards saw five players go on to play in the Majors: Ryan Spilbourghs (Colorado Rockies), Matt Pagnozzi (Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals), Phil Gosselin (Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks), J.R. Graham (Minnesota Twins) and Brock Stewart (Los Angeles Dodgers.)

Based on the outcome of the grudge match between the Mallards and the Rox in the July 3 game, it looked like a few more players might blossom from this season’s roster.

The Rox’s three-run lead at the bottom of the third evaporated. By the fifth inning, Mallards player Bryce Carter, who plays for Stanford during the year, began turning the game in favor of the Ducks.

“I made some adjustments to my swing coming into the summer, and it’s always hard when you make a change like that,” Carter says after the game. “I was feeling good today, got more comfortable in the batter’s box and was able to put some hits together.”

A sixth-inning RBI by Carter stretched the Mallards lead to 5-4, followed an inning later by Carter’s three-run homer over the right-center wall, which boosted the Ducks to 8-5, a lead held to the finish.

Let’s see the twerkers match that performance.

Batter up …

Madison Mallards: Find the Ducks online at mallardsbaseball.com or call 608-246-4277. The team plays home games at Warner Park, 2920 N. Sherman Ave., Madison.

Green Bay Bullfrogs: Find the Frogs online at northwoodsleague.com/green-bay-bullfrogs or call 920-497-7225. The team plays home games at 1450 E. Walnut St., Green Bay.

Kenosha Kingfish: Find the Fish online at northwoodsleague.com/kenosha-kingfish or call 262-653-0900. The team plays home games at Historic Simmons Field, 7817 Sheridan Road, Kenosha.

Wisconsin Rapids Rafters: Find the Rafters online at northwoodsleague.com/wisconsin-rapids-rafters or call 715-424-5400. The team plays home games at Witter Field, 521 Lincoln St. Wisconsin Rapids.

Lakeshore Chinooks: Find the Chinooks online at northwoodsleague.com/lakeshore-chinook or call 262-618-4659. The team plays home games at Kapco Park.

Eau Claire Express: Find the Express online at www.eauclaireexpress.com or call 715-839-7788. The team plays at Carson Park, 702 Carson Park Drive.

La Crosse Loggers: Find the Loggers online at www.lacrosseloggers.com or call 608-796-9553. The team plays at Copeland Park, 800 Copeland Ave.

Wisconsin Woodchucks: Find the Woodchucks online at www.woodchucks.com or call 715-845-5055. The Woodchucks play at Athletic Park.

For more about summer baseball, visit Travel Wisconsin at travelwisconsin.com.          — L.N.

Summer highlights: Sewell sees bright future for classics

By his own estimation, Andrew Sewell has conducted the 1812 Overture some 50 times — but he never tires of the famous work.

His most recent performance of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s familiar overture was July 6 as part of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s Concerts on the Square series. Sewell, who has served as WCO’s maestro and music director since February 2000, conducted his 17th outdoor performance of the piece before a crowd of some 45,000 people gathered on Madison’s Capitol Square.

By anyone’s estimation, that’s the largest classical music audience in the state. The concert was one of six open-air performances WCO presents free of charge on Wednesdays in the summer.

Wild applause followed the closing cannonade.

“Tchaikovsky is never easy and this is a challenging piece to play,” Sewell says. “It’s bombastic, but in a good sense. I absolutely love it.”

Becoming a maestro

Sewell has never shied away from musical challenges, at least not since he decided on a career as an orchestra conductor at age 14 in his native New Zealand. That decision made his move to the United States almost a forgone conclusion, since New Zealand at the time had only five symphony orchestras — three of which were part-time endeavors. The United States had about 750 orchestras.

Sewell, the second youngest of seven children, grew up in a musical family in a small town. His mother loved music, but her family couldn’t afford a piano when she was growing up, so she made it her mission to make sure all of her children learned to play.

Sewell’s father was a violinist, and Sewell also chose to learn that instrument, as well as the cornet.

“I chose to play the violin because I thought it would more easily get me a job in an orchestra and might better pave the way to becoming a conductor,” he says.

Sewell earned his degree in violin performance from the University of Auckland in 1984. While there, he met his future wife Mary, another concert violinist. They sat next to each in the New Zealand National Youth Orchestra.

Life as a violinist changed dramatically for Sewell toward the end of 1985, when he caught several of his fingers in a lawn mower mechanism. The damage was so severe, he feared he might never play again. Rather than give up music entirely, the 21-year-old moved forward his career plans and remade himself as a conductor, forming a chamber orchestra and touring New Zealand.

“I tell young conductors that they have to make their own opportunities and form their own orchestras,” Sewell says. “I had to create the program, hire the musicians, book the halls, write the program notes and drive the bus, as well as conduct.”

The Dell’Arte Chamber Orchestra, as Sewell dubbed it, lasted three years and gave the young conductor the podium experience he desperately sought.

The work also helped attract the attention of the Australian Guarantee Corporation, sponsor of the Young Achievers Award.

In 1987, Sewell was one of nine winners out of 400 entries to win the award, which in his case included a $9,000 grant to study classical music in either the United States or the United Kingdom. The funding enabled Sewell to make an extended trip to visit U.S. music schools, including the Juilliard School in New York City and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

“I also spent a week in Birmingham, England, with Sir Simon Rattle, then conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,” Sewell says. “He was very inspiring, but I discovered I had to be very deliberate and even a little bit cheeky if I wanted to pick his brain. It was a good life lesson.”

Sewell eventually earned his master’s of music degree with honors in conducting from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1990.

Since graduating, Sewell has carried on a busy and ambitious career as music director with various symphonies. He served in that capacity with overlapping assignments at the Toledo Symphony from 1995 to 2000, the Mansfield (Ohio) Symphony from 1997 to 2002, and the Wichita Symphony from 2000 to 2010.

Wisconsin and beyond

Sewell joined the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in 2000, beating out 240 other conductor-applicants to succeed the popular David Lewis Crosby, who died of a heart attack while driving to the final Concerts on the Square performance of the 1998 season. Crosby had led the orchestra for 28 years.

Sewell also is in demand as a guest conductor, having led the Toronto, Detroit, Milwaukee, Columbus, Syracuse, Illinois, Monterey, Gulf Coast and Eugene symphony orchestras. He also has conducted the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, Christchurch Symphony, National Symphony of Mexico, Kyushu Symphony in Japan, City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, Hong Kong City Opera, and others.

In addition to WCO’s six Masterworks concerts starting in October at the Overture Center’s Capitol Theater, Sewell’s 2016–17 season includes return engagements with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and the Illinois Symphony, as well as his debut with the San Luis Obispo (California) Symphony.

Andrew and Mary Sewell, who became U.S. citizens in 2007, reside in Madison, where they raised their children, who are pursuing their own careers in the performing arts.

Andrew Sewell is enthusiastic not only about his children’s interest in the arts, but also about what he sees as a bright future for classical music.

Promoting live music

However, Sewell says, performing companies must work hard to promote the values of live musical performances.

“Smartphones and portable devices have changed the landscape, giving people access to all kinds of music. The challenge is in reminding people that going to a live concert is not the same as hearing it come out of a speaker,” Sewell says. “Live music can make you joyful, make you calm and give you a unique experience. The marketplace has become very diverse and we need to move with that diversity to keep ourselves relevant.”

Some may say that’s not an argument needing to be made when 45,000 people gather on a warm summer evening for a classical music program.

On the square

For more information on the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s Concerts on the Square, which end Aug. 3, and the Masterworks series, which begins Oct. 14, visit wcoconcerts.org.

It’s Summer — Read a Book!

Here are some summer reading recommendations, light and dark.

The Bloody Chamber is a hair-raising and irreverent take on traditional fairy tales. Angela Carter gives a modern twist to 10 old tales, including “Bluebeard,” “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Beauty and the Beast.” The stories are written in vivid prose that brings them to life. They read like cliff-hangers.

Carter’s writing has a bold, sexually suggestive edge that makes explicit the sexual subtext of the originals. The Bloody Chamber is a pulse-racing revision of the Bluebeard legend. “Puss in Boots” had me laughing out loud at the bravado of the randy old cat.

The Making of the Wizard of Oz by Aljean Harmetz covers all aspects of the making of the classic 1939 MGM film. It’s a must-read for fans.

The first chapter, “The Studio,” lays out the setting of MGM and its place as the premiere Hollywood studio in the 1930s. Subsequent chapters focus on the writers, music composers, directors, actors, Munchkins, costumes, special effects and the smart little Cairn terrier who played Toto, too.

It has a delightful introduction by “Wicked Witch” actress Margaret Hamilton and an appendix with background on L. Frank Baum, author of the bestselling Oz books, who was pretty much a failure at everything else he did.

MGM did not break even financially until the movie was sold to TV networks for repeated airings in the 1950s–80s. It was because of those broadcasts, which drew millions of viewers, that The Wizard of Oz became such a huge cultural phenomenon.

As a World War II buff, I found many fascinating stories in The Bitter Road to Freedom by William Hitchcock. Although Hitchcock views the liberation of Europe as a heroic endeavor overall, this book focuses on the costs of that liberation.

His chapters on Normandy and Belgium reveal that thousands of already traumatized civilians were killed and terrorized by allied bombs aimed at cleaning out the Germans. From the first day Allied troops landed at Normandy, a brisk black-market in goods thrived among the armed forces and the long-deprived citizenry.

Most of Holland was bypassed in the allies’ rush through France and Belgium into Germany, so the Nazis retained control until May 1945. During those many months when liberation was so close at hand, the Nazis systematically starved the people and decimated the Dutch resistance.

There is an excellent chapter on tensions between the military bureaucracy and relief and refugee agencies, which were sometimes at cross-purposes. Another focuses on the suffering of Russia and the terrible revenge the Red Army wreaked on the Germans and their allies, including mass rapes of German women.

The Bitter Road to Freedom chronicles the devastation of war and the costs of liberation.


For Matt Damon, Jason Bourne has been a lifeblood

For Matt Damon, the “Bourne” films have been like a lifeblood.

“I was kind of inoculated for that five or six-year period when I made the first three. I could make decisions with absolutely no thought to what the potential box office was,” says Damon. “It was liberating in that sense. I knew that if I had another Jason Bourne off in the middle distance, it would kind of rescue me and keep my career afloat for a few more years.”

In “Jason Bourne” (out July 29), Damon returns to the spy franchise that made him a full-blown movie star with all the freedom such status affords. Given how much 45-year-old actor credits the series with, it’s a welcome homecoming.

“It’s obviously the most significant thing that’s happened in my career,” Damon said in a recent interview from the set of Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing.” “I definitely knew I wanted to do it again but I was always kind of tethered to Paul (Greengrass). I knew I didn’t want to do it without him.”

It’s been nine years since “The Bourne Ultimatum,” but the franchise based on Robert Ludlum’s novels has kept spinning. “The Bourne Legacy,” in 2012, starred Jeremy Renner as another secret agent. That film grossed less than the three previous “Bourne” movies, thus proving the value of both Damon and Greengrass to the franchise. The “Captain Phillips” director helmed Damon’s last two “Bourne” movies.

Damon says the delay was partially caused by a struggle to find a worthy next chapter for the character. The time helped: “Jason Bourne” was inspired by Edward Snowden and more recent debate over civil liberties.

But Damon’s and Greengrass’ motivation in returning, they say, ultimately grew out of satisfying fans of the kinetic, mysterious “Bourne” films.

“All those people who have come up to me over the years, hopefully they’re representative of a whole group of people who will go buy tickets,” says Damon. “We’re counting on it. You never know. It’s the movie business, so it could be a total disaster.”

A new trick for grilling the perfect burger

I thought I knew how to make the perfect burger. Now I know better.

I still stand by most of my principles — making your own blend of ground meat, a combination of ground sirloin and ground chuck; working and mixing the meat as little as possible — but I recently discovered a far better way to cook the burgers. I discovered it while attempting to grill tiny samples of a variety of ground beefs (I was searching for just the right blend and didn’t want to make lots of full-size patties).

As I pondered how I was going to grill tiny patties without them falling through the grates, I considered a cast-iron grill platter, a thick, flat sheet of cast iron. Bingo! We could grill the bite-sized burgers on the sizzle platter!

I placed the platter on the grill grate and started grilling the bites. They were all delicious. But the most exciting part was the rich, brown crust they all developed. The platter turned the gas grill into a flat grill, while the heat of the cast-iron surface deeply caramelized everything it touched. Because the lid was down and there were other foods on the grill, the burgers still got that smoky outdoor grilled flavor, but with a griddle-style crust.

It was the perfect cooking mashup of grill and griddle for my all-American cheeseburger topped with melted American cheese. Since that evening, it is the only way that I grill burgers — of any size!

The recipe below is my favorite burger these days. I traded in my aged cheddar cheese for old-fashioned American, which melts better and adds a layer of soft gooeyness on top of the crunchy caramelized crust of the burger. To me, this is the best condiment and I don’t need anything else except maybe pickles, which I layer on the bottom bun so that the cheese and the top bun stick together and become one.

Of course, you can add any of your favorite condiments and toppings, but try this minimalist burger at least once. When you use the best quality beef and grill the burgers using the cast-iron sizzle platter, you hardly need anything besides the cheese and a soft potato bun to make it summer’s best burger.

Elizabeth Karmel is a barbecue and Southern foods expert. She is the chef and pitmaster at online retailer CarolinaCueToGo.com and author of three books, including Taming the Flame.



Start to finish: 20 minutes

Servings: 6


1 pound ground beef chuck

1 pound ground beef sirloin

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)

1 teaspoon Coleman’s Mustard powder (optional)

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Olive oil

6 slices American cheese

6 potato burger buns

Dill pickle chips


Being careful not to overwork the meat, in a large bowl mix together the chuck and sirloin with the Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder and generous pinches each of salt and pepper. Gently shape the meat into 6 burgers, each about 3/4 inch thick. Brush each patty on all sides with olive oil. Use your thumbs to make an indent at the center of each burger.

Heat the grill to medium. Place a flat cast-iron griddle on the grates at the center of the grill.

When the grill and griddle are hot, place the burgers on the griddle and cook, covered, until the meat is no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time.

Top each burger with American cheese about 2 minutes before you remove them from the grill. You want the cheese to be soft but not too melted.

Let the burgers rest 2 to 3 minutes and serve on a potato bun with pickle chips.

From ‘Civil War’ to ‘Star Trek,’ a list of the summer movies

Hollywood’s 2015 summer movie season was its second biggest ever, with nearly $4.8 billion in box office.

Here are the films that Hollywood hopes will match that total, as well as some other notable releases coming in the next four months:


“A Bigger Splash” (May 4)

“Captain America: Civil War” (May 6)

“Money Monster” (May 13)

“The Lobster” (May 13)

“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” (May 20)

“The Nice Guys” (May 20)

“The Angry Birds Movie” (May 20)

“Weiner” (May 20)

“Maggie’s Plan” (May 20)

“Alice Through the Looking Glass” (May 27)

“X-Men: Apocalypse” (May 27)



“Me Before You” (June 3)

“Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” (June 3)

“Teenage Mutant Turtles: Out of the Shadows” (June 3)

“The Conjuring 2” (June 10)

“De Palma” (June 10)

“Now You See Me 2” (June 10)

“Warcraft” (June 10)

“Central Intelligence” (June 17)

“Finding Dory” (June 17)

“Free State of Jones” (June 24)

“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” (June 24)

“Independence Day: Resurgence” (June 24)

“The Shallows” (June 24)



“The BFG” (July 1)

“The Legend of Tarzan” (July 1)

“The Purge: Election Year” (July 1)

“Life, Animated” (July 8)

“The Secret Life of Pets” (July 8)

“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” (July 8)

“Ghostbusters” (July 15)

“Gleason” (July 15)

“The Infiltrator” (July 15)

“Ice Age: Collision Course” (July 22)

“Star Trek Beyond” (July 22)

“Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” (July 22)

“Jason Bourne” (July 29)

“Bad Moms” (July 29)



“The Founder” (Aug. 5)

“Suicide Squad” (Aug. 5)

“Florence Foster Jenkins (Aug. 12)

“Cafe Society” (Aug. 12)

“Pete’s Dragon” (Aug. 12)

“Sausage Party” (Aug. 12)

“Ben-Hur” (Aug. 19)

“Southside With You” (Aug. 19)

“Kubo and the Two Strings” (Aug. 19)

Summerfest announces musical lineup

Summerfest on March 23 announced more than 90 headlining acts that will perform at the 2016 festival, including Martin Garrix, Willie Nelson, Rise Against, Passion Pit, Death Cab for Cutie, Jason Derulo, Ryan Adams and Elle King.

The announcement included a promotional video found at Summerfest.com, as well as the performance dates.

The performers announced on March 23:

Martin Garrix

Willie Nelson

Rise Against

Passion Pit

Hollywood Vampires

Death Cab for Cutie

Jason Derulo


Ryan Adams

Hunter Hayes

The Decemberists

The Roots

Ray LaMontagne

Rachel Platten

Gavin DeGraw

Mike D (DJ Set)

Chase Rice


Fitz and The Tantrums


Dustin Lynch

The Fray

Randy Houser

Barenaked Ladies

Billy Idol

Kirk Franklin

Elle King

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Andra Day

Young the Giant


Peter Bjorn and John

Jack & Jack

Michael Franti & Spearhead

Violent Femmes


Preservation Hall Jazz Band

St. Paul & The Broken Bones

Stephen Marley

Cheap Trick

Umphrey’s McGee

Kris Kristofferson


Femi Kuti & The Positive Force

Joe Jackson

Brothers Osborne


Jana Kramer

Milky Chance

Taylor Dayne

Ben Folds

Indigo Girls

Neil Finn



Kool and The Gang

38 Special

Phil Vassar

Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers


Buckwheat Zydeco

Michael Ray

The Wombats

Brian Fallon & the Crowes

Kane Brown

Morris Day and The Time

“Weird Al” Yankovic

Charlie Aponte


OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Sir Mix-A-Lot

Granger Smith

Howard Jones

Richard Marx

Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience

Blue Oyster Cult

Con Brio

Hippo Campus

Bobby Rush

Coast Modern


Coleman Hell

Otis Taylor

The Grass Roots

Black Violin

Brooke Eden

Son Little

Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers

Chris Lane

Diane Coffee

Drew Baldridge

Welshly Arms

Lucky Chops

Ruthie Collins

The Ides of March

Lucie Silvas

Brett Young

Previously announced Marcus Amphitheater headliners include Chris Stapleton and Alabama Shakes, Luke Bryan with special guest Frankie Ballard, Sting and Peter Gabriel, Weezer and Panic! At The Disco with special guest Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Selena Gomez with special guest DNCE, Blake Shelton with special guest Parmalee, Def Leppard with special guests REO Speedwagon and Tesla, Tim McGraw with special guests Kacey Musgraves and Ryan Kinder.

“Year after year, Summerfest showcases a music lineup that is nothing short of fantastic, with performances to fit everyone’s taste,” Don Smiley, president & CEO of Summerfest, said in a news release.  “With artists that are as diverse as they are talented, we’re proud to unveil a tremendous lineup for 2016 and invite everyone in Milwaukee and worldwide to join the party to sing, dance and celebrate the ‘World’s Largest Music Festival.’”

Summerfest patrons can purchase tickets for the festival online.  General admission tickets are $20 and Weekday tickets (valid prior to 4:00 pm) are only $13. Multi-day ticket options also are available:

  • The 3-Day Pass is available for $48 and is valid for one general admission per day on three different days of the festival.
  • The 5-Day Pass is available for $75 and is valid for one general admission per day on five different days of the festival.
  • The “11-Day Power Pass” is currently available in limited quantities for $80.

About Summerfest

Summerfest 2016 will take place June 29-July 3 and July 5-July 10 from noon until midnight and will be closed Monday, July 4.  Following its 1968 debut, Summerfest has evolved into what is now recognized as “The World’s Largest Music Festival” and Milwaukee’s cornerstone summer celebration.

For more, go to summerfest.com.

Watch on YouTube.


Bob Dylan returning to Tanglewood

Bob Dylan is returning to Tanglewood for the first time in nearly two decades.

The singer-songwriter with a longer than 50-year career is scheduled to play at the concert venue in the Berkshires with special guest Mavis Staples on July 7.

Dylan has performed twice before at Tanglewood, first in 1991 and again during the 1997 season. Tickets for this summer’s show go on sale March 18.

Form his start in the 1960s, Dylan has delved into a variety of musical styles from folk to rock, to blues, country and more.

Tanglewood’s popular artists lineup this summer also includes Wind & Fire, Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Train and The B-52s.

Tanglewood is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

On the web …

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Got fresh tomatoes? A recipe for Summer’s End Tomato Tart

If you’re like me, you believe that a fresh, ripe tomato is one of the best things about summer. And this tart is an ode to the tomato in season — and a lesson about how to make the most of it.

Let’s start with how to choose the best tomatoes. First, pick up your candidate, smell the stem and confirm that it smells strongly like a tomato. Next, figure out if it is juicy by hefting it. You want a heavy tomato; if it’s heavy, it’s juicy.

On the chance that you buy more tomatoes than you plan to eat right away, store the extras on a counter away from the sunlight. Do not put them on a sunny windowsill, which can make them rot. Likewise, don’t put them in the refrigerator, which can kill their flavor if they’re not already ripe and make them mealy after a few days.

If you bought a few tomatoes that weren’t quite ripe and you want to speed up the process, put them in a brown paper bag with a banana. The ethylene gas given off by both the tomatoes and the banana will do the trick.

Do not seed the tomatoes. Once upon a time we routinely seeded them, a nod to the French ideal of finesse, which decreed that seeds were crude. Years later, I read a story in Cook’s Illustrated magazine that persuaded me that discarding the seeds is a mistake. Apparently, the seeds and the jelly surrounding them are the most flavorful parts of the tomato. And — bonus! — you save a bunch of prep time when you don’t bother to remove the seeds.

One of the main reasons we love tomatoes in season is because they’re so juicy. That’s great when we eat them raw, not so great when we’re making a tomato pie. How to keep juicy tomatoes from turning that pie into a watery mess? By slicing and salting them ahead of time. The salt delivers a one-two punch, draining the tomato of its excess liquid and concentrating its natural flavors.

Though tomatoes are terrific all by themselves, they also get along famously with a cornucopia of other ingredients, starting with virtually every herb under the sun and moving on to just about any cheese you care to name. This recipe calls for Gruyere, but you’re welcome to swap in sharp cheddar, mozzarella or even feta. Point is, feel free to experiment with different herbs and cheeses that melt. Make this recipe your own.

Tomatoes are so meaty and satisfying that I’m sure everyone _ even die-hard carnivores _ will be happy to see a slice or two of this pie set down for lunch, maybe with a simple green salad on the side. And picnickers take note: This tart happens to be as scrumptious served at room temperature as it is hot right out of the oven.


Start to finish: 2 hours 55 minutes (30 minutes active)

Servings: 8

All-purpose flour, for rolling out the dough

1 pie dough (recipe below) or 12 ounces store-bought pie dough

1 1/2 pounds large tomatoes

Kosher salt

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyere cheese

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as mint, basil, thyme, chives, tarragon or a mix

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough until 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, easing the dough into the pan and pressing it into the corners. Trim off any excess dough hanging over the edge. Prick the dough all over with a fork, then chill it for 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 375 F.

Line the pie shell with foil and fill it with pie weights, dried beans or rice. Bake in the lower third of the oven until it is opaque throughout, about 25 minutes. Carefully remove the weights and foil. Return the shell to the oven and bake until light golden, about another 8 minutes. Transfer the tart shell to a rack and let it cool 15 minutes.

While the tart shell is baking, slice the tomatoes 1/3 inch thick, sprinkle them liberally with salt, then arrange them on a wire rack to drain over the sink or a rimmed baking sheet.

Increase the oven temperature to 400 F. Spread the mustard evenly over the bottom of the tart shell, then sprinkle the cheese over it. Pat the tomatoes dry and arrange them over the cheese in one overlapping layer. Bake on the oven’s middle shelf until the pastry is golden brown and the tomatoes are very soft, 35 to 40 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, garlic and herbs. Sprinkle the pie with this mixture while it is still hot, spreading the mixture gently with the back of a spoon. Serve the pie hot or at room temperature.

Nutrition information per serving: 370 calories; 230 calories from fat (62 percent of total calories); 26 g fat (14 g saturated; 0.5 g trans fats); 60 mg cholesterol; 570 mg sodium; 24 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 9 g protein.


Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes (15 minutes active)

Make 1 batch pie dough

1 1/2 cups (6.4 ounces) all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon table salt

10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

In a large bowl, stir together the flour and the salt. Add the butter and, working quickly, use your fingertips or a pastry blender to mix the dough until most of mixture resembles coarse meal, with the rest in small (roughly pea-size) lumps. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of ice water evenly over the mixture and use a fork to gently stir until incorporated.

Gently squeeze a small handful of the dough. It should hold together without crumbling apart. If it doesn’t, add more ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring 2 or 3 times after each addition until it comes together. Be careful: If you overwork the mixture or add too much water the pastry will be tough.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface. With the heel of your hand, smear in a forward motion on the work surface to help distribute the fat. Gather the smeared dough together and form it, rotating it on the work surface, into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic, then chill until firm, at least 1 hour.