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Ramie Makhlouf

Just Leave Derrick Alone!

With every day that passes in Bulls' PG Derrick Rose's return from a torn ACL, more and more people doubt the former MVP and the reasons why he's "taking so long" to return.  First of all, it's been just over ten months since he suffered an injury that can take up to a year to recover from.  Not everyone is Adrian Peterson. And some will point to the T-Wolves' Ricky Rubio and the Knicks' Iman Shumphert as examples of fellow PG's and unlike Peterson, seemingly normal human beings, who have returned from the same injury suffered at about the same time.  Once again, everybody heals differently and Rose's style of play puts more stress on the knee.  Not to mention Rose and the Bulls have a lot more to lose than either of those players or their teams. 

You see, I'm not saying that there isn't some weighing of risk vs. reward here.  There is, and there should be by everyone involved.  Rose has been medically cleared, but says his hamstrings still burn after 5-on-5 scrimmages, he still can't dunk off of his left leg, and admits he's yet to get over the mental hurdle that comes with a major injury.  As a Bulls fan, a member of Rose's camp, or anyone in the Bulls organization, why would you want him coming back until he can do everything he did before the injury, and feel comfortable doing it?  Especially in a season where, let's be honest, it's almost a foregone conclusion that the Heat will be hoisting the Championship Trophy when all is said and done.  Rose is the franchise and he and the Bulls will only get so many chances, with Rose in his prime and healthy, to make legitimate championship runs.  If this was one of those chances I may want him to push a little harder.  Oh and by the way, Shumphert's been shut down for the time-being after he said he felt a pop on his knee.  If Rose feels a pop, there will be pandemonium in Chicago and rampant questioning of whether he was rushed back and why.

And this isn't me just being a "homer" and backing Rose because I'm a "Chicago guy".  Certain guys earn the benefit of the doubt with me.  Rickie Weeks is another guy like that.  Guys who (by all accounts) work as hard as anyone, are great teammates, are humble, and play the game the right way and leave it all out on the court (or field).  That's why I believe Rose and his teammates when they say that nobody wants Derrick Rose back on the court more than Derrick Rose.  
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Topics : Sports
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Locations : Chicago
People : Adrian PetersonDerrick AloneDerrick RoseIman ShumphertRicky Rubio


Is Te'o's Publicist Real?

I have to admit, when I heard that Manti Te'o and Katie Couric shared the same publicist I didn't expect anything but a fluff interview (that will air Thursday afternoon) that would only try to reclaim his image, and convince us that he was just the victim of a hoax.  But let's just assume that Te'o is now finally telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (and I don't think he is) when he told Couric that he did lie for a brief time after finding out Lennay Kekua wasn't real, only because he was embarrassed.  If so, that is the worst possibility for Te'o's NFL's draft prospects.  What we've been told about how this whole scandal will affect Te'o's draft stock is that teams may be scared off by the possibility that A.) Te'o is crazy enough to lie about a girlfriend with leukemia or B.) He was gullible enough to fall for a fake girlfriend scam for three years.  Now he has essentially told everyone that he's guilty of both, which creates another question altogether in my mind; Does Te'o have a bad publicist or is he and/or this story are just too crazy for anyone to put a good face on it?
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Topics : Human Interest
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People : Katie Couric


How to enjoy meaningless baseball...by a Cubs fan

The Packers reported for training camp this week and I get the feeling that many a Brewers fan is going back to their ways of the pre-Attanasio/Melvin era and that is to say checking out on the their ballclub well before their final game, October 3rd against the Padres, now that they've fallen out of playoff contention.  As a Cubs fan, and someone who's only had a playoff push to entertain me once every 5-7 years of my entire life, let me help you out and give you a few things to hold your interest, at least until the NFL regular season is in full swing.

The Drama
Between now and July 31st, the most entertaining thing about the Brewers may not be on the field, but rather what Doug Melvin does before the trade deadline.  He has a lot of pieces that could draw interest with contending teams and I'm curious to see if he'll rebuild or re-load.  We all know the list of usual suspects that are on the block due to expiring contracts, starting of course with Zack Greinke.  What may tell whether Melvin is planning a quick turnaround back to contention or a long-term rebuild is what he does with Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart, who have reportedly drawn some interest.  If either (or both) of those guys is moved, it may be a while before this Brewers team plans on contending.

Be a baseball fan
Even though the games don't mean much, I still enjoy breaking the game down and analyszing a manager's moves, etc.  Also, I just appreciate great baseball talent, which you have in left-field on a day-in day-out basis.  Not to mention the talent that will come into Miller Park or on your television screen.  The Nats with youg phenom Bryce Harper blossoming before our eyes are at Miller Park as I write this.  The Reds will Bring Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and Aroldis Chapman to town.  and we'll see the Pirates a few more time with Andrew McCutcheon in the midst of a break-out (potentially MVP) season.  Obviously, you don't want to see these guys beat your team, but that doesn't mean that as soon as you sit down when you'e done booing, you can't say to yourself or the person seated next to you, "Did you see that!?!".  I've always said I can look at somebody in my rival's unifrom and say "Damn that guy is good!.  Why does he have to be on that team!?!" (i.e Brett Favre)

The Ballpark Experience
I have never and will never be apologetic for enjoying a day at Wrigley Field.  Go ahead call it the biggest beer garden in the world. Since when is Baseball supposed to be miserable or boring? Yes, I'm there for the baseball, but it also helps when a ballpark is pleasant and a fun place to be on a summer day.  And you have that right here in Milwaukee, in Miller Park.  Appreciate it, enjoy it, and then take a shuttle to one of the local establishments and enjoy your night as well.  If baseball being fun is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

So enjoy the rest of this season...if you can.

Hope I helped!
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Ramie's Recipe-Brazilian Beef Tenderloin

You know Dad wants steak for Father's day, but why have just have any steak? Give it some spice and give Dad that Brazilian steakhouse experience without the Brazilian steakhouse cost, with a little help from Roberts' Specialty Meats...


For the beed tenderloin
  • 1 beef tenderloin (2-3 pounds)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coarse salt
  • Cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 3 cloves of garlic mashed

For the tomato-onion salsa

  • 1 large red ripe tomato
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • Coarse salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the grill to high.

Make the salse simply by combining all the ingredients in a nonreactive serving bowl and make sure to taste-test for enough salt, pepper, and lime juice.

Combine the olive oil, garlic and spices and rub liberally all over the tenderloin.

The tenderloin is best cooked on a spit (rotisserie) over high heat for 25-30 minutes for rare (internal temp of 125 degrees); 35-40 for medium rare (internal temp of 145).  If you don't have a spit, cook the tenderloin for about 5 minutes on each side until well-browned, then turn the burner under the meat down to medium or low and cook, turning every 3-5 minutes, until you reach your desired internal temp.

To serve Brazilian Style, bring the tenderloin whole to the table and slice the desired portion onto each eater's plate...Of course, Dad first.

Enjoy and have a Happy Father's Day!

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Ramie's Recipe-Super Simple Grilled Garlic Shrimp

If your busy chasing Josh Vernier around town on his farewell tour this weekend, stop by Roberts' at some point, grab a big bag of shrimp, then fire up the grill and have dinner ready in about 10 minutes...

  • 1/2 stick softened butter
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon, plus more lemon wedges to serve w/the shrimp
  • 1 pound unpeeled large shrimp (from Roberts')
Combine all the ingredients, divide between 2 foil packets, and grill over high heat for 8 minutes.


Yes, it really is that easy!
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Ramie's Recipe-Grilled Rosemary & Garlic Steak w/Chimichurri sauce

If you're grilling steaks this Memorial Day Weekend, why just have steaks?  First of all, get your steak (and all your meats) from Roberts' Specialty Meats.  Then give it some kick with this simple but flavorful garlic and herb-rubbed steak topped with a zesty chimichurri...

Steak ingredients:
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 (20-ounce) porterhouse steaks or other large steaks with a bone
  • Kosher salt, plus coarse sea salt, for garnish
Chimichurri ingredients:
  • 1/2 small garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh choped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine the rosemary leaves, garlic, crushed red pepper and enough olive oil to make a loose paste. Slather the steaks with the mixture and sprinkle them generously with salt. Leave the steaks out (unrefrigerated) for about a half-hour before grilling to come to room temperature.

Preheat the grill to medium-high, clean it, and oil it.

Put the steaks on a hot spot on the grill to get a great sear. Once both sides of the steak are well-browned, move the steak to a cooler part of the grill to allow the steaks to cook to desired temperature (about 140-150 internal temp for medium-rare). About 5 to 6 minutes on each side for medium-rare.

Combine all the chimichurri ingredients in small food processor; pulse until herbs are coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove the steaks from the grill and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cut the steak off the bone, slice across the grain and divide. Top the steaks with chimichurri, enjoy, and have a great Memorial Day!.

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Questions stacking high for Brewers

We're just about a quarter of the way through another baseball season and the way the Brewers have played, we're already forced to try and figure out how the Brewers can work their way back into the playoff picture.  The problem is the "ifs" are stacking up, starting with the offensive struggles.
  • IF Rickie Weeks figures it out and...
  • IF Guys like Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart can just live up to the back of their baseball cards and...
  • IF Jonathan Lucroy can be this good for an entire season and...
  • IF Ryan Braun can stay healthy...
...then the offense will be fixed and carry this team to some wins.  The pitching staff has definitely improved, but will only be good enough to make the playoffs...
  • IF Yovani Gallardo and Zack Greinke continue to be as good as they've been in recent weeks and...
  • IF Shaun Marcum stays as good and as consistent as he has been and not suffer another late-season collapse and...
  • IF Randy Wolf hasn't just hit the wall at the age of 36 and can figure it out and...
  • IF Marco Estrada (or someone else?) can step up and perform in the absence of Chris Narveson and...
  • IF those starters not only perform, but also are able to eat up some innings, the bullpen could get a breather and possibly return to their form of late 2011.
And all of this will only matter...
  • IF the injury bug doesn't bite the Brewers again in a big way and...
  • IF the Brewers can do all (or at least most) of these things in a timely fashion to inch their way back into the picture soon enough to convince Doug Melvin it would be worth it to be a buyer and not a seller at the trade deadline.
Because even IF the Brewers are able to answer all those questions, they're gonna need some help from outside; a power-hitting first-baseman, a shortstop, a powerful bat off the bench, and potentially some more pitching help.  I know every team has question marks, even good ones, and I'm not saying it's impossible for the Brewers to work their way into the post-season.  They actually had a lot of the same questions and answered them last year, but that was an unlikely and remarkable turnaround and IF you expect that every year, you may be sorely dissapointed.
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Ramie's Recipe-Build Your Own Burger Bar

My Mom has never been big on burgers.  I'd probably call her taste in food downright dainty.  That is until she tried Roberts' Specialty Meats' beef brisket burger.  She liked those so much in fact, that she asked for that to be her Mother's Day Dinner.  And what Mama wants, Mama gets on her special day...

(Portions obviously depend on how many people you're feeding.  This is less of a recipe and more of a suggestion of things you could have in your "Burger Bar".  Feel free to be creative and make some of your own additions.)
  • Fresh italian bread, medium sliced
  • Roberts' beef brisket burgers, grilled
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • shredded pepperjack cheese
  • shreedded mozzerella cheese
  • crumbled blue cheese
  • Bacon, cooked
  • Pepperoni
  • grilled onions
  • sliced bell peppers
  • jalapenos
  • pizza sauce
  • salsa
  • steak sauce
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • sliced tomatoes
  • iceberg lettuce leaves
Preheat grill to high heat.

Put the burger and desired toppings in between 2 slices of bread.  Brush the outside with olive oil.  Place sandwiches on the grill and cover with a brick (or other heavy grill-safe object).  Grill on each side for 2-3 minutes until cheeese melts and bread starts to brown and get crunchy.

A few suggestions:
Combine bacon, grilled onions, blue cheese. and steak sauce for a steakhouse burger or...

Pizza sauce, onions, peppers, and mozzerrella for a pizza burger (my favorite) or...

Salsa, jalapenos, cheddar, and pepperjack for a taco-style burger.

Happy Mother's Day!

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Ramie's Recipe - Fiesta Lime Chicken w/zucchini

Zesty, juicy chicken breast sauteed with lime and with a side of zucchini, all topped with a fresh homemade salsa...

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (From Roberts')
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1/2 cup parsley, minced
1/4 cup lime juice
1Tbsp paprika
dash of salt
1/2 cup chopped green onion
2 1/2 tomatoes, diced
3 large zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 fl oz white wine
1/2 cup white rice, cooked to package instructions

Combine tomatoes, parsley, green onions, salt, and pepper to create salsa.  Let sit, then adjust to taste just before serving

Seaon chicken with poultry season, parsley, and paprika.  Begin to warm garlic and extra virgin olive oil in a saute pan.  After a minute or so, add chciken and white wine.  Saute until chicken is just starting to brown.  Add zucchini and lime juice.  Cover and steam until zucchini reach desired tenderness.

Remove chicken and vegetables once chicken is caramalized.  Plate chicken and zucchini over rice, top with salsa, and enjoy!

(Under 500 calories including rice)
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Ramie's Recipe - Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

I took a shot at a "lighter" version of this recipe first introduced at Nationals Park in Washington D.C., and has since spread to ballparks around the country, including Miller Park...

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (from Roberts')
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup hot wing sauce
  • 3 cups elbow macaroni (prepared by package instructions)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 parmesan, plus a little to sprinkle on top
  • 1/2 cup low-fat velveeta cheese, diced
  • 1 package powdered ranch dressing mix
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 3 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl, coat in brown sugar and spices, and mix well.  Add hot-wing sauce to the bowl, and mix well again.

Warm grill to high heat.  Cook chicken 5-7 minutes per side until cooked through and slightly charred in spots.  Once cool enough, chop chicken into bite-size pieces.

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Slowly add the flour while constantly whisking and continue to whisk until slightly browned.  Slowly add milk and continue to whisk until well-mixed and flour is incorporated.  Add cheeses, salt & pepper, and ranch mix, and whisk until cheeses are melted, incorporated, and mixture is smooth.  Mix in macaroni, chicken, carrots, and celery.

Pour mixture in 13x9 inch pan, well-coated with non-cooking spray.  Sprinkle bread crumbs and parmesan on top and bake for 15-20 until the top is slightly browned and bubbly.
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