Seen on Saturday morning: February 2nd, 2008

February 2, 2008 8:34:57 AM PST

Helping children and adults with physical and mental disabilities, that's the goal of arts unbound, a local program that helps to heal through creativity. With us this morning is the organization's founder-- Catherine Lazen and the mother of one of the artists-- Lorie Safin.

What is the purpose and Mission of Arts Unbound?
Arts Unbound is a working studio and gallery where youth and adults with physical, mental and developmental disabilities create and sell art. Unlike some recreation programs that just keep people busy for a few hours, professional artists teach vocational skills in fine art and handmade craft.

Tell me about some of the art that is created at Arts Unbound.
Artists create, show, and sell paintings, drawings, ceramics, collage, assemblage, fiber, cartooning, photography, sculpture and jewelry in the Arts Unbound gallery in our online store, and throughout New Jersey. Proceeds from sales are split between the artists and the agency.

How was Arts Unbound begun?
When I was pregnant with my third child, I was told that the baby would be born with a disability. I sought opportunities to volunteer for disabled people in an artistic setting as a way to understand the community I would eventually embrace. When I found popsicle stick paper plate programs, I founded AU to provide opportunities for more meaningful artistic expression. Miraculously, my child is healthy, but I still feel compelled to help those living with disabilities to find joy and purpose through the arts.

As a mother of a child with mental illness, who has been involved with Arts Unbound- What has the experience meant?
For my daughter Colleen, the one thing that has remained constant is her need to express herself creatively- The stigma of mental illness is lifted and her disability disappears when she is valued as an artist.

What is the connection between art and healing?
While increased self esteem is the main thing...we see students who are able to focus better, connect with others, or improve fine motor coordination.

Tell us about the upcoming exhibit and reception at The Heldrich?
We are joining former first lady Mary Jo Cody at the lovely Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick, NJ. They have graciously dedicated their new public gallery for an extended exhibition of Arts Unbound artists. We are inviting the public to attend an opening reception on Tuesday, Feb 5th from 6-8 PM.

How can people find out more about you... How much does it cost to participate?
Persons interested in attending art classes either at our studio in Orange, NJ or at offsite locations, in becoming volunteers or donors to the organization can contact us by logging on to our website at It costs $20 to $30 per class depending on the size of the class and the project.


We're counting down to the super bowl. With just about a day to prepare for your watching party, we're joined this morning by Marc Silverstein, co-host of the food network's "The best-of" series. He has some super dishes for a great super bowl party.

Philly Brats
From the kitchen at Johnsonville

Prep/Cook: 25 min.
Grill: 25 min.

  • 1 package (19.76 ounces) Johnsonville® Original Bratwurst
  • 1 each medium sweet red, yellow and green pepper, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup Cheez Whiz® process cheese sauce
  • 5 hoagie rolls, split

    Grill brats according to package directions; keep warm. In a skillet, sauté peppers and onion in oil until tender. Place a brat in each roll. Top with peppers, onions and cheese sauce.

    5 servings.

    Touchdown Italian Chili
    From the kitchen at Johnsonville

    Prep: 35 min.
    Cook: 20 min.

  • 1 package (19.76 ounces) Johnsonville® Italian Sausage Links
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-in. pieces
  • 1 each large sweet red, yellow and green pepper, cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) Italian recipe stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can (16 ounces) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup cream sherry, optional
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking cocoa
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper

    Grill Italian sausage according to package directions; cut into half moon slices and set aside. In a soup kettle, sauté the onion, celery, sweet peppers and garlic in oil until tender. Add sausage and the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until flavors are blended.

    12 servings.

    * Sprinkle chili with grated Asiago, Romano or Parmesan cheese.

    Red Pepper Chicken Touchdown Cups
    A tasty bite-sized chip treat featuring our Roasted Red Pepper & Onion Dip & Relish.


  • Tostada cups, similar to scooped tortilla chips
  • 1 jar Robert Rothschild Farm Roasted Red Pepper & Onion Dip & Relish
  • 1 lb. Chicken, shredded
  • 1 lb. Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Lettuce, shredded for garnish
  • Tomatoes, diced for garnish


  • In a large saucepan, heat chicken and Roasted Red Pepper & Onion Dip & Relish until fully heated.
  • Arrange tostada cups on a platter. Place a small amount of chicken mixture in cups.
  • Top with cheddar cheese. Garnish with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes. Serve and enjoy!

    Mango Yogurt Smoothie

  • 4-7 ice cubes
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) plain fat-free yogurt
  • 3/4 cup mango slices in extra light syrup,* drained
  • 1 teaspoon sugar substitute (optional)
  • mango slices for garnish (optional)

    Place ice in bottom of blender. Add yogurt, mango and sugar substitute, if desired. Blend ingredients until smooth.

    Berry Blast Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 2 (6-ounce) containers fat-free blueberry yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted, natural almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey

    In a blender, add frozen raspberries, yogurt, milk, almond butter and honey. Cover and puree until smooth. Pour into two tall glasses and serve.


    He number on the top of a fraction is called what? Decimal, denominator, terminator or numerator? The answer is numerator.

    If you need to brush up on your skills to better help your child at homework, no worries. With us this morning with some study resources is Francie Alexander, the chief academic officer at scholastic.

  • Find Help Online
  • Get the Kids in the Kitchen
  • Visit museums, parks and zoos

    Parents know more than anyone how often their kids go online so why not sign the kids up for an online homework help program? There are a plethora of these homework help programs, but the newest kid on the block is Scholastic's StudyJams, which focuses specifically on math and science concepts kids grades 3-5 often struggle with!

    Kids can log onto to view animated tutorials, karaoke songs, slide shows and more. After each "jam," kids can take a short quiz to make sure they really understand the concept, whether it be photosynthesis or integers.

    Parents will especially appreciate the ability to track what their kids are working on, giving them more insight into what their kids may need more help understanding.

    As an added bonus for completing the various jams, kids earn points to use in the Jam Studio, where they can create their own mp3s and download them to their iPods or cell phones.

    Get the Kids in the Kitchen. The kitchen is a learning lab! Cooking with your kids is a fun, bonding activity that can be easily incorporated into daily routines! Whether you're baking a cake or cooking pasta, there's a math and science lesson to be taught and learned. Kids can learn the different matters of state (solids, liquids and gases), measurements (fractions, cups, pounds, etc.), mixtures, solutions and much more! Talk to your kids about what math and science concepts they're struggling with and find a way to teach those concepts to them in the kitchen! Educational/parenting web sites like often have great free recipes and tips for parents to try in the kitchen.

    Visit museums, parks and zoos. Every kid learns in a different manner and some learn best by seeing or experiencing something! Here in New York, there are so many great resources for parents and kids - everything from the Museum of Natural History to the Bronx Zoo to Central Park and much more. Pick a weekend a month to explore something new or to re-discover an old favorite! Explore the countless museums, parks, zoos and aquariums around your home to see what math and science lessons lie in store for your kids there. Stumped for ideas on how to make your trip educational? Many parenting web sites like have great ideas for these mini field trips and may be a great place to start your planning!

    For more information, go to

    -----WOMEN'S SELF DEFENSE-----

    It's a startling statistic that 21-year-old women have a one in four chance of experiencing a violent crime in their lifetime.

    But, there are things you can do to protect yourself. We're joined this morning by self-defense expert Captain Chris Pizzo with some tips.


    5 Simple but Important Self-Defense Tips to Keep You and Your family Safe...

    1. Always walk with a purpose
    Studies show that criminals will rarely attack someone that appears like they know where they are going, walk with confidence and maintain your awareness of your surroundings.

    2. Never unlock all of the entry points into your vehicle
    With the popularity of remote keyless devices, people unlock all of the doors to their vehicles - this is a mistake! If you are loading something into your trunk, keep the doors locked.

    3. Strike an attacker above the collar bone and below the waist
    Using the Close Combat techniques, hit the attacker in the head or face. This has the greatest chance of knocking them off their feet, severely injuring or causing them to flee. The same is true for the groin and leg area.

    4. Attackers/Criminals hate confrontation
    When prisoners have been asked how they respond if their victims fight back, the overwhelming majority will say they flee. They know that any extra time wasted in a confrontation leads them closer to being caught/arrested.

    5. Plan ahead
    With other friends or family members, practice what you would do to get out of a situation using the Close Combat Training techniques. Think of a variety of scenarios, then role-play, to cement the moves into your subconscious.

    Take the time to add these tools to your skill-set and you'll feel more confident and empowered to conquer anything. Remember... fear comes from not knowing what to do.