Seen on Sunday morning: April 13th

April 13, 2008 9:26:26 AM PDT

Oprah's Big Give has people across the nation giving big in their communities. ABC-7 has joined in as well, teaming up with the child advocacy center at St. Barnabas hospital in the Bronx to help victims of child abuse and neglect.

Joining us this morning with how you can make a donation at St. Barnabas hospital are pediatrician Dr. Karen Greer and associate medical director and pediatrician Dr. David Perlstein.

St. Barnabas serves a very diverse and vulnerable population. African-American and Latino populations are largely underserved and highly concentrated in the Bronx. Additionally, many of the families that we see live below the poverty line, and many more are classified as "working poor," with incomes that are just above the poverty limit.

We are committed to caring for the entire family, with a special emphasis on women and children. Programs and services like the Child Advocacy Center, Maternity Pavilion, and our full network of ambulatory clinics are designed to provide the care that families need.

Child Advocacy Center - helping children who have been abused or neglected, and working to prevent child abuse.

Mobile Mammography Program - provides mammograms and breast cancer screening for thousands of women every year through a medically-equipped van.

Reach Out and Read - promotes early literacy by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud in pediatric exam rooms.

Pediatric Emergency Department - offering expert, compassionate emergency care to children from the Bronx and beyond, regardless of their medical conditions or ability to pay.

Nursing Home- enhances and enriches the lives of the elderly residents through comprehensive services designed to meet individual needs.

For more information, or Oprah's Big Give.


The Players Theatre has just announced an open-ended run of "Straight Up With A Twist."

It's an autobiographical comedy about a man who strives so hard to understand women. He begins to share their interests and is then mislabeled by his family and friends.

All eight of the characters are played by one man... Paul Stroili. He joins us this morning.

What prompted you to write this show?
It was actually a comment from my wife. She was shopping for her wedding dress and getting really frustrated, she just couldn't find the right one, then I went with her and the first one I picked she wore at our wedding. She started to refer to me as "A gay friend she gets to sleep with" and that just started the ball rolling.

Give me a little synopsis of what they will be coming to see?
I play about 8 different characters, including all the members of my eccentric family as they struggle to understand this goofy kid. We go through childhood, high school, college and all the way up to my marriage to Monica. It's very much a comedy, but many audiences have embraced the more poignant moments. There are definitely some very touching scenes that I'm very proud of. It's a fast-paced show; there are no set changes, no costume changes and no intermission. The show runs about 75 minutes. Plus, we even throw in a Game Show with actual prizes. That's a highlight.

What is it that you hope people will come away with from this show?
The misunderstood straight guy premise is really just a jumping off point for the main theme of the show which is the family misfit that every family has. It's funny, so much of the time, those misfits result from society's insistence that everyone be labeled, defined and grouped into easy to describe little tribes. That's one of the reasons that I parody so many stereotypes in the show; to illustrate this absurdity. There's straight stereotypes, gay stereotypes, Italian stereotypes, German stereotypes, it is not a politically correct piece. My hope is that people will see the intention here, just one of which is showing that a straight man being expected to act in a certain way is just as ludicrous as expecting all gay men to have a certain type of behavior or interests. It's just an opportunity to laugh at ourselves.

What do you mean by the term "Renaissance Geek"?
Since "Renaissance Man" is defined as "a man with a variety of interests and expertise", I thought it would be funny to add "Geek" after all, in my show, I'm a straight man who is stressed about these interests he feels he's got. It's the older definition of "Geek as Nerd" rather than the current "Geek as technical support guru"!

Where did you grow up and did you come from a big family?
I grew up in Connecticut, small family - one brother and one sister, a wonderful upbringing, for the most part.

How personal do you get on stage about your own life?
Very. The show is autobiographical and nearly 100% true. Obviously, things are exaggerated for the comedy, but it's a fairly unflinching look, but funny. I think if more people truly reexamined their childhoods, they'd find a lot of humor there.

For more information, go to

-----GPS DEVICES-----

We all know GPS devices help us get from point- a to point-b, but these days, they do so much more... including where your loved one is traveling as well as troubled spots on the road up ahead.

Joining us this morning with some examples is Andrea with, ABC news radio technology producer.

Again, its GPS's are great, they get you from point A to point B but today's units do a whole lot more. They can tell you who's going where and even how many people are going there with you.

GPS Snitch: Using GPS technology and your cell phone, GPS Snitch gives you real-time location tracking over the internet. Want to know where your teenager or spouse really is? Sneak a Snitch into the trunk or glove compartment and you can track it online or through text message for up to 7 days.
Of course you can also use it to let friends and family members follow you on your vacation or re-live a past trip by importing the data into Google Earth.
GPS Snitch is available now from and for $399 MSRP with several monthly payment options for the tracking service. $179

What makes Dash unique is how it receives that data. Dash is the first two-way Internet-connected GPS device. So, along with GPS, it uses Wi-Fi and/or cellular technologies to collect real-time speeds and positions of other cars on the road with Dash units. That data is sent to Dash's servers and then back to other Dash drivers in the area. Historical traffic flow data are also factored in.
The Dash unit costs $400 and comes with three months of free service. Monthly service plans range from $10 to $13, depending on whether you subscribe for one or two years or pay month-to-month.

Tom Tom GO 920T GPS: Traffic receiver provides real-time traffic info, comes with 1 year subscription. Track fuel prices in area, search for lowest gas prices.

Spot Satellite Messenger: Tracks missing hikers, boaters via satellite even when they're out of cell phone range or phone is dead. It keeps in constant contact with GPS and communications satellites almost anywhere in the world.
The Spot can store your position over time, then replay the trip in Google Maps. It lets you send a signal to loved ones telling them that you are fine. If a message doesn't go through every few days, they will be alerted that something is wrong. The 911 mode alerts the authorities and supplies your GPS coordinates in an emergency.
$169.99 SRP for the unit $99/ year for unlimited satellite messaging $50/ year for Tracking $7.95 at time of activation for private rescue insurance.


You have just two days until the tax deadline is here. If you are filing a paper return to the IRS, now is the take to make certain your information is complete and accurate before mailing it in.

Joining us this morning with some last- minute tax tips is Ginger Broderick, president of Broderick and company CPAs.

What are Some Common Mistakes in Preparing Your Own Return?
The most common error is one forgetting to sign and date his return. Your signature is required on the forms because you are attesting to the accuracy of the information. If you don't sign your return, the government has to send you a letter to sign before you can get your refund.

Do I Have to Attach all of my W2s and 1099 Documents to the Return?
The documents you need to attach to your tax return are only those that show proof that Federal Income Taxes were withheld. Many freelance individuals think their 1099-Miscellaneous documents must be attached to the return-- but they do not. Many retirees have Federal withholding taken out on their social security payments, so that year-end statement must be attached to the return.

How Long Does It Take for Me to Receive My Refund?
I suggest you consider direct deposit to receive your refund in the quickest and safest manner. Then make sure the bank's ABA # (routing number) and account numbers have been entered are correctly. Incorrect numbers will cause the refund to be misdirected. If you file a joint return and get a direct deposit refund, it must be wired to a joint checking account. The process will take approximately 3 weeks or it could take 8-12 weeks for a physical check to be returned to you.

What if I Owe Taxes?
If you owe taxes and are not finished with your tax return, then you need to file for an extension. You must pay the estimated tax liability on Form 4868 and you will get an automatic extension to file your tax return until October 15, 2008.

For more information, contact the IRS by calling 800-829-1040 or visit their website at


It's a modern twist on a traditional Passover dessert. You can enjoy it all year round, and it has a lot more taste than most. We're talking about a flourless chocolate cake.

Joining us this morning with the recipe is Sharon Lebewohl, the daughter of the founder of the Second Avenue Deli and author of the Second Avenue Deli Cookbook.

I understand the new 2nd Avenue Deli is not on Second Avenue? Is it the same as the old Deli?
162 East 33rd Street between Third and Lex. Sharon will talk about the new 2nd Ave Deli.

Did your family have Seders at the 2nd Avenue Deli?
Passover was one of only three holidays-the others were Rosh Hashonna and Yom Kippur-when the restaurant was closed and we had my father Abe to ourselves. Passover was spent with Abe's parents and dedicated to the children.

"My grandmother Ethel was so afraid the kids would be hungry during the Seder, she plied them with her special Pesach sandwich: meat patties coated in matzo meal, fried and wrapped in Gleist (glazed) matzos, savory matzos, similar to matzo brei The Seder, which seldom ended before midnight, described the suffering of the Jews in Egypt, but in my grandmother's home, no Jew ever suffered from hunger pangs during the long ceremony.

Why is it so difficult to find a good Passover dessert?
This flourless cake is a modern twist on a traditional dessert. It's my specialty. It is easy to make, and great for Passover as well as the rest of the year. In fact, it's the dessert most often requested by my family and friends.

Does the 2nd Avenue Deli serve this cake for the Passover Seder?
The 2nd Avenue Deli is closed for Passover, but people can order brisket and other traditional dishes, such as chicken soup with matzo balls, Seder plates, and chopped liver, as well as some Passover specials including Tzimmes, matzo kugel and macaroons, for their own Seders, though the 2nd Avenue Deli is not Kosher for Passover.The cake is not available from the Deli this year, but it's incredibly easy to make. The deadline to order from the 2nd Avenue Deli for Passover is Friday, April 18th. To order call 212-689-9000.

Sharon Lebewohl's Signature Flourless chocolate Cake

The following is the recipe for my flourless chocolate cake. It is my signature cake and I make it all year long, even though it is suitable for Passover. It is definitely my signature cake.

1 pound dark chocolate, chopped (chocolate that is between 65 and 70% cacao) *
2 sticks parve margarine
1/4 cup coffee liqueur
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
7 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease a 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
Stir chocolate, margarine, coffee liqueur, and vanilla in heavy large saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth.
Cool to lukewarm.
Using electric mixer, beat eggs and 1 cup sugar in large bowl until thick and pale, and slowly dissolving ribbon forms when beaters are lifted, about 6 minutes. Fold 1/3 of egg mixture into lukewarm chocolate mixture. Fold remaining egg mixture into chocolate mixture.
Place prepared pan on baking sheet. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 55 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Gently press down edges of cake. Cool completely in pan. (Cake can be prepared up to 1 day ahead.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before continuing.)
Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Remove sides of pan; transfer cake to platter. Remove parchment paper.
Sprinkle cake with powdered sugar and serve.

*Since chocolate is the main ingredient, it is important to use the best available chocolate.

Matzo Balls

Abe experimented until he came up with the lightest, fluffiest, most Jewish-motherly matzo balls imaginable.

1 Tbs plus 1/4 Tsp salt 4 large eggs 1/3 cup schmaltz* 1/4 Tsp pepper
1 TBS baking powder
1- 1/3 cups matzo meal

Fill a large, wide stockpot three-quarters full of water, add 1 Tbs of the salt and bring to a rapid boil.
While water is boiling, crack eggs into a large boll and beat thoroughly. Beat in schmaltz, 1/4 Tsp salt, pepper and baking powder. Slowly fold in matzo meal, mixing vigorously until completely blended.
Wet hands and, folding the mixture in your palms, shape perfect balls about 1-1/4 inches in diameter (they will double in size when cooked). Gently place the matzo balls in the boiling water and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place 1 or 2 in each bowl of soup. Serve immediately.

* Schmaltz: Along with chicken soup, schmaltz (rendered chicken or goose fat) is the key ingredient of Jewish cooking, standing in for the butter and olive oil of other European cuisines. In Orthodox neighborhoods, you can buy schmaltz at the supermarket, and regular supermarkets often carry it around Jewish holidays. You can usually get it at a kosher butcher shop. If you do not wish to use schmaltz, substitute vegetable oil for the matzo balls, but for superb matzo balls, use the shmaltz.


This cut of beef, taken from the front breast section, is a traditional holiday meat. It requires long, slow cooking to become a richly flavored, tender dish. The Deli's brisket needs to be marinated in spices for at least a day in advance of cooking, so plan ahead. Spice it in the morning and let it marinate overnight before cooking.

3 Tbs onion powder
3 Tbs garlic powder
3 Tbs paprika
1 Tbs salt
3/4 Tsp pepper
1 tsp celery salt
4 Tbs corn oil
1/2 cup water
3 cups chopped onion
2 Tbs finely chopped or crushed fresh garlic

In a bowl, combine onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and celery salt; mix thoroughly. Dredge the brisket in this spice mixture, making sure every part of it is well covered. Place in a deep dish covered with aluminum foil, and refrigerate for 1 or 2 days.
Heat 2 Tbs of the corn oil in a large skillet, and brown the meat on both sides.
Transfer brisket to a Dutch oven, add 1/2 cup water, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
While meat is s simmering, heat remaining 2 Tbs corn oil in a large skillet, and sauté onions, stirring occasionally.
When the onions are nicely browned, add garlic, which browns quickly.
Add onions and garlic to brisket pot. Cover, and continue simmering for 2-1/2 hours or until meat is fully cooked. To test for doneness, stick a fork in the leaner end of the brisket; when there is a slight pull on the fork as it is removed from the meat, it is done. Cook longer if necessary.

Remove brisket to a plate, and trim all visible fat. Then, place the brisket (with what was the fat side down) on a cutting board, and carve thin slices across the grain (the muscle lines of the brisket) with a sharp, thin-bladed knife. Serve hot with gravy from the pot or cold in sandwiches.

Gleist (glazed) matzos

Makes 4 slices

The key to this recipe is very careful handling of the matzos. The squares should remain intact. When they're fried, they're pliable, and you can stuff them, like my grandmother did, with pot roast, chicken, latkes or anything else that appeals to you

3/4 cup very, very fine chopped onion (almost grated) use a food processor
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp fresh ground pepper
4 squares plain unsalted matzo
Corn oil

Place onion, eggs, salt and pepper in a large bowl and beat until the eggs are frothy.
Lay out four squares of paper towel on the counter. One at a time, run the matzos under cold water for about 15 seconds on each side (if you break a square, discard it), and place them side-by side on the paper towel.
Carefully, place a matzo square in a shallow dish with sides at least one-inch high. Spread one-fourth of the onion-egg mixture on top of it. Pile the other matzos on top, spreading each square with one-quarter of the onion-egg mixture. Let sit for five minutes.
Heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet. Fry the matzos, one at a time, until well browned on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Matzo Blintzes-a Lebewohl family tradition

6 squares matzo
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup corn oil for frying
Filling (choice of filling) below

Prepare one of the fillings below (potato, cheese or apple) and refrigerate until ready to sue.
Lay out a double layer of paper toweling on your counter lager enough to hold all six matzo squares without piling them. Hold matzo squares under cold running waters (do one square at a time) for about 10 seconds, until both sides are wet but not limp. Lay out the wet matzos on the paper toweling and place a single layer of wet paper toweling on top. Leave them for 50 minutes at which time you'll find that the matzos are pliable and can be rolled without breaking. You must have your fillings prepared at this time and be ready to fry the blintzes. (These moistened matzos are delicate; you might want to prepare a few extras in case some of them tear).
In a bowl, beat eggs and water, and set aside. Using a sharp knife, cut a matzo square exactly in half along the grain. Place about ¼ cup of filling about one inch from one end (leave a 1/2 -inch margin on both sides), and roll, vertically against the grain. Work with care so as not to tear the matzo. Do not try to seal the sides. Dip each blintz in the egg water mixture, and place it on a plate. Repeat until all matzo wrappers are filled and dipped.
You'll need two skillets for all 12 blintzes. Heat half the corn oil in each, carefully place blintzes in pans and sauté, turning once until nicely browned and crispy on both sides. Remove and serve.

Potato filling
3 cups mashed potatoes
2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 Tsps finely chopped or crushed fresh garlic
1 egg beaten
3/4 Tsps salt
1/4 Tsp pepper
Sour cream

Place mashed potatoes in a large bowl. Heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté onions until brown. At the last minute, add garlic, and brown quickly. Remove with a slotted spoon to the bowl containing the mashed potatoes.
Add egg, salt and pepper and combine thoroughly. Refrigerate until needed.
Stuff and cook matzos as indicated above. Serve with sour cream.

Cheese filling
1-1/4 pounds farmer cheese
8 ounces whipped cream cheese
3/8 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 Tsp vanilla
1/8 Tsp salt
Sour cream
Raspberry jam (optional)

Combine all ingredients (except sour cream and jam) in a large bowl and blend thoroughly. Refrigerate until needed. Stuff and cook matzos as indicated above. Serve with Sour cream and/or raspberry jam.

Apple filling
Unsalted butter
3 cups peeled, cored McIntosh apples cut into ¾-inch slices, ¼-inch thick
1/2 cup sliced, blanched almonds
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tsp cinnamon
Confectioners' sugar
Sour cream

Melt 1 Tsp butter in your largest skillet, and, on high heat sauté apple slices until lightly browned on both sides. Do this in batches, so you're browning only one layer of slices at a time (don't pile them up); use 1/2 Tsp extra butter for each batch. Don't overdo it. You want the fruit to keep its integrity, not turn to mush. Remove with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Add 1/2- Tsp butter, and quickly brown almonds and raisins. Add to bowl with apples.
Add sugar and cinnamon to the bowl, and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until needed.
Stuff and cook matzos as indicated above. When finished, remove to a serving dish, and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Serve with sour cram.

For more information, go to


In the race for the white house -- a lot has changed in the last couple of months. The latest poll from the associated press -- has senator John McCain tied with senator Barack Obama -- at 45 percent -- among likely voters.

In the same poll taken in February -- Obama had a ten point "lead" over McCain.

Senator McCain is also narrowing the gap with senator Hillary Clinton -- who now leads McCain by just three percent -- 48 to 45 -- a statistical tie.

Joining us this morning with a preview to the upcoming Pennsylvania primary-- which could be senator Clinton's last stand-- is political analyst and editorial writer for the New York Post, Robert George.