Guinness Needs Your Help This St. Patrick’s Day

We are now in the month of March. People are looking forward to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Guinness is making that famous holiday even better. The Guinness brand is synonymous with this holiday, and now more than ever, it’s up to us to help start great conversations, and to show that St. Patrick’s Day can bring out the best in all of us.

It’s no secret that each pint of Guinness stout, when enjoyed slowly, leaves behind a foam mustache after the first sip. This year, the ‘Stache will be the brewer’s overarching symbol for building the bonds between us, encouraging all of us to come together, no matter our backgrounds, beliefs or political leanings. In that spirit, from now through March 19, 2017, adult beer lovers can share photos of their ‘Staches – self-grown and groomed, drawn-on, or Guinness-enhanced – on social media. For each photo tagging @GuinnessUS and using #StacheForCharity, Guinness will donate $1 (up to $100,000) to the Guinness Gives Back Fund*, which supports nonprofits that contribute to the common good in our communities.

“Let’s face it, now’s as good a time as any to raise a pint,” said Guinness Brand Director Emma Giles. “We need to reconnect with what can bring us together as family, friends, coworkers, Americans, and most basically, human beings. St. Patrick’s Day is almost here and few, if any, holidays are as unifying or as celebratory.”

To keep an eye on everything the Guinness brand is doing and to get in on the ‘Stache action, follow @GuinnessUS on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Whether you’re having a Guinness Draught and getting your ‘Stache, or ordering up any other Guinness beer this St. Patrick’s Day, please respect the beer and drink sensibly.

Marvel Releases New Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 Trailer

Recently on Jimmy Kimmel Live Chris Pratt helped debut the latest trailer forGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that costars Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper and more. The film is in theaters May 5th. Set two-to-three months after the first film, the Guardians of the Galaxy travel throughout the cosmos and struggle to keep their new-found family together, while helping Peter Quill learn more about his true parentage.

Awesome Chili Recipes You Need To Try

No matter what time of the year it is there is always a great recipe for chili. We have four new takes on chili that you will love trying out for dinner, lunch or even breakfast. That is right I said breakfast. Which one will you try first?

Chicken Chili Pot Pie

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup chopped carrots

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

2 (15-ounce) cans HORMEL® chicken chili with beans

1 (14-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon water

Directions: Heat oven to 375°F. In medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion and carrot 10 minutes. Stir in chili and cilantro; cook until heated. Transfer mixture to baking dish or to individual baking dishes. Either cut circles to fit with slits to vent or cut strips to make a lattice pattern over chili mixture. In small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Brush pie crust with egg mixture. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.

Vegetable Chili With Kale And Quinoa

Makes 8 to 10 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ medium onion, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1 small yellow squash, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

4 ounces sliced mushrooms

3 (15-ounce) cans HORMEL® chili

½ cup quinoa

2 cups chopped fresh kale

Directions: In large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-low heat. Sauté onion, carrot and celery 10 minutes. Stir in zucchini and next 3 ingredients and sauté 8 minutes. Stir in chili, quinoa and kale and simmer 15 minutes.

Chili Avocado Breakfast Toast

Makes 1 serving

2 slices whole grain bread, toasted

2 (1-ounce) packages WHOLLY GUACAMOLE® minis

1 cup HORMEL® chili, heated

1 large egg, fried

Garnish: Spread avocado on each toasted bread slice. Spoon chili over avocado and top with fried egg. Garnish with jalepeno slices, tomatoes, cilantro leaves and cheese, if desired.

Walking Taco

Makes 2 servings

1 (9 1/4-ounce) bag corn chips

1 cup HORMEL® chili, heated

Toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped  avocado or quacamole, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, sliced fresh jalapeños or pickled jalapeño slices, sliced ripened olives, pico de gallo, sliced radishes, and chopped fresh cilantro

Directions: Cut slit in front side of bag or cut top of bag off. Spoon chili over chips. Top with desired toppings.

Three Great Ways To Celebrate The Moscow Mule

Did you know that March 3rd is National Moscow Mule Day? Well now you do. Plus we are giving you more info on the Moscow Mule. It was invented in 1941 by Smirnoff, the Moscow Mule has been making a comeback in recent years. March 3 (or 3-3) is significant as there were three people involved in the cocktail’s creation, three ingredients in The Original Mule and when turned counterclockwise the numbers become an M-M.

So now it’s the perfect time to celebrate with a classic Moscow Mule (easily made with 1.5 oz Smirnoff vodka, 4 oz of ginger beer and a lime wedge or with one of the fun twists below.

Strawberry Moscow Mule Float (courtesy of Megan Marlowe from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen)

1.5 oz Smirnoff No. 21 vodka

Juice from 1 lime

4 ounces ginger beer

Scoop of strawberry sorbet

Into the bottom of a copper mug, add vodka, lime juice and ice.  Top with ginger beer and a scoop of sorbet.

Cherry Lime Moscow Mule (courtesy of Kendra Darr of Simply Darrling)

3 oz Smirnoff No. 21 vodka

1 bottle Cherry Ginger Beer

5 oz Cherry Limeade

Cherries and sliced lime for garnish

(Serves 2)

In a cocktail shaker, mix ice, Smirnoff No. 21, Cherry Ginger Beer and Cherry Limeade. Stir until combined and strain into copper mug over ice. Garnish with cherries and sliced limes.

Sunrise Over Moscow Mule (courtesy of Jay and Leah from The Gastronom)

Cocktail:

1.5 oz Smirnoff No. 21 vodka

2 oz Fresh squeezed orange juice

.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

4 oz ginger beer

Fill copper mug with crushed ice. Add vodka, orange juice and lime juice into the mug. Stir and top with ginger beer. Garnish with candied ginger.

Ice pops:

1.5 oz Smirnoff No. 21 vodka

4 oz orange juice

.5 oz simple syrup

.5 oz lime juice

4 oz ginger beer

Add all ingredients into a bowl and whisk to mix completely. Pour mixture into ice pop molds and place into freezer. After about 90 minutes, insert sticks into the molds. Allow ice pops to freeze overnight.

February Was A Great Month To Build Something

Loot Crate has done it again. As a geek and a collector I am always loving what the good folks over at Loot Crate put into their crates each and every month. This month’s Loot Crate theme was BUILD. It showcased items from LEGO Batman and Power Rangers which both franchises have movies out this year.

The items in this month’s crate are a Lego Batman Head Food Container, one Lego Dimensions Fun Pack. You will either get Benny, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Unikitty, or Bad Cop. A Megazord Pin + 3 Power Rangers digital comics from Comixology, a Megazord Blueprint shirt and a TETRIS Flexible Magnet Sheet – Flat magnets for your fridge.

Like what you see? Get a subscription. March’s theme is PRIMAL! That roar in the distance is a call. Will you answer it? This month they are unleashing the beasts of some of pop culture’s most ferocious franchises! Plus there are different themed crates as well. There is a Loot Anime, Loot Gaming, Loot Pets, Firefly, and LVLUp. They even have limited edition Star Wars and Call of Duty crates. You can pick out the best one that fits your style and your budget. Go to www.lootcrate.com for more info on each one and to start your subscription today!

Star Wars Starts Production On Han Solo Movie

Disney has been doing a great job with the Star Wars films. From The Force Awakens to Rogue One fans of the movie franchise have been loving these movies. Now we get a Han Solo movie that comes out next year. The adventure-filled past of the iconic scoundrel and everyone’s favorite Wookiee is going before cameras this month when principal photography on the untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story officially began February 20th at Pinewood Studios, London.

The movie will explore the duo’s adventures before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, including their early encounters with that other card-playing rogue from a galaxy far, far away, Lando Calrissian. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are directors co-piloting the movie, with a cast that includes Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Thandie Newton, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, with Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca.

“Watching such inspired people from all over the world, with such unique voices, come together for the sole purpose of making art, is nothing short of miraculous,” Lord and Miller said. “We can’t think of anything funny to say, because we just feel really moved, and really lucky.”

Written by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, it will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur, Simon Emanuel and co-produced by Kiri Hart, Susan Towner and Will Allegra. Lawrence Kasdan and Jason McGatlin will executive produce.

Crewing the ship will be some of the industry’s top talent, including Academy Award nominee for his work on “Arrival,” Bradford Young (Director of Photography), Chris Dickens (Editor), Dominic Tuohy (SFX Supervisor), Rob Bredow (VFX Supervisor) and Brad Allan (Action Designer).

They will be joining returning Star Wars veteran crew members Neal Scanlan (Creature & Droid FX Creative Supervisor), Neil Lamont (Production Designer), Dave Crossman and Glyn Dillon (Co-Costume Designers), Jamie Wilkinson (Prop Master), Lisa Tomblin (Hair), Amanda Knight (Make-Up) and Nina Gold (UK Casting Director).

The untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story is slated for release on May 25, 2018.

Cocktails That Are Oscar Worthy

Next weekend we get to see who will be taking home the award that every actor, director, and so on would want to win. Who do you have winning? What was your favorite film this Oscar season? Another question that I have for you is what are you doing for the Oscars? Are you throwing a party? If so why not try these cocktail recipes below. Your guests will be thankful that you did.

Renowned mixologist Charles Joly created the below four signature cocktails, making a statement for Hollywood’s most memorable evening. The Hilhaven Lodge’s Tinseltown roots run deep – the whiskey is named after the luxurious estate, Hilhaven Lodge, home of The Hilhaven Lodge partner and legendary director Brett Ratner.

Attendees at Governor’s Ball will have their choice of The Hilhaven Lodge Old Fashioned, The Road Less Traveled and The Lodge. Cîroc will offer a modern twist with their Cîroc French 75.

Hilhaven Lodge Old Fashioned

1.5 oz. The Hilhaven Lodge Blended Straight American Whiskey

0.5 oz. Demerara Simple Syrup

1 dash Angostura Aromatic Bitters

1 Orange Peel

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice, mist with orange oil and place twist decoratively.

The Road Less Traveled

1.5 oz. The Hilhaven Lodge Blended Straight American Whiskey

0.75 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

0.5 oz. Bourbon Vanilla Chai Tea Syrup

1 oz. Dandelion Burdock Root Soda

Combine The Hilhaven Lodge with tea syrup and lemon juice. Shake gently. Roll in dandelion and burdock soda. Pour into Collins glass over large cubes. Garnish with dehydrated lemon wheels.

The Lodge

1.5 oz. The Hilhaven Lodge Blended Straight American Whiskey

0.3 oz. Punt e Mes Sweet Vermouth

0.3 oz. East India Sherry

3 drops Chocolate Bitters

Combine The Hilhaven Lodge whiskey with vermouth, sherry and bitters. Stir to chill and dilute. Pour over large cube into an Old Fashioned glass. Mist with orange oil and garnish with fresh rosemary.

Ciroc French 75

1.5 oz. Cîroc Vodka

0.75 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

0.5 oz. Simple Syrup

Splash of Champagne

Combine Cîroc, lemon juice and simple syrup in cocktail shaker over ice. Shake gently. Roll in champagne and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Mist cocktail with lemon oil and garnish with a twist.

Reebok Classic Teams Up With Curren$y For Some Hot Kicks

We are getting to see some fantastic kicks this NBA All-Star Weekend. So as we see players and fans descend into New Orleans for an action packed weekend, Reebok Classic along with Curren$y hosted a special event last night at the Sneaker Politics powered by Reebok Classic and Mitchell & Ness store to launch Curren$y’s new collaboration with Reebok: the Reebok Classic x Jet Life Club C 85.

Curren$y (aka Spitta) has repped New Orleans rap since the early 2000s, starting out with No Limit, followed by Young Money, and finally now as an independent rapper, known for his love for sneakers and vintage cars.  Curren$y in his signature laid back style strolled into the store and kicked off the party surrounded by his friends, family and fans.  He signed the iridescent greens shoe boxes and custom basketballs fir fans, and then hopped onto the stage for an energetic set to cap off the night.

The Reebok Classic x Jet Life Club C 85 is inspired by the legacy Curren$y has built, both in and out of studio. The shoe features several design elements special to him, including both “Jet Life” branding at the heel and “Andretti OG” logo on the insole, a premium hairy green suede upper with GUM bottom, and a hidden stash pocket behind the tongue label.

The Reebok Classic x Jet Life Club C 85 is now available at the Sneaker Politics powered by Reebok Classic and Mitchell & Ness store at 216 Chartres Street, New Orleans, as well as www.sneakerpolitics.com for $100 available in Kids and Men’s sizing.  The Club C will have a wider release in mid March on Reebok.com and additional retailers in mid March.

Can Kate Upton Ever Care For Jimmy Kimmel

What is Kate Upton doing after SI announced she will be the cover model once again for the swimsuit issue? The answer is simple. She hangs out with Jimmy Kimmel. Kate Upton sat down with late night host Jimmy Kimmel to answer “3 Ridiculous Questions” over a Morgan Mule cocktail with Captain Morgan.

The cover model chatted with the Oscars host about her thoughts on clowns, having pies for feet and whether or not she could learn to love Jimmy.

If you like what they are drinking well you can make up a Morgan Mule from the cocktail recipe below.

Morgan Mule

1.5 oz. Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum

4 oz. Ginger (beer or ale)

Lime Wedge

Serve on the rocks and garnish with a lime wedge.

The 2017 Ford Fusion Sport Review


MANjr takes on Mother Nature herself with the 2017 Ford Fusion Sport

It’s difficult to write this review without first setting the scene.

It was November of 1846 and the Donner party had hit a snag. After nearly 6 months on the trail, an early snowstorm pummelled the Sierra Nevada Mountains and trapped the party of 87 near Truckee California. As livestock and supplies began to dwindle and rescue operations were delayed, many in the Donner Party resorted to cannibalism to survive. It wasn’t until March of 1847 that 48 emaciated survivors trudged their way through the mountain pass to tell their story.

It was this on my mind as I thought about our food supplies in the back seat of our 2017 Ford Fusion Sport. When I went to bed the night before, I was comforted by the weather report of 1-3″ of snow. By morning’s light the totals on the ground were over 18″ and growing fast. We had to get on the road and we had to do it right now.

I grew up in the snow. Any self respecting native New Englander knows how to drive in the snow. Alpine snow is different though, at 7,000 feet sometimes it comes down harder than any forecast can predict. Steep inclines and switchback turns give even the most seasoned driver pause, and white roads hide what ice may lie underneath. Chains become a legal requirement, and all their hand numbing, bloody knuckle curse word inspiring fun along with it.

Quick PSA for those attempting an escape from the mountains in a Ford Fusion Sport.

Caltrans might let you slide if you have AWD (check) and brand new tires (check).

They will not let you know this on the internet, the official word is 4WD (nope) and snow tires (nope).

So I bought two pairs of chains, in order to not destroy the differential on my brand new loaner car. I attempted to install these chains in a Starbucks parking lot with 30 mph winds blowing snow into my everywhere. I failed. I felt like less of a man.

Turns out, according to the nice men at the local gas station, my (wow what kind of car is this? Ford? No Way!) 2017 Ford Fusion Sport did not take too kindly to chains. The low profile 19” wheels were so close to the wheel wells that any attempt by me and my meat mitts to squeeze in between was useless and likely even bad for the car. (Manhood restored!) With our recently purchased and now useless chains stowed securely in our trunk, we chose to risk it and get our butts back to Los Angeles.

To make a long story of focus and perseverance short, it took us 16 hours to get home. Our first 100 miles took over 8 hours. We were trapped in holiday traffic, mixed with apocalyptic snowfall, and raging winds. Our route was marked by cars and trucks in snow banks, bathroom lines over 30 minutes long, and a near complete breakdown of simple human decorum. We retraced a portion of the Donner Party’s route and lived to tell the tale.

The Look
The Blue Lightning paint job and athletic stance stand out from the curb. Even though it shares its now signature Fusion grill with more standard trim levels, accents and flares across the body separate the Sport from the herd. It looks like a million bucks. Well, more accurately, it looks like 70,000 bucks. (MSRP as tested $41k)

The Drive
The trip began innocently enough, the clean dry roads of Southern California allowed the V6 2.7L engine ample room to shine. 380lb-ft of torque may not mean much to you, but trust me, good times were had. The car is quick, responsive, and drives like a luxury sports sedan. My love affair turned Stockholm Syndrome with the Fusion Sport began on the 405 North, merging and passing at will, deftly passing mile markers and semi trucks. The handling is smooth yet responsive, the 6 speed automatic transmission shifted seamlessly, and the steering was responsive without being overly tactile. The AWD, truly tested repeatedly and necessarily, was an all star. There never came a moment where I asked the car to do something it couldn’t do. Like all great AWD systems in the snow, simply pointing the nose of the car in the desired direction was enough. The slipping and gripping of the tires is all handled automatically and the car finds its way straight again.

The Inside
This is really the only knock on this car. A look from the outside and a test drive might have you wondering how it is priced at less than half of what some of its luxury cousins are sold for. This is where some of the money is saved. Leather and fancy composites give way to more familiar upholstery and plastics. It’s nice enough, it is an American car after all. Functional interiors made with less than premium materials are kind of the hallmark of this nation’s automobiles. Comfortable seats, effective infotainment software, and all the appropriate spots to stow your gadgets. Not much to complain about inside and what little there was only exists because the bar of expectations had been raised so high. Perhaps the the Platinum and Sport trim levels will combine one day to take on the BMW 3 series? 2018 anyone?

The Home Stretch
I could argue that I lost all objectivity somewhere between hour 3 and 4 of our drive home. We had been stopped for over 30 minutes in the blinding snow and wind on Interstate 80, mere miles away from the point where some in the Donner party met their fateful end. I was out of the car, clearing the ice off our windshield wipers and talking to a fellow stranded motorist. We chatted about the weather and the fact that we were standing in the middle of an interstate highway when he said, “That’s a Ford?”. I nodded and told him a little about it, when suddenly we both stopped speaking and stood there. Two men, surrounded by thousands of stranded motorists, in the middle of a major weather event. I pondered the earth and human constructs like society. I figured I could get maybe three days out of the snacks we had, if we were on survival rations. We could always drink the snow and surely Caltrans wouldn’t just forget about the people in the countless cars they just waved through. We said our goodbyes and got into the warm embrace of our vehicles. My heated seat comforted my back, as any unbiased attempt at a review melted like flakes on the windshield. My loving wife handed me some almonds and traffic began to move again. I couldn’t help but imagine that the Fusion Sport nodded and smiled as we slid into gear and continued to trudge along our way.

2017 Ford Fusion Sport
MSRP (as tested) $40,995
2.7L GTDI Ecoboost Engine
325 HP
19” Premium Wheels