Beyond Veal Milanese

Want to dazzle your guests with a wonderful veal dish? Try Tavern Direct’s “Beyond Veal Milanese”.

Total: (total time to make recipe, including prep) 36 minutes
Active: (active time to make the recipe) 10 minutes prep and 3 minutes for salad
Makes: (how many people can this recipe serve) 4

Ingredients with measurements:
6-8 pieces veal scaloppini
2-3 eggs
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 tsps basil
2 tsps Italian seasoning
1 TBLS grated Parmesan cheese plus 2 tsps for garnish
2 cups mixed greens
6-10 grape tomatoes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Tavern’s Citrus on the Green Balsamic Vinegar
Crushed Sea Salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Preparation:
1) Slightly beat the eggs in a small shallow dish.

2) On a dinner plate mix together:
Bread crumbs
Basil
Italian seasoning
Cheese

3) Coat a piece of the veal in the egg and then place the veal on the breadcrumbs and pat on both sides until well coated in the bread crumbs. Set aside and repeat until all the veal is coated in breadcrumbs.
4) In a large frying pan heat 4 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil.
5) Place veal in hot oil until they are well browned on each side.
6) Remove from oil and place on paper towel.

For the Salad:
1) Place the mixed greens in a small bowl.
2) Cut tomatoes in half and add to the greens.
3) Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and citrus balsamic
4) Salt and pepper to taste.
5) Toss

To Plate:
Place one or two pieces of veal on a plate and top with the salad

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I.R.S. Sits on Data Pointing to Missing Children

By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI
Published: November 12, 2010
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For parents of missing children, any scrap of information that could lead to an abductor is precious.
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Daniel Rosenbaum for The New York Times
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va., has a wall of posters dedicated to unsolved cases.
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Daniel Rosenbaum for The New York Times
At the center, Colin McNally ages an image of a girl taken by a relative at 4. She would now be 17.
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Three years into an excruciating search for her abducted son, Susan Lau got such a tip. Her estranged husband, who had absconded with their 9-year-old from Brooklyn, had apparently filed a tax return claiming the boy as an exemption.
Investigators moved quickly to seek the address where his tax refund had been mailed. But the Internal Revenue Service was not forthcoming.
“They just basically said forget about it,” said Julianne Sylva, a child abduction investigator who is now deputy district attorney in Santa Clara County, Calif.
The government, which by its own admission has data that could be helpful in tracking down the thousands of missing children in the United States, says that taxpayer privacy laws severely restrict the release of information from tax returns. “We will do whatever we can within the confines of the law to make it easier for law enforcement to find abducted children,” said Michelle Eldridge, an I.R.S. spokeswoman.
The privacy laws, enacted a generation ago to prevent Watergate-era abuses of confidential taxpayer information, have specific exceptions allowing the I.R.S. to turn over information in child support cases and to help federal agencies determine whether an applicant qualifies for income-based federal benefits.
But because of guidelines in the handling of criminal cases, there are several obstacles for parents and investigators pursuing a child abductor — even when the taxpayer in question is a fugitive and the subject of a felony warrant.
“It’s one of those areas where you would hope that common sense would prevail,” said Ernie Allen, president and chief executive of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “We are talking about people who are fugitives, who have criminal warrants against them. And children who are at risk.”
About 200,000 family abductions are reported each year in the United States, most of which stem from custody disputes between estranged spouses. About 12,000 last longer than six months, according to Justice Department statistics, and involve parental abductors who assume false identities and travel the country to escape detection.
But, counterintuitive as it may seem, a significant number file one of bureaucracy’s most invasive documents, a federal tax return. A study released by the Treasury Department in 2007 examined the Social Security numbers of 1,700 missing children and the relatives suspected of abducting them, and found that more than a third had been used in tax returns filed after the abductions took place.
Criminologists say it is unclear what motivates a child abductor to file a tax return: confusion, financial desperation for a refund or an attempt to avoid compounding their criminal problems by failing to pay taxes. Whatever the reason, the details in a return on an abductor’s whereabouts, work history and mailing address can be crucial to detectives searching for a missing child.
“It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” said Harold Copus, a retired F.B.I. agent who investigated missing child cases, of why abductors provide such information. “But if they were thinking clearly, they wouldn’t have abducted their child in the first place.”
The law forbids the I.R.S. from turning over data from tax returns unless a parental abduction is being investigated as a federal crime and a United States district judge orders the information released. But the vast majority of parental abduction cases are investigated by state and local prosecutors, not as federal crimes, say investigators and missing children’s advocates. Even when the F.B.I. does intercede in parental abduction cases, requests for I.R.S. data are rarely granted.
When the Treasury Department study identified hundreds of suspected abductors who had filed tax returns, for instance, a federal judge in Virginia refused to issue an order authorizing the I.R.S. to turn over their addresses to investigators. The judge, Leonie M. Brinkema, declined to discuss her decision.
Advocates for missing children say that federal judges often argue that parental abductions are better suited to family court than criminal court.
“There’s this sense that because the child is with at least one of their parents, it’s not really a problem,” said Abby Potash, director of Team Hope, which counsels parents who are searching for a missing child. Ms. Potash’s son was abducted by a relative and kept for eight months before he was recovered. “But when you’re the parent who’s left behind, it is devastating. You’re being robbed of your son or daughter’s childhood.”
In Ms. Lau’s case, her search for her missing son dragged on for two years after the I.R.S. refused investigators’ request for her ex-husband’s tax return. She actually got the tip from the I.R.S., which disallowed her request to claim the boy on her own tax return because someone else had. The boy was eventually found in Utah, after his photo appeared in a flier distributed by missing children’s groups, and he was reunited with his mother at age 15 — five years after they were separated.
I.R.S. officials are quick to point out that they have worked closely with missing children’s advocates in some areas. The I.R.S.’s “Picture Them Home” program has included photos of thousands of missing children with forms mailed to millions of taxpayers since 2001. More than 80 children were recovered with the help of that program.
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Daniel Rosenbaum for The New York Times
Ernie Allen, chief of the center, says, “It’s one of those areas where you would hope that common sense would prevail.”
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Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
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Still, attempts to change the law to give the tax agency more latitude have sputtered over the last decade. Dennis DeConcini, a former Democratic senator from Arizona, lobbied for the change in 2004 on behalf of a child advocacy group, but said that it never gained traction because some members of Congress feared that any release of I.R.S. data could lead to a gradual erosion of taxpayer privacy. In recent years, much of the legislation involving missing children has focused on international abductions.
One problem missing children’s advocates have wrestled with in proposing legislation is determining how much information the I.R.S. should be asked to release from a suspected abductor’s tax return. Should disclosure be required only if a child’s Social Security number is listed on a return? Should child abduction investigators be given only the address where a tax return was mailed? Or the location of an employer who has withheld taxes on a suspected abductor?
Griselda Gonzalez, who has not seen her children since 2007, holds fleeting hope that some type of information might reunite her family. Diego and Tammy Flores were just 2 and 3 years old when their father took them from their home in Victorville, Calif., for a weeklong visit and never returned. After Ms. Gonzalez reported their disappearance, a felony warrant for kidnapping was issued for the father, Francisco Flores. His financial records suggest he meticulously planned his actions for months — withdrawing money from various accounts and taking out a second mortgage — so Ms. Gonzalez doubts he would claim the children as dependents on a tax return.
But it gnaws at her that some federal laws seemed more concerned with the privacy of a fugitive than the safety of children.
“When your kids are taken from you, the hardest part is at night, thinking about them going to sleep,” she said. “You wonder who’s tucking them in, who will hug them if they have a bad dream or taking them to the bathroom if they wake up. And you ask yourself whether you’ve done everything possible to find them.”
“It would be good to know that you tried everything,” she said.
Missing children’s advocates see the I.R.S. data as a potentially powerful resource.
“There are hundreds of cases this could help solve,” said Cindy Rudometkin of the Polly Klaas Foundation. “And even if it helped solve one case — imagine if that child returned home was yours.”

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Brent’s Chili Recipe

The weather is turning colder. What could be better than chili for comfort food? Here is a great recipe that is so simple and amazingly healthy. Enjoy.
Tavern’s Chili with Chipotle
Total: (total time to make recipe, including prep) 20 minutes prep time,
4-5 hours crock time
Active: (active time to make the recipe) 20 minutes
Serves: 8-9 people

Intensity: EASY
You will need

2 rotisserie chickens skin removed!
32 oz salsa of your liking
¼ cup of Tavern on the Green Smokin Chipotle or Tavern on the Green Intl. 1870 Steak Sauce
4 cans Great Northern beans – add with liquid
1 yellow pepper diced
1 red pepper diced
1 orange pepper diced
1/2 cup red onion chopped
Taste of cumin
Taste of chili spice
Crushed red pepper

Preparation:
Take the chicken off the bone and put in the crock pot along with remaining ingredients. Mix in the pot and cook on low for 4-5 hours.

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The Oprah Experience

Sometimes you end up somewhere you never thought you would be. That was my experience last week as I sat in the audience of the Oprah Winfrey show. It was quite a journey getting to that point, and not all of it was glamorous or entertaining. It started with a call from my friends at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Oprah was doing a show on survivors of child abuse, specifically male survivors. Since I fall into that category and have been an avid supporter of NCMEC for many years, I was given the opportunity to participate in the show and perhaps add something to the effort to help prevent future abuse.

So, I booked a flight to Chicago and was treated to a quick trip to a hotel courtesy of Harpo Productions. We were instructed to rise early the next morning and were transported to the studio by 5:45 a.m. We went through a security check and were escorted to a holding room where we cooled our heals for an hour and a half. It was not comfortable, nor did I feel the excitement I thought I would feel being part of something as big as the Oprah Winfrey show. I did however meet a fellow who lived three miles from me in my New Jersey town. We were both bikers, and we talked about our hobby enthusiastically. We also talked about the reason we were there and our hope that child abuse could be mitigated somewhat by Oprah shedding light on the subject. My new friend also told me he had suffered at the hands of an individual when he was a young boy in Rochester New York. Such a coincidence; Rochester was my home for much of my adult life, and it is where I helped start the New York chapter of NCMEC.

Show time; and we were escorted to our seats in the studio. We waited another hour or so, and finally the show began. Actually, they taped two shows that day, and both were co-hosted by movie maker Tyler Perry. He talked about his experience as an abused child and introduced other men who had similar life-altering experiences.

While the show was definitely going for the shock factor, I was still hopeful that some information on education as a tool for stopping abuse would be forthcoming. I also thought a discussion of resources for victims would have been very helpful. It was not what I had hoped it would be, but I contented myself with the knowledge that any discussion of these serious and tragic situations might get people thinking about how they could help.

Fortunately for me, I have been secure in my knowledge of how I can help for many years now. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of another potential way to help NCMEC. I look at every friend, neighbor, or business associate and think what can he or she do to help my charity. It’s a passion, and maybe even an obsession. But, I am very certain it is a good one. It spilled over into my professional life when I started Tavern Direct. Twenty percent of the profits of the sales of Tavern Direct oils, marinades, sauces, and vinegars go directly to NCMEC. I love having a company that produces great products, pleases my customers, and helps change the lives of children and parents. I wanted to tell Oprah that. I wanted her to tell her audience, stand up and speak up. I hope she did. Watch the show Nov. 5 and let me know what you think.

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Bright Lights, Big City Raises Big Money for NCMEC

On Thursday October 14, I got in my car and headed to Rochester New York for one of the social highlights of my year. For 27 years the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has conducted an auction to raise money for the organization. I’m proud to say, I was one of the first organizers of this auction all those years ago. Today it is an elegant black-tie event with 580 individuals attending.  Students from the Rochester School of Performing Arts entertained us along with fabulous music by Prime Time Funk. There was also a live performance by rising star Emil Bishaw. His moving rendition of “Missing Child” from his new CD, “All I Ever Knew”, really enthralled the audience.   There were 30 high-end live auction gifts ranging in value from $1,000 to $10,000. With a great deal of spirited bidding, these gifts raised more than $42,000. A cash call brought in $42,000 including a $1,000 contribution from the 16-year old Emil Bishaw. There were also 380 silent auction gifts that raised $62,000 for this excellent cause. There were gift certificates for restaurants of every kind, tickets for sporting events, high-tech devices and toys, and of course gift baskets from Tavern Direct.

Tavern Direct had a special place at the auction because it was the only product there that donates part of its profits to NCMEC on a constant basis. Every bottle of oil, marinade, sauce, and vinegar that is sold means 50 cents to NCME. I hope the individuals who eventually won the bids and got the gift baskets will share them with friends and family. I want everyone to know how delicious and healthy the products are.  That way, we can expand our customer base and NCMEC’s coffers.

It is a pretty daunting task to start a company, even one that enjoys the reputation of the delicious tastes of Tavern on the Green. But, whenever I feel a little overwhelmed, I think of how our very first NCMEC auction was a small event and how today it raises well in excess of _$225,000. When you are motivated by such a good cause, it somehow seems easy to exceed expectations. And, that’s what we will do with Tavern Direct.

Watch us grow, talk about us to your friends and family, enjoy our products, and follow us as we work with NCMEC to help make the world a safer place for our children.

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Its Easy: Watch Lou & John Walsh Make Chicken

What do a couple of old friends do when they get together and hang out? If you are Lou Bivona and John Walsh, you cook. And, you do it with healthy, delicious ingredients that have an added bonus. Chef Lou uses Tavern Direct’s Tavern on the Green Intl. marinades, sauces, and flavored oils to create some of the most tasty, savory, dishes you will ever eat. The bonus?  For every Tavern Direct product sold, 50 cents goes to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. (NCMEC)

Watch Lou and John whip up a fantastic salad with baby arugula and grilled chicken with our all natural Tavern on the Green Intl. Asian Lemon Sauce and Summer Strawberry gluten free Balsamic from Tavern Direct. And, since John Walsh is often on the road with his show America’s Most Wanted, he and Chef Lou conducted their kitchen escapades in John’s trailor. Such fun to watch two guys who love to eat, love each other, and are devoted to their charity NCMEC and protecting American’s most precious resource, our children. Watch and enjoy.

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Good Friends Are One of Life’s Greatest Blessings

And the laughter and conversation you share is the soundtrack of a strong relationship. That’s what I have with John Walsh: a strong relationship that carries both of us through those months and years when our lives get so busy it is hard to make the time to get together. Recently, John was in New York filming the first episode of his 24th season of America’s Most Wanted; the show that is responsible for the capture of more that 1,100 fugitives and the return of dozens of missing children to their families. John was filming at Ground Zero when I was able to join him and steal some time from his busy schedule.

Like all good friends, we hurried to catch up on everything we missed since our last
meeting. But it doesn’t take long for both of us to focus in on our mutual passion, the
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). John, of course, was a
founding member of the organization when he merged his Adam Walsh Child Resource
Center with NCMEC in 1984. He and his wife Reve were motivated by their own tragic
loss of son Adam in 1981. John’s commitment is well documented; mine less so. But, in
1982, I was fortunate enough to be successful in starting the Adam Walsh Center of New
York that became the NCMEC. So John and I marvel at how far the organization has
come, the successes it has enjoyed, and the work that is still to be done on behalf of the
children. As a result, John is almost as excited as I am about Tavern Direct, the products,
and the mission to help support NCMEC.

When John finished shooting at Ground Zero we hopped over to Brooklyn to shoot
another scene, now we were three hours behind and losing light. The only place we could
shoot without street noise and spectators was the production trailer. I think this one was
stuck on top of a pickup that John and the crew used to change their clothes in. None the
less we had to go back to his “trailer” (every celebrity has one) and started to whip up
some tasty treats with Tavern Direct’s dipping oils, marinades, balsamic vinegars, and
finishing sauces. Of course our antics were quickly committed to video so I can share
them with you. Take a look. Enjoy the recipes. And hopefully you’ll see the connection
between two good friends. Share Tavern Direct with your good friends, and make a
difference in the lives of others.

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