Make Granola from Anything You Have On Hand With This Ratio

Making your own granola is easy , and can save you money over the pricey store-bought stuff. If you’re not sure how to get started, just remember this ratio: six parts dry ingredients to one part wet.


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Take Your Marinara Sauce to the Next Level With a Little Lemon Zest

Marinara sauce is a classic everyone should learn how to make . If you want to make your recipe standout, a little lemon zest will really make the flavors pop.


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Kissinger Biography Is Great, Says Pal of Author and Kissinger in New York Times

Kissinger Biography Is Great, Says Pal of Author and Kissinger in New York Times

This Sunday, the New York Times Book Review will publish a review of the first volume of Niall Ferguson’s authorized biography of Henry Kissinger, Kissinger: The Idealist. The reviewer is Andrew Roberts.

Roberts brings an unusual level of familiarity to the subject: It was Roberts whom Kissinger first asked, before turning to Ferguson, to write his authorized biography. In other words, the New York Times is having Kissinger’s preferred authorized biographer review Kissinger’s authorized biography.

Here’s an interview/profile of Roberts from 2009:

He had previously, through his friendship with Henry Kissinger, been offered the job of writing his official biography, but faced with the 30 tons of material in the former secretary of state’s archive and his reluctance to employ researchers – preferring to sift himself – he passed it by. Niall Ferguson has now taken the job. [Says Roberts:] “Niall is a tenured professor and has a team of researchers – he’s also, and I’m the first to admit it, far, far cleverer than I am and will do a wonderful job.”

And now, in the New York Times, Roberts has confirmed his own forecast: If the second volume ends up being as good as he finds the first, Ferguson’s biography will be, Roberts says, a “masterpiece.”

Oh, and Roberts isn’t just close to the subject of the book he is reviewing. He has also been, for a quarter-century, a friend of the book’s author. In a 2006 profile of Ferguson, “The Empire Rebuilder,” The Guardian pointed out that Roberts, who is quoted calling Ferguson “the brightest historian of his generation,” might be “a little biased,” because Roberts had been, at that point, Ferguson’s “friend of 15 years.”

The Times, too, normally checks those things. When I’m approached about reviewing books there, I’m usually asked if I know the author or have a conflict of interest.

My friend Corey Robin had a relevant experience. When his book The Reactionary Mind was coming out in 2011, the Times contacted a widely respected intellectual historian to review it. The potential reviewer didn’t know Corey personally or professionally. Although they had never met, Corey had begun blogging that year, and he and the would-be reviewer began exchanging occasional comments on sites like Facebook. Minimal as the relationship was, the Times nixed the reviewer because of their putative entanglement.

Last May, the Times’ public editor, Margaret Sullivan, weighed in on the topic: How close a connection between reviewer and author (and in this case, between author, reviewer, and subject) is too close a connection? “It’s fine if readers disagree with our reviews,” the Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul told Sullivan, “but they should not distrust them.”

Paul also explained that the Book Review sometimes picks reviewers with strong opinions on the book’s subject, who might be able to write an engaging, provocative essay. Fair enough: writers with opinions are more interesting than those who hold to a “on the one hand, on the other” style. Still, it’s a “tricky challenge,” Paul said, “to get someone informed but not entrenched.”

If Roberts were any more entrenched, he’d be wearing a Brodie helmet and puttees.

A spokesperson for the New York Times offered the following statement to Gawker, on behalf of Pamela Paul:

“We always ask our reviewers about any potential conflict of interest, as we define it, and disclose any possible conflicts in the review if necessary. In this particular case, we asked Andrew Roberts and were satisfied with his assurances that no conflicts of interest existed that would sway his review one way or the other.”

The Times might as well have asked Kissinger to review his own biography. Or, better, Ferguson himself, since, along with Roberts, there’s not a nano-difference between the three men, at least when it comes to controversies about war. Like Ferguson and Kissinger, Roberts was an early advocate for a military invasion of Iraq. Kissinger supported torturers in Latin America; Roberts “approves,” according to The Economist, “of American support for some vile regimes and ghastly civil wars in Latin America.” Roberts also advocates torturing the West’s current enemies: “the defense of liberty requires making some pretty unpalatable decisions, but it was ever thus.”

So how is the review itself? Contrary to the bet that an opinionated yet informed expert might turn in an exciting piece, Roberts’s essay is ponderous, and, if possible, even more hagiographic than the authorized biography itself.

“Kissinger’s official biographer,” writes the man Kissinger first asked to be his official biographer, “certainly gives the reader enough evidence to conclude that Henry Kissinger is one of the greatest Americans in the history of the republic, someone who has been repulsively traduced over several decades and who deserved to have a defense of this comprehensiveness published years ago.”

Let me be clear: I think it would be totally legitimate if, say, Ferguson, with his well-known conservative politics, were to review my new, critical book on Kissinger. That might indeed make for an engaging, fun debate; readers would know where author and reviewer stand. However, asking Roberts to review Ferguson, without acknowledging their connections, not to mention Roberts’ history with Kissinger, is a trench too far.

Thus a new genre is born: the authorized review of the authorized biography.

Greg Grandin teaches history at New York University. He is the author of Fordlandia, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, and The Empire of Necessity, which won the Bancroft Award in American History. His new book is Kissinger’s Shadow: The Long Reach of America’s Most Controversial Statesman.

Photo credit: Getty Images

500 Days of Kristin, Day 248: Kristin Knows What She’s Not

500 Days of Kristin, Day 248: Kristin Knows What She's Not

Since MTV’s Laguna Beach premiered on September 28, 2004, Kristin Cavallari has given countless interviews to the press about the nature of Kristin Cavallari. In 2007, she landed a five-photo spread with GQ, which was accompanied by a short but revealing Q & A.

Here’s one Q and one A about Kristin:

GQ: Are you one of those pretty girls who’s convinced she’s a nerd at heart?

Kristin Cavallari: No, I never say I’m a nerd.


This has been 500 Days of Kristin.

[Photo via Getty]

Gawker 2015-09-30 21:11:58

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has issued a last-minute stay on the execution of Richard Glossip, a m

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has issued a last-minute stay on the execution of Richard Glossip, a man who was slated to be killed today, citing questions about one of its lethal injection drugs. Glossip’s execution is now slated for November 6.

Contact the author at

The Short Life and Tragic Death of The Rock’s Puppy, Brutus, Who Is in Heaven

The Short Life and Tragic Death of The Rock's Puppy, Brutus, Who Is in Heaven

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced some horribly sad news Monday night: BRUTUS, the French Bulldog puppy he adopted and subsequently rescued from drowning in his outdoor pool, has died. This news is not baller. It is, in fact, the saddest thing to befall The Rock in the recent history of his joyful, baller-ass life, which he always lives to the fullest.

BRUTUS, who just could not stay out of trouble, got into some poisonous mushrooms while playing outside with his all-caps Frenchie brother, HOBBS, the Rock wrote. And despite the efforts of The Rock and veterinarians to save him, the toxins were too much for BRUTUS’s tiny li’l dog liver to take.

The Rock and his longtime girlfriend and future baby-mama, Lauren Hashian, decided to take BRUTUS off life support after running out of other options.

“You’ll always be my lil main man and rough housing Brute ... #WishICouldHaveSavedYouOneMoreTime,” The Rock wrote on Instagram, in perhaps the only recorded instance of a hashtag eliciting genuine human feelings of sadness and loss. Even ballers gotta cry sometimes.

BRUTUS spent his short life “wrestling and biting the shit outta my hands and happily peeing on my Jordans,” the Rock wrote in an earlier Instagram post. Now BRUTUS is in Heaven, peeing on God’s Jordans with the other angels.

BRUTUS is survived by HOBBS, the one who knows how to swim. Please take good care of him, The Rock.

[The Rock/Instagram]

Hillary Joked About Chinese Hackers Over Unsecured Private Email

Hillary Joked About Chinese Hackers Over Unsecured Private Email

The biggest problem with Hillary Clinton’s off-the-books email server isn’t the affront to transparency, but the incalculable national security risk it presented. A newly released email from Clinton’s State Department days shows the prospect of Chinese infiltration was literally a joke to her.

In the below exchange, Clinton and State staffer Nora Toiv discuss Toiv’s own use of unsanctioned, non-governmental email—a personal Gmail account:

Hillary Joked About Chinese Hackers Over Unsecured Private Email

Haha! The Chinese! Luckily the threat of Chinese hackers to the U.S. government is strictly in the realm of the hypothetical.

Contact the author at
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