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Morning fire destroys haunted house in Parker

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Morning fire destroys haunted house in Parker

An early morning fire engulfed Flat Acres Farm in Parker, destroying a haunted house and lighting up the sky with flames.

The fire was first reported after 1 a.m. at 11321 Dransfeldt Road on Monday, according to South Metro Fire Rescue on Twitter.

More than 50 firefighters were called to the late blaze involving hay bales, south of Twenty Mile Road and west of Parker Road. Firefighters said a glow is visible from a distance, with smoke drifting north. The smoke might be visible for much of the morning.

The fire was contained around 2 a.m., but the scene remains active, with crews saying the fire will burn for some time.

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Meet the viral TikTok star veganizing classic Korean dishes

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In a time when identity can be divisive, Joanne Lee Molinaro has curated a space to bring people together: Korean, vegan or otherwise.

The first time I encountered Molinaro, also known as the Korean Vegan, it was through her TikTok. The app’s algorithm, always uncannily certain of the type of content I would want to watch, delivered me a video of hers. It eludes me now which one I saw first, exactly — but I remember immediately going to her profile and scrolling through dozens more.

@thekoreanveganCheck out my bio for my meal planner!♬ original sound – Anthony Molinaro

In a little more than a year, Molinaro has amassed 2.7 million followers on TikTok. Her most viral videos feature cinematic shots of her hands preparing food, carefully wrapping rice paper, shredding tofu, ladling clear broth, chopping scallions. The TikToks are draped in a signature color palette of dark greys and blacks, a cool-toned aesthetic which also envelops the pages of her cookbook. She speaks in a gentle, firm narration, sharing experiences from her life and family history. The stories cover her success as a corporate lawyer, her long-distance running, her family’s immigration story, her connection to Korean heritage, resilience, love, heartbreak. 

When I spoke to Molinaro for NextShark, I found the same warmth and generosity in our conversation. She explained that this was a space she had been working to cultivate over the years, both in her blog and on social media since she started the Korean Vegan in 2016. “I wanted to create a space where as many people as possible could feel welcome, while also starting important discussion, particularly on race,” she shared. “I realized in 2017 that if I simply just said, ‘Hey, this is a place about race, and we’re going to talk about racism,’ a lot of people would just tune me out. So it was important for me to find a way to get into people’s hearts and minds without having them be sort of defensive and guarded from the get-go.” 

To combat this, she focuses on herself and her own experiences, something that people can’t deny. “The one thing that I’ve learned is: turn it back to me. This is my experience, this is my feeling, this is how I feel. You cannot question my credibility and authority on these things. I am the most authoritative person when it comes to my experience and my feelings.” 

@thekoreanveganSoondooboo ##foodtiktok ##먹방 ##Love ##koreanfood♬ original sound – Joanne L. Molinaro (이선영)

Becoming the Korean Vegan

The sense of warmth and generosity in Molinaro’s content extends to her feelings about veganism as well. She describes her experience becoming vegan as a journey. At first, she was afraid that changing to a plant-based diet would disrupt her sense of identity. “For a lot of us, that’s our one big tie to our cultural identity,” she said. “For people like my mom and dad who can’t go back to North Korea, that’s not an option for them, and for refugees in particular, it’s not an option to go back to their native countries. So food becomes one of the few things they have left of their homes.” 

When her husband proposed that they both become vegan, she said it caused a lot of tension because she felt that as a white man, he didn’t completely understand the depth of what he was asking of her. “This idea of threatening to take that from me was a big point of contention… I really felt like ‘You’re asking me to give up my Korean-ness, and you have no idea what that means to me.’” 

Eventually, she says that paradoxically, her journey of becoming a vegan ultimately helped her become closer to her Korean heritage. “One of the joys of veganizing my favorite dishes has been that it actually brought me so much closer to my cultural cuisine. A lot of times, especially second-generation Asian immigrant families, they sort of take for granted these things. ‘Oh yeah, I don’t need to figure out how to make kimchi-jjigae, it’s always been done this way.’ Well, when you have to veganize something, at least for me… I want to learn.”

Molinaro does extensive research while creating her recipes, digging into the origins of the Korean foods she adapts. “I want to know how it was made originally. I want to know how to make the broth and what other things are in there. Because then it’s my job to veganize it. And that process has brought me so much closer to Korean food, to my own family and to my own heritage.” 

She also says she understands the hesitation of many Asian Americans in going vegan. What helped her most, she explained, was taking things step-by-step and eliminating animal products gradually. Some things were more difficult than others — dairy traditionally does not play a large part in Korean cuisine, so that was less of a challenge than eggs, which are more ubiquitous in all kinds of cuisine. “I think my advice for anyone would be, practically speaking: go at your own pace. There’s no rule that says compassionate eating, whether it’s for the animals or yourself or the planet, or whatever reason it is, has to look exactly the same way as everyone else’s.”

Regarding the decision to become vegan, she shared, “I don’t just value my Korean-ness, that is a part of who I am. I also value things like longevity, living as long as I can, living healthy… And that’s okay. You can value being Korean and also value having a long life, having a healthy life… I think the challenge is trying to figure out a way that those two values could coexist in my life.”

The Cookbook 

The cookbook Molinaro wrote is called “The Korean Vegan Cookbook: Reflections and Recipes from Omma’s Kitchen.” Over the course of more than 300 pages, Molinaro shares recipes in categories such as Basics, Bbang (breads), Jjigae (stews) and more. Also nestled throughout the cookbook’s sections are stories of her family’s history and perseverance. A natural storyteller, Molinaro shrugs at the idea that she has lived a particularly inspiring life. She told me that people often ask her how she has so many poignant experiences to share with her audience, to which she responds, “You have as many stories as I do… We’re all just walking chapters, we’re all novels. We’re all walking around and we have these beautiful stories inside of us.”

@thekoreanveganCome hang out with me and get a signed copy of my book!! @avery_tarcherperigee ##booktok ##foodtiktok ##storytime♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic

The beginning of Molinaro’s cookbook goes into an in-depth analysis of common ingredients in Korean cooking. There’s a loving description of soy sauce, doenjang, gochujang and many other staples. Molinaro takes care to give an introduction to the ingredients — for some who might not have heard of them at all — and also frames them in a new context for readers who may already be very familiar with them. With soy sauce, for instance, she explains the complexity and history of the ingredient, discussing how there are hundreds of ways to prepare it, each with their own varieties and flavor profiles. 

There’s also a note at the beginning of her cookbook which I think reflects her overall gentle but firm approach to sharing parts of herself with others. Just like in her stories on TikTok, she strives to create a space where people feel welcome, but also where they understand the importance of following the house rules. In the cookbook, this takes the form of a small warning at the beginning: “So, while I know you’re itching to make that jjajangmyun dish, be sure you know the difference between ‘black bean sauce’ and ‘fermented black soybean sauce.’”

I asked Molinaro about this approach and how she feels about the broader discussion of other people cooking Korean cuisine. “Number one, I would say: I just want the food to taste good. And I know that if you make this with paprika, it ain’t gonna taste good! That’s the most fundamental thing… This gentle insistence is more like, fine, I’m just warning you. If you use this, it’s gonna taste weird!”

I felt this remained remarkably consistent with Molinaro’s approach. She has created a community centered around her vegan-ness and Korean-ness, but never to the exclusion of any other identities. Her content, fundamentally, comes back to a simple human experience. She’s gathering us all together to share a meal and some stories. 

The Korean Vegan Cookbook can be purchased on the book’s website. You can also find Molinaro’s recipes on her website and on TikTok

Feature Image via Penguin Random House and The Korean Vegan

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Vikings still have ‘bad taste in our mouth’ from playoff loss at San Francisco

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Vikings still have ‘bad taste in our mouth’ from playoff loss at San Francisco

The last time the Vikings were in the playoffs, their season ended with a thud.

On Jan. 11, 2020, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., the San Francisco 49ers dominated Minnesota in the divisional round. They sacked quarterback Kirk Cousins six times and held running back Dalvin Cook to a meager 18 yards on nine carries in a resounding 27-10 win.

On Sunday, the Vikings will return to the site of the beatdown. Memories from it linger.

“We have a bad taste in our mouth from that game,’’ said offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak, Minnesota’s quarterbacks coach in 2020. “That was two years ago; we’ve got a lot of new pieces, a lot of similar pieces, but guys haven’t forgotten that.”

Some of the faces from that game have changed, but many of the key ones have remained the same. The 49ers are still coached by Kyle Shanahan and still have quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and defensive end Nick Bosa, who had two of their sacks. Bosa was fined $28,075 by the NFL shortly after that game for a penalized illegal block on tackle Brian O’Neill that the Vikings called a cheap shot.

The Vikings, still coached by Mike Zimmer, have a number of key players remaining on both sides of the ball. That includes Cousins, who threw for just 172 yards a week after rallying the Vikings with a game-winning touchdown pass in overtime in a 26-20 playoff upset at New Orleans.

“I remember San Francisco did a great job against us,” Cousins said. “They played a great game and they were the better team that day.”

After the playoff win over the Vikings, the 49ers walloped Green Bay 37-20 at home in the NFC Championship Game and looked primed to win Super Bowl LIV. They led Kansas City 20-10 midway through the fourth quarter before faltering and losing 31-20.

The hangover continued into 2020, when the 49ers went just 6-10. It didn’t help that Garoppolo missed 10 games due to injury.

The Vikings also fell back in 2020, going 7-9.  Each team started this season 3-5 but enters Sunday’s game on a two-game winning streak.

“Two teams that are probably playing their better ball of the year right now,” Shanahan said.

With that in mind, there are playoff implications on the line Sunday. With seven teams making the postseason in the NFC, the Vikings are currently in the No. 6 spot and the 49ers are No. 7. The winner will have a tiebreaker if the teams are deadlocked at the conclusion of the NFL’s first 17-game season.

“It’s an important game,” Zimmer said. “I’m sure they’d say the same thing.”

Zimmer said the 49ers are similar to the team that handled the Vikings in the playoffs on offense and defense. One difference, he said, is a lot more “movement pre-snap” on offense, including sets with stars Deebo Samuel at wide receiver and George Kittle at tight end.

On defense, the biggest difference is DeMeco Ryans, who replaced Robert Saleh as defensive coordinator after he left at the end of last season to become head coach of the New York Jets. The 49ers remain stout on that side of the ball, ranked sixth in the NFL in total defense.

The Vikings, though, have shown continued improvement on offense. Cousins is playing as well as he has in his 10-year career. Second-year wide receiver Justin Jefferson is the most recent NFC Offensive Player of the Week winner after catching eight passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns in last Sunday’s 34-31 win over the Packers. Cook continues to get better, as well, and hasn’t had many clunkers since the one in his last visit to Levi’s Stadium.

“We put that to bed, but (it’s) always (a challenge) having an opportunity to compete against a good defense, good players that they have over there,” Cook said of his return. “I definitely remember that game, that environment. I know it was a playoff game and different, but their fans get pretty rowdy.”

The Vikings will try to silence the fans with their seventh-ranked offense. But will they be able to stop the 49ers with their defense?

The Vikings rank just No. 28 in the NFL in total defense and on Sunday will be without their four preferred starters on the defensive line. Defensive end Everson Griffen is away from the team after a mental health issue on Wednesday, and defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson has been ruled out after being placed Tuesday on the COVID-19 reserve list. They join end Danielle Hunter, lost for the season to a torn pectoral muscle on Oct. 31, and nose tackle Michael Pierce, on injured reserve with an elbow injury.

“It’s a big advantage for us,” Garoppolo told reporters on Wednesday about Minnesota’s depleted line. “I think, you know, the guys stepping in are no slouches, either. So, we’ve got to be ready for that.”

D.J. Wonnum has stepped in for Hunter, and Armon Watts for Pierce. Sheldon Richardson is expected to man one of the other two open spots. Regardless of who’s playing, the Vikings defense can expect a steady diet of the 49ers’ running game. In their last two games, a 34-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 15 and a 30-10 victory at Jacksonville on Nov. 21, San  Francisco averaged 163.5 yards rushing.

Running back Elijah Mitchell had 91 yards against the Rams. Then, with Mitchell nursing a finger injury, the versatile Samuel carried eight times for 79 yards against the Jaguars.

“They run the ball really, really well,” Zimmer said.

When Garoppolo throws, Samuel is the primary target. Samuel, who sometimes lines up in the backfield, has 55 catches for 994 yards this season, second in the NFL.

“For the most part, he’s a receiver,” Zimmer said. “He’s terrific with the ball in his hands, he’s a strong runner, really good on the wide receiver screens, plays in the slot some.”

It will be Zimmer’s third road game against the 49ers since he came to Minnesota in 2014. The first one didn’t go well, either, with San Francisco rolling up 230 yards on the ground in a 20-3 win on Monday Night Football to open the 2015 season.

In the playoff game, Minnesota’s run defense wasn’t much better, giving up 186 yards. And the Vikings couldn’t get their ground game going, being held to a meager 21 yards rushing, tied for the lowest playoff game output in team history.

“It’s almost two full years removed, every team is going to be a little bit different,” O’Neill said. “What hasn’t changed is that they still have great talent across the board. They still have a great front seven.”

In the third quarter of the playoff game, Cousins threw a pass that was picked off by San Francisco’s Richard Sherman. On the return, Bosa hit O’Neill in the head area and was flagged for an illegal block. O’Neill was lost for the game with a concussion, and Zimmer and then-Minnesota guard Josh Kline both said afterward that it was a cheap shot.

O’Neill said he hasn’t had any contact with Bosa since the incident and has moved on.

“That’s water under the bridge now,” he said. “I got over that a long time ago. No, I’m good. I respect how he plays the game and hopefully it’s going to be a good battle (Sunday).”

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Game time: Fast facts, odds, injury report and key info for Miami Dolphins (4-7) vs. Carolina Panthers (5-6)

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Game time: Fast facts, odds, injury report and key info for Miami Dolphins (4-7) vs. Carolina Panthers (5-6)

DOLPHINS (4-7) vs. PANTHERS (5-6)

Kickoff: 1 p.m., Hard Rock Stadium

TV: FOX (Chs: 7 in Miami-Dade/Broward and 29 in Palm Beach); RADIO: WQAM (560 AM), KISS (99.9 FM), WQBA (1140 AM, Spanish)

Coaches: Brian Flores is 19-24 in his third season with Dolphins; Matt Rhule is 5-6 in his first season leading the Panthers.

Series: The Dolphins have a 4-2 edge in the all-time series with the Panthers, Miami’s least-faced opponent in the NFL, but Carolina has won the past two meetings.

Line: The Dolphins are a 2-point underdog; the over/under is 42.

Injuries: Dolphins — Out: TE Adam Shaheen (knee), DB Elijah Campbell (toe/knee), CB Trill Williams (hamstring); Questionable: S Brandon Jones (ankle/elbow); Injured reserve: WR DeVante Parker (shoulder/hamstring), WR Will Fuller (finger), C Michael Deiter (foot/quad), C Greg Mancz (ankle), RB Malcolm Brown (quadriceps), S Jason McCourty (foot), WR Lynn Bowden (hamstring), WR Allen Hurns (wrist), T Larnel Coleman (knee), T Greg Little (undisclosed); Panthers — Doubtful: G John Miller (ankle); Injured reserve: QB Sam Darnold (shoulder), CB Jaycee Horn (foot), C Matt Paradis (knee), OT Cameron Erving (calf) among 11 players on IR.

Noteworthy: The Dolphins put a three-game winning streak on the line in a key contest to see if they can keep clawing closer to .500 and back into the postseason hunt if a few more victories are strung together. …

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was with the New England Patriots in the preseason before he was cut, making way for Mac Jones to start there. Spending the first half of the season without a home, Newton rejoined the Panthers, whom he spent the first nine seasons of his career with, two weeks ago. …

Newton makes his second start with Carolina after also playing in goal-line packages in his first game back with the Panthers. He lost his start against Washington Football Team, 27-21. When he was with the Patriots last year, the Dolphins split the season series. …

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is coming off a 27-of-33 performance for 273 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the 24-17 win against the New York Jets last week. …

Dolphins punter Michael Palardy played in 68 games for the Panthers from 2016 to 2020 with 295 punts. The Panthers have South Florida high school connections with wide receiver Robby Anderson (South Plantation), defensive end Brian Burns (American Heritage), guard John Miller (Miami Central), offensive coordinator Joe Brady (Everglades) and cornerbacks coach Evan Cooper (Miami Killian).

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