Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm The Next Top Chef

Has anyone else been watching Top Chef Masters this season? If not, last night the 6 finalists were each asked to create a signature meal. Suzanne Tracht of Jar in Los Angeles made for her signature dish Chopped Sirloin on Toast with a Fried Egg and Green Peppercorn Sauce. And I started practically screaming at the TV, "We made that!" It was a about two years ago, but I of course still have pictures!
Chopped Sirloin on Toast Topped with a Fried Egg and Green Peppercorn Sauce
Suzanne Tracht's Chopped Sirloin on Toast with a Fried Egg and Green Peppercorn Sauce
The recipe is from Nancy Silverton's A Twist the Wrist, but the recipe is credited to Suzanne Tracht. So the next time you watch Top Chef in awe and think, "I could never do that," well guess what? You totally can!


P.S. I won't be having a Frozen Thursday tonight since the boy decided to make red beans and rice. He said it made it the right way instead of the shortcut way he normally does, so I'm excited!

P.P.S. Anyone else excited about watching the premiere of Real Housewives of Atlanta tonight?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Herb & Garlic Potatoes

I had almost forgot, but Classy In Philadelphia wanted to see the recipe for the potatoes I made. The recipe is from The Little Black Apron which is a cookbook aimed at the single girl, which means most of the recipes are given for a single serving. I made more potatoes than it called for and just used the amount of other ingredients that seemed right. Overall it was really easy!

Herb and Garlic Roasted New Potatoes
1/4 lb baby new potatoes (about 4 or 5) or use any potato you'd like
1 to 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon copped fresh thyme

1. Heat the Oven to 500*
2. Rise and pat dry potatoes, and cut into half or quarters (you want them all to be around the same size)
3. In a baking dish combine potatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, and enough olive oil to coat the potatoes. Cover the dish tightly with foil. (I mentioned this when I wrote about the meal earlier, but we just used a baking sheet and didn't cover them and they still turned out pretty good.)
4. Roast for 40 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender but not mushy.
5. Toss the hot potatoes with the herbs in the baking dish.

Really easy I think and really yummy too!


A Relationship Story

I love reading every one's stories about how they wound up in their relationship. I started thinking about it and realized I've never posted that story here myself. I do remember someone asking if part of the reason I moved to Louisiana was because of him. The answer to that is definitely no. I have already posted the story of how I wound up in Louisiana and if you read that (here) you'll see that no boy is mentioned, so how did it happen?

If you read the story about why I moved to Louisiana, you'll know I came her to go to grad school for math. One of the classes I was taking at LSU was combinatorics. Basically a fancy name for saying counting, but counting weird things like "If you had 1 banana, 3 oranges, 2 plums, and 6 apples in a bowl and you pick 3 pieces of fruit, how many different combinations of fruit can you have?" Do I lose everyone by posting a math question?

Back to the story. I can be really shy in large group situation, and while it wasn't a huge class it was large enough for me to be intimidated. Which means I didn't really make an effort to make conversation with the people in the class with me. Instead before class I would always bring a copy of the newspaper to read or to do the sudoku. (A bit off topic, but one of the things I liked going to a school the size of LSU was they published a student paper everyday! Which meant new things to read everyday! A little different from my liberal arts college publishing a newspaper around once a month.)

Back to combinatorics, since I'm talking about this class in particular you might have guessed that the boy was in this class as well. If so you'd be right. A few weeks into the the semester I was leaving the class room as normal at the end of class. Except the boy stopped me and the door and said, "I don't think I've ever seen you talk to anyone the entire time we had this class."I laughed and responded saying something about "not talking to strangers" and pretty much walked away as fast as I could to avoid having to say anymore.

Yeah, I'm not really good when I'm being confronted or put in awkward situations so I really didn't know what else to do. Clearly, that wasn't the end of our relationship, since we'll have our 3 year anniversary this fall. Maybe eventually you'll get the rest of the story from me!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Adventures in Cooking

I've been craving pancakes for a while now, and actually bought blueberries to make blueberry pancakes a few weeks ago. Except I didn't have any flour. This weekend I remember to get flour, but the blueberries had since been eaten. So instead of making blueberry pancakes we went with plain pancakes, which are still really good. I used to recipe The Breakfast Book which is the recipe my mom used to make pancakes when I was growing up. We actually halved the amount, because normally when I make them for the two of us we have far too many leftovers. By making only half we had 8 pancakes which was the perfect amount. (It actually made 8 plus 2 more that I flipped too soon and weren't really good all the way.)

Then for dinner I decided to be the devoted girlfriend I sometimes am and cook dinner as well. I was planning on making green beans, but Fresh Market didn't seem to have any. Since none of the vegetables really looked amazing I just decided to make a salad instead.
This is my go-to salad. I buy one of the pre-made mixes (this is fresh herb mix), I cut up some fruit (this has white nectarines), and I include a little cheese although the only cheese I'll use is feta or parmesan (this one had feta). Also this time I threw in some chopped pecans for fun. Then I'll just drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top. (I wasn't actually too big with the nectarine feta mix, I did make it with parmesan for lunch today and like it a lot better.)

For a side I made Garlic Roasted New Potatoes which comes from The Little Black Apron. These were really simple to make, except we don't really have a roasting pan so I made them on a cookie sheet. Although they pan was supposed to be wrapped in aluminum foil to keep the heat in, but we didn't have any of that either. The potatoes still turned out pretty good, I had to cook it a little extra, and you can tell some potatoes were more cooked than other, but it still worked.
Herb and Garlic Roasted New Potatoes

For the main course I went with salmon. The recipe I used was also from The Little Black Apron. It was Maple-Dijon Salmon, which called for dijon mustard and maple syrup for the glaze. (Good think I already had maple syrup from the pancakes!) Except we had honey-dijon mustard, so I didn't use all the maple syrup suggested, mainly for the boy's benefit since he's not a big fan of sweet things. I would have been ok if it was a tiny bit sweeter. As it was he didn't eat much of the sauce since it was too sweet for him.
Maple-Dijon Salmon
This was actually my first time ever cooking any sort of fish. I do like fish, but always felt a little too intimidated to try to make it. I normally stick to chicken and pasta. I was really surprised at how easy it was to cook, and how much I enjoyed what I did cook. I would totally make this again. Although to be honest the boy says his piece was a little undercooked, but mine was fine. They were different sizes, and I told him to put it back in the oven since I hadn't even had the chance to turn it off yet. Clearly, it wasn't undercooked enough for him to do that, and he still ate the whole thing. I think it all came together pretty, what do you think?
My plate

And for dessert? I had my first ever Larabar! I was really surprised at the consistency of it. I assumed it would be more grainy like a granola bar, but the major consistency was actually dates. And the flavor? Also a surprise, I had a lemon bar (see?)
Lemon Bar Larabar
and I was really surprised at how lemon-y it tasted. I've been hearing they taste just like what they say they are and its true, it tasted just like a normal lemon bar (and I love normal lemon bars). I would easily try more of them, anyone have a favorite flavor I should try next?


P.S. If anyone is really curious to see the recipes for anything above let me know. I figured this entries long enough already, but would be more than happy to post them if you really want to see.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Away We Go

We didn't have a lot of movies to pick from this weekend. We saw The Ugly Truth last weekend. We really didn't want to see G-Force. We were willing to settle for Orphan. But lucky for there was a showing more than one movie showing at 4:40, and since I've been wanting to see this movie since it came it in limited release, well Away To Review!

Away We Go
I do think I over hyped it. I was so looking forward to this and had such high expectations that it really couldn't quite met them. I still enjoyed the movie overall, but it wasn't quite there.

In general the movies seems to put the two main characters in awkward situation after awkward situation. If you like seeing people in awkward situations then you'd probably enjoy this, but it just felt awkward to me. There were two major laugh out loud moments. But the rest of the movie wasn't necessarily funny, but more a laughing because you feel like you're in an uncomfortable situation and you're not sure what else to do. There were a few romantic scenes at the end I did like.

Normally at this point I'd give ideas about what to go see instead of this. But honestly, I'd classify this as almost a romance, and there aren't a lot of romantic type movies out. (I'd say its as much as a romance as Garden State is a romance, and thinking about it now there are a lot of similarities between this and Garden State.) I won't necessarily go out of my way to see it again, but I definitely don't think it was a waste of money. The boy on the other hand, well let's just say I don't think I could EVER get him to watch this with me again.

Moving to a different note, the season finale of The Bachelorette is on tonight! I know I haven't written a lot about it this season, but I'm thinking Jillian's going to choose Ed, although it wouldn't surprise me if they're already broken up on the renunion show.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Favorite Books: Children's Style

Recently me and the boy had to buy presents for his niece's 2nd birthday. (Her birthday and party are next weekend.) We were told to buy "outside things," so we wound up buying a bubble mower and for fun threw in a few extras. We probably could have been done there, but I felt we needed to buy her some books. I love books now, and clearly that came from somewhere because I have fond memories of so my books from my childhood. It was hard to pick out just one of two. I can only imagine the number of books that I'm going to wind up buying whenever we do finally have children (which is most definitely several years away). So without further adieu some of my favorites, some you've probably heard of, some maybe not.

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Pretty much a classic I think, and I'm sure pretty much everyone has heard of this. I think its a book pretty much every little girl should own.

The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
Another classic, although I think a little less well know. Basically its the story of a house in the middle of the country. Except cities slowly encroach onto the house, and instead of being a new house full of sunshine it gets a little run-down and the tall building block out the sun. And of course since its a children's book at the end the house it bought by a family who moves the actual house back out to the country.

The High Rise Glorious Skittle Skat Roarious Sky Pie Angel Food Cake by Nancy Willard
I LOVED this book when I was little, although I think it might be out of print now. I will say if you ever do see this book you should look through it. I love the pictures and love the story, and of course it includes the recipe for High Rise Glorious Skittle Skat Roarious Sky Pie Angel Food Cake so you can make it yourself.

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
Yet another award winning book. When I was little we just called it "The Lupin Lady" book. Even now anytime my mom sees lupins she points them out to me and I think of this book.

I could easily, easily go on. I mean just listing a few titles there's Blueberries for Sal, Where the Wild Things Are, and of course Goodnight Moon, but I would probably be here forever.

Now of course, here are the actual books we wound up buying for her!

The Little Engine That Could
We did actually by the board book. I figured that since she'll only be 2, she's not quite at the age to really appreciate an actual book. And I figured a board book might be a little bit safer. Of course I didn't realize till I brought it home that the board book I bought is actually an abridged version! Seriously! They have to abridge children's books even shorter? But I guess the essence is still there, although if I had known I might not have bought it. And if you want to know the actual book was written by Watty Piper.

A Baby A Sister For Frances by Russel Hoban
I loved all the Francis books, and I'm pretty sure I had them all. And since the birthday girl will become a big sister in October I figured its fitting. She will be having a little brother, but I had a little brother and still had this book. I figured its still a good choice.

Anyone else have any children's books they look back on and remember fondly? Or if you have children now, do you have any favorite books you like reading to them?


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ranchero Beans

Kashi's Ranchero Beans
Kashi's Ranchero Beans
Part of me remembered not liking this the first time I tried it. So I was a little reluctant to buy it, and once I did buy it, it sat in the freezer for a while. But I hadn't ever blogged about it, so tonight I went for it.

Surprisingly, I liked it! (I think maybe just the name is what I remember disliking. Even now I feel a little silly admitting I enjoyed eating ranchero beans.) I thought my favorite part was going to be the red pepper because in general its one of my favorites. But it wasn't. The red pepper was still really good. I just liked the pinto beans more. They were the perfect soft texture, which is impressive considering its a microwaved beans and beans don't always reheat very well.

The overall verdict, I'd probably buy it again. Although maybe Kashi would let me change the actual name on the box?


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Are You A Scrapper?

When people ask me if I have any hobbies I normally say that I scrapbook. I'm not saying I'm lying when I say this, but more that it is entirely correct. I think the catch is in order for it to be a hobby you actually have to do something. I love the idea of having a scrapbook, and being able to look at it and recall all the memories. I also love all the fun scrapbooking stickers and papers. And I am forever coming up with ideas that I want to scrapbook about. (Maybe one on my relationship with the boy? Or one on my trip to Israel last summer?) Except I hate leaving something unfinished. And I'm still working on my France scrapbook. My France scrapbook from my trip in 2005!

I am about 3 weeks into the 4 week trip though. Of course the first 3 weeks were spent in Avignon and the 4th was spent in Paris. And we did a lot more stuff when we were in Paris. (This is partly because we were actually in class most days when we were in Avignon.)

I was actually productive and did a little scrapbooking this weekend. Want to see?
Fun in the SunNights Out
And again if I'm being honest, I only actually did the "Nights Out" layout the weekend. The "Fun in the Sun" page is actually from a few months ago.

I do know the next two pages I'm planning on making, so at least I have a start. Maybe you guys can hold me accountable to do them sooner than next December?

I will also admit, that I don't think I'm the best scrapbook. I normally pick out all the pictures I want to use and arrange them this they looks best. And I really only use paper and stickers, instead of all of the fun extras you can add. I do think I've slowly gotten better over the years, and do really like the "Fun in the Sun" layout above. If you're curious I have posted my pages before, so maybe you can see some progress. Or if you're even more curious you can see all of my pictures from my France trip.

Do you any of you scrapbook like I do? Or do you actual scrapbook for real, as in more than twice a year? Any one want to share any layouts they've done?


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's a Blog, Not a Memoir Part 2

Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster
You might have noticed this has been under my goodreads sidebar for a while as books I've read. And now I am finally actually writing about it. I did enjoy reading this, but I do think I liked her first book better. (If you're curious you can read my review of Bitter is the New Black here.) I think its partly because there was more of an actual plot line to the first book. For example in Bitter she loses her job, is unemployed, and they by the end has her book deal. Brights Lights didn't have nearly as cohesive of a story line. It basically takes place while she was writing Bitter, and you could say the story is just what goes on behind the scenes when you're writing a book.

Honestly, there didn't seem to be much a flow between chapters. Instead each chapter read as if it was an expanded blog entry. Considering she is a blogger, I'm guessing that's exactly what each chapter actually was. An entry from her blog that she developed into chapter length. With that said if you like reading blogs, you'll probably enjoy reading. And I'm going to guess if you're here on my blog reading this then you probably do like reading blogs.

Even though I thought this book wasn't as good as Bitter, I'm still planning on reading the next two. I don't really like ending something before I'm finished. Hopefully the books do get better, although even if they are only as good as Bright Lights, I'll still enjoy them.


Monday, July 20, 2009

It's Delivery

Not that long after I moved to Baton Rouge I was at a friend's apartment and both of us were hungry. Neither one of us wanted to cook. We didn't want to go anywhere so we decided we wanted someone to deliver. We started looking in the phone book and on-line to see what we could get to deliver. Let's just say Baton Rouge is NOT New York. The only type of food we could get to deliver was of course pizza. I think a year or so, I actually looked online hoping to find somewhere that would deliver, specifically Chinese food. What did I find, someone posting on a message board, "Why is there no Chinese food delivery in Baton Rouge." Not a good sign.

A bit of a side note to be completely honest, there are a few delivery restaurants close to LSU campus. However, there are no Chinese food delivery. There are however one Italian delivery I liked, as well as a place that delivers wings. Now that we've cleared that up.

Imagine how excited I was when I got a flier for Chinese delivery at our new apartment. I clearly had to try some. So over the weekend me and the boy had this brought to the front door.

Chinese Delivery

Curious as to what we ordered?

Chicken with Snow PeasWonton Soup
Vegetable Lo MeinPork Fried Rice

Starting in the top row we have chicken with snow peas and wonton soup. In the second there's vegetable lo mein and pork fried rice. The boy actually ate all of the fried rice, because I try to stay away from pork products. Yes, I do realize there is probably pork in the wontons. But of course this brings up my classic kosher example. I won't eat pork fried rice because it has pork in its name. I will eat wonton soup, because it isn't actually called pork wonton soup. So maybe there's pork in it, maybe there's not. Makes sense? Well it does to me, and isn't that what really matters?

How was the actual food? Honestly, it wasn't amazing and not the best Chinese food delivery I've ever had. But the ability to order Chinese food and have it delivered to me. I love that. And I definitely think the convenience it worth it.

And of course it can't be Chinese food without these!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Ugly Truth

I've already written about the major movie opening this weekend. But what would an end of the weekend be without me posting a movie review. I didn't want to disappoint anyone (really I'm sure, anyone = just me). But I can't let me you all down! Luckily, we had a sneak peak of one of next week's big release at our local theater.

The Ugly Truth
First I love Katherine Heigel. I love her on Grey's, but I even loved her back when she was on Roswell. If you want to go back before that, I loved her Disney Channel movie Wish Upon A Star, and I have watched My Father, The Hero numerous times. I will say that my best friend LOVED My Father, The Hero, and that's the main reason I watched that over and over. Wish Upon A Star though is all me. So basically I wanted to see it based on just her. And well, she didn't disappoint.

The actually movie though? I thought it started strong, and really liked the ending. But there were some points in the middle that just felt a little long. I asked the boy his opinion, and he said there were a lot of really funny highs, but the times in between the jokes were just kind of there.

Overall I did like it, and it is one of the better comedies out right now (at least come next weekend, when The Ugly Truth hits wide release). If you haven't seen The Hangover, I would have that be your best choice. But The Ugly Truth would be a good second, and a much better choice than Bruno.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Amy's Enchilada
Amy's Enchilada
Let me start out by saying that I don't normally like enchilada's, which meant I was a little hesitant to buy this. But the reason I don't like them is because they are normally far too cheesy for me, and I'm just not big on melted cheese. But since the box says vegan and non-dairy I thought I might be safe. I was a little worried there would be some fake cheese substitute thing, but luckily this was not the case!

This meant the actual enchilada was packed for of just vegetables (and probably tofu as well), but no actual cheese. The sauce that topped it off was really good, and left a little kick at the end. I think my favorite part might have been the rice though. The flavors in the rice just really seemed to work.

The only thing I was a little disappointed with were the beans. I heated it for 5 minutes like the directions said. You can kind of tell from the picture that the beans got heated a little too much. They still tasted fine, but weren't amazing. Of course the instructions do say to use heating times as a guideline, and that they may very per microwave. Maybe that means I should be microwaving my food slightly less. I know I've had this problem at least once before.

One final thing I did like about this it that is was a whole meal (yes, it actually says whole meal on the box). I'm pretty sure Amy's sell its enchilada's two ways. One as a meal with rice and beans (aka what I bought). The second with two enchiladas and no sides. If you planning on eating by yourself I'd say whole meal is the way to go.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

HP & The HBP: The Review

I know I'm normally pretty good about avoiding all spoilers in my reviews, but this is Harry Potter. My thought process is if you really care about avoiding any type of spoiler, then you probably should have read the book by now.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
I didn't like the last HP movie, Order of the Phoenix very much. Mainly because it seemed to be more of a highlight reel of the book. There wasn't really a cohesive movie in there. Since I had read the book I knew what was happening, but I'm sure if you hadn't read the book you would have no idea what was going on.

This book took the exact opposite approach. Which means that the two only a few main plot lines and expanded them into a movie. This time if you haven't read the books you would at least be able to follow along with what was happening. But having read the books, there is SO much missing. So much vital information the will really be necessary to make sense of the 7th movie. For example, almost all of the pensive Tom Riddle scenes are gone. This is actually something I would have really liked to have seen. The parts with his mother's family, and the scenes of him starting to collect items for the horcruxes.

And the horcruxes themselves? At the end of the movie Dumbledore does tell Harry there are 7 horcruxes, but never goes into what they might be. Since this is so important to know in the 7th book, I'm not sure how they will explain this. Although they do have two movies to fill (yeah!).

One thing that bothered the boy was Snape and Harry confrontation at the end. In the book Snape seems to be trying to help him. Trying to give him advice almost. In the movie he just seemed to be evil.

Also, Dumbledore's "Please," didn't sound the way I expected it too. Although I do think the way he said it fit pretty perfectly.

And the house elves (Dobby & Krecher), weren't there. They didn't have a very part in this one, but they both have pretty big parts in the next. Hopefully they don't get cut out of the final movie(s) as well.

Despite all the criticisms I voiced above, I really did love the movie. I think it might actually be one of my favorite ones. And well, I can't wait for the next one!

Moving past the actual movie to the movie going experience. All 15 auditoriums at the theater we went to were sold out, which is how it was most places. Luckily since it was Baton Rouge we were able to buy our tickets earlier that day. They were letting people sit in whichever theater they wanted. Which means when we arrived just after 11 it was hard to find a good seat. We wound up one of the smallest theater in the 3rd row from the very front.

Then I had to amazing idea to go to the concession stand. Mainly because it was midnight, and I needed caffeine. The entire lobby was FULL of people waiting in line to buy food. After 40 minutes I finally got to the front where they told me they were out of almost all drinks. The only thing they still had left was bottle water, which was slightly warm because they couldn't keep the fridges stocked. I figured I wanted my 40 minutes of waiting to be worth something, so I bought my $5 bottle of water and candy.

Now we live around 2 minutes from this theater. But since all 15 screens let out at approximately the same time into the same small parking lot, well we didn't quite get home that quickly. Let's see, the movie ended at 2:30am, we got home around 3:15. But even having to deal with all of this hassle, it was still SO worth it!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

HP & the HBP Tonight

I'm posting a little late tonight. Mainly because when I got home from work I figured a nap was in order so I would be fully awake to see Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince tonight. So I figured in honor I would post a little about my Harry Potter history.

The funny thing is I "discover" Harry Potter before it really became mainstream. I remember being in a bookstore around when I was in 8th or 9th grade (aka around '98). (It was a Border's if you're really that curious.) I was in the children/teen/young adult section looking for something to new too read. (Even back then I was reading constantly.) I saw I book that really only jumped out at me due to the cover. Of course this was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I picked it up skimmed the inside cover, and decided the book didn't sound nearly as exciting as the cover made it look so I put it back.

I kept exploring, and eventually my mom found me and told me to make my final selections. Along with the books I wanted, I figured I'd show her the fun book cover I found. She read the insides and said something along the lines of, "I'm sure your brother would love this!" I was a little surprised since I didn't think it sounded that amazing, but if she thought so.

Secretly I was hoping a little inside that my brother wouldn't like the books that much, and that I would have been right. Clearly that wasn't the case. My brother, like everyone else LOVED them. This must have been around the holiday, because I remember driving down to my grandparents house and my brother reading various aspects of the book. I specifically remember him reading several scenes at the Dursley's. Since he loved them so much, I figured I should probably read them as well. And not long afterwards the rest of the world followed! I'm glad I was such a trendsetter. (OK, maybe I wasn't the FIRST person to get in Harry Potter, but I was least one of the first right?)


Monday, July 13, 2009

I Love You Bruno

So this entry will probably be a little short. Mainly because I wasn't paying attention to the time and The Bachelorette is starting in about 10 minutes. Luckily, there isn't a crazy amount I want to say about either of these movies so it shouldn't be too bad.

Please know what you are getting into when you see this movie. Do not be like the people who left within the first 5 minutes of the movie in the middle of the first gay... love scene. (Yes, there is a word that would have worked slightly better there.) If you are easily offended you probably will be offended. And know that there will be a lot of nudity. The majority of it male, but some female as well.

If you have seen Borat you have a pretty good idea what you're getting into. I don't think its a good as Borat. I think part of that is that there isn't as much novelty. We know what to expect, and know that all the skits are 100% real. It is still funny, and if you liked the first you will probably be amused as well. Overall, I'd say my favorite part is the celebrity sung song at the very end.

I Love You Beth Cooper
No, this movie wasn't that offensive, but it wasn't very good either. There were a few scenes that worked, and were almost good. But overall the movie just wasn't very good. I actually asked the boy if we could live halfway through the movie. I wasn't completely serious because I love the theater atmosphere, but it was bad enough that I said it.

I'm hoping for Hayden Panettiere's sake she made this a WHILE ago. Back when she was acting in the Bring it on sequels. I think she better than this now. Although she hasn't really been in many movies, so maybe this is the best they're offering her. If so, yuck! I'd tell her to stick to tv acting.

There were several 12-year-old boys in the audience who seemed to think it was hilarious. So if you're a 12-year-old boy you might love it. I would say if you really want to go to a movie, skip these two, wait till tomorrow night and go see Harry Potter!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chicken and Eggplant

Last night I decided to go all out and make dinner. I found some recipes that I thought looked interesting, and of course the Boy shot them down. So I took out the multitude of cookbooks I have to see if we could agree on something. He winds up finding the main course, and I found the side dish in a different cookbook. Then we headed of to Fresh Market to pick up groceries. (Since we have no Trader Joe's here, this has quickly become my favorite grocery store.) I was steered away from the giant cupcakes. (They were huge! Some topped with jelly beans, others topped with small silver balls. Unfortunately, they were not quite allowed in the cart. But I'll move on, eventually.) Even without the cupcakes we still spent far too much. And now, without further adieu...

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Sage Pesto
Taken from Nancy Silverton's A Twist of the wrist, a cookbook my parents bought and had signed for me.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Sage Pesto
1. Rub canola oil on both sides of the chicken breasts and pound till approximately 1/2 thick, and has doubled in size.
2. Press 3 sage leaves onto the skinned side of each chicken beast and wrap one prosciutto slice around. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
3. Heat canola oil in large skillet. When the oil's almost smoking press two chicken breasts into the skillet sage side down and sear for two minutes

I failed a little as this part. Because every time I would try to set the chicken breast down nicely I would feel the oil splattering my hand. So I would freak out and drop the rest of the chicken breast, which only made the oil splash EVERYWHERE. Onto the stove, the ground, even the burned itself which made quite a pretty/scary flame. But getting back to the recipe.

4. Flip the chicken breasts and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove chicken breasts and set on plate. Repeat with remaining breasts.

The is the part where we altered with recipe a little. At this point to mix sage pesto and vegetable broth on the stove and let it reduce into a sauce. Then top the whole thing with lemon infused olive oil. The Boy saw vegetable and freaked out. So instead we just heated up the store bought pesto and mixed it up the lemon infused olive oil. Which was only olive oil that we'd mixed with lemon zest.

The recipe says to serve over a bed of mixed greens. But again The Boy nixed that. Instead we made some penne pasta and served the chicken over that. Since we were taking the vegetables out of the main dish I figured with need at least some time of veggie on the side.

Mediterranean Eggplant
From The Little Black Apron, yet another cookbook my parents bought and got signed for me.
Mediterranean Eggplant
Before I start with the recipe, the eggplant itself is from The Boy's parents' garden. I'm not sure what kind of eggplant this actually is. Japanese eggplant, maybe? Either way, I felt the need to actually use it before it went bad.

1. Heat the oven to 400*F.
2. Cut eggplant into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices and place on baking sheet.
3. In a bowl combine 1 tbls olive oil, juice of half a lemon (the same lemon we used for the lemon zest above), and 1/4 teas cumin.
4. Brush both sides of eggplant with the juice mixture and season both sides with salt and pepper.
6. Roast until tender. Sprinkle feta over each slice and cook for two minutes longer until the feta starts to melt.
7. Remove from oven and scatter with chopped mint.

Overall, I was impressed with how I got everything to finish at around the same time. The Boy helped a little, mainly with pounding and wrapping the chicken. But I did most of it. Things did get a little hectic when the smoke alarm started going off at the same time the water for the pasta started boiling over. And there was all the oil spillage I mentioned earlier, but other than that no major problems. On of this first chicken breasts I cooked was a little raw on the inside. I made sure the heat the rest a lot longer. It wasn't a big deal though, because the Boy decided we needed leftovers and bought 8 chicken breasts for the 2 of us. So yes, there are leftovers.

The chicken itself was really good, but I'm not too sure about the pesto sauce we brought. I think I might have enjoyed it more over lettuces, but the pasta turned out well. My favorite thing about the eggplant was probably the feta (surprise surprise). But I didn't really like the cumin flavor. Not sure if I added too much or if it just didn't mesh well. Next time though I would probably add less cumin or maybe take it out altogether.

I think though I am impressed with the way it all turned. And of course, one picture of my plate to see how it all turned out.
Chicken over pasta with eggplant
Anyone else have any exciting meals over the weekend?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Indian Vegetable Korma

Amy's Indian Vegetable Korma
Amy's Indian Vegetable Korma
Yes, I had Indian food last week. But I haven't had Amy's a good while so I figured it evens out. Now taken directly from the box:

"Made with organic vegetables and rice. Curried vegetables with rice & dal."

Not sure what dal is? Well neither did I. Turns out from the back of the box its the Indian word for lentils. And I know what lentils are! Honestly, I had forgotten how much I love Amy's product. It was so good, the whole time I was trying to eat slowly so it would last longer.

Starting with the rice. It had kind of a lemony flavor, and it was the pretty temperature and texture. But the rice for probably my least favorite part. Not because it was bad, but because the other parts we so good. The curried vegetables were really good. Pieces of potatoes, peas, and carrots. All perfectly soft. And then there were the lentils which were also really good. They actually had a few raisins mixed in with them which was a pleasant surprise.

What I loved about this product was that it felt like an actual meal. It gave me a variety of thing to eat. And made me realize I need to start buying more Amy's products again!

And for dessert? Well its been a while since I've had one of these!
Betty Crocker Mini Warm Delight
Betty Crocker Mini Warm Delight in Molten Caramel Cake
And the caramel sauce? I was aiming to make a heart. Clearly a fail there. Even with the lack of a heart, still really yummy.


7 and 7

Amber at Girl With the Red Hair sent me this award!
I'm not really sure what the same of it is. The image is called premio meme award, and if you look really closely the award itself say Meme blog 2009 award. So I guess I will officially call it Premium MEME 2009 Award.

Let's begin. The rules of the Premium MEME 2009 Award are as followed:

"To accept this award, the recipient must list 7 traits about myself and then pass the award onto 7 other bloggers who deserve recognition for the personality they share through their blog."

And we're off.

1. I have a ginormous sweet tooth. If I could I would love off candy 100%. This means of course I waste far to much money at the movie theater.
2. Continue with number 1, I love Little Debbie snack cakes. My favorite are zebra cakes, although I love buying the holiday themed ones. The 4th of July ones of probably my favorite, although silly me forgot to buy any thing year.
3. I don't really enjoy shopping. I think part of it is because I don't like spending money. I think part of it is because I don't think I have any fashion sense and want someone to tell me what looks good or not.
4. I am always smiling. And no, this is not necessarily a good thing. Its not good when someone dies, and you have to turn away because you literally can't get the smile off of your face.
5. I am obsessed with bad reality television. Anybody else planning and watching 16 and Pregnant tonight?
6. Going back to number 1, my favorite candies are normally fruity, sour, and chewy. My all time favorite would be Zours.
7. If I could the only shoes I would wear would be flip-flops and Uggs.

I'm not actually sure how much the list above is classified as "traits." I'm thinking it might be more correct to have listed things as, procrastinator, sweet tooth, easily excited, and so on. But it looks as if this is what other people are doing, so who am I to argue? And of course the 7 bloggers whose personality deserves recognition

1. Amber at A Little Pink in the Cornfields
2. Carissa at the lovely dove
3. CeeCee at Pin-Up Paper Rockstars
4. Jennifer at Crazy Shenanigans
5. KAC at A Boston Belle
6. Karie at Wife of a Wounded Marine
7. Lacey at Perks of Being a JAP


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Our Run in With the Cops

On our jog today, yes we have been working out regularly for the past week and a half. Its a post-college post-soccer record for me. We had just run a spring up the hill we use and we walking back around to sprint a few more. Of course doing so we walk by a parked police car. As we walk by he slowly rolls down his window, "You know its over 100 degrees outside right?"

The boy responds, "Yes, and she wants you to arrest me for torture." Unfortunately, the officer did not agree and I was forced to sprint up the hill several more times.

And to counteract all my hard work, my dinner has just arrived. We ordered pizza from Papa Johns. Papa Johns because Pizza Hut will not deliver to our apartment and the boy does not like Dominos pizza. We used the 3 medium pizza for $7 and now have a peperoni pizza for him, a half peperoni half cheese pizza for us to split, and a chicken, olives, and green peppers pizza for me. Although I won't be eating my whole pizza tonight. I guess I have lunch for the rest of the week!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cupcake Scented Air Freshener

When the boy and I moved into our apartment together we never really divided up the chores. We more of did what felt naturally. Which means there are some things we both do separately, somethings we do together, and some things one specific person does.

To start with we will both do general tidying up around the apartment, but at different times. Not only at different times, but we clean up differently as well. When I clean I do something small a few times a week. Say clean the stove or counters in the kitchen or vacuum part of the carpet. The boy on the other hand will clean less often, but when he does will get inspired and clean the entire living room at once.

Laundry is something we do together. I don't want to do this on my own mainly because it would take me several trips to bring everything to the laundry room. And there is the fact that I have to carry the clothes next to the pool to get to the laundry room. I'm always afraid I'm going to drop something in. Which is why I make sure he is here when I want to do laundry. However, its hard for him to do a load of laundry on his own because he isn't normally in the apartment for long stretches of time.

The dishes are a chore I have claimed on my own. Partly because he doesn't seem to remember to put his dishes in the dishwasher. And there is the fact that he doesn't load the dishes the "right" way. So whenever I put things in I will normally rearrange the dishes to maximize space. Since we have a big dishwasher and its just the two of us we normally only run the dishwasher once a week. I normally time it so I'll unload the dishes Saturday or Sunday morning while I'm making me coffee.

Taking the trash out is something I refuse to do, which means it has become the Boy's responsibility. There is the fact that trash bags and heavy, and the dumpster is on the complete other side of our apartment complex. Which means the Boy either has to carry the bag ridiculously far, or put the trash bag in his car and drop it off on his way out. This has some interesting consequences.

A few months ago the Boy picked me up at work for lunch. I got into his car and noticed an interesting smell, "Does it smell like cupcakes to you?"
"Yes it does! And I've searched the car and can't find anything in it."

Almost I week later I walked by his car and noticed a bag of trash in the back. A bag of trash that he been in his car for a week. A bag of trash the contained some imitation Easter peeps candy I had thrown out because they weren't very good. So the cupcake smell wasn't actually cupcakes, instead it was melted peeps. Even now, several months later, whenever he uses the air conditioning in his car you get a nice whiff of cupcakes.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Let Me See Your Funky Chicken

I'm not a big hamburger person. Actually let me correct that, I'm not a big fast food hamburger person. At a bbq I would prefer a hamburger over a hot dog, and every once in a while I will crave a restaurant burger. But a burger from a fast food place? Not going to happen. (Unless of course its an In-N-Out Burger, but does that really count as fast food?)

This creates the question what do I eat when I get fast food. I would love to be able to say I am healthy and never give in to the temptation but let's be realistic here. At any fast food restaurant I will always order the chicken nuggets. Or the chicken fries at Burger King. Or chicken selects at McDonald's. Either way, you get the picture.

This is the main reason why I love fast food restaurants that specialize in chicken. For example, Chick-Fil-A, which I say as its spelled Chick-Fil-A. You can't tell me that's isn't more fun than just saying Chick-fillet. Boring. But since I can't have Chick-fil-a all the time, especially not if its a Sunday, I have Raising Canes!

Raising Cane's is a chicken based fast food restaurant that was originally founded in Baton Rouge. Which means there's probably 15 or so in this city alone. I know they are slowly expanded, but I'm not sure what states they've made it to. I believe I heard something about Florida and Texas. Anyone want to deny or confirm? But what exactly are you getting at a Raising Canes?

Raising Cane's 3 Finger Combo
Raising Cane's 3 Finger Combo

To start with each of their meals come with a piece of Texas Toast (after all it is taking up almost the whole picture). I can't say I ever had a lot of Texas Toast before moving to Louisiana, but I love it now. You can't really tell because of the toast, but this is a 3 finger meal, aka 3 chicken fingers. I normally get the 4-finger meal otherwise known as the "Box Combo" but I wasn't particularly hungry this day. The Box Combo also comes with coleslaw, which isn't bad, but I'll normally exchange if for an extra piece of toast. Of course like all fast food restaurants it comes with fries. Honestly, their fries aren't that good either. However their chicken is awesome. Definitely the best fast food chicken I've had.

You can also see in the picture the Cane's sauce. I think its a combination of ketchup and mayonnaise of some sort. I'm not really sure. I'm not a big sauce person so I don't normally eat mine. Of course people who are big sauce people love this stuff. On their menu they actually list out the price for a drink cup filled with the sauce. Not really sure why you'd need that much.

Speaking of drinks I normally get their fresh made lemonade. They also make a sweet tea, but I still haven't developed a taste for it yet. You can also buy large jugs of either the lemonade or the tea so you can drink it all the time.

There is one thing I like about Raising Cane's that doesn't necessarily have to do with the food. They're similar to In-N-Out in that they seem t o treat their employees well. They are closed almost every holiday and always have a sign up saying they are closed for the crew. And I don't mean just big holidays. I mean they are closed for 4th of Jule, Father's Day, Mother's day and not just for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If I had to pick my favorite fast food restaurant in Louisiana I'm pretty sure Raising Cane's might be it. Yes, I do love Taco Bell, but even Taco Bell tastes different outside of California. Have you ever heard of our tried Raising Cane's? Any thoughts? Or do you have a favorite fast food restaurant?


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ice Enemies

Or if you'd prefer "Public Age." Not quite the best weekend to play with the titles, and maybe even not quite the best movie weekend.

Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
I love 3-D movies, and will see almost everyone in the theaters. Ok, maybe I won't go see G-Force, but when Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and A Christmas Carol come out I will be there! Like most of the 3-D movies you really only notice the effect at the start and at the end. At the start because its new and exciting. And during t he credits because the 3-D is made to look way overdone. During the actual movie they want you to pay more attention to the story than the effects. But if you ever stop throughout the movie and actually pay attention to what you're looking at it looks awesome. For example, the fur on the woolly mammoths looks crazy good.

But moving past the effects to the actual movie. This was actually the first Ice Age film I've seen, but I don't feel like I was missing anything. It wasn't like there was a huge back story that I was missing. Overall though, I thought the movie was only ok. According to the boy the first was a lot better. It was fun, but I thought it seemed really long. And I'm sure if I thought it seemed long it must have seen even longer for the kids. Really though, the only reason I'd recommend seeing this is for the 3-D effects. Although if you haven't seen a 3-D movie yet, there are better ones out there.

Public Enemies
After the movie the boy said he was hoping for more action scenes. After the movie I was hoping for less gore. I guess that's where the went, right down the middle of the road in an attempt to not turn people off of the movie. I'm not normally big on these type of gangster movies, however I am big on historical movies. So I guess that made it a good compromise.

But if I'm being honest, the real reason I wanted to see this. Of course its because of Johnny Depp! I mean look at the poster. And Christian Bale's also in the movie if your partial to him. I did like this movie, but I think you might be better off waiting till its comes out on dvd.

So my thoughts if you want to go see a movie soon. I'd say avoid these two. If you're looking for an action movie, instead of Public Enemies go see Transformers. And if you're looking for a 3-D animated film instead of Ice Age go see Up. I hope this was at least a little bit helpful as always, and I hope everybody had a happy 4th of July!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Channa Masala

Sukhi's Channa Masala
Sukhi's Channa Masala

In case you're wondering exactly what channa masala, we have taken directly from the box, "Vegan Garbanzo Beans in a Sweet & Sour Sauce." Yes this is once again one of the Sukhi products. I'm pretty sure I'm gone through most of them by now!

Again my favorite part of this was the naan. Like last time I microwaved the meal, and warmed the naan up in the oven. I think I could have left the naan in the oven a tiny bit longer this time.

The actual main dish could have probably been in the microwave a tiny bit less. (If you look closely in the picture you can kind of tell on the edges.) It was still really good though. I love garbanzo beans, and the sauce was good too. It didn't start out very spicy, but the more I ate the spicier it got.

There was actually two servings in the package which I'm not a fan of. In a prepackaged meal like this, are you really going to share it? I will say I started to feel full before I had finished. Of course I wasn't very hungry in the first place, but well I'd been looking forward to trying this one. Of course when I started getting full there wasn't really enough left to save. I could have always thrown the last little bit out, but that feels wasteful to me.

Overall it was good. However, I will say that if you want to try a Sukhi's product, this does not come anywhere near to their samosas. I would say start with those, even though they are more of a party appetizer. I guess if you're looking for an actual meal for yourself the channa masala might be the way to go though.


And Isn't It Ironic

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
This book is inspired by the Sarajevo Haggadah, which is a version of the Haggadah that was original written in the 1400s and the original still exists today. (In case you didn't know, a Haggadah is the Jewish prayer book used to lead a Passover Sedar.) One significant point is that the book includes illuminations, and while illuminations were common in Christian Bibles, they are very uncommon in Jewish texts. Very little is known about the history of this book and why it was illustrated and written. We do know it survived the Spanish Inquisition in 1492, that a Catholic priest saved the book from being burned with his signature in the 1600s, and that it made it through the Holocaust without being destroyed while in Sarajevo.

The book is a fictional tale surround fictional women who was given the job of restoring the book in the 1990s. As she inspects the book she finds several clues that might give a sign as to something in the books past. With every piece of evidence she finds the narration switches and we get to see what in history produced that stain or change to the book in the past. We then get to see a wide range of stories from a wide range of people, showing how each person left a mark on this book.

What I found interesting with each flashback was that it covered a period of time I knew little about. When I think of Sarajevo I always think of the aftermath of the cold war. But this books shows what it was like for Jews during the Holocaust in Sarajevo. While I have read I large number of books based during this time period, the was the first I've read focusing on Western European Jews. There is a chapter mentioning the Jews in Venice during the 1600s. Again this is a time period I enjoy reading about, but normally read books surrounding the Kings & Queens of England.

A second interesting aspect of this book is some of the science used during the restoration parts. It similar in a way to an episode of CSI, where they are able to take a single piece of evidence and piece together the whole crime.

I bet you're wondering about the title? As I've said the central plot line to People of the Book is book restoration. While I left my book in the car when I was working as normally. I sometimes read books on my lunch hour, and always like to have the one I'm reading handy. Well, the Louisiana heat and humidity was not kind to my book. It actually melted in the car! The glue that was holding all the pages to the cover just kind of disappeared. And everytime I tried to read more, the pages themselves unconnected. I will say that this book is currently in 9 separate pieces... or 10, one more section broke in half as I was counting. Since I borrowed this book from my mom, well, Sorry Mom! Maybe I can get the main character from the book to come and restore it for me?


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Finally Getting Honest

Lacey at Perks of Being a JAP sent me a Honest Scrap Award. The funny thing is I was awarded this a few months ago from CeCe but never actually listed 10 honest things about. This time I'm sticking to the rules!

"The Honest Scrap award comes with a caveat or two. Firstly, you have to tell your readers ten things about you they may not know, but that are true. Secondly, you have to tag 10 people with the award. Thirdly, let all the people you've given the award to know that they've gotten it (comment on their blogs or something). And finally, make sure you link back to the person who awarded you."

1. I drink a lot of water through out the day. I'd say easily 6 or 7 glasses. If I had to pick anything to drink most times I will go with water. Even for breakfast.

2. When I was drinking all the water as I kid I would get a new glass every time, and leave them scattered around the house. Now that I do my own dishes, I kept the same glass and refill it multiple times. I guess its payback because at any given time the Boy had 5 or 6 glasses he's used around the apartment.

3. In first grade I wanted to be either an Astronaut or an Ice Cream Man. Way to have a wide range of expectations.

4. I like the idea of scrapbooking but never actually make the time to sit down and be creative.

5. In high school when they were filming The United States of Leland at my school (I've never seen it, but it does star Ryan Gosling.) my friend and I sneaked into to the closed off areas of the school and ate doughnuts from the craft services table.

6. I haven't tasted a drink of milk since 5th grade. And that last experience in 5th grade still traumatizes me.

7. I can't ride a bike. I've actually forgotten how to do it. Seriously.

8. When I was little I assumed I'd get married when I was 18 because I'd officially be an adult. Thankfully that didn't happen.

9. I always have my toilet paper come off from the top of the roll. And will actually change it if its not.

10. The first time I took my driver's test it started hailing in the middle. It was raining so hard that I couldn't see the lines on the street. I thankfully passed the second time.

And I'm awarding the Honest Scrap Award to the following bloggers! I'm trying to spread the love and send these along to blogs I've never tagged before. If you haven't been to any of these before, I suggest you check them out!

1. Baker Girl at An Extended Vacation
2. Emily at The Adventures of Little Miss Pissy
3. E-Money at Bros Before Hos
4. Erin at Cardigans and Kisses
5. Kim at Perfectly Cursed Life
6. Mallory Ann at Just A Preppy Beach Chic Girl
7. Meg at Southern Pathways
8. Mishi at The rest of my life so far
9. Suze at 30 Before 30 List
10. Rachel at Rachel's Pink Thoughts