Tag Archives: Cooking

Monday Musings – A Slew of Reviews

23 Jan

Happy Monday! Here are some things I did this weekend:

1. Friday Happy Hour at Hughes Hangar with friends. Review – loved it. Cool vibe, huge awesome patio, great drinks, good apps. Only complaint is that they were pretty slow, but then again it was our waitress’ first day, so I’ll cut her some slack.

2. Joshua Bell recital at Jones Hall. I happened to find discount tickets ($20 each for great seats) online last week, and I had randomly heard of Joshua Bell from this article, which I found fascinating, so I thought it would be a fun, cultural thing to do. You might be surprised that Jon agreed to go, but he’s played the piano for years, and used to play the cello too, so he’s actually a fan of classical music. Review – we both enjoyed it, although we both had some trouble staying awake after happy hour. I mean, he’s amazing at the violin, but it was still just him, another guy, a violin and a piano. That’s it. For two hours. You try to stay awake after a long day at work and two cocktails.

3. Saturday brunch at Down House in the Heights. Review – we liked it. Some friends recommended this place for brunch, and I’d heard a lot about it, and it lived up to expectations. Great brunch cocktails, yummy food, and really reasonable prices. As in, the two of us got out of there for $30 total which included two meals and two drinks. I also liked the atmosphere and it seems like it would be a fun happy hour or evening hang out as well.

4. Saw Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, finally. I read all three books, so I really wanted to see the movie, although those who said it was intensely graphic were in fact correct. It was painfully graphic at a few parts. Review – overall I liked it a lot. I think it did the book justice, and it was very fast-paced and interesting. Following the book too closely could’ve made it slow (and 8 hours long), but David Fincher avoided that while still including all the important parts.

5. Made dinner last night – meatloaf and brussels sprouts. I know, 8-year-old you just gagged a little. But it was actually really good! I found a healthy recipe for meatloaf (using ground turkey and lots of veggies) and I pan roasted the brussels sprouts with bacon. Can’t go wrong with bacon. And Jon loooves brussels sprouts, so the meal was a hit.

6. Other things I did this weekend – watched more Downton Abbey (so glad PBS has the second season streaming online), went to a yoga class, hung out with my mom while she helped me fix my living room curtains – they now hang all the way to the floor! I’ll have to post photos soon.

Old shot of the curtains hanging 3 inches above the floor

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Titles Are Hard

4 Jan

I just sat here staring at my screen for five minutes trying to figure out what to type in the Title section of this post. How am I supposed to come up with a title for every post? Especially when most of my posts are random and rambling. For example, today I was planning to post about a delicious recipe I made for dinner last night, a funny photo I saw on Facebook, and a complaint about the latest Les Mis movie casting news. How on earth am I supposed to come up with a title for all of that??

Anyway, moving on…

Last night, I made these for dinner:

Image courtesy of thepioneerwoman.com

Spicy Whiskey BBQ Sliders. Please note, that is NOT my photo. That is The Pioneer Woman’s amazing photo. Although my sliders did look that tasty, if not quite as pretty.

I saw this recipe the other day and pinned it to Pinterest, and when I went to the grocery store after work yesterday I decided I had to make them. And they were glorious. I forgot to buy jarred jalapenos, so I just added a good amount of jalapeno Tabasco, which worked pretty well – it gave the whole sauce some spice without having chunks that made some bites spicier than others. Oh and I used ground turkey instead of bison, to be healthier (plus, I doubt they sell bison at Kroger.. but who knows). And I halved the recipe cause it was just me and Jon. But yeah, did I mention they were delicious? And one more time just to be sure, all the recipe credit goes to The Pioneer Woman, and you can find the recipe here.

Next up: I came across this image on Facebook today and found it hilarious.

Image courtesy of George Takei's Facebook page

Sorry if I offend any Twilight fans by sharing this, but come on, you have to admit it’s funny. I have not actually read any of the books (despite numerous attempts by several friends to convince me), although I have seen the movies. But at least one person who has read all the books has told me that the writing is awful. So, there ya go.

And finally.. Les Mis. One of my favorite musicals of all time (along with Wicked). Seriously, I’ve seen it 5 times and it never gets old. So naturally I was pretty excited to hear they’re making a new movie musical version, with an all-star cast. First came Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, and Russel Crowe as Javert. Pretty sure Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter will be hilarious as the Thenardiers. And then came one of the most important roles of all – definitely the most important female role – Eponine. One of my favorite songs from the movie is hers – On My Own. Amazing. But it definitely won’t be so amazing when it’s sung by…….. Taylor. Swift. UGH!

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t really have anything against Taylor Swift. She’s cute, likable, her songs are catchy and fun (if not particularly impressive). But she can NOT act (hello, Valentine’s Day?), and she really can NOT sing. Not when you’re talking about musical theater singing.

I can’t understand why they offered her the role. Especially when Lea Michele was also under consideration.. surely she must have turned it down first, why on earth would they pick Taylor Swift over a proven Broadway actress who also has current pop-culture cred (Glee, while terrible, is still huge). There’s only one explanation – maybe they’re going for a musical comedy, as this article sarcastically suggests.

Alright, that’s enough venting for now. Anyone else with me on this? Or have other views? Any offended Twilight fans? Will anyone still see the Les Mis movie with Taylor Swift?

Things I Did Today

28 Dec

1. Went back to work after a too-short Christmas break. Bleh.

2. Underestimated how many other people would also be back in the office. Maybe I shouldn’t have worn jeans. Oh well.

3. Wore a green sweater with my new red Toms. Didn’t quite realize how much I looked like a Christmas elf ’til it was too late. Hey, why not keep the Christmas spirit around a little longer?

My new Toms - Thanks mom!

4. Found an orange yoga mat on Amazon. Perfect use for the Amazon gift card I got in my stocking!

5. Painted my nails. At work. Shhh. OPI Holiday Glow, in case you’re curious.

Still on the agenda for this evening: make Chicken Tortilla Soup (using a great recipe from The Pioneer Woman), and watch the UT bowl game (Hook ’em!) with the family.

My Weekend (via Instagram)

15 Nov

One of the first things I did this weekend was finally download the Instagram app on my iPhone.  I’d heard a lot about this (or rather, seen everyone’s photos), but I hadn’t gotten in on the craze until Friday.  So of course I decided to jump right in.  Here’s a summary of what I did this weekend, as told by my Instagram photos.

The hubby was out of town (Vegas for a bachelor party – lucky) so it was just me and Sebastian.  He was pretty excited about that fact:

Lazy kitty

So naturally, I did some shopping.  Remember I mentioned the sweet coupon I had for World Market?  Yeah I definitely took advantage of that:

My loot - all 10% off!

I got a fun candle holder, some taper candles, Christmas ornaments (notice one that looks like a certain lazy kitty?) and some sesame oil and allspice.  Naturally.  You’ll see where those two came in handy in just a sec.  Here’s my new favorite ornament though:

It's a pickle!

Has anyone else heard of the German tradition of hiding a pickle ornament on the Christmas tree?  Supposedly the first child to find the pickle on Christmas morning got an extra present.  I had heard of this and decided I wanted a pickle for my tree.  However, I actually did some research, and it seems that this “tradition” is actually just a myth.  Oh well.  I love pickles so I still love my new ornament.

The rest of my weekend consisted of a lot of cooking/baking.  I wanted to try out a couple of recipes I found on Pinterest.  So first I made some Spicy Thai Noodles:

Spicy Thai Noodles

I got the recipe from this blog.  Now you know why I picked up some sesame oil at World Market.  The noodles were delicious!  Both hot (Friday dinner) and cold (Saturday lunch) 🙂

Saturday morning I did a little baking.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

I got this recipe here.  They were supposed to be mini muffins, but I didn’t have a mini-muffin tin, so I just made them regular sized.  They were pretty good – not too sweet, so I didn’t feel gross having a couple for breakfast.  (This is where I used the allspice!)

I only used half a can of pumpkin for the muffins, so I decided to use the rest for dinner and make some pumpkin soup:

Pumpkin Soup

I know pumpkin soup sounds a little weird, but it was actually really tasty.  I just found an easy recipe online and tweaked it slightly.

That’s it for my weekend in photos!  Not terribly exciting, but sometimes a quiet and relaxing weekend is just what I need.

Anyone else try out some new recipes this weekend?  Or find a fun new Christmas ornament?