Movie Review: Battleship

So you know how yesterday I posted about going to a drive in movie theatre for our May date night?  (Well, the double feature that we saw was The Avengers followed by Battleship.  Now, I told you a few weeks back how much we loved The Avengers and I have to say, we didn’t mind sitting through it a second time in the least.  I didn’t possess a really strong desire to see Battleship except that the Hubs is ex-Navy so the moment he heard about a movie showcasing the Navy he was super excited and I knew we were going to go. 

The Hubs loved it, but I have to say I think he’s biased.  I thought it was mostly a fail.  Taylor Kitsch who plays the main character Lieutenant Alex Hopper is just sort of a putz.  You want to slap him.  A lot.  Also when their ship is hit and a lot of people die I also find it seriously hard to believe that a guy with six to seven years of experience is now the most qualified person on the ship and therefore becomes captain. 

There’s also some plagiarized scenes in the movie.  For the life of me I can’t find a picture or a clip of this scene but do you remember in the movie Titanic when Titanic is about to go completely underwater and they’re struggling to climb up the deck because it’s nearly vertical?  Then they climb over and hold on?  Yeah, it’s in there.  Oh!  And there’s a scene from Transformers 3 in there as well.  This scene was in all the trailers for the Transformers movie.  It’s where this office building gets cut in half and falls to the ground in slow-mo.  Yep, it’s in there too.

Basically it feels like they spent all of their graphic design money on these little spinny weapons of destruction that the enemy has.  That’s it though.  I realize that the aliens are supposed to be humanoids but really?  This was the best you could come up with?  An inbred face circa ‘Deliverance’ with lizard eyes and a porcupine goatee?

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Oh, and their great weakness is apparently sunlight except it’s used surprisingly sparingly against them. 

Rihanna does ok in the movie surprisingly.  I think what sort of irks me the most is the best actor in the entire movie is Liam Neeson and he’s only in there for about five minutes. 

I actually totally agree with this excerpt from a movie review website called Silver Screen Saucers the reviewer says this:

In December 2011, Peter Berg shared with journalists in Santa Monica the details of Battleship’s elaborate cinematic conception: “I went and talked to the guys at [toy company] Hasbro. I said, ‘I want to do a film about naval warfare, the modern navy.’ They said, ‘What’s the story?’ I said, ‘I’m not sure what the story is, but I’ll figure one out. But I’m your guy…’ [and]For some reason they were like, ‘Okay, you’re our guy.’” And that, apparently, is how two-hundred-million-dollar movies get greenlit in Hollywood today. As it turns out, Berg never did “figure out” a story for his big screen board game; but then, who needs a story when you’ve got Rihanna, massive guns, aliens, and Rihanna shooting massive guns at aliens? Alright, technically, Battleship does have “plot”, albeit a “plot” so weak that the word “plot” must, out of respect to real plots everywhere, remain in inverted commas throughout this review.

Honestly if you like reading movie reviews you should read this review (the one mentioned above).  This guy does a heck of a lot of research when he writes his reviews.  This one at least, is thorough and on point.  I have to leave you with yet another blurb from the aforementioned review that just totally cracked me up….

As 2,796 words is 2,795 more than Battleship deserves, I’ll abandon ship now with a desperate appeal: please, Hollywood, shining beacon of creativity and wonder that you are, end your relationship with the military – creativity and destructivity do not a good marriage make. And while you’re at it, end your sordid affair with ‘that’ toy company. To date, working side-by-side, Hasbro and the DoD have assaulted us with two G.I. Joes, three Transformers and a Battleship. One shudders to think what might be next…

May Date Night

Did you have a good holiday weekend? 

Friday night we went to Ikea to pick up a few things and then had dinner at The Macaroni Grill with my uncle.  It was good to get a chance to see him and catch up.  Considering that we live about twenty minutes away from each other and enjoy each other’s company a lot we see surprisingly little of each other.  Saturday we just putzed around the house until about 5pm or so and then we headed out for our monthly date night.

As you know, most of the time I don’t tell the Hubs what we’re doing for date night.  I basically just tell him what to wear and drag him off to do whatever random thing we’re doing.  He actually seems to like this a lot.  He calls them ‘our adventures’ and he tells me that I always keep him on his toes (in a good way).  That being said he was very concerned when I told him to wear his pajamas for this date night.  I swear he asked me ten times ‘are you sure it’s ok?’ 

Last month when we had our date night I mentioned that we were actually supposed to do something else but had decided to change our plans.  Well, we rescheduled it to May and that’s what we did. 

We went to see another movie just like we did in April but it’s the way we watched the movie that made it special.  We went to a drive-in movie theatre!  Have you ever been?  I never had (and neither had the Hubs) and I’ve gotta say, we’ll definitely go back.  If you live in Houston and want to check this place out all the information you need to know is here

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So Showboat (that’s the ‘theatre’) always plays double features.  Considering tickets are $6 for an adult and $4 for a kid I think that’s a steal.  Even if we go to the $6 matinee at our local AMC we’re technically getting to see a second movie free.  However, since most people go to the non-matinee showings and pay $10 per ticket you’re saving $28 just on two adult tickets.  Crazy huh?  The double feature does make for a crazy-late night but it was still fun and totally worth it.  AND you don’t have to stay for the second movie if you don’t want to.  I’d say about a third of the people there left after the first movie.  We stayed for both and left at about 1:30am.  It was a laaaaate night. 

Gates open at 6:30 and when we got there around 6:10 there were already quite a few people in line.  If you are going to go, I suggest that you get there no later than 6:10 if you want GREAT seats.  If you’re ok with so-so seats then it’s safe to get there later.  I did talk to one person who said that they’d showed up at 6:30 once and the ‘theatre’ was already full and they were turned away.  So, it’s a risk I suppose.  The movies don’t start until dusk though so that means that right now with it being summer and daylight savings time and all the movies don’t start until about 8:30pm.  This means you’re just chilling in your car for about 2.5 hours.  The Hubs and I are avid readers so this didn’t bother us one bit.  We rolled the windows down, put the seats back and read.  It was actually really nice to have some quiet time just to read (and not feel guilty for reading instead of doing laundry/cleaning the kitchen/etc).  Also, there’s a playground that was super popular with the kids who were there. 

There is a concession stand that has all the nibbles you’d normally find… popcorn, candy, sodas, nachos, corn dogs, hamburgers, etc.  The food was seriously reasonable.  The Hubs and I each got a corn dog and nachos and split a soda and I think it cost us around $11 or something.  Do you have any idea what that would cost at a normal AMC theatre?  About $25.  Remember that $28 you saved earlier on tickets?  You’ve now saved $42.  Not bad huh? 

I will say I was a little concerned about how good the viewing / hearing quality would be but I have to say, it surpassed my expectations.  The picture quality was just fine and we were able to hear fine through our car radio. 

Here’s the only part I didn’t like… no AC + windows down.  It was comfortable temperature-wise with the windows down however it’s outside in Texas which means there are BUGS (and we all know I hate bugs).  Surprisingly we didn’t have any mosquito problems but we did have random other bugs flying in the windows and crawling on us.  That made me jumpy and itchy and I spent the first movie slapping myself a lot.  During intermission we rolled the windows up and turned the AC on full blast.  When the second movie came on we just turned the car off (battery still on) but didn’t roll the windows down.  It was cool enough that we didn’t mind and I was much happier being bug free. 

The bathrooms were packed but clean.  I definitely suggest that if you need to go you don’t wait until the last minute because the lines (especially during intermission) can be 15 minutes long. 

Overall I definitely had a blast (Hubs loved it too) and we’ll definitely go back.  We will, however, either go in the winter (when we don’t have to roll the windows down) or we’ll get a fan with an adapter for the cigarette lighter so that, yet again, we don’t have to roll the windows down.  Boo bugs!

Recipe Review: Chicken Capri Pasta

Recipe Review:  Chicken Capri Pasta

I found this recipe a while back when Kraft came out with their Philadelphia Cooking Crème.  Have you used that stuff?  It’s great.

What You Need

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • ½ cup halved red pepper strips
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 tub (10 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Savory Garlic Cooking Creme
  • 2 cups hot cooked angel hair pasta
  • ¼ cup KRAFT Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Make It

  1. COOK and stir chicken and peppers in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 5 to 7 min. or until chicken is done. Stir in broccoli; cook 2 to 3 min. or until heated through.
  2. ADD cooking creme; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until heated through.
  3. SERVE over pasta; sprinkle with Parmesan.

I used a bit more red bell pepper just because I wanted to use up the bell pepper and not leave part of it in the fridge.  We also used regular spaghetti noodles instead of angel hair pasta.  I found that it took more than 2-3 minutes to get the broccoli cooked to the degree that we like it (I don’t like it still super-firm).  Next time I might toss it into the noodle water and let it boil for a few minutes and then toss it with the dish.  The dish came together in a flash and was really tasty.  Serve with a simple green salad and a slice of chilled watermelon and you’ve got yourself a quick summer dinner that everyone should love.

* sidenote:  Kraft in no way sponsored this post.  Although that’d be cool.  Also the photo above is from the Kraft Recipes website.  My photog skills are definitely not that good.  In my dreams!

I liked up to this party:

Bloom Designs
Chef in Training
Creatively Living
Delightful Order
Mommy by Day… Crafter by Night
Skip to my Lou
Under the Table and Dreaming

Birdcage Planter

So you know how the other day I posted about my loot from Goodwill but said at the bottom that I had three other projects I had to get completed first?  Well, this is one of the three.

You see, my friend DK has a friend who LOVES to have garage sales.  I mean this lady LIVES FOR IT.  DK, being the awesome gal that she is, lets her friend host garage sales at her house.  Nice huh?  Well they had one a few weekends back and I went over there to raid it before they sold anything I could makeover.  I came home with three pieces, one of which was this Christmas-y birdcage thing.  I assume that this guy was at one point part of someone’s Christmas decorations.  It’s hard to tell in the picture but he’s sort of a dingy gold color.

I picked up a Maidenhair Fern at our local nursery.  I honestly chose him for no other reason that I liked the way he looked.  Lucky for me, he should do relatively ok inside.  My only concern is that we might keep it too cold in our house for him.  We’ll wait and see how he does though.  Want to go know to care for your own Maidenhair Fern?  Go here.

I also went rummaging through our collection of pots to find a good pot to plant this guy in.  My husband was THRILLED with this pot that I found because it has a dragon on it.  He’s such a boy.  I like it too though so he got a bath (he was kinda yuck from sitting in our backyard side yard storage area for ump-teen years).

I started by taking the birdcage apart (3 screws holding the bottom ‘panel’ in place) and tossing the gross ornaments.  I gave him a good scrub and noticed that one of his ‘spokes’ had broken off on one end.  So, I had my super-handy husband solder the sucker back together.

Then I attacked him (the cage, not my husband) with spray paint.  I honestly wanted an ORB (Oil-Rubbed Bronze) color but couldn’t find the spray-paint I wanted at Wally World so I settled on a copper color instead.  I’m so happy that I did.  The color is gorgeous against the leaves.

I mixed 2 parts potting soil with 1 part vermiculite.  If you’ve never heard of this product before, no worries, you’re not alone.  I only heard of it a few years ago after doing some research for the garden we were working on.  Basically, it’s seed starter mix.  It’s light and loose which allows the plants to get their roots growing easily.  I also added some moisture granules (basically these guys suck up moisture when you water the plant and distribute it slowly over the course of a few hours/days.  This, I’m hoping, will help our little fern since he likes a moist environment.

Once he was planted and put back together I put the little guy on our breakfast table.  So far he seems happy there but we’ll see.  If he starts looking puny I’m going to move him to our screened-in porch where it’s much warmer.

So, what do you think?  How do you like our Christmas-decoration-turned-planter?

I linked up to this party:
Bloom Designs
Chef in Training
Creatively Living
Delightful Order
I Heart Naptime
Kammy’s Korner
Mommy by Day… Crafter by Night
One Artsy Mama
Skip to My Lou

“Nature is by and large to be found out of doors, a location where, it cannot be argued, there are never enough comfortable chairs.” ~ Fran Lebowitz

Do you ever go out shopping for something and just happen to stumble over something PERFECT that you’ve been looking for FOREVER?  Yeah, that totally happened to the Hubs and I this weekend.  You see, we had a $75 off coupon to Lowe’s and we need tons of supplies for our renovation project so we headed that direction to pick up a few things.  We were wandering through the plants & patio section looking for a few plants and some bags of mulch when we stumbled across this:

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He may not look like much but OMG he’s perfect!  I love rockers/swings but this guy is also crazy comfortable even if you prop your feet up on a footstool/ottoman.  The padding is super think and soooo comfy.  I seriously just wanted to take a nap in him.  We’ve been looking for super comfy outdoor chairs for years and years and this is the first one we’ve found that we’ve both fallen head over heels about.  The only problem?  He’s $248.  And we need 2.  And $500 just isn’t in our budget right now.  So, we left our patio chair soul mate at Lowes.  *tear, sniff, sniff*

A little bit of retail therapy

So the other day on a whim I decided to take a trip to one of the three nearby Goodwill stores for a little retail therapy.  Man did I get a serious haul.  For the most part I know exactly what I’m doing with this stuff but there are a few ‘I dunno’s’ in there too. 

Wanna see my goods? 

Let’s go left to right shall we? 

Up top we have a pretty blue makeup case.  This thing is quite a good size and in fantastic condition.  It was also only $3.  Now, I don’t need a makeup case (not that I’m not considering using it for my upcoming vacay) but I thought it’d make a fantastic gift for a young girl – fill it with makeup, nailpolish, cute hair thingies and voila!  Right now, we don’t have any young girls in our life but since all my friends are either pregnant, talking about getting pregnant, or just were pregnant I figure we’ll have a ton in no time. 

In front of the makeup case is this nifty glass windchime.  I have zero plans on using it as a windchime though.  I just couldn’t pass it up at $2.  I’m not sure what lies in this little guy’s future but he might end up as Christmas ornaments.  Time will tell.

Up top next to the makeup case is an old wooden ice bucket.  I have seriously lofty plans for this sucker that involve paint and stenciling (which I’ve never done before).  It could be a total disaster but who knows.  Right now, I can’t even find the freaking stencil I want to use on sale ANYWHERE.  Maybe that’s a sign.

In front are two small salt and pepper shakers that I like to keep on hand for when I make homemade spice rubs.  At $0.59 they were cheaper than the ones I normally get at the $0.99 store so I grabbed them.

Anyone who has been in IKEA in the last few years will know exactly what the next items are… ice cube trays!  We use the ones that make long spheres to put in the Husband’s water bottles for work and the others I plan to use for parties and such. 

In front of the ice bucket is the cutest little owl.  He’s solid as all get out too.  I’m not sure what he’s made of, a hunk of marble maybe?  Who knows.  He’s adorable and I had to have him.  He needs a name though… any ideas?  Mr. Cheeps is taken.

In front of the owl is a set of patriotic cards which I plan to use for the 4th of July.

Next to the ice bucket is a plain plastic shoebox.  I got this for mom.  She uses these suckers for her shoes in her new place and they can be kind of expensive sometimes so for $0.99 I snagged it.

There’s also a set of small Christmas plates.  One says ‘be merry’ and the other says ‘be bright.’  I always snag anything Christmas-y that catches my eye.  I love to entertain and these guys will get great use over the next few years I’m sure.

There’s also two ‘learn to cross stitch’ kits that I found – one is a whale and the other is Noah’s ark.  I’ve always wanted to learn this craft so I’m super excited about these.  If they turn out even remotely half decent I have plans to put these babies on bibs.

Next to the shoe box is this little mini-purse/wooden trunk thing.  He’s trimmed in wood but the middle silver section and the darker sections on either side are acutally metal.  He’s pretty nifty looking.  I purchased some antique looking trunks from Michael’s the other day and he matches with them pretty well so I’m sure they’ll end up grouped together somehow eventually.

In front of him there’s a set of 3 mirrors.  I’m definitely going to paint the ‘trim’ around the edges but I thought these guys were really cute.

I also picked up a plastic old-timey looking popcorn container.  I have great hopes of doing a movie-themed party at my house at some point so he’ll get used then if not before.

Right in front of the popcorn holder there’s a set of small organizers for things like beads, sequins and what not that I’ll use in my craft office.

Last but not least there’s a brass candle holder that has stars cut out of it.  I’m relatively certain I bought this guys twin a few years back at another Goodwill and that he’s hiding somewhere in my storage closet.  He matches this gorgeous set of cobalt blue and gold plates that my mom has and I plan to eventually have a dinner party using them.

The item I’m most excited about though, is this:

He’s an outdoor fire grate but we don’t have an outdoor fireplace/pit nor do I intend to use him for his original purpose.  I have fabulous plans for this piece and I cannot wait to show you.  EEEK! 

Now, first things first I’ve got to get working on 3 other pieces that I’ve had on hand for weeks now that are still waiting to be transformed into their new glory.  I need more hours in the day.

Movie Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love.

I’ve gotta say I was pretty skeptical about watching this movie.  I like Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone (in fact I think Emma Stone is a great actress) but I cannot, repeat CANNOT stand Steve Carell.  Watching ‘The Office’ would be torture for me.  I’d tell you anything you wanted to know just please stop the stupidity.  I realize I’m probably not in the majority there and that’s ok. 

I’m sort of sad that the best line in the movie (Will you take off your shirt… fuck! Seriously? It’s like you’re Photoshopped!) was in all the previews/trailers.  I hate it when they show the best parts and the rest of the movie didn’t live up to them.  I mean, it’s a great line but still… I wanted the whole movie to be that good. 

The part of the story that’s the most believable to me though is this:  getting divorced after 25 years because you just don’t know who the other person is anymore (or you’re just not interested in who they turned out to be).  I get it.  I cannot even imagine getting married at 17 because you’re knocked up and trying to establish a lasting relationship off of that.  I swore if I ever got pregnant before I was married (sorry mom) that I wouldn’t get married just because I was pregnant.  I would have the kid, and wait it out for a looooong while before deciding to take that plunge.  If the guy was still around and we were still happy years later then ok, fine, let’s get married.  That being said, I think that once you’re married, you’re married, and that you work it out (barring infidelity or abuse).  I’ve told the Hubs a zillion times: I don’t believe in divorce, I believe in death (translation: I’ll kill you if you screw up bad enough for me to divorce you).  So anyway, that part I get.  And I’m GLAD that they’re not all happy-go-lucky-sunshine-and-rainbows at the very end.  There’s hope, but there’s not some magic-moment-fairy-tale kiss.  It’s reality people. 

The kid who plays their son (Jonah Bobo) does a fantastic job.  He really is the star of this movie.  I hope he sticks with acting because if he does (and he doesn’t get all stardom crazy) he’ll have a great future ahead of him.

The triangle between Jonah Bobo’s character, Steve Carell’s character, and the babysitter (Analeigh Tipton) is just creepy.  I’ve dated older men, but I was well into my twenties and the guy was in his thirties.  And I dated a guy who was two years younger than me but I honestly never could get over it.  The idea that she loves the dad (easily 20 years her senior…eww) and that the kid loves the babysitter (he’s 4 years her junior) is just creepy.  I totally get the kid loving the sitter, I mean, I’m not a boy and I don’t have a son or brothers but my guess is that this is a relatively normal thing.  Still, it creeps me out. 

I wish they would have fleshed out Ryan Gosling’s character a bit more.  All we know about him is that his mom was a snob, his dad was a weenie, and he’s loaded.  That’s not much of a backstory.  I mean, it’s sort of enough for you to figure out why he is the way he is but still… I wanted more.  It’s sort of the same thing with Emma Stone’s character.  We know she’s studying for the bar exam and her current leading-man (played by Josh Groban who honestly should really just stick to singing ) is just lame. 

Then, hovering in the sidelines, is Liza Lapira who plays Emma Stone’s best friend.  She’s hysterical in this.  It made me wish that she and Emma had had more time together in the movie. 

I also think it’s kind of weird that there’s a third child (Joey King) in all of this who we basically never see.  I think she has maybe five words in the entire two-hour movie.  Seriously?  What was the point?  I mean, besides showing the couple to be the ‘typical American family’ with 2.7 kids and a house (all that’s missing is the dog). 

I don’t know, I’m just sort of torn on this one.  It wasn’t bad.  I laughed some.  But I didn’t get to the credits and think to myself ‘damn!  Let’s watch that again!’ like I did with this movie.

What about you guys?  Have you seen it?  Did you like it?  Can we still be friends even though I think The Office could be used as a Chinese torture device?

Advanced Craigslist Searching

Hi friends!

Don’t know about you but to me searching on Craigslist (especially when you live in a big town like Houston) is most of the time more of a pain in the butt than it’s worth. 

Apparently though, there are tricks of the trade that I never even knew existed and my guess is that a lot of other people didn’t know either. 

Wanna know what they are?

Click here to visit the blog insideways and her kick-butt blog post about advanced Craigslist searching.

Filled to Overflowing…

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I think I have some sort of disease.  Or, at least, some serious mis-wiring going on in my brain.  To all you moms out there who hold down a crazy corporate job, juggle a husband, kids, pets, a social life, your kids social lives, and keeping your house in order I seriously need lessons… and I’m not even a mom!  I am totally not capable of having only one or two things to do and leaving it that way.  I have to completely overload my life and then FREAK OUT when there’s just not enough hours in the day to get things done. 

Many of you know that the Hubs and I are now on our own in the house after mom moved out.  We’ve turned into psycho cleaning people now that we don’t have a maid.  We literally have a giant list of things to do around the house each week.  Let me give you the low down on this weeks schedule:

Monday:  water the flowers outside the front door, empty all the trash cans, dig hole & bury compost, kill ant beds, finish cleaning ceiling fans that didn’t get cleaned last weekend, water yard.

Tuesday:  vacuum and mop all floors (in our house this consists of vacuuming all rugs, picking up the rug and laying it out of the way, removing all furniture, vacuuming the floor, mopping the floor, putting everything back)  this takes us, on average, 3 hours.  Water yard.

Wednesday:  clean bathrooms (remove all items from sinks and showers, lightly wet all surfaces, dust with comet, lightly scrub with sponge, get into corners/crevasses with a toothbrush, rinse, rinse again, rinse one last time, dry, wipe down mirrors/glass/faucets with windex, use bleach & comet to scrub the toilets).  Water yard.

Thursday:  empty trash cans (this is the Hubs’ day off from chores unless he WANTS to get something done because I’m volunteering at the shelter every Thursday)  water yard. 

Friday/Saturday/Sunday:  spray all foliage outside with pest killer, give dog a bath, mow/edge/blow/sweep yard, pull weeds as needed, water yard, clean & refill all birdbaths, vacuum garage & clean all garage windows, wash bed sheets, replace AC filters, vacuum all the AC vents (including the ones in the ceiling), deep clean the master bedroom (every single inch of the room will get scrubbed, wiped, oiled, shined, etc), water the flowers by the front door

That’s just a glimpse into what we do each day.  On top of that, we have our lovely remodeling projects that we decided to start plus about a zillion other things on our ever growing to-do list. 

And then there’s the attempt at trying to keep up some semblance of a social life and just LIFE stuff in general.  In just a few weeks we’ve had/will have the following:  7 doctors’ appointments (so far), 2 weekends of Hubs on call @ his job, 1 week-long pet sitting job for me, 1 dinner with friends, 1 private swim lesson that I’m teaching, 2 date nights, 6 days volunteering after work at the animal shelter, 2 family dinners, 1 huge party (baptism for my nephew), 1 training class for canine obedience, 1 weekend out of town, 1 baby shower, and 1 week long vacation.  In addition to this I’m still trying to get more side work pet sitting and teaching private swim lessons.  Oh, and we’ll find out in the next week or two how many more doctor’s visits we’ll have to add to this crazy schedule.  

But, on top of ALL that, there’s my crazy brain.  I’ve told you before that I love to craft and create things and I never can find the time to do so (gee, I wonder why) and I find I’m still in the same place.  Would you believe that I have over 400 craft ideas saved to my computer of things I want to try?  No joke.  Isn’t that crazy?  I’m dying to make things like this:

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Found on Pinterest but I can’t find the original source

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And again, if all that weren’t enough, I’m frustrated that I’m not losing weight so I’m thinking very seriously about swimming laps during the designated adult lap swim time at our neighborhood pool once it opens.  That would mean that on Tuesday and Thursday nights, and once on the weekend, I would go swim for an hour. 

And somewhere in there, I’d like to get in the habit of walking the dog every day.

Oh, and I really want to learn to play the guitar.  And find more time to read.  And maybe watch a movie or listen to music that came out less than 2 years ago. 

How in the heck am I supposed to get all this done, still work full time, and get 8 hours of sleep a night (which I totally have to have to be able to function)????

Recipe Review: Apple Dumplings

Did you have a good Mother’s Day?  Whether you’re a mom and you got celebrated or you celebrated your own mom (or grandma, aunts, etc) I hope it was a great one.

We had my mom over and we had a simple late lunch of shish kabobs and saffron rice.  We make shish kabobs using chicken breasts, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, orange bell pepper, white or yellow onion and usually squash and zucchini.  Apparently though, the squash and zucchini supply this year really stinks because the produce department at my local store refused delivery of the latest shipment because they were so crummy looking.  I couldn’t even find them frozen!  So, we made the kabobs sans squash/zucchini.  They were still yummmmy.  We just marinate them for a few hours in Wish Bone Robusto Italian Dressing then the Hubs grills them on the grill.

We also use Mahatma saffron rice (in the yellow package in the rice section of your grocery store).  We looooove this stuff and it complements the kabobs really well.

I made a new dish for dessert that turned out AH-MAY-ZHING!  Having never made the recipe before I followed everything verbatim from the recipe just like I normally do when I make something for the first time.  This recipe is called Apple Dumplings and it’s out of the book Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood.  I didn’t, and wouldn’t, change a thing.  It’s fabulous just the way it is.  You should definitely try this.  It’s incredibly easy too!  In the book it’s listed as a breakfast recipe but it can easily double as a dessert recipe too!

click here to buy this book (totally worth every cent)

Apple Dumplings

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 canned buttermilk biscuits (not reduced-fat or anything ‘different’)
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  • Peel, core, and slice the apples vertically into 8 slices each.  Cover with water to keep the slices from turning brown.
  • In a medium saucepan, mix the water, ¾ cup of the sugar, the butter, and the vanilla.  Bring the sugar mixture to a boil over medium heat.
  • Separate each biscuit into 2 layers.  Wrap a biscuit layer around a slice of apple, stretching the biscuit slightly to overlap, and seal on the bottom.  Place the wrapped slices, sealed side down, in a 9 x 12 x 2-inch casserole dish.  Pour the hot sugar mixture over the apple slices.  Mix the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the tops of the wrapped apples.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Here’s the delicious picture straight from the book:

Here’s the picture that I took (as you can see, I’m not a very good photographer):

sidenote:  all you people out there who say ‘I’m not a baker’ this recipe is totally for YOU!

I’m linking this recipe up to a couple of blog parties.

Bloom Designs
Chef In Training
Creatively Living
I Heart Naptime
Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night
My Girlish Whims
One Artsy Mama
Simply Designing
Skip to my Lou
Under the Table and Dreaming