Friday, March 23, 2012

May the Odds...Be Ever in Your Favor

Last night Bobby and I got to go on an honest to goodness date! :) My friend Catherine graciously hosted our kiddos for the night so we could go to the midnight showing of The Hunger Games. This was the kind of date the hearkens back to when we were first married a little over 14 years ago and lived in California. We would go to the theater, check what movies were playing (you know before Fandango/smart phones/fast internet) and pick the showing we wanted to go to, have dinner at Outback, see the movie and head for home. We saw a lot of movies when were first married. :)

After dropping our kiddos off at Catherine's we went to Outback for dinner. We didn't have to check movie times as I purchased our tickets two nights ago. And am I glad I did! We got there pretty early and got in line. I guess I bought them early enough on Fandango that we were able to get into one of the big theaters. While we were standing in line they came out and told us if we were in theater 9 we could go ahead and go on in. So we did, and as the first ones into our theater we got the best seats right in the middle..yes, I know that there really are no bad seats when you have stadium seating....but still., smack is the middle is pretty great!
As we sat there playing Angry Birds in Space and checking out Facebook and Google+ we talked about how old we are and how crazy we were for going to the midnight showing. The last midnight movie we went to was just about 10 years ago for Star Wars Episode II. I only remember because we were mid twenties then and I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter. Almost everyone in the theater last night was younger than us.Oh well, we are still young at heart....

Anyway, on to the movie..I will not post any spoilers here but if you liked the book you will like the movie. The movie is around 2 and a half hours long so there is plenty of detail from the book but there are a few things that they chose to leave out. They did not make a huge impact on the overall story though. If you have not read the book I would highly recommend reading it before seeing the movie so you know all of the details.
If you know Effie Trinket from the book and the movie trailer...here she is at Opry Mills Mall! ;)
Check out the video for Taylor Swift's song (with the Civil Wars) Safe and Sound below. You can also hear a 90 second clip of The Civil Wars song Kingdom Come (that plays at the end of the credits here)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

{TWD:BWJ} Irish Soda Bread

It is Tuesday and you know what that means...another delicious recipe from Baking with Julia.The contributing baker for this recipe was Marion Cunningham...which make me think of happy days. :)This recipe happens to be one of the easiest bread recipes I have ever seen. There are 4 ingredients and you barely have to knead the bread.

This is Irish Soda Bread. Basically you throw together the 4 ingredients, shape the dough into a ball, cut an x in the top and toss it in the oven. Dorie says that you need to eat it that day though because it will turn "hard as a blarney stone". There was no worry about that happening in my house of bread lovers though.

 Lots of bakers got quite creative with what they added into this bread. I did not add anything but I did make Carrabbas Italian Butter to dip it in. My hubs and my kids raved about this bread so I know I will definitely be making it again in the near future. One of the ingredients included buttermilk which I never have on hand. When I do it usually goes bad. However, this time I used the rest to make the Buttermilk Spice Muffins from the book. A slight spoiler for when we actually get to that recipe....they taste just like Mimi's Cafe Buttermilk Spice muffins! Those were devoured by my family as well. :)
I know this is Irish Soda Bread but it worked really well with our Italian themed dinner. :) To get the recipe for this bread you can buy the book, Baking with Julia, and join in the baking fun. Or you can visit our two hosts who have the recipe on their blogs. Check out Cathy of My Culinary Mission or Carla of Chocolate Moosey. Happy baking!! :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

 I realize Dr. Seuss's birthday was the 2nd of March, but these photos were actually taken that day. It has been fun celebrating with colorful pancakes the last few years. Little Man actually requested these this year along with Green Eggs and Ham.
 As fun as it is to make these pancakes, they never turn out fluffy like normal pancakes. I am sure that has to do with overbeating them to mix in the food coloring. Even though I am not much of a fan the kids love these each and every year! :)
 By a happy accident we ended up with the fishy cake below. The eye was just a drip of batter that got stuck in just the right spot. Little Man, especially, was thrilled with the fishy cake.
 It could go to no one else because he had to have it. Our little fish had a very short life and then it was gone. :)
 Did you celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday? If so what did you do?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rainbow and Light

 I do not know what it going on with these crazy summer storms in March but I will take the glorious light and rainbows that come with them! We were at Girl Scouts tonight when someone said to run outside and look at the rainbow. It was a full rainbow and from my angle I couldn't get the entire arch in the photo. The girls were amazed at how beautiful the rainbow was!
Turning the opposite way the light was amazing. I love the silhouette of the trees that are just starting to bud for spring. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

An Ominous Sky and Happy Pi Day!

 Happy happy Pi Day to you! Did you make Pie today? I made some mini lemon meringue pies and a chocolate fudge pie to take over to a friends house. It was around 82 degrees today and sunny. By the time we were planning to leave to go to our friends house the sky was getting darker and darker and the clouds were rolling in. We got a few sprinkles at our house but got some gorgeous light.
 This tree is usually bright orange in the fall. It is unusual to see it blazing red. I loved what the light did to it as the storm was rolling in.
 I was trying to keep my eyes on this set of clouds as there were several fantastic lightning strikes. But alas, they were too fast for me. My trigger finger was too slow tonight to catch the light show.
We got a few raindrops where were are but around us some areas got golf ball sized hail. The clouds looked like we might get hail as well but instead we just got beautiful light coming from the edge of the storm. :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Those Teeny Tiny Details

This Christmas (2011) Santa brought me a macro attachment for my Canon Rebel Xsi. Today was a fantastically glorious day so I got to go out and play with it. It is one of those things that I am definitely going to need practice with as I do not have the steadiest hand but I don't think these are too terrible for a first attempt. :)

The first shot is a dandelion that my daughter found and said "Check out this beauty, Mommy!"
 This second photo is a wild violet.
 Did you have any idea that buttercups have a heart? I certainly didn't until I got up close and personal with this one!
This last one appears to be henbit or Lamium amplexicaule which is part of the mint family..or more commonly..a weed.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed shooting them! :)

Friday, March 09, 2012

Spam and Anchovies: Comfort Food

As I was going through blog posts a few minutes ago I realized I hadn't actually posted anything about Spam and Anchovies for last month. I edited pictures and posted them in our little FB group but failed to actually post. I need a big L for my forehead.
We have added a few new faces to our little group and what a group it is! Everyone of the ladies (new and old) bring such character and their own personal flair to the group.
The theme was comfort food and Anne made a delicious burgundy beef  crockpot meal...without the burgundy. It was delicious! I took green salad, Kenna brought Quinoa salad, Vanessa brought roasted broccoli and Lima Beans, and Sarah (who has a sweet blog about her family as well as a food blog) brought fresh rolls and Brown Butter Cookie Dough Pretzel Bites...yes they are as dangerous as they sound. ;) It would appear that we are a rather healthy comfort food crew.
 Comfort food is kind of hard to photograph and apparently I need to get an external flash or make a flash diffuser so that I can have better lighting in my photos. Ah...first world problems... ;)

 Beth and Anne popped open the wine and seem quite happy about it. :)
 This was one of the wine selections for the night. Pretty funny! I personally do not drink red wine...no not because I think it is a sin...because red wine gives me a migraine. I found out after drinking about 3 sips at a dinner party that red wine hates me....perhaps it is the sulfites.

These are the dangerous Brown Butter Cookie Dough Pretzel Squares. I am sure that everyone lost count of how many they actually ate.
 I am so thankful for a group of ladies I can get together with and laugh until we cry and have a delicious meal on top of that! It looks like I am going to miss this months due to another commitment.. I am taking pictures at my kids school dance. Spam and Anchovies will be having Thai food this time though so you will have to watching for an update from the other bloggers in the group. Happy cooking! :)

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

{TWD:BWJ} Rugalach and Lovely Ladies

Good morning!! It is Tuesday so that means I get to tell you about a delectable recipe from Baking with Julia! Once you have read the post and see how tasty this recipe turned out make sure to check out Jessica from My Baking Heart or Margaret from Urban Hiker to see the recipe or buy the book and join in the baking fun!

This week's recipe is Rugalach....no not Arugala, Rugalach. ;) The contributing baker for this recipe was Lauren Groveman. She has a delicious looking recipe for candied citron on her blog so make sure to check her out as well.
 Way back in 2008 we TWD'ers made Rugalach from Baking from My Home to Yours. Mine was pretty ugly but tasty. This time I decided to follow the recipe as closely as possible. The cream cheese based dough came together easily. I made Apricot Lekvar  (apricot butter) from page 449 of BWJ which I had to go to the liquor store to complete due to not having Amaretto in the house. I did reduce the amount of nuts just because I didn't have enough and didn't want to go back to the store.

 The hardest part of making these was the time it took for everything to chill. I decided to make these for a gathering of Lovely Ladies in my neighborhood and ended up baking them the morning of the event. I was a little worried that they wouldn't turn out well just because they were kind of stuffed and didn't really roll very well. No need to fear though because a plethora of cinnamon sugar can cover a multitude of baking sins. :)
 The best part of these was that they were still warm as I was putting them into the bowl to take them to the gathering. My kiddos were tasters and said that they were delicious. My cooked fruit hater of a daughter may be coming around because she said she even liked them. My husband on the other hand ate the extra cinnamon sugar dough pieces that I baked. He liked those without all of the extra fruitiness. ;)
 Recently our neighborhood has started several Facebook group. One of them is for the Lovely Ladies of the neighborhood. I missed the first one for some reason but was able to make it to this one. It was on a Saturday morning so I was able to head to the library with my family and then head to the gathering that was being held at a house in the hood.

This little guy..or could be a girl made an appearance while I was there. :)
Several of the ladies there are very dear to me. Even though we don't get to see each other all the time I have know them for over ten years now and enjoy spending time with them when I get the chance. :)
One thing women are good at is bringing food! There was so much food at this brunch that it was impossible to pass it up. It was fun to see how creative everyone got with what they brought....bacon and brown sugar wrapped saltines...WHAT???? It is so fun getting to know some of the neighborhood ladies. I know there are so many areas where people do not know their neighbors at all so it is nice to live somewhere where people are making an effort to actually be a neighbor.
Just as I was about to leave the gathering a sweet lady asked if the pastries in my hand were rugalach. I said yes and she asked if I was Jewish. I told her that I am not but that I am in a baking club and this was the next recipe. She was very impressed with them but told me that when she makes rugalach she cuts the fruit smaller and makes them in a crescent shape. We had a lovely conversation about the different ways to make them and the tradition in her family of making these sweet pastries. So, who knew? I made a new friend over Rugalach! :) Go make these now! You will not be sorry and you may make a new friend!