More yum…in fact, 9×13 inches’ worth of yum!

Easy to make, even though I had a complete mental block and was unable to correctly start my bechemel (though it ended up perfectly fine in the long run), and very tasty! What is it?

Shrimp mac and cheese! Even though the recipe as-is aligns very nicely with my ever-relaxing seafood rules (it calls for frozen, cooked shrimp), I think the result is that the shrimp are overcooked, seeing as they have to then go for 30 minutes in the oven despite being already cooked). I think next time I’d probably go for raw shrimp and put them in before I put it in the oven – a bit of a risk, seeing as I’m completely unsure as to how the raw shrimp would react, but I’d be willing to walk on the wild side, I think.

Ooh, good movie!

Argh! I’ve sat here for about 15 minutes staring at this empty post, trying, trying, trying to think of something to say about this movie other than that it’s good, so…

IT’S GOOD. REALLY, REALLY GOOD.

You should go see it.

Now.

That is all.

 

Whip it good!

One of Heather’s friends from Terre Haute is in a roller derby league and on Sunday, we drove down to Indiana to see her team compete in a bout! It was really fun, too! We understood most of the rules about scoring, but we had a hard time figuring out what penalties were being called. Here’s one jam from the evening:

Unfortunately, her friend’s team, ROSI, lost two of their players to injuries (one of them even had to be taken to the hospital by paramedics – I hope she ended up okay!) and were behind by a considerable amount, so they decided to forfeit.

But I’m kind of hooked now – I’m pretty sure we’ve got a team here in CU – I’ll have to see if I can find out when and where they play…

We can be heroes!

Heather and I saved a baby squirrel today!

That’s not him – our baby squirrel was a bit younger – but I wanted to have a picture of a baby squirrel because they’re SO DAMN CUTE! We were out for a walk when I noticed this tiny furry face looking up at us from under a bush (along with spotting spiders, my other super-power seems to be noticing tiny, helpless animals). We stared at him for a while and he stared right back at us. Then we backed away because we didn’t want to scare him.

And he followed us.

He was basically chasing me down the sidewalk, so we stopped and he wandered up to Heather and started to climb up her leg. We didn’t want to touch him in case that would keep his mother from retrieving him, but we couldn’t see a squirrel nest anywhere and there were no other squirrels in sight or chattering angrily at us from a tree, so we didn’t want to just leave him there on his own.

I called animal services and they said they weren’t allowed to come pick him up, so we could either leave him and hope that he made it safe back to his home or get a box and take him over to the U of I small animal clinic.

So Heather bravely knocked on the door of the house across the street while I kept an eye on him (he wanted to follow her) and looked up the address of the clinic. She found a very nice dude who was kind enough to give her a box and we coaxed little squirrelio into it and hurried back to my house so we could drive him to the vet.

They were very nice and weighed him and gave him a look over – they said he was perfectly healthy, but a little bit too young to be out on his own yet (weight-wise he was big enough, but she said that he hadn’t quite gotten his teeth in yet, so he wasn’t ready to be eating solid foods), so they kept him there to feed him and look after him until he’d gotten a bit older and then they were going to set him free!

I’m lazy, but this is still yummy!

I haven’t made myself a grilled cheese sandwich in AGES! Probably because I’m stingy with my bread since I use it to make my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for each day of the week’s lunch. But! I was finally clever – I bought my usual bakery loaf of French bread, but sliced it into thin slices before I popped it into the freezer (usually I cut it into a thickness more closely resembling a slab). Now I just have to see if they’ll slice it for me at the market because I hate doing that!

What did I make? Well, it’s not going to look like much, but the Rosemary-Apple Grilled (Two) Cheese is an ugly duckling!

I used white cheddar and parmegiano reggiano that I had leftover from…something I can’t remember now and I added slivers of apple to add a teeny bit of crunch inside the sandwich and ramp up the apple flavor from the apple butter. Yum! I’m adding it to my grilled cheese repertoire. Which right now consists of my usual spicy brown mustard, mozzarella, and cayenne pepper grilled cheese. I need to expand my horizons!

Bad marketing, good movie!

Okay. I’ll be honest, I spent the first half of this movie pretty bored. And then it occurred to me. I was bored because I wasn’t watching the movie I’d expected to be. I thought Rango was going to be a funny, clever kids’ movie about a fish out of water lizard out of tank in a town that somehow hasn’t evolved past the Old West.

And it wasn’t. Hence the boredom.

But.

Once I realized that what I was watching was a Western, pure and simple, though with a cast of animal characters instead of human ones, I loved it. I didn’t originally really want to see this movie, but it kept getting such good reviews that I finally caved (in what I think is probably the last week of its run – sorry, Cedar Rapids, I kept forgetting about you and it was either you or Rango, so I’ll see you once you’re out on DVD). And it’s a fantastic movie – a bit philosophical, a bit lyrical, a bit fable-y, a bit silly here and there – everything you need!

The only thing I didn’t need was a lead girl lizard with a head of red, ringleted hair. It looked very out of place – the other female character (an adorable…mole?) had long pigtail braids, but they were more subtle – I kept wishing they’d just given her a bonnet or something. I mean, she did wear a dress the whole time and had eyelashes and kind of pouty lips – I think the filmmakers should have trusted that we’d remember she was a girl.

So go see it, but know what you’re going to get. It’s a Western. That’s all.

Curse you, Australia, hogging my pomegranates!

I held out as long as I could, hoping to stumble across a pomegranate somewhere in this state (I had a dream that I found one at a gas station – I was so happy!), but I finally had to cave and make the pasta dish without it.

I decided to be a good vegetarian this time and gave soy crumbles a try. They did their job quite well – providing some texture and protein without much flavor, though I hope I cooked them correctly – there was a distinct lack of instructions included on the packaging.

This turned out to be really yummy – though the addition of the crunchy, juicy gems of pomegranate would have elevated it to heights heretofore unknown! I ended up just sprinkling some feta on top. Not quite the same, but still quite nice.

Stupid blueberries…

I meant to make a batch of lemon-blueberry scones, but unfortunately, I let them go a bit too long and when I finally got around to collecting my ingredients for them, they were all fuzzy and gross. So with ‘lemon’ and ‘scone’ as my keywords, I hit the Internet – and came across a recipe for Lemon Rosemary Cream Scones.

I love the flavor of the lemon and the rosemary – they’re both really bright and complement each other nicely. The only thing I don’t love is that the scones seem to take on quite a thick crunchy crust during baking – the insides are so soft and delicate and moist that it completely disappears beneath the bite of that crust. I wonder if I could avoid that by baking them at a lower temperature – thoughts?

In which I continue to be a little ashamed…

Because I saw Sucker Punch. And I’m telling you about it.

It wasn’t…bad. It just wasn’t very good either. I think my biggest problem with the movie was the lack of contrast. I mean, I like a good action movie as much as the next person from time to time, but I do need some moments of calm between the big action sequences to make the action sequences exciting. This one is pretty much action sequence after action sequence after action sequence – around the third one, I started to get a little bored. Also, without giving away too much – I’m not really sure why the writer thought they needed the middle layer of reality.

Visually, it’s really interesting – the color palette of the whole film is kind of muted and I liked the use of slow motion now and again (maybe because it slowed things down a bit even if just for a moment). That said, it’s definitely edited like a video game – lots of really fast cuts (half the time I just couldn’t really focus on what was going on because the camera refused to linger long enough to really let me take in the scene).

Cool soundtrack, though.

 

In which I *continue* to be a glutton…

Usually, I think of sheet cakes as being chocolate and of not needing a better recipe than Pioneer Woman’s version of it which is not only amazing, but allows me to use my carob powder! And then I saw this recipe for a vanilla version of a sheet cake. And I thought, ‘You know what I need? Eleven-by-seven inches’ worth of cake.’

Et voila!

I gave a row to my parents and brought a row in to share at work (but I ended up eating two pieces of that row myself). I inhaled the rest in under a week. I ate it for breakfast, I ate it for snacks, I ate it for dessert.

I’m only a little ashamed.

 

I love Simon Pegg!

So obviously, I’m a little biased when I say that I really enjoyed Paul. But I did! It’s a celebration of all things geeky and wonderful with so many sci-fi references hidden along the way that I’m sure I only caught the most obvious.  Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are likable and goofy – the way I like to see them; Seth Rogen plays Paul basically as the Seth Rogen you’re used to seeing – bloke-y and goofy, but I think it works; Kristen Wiig is hilarious as a creationist sucked into this adventure (Evolve THIS! may just be the best t-shirt ever); and Jason Bateman is, uh, surprisingly hot as a ruthless government agent.

I don’t think this counts as part of the Cornetto Trilogy because I think those are written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright instead of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, but if Simon Pegg and Nick Frost want to have a go at a trilogy of their own, I would totally be onboard.

As an added bonus, I can’t embed it here, but go watch the scene they recreated from Star Wars.

He is endlessly entertaining (when he isn’t being bad)

I only caught the tail-end (pardon the pun) of his full tail-chasing extravaganza this morning, but it makes me laugh every time he does it. Which is surprisingly often considering he is a grown cat and should really know that’s his own tail he’s chasing by now.

He managed to catch it during an earlier round and gave it a licking it would never forget before setting it free. He respects his enemy.