Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Oscar Party 2013 is going to be awesome.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Let's face it, last year was rather lackluster when it came to good films.  Perhaps I wasn't giving the movies my full attention, given that I had a much more important and adorable preoccupation, but I truly don't think it was an exceptional batch.  I promise I'm not just saying that because the only movie I felt appropriately lent itself to a good female costume was The Help.  I hate to sound like a movie snob here, but the fact that The Help was one of the nominees is a powerful statement in and of itself about what was available last year for singling out.  It's not that I didn't enjoy the movie, because I did.  Slumdog Millionaire it was not.  This year is turning out to be much more encouraging.  Take a peek at what's coming.  As usual, most of the biggies won't be out until November or December.

Les Miserables. 

I'm more familiar with the novel than the musical, but I still got goosebumps as I watched this teaser several times.

The Great Gatsby.

It's very, very Baz Luhrmann, obviously.  Definitely cool.

Anna Karenina.

I'm extremely excited about this lavish, unusual adaptation.

Django Unchained.

I can remember when the first Inglorious Bastards trailer was released, and I rather disdainfully dismissed it.  I had to eat my words, because it was one of the most entertaining movies I saw that year. I am now eagerly anticipating the latest Tarantino offering.

Zero Dark Thirty.

Kathryn Bigelow's take on Osama Bin Laden's capture and death has apparently been fraught with controversy, even involving a reported suit against the Department of Defense and the CIA.  The teaser is sparse and intriguing, but I do see Jessica Chastain (otherwise known as The Actress That Was In Every Movie Last Year) and Kyle Chandler (Coach!).


When Ben Affleck steps behind the camera, he can do no wrong.  Hasn't let us down once.  I am really excited to see this movie, though its chances for actual awards may be slim.

No trailer for this BIG movie yet, but do we even need to see one to know it's likely to be amazing?  LOOK at Daniel Day-Lewis.  He IS Lincoln.  Spielberg's project is based on the Doris Kearns Goodwin Pulitzer-Prize winning book, Team of Rivals, and besides titular chameleon Lewis, includes a very impressive cast.  

Other likely contenders:

The Master-Paul Thomas Anderson feature, thinly veiled attack on Church of Scientology, Joaquin Phoenix's glorious return?
Killing Them Softly-Brad Pitt's reunion with director Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)
Arbitrage-Richard Gere and finance
Hyde Park on Hudson-FDR had a love affair?  I had no idea.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

sweet potato and kale pizza with rosemary and red onion

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It is nothing short of a travesty that I have kept this recipe to myself for so long.  This particularly lovely shot of the MOST UNBELIEVABLY DELICIOUS pizza was taken in January.  Yes, that is how long I have been making it, over and over, and yet I have not taken fingers to the keyboard to write about it.

I wrote about a new blog find, twopeasandtheirpod, quite a well back, sharing their wonderful recipe for baked pumpkin doughnut holes.  By the way, what is the generally accepted rule about the spelling of doughnut?  I prefer this spelling, not what appears to be a bastardized "donut."  I digress.

Maria and Josh, bloggers and new parents, have lots of great-looking recipes.  Many sweets, and I would say fairly heavy on the veg side, but that's good for those of us looking to eat more healthily during the week.  I have told you before that I'm quite proud of my attraction to kale, and it was really the unique combination of the superstar veg and sweet potato that drew me to the pizza.  I will also confess that I'm unusually drawn to pizzas with no sauce.  It's weird, I know.

Anyway, I can't say enough about this dish.  Sweet potatoes are thinly sliced with red onion and roasted, which is the perfect time to let your pizza dough rest.  I've been using Trader Joe's fresh dough, and while it has been a learning experience manipulating it properly, I think I'm getting better.  Chopped kale is tossed with a bit of balsamic vinegar, and once the sweet potatoes are done, all are scattered across the top of the dough, along with a bit of freshly chopped rosemary, and then topped with cheese.

You guys, there aren't words.  The pizza is otherworldly good.  Even my vegetarian-loathing* SH can polish off a few slices handily without complaining that it's not a whole meal without meat.  Last night, I gave Baby A a slice, and he cheerfully plucked a golden cheese-encrusted piece of kale right off, shoving it into his little mouth and causing my heart to burst with pride.

Is it acceptable to make the same dish every single week?  I could totally do that with this pizza.

*He doesn't loathe vegetarians really, just the lifestyle :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

loving lately

Friday, August 10, 2012
Chronicle.  SH found this gem one recent evening, singing its potential praises via his newfound appreciation for Rotten Tomatoes.  I was disdainful at first, certain that the fact I'd never heard of it boded poorly for the little film.  Granted, our movie nights aren't exactly what they used to be, and I'm clearly off my pop culture game because a quick perusal of my trusty entertainment sites revealed that critics adored the movie.  Full of unknowns (with the exception of Michael B. Jordan, of The Wire and Friday Night Lights), it's an interesting story, with old-school special effects that are actually quite compelling.  

Divergent trilogy.  I know I'm not alone in always keeping an eye out for the next YA (young adult) series that will capture hearts and imaginations.  While this is no Twilight saga (alas, my wounded heart mourns the impending breakup of our real-life Edward and Bella!!) or Hunger Games, it's still a compelling, well-written set of books.  Like the Hunger Games, the books are set in a dystopian future, though there are no messy love triangles and the concept (division into various factions based on character traits) is somewhat less violent.  I was especially lucky to come across the books right after the publication of Insurgent, which meant I had two to look forward to reading.  Now I'm just like the rest of the fans, eagerly awaiting the third installment.  

Heartless Bastards, Arrow.  I've always loved "All This Time," a totally addictive Heartless Bastards tune that was a part of an Austin City Limits sampler a few years ago, but I never sought them out.  [Full disclosure: my love affair with "All This Time" was really ignited when it was used on a FNL episode that prominently featured Tim Riggins.]  A few weeks ago, one of my fave blogs, Dinner A Love Story, had a great post about the best things about the summer, essentially, and co-author Andy claimed "Arrow" as the Best Album to Cook To.  It's good, people.  Really good.  Even Baby A, who is also obsessed with "All This Time," agrees.

Trader Joe's Coconut Milk Ice Cream, Chocolate. Not too long ago our beloved Joey came for a visit with his lovely girlfriend.  Times have changed, OBVIOUSLY, since the days of yore when Joey, SH and I would prepare elaborate and delicious meals together and relish the cool California evening, sitting in the backyard for hours and rising late the next day only to repeat the whole process.  There is  a bit more rushing involved to our dinners now, and I hardly act as the sous chef I once was.  We usually eat inside, often on paper plates, and there aren't quite as many Jules glasses, but we continue to enjoy our time together.  I can always count on Joey finding little gems at TJ's (chocolate-covered frozen bananas, seasoned mahi-mahi, etc.) which I have yet to discover, and on this trip, he brought the best one yet.  I literally cannot get enough of this coconut milk ice cream, and I am not alone, as it's practically cleaned out of the freezer EVERY time I go shopping.  It is indescribably good, creamy and delicious without feeling the least bit heavy.  I am in love.  Purchase some immediately, if you're lucky enough to find it.  
Baby Gap pajamas.  As Baby A steadily approached his first year, it became increasingly difficult to find pajamas that would fit him. Apparently, most one-pieces are only made up until about 9 months.  At first, I bemoaned this discovery, feeling that he could never possibly be as adorable in two pieces as he was in the snug zippered one-piece footie pjs.  Turns out, my sadness was completely unwarranted, both because my little baby looks precious in EVERYTHING and also because these Gap pjs are so great.  Functional, high-quality, and super cute.  It pains me to admit that he does look a bit more like a little boy and less like a baby when he's wearing them, but I need to be reminded every once and a while that this new, exciting toddler stage is going to be great fun too.  

Saturday, August 4, 2012