Have you seen the before & after pictures of
Bert Macklin Chris Pratt?
The “before” is when he had to get in great shape for Zero Dark Thirty. But then he immediately had to pack on the pounds for another movie, hence the “after” photo.
Yeah, those kind of “afters” are a lot easier to attain!!
Whether you’re in before or after shape, hummus is always a yummus choice!
Jalapeno Peanut Butter Hummus
Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light–Dec 2012
3 tablespoons creamy jalapeno peanut butter hummus**
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons EVOO
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1 minced garlic clove
7 tablespoons water
Microwave the peanut on high for 20 seconds. Combine the peanut and all the ingredients (except the water) into a food processor. While the food processor is running, drizzle in the water slowly. Process until smooth.
**I found this spicy peanut hummus at a local gourmet store. But you can also find it online here.
New books to read!
Chili supper with family last night
Loving this seasonal ale!
Weekend poker game…I came in 2nd! (Yes, those are Smirnoff Ice playing cards…random!)
I recently started watching Sherlock via Netflix. I’m on season 2 and am in loooooooove with Dr. Watson.
Last night, I was reading Entertainment Weekly and there was a blurb about The Hobbit. I stared at the picture for a solid 30 seconds. Wait what?! Dr. Watson is The Hobbit!? The Hobbit is Dr. Watson?! Worlds colliding…p.s. I’m weird.
I’m not sure if my observation skills were severely lacking or if it’s a sign that Freeman is a good actor. I’m going with the latter.
When my friend, Sarah, was in town about a month ago, I told her about my love for made-for-TV holiday movies. Think Lifetime, ABC Family, and the Hallmark channel. I got her sucked in one morning watching A Christmas Wish with Kristy Swanson. It was a tearjerker. Sarah was a goner. I’ve brought her over to the dark side. I now text her whenever I find another good holiday movie. So, I wanted to share the wealth with you all as well.
These movies are perfect during the holidays when you are home and need some background noise basically. Have these movies on when you’re baking, decorating the tree, wrapping presents, doing laundry, etc.
I posted last year my “rules” for picking these holidays movies. So, far these movies are my favorite ones I’ve watched this holiday season…
1. Hitched for the Holidays
This movie with Joey Lawrence was by far my favorite TV Christmas movie! I’m almost embarrassed to say how much I liked it!! I immediately text Sarah to tell her how good it was. Yeah, Sarah was at a Ray Lamontagne concert at the time. Julie = nerd, Sarah = awesome
2. 12 Dates of Christmas
Amy Smart & Mark-Paul Gosselaar?? Duh, that’s a no-brainer that it will be good.
Take these movies for what they are. Cheesy, mindless fun…the plots are predictable, but doesn’t everyone want to see a happy ending in December?!
Hey there! How was your weekend?? Mine was great! Thanks for asking.
I went with my friends to see Magic Mike….along with lots of other ladies! I really enjoyed it! Hot guys that can dance…um yeah! I’m a big fan of Channing Tatum. He has really good comedic timing too.
After the movie, we went out for some drinks. One of my to-go/summer/I’m an adult drinks is a simple drink of bourbon + ginger ale.
1-2 fingers of bourbon
Diet Ginger Ale to taste (I go heavy on the Ginger Ale as bourbon is strong.)
Combine & sip again.
Are you planning on seeing Magic Mike??
What’s your go-to summer cocktail??
I took my nephew, Noah, to see Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked yesterday.
That movie is too cute!!
The songs are so fun and peppy too. I seriously want to buy the soundtrack. But I won’t. I mean…can a 32 year old single lady buy an album with songs sung by the Chipmunks? The answer is NO. Believe me, I’ve tried to justify it in my head all day.
So, instead I’ve just spent the day listening to previews of each song over & over on iTunes.
It’s a fun mix to listen to while in the kitchen too.
Creamy Bacon Dip
Recipe from Daisy
8 ounces softened cream cheese
2 cups sour cream
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped green onion
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Place prepared ingredients to a 1 quart baking dish. Spread evenly. Cover with foil and cook for 25-30 minutes.
Garnish top of dip with more green onions and crumbled bacon, if desired.
Serve with pita chips or whatever you desire!
Dip can served warm or cold. I preferred the dip cold the next day!
Did you watch the Golden Globes last night? They were pretty dull. I watched to see if Homeland would will Best Drama TV Series and to see if Claire Danes would win Best Actress in a TV Drama Series. It did and she did! Love that show!
And, of course, I watched to see what everyone was wearing!!
Julie’s Top 5 Best Dressed Actresses at the Golden Globes
5. Reece Witherspoon
4. Kate Beckinsale
3. Jessica Alba
2. Sarah Hyland
1. Claire Danes
When I’m not busy watching E!, I sometimes cook dinner.
Smothered Pork Chops
Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine–Dec 2011
6 boneless pork chops
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, slice 1/4″ thick
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (I used shiitake mushrooms.)
1 tablespoon thyme
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2/3 cup buttermilk
Sprinkle the pork chops on both sides with salt and the Cajun seasoning. Pour the flour into a shallow dish. Dredge the pork chops in the flour, coating on both sides. Tap off any excess flour. Reserve the remaining flour.
Heat the EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops to the heated skillet. Cook until browned, 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer browed pork chops to a plate.
Add the butter, onion, mushrooms, and thyme to the skillet. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved flour to the skillet. Cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil and cook about 2 minutes. Add the buttermilk to the skillet, stir.
Return the pork chops to the skillet. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the sauce is thickened and the pork chops are cooked, 10-12 minutes.
Once Thanksgiving comes and until Christmas, my DVR loads up with Christmas movies. Helloooooooo, Lifetime & Ion channel Christmas movies. I never even knew I had the Ion channel until this month. And ABC’s 25 Days of Christmas….it’s on!
Now, it always happens that I can’t remember which mediocre made-for-TV Christmas movies I’ve already watched. Often times, I start the movie and 5 minutes in, I remember I already saw that movie.
You have to be a bit choosy about which movies you give a chance. Anything from ’98 or earlier, pass on them! These movies do not stand the test of time. Any movies with Connie Selleca or the mom from Family Ties or any cast member from Facts of Life, pass on them!!
My tips for choosing made-for-TV Christmas movies to watch:
–Stick with movies made within the last 8 years
–Any movie with a former 90′s star, it’s a safe bet (examples: Dean Cain or Elisa Donovan from Clueless). Someone from 90210 is in it?? Gold!
–Any movie with a former WB TV star, go for that one too! ( examples: Joanna Garcia or Carly Pope from Popular).
–And finally, is Nicole Eggert (Charles in Charles, Baywatch) in it? Go for it! She seems to be the queen of doing made-for-TV Christmas movies.
So far this season, I’ve watched Dear Santa, Desperately Seeking Santa, 12 Wishes of Christmas and A Very Merry Daughter of the Bride. Dear Santa has been my favorite. I still have A Christmas Kiss and A Nanny for Christmas waiting on my DVR.
If you choose a few duds with TV Christmas movies, have no fear! Sometimes you have to break out the big guns!
Julie’s Top 5 Favorite Christmas Movies:
5.Love Actually: Who does love a great ensemble cast? And the scene with Hugh Grant dancing around the house as the Prime Minister? And when Colin Firth proclaims his love to his Portuguese maid? I cry ever time I watch this movie.
4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: Clark!!!!!!!
3. Elf: We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.
First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse cookie dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle.
The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
2. Home Alone: This movie makes me laugh so hard! When Daniel Stern falls down the icy stairs, hilarious!
1. The Holiday: I think I’ve seen this movie at least 12 times. I just love it so much. I even love it during the middle of summer. Can I please do a house exchange and meet a handsome widow??