How I spent Black Friday
1. Going with my Dad to Super Donut. Yum yum yum!
2. Shopping at Target
3. Putting up my Christmas decorations. My Mom was a huge help!!
4. Lunch with Mom & Dad at Red’s Porch, fish tacos for me.
5. My aunts & uncles came over for dinner. My Dad offered to cook at my place. He made meatloaf & scalloped potatoes. I contributed the wine, corn casserole, and apple pie.
6. After dinner, we all went to watch Captain Phillips. Great movie!!!!!!
I hope you had a great Black Friday!!
It’s that time of year again!! Okay, sorry, yes, Thanksgiving hasn’t happened yet. ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas hasn’t started yet.
But is it my fault that Hallmark Channel is already playing Christmas movies morning, noon, and night??! Thank you, Hallmark Channel.
My DVR is already full of them.
Today, I’ll share 3 new (or new to me) Christmas movies that I’ve enjoyed this season so far.
3. Snow Bride
PS…not recommended: The Thanksgiving House, A Very Merry Mix-Up, The March Sisters at Christmas
Since I hadn’t blogged 2 months, I figured that I’d do a recap/what’s Julie been up to lately post.
Let’s take a walk down recent memory lane.
1. I tried ramen for the first time!! I went to Daruma Ramen with some lovely ladies. It was very good, although I have no comparison! I doubt that I’ll try it again anytime soon due to the Austin heat.
2. I met Fabio of Top Chef fame! He came to Book People on his cookbook tour and met with local food bloggers early for a meet & greet. Very personable guy!
3. I’ve been back a few times to my favorite bar, Easy Tiger.
4. I tried fried fish bones at Kenichi. Crispy suckers.
5. I’ve been to Trailer Tuesdays at the Long Center for the past 3 months. Last week, my favorite truck, Llama’s, was there. Love their pork belly sandwich!
Lobster sliders from Dock and Roll
Yeti Frozen Custard
6. I went to the Bon Jovi concert with some friends. How does he still have the energy?!
7. My pupster, Haley, has arthritis. She’s on some pain meds now and seems to be feeling better.
8. I recently finished reading Honeymoon by James Patterson. I’d been in a book slump and hadn’t liked the last 3 books that I started to read. My Dad recommended Honeymoon. Really enjoyed it…a fast read.
9. Did you watch Behind the Candelabra on HBO about Liberace?? Crazy train wreck! I couldn’t stop watching!
11. I went to Kansas City for my friend, Alison’s wedding. The chapel was so beautiful! I loved the design and how the light at sunset came through.
12. I went on the Up & Down Tour at Casa Brasil & South Austin Brewery. An afternoon learning about coffee and beer….what more can you ask for?!
13. I attended the media tasting for Umami Mia Pizzeria in Austin. I wasn’t a fan of the pizza, but I was a big fan of their cocktails. My favorites were the Tuscan Sipper & the Blackberry Caipirinha.
14. I did try some awesome pizza though….at Via 313. Yummmmmmm!
15. I attended my first 2 crawfish boils recently. Such a fun time! I’m more into the corn & potatoes though. But crawfish boils make for good pictures.
16. Brunch at the Clay Pit! It was so good!! Glad that I finally tried it.
17. I binge watched Season 4 of Arrested Development in only 3 days. Has anyone else watched it?? Are they going to make more episodes? Because that last episode…what??
Annnnd I’m done!
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.