Thursday, February 26, 2009

Colin Firth + Zombies = P&P&Z

Today while I was on I saw a short article on a much anticipated book coming out in the spring. I know I blog about books a lot, and it may be annoying, but when you read 7 of them a month, what else do you expect?

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies! I know what you are thinking. What the??? But when I saw the cover of this book I know I HAVE to read it!! The cover just made me laugh, there was something about it that I just loved. I know, call me weird and morbid. (See what Wuthering Heights did to me?) Here’s what piqued my interest . . . it’s still the original writing with the interjection of the “unmentionables” which is what they are calling the zombies because it’s still going to be written in the ‘old world’ style and zombies would have been a curse word back then. But I LOVED all 6 hours of P&P on DVD done by the BBC. HA! That was a cool little rhyme. I haven’t actually read P&P and I’m planning on it since I’m on this quest to read classics. P&P&Z doesn’t come out until May so that will give me plenty of time to read Jane Austen’s untouched version before the zombie rebellion takes over.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Heathcliff and Banana Cakes

Here comes the sun . . . do do do do (The Beatles). Today I thought I may have felt the beginning of a virus coming on. But this virus I would happily contract any day of the year. Ah, SPRING FEVER!! The past two days I have been teased with the 55 degree weather and the clear blue sky housing the sun. Man oh man this makes me excited for the weather to warm up. Although I can’t complain too much because is it just me or has our winter been amazingly tame this year? I almost feel like I got jipped because this year I found myself loving the snow. Perhaps it’s my quest of continual optimism in life is to why I had this sudden love of winter but I feel like we didn’t get nearly as much snow as we have in the past few years.

Well this past Sunday at 11:49 PM I finished Wuthering Heights. I pretty much read all afternoon from 4 PM on. I am pretty proud of myself for sticking to my resolution of reading the classic books. All I have to say is that many of these characters in these classic books are a little messed up. In Wuthering Heights I found myself hating Heathcliff after feeling sorry for him for about 5 minutes. But I guess if you beat a tame dog enough times it’s going to get hostile and that’s exactly what happened to Heathcliff. The guy was in love with someone he could never ultimately have. And because of class structures and his bad timing in his quest to obtain Catherine he opted for the road labeled ‘ruination and revenge’. Thus began my hate relationship with the guy. I mean he went as far as having the lid of Catherine’s tomb lifted off 18 years after her death so that he could look at her face again. Yikes, I have never read in all the books I’ve read, which is a lot, some creepy romantic drama. But I loved it.

I am now reading a classic in conjunction with a regular read. I’m hoping this will lessen the feel of it being a chore. I started North and South yesterday by Elizabeth Gaskell and I think I’m going to like it. Her writing style is pretty modern given that the book was written in 1855.

Onto one of my favorite subjects . . . makeup. I’ve thought about starting a makeup only blog where I show techniques and how to achieve certain looks with certain brushes. I’ll take step by step pics and show what colors go where and how to use the brushes. When I get it up and going I’ll post it so everyone knows where they can find it. So if you have any requests on what you want to see . . . feel free to post it in the comments section and please share with your friends.

Alright . . . here's the recipe of the week. Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - aka yummness

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 cup mashed ripened bananas

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

2 sifted cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13x9 pan or use 2 9 inch round pans for layer cake. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Combine sugar, eggs, buttermilk, oil, bananas and vanilla and beat at medium speed until well combined. Beat in dry ingredients. Pour into your greased pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes. You will need to check it becuase everyone's ovens vary and you don't want to over cook the cakes. Set on rack and cool.

For icing, combine 16 oz. softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup softened butter and 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar. Combine until light and fluffy. Spread on your cake then cut a piece and enjoy with a nice glass of milk. Yummy!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Classic Books, Wynn Las Vegas and a Wedding

Well I haven't even made it 3 months yet and I'm already starting to feel like reading these classic books is more of a chore than something I enjoy. The only way I can describe it is the joy you feel from eating a pork salad at Cafe Rio compared to eating a homemade taco with the canned meat. I LOVE reading my best sellers and I'm averaging 6-7 books a month now because that's pretty much how I spend all my spare time. But going from a super fun read to these classics is hard. The classic books aren't bad they are just slower and I'm still having a hard time getting used to it. But I feel like I should read these classics because they are classics for a reason and it would be good to add to my repertoire. Right now I'm reading Wuthering Heights and Emily Bronte's writing style makes it difficult to tell who is telling the story. It has it's moment though when I'm hooked and then it will drop off. But the plan is to finish the book and then rent the Masterpiece Theatre DVD and iron all my clothes and watch. I'm halfway through the book and it's 322 pages. Normally I would read that in 2 days but I'm going on day three now.

In other events, Jared's sister got married in Phoenix this past Saturday. It was a quick trip and we drove 24 hours in a 72 hour time period but it was important that we be there. It was my first time in Phoenix. It wasn't as warm as I wanted but 60 degrees was still better than 30 and a blizzard back in UT.

Lastly, I've been asked to post pics of what our room looked like while J and I stayed at the Wynn. It's a 5 star hotel that we got for a killer deal and it was beyond gorgeous and by far the best hotel I have ever stayed in or probably will ever stay in.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

I did it! I actually remembered to take a picture of some food that I had prepared. But this time, it is not from a recipe I have but a spice packet I buy at the store. Pulled pork sandwiches are super good and with this spice packet it was so easy. You just combine the seasoning packet with some brown sugar, ketchup, and cider vinegar. It goes in your crockpot with 3 lbs of pork shoulder and cooks on low for 8 hours. Then you take it out and shred it with 2 forks and return it to the crockpot for another half hour. Voile! You have yourself a sandwich. The directions for everything are on the back of the McCormick Seasoning packet and you can find that in the spice section of your favorite grocery store.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Edward Cullen

Since Valentine's Day is fast approaching on Saturday and my gift to Jared is sharing in expenses traveling down to Arizona this weekend, I thought he deserved better. Everyone . . . let me introduce you to my Edward, except his name is Jared and he's not a vampire, but he's darn near close to being the perfect guy, especially for me.

Jared, I know I say this all the time but I really do feel like I don't deserve you. You are my angel and I feel lucky that I get to wake up next to you every day and know that you love me. You are probably the kindest and most sincere person I have ever known. You always tell me how beautiful you think I look and that makes me feel like a million bucks. Plus you are so nice to me even when I'm exhibiting some bad girl behavior. I also admire what a hard worker you are and how you take care of me. I know you always will as I will you. But I think you are better at it.

Thank you for putting up with my continual quest on finding out what I want to be when I grow up and how I change my mind on just about anything on the flip of a switch. Sorry, honey, I know that gets annoying.

Jared you are also selfless and that's something I wish I was better at. Everyone that comes across your path leaves a better person. And you also do little surprises for me that are just the sweetest. After I finished reading Breaking Dawn and was in a reading funk you bought me Veronica Mars season 3 DVD and it totally made my day. It was so fun to watch with you since we both used to love watching it when it was on TV. You always watch my dumb shows with me on TV and let me always choose the music in the car even if it's something you know you won't like. Oh and you also put up with my wicked cackle when I'm watching TV and bust out laughing. I know it's loud and sometimes scares people. You're my best friend and I want to say how much I love you and I hope you have a Happy Valentine's Day my schweets. You deserve a big batch of my sugar cookie dough, but too bad we are both trying to eat healthy for now. We'll just have to stick to our 100 calorie packs for treats. Love ya babe . . . I can't wait for our next little road trip on Friday and our new book to listen to on the way.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Vegas Highlights

Another month down and we are already in February. I can't believe it. I will be spending my Valentine's day watching my sister in law get married in Arizona. I'm excited to be able to have another warm weekend and see her get married.

Vegas last week was a blast. We ate way too much, saw 2 Vegas shows, and shopped until we dropped. Ok, Jared is still standing but I definitely dropped. Honestly, I didn't see too many pieces of clothing that I had to have. I guess since we are in February we are in between seasons and I won't be doing any major shopping for a long long time. I did get a cute hoodie from the Lucky Brand store. I also bought a boat load of makeup from MAC Pro at Caesar's Forum Shops. I posted some makeup pics from my little demo at MAC. I loved what she did. I also had a gift card to J Crew so that also came in handy.

As for food, we ate at some great places. First night we ate at Cheesecake Factory and I overate and totally made myself sick. We had to trade in our tickets to Beatles' Love for the showing the following night because I was so sick. Second night we ate a Maggiano's Little Italy. Best Italian food ever for a chain restaurant! We love it so much that Jared and I are their two nights in a row and I ordered the same thing twice. Chicken and Spinach Manicotti. Yummy!!! Then the third day we ate at BLT Burger in the Mirage. Super good!! When we were walking in the Mirage to go see Love all we could smell were these burgers and so we had to eat there. I highly recommend it. I also made my own fry sauce to dip my seasoned waffle fries in. But sadly, I opted out of the Twinkie Boy shake. That's seriously what it was called, it's a twinkie, ice cream and lots of caramel.

Oh, I finished Anna Karenina about a week ago. That book was huge in content and size. It was a good book but very heavy to read if you know what I mean. I don't think I'll be reading Tolstoy's War and Peace anytime soon. My next classic is going to be Wuthering Heights becuase Sabrina Fuller was raving about the Masterpiece Theatre version was and so I want to see if the library has it to watch after I read it. I also want to rent Anna K miniseries and compare it to the book. Gotta tell you, I like Anna as a character in the beginning of the book but by the end I wanted to choke her.

Tomorrow I'll post a yummy Lemon Chicken recipe. I made some lemon chicken tonight for dinner but it was a healthy recipe and no as yummy as this recipe that I got out of Cooks Country magazine.