The Movie Post - 2011

I like to keep track of things during the year and two of my major non-cooking hobbies are movies and books – both of which lend themselves to list making.  I keep lists of these things throughout the year so I can see what I’ve seen and read and I figured I’d share those lists here as a Fun Thing To Do at the end of the year.  I know it’s not quite the end of the year, but it’s unlikely that I’ll finish another book or see another movie.  If you’re curious about the movies, click the link to read more!

I live with a cinephile (Lance) so he and I see quite a few movies during the year.  We’re lucky enough to live near a major metropolitan area so we have access to a great little theater that shows limited releases as well as a great huge theater that shows things in IMAX.  We’ve also got a crummy local theater which we utilize for everything else.  (We do have a brand-new theater being built less than 10 minutes away from the house, so that will be a happy day when it is completed!)

A few years ago we decided to watch all of IMDB’s top 250 movies and, once we finished that (it took about 2 years – we finished early this year) we moved on to watching all of the Best Picture and Best Foreign Picture Oscar nominated movies.  We’re still working on that project but it’s been slow going this year due to other commitments.  We’ve made it to around the C’s.  (The IMDB list changes from month to month, so we check for new movies every month and add those to our “to watch” list.) 

Theater movies in bold are ones that I particularly enjoyed. 

Theater Movies
1    The King’s Speech
2    The Fighter
3    Season of the Witch
4    Country Strong
5    The Green Hornet IMAX 3D
6    The Rite
7    The Mechanic
8    The Roommate
9    Biutiful
10    The Company Men
11    Unknown
12    I Am Number Four
13    Drive Angry 3D
14    Beastly
15    127 Hours
16    The Adjustment Bureau
17    Rango
18    Battle LA
19    Red Riding Hood
20    Limitless
21    The Lincoln Lawyer
22    Sucker Punch IMAX
23    Jane Eyre
24    Insidious
25    Source Code
26    Hanna
27    Rio 3D
28    Scream 4
29    In a Better World
30    The Conspirator
31    Water for Elephants
32    Fast Five
33    The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
34    Thor 3D
35    Priest 3D
36    Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
37    X-Men: First Class
38    Kung Fu Panda 2 3D
39    Super 8
40    Green Lantern 3D
41    The Tree of Life
42    Beginners
43    Transformers: Dark of the Moon IMAX 3D
44    Cars 2
45    Horrible Bosses
46    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
47    Captain America: The First Avenger
48    Winnie the Pooh
49    Cowboys & Aliens
50    Rise of the Planet of the Apes
51    The Devil’s Double

52    The Future
53    Another Earth
54    Conan
55    The Help
56    Fright Night
57    30 Minutes or Less
58    The Debt
59    Colombiana
60    Apollo 18
61    Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
62    Contagion
63    Drive
64    Straw Dogs
65    Killer Elite
66    Moneyball
67    Abduction
68    Dream House
69    Real Steel
70    The Thing
71    Ides of March
72    The Three Musketeers
73    Take Shelter
74    Margin Call
75    In Time

76    Anonymous
77    Puss in Boots
78    J. Edgar
79    Immortals
80    The Muppets
81    Martha Marcy May Marlene
82    My Week with Marilyn

83    Hugo
84    The Descendents
85    The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
86    A Dangerous Method
87    Shame
88    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
89    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
90    The Artist
91    Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol IMAX
92    The Adventures of Tintin

Home Movies with Lance
1    LotR: The Two Towers (extended)
2    LotR: Return of the King (extended)
3    Laura
4    In the Heat of the Night
5    Great Expectations
6    La Dolce Vita
7    Rocky
8    Harold and Maude
9    Good Will Hunting
10    Planet of the Apes
11    Barry Lyndon
12    My Man Godfrey
13    Mou gaan dou
14    Sleuth
15    Safety Last!
16    XXX
17    Sherlock Jr.
18    Mary and Max
19    Ikiru
20    The Secret in Their Eyes
21    Monsters
22    Frost/Nixon
23    The Passion of Joan of Arc
24    Fanny and Alexander
25    Battle Royale
26    The Celebration
27    Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
28    Megamind
29    My Neighbor Totoro
30    Castle in the Sky
31    Winter’s Bone
32    How to Train Your Dragon
33    Red Dragon
34    Persona
35    Three Colors: Blue
36    Three Colors: White
37    Three Colors: Red
38    The 400 Blows
39    Scream
40    Scream 2
41    Scream 3
42    Best in Show
43    Insomnia
44    Evangelion 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone
45    In the Mood for Love
46    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring
47    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
48    Howl’s Moving Castle
49    A Christmas Story
50    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
51    Rain Man
52    An Education
53    Tropic Thunder
54    Evangelion 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance
55    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
56    The Girl Who Played with Fire
57    The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
58    Before Sunrise
59    Before Sunset
60    12
61    Heavenly Creatures
62    A Few Good Men
63    Working Girl
64    A Passage to India
65    A Place in the World
66    The Verdict
67    Hulk
68    The Incredible Hulk
69    Stone
70    Gosford Park
71    A Prophet
72    A Soldier’s Story
73    A Room with a View
74    All Things Fair
75    All About My Mother
76    After the Wedding
77    Easy A
78    Grand Illusion
79    Antonia’s Line
80    Angry Harvest
81    Apollo 13
82    As Good As It Gets
83    Ajami
84    Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy
85    Atlantic City
86    As It Is in Heaven
87    Awakenings
88    Atonement
89    Tokyo Story
90    Ip Man
91    Rubber
92    The Thin Red Line
93    Babe
94    Babel
95    Babette’s Feast
96    Beaufort
97    Betty Blue
98    Dodgeball
99    Pinchcliffe Grand Prix
100    Before the Rain
101    Beyond Silence
102    Stalker
103    Broadcast News
104    Born on the Fourth of July
105    Trollhunter
106    Brokeback Mountain
107    Bugsy
108    Interview with the Vampire
109    Burnt by the Sun
110    Camila
111    In the Mouth of Madness
112    Vanishing on 7th Street
113    Carmen
114    Central Station
115    Camille Claudel
116    Character
117    The Brothers Bloom
118    Sherlock Holmes (the bad straight to video one)
119    Series 7: The Contenders
120    A Beautiful Mind
121    Red State
122    The Social Network
123    Requiem for a Dream
124    Akira
125    Chariots of Fire
126    Red

Movies without Lance
1    This Film is Not Yet Rated
2    The Constant Gardener
3    Fed Up!
4    Ingredients
5    Case 39
6    The Good Son
7    The Girl Next Door
8    Toxic Skies
9    2012 Ice Age
10    Resident Evil
11    The Warrior’s Way
12    How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Book Post - 2011

I like to keep track of things during the year and two of my major non-cooking hobbies are movies and books – both of which lend themselves to list making.  I keep lists of these things throughout the year so I can see what I’ve seen and read and I figured I’d share those lists here as a Fun Thing To Do at the end of the year.  I know it’s not quite the end of the year, but it’s unlikely that I’ll finish another book or see another movie.  If you’re curious about the books, click the link to read more!

I love to read.  I used to read quite a lot but, as time went on and life got more complex, I sort of lost the habit of reading.  I still loved to read, I just didn’t make much time for it anymore.  At the beginning of 2011, I vowed to change this.  I bought myself a Kindle and joined goodreads.  (Feel free to add me if you are also a goodreads user!) I initially set myself a goal of reading 50 books but, when I reached that goal halfway through the year, I upped it to 100.  I am very pleased to say that I reached my goal and then some!  Having a Kindle has been amazing – I take it with me everywhere and can read anywhere due to its portability.  In addition, I don’t have to worry about finding shelf space in shelves that are already overflowing!  (We have no more wall space for shelves, so buying more is not an option.  Plus, I need the room for cookbooks!) 

Partway through the year I decided to reread all of Stephen King’s books in publication order which is why the list is pretty King heavy.  I am taking breaks as needed/wanted, but I’ve been making great progress so far. 

Books I especially enjoyed are in bold.  (It’s so hard to pick favorites.)

1    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2    Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
3    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
4    Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

5    Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
6    Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
7    I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
8    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
9    Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist
10    The Help by Kathryn Stockett
11    Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
12    Fallen Hearts by V.C. Andrews
13    Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
14    Lord of the Flies by William Golding
15    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
16    Parasite Eve by Hideaki Sena
17    Clementine by Cherie Priest
18    Dreadnought by Cherie Priest
19    Uglies by Scott Westerfield
20    Pretties by Scott Westerfield
21    Specials by Scott Westerfield
22    Extras by Scott Westerfield
23    Bogus to Bubbly An Insider’s Guide to the World of Uglies by Scott Westerfield
24    We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
25    Beastly by Alex Finn
26    XVI by Julia Karr
28    Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black
28    Ravenous: A Food Lover’s Journey from Obsession to Freedom by Dayna Macy
29    Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
30    Valiant by Holly Black
31    Limitless: A Novel by Alan Glynn
32    John Dies at the End by David Wong
33    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
34    The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
35    The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson

36    1984 by George Orwell
37    Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
38    33 A. D.  by David McAfee
39    Ironside by Holly Black
40    The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch
41    Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
42    Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh
43    The God Engines by John Scalzi
44    Brave New Worlds by John Joseph Adams
45    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
46    The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
47    The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
48    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
49    The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan
50    The Battle of the Labyrinty by Rick Riordan
51    Waiting by Debra Ginsberg
52    The New World by Patrick Ness
53    The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
54    The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
55    The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness
56    Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

57    The City & The City by China Mieville
58    Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan
59    Flashback by Dan Simmons
60    Y: The Last Man, Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores by Brian K. Vaughan
61    Y: The Last Man, Vol. 2: Cycles by Brian K. Vaughan
62    Y: The Last Man, Vol. 3: One Small Step by Brian K. Vaughan
63    Y: The Last Man, Vol. 4: Safeword by Brian K. Vaughan
64    Y: The Last Man, Vol. 5: Ring of Truth by Brian K. Vaughan
65    Y: The Last Man, Vol. 6: Girl on Girl by Brian K. Vaughan
66    Y: The Last Man, Vol. 7: Paper Dolls by Brian K. Vaughan
67    Y: The Last Man, Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons by Brian K. Vaughan
68    Y: The Last Man, Vol. 9: Motherland by Brian K. Vaughan

69    Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
70    Bioshock: Rapture by John Shirley
71    Among the Imposters by Margaret Peterson Haddix
72    Among the Betrayed by Margaret Peterson Haddix
73    Amon the Barons by Margaret Peterson Haddix
74    Among the Brave by Margaret Peterson Haddix
75    Among the Enemy by Margaret Peterson Haddix
76    Among the Free by Margaret Peterson Haddix
77    Best Food Writing 2002 by Holly Hughes
78    Out of Mormonism: A Woman’s True Story by Judy Robertson
79    Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture by Shannon Hayes
80    Fantasy Magazine, September 2011 by Carrie Vaughn
81    Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit by Barry Estabrook
82    The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks

83    Perfect Shadow: A Night Angel Novella by Brent Weeks
84    Icebound by Dean Koontz
85    The Vision by Dean Koontz
86    The Face of Fear by Dean Koontz
87    Abarat by Clive Barker
88    Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker

89    Mile 81 by Stephen King
90    When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
91    Absolute Midnight by Clive Barker
92    Demon Seed by Dean Koontz
93    Frozen by Robin Wasserman
94    Shattered by Robin Wasserman
95    Wired by Robin Wasserman
96    Carrie by Stephen King
97    Salem’s Lot: Illustrated Edition by Stephen King
98    The Haunting by Shirley Jackson
99    The Shining by Stephen King
100    Rage by Stephen King
101    Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style by Tim Gunn
102    Night Shift by Stephen King
103    Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work by Tim Gunn
104    11/22/63 by Stephen King
105    The Maze Runner by James Dashner
106    The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
107    The Death Cure by James Dashner
108    Selection Event by Wayne Wightman
109    Metagame by Sam Landstrom
110    Every Thing on It by Shel Silverstein
111    Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill
112    Head Games by Joe Hill
113    The Stand by Stephen King
114    The Long Walk by Stephen King

115    20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
116    A Flight of Angels by Holly Black
117    The Dead Zone by Stephen King
118    The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss
119    A Christmas Tree for Pyn by Olivier Dunrea
120    Mouse & Lion by Rand Burkert
121    Firestarter by Stephen King
122    Roadwork by Stephen King

Thanksgiving 2011 Recap

This Thanksgiving is officially in the books and, I’m quite happy to say, it was a success.  We had a fantastic time with my parents.  We ate and chatted on Thursday.  We ate more, chatted more, and saw the new Muppet movie on Friday.  Then we ate more and chatted even more on Saturday before they headed home.  Much fun was had by all.  :D

We had a few new additions to the Thanksgiving menu this year.  I opted to ditch the old desserts and try something new with Molten Chocolate Cakes.  We didn’t get to them on Thursday, since we were all full, but my mom and I made them Friday and they were enjoyed by all.  Definitely a keeper of a recipe and perhaps even a new tradition!  I also made Baked French Toast for Friday’s breakfast which was a new recipe for all of us and it was greatly enjoyed as well.  While it might not be a keeper for Thanksgiving, since I like to try new things, it will definitely be a keeper in general. 

The turkey was our best yet.  Last year I felt that we overcooked the turkey (or first heritage one) just a little bit so I switched the rotation times from 30 minutes down to 20 minutes.  The result was a perfect, juicy, awesome turkey.  Total perfection.  I didn’t get any pictures of it, since I didn’t take any pictures this Thanksgiving, but it totally trumped Turkey 2010

Our Thanksgiving wasn’t all perfect, sadly.  On Monday the 21st we had to say goodbye to our beloved companion of 12 years.  Rest in peace, Möbius, you were the best dog in the whole world and we’re so thankful for everything you added to our lives.  Sorry we couldn’t share one last turkey with you. 


Landscaping - The Wall

This is another one of those posts that doesn’t have too much to deal with food directly, but it has to do with enjoying our backyard which is where we grill, and grilling is certainly a food-related topic.  Just like our amazing table has enhanced the overall food experience, so will our grand landscaping project. 


Our home, which we bought in 2001, was previously owned by a family that also owned a landscaping business in town.  As a result, the yard was amazing, it had terracing, out of zone plants that could be kept in the greenhouse in the winter, and a 900 gallon fish pond.  When you care about your yard and have a crew at your beck and call, the possibilities are limitless. 

We are not yard people. 

The yard quickly became varying degrees of overgrown and dead.  We ended up filling in the pond since it would get completely leaf choked every year.  And, 10 years later, the railroad tie terracing and walls have completely rotted, becoming a spiky, dangerous, scary hazard. 

Now that I’m getting ready to garden, which will require walking up the stairs in the yard on an almost daily basis, I made the command decision to upgrade the railroad ties to stone. 

The process of finding a landscaper was a bit overwhelming and depressing, but we finally found one that we, and our budget, could work with – Outdoor Creations

Here’s the link to the full photo gallery of the project, the following are some of the finished project shots:




We do intend to have the patio done in similar stone by Outdoor Creations, but that project will have to wait until next year when we can afford it.  In the meantime, we are so thrilled with the wall and our yard already feels infinitely better, more enjoyable, and usable.  Grilling will be such a pleasure with a beautiful wall to admire while we do it.

A Lil" Loopy

Today I’d like to take a moment to deviate from the usual food related articles to tell you all about Art’s awesome sister. 

Many years ago, she taught herself how to crochet and knit with the aid of books.  Her hobby grew, as they tend to do, and she has recently opened her own Etsy store to sell her amazing creations.  I’m the proud owner of a few, and I’d like to share them with you. 


If you play Mario, you’ll recognize this set of mushrooms.  She started making them for her Mario-loving daughter and I thought they were just about the coolest thing I’d ever seen.  I have dreams of decorating my Christmas tree completely with these mushrooms.  (I love the evil looking eyes of the poison mushroom.)


This is Cthulhu, all cute and crocheted. 


Cthulhu is, of course, dreaming in R’lyeh but, in the meantime, you can enjoy his likeness in lovely green (or any other color) yarn.  I sort of want to buy a hundred of these and plant them all over my house in unexpected places. 


This is a custom ordered scarf and hat which I asked her to make for Art, who shaves his head and needs a bit of warmth in the cold winter months.  The yarn is lovely, thick, warm and cozy. 

And those are my prized possessions from A Lil’ Loopy.  If you get the chance, please stop by her Etsy shop and send some business her way!  She’s happy to take custom orders and she’s very easy to work with – her collection is expanding every day. 

Happy birthday to one of the coolest sisters-in-law I could ever hope for!

Modernist Cuisine

I’m currently in a posting hiatus until I get back from a weekend trip to Dallas but here’s a sneak peak of one of the things I plan to write about once I return. 

Modernist Cuisine


It’s beautiful, huge, and did not fit in my lightbox.  :D