Tuesday, January 29, 2013

On-The-Go Breakfast Sandwiches

I like to think I am a fairly typical working mom. My mornings are very hectic. It is always a struggle for me to get up, get myself ready for work, get the dog out in the morning, the kids up, showered, fed, and out the door.

In my rush, my own breakfast is often overlooked. I recently gave up eating food that is served in a paper bag. {Meaning fast food restaurants}

In my attempt to be successful in my new endeavors, I realized I needed a plan.


My solution is Egg Cups. The super good news: They are only 1 Weight Watchers Point Plus Points. So this breakfast will not derail any weight loss attempt!

These are simple to make. You need some fresh vegetables {I used spinach, portabella mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes}, egg substitute, and a tiny bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese.

I took my muffin tin and sprayed each tin with a nonstick cooking spray.

In each tin, I added some torn up fresh spinach. There is no real right answer as to how much you use. I just kept adding spinach until I felt I had enough.


Next, I cut up baby portabella mushrooms and added them on top of the spinach. I did the same with cherry tomatoes. After you get all of your vegetables added, it is time to add the egg substitute. A quarter-cup of egg substitute is equivalent to one egg. {An egg has 2+ Points Plus}

I added one quarter-cup Egg Substitute to each muffin tin. Add salt/pepper to taste. Then because I like a little cheese flavor, I added less than a tablespoon of shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese. {If you add more cheese it will change the Weight Watcher's Points Plus. Which is okay, but just make sure you count it!}

I baked the egg cups in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.


After the Egg Cups cooled, I stored them in an airtight container in the refrigerator  In the morning, when it is time for breakfast, I reheated an Egg Cup and put it inside a mini whole wheat bagel.

Such a yummy on-the-go breakfast sandwich that had a total of 4 points! {Do you know that an egg sandwich from a popular fast food restaurant has 8 Weight Watchers Points Plus Points?!!}

Maybe you are not rushed in the morning. Maybe you can have a sit down breakfast and casually read while you sip coffee. If that is the case, you can still have Egg Cups. Just reheat them and put them on a plate.

I hope you enjoy them!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Road To The Oscars!

This is the third weekend after nominations.

And four weeks until The Oscars.

How is your movie countdown coming along? I hate to admit it, I am way behind in reading for my bookclub but I have about tackled this year Oscar list. I have 9 movies left to see.

                                                               

Best Picture: 8/9 Seen

I added Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook to my "watched" list this weekend. I will admit to never finishing the book Life of Pi despite the wonderful things I had heard about it. So, I had no expectations of the movie. I thought it was wonderful. I have spend the day thinking about how powerful the mind is to protect us from things we can not handle.

My Best Friend and I got together this afternoon to see Silver Linings Playbook together. We use to see numerous nominated movies together but both of us are super crazy busy so we are lucky if we can see a few movies together.  We are both HUGE Jennifer Lawrence fans and we loved her in this movie. Great acting. Great story. I will just say I have never cheered so hard for 50%!

What's left: Amour, which apparently hits theaters Feb. 8.

Actor in a Leading Role: 3/5 Seen

Bradly Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook is the only movie I have added to this category.

What's left: Joaquin Phoenix in The Master and Denzel Washington in Flight.

Actor in a Supporting Role: 4/5 Seen

I added Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook to this category.

What's left: Phillip Seymour Hoffman in The Master

Actress in a Leading Role: 4/5 Seen

I added Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook and Naomi Watts in The Impossible to this category. I already talked about Jennifer so let's say a few words about Naomi Watts. Naomi plays a character based on a real person who was vacationing in SE Asia when the 2004 tsunami hit. I felt her fear. I felt her determination, and eventually I felt her relief.

What's left? Emmanuelle Riva in Amour

Actress in a Supporting Role: 3/5 Seen.

I added Jacki Weaver in Silver Linings Playbook She played Bradly Cooper's characters mother.

What's left? Amy Adams in The Master and Helen Hunt in The Sessions

Animated Feature Film: 4/5 Seen

I added Frankenweenie and The Pirates! Band of Misfits to this category, both are available on DVD.  The older I get the more I love Tim Burton movie's!

Wreck It Ralph is the only film left in this category.

Cinematography: 3/5 Seen

I added Life of Pi to this category and have Anna Karenina (anyone seen it out there?) and Skyfall left. Skyfall will be on my list for next weekend.

Costume Design: 4/5 Seen

Still looking for Anna Karenina

Directing: 4/5 Seen

I added Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook. This category could not get much tougher to chose.

What's left? Michael Haneke in Amour.

Documentary Feature: 2/5 Seen

This is a category I do not normally see movies in. They are harder to come by and are slow to make it to DVD. But, I did get lucky and found two on Netflix today. I watched 5 Broken Camera's and The Invisible War.

I am ever impressed by the dedication and perseverance shown in 5 Broken Camera's. I can not imagine such a long hard fight.

I have thought about The Invisible War all day and I am sure I will continue to think about it for days to come. The Invisable War is about rape in the US Military. I am outraged. I am mad. And I am convinced that it must stop.No where else could offenders get away with such crimes.

What's left: Really nothing. These are bonus movies that were not figured into my original count. But, if I happen upon another one then I will watch it.

Film Editing: 5/5 seen

I "closed-out" this category today by seeing Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook.

Makeup and Hairstyling: 1/3 Seen. 

Still needing Hitchcock and The Hobbit. On a completely semi-unrelated subject. The Short Chic has been watching Lord of The Rings with her father. She has gone to bed mad at me because I took over the TV to watch Frankenweenie and Pirates! I may have to take her with me to see The Hobbit.

Music (Original Score): 3/5 Seen.

I have added Life of Pi.

I still need Anna Karenina and Skyfall.

Music (Original Song): 3/5 Seen.

I added Pi's Lullaby. I am still thinking Suddenly from Les Miserables will win.

What's left? Skyfall from Skyfall and Before My Time from Chasing Ice. I am probably not going to see Chasing Ice just to cross off a nomination for Best Original Song.

Sound Editing: 4/5 Seen
 Skyfall is all that is left.

Sound Mixing: 4/5 Seen
Skyfall is all that is left.

Visual Effects: 4/5 Seen

I added Life of Pi. I still need The Hobbit.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): 5/5 Seen.

By seeing Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook I closed out this category.

Writing (Original Screenplay): 3/5 Seen.

I am still needing Amour and Flight.

I think Django Unchained will come out on top of this category.


That is it for another week. It is about time to start thinking about food for the night of the Oscars.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Librarian and Winter Sangria

One of the things we try to do as a family is sit down and eat dinner together every night. As crazy and hectic as our lives get it is at least thirty minutes out of our day when we are all together. My favorite part of the meal is our family dinner conversations.

Tonight, in our attempt to be healthier I made fish for dinner. No one really likes fish {except me}.

The Short Chic: Dad, do we like fish?

Me: If you are gonna be a pro-fisherman when you get big, you are gonna have to like eating fish.

The Husband: crinkles up his nose and shakes his head yes. {That is probably as much support as he can muster when we are having fish for dinner.}

The Short Chic: Well, I am going to be a librarian when I get big.

The Short Chic: Or work at McDonald's.

The Boy: McDonald's serves fish sandwiches.

The Short Chic: Yep, I am going to be a librarian.



According to The Short Chic, this is what a librarian looks like. She highly recommends Pinkalicious books!

While The Short Chic was playing practicing to be a librarian, I was making my favorite Sangria. I am hosting one of those at home parties tomorrow night and I am trying to get as much prep work done ahead of time as I can.

I found this Sangria recipe on Pinterest, it comes from a blogger named. Deep South Dish. I have made it once before and it was so good. I am looking forward to a glass or two tomorrow.


Winter Sangria by Deep South Dish
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 4 cups of cranberry juice
  • 2 cups of POM pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup simple syrup
  • 1 apple, peel on, cored, quartered and sliced thin
  • 1 orange, halved and sliced thin
  • 1 lemon, halved and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup of pomegranate seeds
  • Sparkling Water
Combine all of the ingredients in an extra large storage container. You can adjust the flavors to your liking. Make this the  night before you plan to serve it as the flavors will come together. Before serving, stir and transfer to pitcher. Use a pair of tongs to remove some of the fruit for each glass. Top each glass off with a splash of the sparkling water. Stir.







Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Road To Oscar: Week 1



I am happy to report, I am down to 16 movies left to watch.

Where are you at in your list?

Best Picture/Actor in a Leading Role/Actress in a Leading Role:

I have currently seen 5/9 Best Picture nominations. {I am seeing another today but I have not counted it yet!}

Beast of the Southern Wild you can find at the local Red Box. I am totally smitten with that cute little girl who was only 5 at the time of making this movie.

Djando Unchained. Okay, first let me say, I don't know how I feel about Quentin Tarantino movies. I liked Pulp Fiction. Not so much other things. Will admit to not watching Kill Bill. This movie is typical Quentin. Blood. Or at least fake blood. Lots and lots of it. Over the top moments that you just can't help but laugh at. I liked the story line. I really liked Christoph Waltz, if I had a mustache, I think I would be grabbing at it.

Les Miserables was wonderful! Having never seen it on Broadway or even off Broadway, I assume it is pretty comparable.  It is long! The music was fabulous.  I can totally understand all the fuss over Anne Hathaway. Her solo sent chills to my extremities! I think Anne Hathaway's competition is Jessica Chastain.  But then again, I have only seen 2/5 Actress in a Leading Role movies.

Lincoln is probably still my favorite of the nominations. I saw it a few weeks before nominations came out. Daniel Day-Lewis was absolutely amazing as President Lincoln. I can not imagine him not taking home the gold statue. As much as I loved Daniel Day-Lewis, I also loved Sally Field. She was spunky and clever and stole her scenes.

Zero Dark Thirty is a  great movie. The commitment it took the main character to hunt for a needle in a haystack that everyone was protecting was unbelievable. I wanted to cheer and I wanted to cry. I do however, find myself asking who gave up this information  And couldn't everyone make a great movie if they had access to confidential informational? Jessica Chastain starred in two Oscar nominated movies last year and I loved her performances then but she grabbed my attention in Zero Dark Thirty. {Can I tell you I am secretly repeating her most quotable line, "I'm the Mother F'er how found him, Sir!"

Animated Feature Film

I have seen 2/5. I love Brave. I love that Disney made a Princess who did not marry and whose Momma was strong ... and alive! I also thought Paranorman was good. I will say it did not hold The Short Chic's attention. I watched it alone.

Cinematography

I have seen 2/5 (Django and Lincoln)

Costume Design

I have seen 4/5. My bet right now is on Les Meserables. But I have not seen Anna Karenina and I know Oscar loves a Victorian piece.

Film Editing

I have only seen 2/5 (Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty).

Make-Up and Hairstyling

Is hair-styling new to the category? I think it might be. I have only seen 1/3. Anyone seen Hitchcock in a theater near you?

Music (Original Score)

1/5. Not doing so well in this category.

Music (Original Song)

2/5. So far my bet is on Suddenly from Les Miserables.

Production Design

Again, I have only seen 2/5 in this category.  Hopefully I will have more by next week.

Sound Editing

Yep, 2/5 movies watched in this category.

Sound Mixing

2/5 in this category.

Visual Effects

3/5 here. We watched Prometheus this week. I do not do well with Sci-Fi thrillers. They kinda stress me out! I find I hold my breath and that only adds to my stress.  Funny enough, I thought I recognized the birth of the alien at the end. I was the one who explained it to my hubby. Clever writing but it is not nominated for writing.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Speaking of writing, no surprise I have watched 2/5 in this category  However, it is my goal to finish this category this week.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

I have currently seen 3/5. You can find Moonrise Kingdom  in your Red Box and I will say it is a quirky cute coming of age movie. The staff is amazing (loved seeing Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Francis McDormand, and Tilda Swinton)!

As much as I loved this movie, Oscar usually gives Best Original Screenplay to the number 2 movie. Right now, I think Lincoln will take home the top honors and Zero Dark Thirty will take home the second place spot.

Thanks for reading my ramble. I have to get going, I have a date with my cousins. We are watching another movie, Argo! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

My coworker had a birthday last week. {It was one of those monumental birthday's that shouldn't be overlooked!}

We had a celebration in her honor at work. I made a quiche and a salad.  The salad was a simple winter salad with homemade dressing. The dressing was probably the easiest thing to make and it was so yummy!

I may never purchase salad dressing again.

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons diced onion
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds

In a blender, add the sugar, lemon juice, onion, mustard, and salt. Process until well blended. While blender is on, slowly add the oil in a constant stream. Add the poppy seeds and process just a few seconds longer.


I tossed this dressing with some romaine lettuce, Swiss cheese, a diced apple, diced pear, some dried cranberries, and a few cashews. It was the absolute yummiest! The dressing has just enough citrus to make it tangy yet a hint of sweet. Every bite just danced in my mouth. Perfect for pepping up a cold drab winter day!

I guessed I made about 10 servings of dressing. I used it very modestly and made several salads with it. Estimating 10 servings, the dressing is about 5 points per serving. That sounds like a lot but if you leave off the cheese and cashews, the rest of the ingredients are fairly low to no point value. I assure you this salad probably has less points than a salad from your favorite restaurant.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Road To Oscar 2013

One of my favorite days of the year happened this week.

Oscar Nominations were made!

                              


The countdown to Oscar officially starts with the nominations. Once again, there are 9 movies nominated for Best Picture. {I went into it having only seen 1.}

For the past 16 years my best friend and I have made it our goal to see as many of the movies nominated before Oscar night. With the exception of the shorts (animated and live action), the foreign films, and the documentaries we do really well and can at times hit over 90% seen.

Excluding those categories mentioned above, we have 30 movies to see. {35 with Documentary Features or Foreign Language Films or 40 with both.}

                                      

I am so excited to start seeing movies. As the weeks go by and you see movies, let me know. I love to talk about the movies!!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Unexpected Company

A weekend without obligations.

Totally unplanned, uneventful.

All rest and relaxation.

I NEVER have those!

This weekend was close. Friday night I sat at home, wrapped in a blanket and talked to my friends; Dana and Rose. In the midst of talking to them my cousin, Phillip, called. Phillip pretty much never calls me. Then he wants to know what I am doing Saturday night and if he can come over.

Really Phillip has been to my house once. But Phillip is my cousin and he is welcome here any time! So of course I told him we would be home Saturday night and we would love to have him come over.


We made a trip to the bank Saturday morning. {The Boy drove us. I hardly even scolded his driving!} The Christmas Tree came down Saturday morning. We met a friend of ours at Eagle Days {We saw about 7 juvenile bald eagles}.
The photo above is taken with my zoom lens about 1-1 1/2 miles away. Through the telescope the Park Rangers has set up we could see five juveniles in those two trees.  We saw another flying around the sky right above the area we were standing in. The seventh one was seen on the way to Eagle Days. We were lucky enough to spot one sitting along the highway.


I think she was more interested in throwing rocks onto the frozen lake than looking at eagles.

When we got home from Eagle Days, The Husband and I cleaned up the Christmas Tree mess. Real or artificial you get pine needles everywhere! Then I settled back and decided to get some research done for our upcoming trip to Disney.

If Phillip was coming, he was running late.

But then shortly after 7:00 I notice two vehicles pull into my driveway. The first a truck with his lights off and then a car right behind them. Phillip walks through the door with his girlfriend, my cousin Chanelle, my cousin Kevin and his wife,brother and sister-in-law. Cousin Phillip brought the whole family!

So, what was an ordinary Saturday night turned into a Johnson Family gathering. My family knows me very well. They knew if I knew they were coming over I would have fretted over food and drinks, and party favors for them. So, they went through my husband, kept it all very hush hush and showed up with food and drinks in hand. An instant party!

Wendy brought some yummies some of which she even canned herself. Family stories flew around! Oh, my did family stories fly. Some of which, I had never heard before! Some of which, maybe I could have gone a lifetime without knowing?  ;)


We ended up around the kitchen table playing Catch Phrase and drinking the same beer our parents use to drink.

Thank you dear cousins! It was a super fun, totally spontaneous night. You are all welcome any time!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Project Life!

I learned about Project Life this past year from a blogger, Marty's Musings. I loved the concept. And if any  of you have scrapbooked with me in the past you might also know that I am a huge fan of Becky Higgins. The fact that she is the creator of Project Life sealed the deal for me.

I LOVE scrapbooking but I find that I am forever behind and never seem to make the time to get my albums complete. This year, I am going to give Project Life a shot.  According to Becky Higgins' promotional materials, Project Life is scrapbooking without the "scrapbooking".  There is no glue, no techniques, no layout design. 

I am so optimistic about this I just can't wait to get started!

Let me walk you through my Project Life:


You start with a binder. Next, you get some divided sheet protectors. The basic premise is that there are spaces for title, journaling blocks, and photos. There are enough sheet protectors for 52 weeks; one per week.

Besides the binder and sheet protectors, you should purchase a Core Kit. The Core Kit includes 500 3x4 Journaling Cards, 40 Bi-fold Journaling Cards {For more writing}, First Page Cards, Last Page Cards, and then 60 4x6 Title cards.

In addition, because The Husband loves me, he purchased some "extra's". He purchased two different sizes of pre-cut coordinating cardstock cards, and then month dividers.


I am so looking forward to sharing my progress with you! Let's get started.

If you are interested in Project Life, you can check them out at beckyhiggins.com/products