Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Mortal Instruments Series

City of Bones ****
by Cassondra Clare
Book Type: YA, Urban Fantasy 
Summary: When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know.... 
summary found on goodreads
My Review: I don't really know how to categorize this book. It was very different from anything I've read in a lot of ways, but it had a similar feel to the Hunger Games. It has a completely different subject matter though, it's all about demons, werewolves, vampires, shadowhunters... Crazy stuff like that! It's action packed and exciting. There is a little romance, but the main characters are about 15-18 years old so it's not adult romance. And there is a sick twist at the end of the novel. But overall I really enjoyed this book. It was supposed to be part of a trilogy but the author lied! It's a 6 book series and not all of the books have come out yet. The last two books come out in the next two years. So if you decide to read this series wait a while to start the series unless you are a seriously slow reader. Then I guess you could start now... :)

City of Ashes ****
by Cassandra Clare
Book Type: YA, Urban Fantasy
Summary: A murderer is loose in New York City ...  and the victims are Downworlder children. Clary Fray and her fellow Shadowhunters have a strong suspicion that Valentine, Clary's father, may be behind the killings. But if he is the murderer, then what's his true motive? To make matters worse, the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, has been stolen, and the mysterious Inquisitor has arrived to investigate, with his eyes vigilantly targeted on Clary's brother, Jace.
summary found on goodreads
My Review: Oh my goodness. I did NOT realize I could get so addicted to a book. I mean, Harry Potter was bad, but there was so much time between the books coming out that I never spent more than a day at a time on them. And then there was the Hunger Games but, once again, we had a year between each book coming out so like before I didn't spend more than a day at a time on those books. I don't even know if these books are the type that I would suggest to other people... But I seriously could NOT put them down! I just HAD to keep reading!! More and more! I couldn't wait to read the next part of the story. I could not get enough! It was ridiculously engrossing for me. Blegh! One thing I have to say is that these books do wrap up really well for a super engaging series. Most books that are written like these don't really wrap up at the end which is partially how they keep you so interested! This one doesn't really do that, but it still keeps you super engaged!

City of Glass ****
by Cassandra Clare
Book Type: YA, Urban Fantasy
Summary: To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.
As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her new found powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost? 

summary found on goodreads 
My Review: Turns out this series WAS originally written to be a trilogy so this book wraps up the story incredibly well and FINALLY left me feeling satisfied. The relationships all end pretty happy and the bad guy is utterly destroyed. Overall the trilogy was really fun and engaging and I literally had the hardest time putting it down! So it was good to finish :) Now... There is another trilogy that is attached to this series that you don't HAVE to read... But I probably will once the last two books have come out. I can't start the next one or I will go crazy waiting for the books that come after! So, if you want a dark, exciting story that has relationship drama, demons, vampires, werewolves, demon fighters, and a lot of twists and turns... This is the series for you!

City of Fallen Angels **1/2
by Cassandra Clare
*Book 4 in series, start with City of Bones. . . actually, stop after book 3. These are NOT worth it. Just saying.
Book Type: YA, Urban Fantasy
Summary: The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most important of all—Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend.
But nothing comes without a price.
Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her. His mother just found out he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side—along with the power of the curse wrecking his life. And they’re willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls—neither of whom knows about the other.
When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

summary found on goodreads
My Review: Okay so if you have read my reviews of the first 3, which means that you've read the first 3 books... You may agree that they are ridiculously addictive! And you can't even necessarily say why. They really are silly! Because i couldn't get enough of the first three I decided to try out the next 3. The first one is out, I thought two of them were out so I decided I could go ahead and start reading it. Turns out it is just the one that is out... But that's okay. Because the first three were addicting and I couldn't put them down. BUT this one was not that way. It was written the same so I didn't want to put it down, but it was really driving me crazy. Why can't Cassandra Clare just let the main characters be happy? Let the minor characters have the difficult scary situations that the main characters from the first 3 have to help with. You know? What is with all of the DRAMA? Plus there wasn't nearly as much action in this book. So i don't even know if I'll read the next two. Is it worth it? I'm not sure... Anyway, there is so much drama between Jace and Clary, and Simon has a lot of his own drama in this book. Stop with the lying and deceiving! Just talk to each other! GOSH. Yeah I wouldn't read this book unless you absolutely LOVE the first 3. Which I didn't. I liked them. They were addicting. Didn't LOVE them.

City of Lost Souls **
by Cassandra Clare
*Book 5 in series, start with City of Bones and STOP at book 3. Don't go on to this book!!
Book Type: YA, Urban Fantasy
Summary: The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace freed from captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing, so is the boy she hates: her brother Sebastian, who is determined to bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.
The Clave's magic cannot locate either boy, but Jace can't stay away from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith's magic has wrought - Jace and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other.
Only a few people believe that Jace can still be saved. Together, Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle bargain with the sinister Seelie Queen, contemplate deals with demons, and turn at last to the merciless, weapon-making Iron Sisters, who might be able to forge a weapon that can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. If the Iron Sisters can't help, their only hope is to challenge Heaven and Hell - a risk that could claim their lives.
And they must do it without Clary. For Clary is playing a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing not just her own life, but Jace's soul. She's willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

summary found on goodreads
My Review: I have a serious problem. I have the HARDEST time starting a series and not finishing it. The first 3 books in this series were seriously fun. Not well written necessarily, not well developed even... But for some reason... I liked them! So pathetic... But I kept reading the series because I liked the first 3 books. The fourth book was retarded. This one wasn't much better. I think I've now gotten it out of my system and won't feel a need to read them anymore. Blegh. So this book has so much "almost sex". I mean, really? How much teenage sex drive are you suddenly going to throw into your story?? It's like the author thought that could control and drive the story. Oh and the whole gay and lesbian drama, they added way more of that. And it was irritating. I mean, the story itself wasn't that great and then they add all of this inappropriate material and you just want to slam your head against a table. So yeah. Pretty sure I am completely done with these books. I can't take any more of the drama!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I don't mind being a guinea pig!

 So my mom has been meaning to try this recipe for a while but hasn't gotten around to it so she asked me if I wanted to be her guinea pig and go ahead and try this recipe. So we did and it is QUITE delicious I must say.
Red Potato Salad

  • 2 lbs unpeeled red potatoes
  • ½ c white onion
  • ½ c red pepper
  • ½ c celery
  • 1/3 c finely chopped dill pickles
  • 2 boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 1/2 T. dill pickle juice
  • 2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • ½ c mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot, cover potatoes with salted cold water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Cook until they're easily pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes.  
  2. Meanwhile, combine onion, pepper, celery, pickles, and eggs in a large bowl.  Drain potatoes and cut into half-inch pieces while still warm.  
  3. Transfer to the bowl and sprinkle with dill pickle juice and cider vinegar.  Toss salad gently with mayonnaise.  Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Chill before serving.

Charlie St. Cloud

Charlie St. Cloud **1/2
This movie was just depressing. I thought Zac Efron did a really great job in it, but there was nothing really great about it. It was just kind of empty.

Graceling Realm

Fire ***1/2
by Kristin Cashore
Book Type: YA, Fantasy 

Summary: Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.
Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.

Summary found on goodreads 
My Review: This is a "companion" to Graceling. I couldn't figure out if it was supposed to be a prequel or a sequel or just a book that takes place in the same place but isn't actually related... Like Ella Enchanted and Fairest (which are both FABULOUS by the way!). Anyway I looked online and I'm still not sure, I think it's KIND of a prequel but also kind of totally unrelated... Anyway. Both of these books are really fun, super engaging, interesting stories BUT the way they handle sex is irritating. Basically they treat it like it's nothing, that it doesn't matter. Everyone has sex with whoever they want, for example, one guy gets two girls pregnant within a couple days of each other... Anyway, I liked the book but I don't know I would suggest it to anyone just because of the way they treat sex and love! So if that doesn't bother you, you will probably really enjoy this book! :)

Bitterblue ***1/2
by Kristin Cashore
Book Type: Fantasy, YA
Summary: Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck's reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle--disguised and alone--to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.
Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn't yet identified, holds a key to her heart

summary found on goodreads
My Review: The one over riding character that is seen throughout the entire series is the evil king Leck. The world that Cashore has created in these stories is terrifyingly beautiful. King Leck is so incredibly evil it is almost difficult to read about the things that he does to his family and people. This book takes place after king Leck has been killed and his young daughter, Bitterblue, is now Queen. The people in the palace and city she "rules" over have been traumatized by the things that the kind forced into their minds and made them do. No one will communicate with Bitterblue. Bad things are happening throughout her city and she doesn't know who's behind it. She doesn't know who to trust. She wants to understand her people. She wants to help them. But what can she do when no one allows her to do the one thing she's supposed to be doing? Rule? The only people she trusts are the characters developed in the first story Graceling and a group of ruffians just trying to do the right thing; returning things to their proper place. This book keeps you engaged because you feel as lost and confused as Bitterblue as you try to shuffle through the details and sort out who is betraying their queen and who is on her side. The ending of the book was a bit lack luster. It just felt like a bit of a let down after so much build up. But she did pull all 3 books together well. Bringing the characters from the second book into the wrap up at the end. The story in Fire takes place in a different country from Graceling and Bitterblue. This country is separated from them by an impassable mountain range and is so different it feels like another world entirely. I will say this. I hate when an author builds up to this huge romantic interlude, the characters have sex and part ways. LAME. Oh well. Outside of that minor detail I actually quite enjoyed the intrigue and mystery of this book.


Flipped ****
Okay this movie is seriously cute! If you enjoyed Little Manhattan then you will LOVE this movie. It's funny, cute, creative... The kids do a great job. Basically it's a story about a young girl and boy. The story is constantly going back and forth showing the kids different perceptions of the same situation. The story opens with you hearing both Juli and Bryce's perceptions of Julie's complete love for Bryce. As the story wears on you learn more of Julie's character and Bryce's. You also find out more about each of their families and you really get to understand why the kids are the way they are. It is really entertaining to follow the kids as they talk about each other and their families and the situations they get stuck in. So funny! I really love this movie!! :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I saw a picture of this and HAD to make it.

Chicken Caesar Pita
  • 1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2lb bacon
  • 1 large head romaine lettuce leaves (torn into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 (8 ounce) bottle Caesar salad dressing (or make your own)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
  • cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 (10 ounce) package pocket pita bread (halved)
  • Croutons
  • Cooking Spray
  1. Grease an indoor grill pan or an outdoor grill and heat to medium high heat. 
  2. In a small bowl combine garlic powder, thyme and rosemary. Season chicken breasts with the garlic powder mixture on both sides. Place chicken on the grill and cook chicken until it is fully cooked and the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees. Remove from the grill and allow to cool then slice the chicken breasts into thin strips.
  3. While chicken is grilling place bacon strips in a large skillet. Cook over medium high heat until browned and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Once bacon has cooled crumble it into small pieces.
  4. In a large bowl combine chicken, bacon, lettuce, and croutons. Toss with Caesar salad dressing and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the Caesar salad mixture into pita bread halves.
Found this recipe at the usual place! :)

Caesar Salad Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 oil packed anchovy, minced (you can replace this with capers or kalamata olives)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  •  4 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a small bowl whisk together mayo, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy, garlic, and salt and pepper. 
  2. Then whisk in olive oil. Refrigerate until needed (whisk once before using).
I found the basic recipe for this here but I tweaked it a bit :).

Tooth Fairy

ToothFairy ***
Uhhh, I had heard that this movie was funny but it really was just super quirky. Russ didn't seem to like it much. It definitely was over the top but Dwayne Johnson had his moments. He was very funny at some points, but overall it was only okay for me.

Books of Ember

The City of Ember ***1/2
by Jeanne Dufrau
Book Type: Children, Dystopia
Summary: The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she's sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever! This stunning debut novel offers refreshingly clear writing and fascinating, original characters.
summary found on goodreads
My Review: This book is definitely geared toward a younger audience. It makes you think a little bit, but it is written really simply. The main characters are supposed to be 12 years old but are written from the point of view of more like a 16 or 17 year old. Overall it was enjoyable but you can just watch the movie. It's actually one of the best movie of a book I've seen. It's very similar and the story is pretty accurate.

The People of Sparks  ***
by Jeanne Dufrau
Book Type: Children, Dystopia
Summary: When Lina and Doon lead their people up from the underground city of Ember, they discover a surface world of color and life. The people of a small village called Sparks agree to help the Emberites, but the villagers have never had to share their world before. Soon differences between the two groups escalate, and it's up to Lina and Doon to find a way to avoid war!
summary found on goodreads
My Review: This book was not as good as the first. The adults behave like children, the children act like total morons - doing things so incredibly stupid you want to smack them upside the head, and no one seems able to act appropriately. The people of sparks allow the people of ember come live and work with them. The people of sparks are angry that they have to share all of what they have with a whole city. The people of ember feel that the people of sparks are not giving them enough and eventually get angry. I mean, really? Let's act like adults and find a nice mature way to deal with this guys. The book was fun for the most part, but the behavior of the characters was exceedingly irritating.

This is one of the best things of summer... Mmmm

Dilly Veggie Pasta Salad

  • 1 16 oz. box of bow tie pasta- cook and drain.
  • 1 c. Cherry tomatoes- halved
  • 1 c. sliced green pepper
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ c. chopped green onions
  • ½ c. sliced black olives
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 2 T. vinegar(white wine is the best)
  • ½ tsp. dried dill weed
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  1. Mix salad ingredients in large bowl. Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Thor ****
This movie was a lot of fun. Russ and I really enjoyed it. The main character shows a lot of growth throughout the movie, there's a cute love interest, his powers are cool... It was well made. We did see it in 3-D because it was the only option and honestly? It's not worth it. There was nothing really in 3-D, they just charge you more! But it was a really fun, exciting movie! Whether you know the films history or not.

This pie IS for dessert. Yum.

Black-Bottom Cherry Cream Cheese Pie
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 pkg. cream cheese
  • 1 tsp. canilla extract
  • 1/3 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 can cherry pie filling (we used blueberry, yum!)
  • Oreo crumb crust
  • whip cream
  1.  Soften cream cheese and beat until fluffy.
  2. Add milk, slowly, while beating. Add lemon juice, vanilla and beat well.
  3. Pour into crust. Chill and then top with pie filling, whip cream, and leftover Oreo crumbles.
Oreo Crumb Crust
  • 1 c. finely crushed Oreo cookie crumbs
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 1/4 c butter, melted
  1. Combine cookie crumbs and sugar. Add butter; blend until all crumbs are evenly moist.
  2. Pat 3/4 of mixture over the bottom of a 9 inch pie crust pan.
  3. Use the remaining 1/4 of the mixture to sprinkle on the whipped cream and serve.

Little Britches: Father and I were Ranchers

Little Britches: Father and I were Ranchers ***
by Ralph Moody
Book Type: General Read, Memoir
Summary: An autobiographical account of Ralph Moody's early life in the vicinity of Littleton, Colorado. One valued lesson passed on by Moody: the importance of water rights and the challenges these can profoundly have on a community. This book spans the years from 1906 to 1910. Moody was eight when his father moved to Colorado, and eleven when his father died.
summary found on goodreads
My Review: This is an autobiography/memoir. Not the best written book but it's a cute story. You follow a little boy and his family after they move to a new place and they have a ranch. So they ride horses and plant fields and etc. Russ really loved this story as a kid, but it wasn't as engaging for me. I couldn't really get into it. But it was okay.


Hereafter **
This movie was kind of depressing. Russ seems to think it's just the new style of film making where you follow someone for a part of their life but nothing really happens... It's just a small glimpse... But really nothing happens, it's just sad and then it ends. It was okay, I just wasn't feeling it.

This is another EASY one...

Sloppy Joe's
  • 2 lbs hamburger
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Brown meat and onion together.
  2. Add seasonings, tomatoes, and sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Okay. This is GOOD.

French Dip Sliders
  • 24 slider rolls(or dinner rolls, ect)
  • 24 slices deli roast beef
  • 24 slices swiss cheese
Au Jus
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon better than bouillon beef base
  • 2 teaspoons better than bouillon beef base
  • 1/2 stalk celery
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 pinch thyme
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. To make the Au Jus- in a saucepan combine water, beef base, celery, onion, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Strain and place into small bowls for serving.
  3. Split the slider rolls in half. Lay the bottom half of a slider roll on a baking sheet. Top with a folded slice of roast beef, top with Swiss cheese. Place the top half of the slider roll on top of the cheese. Repeat until all of the rolls are used up. Place into the oven and bake until cheese has melted. 
  4. Serve with Au Jus.
We found this super yummy recipe here! As usual... :)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Percy Jackson & The Lightening Thief ***
So the other day I was at the library and I saw the movie Percy Jackson & The Lightening Thief. I remembered enjoying it so I decided to check it out and watch it. About 5 minutes in I realized how cheesy it was. The first time I saw it I hadn't read the books yet, so I thought it was fun... I've read the books since then and now the movie just seems SUPER lame. Hah. Anyway, so it inspired me to pick up the books and read all 5 of them... Again. In just a matter of days! :)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians ****1/2
Book Type: YA, Fantasy
Summary: Percy is introduced as a troubled twelve-year-old diagnosed with both ADHD and dyslexia. After getting attacked at school, he is escorted to Camp Half-Blood, a secret camp built to train and protect Greek demigods. At camp, Percy learns that his father is Poseidon, the god of the sea, and is thus a child mentioned in the Great Prophecy, a prophecy that was given by the Oracle seventy years ago. Throughout the series, Percy embarks on several quests to save his friends and the Olympian gods of Mount Olympus.
My Review: If you like Harry Potter and Greek mythology... You will really enjoy these books! There are about 4,000 pages in the Harry Potter series and only about 1700 pages in this series. Each book is under 400 pages long so they are quick easy reads. They are all really engaging and honestly a lot of fun. I read the entire series in a couple of days. Each book is better than the one before. The Greek mythology is fun and the characters are well rounded and a lot of fun to follow! I sat there with a Greek mythology encyclopedia and read through the stories of the creatures that Riordan has taking over his story and it was SO MUCH FUN. I think Greek mythology is incredibly fascinating, the stories are so complex it makes you wonder who had the time to create all of them. I LOVE how real Percy is. He is so snarky and witty and I just adore him. If I had a crush on a main character in any story it would admittedly be Percy. Also, he is like a super hero. He does some pretty awesome stuff in these stories. This is easily the best young adult series I've read since Harry Potter. Hands down. In some ways I like it even more. But, in the end can anything really top Harry Potter? The answer is no. But this series is fantabulous, I love it. The relationships are real, Percy is real. It's all just developed SO well. And the mythology is a blast. I've read this series all the way through 3 times in the last couple of years. It is just so so fun. Riordan did his homework before he put these stories together. Oh my goodness. I could sing praises about this series. But I will simply stop here and encourage you to go pick up these books and enjoy. :)

Not all pies are for dessert

Chicken Pot Pie
  • 1lb turkey or chicken (cubed, can use raw or leftover cooked turkey)
  • 1 cup carrots (sliced)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • ½ cup celery (sliced)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 ¾ cups chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Grease a 9 inch pie dish and press one of the pie crusts onto the bottom of the pie dish, set aside. In a saucepan add turkey or chicken (if the meat is already cooked, just add it in the last couple minutes of cooking to heat it through). 
  3. Add carrots, peas, and celery. Add enough water to the pan to cover the meat and vegetables and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes, remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  4. In the same saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and cook until they are soft. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and celery seed. 
  5. Slowly stir in the chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until the mixture becomes thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Place the turkey and vegetable mixture on top of the bottom pie crust. Pour the thickened chicken broth mixture over the meat mixture. Cover with the top crust, seal edges and cut away any excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow the steam to escape.
  7. Place into the oven and bake at 425 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
I found this recipe and another chicken pot pie recipe that looks really yummy at this site. 

Monday, May 16, 2011


Tron: Legacy ***
This movie had some fun special effects and was entertaining. But, it was kind of confusing since we had never seen the original movie. If you've seen the first one you may REALLY like it. I thought it was okay. :)

The Other Guys

The Other Guys **1/2
This movie had some fun parts, but it was also fairly crude. We seriously laughed at parts, but it didn't make up for the inappropriateness at other times.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Want something to go with those crisp veggies?

Russ and I have been trying to eat a little healthier lately. I have been feeling extremely fat and disgusting. So, since I am HORRIBLE at exercising, eating a little healthier will just have to do! At least until I can bring myself to move! This is a ranch dip that we made to eat our veggies with. Super yummy. Super easy.
Ranch Dip
  • 2 c. low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 c. low-fat sour cream
  • Ranch dressing seasoning packet
  1. Mix ingredients in a food processor, magic bullet, or blender. Dip in veggies or chips and enjoy!
Ranch Dressing Seasoning Packet Substitute 
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

    I LOVE Imitation Restaurant Food

    Cafe Rio
    Cafe Rio Chicken
    • 3 chicken breasts
    • 1 can green chile sauce
    • 1 c chicken broth
    • 1 T. cumin 
    • 1/2 onion, sliced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • juice from 1/2 of a lime
    • chopped cilantro to taste
    1. Place chicken in crock pot. Pour green chile over top and chicken broth.
    2. Add cumin, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, and onion.
    3. Cook on low for 4 hours. Remove onion slices, shred the chicken, and cook for another hour.
    Cafe Rio Rice
    • 4 c. chicken broth
    • 2 c. rice
    • 2 clove garlic
    • 1/2 bunch of cilantro
    • 1 can green chiles (can replace with 1/2 Anaheim pepper)
    • 1/4 onion
    • juice from 1/2 of lime
    1. Boil chicken broth. Add rice.
    2. Blend garlic, cilantro, green chiles, onion. Add to rice. Cover and cook on med-low heat for 15 mins.
    Cafe Rio Dressing
    • 1 buttermilk ranch packet
    • 1 c. buttermilk
    • 1 c. mayonaise
    • 2 tomatillos
    • 1/2 bunch cilantro
    • 1 clove garlic
    • juice of 1 lime
    • 1 jalapeno (we substituted this with 1/2 of an Anaheim pepper)
    1. Blend in food processor or blender. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    We got this recipe from Russ's mom... I don't know where she got it! :)
    If you ever try one of our recipes we would love to hear your feedback! Let us know if you like them or if you make any changes! We love comments! :)


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