Monday, August 8, 2011

This looks and TASTES like something you get at a restaurant!

Southern Fried Chicken
  • 2lbs cut up chicken or breasts sliced into strips
  • Oil (for frying)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup hot sauce
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees. In a large bowl beat eggs and water. Add hot sauce and whisk together.
  2. In small bowl combine ground black pepper, salt and garlic powder. In another bowl or pie plate combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Pat dry chicken pieces with a paper towel. Sprinkle chicken pieces generously on both sides with the seasoning mixture.
  4. Dip chicken pieces into the hot sauce mixture and coat thoroughly. One piece at a time, roll chicken pieces in the flour mixture and drop into the deep fryer. Don’t over load the deep fryer with chicken. Fry chicken until brown and crisp (dark meat will take about 14 minutes, white meat about 10 minutes). A good way to tell if it’s done is to pierce the deepest part of the bone with a fork, if the juices run clear, it’s done. Drain on paper towels. Repeat until all chicken is fried.
We found this recipe on our favorite blog!

The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera ***1/2
by Gaston Leroux
Book type: Gothic Novel, Fiction 
Summary: He lurked in the shadows of the Paris Opera House--a man with the voice of an angel but the face of a monster. His only hope for love is a beautiful soprano who draws him . . . to disaster.
summary found on goodreads
My Review: Everyone knows the story of the Phantom of the Opera... Right? No. Not the TRUE story. The story written by Gaston Leroux is much darker and sinister than you ever knew. Erik, the phantom, is a sick, twisted man. He has a torture chamber, kills people for fun, and is obsessive. He will do anything to get the young woman of his fantasies. The story is written much like the Broadway play, it has a similar feeling, but it is definitely a different story. I thought this version of the Phantom of the Opera was interesting. It is definitely NOT a fun, light, summer read. But it was pretty good!

The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory
locations: Various
SO FREAKING GOOD. I love this restaurant. It is AMAZING. It seems like it's expensive but it's actually quite comparable to other nicer restaurants like Chili's or Outback about 8-15 dollars a plate. This restaurant has a ginormous menu, it kind of looks like a text book. BUT, once you get past the incredibly HUGE number of options, you can't wait to eat! It's almost impossible NOT to order an appetizer, two entrees, and a slice of cheesecake... Which is why it ends up being a little pricier. But I have only been disappointed with one thing I've gotten at this restaurant. It just wasn't what I expected, but the cheesecake is INCREDIBLE, the appetizers are delectable and the entrees are just as yummy. Oh so GOOD.

How do you like your eggs?

Fried Eggs with Basil and Feta
  • egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sprinkle of basil
  • a few crumbles of feta cheese
  1. Heat up a frying pan, spray with cooking spray or coat with butter. Crack egg into pan. Sprinkle salt, pepper, basil, and feta cheese on egg.
  2. Once the edges of the egg begin to brown and curl up, flip over the egg. Cook until desired done-ness. Can leave the yolk runny or cook all the way through, your choice!

The Adjustment Bureau

The Adjustment Bureau ****
This movie was a lot of fun. Russ and I really enjoyed watching it. It ended a lot better than we expected. The only thing I didn't really like was how obsessed Matt Damon was with the girl after meeting her once. And they were obsessed with each other before they knew each other. And they called it love. BUT, other than that, the movie was very interesting. It really makes you think about the way you make decisions in your life. :)


location: Tucson, AZ
This restaurant is DELICIOUS. It is SO GOOD. YUM. I absolutely loved this restaurant. We went to it in Tucson, Arizona. I don't know if this restaurant is located anywhere else but if you ever end up in Tucson, you should definitely go this restaurant! Who knew you could find incredible Italian food an hour from the Mexican border? I didn't! But it was amazing! Great price, great service, AMAZING food! There pizzas are all 9 dollars or less, the salads were about 4- 8 dollars and they were really big! I would eat there every day if I could!! :)

What's the best way to cook your veggies?

People tend to overcook their veggies. But let's be honest, mushy veggies are disgusting! AND they're not good for you anymore once you've overcooked them. The longer they cook, the more nutrients they loose! Different veggies cook for a different amount of time, and it's very possible that it is much shorter than you would expect! So, the key to cooking delicious veggies is to know how long to steam them!  Knowing what seasonings to add doesn't hurt either :).
Steamed Veggies
How to:
Cook Broccoli
You can simply place the broccoli in lightly salted water and boil for approximately 3 minutes. You can also put them in a steamer and cook for about 4 1/2 minutes. The way to know if broccoli is done is when the color changes to a very bright, lime green color. They will still be fairly crisp, but tender enough to easily stick a fork through.
Toppings that taste good on broccoli are salt and pepper, lemon pepper, garlic and Parmesan cheese, or a simple cheese sauce.

Cook Green Beans
Green beans are a lot like broccoli. You can either boil them or steam them for about 3-5 minutes. They will also turn a much brighter, lime green color when they're ready to eat! And they will be much like the broccoli in texture- fairly crisp, but tender enough to easily stick a fork through.
Toppings that taste good on green beans are salt and pepper, or dried cranberries.

Cook Carrots
Carrots are very different from broccoli or green beans. You cook them much longer, about 10 minutes. You can boil them or fry them up in butter. The color will also brighten and the texture will change to be slightly crisp but soft enough to stick a fork through.
Toppings that taste good are butter and brown sugar or butter and dill.

Cook Squash and Zucchini
There are a LOT of different ways to cook zucchini, but if you want to eat it the healthiest way that still tastes good, just steam them. Zucchini has a short steaming time, about 3-5 minutes. You don't want them to be super mushy, they should still be crisp but softened a bit. You can also fry them up in butter and seasonings or back them. You will want to slice the squash. Cooking a whole squash would generally NOT be a good idea :). The texture should be fairly similar no matter how you cook them. The color won't change very much with squash.
Toppings that taste good are salt and pepper, garlic, basil, Parmesan cheese, or a cheese sauce.

Make a simple cheese sauce
  • 4 T. butter
  • 4 T. flour 
  • 2 c milk
  • 2 c grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  1. Start by making a basic white sauce. Melt the butter in a pan. Add the flour slowly, stir in completely.
  2. Let simmer about 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of milk. Stir slowly for about 10 minutes, until thickens.
  3. Once the white sauce has thickened add salt and pepper to taste. Add grated cheese. Stir until completely melted in.

Captain America

Captain America The First Avenger ****1/2
This movie was AWESOME. I really loved it. It is action packed, the main character is relate-able and really well acted. The movie was totally clean there is nothing inappropriate or crude, very little swearing. The ending leads perfectly into the Avengers, the BIG super hero movie that all of these movies have been leading up to for years. It was great! Love!


Macayos Mexican Kitchen
location: Various locations in Southern Arizona
Macayos is a decent Mexican restaurant. It wasn't the most delicious one I've ever been to, but it wasn't the worst. The salsa was okay, once again not my favorite, it was really liquidy but had big chunks in it. It IS real Mexican food, how could it not be? It is located in Tucson, 1 hour from the Mexican border! The food was priced very comparably for Mexican food. I believe it was about 7-13 dollars on average. Not a horrible option for a Mexican meal!

More Yummy Veggies!

Baked Parm and Garlic Squash
  • 1 squash, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil or cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray cooking spray over jelly pan. Layer squash in a flat, even layer. 
  3. Coat with cooking spray or olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread garlic over squash and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.


X-Men: First Class  ****
We really enjoyed this movie! It was well-made, fun, and action packed. There were a couple little scenes where women were wearing very little clothing. That was kind of irritating! But other than that the movie was pretty clean. It flowed fairly well with the previously made X-Men movies. A few things were different of course, but it was still fun. Go see how Xavier and Magneto got to be the way they are! :)

The Bluebird

The Bluebird Restaurant Fountain and Candy
location: Logan, UT
This restaurant is unique to Logan and a Bird family favorite! That would be my mom's family. :). Russ and I HAD to go there at least once before we moved. So we went a couple weeks ago and I couldn't tell you why it is SUCH a big deal in the Bird family... Except that they've been here forever and the Bluebird was probably one of the only restaurants in Logan when they got up here! Anyway, the food is decent, not DELICIOUS but good. I've been told that the Monte Cristo sandwich is delicious. The pricing is fair, probably about 7-15 dollars a dish. It's really just fun to go to for the atmosphere, the little candy shop in the front is cool.
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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