Thursday, April 26, 2012

{BOOKS} Catching Fire & Mockingjay

I finally finished the last two books in the Hunger Games series, and I was mildly disappointed with the ending. Don't get me wrong, they were a good read, but they will surely translate better as movies than books. The series is not my kind of thing in the first place. I'm not a huge fan of sci-fi stuff, but when the comparisons were made to Twilight and the movie coming out I wanted to read them. I think I expected a glorious, and all consuming love story, and that was not the case at all. Actually, it was sooo hard for me to get through the books. I can usually read a book within a 24 hour period, and it took me a good 2 days to finish the last book. It was just not keeping me in, but I made myself finish, and I wanted to know the ending! Ha! So, while I didn't enjoy the books, I think I'll enjoy the movie remakes far more. And now, I'm onto book two from the Shades of Grey series, Fifty Shades Darker. We'll see how that goes!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Break

Happy Easter! I know I'm late but I took a little spring break the last few weeks. Our Easter was nice and quiet. We enjoyed burgers on the grill, and the kids had a ball looking for eggs and playing with all the toys and trinkets they got in their baskets. And this year I made a sunflower peep cake along with my now famous jalapeƱo poppers. I have a separate post for those bad boys. The weather was also nice and warm, so my sis heated up the pool and the kids went swimming for a bit. We haven't had such a nice Easter in a few years. It was a great day!

Last week my sister was off and so were her kids so we went to Disneyland one day, and did a few other small things during the week. We went to a local ice cream parlor called Farrell's. It has had a huge line ever since it opened back in December. So we waited, and it was a good time to go. We waited 1 hour during lunch. The time actually went by really fast and the kids did really well. But they were getting grumpy and hungry. When they seated us the kids were so unaware of what was going on, especially the drum banging and loud singing. Jacob took awhile to warm up but Bella loved it! She was clapping and dancing. Hilarious! The food was good, I had he buffalo chicken sandwich, and we shared an Oreo sundae. Everything was sooo yum! I would definitely go back again but not anytime soon. That's pretty much it. We had a good time even though we did have a little rain out towards the end.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

{BOOK} Fifty Shades of Grey...

I'm a Twilight fan, so when I heard about this fan fic floating around about the older, more mature Bella and Edward, I wanted to read it. I had NO idea how mature Bella and Edward would be, but this book is some kind of naughty. It's being called 'mommy porn' and after starting it, I can see why. Definitely NOT a young adult book. I also read a tiny bit of the original story which was called Master of the Universe, and that story includes the original character names from Twilight, unlike the changed names in Fifty Shades. However, while the names are changed, I can totally see the character resemblances as well as some of the same identifying characteristics and habits going on in Fifty. Because of this, it's hard for me to take Fifty Shades of Grey seriously. Well, that and all the sex-capades. Seriously, it's a little ridiculous, but then again I was never into romance novels. I take that back, I love me some Nicholas Sparks! So, after reading the first book, I'm hooked!  But, I think it's only because I want to know what happens in the next book. It's an okay book, but I don't think it's worth the price. The writing is not very good, but there is potential for a good story in there, and I guess I want to see if the author has it in the next book Fifty Shades Darker, and there's a third book, Fifty Shades Freed. Or, it could be my OCD having to finish the trilogy. So, read at your own risk...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

{YUM!} Cowboy Casserole

I recently made this, and I have to say that it was SOOO tasty! Probably one of the best casseroles I've made yet. You can find the recipe here from The Cutting Edge of Ordinary, and I followed the recipe almost exactly. However, I used ground turkey instead of beef, and I used regular tater tots. Here's a TIP: When using regular tater tots hit the dish with the broiler for a couple minutes on high. It made the top tots super crunchy. So, does anyone else think of Napoleon Dynamite when talking about tots? "...give me some of your tots!" Anyway, I HIGHLY recommend this dish. It was delish!Here's the recipe from The Cutting Edge of Ordinary.

Cowboy Casseroleadapted from a recipe at Taste of Home1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used turkey)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (15.25oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 bag (30 oz) frozen tater tots

Before I got ready to make this casserole, I let the tots sit on the counter to defrost for an hour or so. The original recipe used still frozen tater tots, but I felt they wouldn't cook as well if they were still frozen solid.

In a large skillet cook the onion until tender and translucent. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the beef and cook over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain the mixture and place into a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the soup, milk and sour cream. Whisk until smooth. Add to hamburger mixture and stir to combine. Add corn and 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Gently mix to combine.

Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer half of the Crispy Crowns on the bottom, pour the hamburger mixture over the top and then layer with the other half of the Crispy Crowns. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy.