See what I did there? Winter + Entertainment = Wintertainment. I’m a genius. Or bored.
Either way, the cold of winter is officially here and with it comes stretches of gray days, snow and/or ice and temperatures that are dangerously close to sub-zero. Yes, it gives me an excuse to wear scarves from my huge collection with my favorite pea coat, but it also causes me to start my days cursing as I open the door and head to work every morning.
Being a southerner, we take snow much more cautiously than most – meaning schools cancel as soon as the first flake falls from the sky, drivers go no faster than 5 mph on clear roads, and 2 days prior to the frightful forecasted snow grocery stores are sold out of milk, eggs, and bread. You’d think we were preparing for the end of the world. Or something.
These snow days leave many paralyzed in their homes playing games with their family – until that gets old after a couple of hours – then catching up on DVRed shows or watching movies while snacking on popcorn (and cheese dip). Because of the snow days we’ve experienced in my neck of the woods over the last 2 weeks I thought it would be helpful to give you a list of movies that cure my stir crazy winter blues.
1. The Sound of Music – If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know this movie holds a special place in my heart, but it’s also the most perfect movie ever made – in my opinion – and one that I never tire of watching. Oh, who am I kidding? I quote and sing-a-long with it alone in my apartment. 🙂
2. Tortilla Soup – My favorite movie you’ve probably never heard of. Like Mexican food? Like romantic comedies? Like romantic comedies revolving around Mexican Food starring Hector Elizondo and also featuring Raquel Welch? Then you must run out and find this movie. Just don’t watch it on an empty stomach, because you will watch it, you will get hungry, and you will wish you had smell-a-vision.
3. The Social Network – Yes, it JUST was released on DVD, but it’s easily become one of favorite all-time movies. Not only does it tell the incredible story of Facebook’s origins, but it also has an impeccable score. Plus, Jesse Eisenberg reminds me of Adam during the coding scenes throughout the movie. And, upon seeing in the theater, Adam jumped up and clicked his heels in glee walking back to the car.
He’s also going to kill me for posting that.
4. Father of the Bride – Perhaps it’s the fact that right now? My life currently mimics this movie. But if I’m being honest, I’ve always seen parts of Adam and me in the movie throughout our relationship and now it’s just magnified because I’m actually planning a wedding, making the guest list, finding a caterer, finding locations, and finding my Frank.
5. Chocolat – If you haven’t seen this before we can’t be friends. No, seriously. We can’t. That said, this is my go to movie when I’m tired of everything else in my collection. It’s like you take a vacation to France without leaving your couch. Must be the chocolate…or maybe the Johnny Depp factor 😉
What movies are your go-to favorites for curing the winter blues?
Today at work, a co-worker was telling me that his daughter just joined Daisy Scouts and his wife was one of the leaders. I immediately told him he had to rent “Troop Beverly Hills” and watch it with his wife, because it tells the perfect tale of girl scout troop rivalry. He gave me this blank stare, which encouraged me to ask other co-workers in the hopes that they would know what I was talking about. No one knew and I felt shamed and superior all at the same time. I immediately took my [failed] office poll to Twitter and felt validated, thanks to a host of sorority sisters backing me up. Thanks, girls! I knew I could count on you 🙂
I would be remiss not to mention how utterly cheese-y this move is. But me likes the cheese, especially when that cheese revolves around the best [and worst] of the 80’s. If you haven’t seen this movie, you must find it and watch it.
I mean seriously, what’s not to love about a movie that stars Shelley Long and has the quote, “Silicone is buoyant”? Nothing.
PS: If you look hard enough on YouTube, you might be able to find the entire movie. I’m just sayin’
You know in Father of the Bride (the remake), when Annie is introducing her fiance, Bryan, to her parents? And he goes into a spiel about being an independent communications consultant? And he says “European banks run on what’s called a Dot25 network…blah blah” and her parents look totally lost?
Well, I’ve come to realize that Adam is TOTALLY Bryan. He started a techie monologue with “X Product was written with what is called a [insert some techie term here] language, which means blah blah blah…”
I’m not sure what’s worse. The fact that I’ve memorized the entire movie or the fact that my life is starting to remind me of movie scenes.
Nothing says spring like a pollen covered car. It’s the sign that spring has sprung, that new life is blossoming, and that light, yet flavorful meals are a comforting dinner. My new standby pasta dish? Thanks to Pioneer Woman? Fits the bill perfectly. I mean, seriously, what says spring like lemon? And when you combine that with a bit of garlic and toss with some pasta? It’s not going to disappoint.
You see, one of my favorite movies is Julie & Julia. At the beginning of the movie, Julie arrives home from a stressful day at work and begins whipping up a Chocolate Cream Pie. She says:
“You know what I love about cooking? I love that after a day when nothing is sure, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk it will get thick. It’s such a comfort.”
Well, this dish serves as that comfort for me. Only my day wasn’t stressful and my ingredients are sour cream, lemon, garlic, and butter. Nevertheless, after you’ve whipped it together once it’s practically mindless to whip up again. And mindless recipes that always come out right? Never hurt anyone.
Baked Lemon Pasta
adapted from The Pioneer Woman
- half pound Thin Spaghetti
- 2 Tablespoons Salted Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 whole Lemon, Juiced And Zested
- 1 cup Light Sour Cream
- Kosher Salt to taste
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Chopped Flat-leaf Parsley
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook spaghetti until al dente.
- In a skillet, melt butter with olive oil over LOW HEAT. When butter is melted, add minced garlic. Turn off heat. Squeeze lemon juice into the pan.
- Add sour cream and stir mixture together. Add lemon zest and salt. Taste, then add more salt if necessary.
- Combine mixture with drained spaghetti. Transfer spaghetti to an oven safe dish.
- Bake, covered with foil, for 15 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes. (Don’t bake too long or the pasta will dry out.)
- Squeeze a little more lemon juice over the top after you remove it from the oven.
- Top with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Enjoy!
Growing up my sister and I split our weekends at our Grandmothers’ homes. This is the last in a series of two reminiscing about those weekends.
On the weekends we stayed with GranMerle, we’d make spaghetti, eat Oatmeal Creme Pies like they were going out of style, play smut, dominoes, and a host of other card games, listen to GranMerle recall moments from her childhood, listen to 8-track tapes, play with the Playmobil dollhouse, and eat the best homemade banana pudding (made by GranMerle, of course). Not to mention accompanying her to her weekly hair appointment, playing Barbies, and generally being her shadow for about 36 hours.
But one of the things I remember most is watching Mary Poppins practically every weekend we stayed with her. [Which led me to buy it when the limited DVD edition came out]. What is it about Mary Poppins that is so intriguing? Is it the fantasy sidewalk chalk world they jump into? The practically perfect measuring tape Mary uses? The spoonfuls of sugar she encourages the children to take medicine with? Or maybe dancing chimney sweeps, which I’m pretty sure led to me inquiring to my parents about a chimney sweep of our own once or twice. There’s also that hilarious guy named Dick van Dyke…Through it all, I fondly remember Grandmerle often opening up her hide-a-bed sofa for us to pile up and watch Mary Poppins on, she would always be totally concentrated on the movie just as we were, until we bribed her for another Oatmeal Creme Pie, that is…
I don’t know if it was coincidence or not that Julie Andrews had the starring role in both movies that we obsessively watched at our Grandmothers’ homes, but either way it helped me name her one of my favorite actresses of all time. To this day, I cannot get over how much love our grandmothers gave us when we visited them. I’m sure they could quote the movies in their sleep, but they never once complained about having to watch them over and over and over again with us. There truly is nothing like a grandmother’s love.
Growing up my sister and I split our weekends at our Grandmothers’ homes. This is the first in a series of two reminiscing about those weekends.
On the weekends we stayed with Ottie, we’d make homemade potato chips, walk across the street to Maxine’s Diner (now Mama Max’s) for burgers, “ice skate” on [aka polish] her hardwood floors to a Dolly Parton record, play with our aunts’ old Barbies and make their furniture out of shoeboxes, have a nightcap of Coca-Cola in a small glass, and pick cherries off her cherry tree. Not to mention playing with her dog, Foo-Foo, planting flowers in her flower beds, and generally being her shadow for about 36 hours.
But the thing I remember most is watching The Sound of Music practically every weekend we stayed with her. So it shouldn’t surprise you that it is one of my favorite movies of all time. In fact, I consider the opening scene to be one of the best in the industry. It’s perfect: the blue ski, the lush mountains, the perfection in Julie Andrews’ voice. Every time I watch it, I want to be her. There are so many things about the movie that I love, like the confidence she finds in herself, because really? What is so fearsome about 7 children? Then there’s the strapping Christopher Plummer as Captain von Trapp. I mean, hello. Then towards the end of the movie there’s one of the best scenes, the talent contest. I remember Maddie and me laughing and laughing at the lady who bows her way across the stage to accept her award, then bows her way off the stage with flowers in her arms when we watched it with Ottie, sometimes even rewinding just to laugh some more.
I don’t know how Ottie never got tired of watching this movie over and over again with us. I mean even classics can get old after a while, but she was always there, in her chair doing needlepoint or a word puzzle or absolutely nothing but watching along with us. It’s just one of the many ways I remember Ottie today.
Up next? Weekends with GrandMerle…