24 January 2012

Lite Baked Spaghetti

This recipe comes from the January 2012 issue of Food Network Magazine. Since I don't want to get in trouble with FNM, I won't post the recipes on my public blog anymore. I think they frown upon it.  But I will tell you to get this month's issue because there're loads of cooking tips and recipes for a healthier lifestyle! Here's a few worth trying: Baked Buffalo Wings, Ginger Carrot Soup, Bulgur Salad, Tofu-Potato Scramble, and Baked Alaska. And if you love Red Velvet: Cheesecake, Cake Roll, Layer Cake, and Sandwich cookies.  Okay, I'm done with the shameless plug.

Anyway, I semi-doubled the spaghetti so it looked like this right out of the oven:

It was fabulous!  The author of this recipe is actually Bobby Deen, Paula "I love butter" Deen's son.  He traded up ingredients from his mom's original baked spaghetti to make a flavorful yet less caloric version. Apparently Bobby also has a new show on the Cooking Channel-- if I had cable I'd definitely tune in since this next gen chef knows what he's doing. Definitely some tastypants food.

My favorite ingredients are the fresh cremini mushrooms, fresh basil, green peppers, and chicken sausage. I'd never cooked with chicken sausage before so this was another cooking first.  Thank you FNM.

And if you're DYING to try this recipe... send me a message and we'll work something out.

17 January 2012

Spicy Thai Noodles

I found this delightfully easy and delicious recipe courtesy of my favorite food go-to: Pinterest.  Here's the professionally amazing photo--

We love Asian food and carbs at my house so I'm always trying to find recipes that combine both. Success!  First you make your own spicy oil (crushed red pepper, vegetable oil, and sesame oil simmered then strained), combine it with honey and soy sauce, boil a bunch of whole wheat pasta, and marry the two in a union of flavor.  Toss in lots of cilantro, shaved carrot, green onion, and unsalted peanuts and you're set!  

Check out mine:

Yes those are awesome wooden chopsticks. If you love Asian food, you MUST click the link provided above and make this dish!  The author even has photo documentation of the whole process (and who doesn't love visual aids?).  Just note: the word "spicy" is an understatement. I used a tablespoon of red pepper and there was still a good amount of heat to the sauce.  If you shy away from spicy foods, I'd suggest a 1/4 to 1/2 tsp and work your way up.

16 January 2012

Golden Globes Fashion: 2012 Edition

I realize I live in LA, want to work in film/TV, and love all things that pertain to the big and small screens, BUUUUUUUT I didn't see most of the nominated movies and programs (with the exception of the utterly amazing miniseries Downton Abbey which begins its second season this month!).  Why?  Have you seen the prices for movies and gas these days?! If I'm going to the cin-e-ma the film better be a) Damn good and b) Worth watching in a theater. Plus I didn't watch the Globes as I'm sans cable and woke up after 5:30PM  (please don't tell my mother).  And SO-- we focus our attention on the gowns because that's the most exciting part anyway.

First of all, you should know I have an EXCELLENT eye for fashion. It's true. Don't believe the rumors.  The fact that I spend most of my time in PJ's without makeup and my hair tied in that I-need-to-wash-my-face messy bun is irrelevant. Although "they" say beauty is in the Eye(s) of the Beholder, today I'm the Beholder so my Eye(s) state facts.  Feel free to contradict me because... deep down in your heart... you know that you are wrong.

Let's start with the VERSUS Round! WARNING: This segment may contain some violence and definitely profanity.  Please ask your small children to stop reading over the shoulder.

1. RED
Reese Witherspoon is lovely in general, but her hair and makeup are blah, the bodice doesn't fit (boob job candidate?), and the bottom requires steaming possibly because it's too long.  Love the lines on the hips though.

Ignoring Kyle Richards's ridiculous expression... wait, she still looks awful.  For some reason her dress makes her small form look beefy, it's too short, plain, and Kyle's hair should ALWAYS be straight. Always. And that gaudy ass jewelry-- no.

Finally Amber Riley: the clear winner. Her shade of red hits close to that of the carpet but it's bright and when set against her skin tone accents all her best features. The cut is perfect for her curves, there's just enough cleavage to be sexy and not slutty, and her hair makes me jealous.  

Anyone else find it serendipitous that Seth Rogen's wife's first name is Rogen?  Fate, people.  Despite her cool coincidental name and flair for adventurous color, Mrs. Rogen Rogen is wearing a hot mess that does nothing for her.  Paula Patton, on the other hand, looks great in the glaring mermaid gown that compliments her coloring PERFECTLY. Look at Paula laughing maniacally at Rogen Rogen like she wants to slap that obnoxious red lipped smile off RR's face.  Well done, Mrs. Thicke.

However, I rule in favor of Maria Menounos because she has the whole f'in package. Sequins (which is sketchy a lot of the time but not so here), the form fitting cut, the barely-capped sleeve, the elegant up do-- WINNING.  At first it seems plain, but take in the whole picture and your eyes will soon agree with mine.

If you hadn't already figured it out, I did not pick the Osbourne Ladies.  Rock on for staying true to thyselves, Sharon and Kelly, but come ON! I can't decide if I hate the Bed Bath Beyond Comforter or the Wrinkly Blue Mess with Robot Shoulders more.  And Kelly, you worked your adorable ass off to lead a healthy lifestyle, to look and feel better, and then you gave yourself gray hair?! The only place that's actually sexy is anime. 
Andie MacDowell and her daughter, Rainy Qualley, looked SUNNY-- get it!!! (again with the weird celebrity names... please be merciful to your children!!)-- actually I was going to say "classy" but I can't miss a cheesy joke when it's staring right at me.  The dresses compliment them individually as well as each other, I love the opposite hair styles (long hair as you age makes you look YOUNGER-- hint hint, ladies), and adore the pop of red on Rainy's nails. Fabulous.  

Disclaimer: Yes, I do see the ever so slight tan line on Rainy.  But who can blame her?  This is CA after all.

Though Amber Riley is another lovely plus size beauty, she did not qualify because she's in the RED category. Better luck next time, Amber, but rules are rules. Let's do this quickly--
Melissa McCarthy: blinged out Moo Moo and rectangular hair. Pleats are a curvy girl's worst enemy.  
Octavia Spencer: Feminine, hugs all the right curves, ruching KO's pleating, and the light color is refreshing. Plus the makeup is rad too.

As you can see, there is one clear winner in the "Battle of the Nudes:" the fierce leopard heel behind Julie Bowen. I get it Julie Bowen, you were going for Old Hollywood/ Grace Kelly-- everything but your hair failed.  And Emily Watson... we wouldn't be speaking if you weren't AMAZING in Downton Abbey (and everything else you're in).

It was difficult picking a "Top 5" because, honestly, the fashion volume seemed to be on mute.  Lack of color, lack of artistic makeup, lack of sexy shoes.  MUTE.  But I'm confident these 5 represent the American award show pomp and circumstance well.  

Starting with #5, Sarah Hyland of the oh-so-hilarious Modern Family impressed me both with maturity of choice (she looks so grown up!), the unique lower messy up-ish do, muted lips with smoky eyes, and the use of the lace trend.  The black and nude makes her stand out.
While I still haven't figured out why Nicole Richie was at the GG's, she looks lovely in metallic gray. Everyone loves a great come back: RDJ, Mickey Rourke, Teri Hatcher, and hopefully we can add LiLo to that list some day (Parent Trap is one of my fave films to.this.day.), and I, for one, am loving Richie's rebirth into decent society and celebrityhood, hence why she's #4. Sure I have no idea what artistic talents she has other than being a cool mom, but damnit-- she's blossomed!  I desperately want her bangs.

#3 goes to Kate Beckinsale because she's just... lovely.  There's nothing else to say really, other than the fact that she kicks ass in the deliciously bad/fun Underworld films.  Slight subtraction on the clunky shoe... Footwear FAIL.
The stunning Sofia Vergara wins #2 in a land slide with her navy mermaid gown.  I'm particularly in love with the flow of the fabric coupled with the flow of her hair. Success.

#1: Emma Stone.  The fact that I have a not-as-creepy-as-Jim Carrey lady crush on Emma may or may not have swayed the judging a tad, but I truly love the whimsical, slight Renaissance gown paired with the dark liner and swept back hair.  Did I mention maroon is a wonderful color and should be worn by all?  And for once the stylist didn't predictably dress a red head in black and accessorized with GREEN... emeralds, jade, etc.  (for examples, click here and here). Boring!  Emma wins!!!


Laura Dern & Nicole Kidman earned this category because overall their dresses were flattering, Nicole's was especially interesting, and they accessorized well.  Way to stay awesome ladies! 


Though I am not member of Leo's fan club, DiCaprio has become attractive (gasp!) since entering his 30's.  He holds up a tux quite well.

Let us not dwell on the negative, but instead LEARN from the MISTAKES of others so we are not doomed to repeat history.

Tina Fey: Her tense face and lazy hair are reminiscent of the Agnes Gooch makeover from Auntie Mame (see the movie) while her boring dress has a Muppet inspired flair.  Honestly, Fey always seems extremely uncomfortable at these events so why bother?
Elizabeth McGovern at #4: Mother of the Bride or Matron of Honor?  That blue is HORRIBLE on her and made worse with the God awful lipstick.  McGovern always seemed slightly off in interviews... almost... crazy.  But the harmless, I'm-going-to-pretend-you're-my-dog crazy rather than the you-belong-in-my-freezer crazy.  There's no denying her acting chops though.

#3. I love The Good Wife. I loved ER.  I do not love Julianna Marguiles in that muted maroon, horizontally challenged, makes her boobs sag MESS of a gown.  And who the hell thought it would be a good idea to put away her gorgeous hair?!
Two words for our #2, Jessica Biel: Miss Havisham

Why?! WHY WHY WHY?!  Who the f**k wears tie dye to the Golden f'in Globes?!  Oh that's right: Buffy (you're not even worthy of your name, SMG).


Anyone know what the random rectangular sequined thing is on Glenn Close's chest?  Or who quit in the middle of sewing the "accent" on the front of Jodie Foster's dress?

It pains me to put Salma here... and from the waist up she's actually interesting (and yes that means her boobage) plus her hair is STUNNING. Theeeeeen there's the pleated skirt.

Like contemporary art, these are the gowns I just don't understand.

I guess Charlize looks different but to be honest, the most that dress accentuates is how flat her chest is. Plus the shoes are terrible. Mila, Mila, Mila... wasn't Black Swan last year?  Not to mention, the waistline cuts her off awkwardly, the strap is pointless, and once again an actress is trying to show her limited cup size.  For goodness sakes, ladies-- FLATTER YOURSELVES!

There's not really much I can say about Tilda Swinton's fashion choice.. but... I... kind of like it.  The coloring is superb, the cut is excellently tailored, and it's eye catching.  I'd never pick something like that out for myself or someone I liked, but the uniqueness that is Tilda pulls it off.


Angelina looks good-- she's Angelina Jolie after all... but I can't get past my strong dislike of her snobbish personality and her recent attempts to revamp her "bad girl" reputation by dropping stupidly obvious hints that she and Brad have a busy sex life.  What's with the stupid red neckline... thing?  And then matching your lipstick & bag?  Nice shoes though.

Lea Michele. Talented? Yes. Pretty? Yes. But this dress just says "I'm trying SO HARD to be cool and risque in Hollywood." And no one is buying it.

I hate velvet. That is all.


Wearing a vintage sun dress to the Golden Globes is equivalent to that dream when you show up to school naked.  Connie Britton-- Put some fashionable clothes on!

I hope you enjoyed my facts opinions on the GG 2012 Fashions.  For more Red Carpet looks, click here.
What were your favorites? Do you agree or disagree?  Did you watch and enjoy the show?

13 January 2012

Disney Zombies

Here are some amazing Disney zombie art images my hubby downloaded for me.  As I hate zombies and love Disney, these images are one of the most acceptable forms of "zombieism" (another new word!) I will tolerate. Plus they're tasteful... which is ironic... and I love irony.  I know my thoughts on zombies makes me no fun, but I'm too empathetic when I watch films to love cannibalistic mobs of former friends and family going after the last few humans left.

Anyway, enjoy these awesome pics!!

10 January 2012

Oatmeal-Flax Chocolate Chip Cookies

One main difference between my cookies and the actual ones from this Food Network Magazine recipe is that I didn't have ground flax seed thanks to my failpants grocery store. If I hadn't gone shopping at 10pm I would've hunted down the nearest Whole Foods... ah well, next time.

To make up for the 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed, I tossed in a 1/4 cup of flour instead because my "Test Cookie" came back runny.  The batter was still a bit moist when I baked the whole batch, but for the most part the cookies were all right.

Because they were so thin though, they're crispy rather than soft. Boo.  Also, I'm sad I couldn't get the health benefits from the flax seed this time, but I will make these again once I acquire flax seed.

Overall, for a chocolate fix, these are decent cookies, not to mention they have a flavorful cinnamon base for any type of oatmeal cookie.  The biggest problem I have with any cookie recipe I get from FNM is the lack of add-ins (aka chips, fruit, nuts, etc).  They think an even ratio of oatmeal and chocolate chips is sufficient: HA! The recipe called for 2 cups of semi-sweet choc chips-- I put in a bag and a half of dark chocolate morsels (it's what I had in my pantry) and it still wasn't enough. Note: I doubled the recipe.

Next time, I'll be heavy handed with the chips, plus I want to make a batch that has dried cranberries and white chocolate chips-- great combo for oatmeal cookies.