Saturday, July 31, 2010


Guys will of course think this funny... but ladies, if you don't have a sense of humor, don't click. Otherwise, enjoy :)

Earthy Sweet and Sour Shrimp with Coconut Rice

Sweet and Sour Shrimp

1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup chopped green onions

Place shrimp in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch; toss well to coat. Set aside.
Combine juice, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, and chile paste, stirring with a whisk; set aside.
Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced ginger and garlic to pan; stir-fry for 15 seconds or until fragrant. Add shrimp mixture; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add juice mixture and onions; cook 2 minutes or until sauce thickens and shrimp are done, stirring frequently. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 301 (30% from fat)
Fat: 10g (sat 1.1g,mono 4.6g,poly 3.2g)
Protein: 35.3g
Carbohydrate: 16.8g
Fiber: 0.5g
Iron: 4.4mg
Sodium: 621mg
Calcium: 103mg

Coconut Rice

1 C basmati rice
1 1/4 C water
1/2 C light coconut milk
1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 16 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

This is one of the best Sweet and Sour recipes. Ethan swears he doesn't like ginger at all. I told him there was ginger in this (AFTER he said he liked it, of course) and he said that there couldn't be ginger because then he wouldn't like it :) So very yummy!

movies and tv shows

BBC almost never goes wrong with period films (maybe with the exception of "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" - see further down). This "Emma" is by far (with the excpetion of maybe "Clueless") the BEST adaptation of the book by Austen. There's a BBC version with Kate Beckinsale, and I think she does wonderfully and the Mr Knightley has the right characterization, but (and I admit this is shallow) he really isn't a looker, so it isn't AS enjoyable as it could be :). Emma in this one is perfectly portrayed by ROMOLA GARAI. She's well-intentioned, but youthful and sometimes a bit oblivious. And not to mention Mr. Knightley!!!! Check this out:

Now, come on, who wouldn't want to watch that! AND he has the character down. As much as I do love Jeremy Northam, his portrayel in the movie with Gwyneth Paltrow is too... I don't know... flirtatious and indulgent - he never truly lectures her, which she's always accusing him of doing.
I rented this one from the library, there's a bit of a wait for those of you who go to the same library system, but SOOOO worth it! But make sure you get this version!

Speaking of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Really interesting story... I've never read the novel, but I watched two versions. A&E's version from 1998 with the incomparable Justine Waddell in the title role (Wives & Daughters, Great Expectations, The Woman in White). I loved it! It was a bit more clear (which I hear the book is not) on her role in the big "occurrence". I just love watching her, I think she's so fascinating to watch.
Tess is basically of poor relations, but her father discovers their family used to be aristocratic and there seems to be cousins still in existence who are well off. Tess goes to work for them and there meets Alec who falls in love with her and seduces/rapes her (the big "occurrence"). She flees home, not to much support from her family. She then starts out on her own for a job. She finds one and meets Angel. What could be a happy ending isn't so simple though. Should Tess tell Angel about what happened with Alec? If she does will he still love her? To watch her strange life and tragic events unfold and how she copes with them is hauntingly beautiful.

Now, as mentioned above, there is another version. BBC also adapted the novel in 2006 I believe. I didn't recognize any of the actors in this one and the big event in this one is more ambiguous, in keeping with the novel. The characterizations were all very interesting. This Tess seemed to be much more naive than Justine Waddell's. Which is in keeping with the character herself. It was different enough from the other one to still be interesting. As noted earlier, I do have one qualm... the very graphic (at least to me) sex scene. If I see naked butts in motion - I'm done. It's one scene toward the end of the movie. I personally found it gratuitous, but if you wouldn't then I would still recommend seeing it.
But, if you only have time for one, I suggest Justine Waddell's. Speaking of which, she is in a Masterpeice Theatre adaptation of "Anna Karennina" which is one of my all time favorite novels, but our library doesn't have it. If by some miracle there is someone out there who does have it or knows someone willing to lend it out, please let me know!

Now on to TV shows... "The Mentalist". It just started its third season, but I watch on DVD, so I don't have to endure the suspense week to week (not to mention I have to watch on a portable DVD player, I don't have a TV by my work computer). Simon Baker plays the lead, and come one it's almost worth it just to watch him for an hour! But on top of rugged good looks, he's also very talented! Basically he plays Patrick Jane, a former tv psychic. Jane was doing an interview on TV and told them how he was helping out the police on the side to catch a serial killer and belittled him on national television. This killer, Red John, decided to teach Jane a lesson and killed his wife and child. Jane then admitted himself a fraud. He wasn't psychic, just incredibly observant, which allowed him to pass as psychic. He now helps the police with investigations, but his main goal is still to catch Red John. It's listed as a drama, and it is, but it isn't as dark as other crime dramas. Jane is good at what he does, but he also likes to create drama and doesn't always have (okay never has) great tact. Do yourself a favor and rent the first season on DVD, if you don't love the first episode, you probably wouldn't like the rest. SOOOOOO worth it though!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fantastick Homemade Pizza Recipe

This is from Cooking Light. Which after looking at the nutritional content, I shudder to think how many calories and fat are in take-out pizza

Yield: 5 servings (serving size: 2 wedges)

1 cup warm water (100° to 110°), divided
10 ounce bread flour (about 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons)
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
4 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup Basic Pizza Sauce (see below)
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup small fresh basil leaves

1. Pour 3/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and spoons; level with a knife. Add flour to 3/4 cup water; mix until combined. Cover and let stand 20 minutes. Combine remaining 1/4 cup water and yeast in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add yeast mixture, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to flour mixture; mix 5 minutes or until a soft dough forms. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; cover surface of dough with plastic wrap lightly coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate 24 hours.
2. Remove dough from refrigerator. Let stand, covered, 1 hour or until dough comes to room temperature. Punch dough down. Press dough out to a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured baking sheet, without raised sides, sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges to form a 1/2-inch border. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap.
3. Position an oven rack in the lowest setting. Place a pizza stone on lowest rack. Preheat oven to 550°. Preheat the pizza stone for 30 minutes before baking dough.
4. Remove plastic wrap from dough. Sprinkle dough with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread Basic Pizza Sauce evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Arrange cheese slices evenly over pizza. Slide pizza onto preheated pizza stone, using a spatula as a guide. Bake at 550° for 11 minutes or until the crust is golden. Cut pizza into 10 wedges, and sprinkle evenly with basil.
Nutritional Information
10.9g (sat 4.7g,mono 4.7g,poly 1g)

Basic Pizza Sauce

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1/3 cup)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove tomatoes from can using a slotted spoon, reserving juices. Crush tomatoes. Stir tomatoes, juices, salt, and oregano into garlic mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Nutritional Information
4.7g (sat 0.7g,mono 3.3g,poly 0.6g)

Try it and let me know what you think. It makes your house smell soooo yummy. Just an FYI, the dough is INCREDIBLY sticky and is supposed to be. I mixed it with my hands and spent 5 minutes trying to rub off as much as possible into the bowl. To make the crust I just kind of held it by the edge and rotated it around and let gravity do it's work. It really is a very simple recipe, just needs planning to make the dough the night before. But it's tasty and filling without the heavy food coma afterward!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I'm baaaaack...

I'm sure the 3 readers who used to occassionally read this have given up on me, but I decided to revamp this blog and start up again. Just so I can spout my opinions where nobody will have to be bothered by them, unless they inconceivably want to. I don't have this as a private blog, so I'm taking down all fam pics and just using facebook for that. So, if you like healthy yummy recipes, movies and tv shows, books, jokes, I'm your gal.