Twilight Bark

Hello out there in the blogosphere! Is this going to be weekly blog? No. Is this going to be bi-weekly? No. To be honest, when I tried to do that before, this experiment felt far more stressful and chore-like than something enjoyable; and I don’t want to write unless I have something to say and time to say it.

The past couple of weeks I have worked my way through the 101 Dalmatian franchise from the 1961 original classic to the 1996 live-action version starring the ever glamorous Glenn Close. And let’s not forget that each one had a sequel…unfortunately. I’m all for franchising and continuing the adventure but…sometimes we should just leave well-enough alone – especially if quality suffers. However, being the Disney fanatic that I am, even the cringe worthy sequels have a special place in my heart.

It took my about two – three weeks to finish four films which left me contemplating time

071e442c843bec5f0bbe627188087e5a
James Coleman

and balance quite a bit. I’ve been working really hard to get into a routine that works with my busy schedule while still allowing time to exercise and time to just be Alice. I think we work too hard at being busy and not hard enough at being relaxed and care-free. Which, when you think about it, is a complete juxtaposition. In my fight for complete relaxed, care-free time in my day I found that twilight has become my favorite time of day – that period of time when I can shift from work-mode to Alice-mode. I’ve made it my mission to savor that time and require it of myself regardless of how much work I still need to get done. In doing so I’ve found my energy is up at work and my daytime activities are far more productive. I’ve never been much for routine and hate doing the same thing every day, but truthfully, it has been the key that has unlocked the door to my happy place.

It was during my twilight time that I found the time to enjoy my Disney films before retiring to bed for the night. A couple of weeks ago when I thought I would watch the films all at once I made a candy-concoction I call “Kanine Krunchies” from 101 Dalmatians. I originally made this recipe in my original blog, but just like any reboot, I’ve also rebooted the recipe. The recipe I’m using for this blog is from Your Cup of Cake. I made a humanly edible version of Puppy Chow called Cookies and Cream Puppy Chow.

Ingredients

“Cream”:

  • 5 C. rice Chex cerealPuppy Chow Ingredients
  • 1 C. white chocolate chips
  • 8 Oreos finely crushed
  • 1/2 C. powdered sugar

“Cookies”:

  • 5 C. rice Chex cereal
  • 1 C. milk chocolate chips
  • 8 Oreos finely crushed
  • 1/2 C. powdered sugar
  • Extra chopped Oreos

 

Directions

“Cream”

  1. Measure out rice Chex cereal and place in a large bowl.
  2. Measure out powdered sugar and crushed Oreos and place in a large plastic bag or in a large Tupperware with a lid (You’ll need to shake the bag/Tupperware later).
  3. Melt white chocolate and stir until smooth.
  4. Pour melted chocolate over rice cereal and stir until coated.
  5. Transfer chocolate coated rice cereal into your plastic bag with sugar/cookies. Shake, shake, shake until coasted.
  6. Dump onto a cookie sheet to cool.

Puppy Chow Cream

“Cookies”

  1. Repeat steps 1-6 with the “Cookies” ingredients.
  2. Once cooled, mix the “Cookies” and “Cream” Puppy Chow together and fold in extra chopped Oreos.

Puppy Chow Cookies

Thank you Your Cup of Cake for creating one of my favorite chocolate flavor combinations for “Kanine Krunchies.”

Puppy Chow

 

Get a Horse

To kick off my reboot I chose a recipe, obviously Mickey Mouse-themed, to concoct. I asked for a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter for Christmas and found one in my stocking Christmas morning (thanks Santa!). With my new cookie cutter in hand, I wanted to find something I could make that would put it. I found Mickey Mouse pop tarts created originally by Liz on Call. In her recipe she added straws to make them lollipop-like, but I unfortunately couldn’t locate straws that would work for me. So, I made them without the straws and it still worked beautifully.

I’ve been watching a lot of Mickey Mouse cartoons lately, so I thought I’d begin my film adventure with the Mickey Mouse short “Get a Horse” that was re-imagined in 2014 – bringing Mickey and friends into the 21st century with 3D special effects. What I enjoy about this short is that although it brings a lot of what we love about technological advancements in film to the screen, it doesn’t shy away from what made the Mickey Mouse cartoons originally so fantastic: artistry. Creating a cartoon was about developing a 6-to-8-minute work of art to share with the world and “Get a Horse” captures the essence of that and what originally allowed Disney to win the hearts of millions.

getahorse-mickey-poster
By Amid Amidi at Cartoonbrew.com

Wow that last paragraph sounded incredibly impersonal…That’s what I was trying to avoid right? I’m not trying to sell anyone on Disney.  You either like it or you don’t…not really my job to sell it to you. Do you ever feel like our lives have become about selling someone on an idea be it your actual job or just convincing your friends to try a new wine bar? When did we begin selling to each other rather than suggesting or even just stating, “this is my opinion?” Why do we need to sell each other on life? Shouldn’t we just appreciate or acknowledge an opinion and move on? Maybe that is why our society is so anxious all the time. We’re so nervous and care so much that someone won’t like our idea that we forget why we had the idea in the first place. This is starting to sound like a lot of word vomit and rambling so with that I say people, let’s “get a grip”, “get a life, “get a horse” …

Mickey Tarts

Ingredients:

  1. Betty Crocker pie crust mix
  2. 1/3 cup of water
  3. Smuckers Strawberry Preserves/Jam (¼-1 Tsp. per Mickey shape)
  4. ½ cup of powdered sugar
  5. ½ Tsp. of vanilla
  6. 2 Tsp. of milk

Mickey Mouse Pop Tarts 4

Directions:

Pastry –

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Stir 1 pouch of Betty Crocker Pie Crust mix with 1/3 cup of water
  3. Roll the dough mixture out on a flat, lightly floured surface
  4. Using Mickey cookie cutter, cut bottom pieces and place on baking sheet
  5. Place a ¼ -1 tsp dollop of jam preserves in the center of each mickey depending on how big the shapes are.
  6. Spread the preserves out on the shape so that it reaches the ears.Mickey Mouse Pop Tarts 3
  7. Cut out the top Mickey pieces using the Mickey cutter and place them on top of the jammed shapes already on the sheet.
  8. Using a fork, press the edges of the shape together to give it the puckered look or a pop tart.Mickey Mouse Pop Tarts 2
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  10. Let cool before drizzling icing.

Icing –

  1. Combine, vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk into a small mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk together until smooth.
  3. Drizzle the icing over the top of cool pastry.

*You can add sprinkles to the top if desired. I added black, red, and yellow sprinkles to make them as “Mickey” as possible. Enjoy!

Mickey Mouse Pop Tarts 1

 

Starting with a Mouse

“Mickey Mouse to me is a symbol of Independence,” stated by Walter Elias Disney on how Mickey Mouse came to be. Mickey continued to be a symbol for many people for many reasons, but for me, he symbolizes much of what he symbolized for Disney, “…a means to an end.”

I began writing almost a year ago as a way of getting over a break up, but my writing began feeling impersonal, generic, and just a catalyst to post about a new recipe I tried. The Disney Movie Project began, very quickly, to become a chore rather than something that gave me peace and sanctuary from the noise of my life. The noise became so loud that the project became a stress inducer to the already heavy bag of rocks it feels like I carry on my back at all times.

Several things happened between now and my last post- things that made my project and the purpose of my project feel irrelevant. I’ll spare the details, as they aren’t nearly as important as my reason for writing again. In an era of reboots and revivals, I am taking the leap to reboot the Disney Movie Project, but with a very different goal in mind. This time, rather than racing the ever expanding and unfinished list of Disney entertainment against an hour glass of “Days to Complete…”, I will take my time and savor every film, every recipe, and every creative opportunity that may inspire me within this project. I’m still not certain what the result of this project is supposed to be, but I do know that it brings me joy; and I think if I can find joy in the littlest things like a mouse, then maybe I can find joy in all aspects of my life. I was not put on this earth to punch a clock, pay my bills, and die. I was put on this earth to love my life and all of the joys and stresses that come with it. Hopefully, as I find joy in this silly endeavor, the noise will start to quiet, or, at the very least, become a gentle hum in the background as I embrace the reality of what it should mean to live.

Since Walt began with a mouse, so will I. I decided to start over with Mickey Mouse. I’ve now watched all of the cartoons I could get my hands on spanning from 1928-last Friday’s new release. What I discovered about these cartoons is that they never try to be something that they’re not. They don’t mark time for the characters, they don’t try to be “edgy” to appeal to a wider audience range, and they don’t apologize for what has been put on the screen. I’m not so naïve as to gloss over the blatant politically incorrect portrayals in the cartoons of Hollywood’s initial Golden Age; and I’m certain as a reader, you have over a million activist opinions running through your mind about Disney and Mickey Mouse. I’m also certain that you and I share almost – if not all of the same opinions. We are probably standing on the same or relatively similar soap boxes. However, I’m tucking my soap box away for now as that is not what this post is about. This post is about breathing new life into something that I shelved for many months, and remembering that if Walt Disney can create something so life changing for himself with the tiniest of creatures, then so can I. I am by no means building a business empire, but if we want to get metaphorical, I guess I’m building an internal empire – finding joy in the smallest unlikely places. Here we go.

Yours Truly,

Alice Lea                                          

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

What a way to kick off the summer! I watched the Disney Baseball trilogy Angels in the Outfield, Angels in the Endzone, and Angel’s in the Infield. Nothing says summer like baseball and….hot dogs! I grew up with the first two but had never seen the third one. In fact, I didn’t know a third one existed until this project of mine. Honestly, the third one lacked what the original and sequel had; and when I say lacked, I mean Doc Brown was not a part of the film. Christopher Lloyd brings a delightful spark of magic to the screen that Disney is known for. Not that David Alan Grier is deficient in the magical spark department, but when I remember Angels in the Outfield as a kid, Lloyd’s smile and delightful encouragement to believe that anything is possible makes the film memorable and magical.

Angels poster

I know hot dogs don’t exactly require a complicated recipe so I thought I’d just share the ingredients I used to make my super spicy concoction and the recipe I created to make a kind of failed potato chip. I say failed because I meant to make a chip but they never got crispy enough so it turned out as just potatoes which were still delicious.

Ballpark Gourmet Hott Dogs

Hot dog 2Hot Dog

Hot Dogs

  •                 BBQ any hot dog of your choosing
  •                 Toast an onion roll for your hot dog bun
  •                 Carmelize onions in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil
  •                 Cut fresh jalapenos – making sure to de-seed them
  •                 BBQ sauce
  •                 Spicy brown mustard
  •                 Light mayo

Potatoes

  1.                 Cut potatoes as thinly as possible
  2.                 Toss in a bowl with three minced garlic cloves, tablespoon of olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic salt and seasoning salt.
  3.                 Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees

Movies Left: 570

Days Left: 471

No Good Very Good Quiche

Let’s talk about the breakdown of the family unit. Yeah, I’m going to talk about the things you aren’t supposed to say. We live in a very different world than we did only twenty-some plus years ago. Homes are broken, no one talks to each other, and most parents don’t parent. Instead family members are more like cohabitating individuals rather than a connected unit.

The film Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, is a nod to what the family unit used to be and what it should be. The Coopers battle children’s book miss-prints, wardrobe malfunctions, car wrecks, and an unfortunate event concerning cough syrup all in one day. However, the most memorable, most endearing part of this no-good tale is this family’s love and support for one another. They aren’t just individuals existing; they are friends and genuinely care about each other’s successes. Call me old fashioned, but I believe that if families still kept the same Beaver Cleaver 1950’s values as the Coopers, our society might be far more peaceful.

A majorly iconic dish made in this film is the crustless quiche created by Papa Bear Cooper. I decided to replicate the dish with some minor adjustments. First of all, I’m not a fan of egg yolks so I decided to double the amount of eggs the recipe calls for, but only use the egg whites. I also used reduced fat cheddar cheese as my cheese of choice to cut down on the fat content but also still get the golden brown on the top. Lastly, the milk in the recipe calls for whole, but I don’t drink or use whole milk often enough so I went with fat-free. The result? Delicious.

Adapted from Disney Family
Adapted from Disney Family
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 6-8 oz. spinach
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 1½ cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 3500 degrees
  2. Grease an 8×8 glass baking dish OR 10-inch pie plate.
  3. Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Stir in onion and sliced mushrooms and cook until soft, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add spinach and continue cooking until moisture evaporates. Set skillet aside.
  6. In a bowl, whisk eggs, cream, milk, salt, and ground pepper. Add cheese, spinach, onion, and mushroom.
  7. Pour mixture into the greased baking dish.
  8. Bake in preheated oven until lightly golden and center is solid. (~30-35 min; you should be able to insert a knife cleanly in the middle)
  9. Let cool before cutting into slices and serving!

Disney Movies Left: 570

Days Left: 490

Crustless Egg-White Quiche
Crustless Egg-White Quiche

Genie, You’re Free

So I’ve been unbelievably busy the past two weeks; I feel like I’ve forgotten about by blog – not purposely of course, just a lack of time to put into watching my films and cook. I think it was good to take some time off though because it gave me some more perspective on not only this blog, but also my life. When it comes to the blog, I realize I’m still finding my footing with what and how I want to post. My project is definitely taking precedence, but I realize that what I write doesn’t always coincide with what I initially wrote about in blogs one and two. I’m not great at being candid and personal, so perhaps if my idea of finding myself and exploring Alice Lea being in a relationship with Alice Lea, I really need to take that seriously.

Dishfunctional Designs
Dishfunctional Designs

In my personal journey reboot I watched all three Aladdin films: Aladdin, Return of Jafar, and Aladdin and the King of Thieves. Rather than creating an edible concoction I decided I would write a small tribute to the Genie himself, Robin Williams. Everything about the Genie represents laughter, caring, and the whole hearted ability to not only accept others, but accept yourself – which is my overall goal: to accept myself. Robin Williams’ ability to make others feel good and feel as though they can be and do anything is a gift that not everyone in the world can possess. He understood the necessity of being comfortable being you and that everyone has a little spark of madness that needs thrive.

Spark of Madness
Spark of Madness

I need to relight my spark of madness. Perhaps that means I need to take myself on a date instead of wishing that someone else would. I need to go spend a day at the beach with myself instead of hoping my girlfriends will text me first. I need to go sing Karaoke to find out maybe that I should never sing Karaoke.

Robin Williams
Robin Williams

No matter what I do right now, it needs to be for me so that I too can be free.

Disney Movies Left: 571

Days Left: 493

Rest in Paradise
Rest in Paradise

Girl’s Best Friend

I skipped around a bit this week out of sheer inspiration from watching Air Bud last week. I watched the most beautifully heartfelt animal films I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing: The Incredible Journey, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, and Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco. As I mentioned in last week’s blog, my golden puppy is sweet sixteen which means she is a little doggy miracle. She shows her age despite her spirit, and it’s becoming more and more apparent to my family and me that we need to cherish the time we have with her. I chose to watch these films because they have always evoked so many tears – both joyful and blue. I know that if I waited to get to “I” on my Disney Movie List to begin this touching animal saga, I wouldn’t have had the emotional strength to get through them. It is entirely possible I may not have my baby anymore by that time.

Homeward BoundShadow

The Homeward Bound films are not only remakes of the original Incredible Journey film, but are based off of the novel The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford. It is a beautiful book – a highly recommended read. The story is told from the animals’ perspectives of what they observe throughout the “tail”. Instead of cooking something to pair with these films, I’m going to make this week a tribute to my girl. She is my absolute best friend; we’ve grown up together. All through school she would lay at my feet while I did my homework, come storming into my room and dive onto my bed at 6:00 am to let me know it was time to get up, and waited patiently for me to come after school – greeting me with kisses and a toy. As I’ve gotten older, I don’t see her every day, but whenever I make it home, she is still greets me as though no time has passed. When I’m sad, she licks the tears from my face or will lay her head in my lap…or just lay on me. When I’m happy, she celebrates with me by hopping up and down, running in circles, and verbally expressing her elated approval. When I’m hungry, she is the first person to let me know it is ok to eat, and she will wait patiently impatiently for her turn to also enjoy a snack.

Shadow (Golden Retriever): I had a responsibility to Sassy – to love her and protect her – the same as I have to you… and to Peter. And the same as you have to Jamie.
Chance (Bulldog): But we didn’t ask for this job.
Shadow (Golden Retriever): We didn’t have to. It’s built in. Has been ever since the dawn of time… when a few wild dogs took it upon themselves to watch over man, to bark when he’s in danger, to run and play with him when he’s happy, to nuzzle him when he’s lonely. That’s why they call us man’s best friend.

My sweet friend has probably been one of the most inspirational beings in my life. She’s taught me the meaning of love, selflessness, and how to truly appreciate all of the good things that have ever come my way. I write this blog today with a heavy heart and a grateful soul. I love my girl and I will probably never have a better friend than her, but I know that she will always be with me cheering me on with a smile and wag of her tail or comforting me with the happy memories she will leave behind.

Not my puppy, but I've always loved this quote.
Not my puppy, but I’ve always loved this quote.

Movies Left: 574

Days Left: 506