From The Heart

I have a golden retriever. She is my best friend; I’ve grown up with her. She turned sixteen about a month ago which is quite rare for a golden dog. My precious girl shows her age every day, but still remains in positive spirits and never passes on an opportunity to eat or play. Growing up, and still today, whenever I’ve been in a melancholy mood, she’s always been ready to pounce with a hug and a kiss. Dogs are such empathic creatures and show more love than some people can fathom experiencing. If we could all love the way our dogs love, and live our lives with the kind of compassion and selflessness the way our dogs live theirs, the world would be a much more peaceful and happy place. We wouldn’t worry about what others think; we would love and accept everyone, and we’d appreciate the small things in life that bring us joy.

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I was sincerely reminded of how precious my time is with my baby while watching the Air Bud franchise this week. I ranked the films below from the best to the…probably shouldn’t have made that one. Cliché as it is to say, none of them beat the original – which you’ll find notably find in the number one spot. Not only was the cast brilliant, it really captured everything a dog stands for: love, warmth, and a happy spirit. Buddy helps to heal a boy mourning the loss of his father just by being the friend the boy needs.  He didn’t judge Josh, have unreasonable expectations, and just finds joy in doing whatever Josh loves to do. Sometimes all you need is a friend to be there.

Air_Bud___Letting_Go____by_TildeML

Ranking of Air Bud Franchise Films

  1. Air Bud
  2. Air Bid Golden Receiver
  3. Snow Buddies
  4. Air Bud World Pup
  5. Santa Buddies
  6. Air Bud Seventh Inning Fetch
  7. Air Buddies
  8. Spooky Buddies
  9. Air Bud Spikes Back
  10. Space Buddies
  11. Treasure Buddies

To celebrate Buddy in all of his sporting glory, I decided to make the best game day food I know how to make: Nachos. I didn’t get the recipe off Pinterest this time; it’s actually my own that I will be sharing today. Yeah, I can cook sometimes without help.

Nachos
Healthy Nachos Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of white corn or whole grain tortilla chips
  • I shredded chicken breast (Boil the chicken, let cool, pull apart to shred)
  • 1 whole diced tomato
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 can low sodium black beans
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • Fresh salsa or pico de gallo (You can usually find this in the prepared food section of the grocery store if you don’t have a recipe of your own to use)

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine cooked rice, salsa/pico de gallo, shredded chicken and cheese in a bowl.
  3. Spray baking sheet and lay chips over baking sheet evenly.
  4. Drain black beans and spread over chips.
  5. Spread rice, chicken, salsa and cheese mixture over chip evenly.
  6. Spread green onion and tomatoes over nachos.
  7. Cook for 20 minutes.

Movies Left – 577

Days Left – 511

Sugar and Spice and More Sugar

So I made a blueberry pie. I’ve never made a pie before that didn’t involve pre-made graham cracker crust and instant pudding mix. This pie was all from scratch – crust, filling, etc. It didn’t come out looking gorgeous by any means, but it tasted pretty decent. For my first pie attempt I’d say it’s a win.

Why did I make pie? Well my film was The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. I not only made pie, I made English scones with lemon curd and Devonshire cream. These are classic folktales that needed classic recipes to go with them. For Mr. Toad, which is based on the classic English Folktale Wind in the Willows, I made proper English Scones from Rock Recipes, lemon curd from Love Bakes Good Cakes, and Devonshire cream from Smashed Peas and Carrots. I also acquired some Marionberry Jam by Maury Island Farm located in Washington State. For Ichabod Crane, which is based on the classic American Folktale “The Headless Horseman”, I made blueberry pie from Savvy Saving Couple. So basically…I cooked/baked like a boss this week.

All of this baking (Sugar! So much sugar!)has inspired my POSSIBLE next personal journey project. Drum roll please…Exercise. I’ve never been one to obsess over fitness and take gym selfies, but there was a time in my life when I exercised regularly. Over the past few years that has dwindled and life has happened. When I went through my break up I became even more sedentary. It was like I was waiting for something to happen and the idea of moving forward with anything felt wrong – like I’d be leaving something behind I wasn’t ready to leave behind.  I’m ready to keep moving forward now. I’m ready to release those endorphins!

Before I get started on an exercising extravaganza, below are the recipes I made this week.

Caution: Sugar High Ahead


 Proper English Scones

Ingredients
  • 1⅔ cups all purpose flour
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • pinch table salt table salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 egg
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor add the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Pulse to mix together well. (You can just mix the ingredients in a bowl if you prefer the manual method)
  3. Pulse in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. (or just use your fingertips to rub the butter through the dry ingredients until the same texture is achieved.)
  4. Whisk together the milk, egg and vanilla. Reserve a few teaspoons of the liquid to brush on top of the scones. This helps them brown nicely)
  5. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir in quickly with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. It should be a little sticky. Don’t over work the dough or your scones will get tough and not rise well.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a well floured board or counter top.
  7. Lightly sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and just using your hands, form the dough into a round about ¾ of an inch thick.
  8. Using a 1½ inch biscuit cutter, cut out your scones and place them about 2 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  9. Re-roll the scraps and cut out the rest of the scones. Brush the tops of all the scones with the reserved milk and egg liquid.
  10. Pop the scones into the hot oven for about 12-15 minutes or until the tops of the scones are evenly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
  11. Serve with thick or clotted cream and your favorite jam.
Rock Recipes
Rock Recipes

*Note: I don’t own a biscuit cutter. I used a pizza cutter and sliced the dough into triangles. 


Lemon Curd

Ingredients
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ⅔ cup lemon juice (that was about 6 lemons for me)
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
Directions
1. Combine the butter and sugar in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Add the eggs an egg yolks one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Mix in the lemon juice.
2. Transfer the butter and egg mixture to a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom. Cook and stir the mixture over low heat until the butter melts and the mixture looks smooth. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, abut 15 minutes. DO NOT BOIL.
3. Remove the lemon curd from the heat and stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the lemon curd to a container and press plastic wrap onto the surface, covering the lemon curd, to keep a skin from forming on the top. Refrigerate.
Love Bakes Good Cakes
Love Bakes Good Cakes

Devonshire Cream

Ingredients
  • 3 oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup whipping cream
Directions
  1. Cream the cream cheese, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Slowly add whipping cream and whip until stiff peaks form.
  3. Chill before serving.
  4. Serve with scones and jam.
Smashed Peas and Carrots
Smashed Peas and Carrots

The scones, curd, and cream were a lot of fun and super easy to make. I made them all within half an hour. Of course I needed to wait for the lemon curd to cool…but the prep and cook time was easy. I may have cheated on the jam part by purchasing it rather than making my own preserves…but honestly…I don’t really have a desire to can and preserve things. Its great for those that love it. I’m just not really a mason jar girl.

This went great with eggs and coffee in the morning for breakfast. -Alice Lea
This went great with eggs and coffee in the morning for breakfast. –Alice Lea

Blueberry Pie

Ingredients

     Filling:

  •  6 cups blueberries washed, and dried
  • 3/4 white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • 3/4 tablespoon FRESH lemon zest

    Combine all Filling ingredients in a bowl and set aside until crust is ready.
    Combine all Filling ingredients in a bowl and set aside until crust is ready.

Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pinch of Kosher salt
  • 2 sticks of unsalted cold butter from the fridge cut into little cubes
  • 8 tablespoons of ice water

Egg Wash:

  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • coarse sugar for sprinkling over the crust (Add all of these ingredients into a small bowl and mix them together. Use a baster to paint the egg wash over the lattice)

Directions

  1. Mix your dry ingredients in a large bowl, and then add the butter. The cold chunks of butter should be mixed into the flour using a pastry wheel (I don’t have one so I used my hands and a mixer).You want the flour to go from looking like little peas to breadcrumbs.
  2. Slowly add the water in to make a dough consistency. You may want to use your hands, or a spatula to work the dough into a large ball.
  3. Once mixed, separate the dough into two balls, and place them between wax paper to make to even discs. Refrigerate them for an hour to make handling easy as “pie”.
  4. Once you are ready to roll out the crust, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  5. On a well floured surface roll out on ball about 2 inches larges in circumference than the pie baking dish. Fit the crust into the pan, and trim excess using a pie trimmer.
  6. Roll out the second ball to and using a pastry wheel, cut the dough into 3/4 strips. (I used a pizza cutter…that might be the same thing? But it worked!)
  7. Fill pie crust with blueberry filling.
  8. Lay out the lattice strips you’ve cut over the pie. I just set them where I wanted them. It didn’t look gorgeous but I don’t think its beauty or lack-there-of affected the taste.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes. Later, reduce the heat to 350 and bake it for another 35 minutes. MAKE SURE you allow the pie to SET for several hours before eating it so that it is not a runny mess!
#ghettolattice
#ghettolattice
It's not gorgeous but its delicious! -Alice Lea
It’s not gorgeous but its delicious! -Alice Lea

Until next time Disney Foodies! Hopefully next time I will have a new project to get myself started on!

Movies Left: 584

Days Left: 519

Soft Kitty. Warm Kitty. Little Ball of Fur…

There’s no major life lesson to go with today’s recipe and movie(s) of the week. I’m kind of in a weird emotional limbo right now. There are times in our lives when we just want to ignore the nagging tasks hanging over our head (Me. Everyday.) and run away from anything else that is emotionally stressful. So, let’s escape to the Savannah shall we? I watched two Disney Nature films: The African Lion (1955) and African Cats (2011). Well… I suppose the 1955 film is actually a Disney’s True Life Adventures. If I had to take my pick of one I preferred, it was probably African Cats. The other was a bit more like a film you’d see in a science classroom on a day when there is a sub. Although Cats is just as informative, the info is couched in a story that tugs at your heart strings. I think it brings to light the fact that animals are just as emotional as humans which is something that can be easily lost when watching a documentary that keeps you at arm’s length. I probably could have throw The Lion King in here…but I have bigger plans for those films.

African Lion  African Cats

I made South Africa Piri Piri Chicken to go with these films from a recipe I got from The Wanderlust Kitchen. I’m aware that African kittens tend to live in the Savannah rather than the highly populated areas of South Africa’s major countries and cities…but this just looked so delicious! It was very messy to make but totally worth it.

The Wanderlust Kitchen
The Wanderlust Kitchen
Ingredients
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together everything except for the chicken. Add the chicken and toss with tongs to coat in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least three hours.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a oven-save skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Use tongs to transfer the chicken breasts out of the bowl and into the pan, reserving the marinade. Let cook for two or three minutes per side, until nice and browned.
  3. Pour the reserved marinade into the pan and spoon the sauce onto the chicken. Turn off the stove, and use oven mitts to transfer the pan to the pre-heated oven.
  4. Let cook in oven for 15-20 minutes (depending on thickness of chicken breasts), or until cooked through.
Mine turned out a bit more red...but the marinade made for an excellent topping for the brown rice.
Mine turned out a bit more red…but the marinade made for an excellent topping for the brown rice.

Movies Left: 585

Days Left: 520

Race: Human

Let’s get controversial, shall we? Today I’m going to take a step up onto my soap box while simultaneously baking a berry-licious dessert. Today in Disney Movie Project news I watched The Adventures of Huck Finn based on the classic Mark Twain novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. There are those that find the novel, and I’m certain the Disney film, controversial and offensive. Many say the character of Jim is an offensive caricature of a slave back in the 1800’s and how dare someone depict such a disgusting and embarrassing past of our country.  I say: ignoring the problem and being modernly politically correct isn’t always the answer. Would we really be depicting a part of history accurately if we pretended that piece of American culture didn’t exist? Does showing a piece of accurate history mean we agree with the principles of that time period? Absolutely not! Just because you tell the truth, doesn’t mean you have to agree with it.

If you’ve actually watched the film or read the book, the story is a heartwarming look at a controversial topic. It tastefully addresses a harsh reality of the American past, and bares a topic to the viewer that we still deal with today. History repeats itself over, and over, and over again. You’d think we’d learn, but what I have come to realize is that everyone needs to be a part of the drama and everyone needs to be offended by something. The friendship between Huck and Jim, a white child and a black man, during American Slave trade shows us the true meaning of family, friendship, and that we aren’t born with the inclination to be racist, judgmental, or oppressive of gender or cultural rights. In the film, Huck knows the laws of the land and that Jim is a runaway slave, but much like any child, only know that’s the way it is, but can’t say why. Children are taught to follow rules and to adopt certain morals and values, and as they grow older, they will either adopt their own, modify the ones they have, or continue to uphold “tradition”.

IMP Awards
IMP Awards

“Just because you’re taught something’s right, and everybody believes its right, don’t make it right.” –Jim

We like to think we’ve come a long way since America’s dark days, but have we really? I think we’re still in them! I think we innately sing the same song to a different tune over, and over, and over again. No matter what community we seem to be fighting for equality, the fact that we define people into “communities” is still segregating. We have black, white, Hispanic, LGBT, feminist, vegan, gluten free, etc. True we’ve made leaps and bounds, but if we have separated ourselves into communities to fight for our equal rights, doesn’t that defeat the purpose? Shouldn’t we all be ONE community of humans? If a child doesn’t understand the difference in all of these “communities” until they are older, when and why do we continue to separate and segregate? I am not LGBT, nor am I vegan, but does that mean that I can’t have something in common with and understand someone who is? Perhaps someone in the LGBT or vegan community also appreciates a good Disney movie or a delicious Blackberry Bar. Can’t we bond over the things that make us individuals rather than our skin color, sexual preference, or dietary needs? I don’t agree with or bond with every straight person because I’m straight and I don’t get along with every carnivorous person because we share a mutual love of steak. I get along with people that make me laugh, have kind hearts, and don’t mind my Disney obsession.

I am supportive of any and all “communities” fighting for equal rights. It is not anyone’s business but our own on how we live our lives. So why does society feel it is their responsibility to make someone’s rights and lifestyle their business? Quite frankly that is incredibly nosey and rude. I’m not saying I’ve solved the problem, but from my perspective, and my own morals and beliefs, I think if the human race started looking at themselves as one whole community rather than millions of segregated ones, fighting for equal rights wouldn’t be something we’d even have to consider doing because they would already be there. I as a human am of equal right and privilege as another human. Maybe someday we will see the world that way…Until then, everyone gets a fair and equal opportunity to show me their person, rather than just their community.

Ok. Stepping of my soap box now. My recipe that goes along with the film of the day/week is Blackberry Pie Bars. Believe me, I searched for Huckleberry recipes first because…well…what would be more appropriate for a Huckleberry Finn movie than a Huckleberry recipe? Unfortunately, at this stage in my Disney Movie Project, huckleberries just aren’t in season. So instead I found a delicious blackberry bar recipe  from Tracy’s Culinary Adventures that I’m pretty sure can be substituted for huckleberries.

Blackberry Pie Bars
Blackberry Pie Bars

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Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Filling

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (low fat is fine)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
    pinch salt
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 16 oz fresh blackberries

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray an 8×8-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.(I used a 9×9 and it worked just fine!)

Directions: Crust

  1. Add the flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl of your food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
  2. Add the butter and continue pulsing until the pieces of butter are very small (like pebbles) and the mixture is crumbly. (I ended up just using a mixer and my hands because I have a crappy food processor. I think it had the same affect.)
  3. Transfer 3/4 cup of this mixture to a small bowl and set aside to use for the topping.
  4. Dump the remainder of the mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer to form the crust.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden and set. Remove the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.

Directions: Filling:

  1. in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, sour cream, flour, salt, lemon zest, and almond extract until well combined.
  2. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the blackberries.
  3. Spread the filling over the crust (distributing the berries evenly).
  4. Top the filling with the reserved crust mixture – I like to squeeze in my hand to form clumps then sprinkle over the top so the pieces vary in size.
Into the oven!
Into the oven!

Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the bars are set (the topping won’t really brown much). Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the bars to cool completely in the pan. To more easily cut them into squares, refrigerate briefly before serving. (I actually liked these best after an hour in the fridge!)

Yum!
Yum!

Movies Left: 587

Days Left: 527

The Lucky Nugget

On the menu tonight we have country fried steak with country gravy (from a packet), steamed green beans, and instant garlic mashed potatoes…Truth be told, I might have cheated a bit…if you couldn’t tell. I’m all for homemade everything…but I’ve never made country fried steak before, homemade mash, or homemade country gravy. I think I might have been afraid to cook too many new things in one meal. What if it all was a complete disaster and I ended up wasting time and money on food I just wasn’t going to continue to eat?

As I write this watching the featured Disney movie The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin, I feel not only ashamed that I didn’t go the extra step, but a bit of regret that I didn’t push myself…which was my goal when I began this project. In the movie, Griffin accompanies Jack, the boy he butlers (is that a word?) to California during the gold rush after the boy’s grandfather passes and leaves he his sister, Arabella, completely broke. It is important to tell you that Jack is 12 years old and ran away; Griffin follows him out there to ensure that he is taken care of. If a 12-year-old boy can move across a country to start over and earn a fortune, couldn’t I have at least mashed my own potatoes?

The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin (1967)
The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin (1967)
To celebrate the California Gold Rush from Disney Bound.
To celebrate the California Gold Rush from Disney Bound.

So, why chicken fried steak? Well, I wanted to capture a meal that was traditionally eaten in a wild western town – country fried steak being a popular delicacy. Bullwhip is a great western complete with stagecoaches, gunslingers, and the Lucky Nugget Saloon. Roddy McDowell (Griffin) was far from a rugged leading man, but the brilliance he brings to the moral, gentlemanly, and winningly clever character of Griffin makes him one of the best cowboys to date.

I’ve never fried anything before – let alone a juicy steak. I’ve cooked steaks in the past and I generally prefer mine medium to medium well, but in this case I decided it was best to cook the steak well-done. This is certainly not a meal I would cook every day as it is not the healthiest, but it is definitely a tasty way to treat yourself. At least I steamed the green beans right?

The recipe below is from Freeing My Martha. I definitely think KP made a better looking dish than I did, but the recipe certainly tastes fantastic! I think the most fun part of making this was cubing the steak. What a fabulous way to to let go of pent up aggression by beating a piece of beef senseless with a mallet!

Freeing My Martha Chicken Fried Steak
Freeing My Martha Chicken Fried Steak

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds cubed steak
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups non-fat milk
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon each-garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Additional Kosher salt and black pepper to season meat
  • Olive oil for frying

Directions

  1. Cut each cubed steak in half and season lightly with salt and pepper
  2. In a pie plate or flat bowl, beat eggs and milk
  3. In a separate plate, mix flour with seasonings
    • For each steak:
    • Dredge in flour mixture
    • Dip in egg mixture
    • Dredge in flour again
    • Dip in egg again
    • End with another dredge in the flour and set aside.
    • Repeat
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  5. Fry 3 pieces of meat at a time until they get golden brown and turn over to cook the other side.
  6. Drain over a wire rack
Yum!
Yum!

Days Left: 530

Movies Left: 588

It All Started With A Rabbit

They say it all started with a mouse. What they really mean to say it that it all started with a rabbit. A lucky rabbit in fact named Oswald. Oswald was Walt Disney’s creation before he developed Mickey Mouse. However he was working under a production company that was not his. He left with several co-workers and began his own company we know today. So…You could say it all started with a mouse, but I suppose you could also say his dreams started with a lucky rabbit.

A note from Walt Disney from The Telegraph
A note from Walt Disney from The Telegraph
Chelsea Medel
Oswald inspired outfit designed by Chelsea Medel from Polyvore

Here and there I watched a series of cartoon shorts from 1927-1928 featuring Oswald from the Disney Treasures Collection: The Adventures of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. You can buy the entire collection on Amazon believe it or not! Watching these old cartoons is watching a piece of artful animation history. It is amazing to know they did these with pen and paper verses the digital techniques we see today. Something truly remarkable about these old cartoons of Disney’s, are that the musical scores are just as much of a character in the cartoons as the drawn images. The music is what really drives the story forward and makes the cartoons memorable.

It was a bit tough to figure out what I could make that goes with Oswald because it’s not like making homemade rabbit food would be appetizing. I brainstormed ideas of what wild rabbits are associated with and went with a fresh, garden vegetable theme.  Below is an Italian Pasta recipe from Flour On My Face. The only thing I added was chicken. I know, I know. Rabbits are not carnivorous…but I am! I respect the individuals that can function without meat in their diet…but I just can’t. I get cranky. There are meats that I won’t eat such as veal, lamb, or animal organs, but other than that, bring it on and slather it in some sauce! This pasta dish is pretty delicious and I will definitely continue to make it a meal this summer.

My goal from Flour On My Face
My goal from Flour On My Face

Ingredients

  • 1 12 ounce box tri-colored pasta, cooked, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
  • ½ piece of chicken breast
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup broccoli florets, cut into bite size pieces
  • ¼ cup red pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup green pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated and more for topping when serving.
  • salt and pepper to taste

IMG_2281

Directions

  1. Sear half a piece of chicken breast in olive oil at medium heat
  2. Drain pasta well and place in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add all the cut up or diced vegetables.
  4. Mix parmesan with the Zesty Italian dressing. Stir well after five minutes.
  5. Pour dressing over pasta and veggies.
  6. Stir well.
  7. Refrigerate 2 hours or over night to allow flavors to marry.
  8. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan.

IMG_2289

Days Left: 531

Movies Left: 589

Forgive Me Flubber

Let’s talk about forgiveness. How do you forgive someone who hurt you and continues to hurt you? Is there a point where you say, “No more,” and walk away? Does forgiveness have to mean you forget? As I’d mentioned in a previous blog entry, my self-discovery journey began because of a guy. He wasn’t a bad guy if I am being honest with myself. He treated me well and was incredibly kind and selfless…up until it ended. I had never felt a door slam so hard on a relationship that the wind was completely knocked out of me. What was once a warm, safe place to land became a dark abyss filled with invisible ticking time bombs. How do you forgive someone for tearing you apart from the inside out?

My Disney movie project lead me to this reflective place while I took part in a Flubber-a-thon this week. I began with the 1961 The Absent Minded Professor followed by the 1963 Son of Flubber featuring the ever warm and delightful Fred MacMurray. In comparison, his 1997 Flubber counterpart, Robin Williams, brings the same warmth and kindness to the character of Professor Brainard as MacMurray – may they both rest in paradise.

Absent minded Professor Brainard, who, through his dedication to science and mankind, develops a flying, rubbery substance to help save his small college from financial ruin. Unfortunately, the professor’s scattered behavior creates a mishap with his fiancée, Sarah, by becoming so engulfed in his work that he forgets their wedding…three times. Sarah of course forgives Brainard after he wins her back with his endearing charm and flying, rubbery miracle. They live happily ever after by literally flying off into the sunset. It’s not only a heart-warming  story of geeky-guy-gets-girl, but it is so smartly adapted from the novel that Disney fans of all ages would enjoy these films.

I found myself relating primarily to Sarah’s plight. How could she forgive someone who doesn’t make her a priority in that way? How could she not want more for herself? Professor Brainard was not a bad man by any means; his focus was just elsewhere. I think the conclusion I’ve come to is that forgiveness is not something you do for another person; it is something you do for yourself. You don’t provide forgiveness because the other person deserves it; you provide it because you do. Grudges and anger only blacken your heart and turn your soul into a jaded one. Forgiveness sets you free from that pain by allowing you to let go. However, just because you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean you have to forget. Instead, you just grow a little wiser from the experience.

On a lighter note…a much lighter note in fact. I hunted to try and find an edible flubber-like recipe. The only thing I came across was glow in the dark gak. Remember that stuff? However, gak…not so edible. I thought about what kind of foods might be similar to flubber and then it hit me: Jell-O! Simple and from a box, yes, but there are so many possibilities with Jell-O. And…It is rubbery and wiggles.  Below is a layered Jell-O recipe from The First Year: Cooking &Crafting that took about three days to make. The recipe takes about 11-12 hours total…but ain’t nobody got time for that. Despite the length of time it took to make this delicious, low calorie dessert, it was worth it and a perfect fit for the Flubber-a-thon.

Layered Strawberry Jello Cup
Layered Strawberry Jello Cup from The First Year: Cooking & Crafting
Ingredients
  • 5 packages of Strawberry Jello mix
  • Water
  • 2 cups of Cool Whip (I used fat free), plus more for topping
  • strawberries, to top each parfait
Directions
  1. Layer 1: Combine 1 cup boiling water in a bowl with a packet of strawberry jello mix. Stir until the mixture is dissolved. Add in one cup of cold water and stir. Evenly divide this mixture among the cups you’ll be using. Refrigerate until set, 1-2 hours.
  2. Layer 2: Combine 1 cup boiling water in a bowl with a packet of strawberry jello mix. Stir until the mixture is dissolved. Add in one cup of cold water and stir. Add in 1 cup of cool whip, and stir until mixed. Evenly divide this mixture among the cups you’ll be using, layering on top of the previous jello layer. Separation may occur, causing a lighter and darker layer. Refrigerate until set, 1-2 hours.
  3. Layer 3: Combine 1 cup boiling water in a bowl with a packet of strawberry jello mix. Stir until the mixture is dissolved. Add in one cup of cold water and stir. Evenly divide this mixture among the cups you’ll be using. Refrigerate until set, 1-2 hours.
  4. Layer 4: Combine 1 cup boiling water in a bowl with a packet of strawberry jello mix. Stir until the mixture is dissolved. Add in one cup of cold water and stir. Add in 1 cup of cool whip, and stir until mixed. Evenly divide this mixture among the cups you’ll be using, layering on top of the previous jello layer. Separation may occur, causing a lighter and darker layer. Refrigerate until set, 1-2 hours.
  5. Layer 5: Combine 1 cup boiling water in a bowl with a packet of strawberry jello mix. Stir until the mixture is dissolved. Add in one cup of cold water and stir. Evenly divide this mixture among the cups you’ll be using. Refrigerate until set, 1-2 hours.
  6. Before serving top each parfait with cool whip and a strawberry. (I’ve learned if you cut the strawberry in half and place it cut-side-down on the whip topping, it gives the allusion that it is a whole strawberry, but it will lay evenly on the cool whip)

Below is my attempt. It looks pretty similar, but the most difficult part of this was getting the layers right. some layers were thicker than others. However, it was still delicious even if it is not the prettiest.

Jello Cup

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