i went to see Into the Wild tonight for the second time, with a friend. it was an even more emotional experience for me than the last. this is the type of story that stays with you for a very long time. go see it. or read it. or both. seriously.
Italian word of the week February 25, 2008
English Translation: softly (adverb)
Recipe of the Week – Chicken Piccata with Pasta and Mushrooms February 24, 2008
Looking at my recipe history, I think I like chicken more than I knew I did. 🙂 I made this chicken piccata this week, though I’m not sure I would call it that, considering it is vastly different from the other chicken piccata I’ve made in the past. The latter recipe is very buttery and tasty, but not very healthy, so I was searching for a healthier version of it.
Some things I changed: I left out the wine, capers, and parsley. The chicken broth mix sufficed just fine, though I think I let it reduce too much…the finished product was kind of thick, like a gravy instead of a sauce, but still very good. I also used whole grain spaghetti instead of angel hair pasta and made broccoli for a vegetable.
Overall, I was surprised by how good it tasted. Knowing there was hardly any butter or oil in it at all, I didn’t think it would be as good as the first chicken piccata I tried, but I would definitely make this again.
Into the Wild – the movie February 23, 2008
To my surprise and delight, “Into the Wild” has come to our dollar theatre. Last night was the first showing and I was there. If you remember, this is the movie based on the book I reviewed about a month ago.
Nearly everything about the movie was true and genuine to the book. Sean Penn did incredibly well with little details and I felt it was very consistent. Emile Hirsch played a very believable Chris McCandless and by the end I felt as connected to him as I did to the Chris I knew between the book’s pages. Knowing specifically the end that was coming, it was much more difficult for me to watch this than it was to read the story, but it was very much worth it.
The questionable scenes I mentioned in my previous review are non-sexual and somewhat avoidable. A woman is topless for 4 or 5 minutes at one point and another scene only 10 or less seconds long is of a nudist colony. Despite the fact that they’re generally inappropriate, the scenes are tastefully done and are seemingly present simply for authenticity. If you want to see the movie and would like to know what to look for so you can avoid the nudity, send me a message.
Overall, I’d give it an 8 out of 10. I actually prefer the book over the movie this time, but in both cases, it is almost too tragic to read or see more than once.
Mae’s First Birthday! February 19, 2008
Today my cat is one year old. Hard to believe it’s been that long. She’s been a great companion and has become more compassionate as the months go by, showering me with lots of love and sleeping practically on top of me many nights.
Despite the fact that she has ruined many things in this house and is deliberately defiant most days, I am so thankful for her and am very excited to spend the next possibly 15+ years with her. I bought her this blue cave as a birthday present and so far she seems to love it. Happy Birthday Mae!
Italian word of the week February 18, 2008
Recipe of the Week – Ham and Bean Soup February 17, 2008
I’m sorry that all these recipes lately seem to be some kind of soup/stew. I had to work again today, so I went with something simple that I’ve made before. This is my version of the recipe that you find on the beans package:
1/2 bag of Goya 16 Bean Soup Mix (soaked and drained)
1 medium carrot, thinly chopped
1 medium onion, thinly chopped
diced ham (1 cup-ish is usually enough…I buy the ‘breakfast ham’ that is already in slices)
1 bay leaf
4-5 cups of chicken stock (the lower sodium kind)
1/2 tsp – 1 tsp of ham base
salt and pepper to taste (but I find none is usually needed)
Bring everything but the ham to a boil, cover and simmer for about an hour or hour and a half, until beans are pretty tender. Add the ham for the last 30-45 minutes, depending on how thick it’s sliced, etc. You just want it to warm up and be slightly tenderized, while lending it’s flavor and saltiness to the soup. You could also add diced potatoes or diced celery to this recipe. Serve with buttered bread or croissants. Makes approximately 3-4 servings.