Archive | February, 2011

Oscar Reactions

28 Feb

Well, the 83rd Academy Award ceremonies are in the can. Overall, I’d say the highlight of my night was the huge pile of two bean nachos that I made, the cool Pop Up Bowl Microwave Movie Pop Corn we discovered and the company of good friends during the show. Yes, that is my sneaky way of saying that the actual show was uneventful and not all that funny. I honestly don’t want to say bad things about the ‘appealing to a younger demographic’ hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco. So I won’t, but I can officially skip any glowing reviews of their contributions as well. In fact, I’d venture to say that Bob Hope’s hologram did the best hosting of the night. Zing! Ok, I think I’ve dwelt quite long enough on the slanted insults section of my post. On to the goods! My reactions to the prize winners!

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Mushroom Stroganoff

25 Feb

Lately I’ve been preparing more meatless dishes at home. For one, I like a good challenge; meat is such a common ingredient that it takes some kitchen ingenuity to work around its profusion in my favorite recipes. Two, it does save some money on the grocery bills. And three, unless I can buy local meat, I really have no idea where my food came from, something I’ve become more and more uncomfortable with. So last night I took one of my favorite recipes from growing up and made it meatless. My mom’s delicious Beef Stroganoff became Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff. I’d say the results were successful. As we were pushing our plates away Ike said, “Let’s make this again!” Score for the substitution. **Note, if you do want to stick with the original version, just substitute 1 pound ground beef everywhere I say Mushrooms. This is too good of a recipe to miss out on! End Note**

Ok – on to the action!

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Facebook Thoughts

24 Feb

I shared my Twitterpation this Tuesday, so I thought I’d round off my Social Media thoughts for the week with some Facebook reflection. My feelings about Facebook are more complex. Honestly, we’ve had a love-hate relationship over the years. But after some mature reflection and counseling (I jest), I’d say that we’re friends again. Most of my beef with the platform came from a personal standpoint, and now, especially after running Facebook accounts for different businesses, I see the value in this increasingly popular site. Ready to ride my emotional Facebook rollercoaster? Well, climb on in (for my literal readers, click ‘Continue Reading’).

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Best Book Series

23 Feb

If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m a reader. I feel empty and without purpose if I don’t have a book in progress. I’m addicted. As an English major, I’ve read books from all genres, many countries, diverse authors and wide spread time periods. I still challenge myself with tough modernist works and dense Russian masterpieces. But in the midst of the challenges, I have a special place in my heart for the series.  They don’t necessarily have less merit than more “literary” pursuits, but a series book gives me more escapism fun than say a Virginia Woolf novel. All this is a preamble to share my favorite book series. And if you’re a reader like me, or a person who wants to be a reader, try one of these series out! I bet if you give them a chance you won’t look back.

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22 Feb

For almost a year, I’ve been part of the Twitter community. The more I see, the more I like.  One of my friends (the dazzling Emily) once likened Twitter to an exclusive dinner party where Tweeters drift from one snazzy conversation to the next. Ok, is anyone else picturing the party scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s?  If not, here you go.

Ok, my feed is nowhere near that chaotic or alcohol infused, but I think the clip provides a valid image. Twitter is a bustling social outlet. Conversations buzz from all directions. News breaks. People laugh. People complain. And it all happens in one noisy (in a good way) place.

I’ve had the opportunity to be on Twitter as myself and as two different brands, and I must say that I’ve learned to love Twitter for a whole bunch of reasons. You wanna hear ‘em? Then read on!

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Practical Creativity

21 Feb

I hope all of you had a great weekend! I sincerely enjoyed mine. As I mentioned on Friday, Ike inaugurated a big event for the Peters fam – insert dramatic drum roll for those of you who missed out or who don’t yet memorize my posts – he started recording his first album! Although I did do my own thing for the majority of the recording sessions (devoured over 200 pages of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, attended a wedding shower, hung at Barnes and Noble, the usual) I did hang out at the sessions on Saturday and Sunday nights. I, world observer that I am, noticed key elements of the creative process at work right in front of me. And I, blogger that I am, will share my observations now. I know, I know, the creative process is something artists (Romantic poets especially, to my memory) have been trying to nail down for centuries. And thus I won’t pretend to be the end all source (hardly!). But to risk an oxymoron, I’ll offer a few practical tips to the creative process, as I saw it, from my piano bench in the corner.

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2011 Events

18 Feb

2011 is shaping up to be a great year for the Peters. We are experiencing many firsts, celebrating a special third with style, and we even have our fingers crossed for a few exciting possibilities (um, real house hunting please). In the spirit of a fun and hopeful Friday post, I’ll share the events that I’m looking forward to this year! By all means, read on and don’t forget to take time to cherish your exciting upcoming events.  And of course to have a great weekend!

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Good Boy, Buster

17 Feb

Buster and I have started 3-times-a-day walk schedule. It’s almost like we’re on some intense football team or something (ok, you got me, I based that image on Remember the Titans, whatever). I wish I could say that my 3-a-day reasoning was purely based on enjoying the spring-like weather that has finally emerged after all the snow, but that’s not it completely. It certainly doesn’t hurt that I don’t have to bundle in 3+ layers and that Buster no longer returns to our apartment as dripping and shivering pup-cicle. But really, I’ve added a lunch break walk in addition to our morning and evening walks to get more practice. We’ll take the warm weather as a bonus and an encouragement. I’ve realized that with my unique work/job searching from home status, I was missing out on crucial Buster molding opportunities. If I’m going to be upset about his reactive behavior, I have to take serious action. And that’s what I’ve been doing. I am happy to report that he and I are doing better. Does he still growl at dogs and trucks and leaves blowing in the wind? Yeah, sometimes. But I like to believe that his extreme outbursts are dwindling with each extra walk we take. With each foot and paw forward, we get closer to the Good Boy Buster that I know is in there. So to celebrate my new dedication and progress, here are some cute videos and pictures that remind me of all the Good Boy actions Buster already does.

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Nell’s Cheesy Chicken

16 Feb

Before you ask, I don’t know who Nell is. But don’t let your curiosity go wild, let me assure you that all you really need to know about her (and all that I know) is that she found a wonderful way to transform 5 ingredients into a delicious crowd-pleasing meal. I use crowd-pleasing with complete confidence for three reasons.

1. Since my college roommate gave me this recipe it has joined my honored meal rotation. Ike often requests it and, for me, that is the mark of a great recipe.

Cute, huh? This is the original document!

2. When I’ve had people over and made this dish they not only licked their plates, but also requested the recipe – another mark of a winner.

3. This recipe can be halved or doubled easily to feed a couple for two meals or a large family. In other words, you can literally feed any crowd. It is also self-contained, so it is a good choice if you are bringing a meal over to someone else’s house.

My only complaint? It’s kind of  expensive. Several of the ingredients need to be bought special just for this meal.

But by a scientific weighing of pros and cons I still think this recipe is worth a regular appearance in your meal rotation.

Now on to the instructions!

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Recently Watched

15 Feb

I’ve seen some great movies and one interesting series pilot in the last couple of weeks. Nothing like two snow days to help you get caught up on all those nagging Netflix and Hulu curiosities, right? They are all dramas, but they stuck with me because they focus on character growth (or downward spiral, in some cases). Wait a second, I just noticed that 3 of the 4 center around crime/police drama. I wouldn’t say that was my favorite subject matter, but it has produced the most poignant TV show I’ve ever watched, The Wire, so I am definitely open to the genre. Crime dramas are great at facilitating discussions of ‘What is good and what is bad’ and other deep questions. If you have some free time to catch up on some great watching material, please read on!

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