Sunday, February 5, 2012

Two Things I Will Never Buy Again

There are two things that I will never buy pre-made from the grocery store again. Ever.

1. Croutons
2. Granola

I've already talked about how amazing homemade croutons are, but today I also made granola and It. Is. Awesome! It's so simple and easy, I can't believe that I was paying $5/bag of store-bought granola before this.

I got my crouton recipe from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. All it takes is some french bread, olive oil, and whatever seasonings and spices suit your fancy. Today I kept it simple and cubed a half-loaf of wheat french bread, drizzled it with olive oil and garlic salt, and threw the pan in a 300-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Stir it around a little bit while baking. Happiness is the result.

As for the granola, I bought my ingredients based on a recipe I found in a magazine but then I threw away my magazine (silly me!) and had to piece it together based on other online recipes. It worked well! You can also throw anything and everything into granola. This mix contains:

Rolled oats
Wheat germ
Sliced almonds
Shelled sunflower seeds
Pure agave

Basically, go to the Whole Foods bins and bag up anything and everything you want to bake together.

On your next Sunday afternoon, set aside some time, throw on your favorite tunes, and bake some croutons and granola for the work week ahead. So much better than the stale and bitter store-bought options! I'm never going back. Ever.

Movie Review: Fish Tank

Following the suggestion of @daniel_hautjobb, I watched a British independant film titled Fish Tank. Wow, just wow.

Toto, we're not in Hollywood anymore.

The movie was brilliant but difficult. Everything isn't tied up in a neat little bow with a love story thrown in. Instead, it was a compelling look at the result of broken families living in the welfare system. It is considered to be a "coming of age" story, but the hardest part is the realization that Mia (the 15-year-old main character) doesn't really have anywhere to go. The system and the lack of support---both emotionally and financially---is a vicious cycle.

Do I recommend it? Yes. Does it tear at your heart? Absolutely.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Movie Review: This Means War

I got free tickets to an advance screening of This Means War at a great downtown movie theatre, the AMC River East. That’s right, I went to an advance screening. I’m hot shit like that.

A quick description for the movie reads:

Two top CIA operatives wage an epic battle against one another after they discover they are dating the same woman.

I went to the movie not expecting much, but it turned out to be a lot of fun! Reese Witherspoon’s character in the movie was perfect (of course; yawn!), but it was interesting to see the differences between the two guys battling for the win---i.e. her heart. Chelsea Handler as the comedic side-kick was good for a few laughs. Think Seth Rogen in the movie 50/50 (a great, great film---see it).

Since I’m in Chicago and I actually have free time for the first time in a long time, I’m starting to watch movies again. Back in Colorado, I would maybe go to a handful of films a year. If that.

This whole Hollywood thing is fun! I’ll keep y’all updated with what other films I’m able to catch.

P.S. People-watching at a movie premier is epic. You either have socialites with glittery makeup or intense movie-goers with their Star Wars t-shirts and popcorn-stained fingers. Awesome.