Monday, March 30, 2009

I didn't plan it, but I ended up seeing two fight movies this past weekend. Friday night CC and I went to see The Wrestler and on Sunday we went to the Cleveland International Film Festival and saw Tyson. I can understand the oscar nom for Rourke in The Wrestler, but overall this movie was a big downer. Tyson, on the other hand, was so intriguing. The movie is essentially him telling his life story to the camera with intermittent shots of fight footage. The guy is clearly nuts, but in the end I was surprised by how sympathetic I was to him. It was funny and touching, and I really enjoyed it.

We liked Tyson so much, we decided to check out another film while at the CIFF. Next up was The Wrecking Crew. Another true story; this one about studio musicians in the 1960's. It was an interesting story, but it ran too long and lost my attention after the first hour. I don't write about movies much, so while we are on the topic I have to say that my favorite movie of the past year is Pineapple Express. Maybe it is because I am butt-crazy in love with James Franco, but I thought this movie was hilarious. I'm a netflixer so I don't buy movies very often, but this one I had to order.

On Saturday night we went down to H&M's house in Akron to celebrate H's birthday with a dance party. She wore a headband (a la American Apparel) and I wore a flower - we are into headgear for dance parties. H has been one of my best friends since second grade and for as long as I can remember she has had cherry cheesecake on her birthday. So when M asked us to bring something, I had to try making one. I wanted a traditional recipe that would be somewhat similar to her mother's clearly superior recipe. I opted for the Philadelphia Cream Cheese recipe from the Kraft website, with a slight twist: I subbed almond extract for the vanilla extract. The result was awesome! Here it is (you will notice Kraft brands are used, but whatever)

Cherry Cheesecake

6 HONEY MAID Honey Grahams, crushed (about 1 cup)
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
5 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. vanilla (I used Almond)
1 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
4 eggs
1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling

HEAT oven to 325°F.
MIX crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan. Bake 10 min.
MEANWHILE, beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.
BAKE 40 min. or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours. Top with pie filling.

Sweets can add enjoyment to a balanced diet, but remember to keep an eye on portions.
(Thanks Kraft, note to self)

New York Lemon Cheesecake
Prepare as directed, omitting cherry pie filling and adding 1-1/2 tsp. lemon zest and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice to cream cheese batter before pouring over crust.

How to Bake in Springform Pan (I used springform cuz it is prettier presentation, see pic below)
Prepare and bake cheesecake as directed, substituting a 9-inch springform pan for the 13x9-inch pan and increasing the baking time to 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. (Note: If using a dark nonstick springform pan, reduce oven temperature to 325ºF.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's a blanket - with arms!

At the request of Miss Ally, here are some pictures from the Snuggie Birthday Bar Crawl. We started the crawl at Flannery's on E. 4th and crawled our way down E 4th and then over to W. 6th. We had a group of about 20, half in snuggies, half in street clothes (lame). We learned there are some high points and low points of snuggie bar crawls:

High point: The crowd at Hairy Buffalo was awesome and loved to dance with the snuggie folk
Low point: I was told I look like Jesus and/or Mary Magdalen
High point: Easy to find others in your group. If you get seperated from the crawl, just ask someone to point you in the direction of the blue cult
Low point: A little tricky to go to the bathroom
High point: No need to wear a coat and lots of room to hide jello shots in them
Low point: Corner Alley and Cadillac Ranch are not snuggie friendly
High point: People love snuggies! And they are so vibrant in pictures
Low point: You can only get blue at Bed Bath and Beyond and the shipping to order on-line is steep
High point: Soooo cozy! You can take a little nap anywhere you go.
Low point: They can drag or get caught on a fence if you're not careful. One size fits all...
High point: They come with this free reading light, as demonstrated by Mitro below, that make it easy to read a menu in a dark bar

Overall, I highly recommend the snuggie pub crawl! It was a great way to celebrate 26 years on earth!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ketchup / Catsup

I am light years behind on blogging and it is giving me anxiety. So I am just going to rip the band-aid off and start blogging again and pretend that it hasn't been over a month since my last post.

But what a month it has been. So many potential blog posts. Since I last wrote I have turned 26!, had a snuggie bar crawl birthday party to celebrate, bought myself an autoharp, watched the first 3 seasons of Weeds, baked two birthday cakes (one for me, one for G-Bone), finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, and had some craziness at work.

And now I am sitting in the waiting room while poor CC gets his wisdom teeth out. Last night we reminisced about some of my past oral surgeries. First there was the tongue surgery in eighth grade to remove a cyst from under my tongue. Next was the k-9 extractions. This was where they had to expose my k-9 teeth, stick a bracket on them, and then proceed to slowly pull them down with braces otherwise they never would have come in. And lastly, I had my wisdom teeth out. All of these were miserable!

And you know the one perk of surgery where some people lose like 10 pounds? Well that never happened to me. And I was never lucky enough to get mono. Come to think of it, with bathing suit season approaching, I could really use a good stomach flu or bout of salmonella.

Jokes! I love being healthy!