So that happened….

Oh the Oscars! I watched them last night along with probably half of the country.  I was SO BORED! Anyone else?  Seth Mcfarlane just wasn’t doing it for me.  It was just a weird situation for him to be in, and not really the place for his type of humor.  There were parts that were just uncomfortable and would have been funny if he was doing a stand up show ABOUT the Oscars, but not so great AT the Oscars.  I mean, that whole “We saw your boobs” song?  I know that it was a joke, but minimizing the work of every woman in that room and reducing it to a prepubescent exclamation point was just disappointing.  I think he could have been funnier if he didn’t make everyone feel so awkward.

Also, WHY was Kristen Stewart there?  She looked like she had just gotten roughed up backstage! But some other highlights from the night; Meryl picked a wedgie on camera, Jennifer Lawrence tripped up the stairs, Adele NAILED it in her Skyfall performance, Babs sang, The Les Mis ensemble performance was brilliant, Renee Zellwegger was drunk on stage, The first lady announced the winner for Best Picture, there were some great things that happened last night.

But enough of all that, let’s get to the most important part, the fashion.

Best Dressed

Charlize Theron in Dior

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Kerry Washington in Miu Miu

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Amy Adams in Oscar De La Renta

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Zoe Saldana in Alexis Mabille Couture

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Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture

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Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji

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Jessica Chastain in Armani Prive

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Adele in Jenny Packham

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Worst Dressed

Helena Bonham Carter in Vivienne Westwood

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Jacki Weaver in Rana Salam

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Jennifer Hudson in Roberto Cavalli

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Anne Hathaway in Prada (so sad about this one)

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Halle Berry in Versace

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Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell- Avril Lavigne is really mad that this lady stole her look.

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Salma Hayek in Alexander McQueen

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Melissa McCarthy in David Meister

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What do you guys think?

 

I Made a Casserole Y’all!

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So if you read Monday’s post, you saw that I was planning on making a casserole and watching Beyonce all night on Monday night. Well the recipe I provided you was not very good or healthy looking. So when I went to make it, I made an entirely different kind of casserole. Paula Deen would be devastated at my audacity to call this a casserole, since it doesn’t have any “processed cheese product” , “butter” or “cream” anywhere in it. I swapped in quinoa instead of rice, used greek yogurt instead of cream cheese, you get the idea.

What I did make however, was a really tasty, healthy dish that is going to feed Matt and I for like a week. It is even relatively healthy with the extra protein from the quinoa and the greek yogurt. This would also be great for anyone out there with kids (since I pretty much stick to the pre-k diet, I would know) there are no onions or weird ingredients just good yummy “normal” food. Here is the recipe:

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Chicken, Broccoli and Quinoa Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth (if its the condensed kind then thats 3/4 cup of broth and 3/4 cup water)
  • 10 oz. can condensed Cream of Broccoli soup
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat Cheddar-Jack cheese mix, plus 1/2 cup for topping
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, cooked
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken ( I used a whole rotisserie chicken, makes everything easier)
  • parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs, for topping

Combine the quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 18-20 minutes, until quinoa is light and fluffy and liquid has been absorbed. Set aside to cool for a bit.
Preheat the oven to 400. Coat a casserole dish with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, combine the soup, yogurt, milk, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, sugar, and spices. Stir in the cooked quinoa, broccoli, and chicken.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with the reserved shredded cheese and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbly. Let cool slightly before serving

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This is the VOICE!

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Well Friends, this may be it.  Tonight I am going to karaoke with my co-workers and this could be really great or REALLY terrible (see above).  I should point out that there are ALOT of theater people at my place of work.  Many of them are members of the improv community or do shows outside of work.  Translation= they can actually sing.  Which would be really great except for the fact that I will be nowhere near their level.  Sure, after a few shots of Rumchata and a good pep talk, I might actually THINK in my head, that I actually sound exactly like Whitney Houston, but in reality, I do not sound anything like Whitney Houston. So I have compiled a list of songs that I think would be good for ME and possibly a group of other people to sing:

1.) Call me Maybe– Carly Rae Jensen.

2.) Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

3.) ABC- Jackson 5

4.) PYT– Michael Jackson

5.) I Wanna Dance With Somebody– Whitney Houston

6.)Rolling in the Deep– Adele

7.)Mercy – Duffy

8.)I will survive– Gloria Gaynor

9.) Respect – Aretha Franklin

10.) I’m Just a Girl – No Doubt

11.) Rehab – Amy Winehouse

12.) The Way you Make Me Feel– Michael Jackson

13.) Friends In Low Places– Garth Brooks

14.) Tainted Love – Soft Cell

15.) Before He Cheats – Carrie Underwood

What are your favorite Karaoke songs?

Bad Case of the Mondays…

rainbootsHappy Monday!  Today has already been a really weird day, beginning with a call from one of my girlfriends who is currently on Safari in Tanzania.  It’s not every day that you start with a voicemail saying “I am calling you while in the middle of the Serengeti Desert.  You should answer your phone”  THEN I was in the twilight zone when I got on a bus that was mislabeled as my everyday but that took me on a very strange ride to work.  Not to mention the 5 voicemails and 15 work emails I had to sort through the second I finally got to work today.  So here it is, a case of the Mondays, I know I am not the first person to get this kind of feeling.  However, I have put together 5 things that are helping me through this Monday Madness….

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Let’s start with these rain boots.   I had an amazing pair for the last 5 years until one fateful day, the entire lining ripped from the heel to the top of the boot.  It was time for new ones.  I found these babies at Macy’s.  They were part of the Presidents Day sale so I got a pretty sweet deal…  Either way, these are a good way to turn that frown upside down.

Buy them here for $90: Bootsi Tootsi, Buckle Riding Rain Boots

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Then after work, go home and watch this.  Beyonce’s documentary: Life Is But A Dream.  In case you have been living under a rock, this puppy was finally released out into the world on Saturday night.  It has gotten some serious praise and I think it is going to be interesting to get a glimpse into her life.  She has always been so intensely private and I think this was a brilliant move on her part.

Watch the trailer here: Life Is But A Dream

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After you watch Beyonce, then you can watch tonight’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to see all of the drama unfold at Kyle’s annual White Party.  Apparently Taylor gets extremely intoxicated and Adrienne Maloof makes herself look like an even bigger bully.    There really is nothing better than getting snuggled in to watch some trashy TV.

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While watching all of this fun stuff, I am going to have this Broccoli chicken and rice casserole cooking in the oven.  Today is a comfort food kind of day, and since I can’t have pasta, I had to think outside the box.  This recipe from Cooking Light seems to fit the bill.

Get the recipe here: Broccoli and rice casserole

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Finally to wrap things up, I am going to have a glass of wine.  I don’t know if you know this, but today is National Wine Day.  It’s true just Google it!  I got some good advice at a party this weekend.  I met Tanya and Flavio Gentile, the owners of the Printers Row Wine Shop. They were sort of the most fun couple ever, they had supplied all of the alcohol at a fabulous party that my cousin was throwing.  One of the girls asked me if I needed a drink and I said “sure any white wine that is NOT Chardonnay”  Of course she brought me a glass of Chardonnay.  Let me tell you now…. IT. WAS. AMAZING.  Flavio over heard me saying that I hated Chardonnay but loved the one at this party and he told me it was Rombauer Chardonnay.  HE called it “Cougar Juice” and that it is my friends.  It usually retails for about $35 a bottle (which is pretty steep in my book) however, I found it on Amazon for $25.

Get it here: Rombaurer Chardonnay

 

Roses are red, Wine is too, I’ll have a glass, how about you?

I love wine.  I do.  However, I don’t know a whole lot about it.  My husband and I went on an amazing wine tasting in Tuscany during our honeymoon, and that was really our first brush with wine awareness. Through the years I have always liked wine, but I was never very educated on it.  I still don’t really know what kinds of wine I really like. Pinot Noir? Cabernet Sauvignon? Chianti?  Pinot Grigio? Boxed wine? Screw Top?  It was all the same to me.  So I have started to listen to the BEST podcast ever.  It is called Wine for Normal People.  They have a great blog too.  It breaks it all down for you in simple terms while giving you really interesting information.  Seriously, I can’t say enough about this podcast.  But because of my budding interest in wine, I thought it would be fun to do a Valentine’s Day wine tasting for two last night.

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You could go in a lot of different directions with this.  You can do a tasting with several different varietals (one Pinot Noir, one Cabernet Sauvignon, one Merlot etc) OR you can do what we did and try three different brands of the same kind of wine.  We knew we liked Chianti Classico so we set out to try three different kinds.

Now there are a few interesting facts about regular Chianti vs. Chianti Classico.  First thing is, it is important to know that if you’re drinking Chianti, Sangiovese is the majority grape in that bottle.

Bottles simply labeled as “Chianti” are made from a mix grapes from several regions in the Chianti region. The main difference with generic Chianti and the rest, is that the minimum percentage of Sangiovese allowed is 75%, with the rules permitting white grapes to be blended in and at least 11.5% alcohol content.  Because of the white wine grapes being allowed to be mixed, it allows the wine to be more cost-effective for the winery.  It also produces a less exciting and more generic kind of wine which is why there is a distinction between the two.

The Chianti Classico region is central to the region of Chianti. In 1996 it was awarded DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) status, in an effort to raise its perceived quality. All Italian DOCG wines are actually tasted and analyzed in a lab in order to meet government approval.  If the wine passes, it will receive an individually numbered governmental seal across the cap or cork. (you can see in the photo the pink seal across the top) Chianti Classico’s are also the wines that you will see bearing a black rooster on the neck of the bottle. This is a conglomeration of Chianti producers whom have set up the Consorzio Chianti Classico, in a bid to improve the quality and reputation of the region.

The minimum percentage of Sangiovese allowed in Chianti Classico is 80%, with only red grapes permitted to make up the rest of the blend. Producers can of course choose to make their wine up to 100% Sangiovese, but it’s the exception and not the rule. The alcohol content must also be at least 12%, and the wine must spend at least 12 months aging in oak barrels.

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So what I did for our tasting is I stuck a number on each bottle, one through three.  And then each of us had three wine glasses with the numbers one through three.  We poured the “one” bottle into the “one”  glass, the “two” bottle into the “two” glass and so on.  Then we each tried all three and ranked the three in order of favorite to least favorite.  Then we shared our answers with each other.  Our favorite was bottle number one.  Castello Di Bossi Chianti Classico 2005.  We both noticed that it was the easiest to drink, especially with food and it smelled and tasted like black cherries.  It is probably the only time I have ever been able to correctly identify what a wine smells or tastes like.  The other two were good but very different from number one.  This was such a fun thing to do at home with dinner, it made for some pretty hilarious conversation as we were trying to figure out what they smelled and tasted like (have I mentioned we really know nothing about wine).  But it was a fun, easy activity to warm up a cold winter’s night.  This would also be a great dinner party activity.

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