When it comes to cooking, I try not to use much or any oil, but if I do, it’s generally olive oil and light oil at that. I’m not a fan of olive oil that has a heavy flavor. I almost find it annoying and it can ruin the flavor of my meal. My darling daughter did bring me a bottle of Cave de Fayence’s Huile d’Olive Vierge Extra Fancy when she was in France and I did like that. It was the Fruitee variety and didn’t have a strong taste.
I didn’t grow up using olive oil, it wasn’t one of the ten things I could buy at our local grocery store, but since I’m a huge Rachael Ray cook, I’ve been using it more often. Rach (kind of like Cher, Bette, Barbra), calls it EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), which annoys some people, but not me. It does work well for anything you’re cooking that doesn’t require really high heat. Tomorrow, I’m using it to make a nectarine and basil caprese salad, a take on one of the little man’s favorites. Speaking of my other half, he makes popcorn the old-fashioned way and often uses olive oil instead of canola oil. I’m going to try to switch him to coconut oil, so wish me luck! I think it would work well and give him some added health benefits.
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this movie in my life, but more than 50. It’s one of my all time favorite films, because I like the characters, the quips, the music, and even the scary witch. As a child, when they re-released this movie into theaters, I was scared and started to cry. I wanted mom to take me home. That witch was about the most frightening person I had ever seen and the personification of the scariest witch I could ever conjure up in my head. She was so frightening in the film, many of her scenes had to be edited out!
There has been a lot written about this film, including the fact the Dorothy was supposed to be played by Shirley Temple. I can’t imagine her in that role.
- Jell-O crystals covered the horse when it became a horse of a different color.
- When Judy Garland couldn’t stop laughing during the bit where she slaps the Cowardly Lion, she was slapped by director Victor Fleming and then finished the scene in one take.
- Margaret Hamilton’s make-up was somewhat toxic, so she was on a liquid diet during the film, apparently taken through a straw.
- It’s been said that a munchkin or crew member hung himself during filming. No one is hanging in the background. If you look closely, you’ll see it’s a African Crowned Crane.
My favorite line in the film is when the Lion and Tin Man are climbing the rock cliff and the Tin Man is using the Lion’s tail as a rope. The Lion says, “I-I-I hope my strength holds out.” The Tin Man replies, “I hope your tail holds out.” That cracks me up every time I hear it. I also love, “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” With those long, green fingers, and pointy chin, that witch could cast a spell right through the TV.
By now, I should know allll the dialogue by heart. That movie just never grows old for me. I bought the anniversary DVD when it turned 70, so I can watch it whenever I wish. I can’t think of another movie that I have watched so often. If I come across it on TV, I will even park my butt and watch it again. I have a friend who hates this film, but perhaps if he watched it as an adult, he might enjoy it.
Who is my favorite character? Ray Bolger. The way he danced and moved with his limber limbs is amazing. There are a few other actors who had ‘rubber legs’ including Buddy Ebsen, who was supposed to play the Tin Man, but did get ill from the silver paint and had to be replaced by Jack Haley. I do wish I could imitate Billie Burke’s voice…has to be one of the most unusual in the business.
As the mother of a makeup artist, I have to give kudos to the makeup artists on this film. The makeup and costumes added so much to this film, especially in color. And NO, please don’t remake this film! It was perfect and I don’t want to see it ruined by a cheap imitation!
When I was younger, I hated “Over the Rainbow.” I can listen to it now and appreciate the way Judy sang it, but it used to give me the creeps.
I haven’t seen the latest Oz movie, but I will watch it when it comes out on HBO.
As a kid growing up in a tiny (population 200) town, there were no Italian restaurants. Actually, there were only about 4 restaurants and none of them served much more than hamburgers and fries. Back then, not coming from an Italian family, our only option for spaghetti was Chef Boy-ar-dee in a box. We actually thought it was pretty nifty…the package contained a box of spaghetti, a can of sauce, and a small tin of parmesan cheese. We LOVED it. I don’t even think you could find spaghetti at our grocery store, unless it was Chef Boy-ar-dee. At about 50 cents a serving, it was a reasonably priced meal and suited the whole family.
Would I eat Chef Boy-ar-dee today? Probably. But, you can’t find it anymore. So, what’s a spaghetti lover to do? Yes, I could make my own sauce, but I’m not that much of a cook. I have tried lots of sauces on the market, Barilla (they make my favorite pasta), Prego, Emeril’s, and just about everything else on the grocer’s shelves. But, the bottom line? Give me Ragu. I like the chunky varieties the best, like Garden Combination and Mushroom and Green Pepper, but I will even eat the plain style, which is the little man’s favorite. He’s not a fan of fancy anything.
If you like spaghetti, you might try this recipe for a change. It’s simple and I can’t think of anyone I know who doesn’t like it. It’s one of my favorites.
9-12 lasagna noodles
1 16 oz. carton of small curd cottage cheese or ricotta
3/4 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper
1 pound ground beef (you can use turkey or a combination with Italian sausage)
1 large and 1 small jar of Ragu
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
Cook lasagna noodles in a large pot with a teaspoon of olive oil or vegetable oil; until al dente. The oil will help keep the noodles from sticking.
In a skillet, brown ground meat. Drain excess fat. Stir in 1 large jar and 1 small jar of Ragu, your choice of style.
In a small bowl, blend together cottage cheese (you can use ricotta, but I wouldn’t) and 1 egg. Add 3/4 teaspoon of dried oregano, a dash of salt and pepper. Blend together with a spoon.
In a 9×13″ pan, spoon about 1/4 cup of the sauce mixture and spread it around, just to keep the noodles from sticking. Lay 3-4 noodles across. Spoon about 1/3 of sauce mixture over noodles. Add 1/3 of cottage cheese mixture by dropping spoonfuls and spreading them out a bit. Top with 1/3 of the mozzarella, sprinkled evenly. Repeat two more times. Sprinkle grated parmesan over the top and bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, until heated through. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Check out Ragu’s website for some of their recipes.
I’ve been a fan of Hallmark since I was a teen. It’s one of those stores that I can wander about for quite a while, looking at cards, wrapping supplies, stationery, gifts, and more. Some stores are better than others, but I have two decent ones near me. The variety of what you can buy is amazing.
There are no real gift shops near me. I find it odd, but I can really only think of one. So, when I need a gift for someone, I generally shop online. But, I check Hallmark first. My stores carry purses, watches (it’s less expensive to buy a $8 watch, than a new battery for an existing one), jewelry, photo albums (does anyone use them anymore?), figurines, baby gifts, fancy glassware, Melissa and Doug toys, puzzles, outdoor accessories, candles, ornaments, and of course, greeting cards. Last year at the holidays, I found some neat stocking stuffers, like a beverage cap opener, a mini-measuring cup for tablespoon amounts, and colorful socks. Yes, at a Hallmark store. It was convenient, since I was already there for wrapping paper and ornaments.
Since my children were born, I’ve been buying them a new ornament each year. I thought it would be a good way to commemorate each year of their life and build a collection for their own Christmas trees when they got to that point. Hmmm, do either of my adult children actually put these ornaments on a tree? I’ll let you take a guess. I started collecting the Nostalgic Houses and Shops for my daughter and the Classic Cars for my son. I have missed a few years…including the first car in that series. Ooops. I keep waiting for them to retire both series. The houses started in 1984 and the cars in 1991. I started collecting the Jack-in-the-Box series for myself, but they discontinued that. Of course. I will start a First in a Series collection this year for my newest grandson, if they have something I like.
One thing that Hallmark has been giving away for free, ever since I can remember, are little pocket calendars. I pick one up every year for a co-worker who likes the size. Going to a Hallmark store evokes memories of my youth, when I used to spend a lot of time coveting stationery, since back then, we wrote letters and notes. And we sent a lot of greeting cards. I think it’s sad that handwriting is going by the wayside. A personal note that arrives in your mailbox is so much better than junk mail or bills.
If you frequent your local Hallmark, get a Gold Crown card. You can earn points and get money toward whatever they sell. I LOVE getting money back! The little man just shakes his head. He just doesn’t understand a bargain!
They do offer online greetings, too. You may also check out one of my other favorite places to buy stationery, wrapping paper, etc. – Current.
Okay, so this isn’t reallllly something I like doing, but it has to be done. The little man and I were talking about it the other day, because it’s spring and the outsides of the glass are looking pretty, pretty, pretty dingy. What I have learned over the years is that the best window washing fluid isn’t on the market, but it can easily be made from kitchen ingredients.
Years ago, when my darling daughter did window washing as a summer job, she brought home the secret to streak-free, clean windows. In one gallon of water, add 1/2 cup of vinegar and a few drops of Joy dish liquid. That’s it. Simple, low-cost, and sooooo much better than bottled sprays. Even my beloved Method brand’s glass cleaner doesn’t work as well as this. Window washers use a wool or other material soak and a squeegee, but for me, a washcloth to apply the solution and a lint-free towel to dry works best.
Before I ever hit the road on a trip, this is the first place I go to see what’s available in the area. Trip Advisor is a great source for restaurants, lodging, places to see, etc. Reviews are posted by people (like me) that give you insider information as a way to help you make better decisions about spending your hard-earned money. Plus, you may find some cool places to see that you didn’t even know existed!
Taking a trip in days gone by meant using a travel agent or service like AAA or Amoco Motor Club, but if you let your subscription lapse (I’m not mentioning any names here), one often resorted to using telephone books, advertising pages in magazines or books as travel guides. Even with best intentions, you mostly likely had no clue what the hotel on E. 15th Street looked like, whether or not it was up to your standards, or even if a train ran through its backyard. Internet has changed the way we see the world. Now, you can easily find information on just about any place on earth. You can even do aerial or street views of places to check out the locale. To enhance the wonders of the WWW, Trip Advisor can really help make the experience better.
What will you find on the website? It’s a giant network of fellow travelers helping each other enjoy the world. Search for a place, restaurant, hotel, bed and breakfast, museum, etc., and read all about it. You’ll see what others say about location, cleanliness, food quality, and whether or not it’s really worth driving one hour out of your way to view the largest anthill in America. You can even create a Trip Advisor account and add your own two cents about the places you visit around the world or in your own backyard. Do enough reviews and earn little thank you gifts!
Look for the Trip Advisor decal at places you frequent, which shows that someone has said something nice about them! Get out there and explore your world and share what you find!