Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The King's Speech (2010)

A while back I took a "quiz" on Facebook to determine how many of the top 250 movies of all time. I had actually seen. I scored 100 out of the 250 movies that were listed. If I was unsure about seeing a movie I didn't check it off so my score could possibly be much higher.

And then I started thinking that perhaps instead of binge watching old TV series I should binge watch movies. I decided just to take on the top 100 movies for a starter. Now I'm very sure I am going to agree with quite a few of the entries on this list but I already know I'm going to argue about a few as well.

So here is #43 of the top 100 Movies of all time according to IMDB:

The King's Speech (2010)

I saw this movie in the theatre and LOVED it.  



Of course, it helps that I absolutely love Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter.  It was so interesting watching Carter play a straight part.  I`m used to her more quirky roles like in Sweeney Todd and Les Miserables.

This was the first time I had seen a movie with Geoffrey Rush l . . . or so I thought.  I realized when I was looking through his filmography on IMDB that I have actually seen him in quite a few movies . . . including personal favourites-- The Banger Sisters and Shakespeare in Love.

This movie is the story of King George VI and the speech therapist who helps him overcome a speech impediment that keeps the king from feeling he succeed.

It is an excellent movie and I have watched it several times already.



Academy Awards, USA 2011

Won
Oscar
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Iain Canning
Emile Sherman
Gareth Unwin 
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Colin Firth 
Best Achievement in Directing
Tom Hooper 
Best Writing, Original Screenplay
David Seidler 
Nominated
Oscar
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Geoffrey Rush 
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Helena Bonham Carter 
Best Achievement in Cinematography
Danny Cohen 
Best Achievement in Film Editing
Tariq Anwar 
Best Achievement in Costume Design
Jenny Beavan 
Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Alexandre Desplat 
Best Achievement in Sound Mixing
Paul Hamblin
Martin Jensen
John Midgley 
Best Achievement in Art Direction
Eve Stewart (production designer)
Judy Farr (set decorator) 

Sweet

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2014

One Word Wednesday: Sweet

Sweet.




I love sweets.  Chocolate.  Cheesecake.  Fruit.  Ice Cream.  But it doesn't take much for a sugar overload.  

I don't usually crave sweets.  Just once in a while or when they are right in front of me.

We were at a bookstore in Williamsford ON on the weekend and I ate the most beautiful butter tart I think I've ever had in my entire life.


Tomato and Endive Salad with Tuna

The only thing I have changed in this recipe is that I use balsamic dressing.

Tomato and Endive Salad with Tuna


Curly endive, tomatoes and tuna with a mustard-garlic vinaigrette.
2 servings
Preparation 10 min 
Cooking 5 min
370 calories per serving 

Ingredients

1 3/4 cupcurly endive, torn 70 g
1tomatoes, cut into wedges or slices120 g
2 tbspolive oil 30 mL
1 clovegarlic, minced 
1/2 tbspwine vinegar 8 mL
1 tspDijon mustard5 mL
1 pinchsalt [optional] 0.1 g
 ground pepper to taste  
170 gtuna, canned 
6black olives 2 1/2 tbsp
60 gfeta cheese, diced 

Method

  1. Tear the lettuce leaves into bite-size pieces and put them in a salad bowl. Cut the tomatoes into wedges or slices, then add them to the bowl.
  2. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Mince the garlic and add it to the pan. Cook 1 min, withstirring, then pour in the vinegar and mustard. Warm through and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad, then add the tuna, olives, and Feta cheese. Toss well and serve.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

To Do

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2014

Today's Writing Prompt: To-Do

What's on your To-Do list for today?



Many of you have probably heard me talk about my Dreaded To Do List.  I often mention this list in Facebook statuses and here on my blog.  This post may be the very first time I've explained my list.

Right now in the real world it is September 29, 2015.  In my world, according to my to do list, it is November 25, 2014.  I am working away at a mad pace to catch back up but some days it just doesn't happen.

Recipe - Chinese-Style Beef with Snow Peas

Recipe - Chinese-Style Beef with Snow Peas

Chinese-Style Beef with Snow Peas


2 servings
Marinade 1 h 
Preparation 10 min
 
Cooking 20 min
370 calories per serving 

Ingredients

200 gbeef strip loin, or rib eye , cut into 1 cm strips 
2 tbspsoy sauce, low-sodium 30 mL
2 tbspsherry [optional] 30 mL
2 tbspcornstarch 16 g
2 tspsugar8 g
4 slicesgingerroot, cut into thin slices6 g
1onions, coarsely chopped200 g
1green peppers, cut into thin strips150 g
2 clovesgarlic, minced or pressed 
1 cupsnow peas 100 g
3 tbspcanola oil45 mL
1 pinchsalt [optional] 0.1 g
 ground pepper to taste  

Before you start

You will need a wok or frying pan.

Put the serving dish in the oven at the lowest setting to keep the vegetables warm while the meat cooks.

Method

  1. Slice the meat into strips ½ to 1 cm wide and about 5 cm long. Mix with the soy sauce, sherry (optional), cornstarch, sugar, and 2-3 slices of ginger. Chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting.
  3. Prepare the vegetables. Coarsely chop the onion, thinly slice the pepper, and mince or press the garlic. Keep the snow peas whole. Cut 2-3 more slices of ginger.
  4. Heat ½ to 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying-pan or wok. Add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper, cook 2-3 min until they start to soften, then set aside on the warmed serving plate in the oven.
  5. Turn up the heat and add ½ to 1 tablespoon of oil. First add some salt, then immediately add the snow peas.Stir constantly for 2-3 min since they cook very quickly (the colour should stay dark green). Put the snow peas on the plate with the other vegetables. Keep the plate warm.
  6. In the same wok, add the remaining oil and the marinated meat. Reserve the remaining marinade. Stir constantly over medium heat 5-7 min until the meat is almost cooked. Put the vegetables back into the wok, add the new slices of ginger plus the reserved marinade. Cook another 2 min. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Decorations

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2014

Today's Writing Prompt: Decorations

Describe the worst, tackiest, ugliest holiday decoration you've ever seen.



I wish I had an actual photo to share of my neighbours' yard at Christmas.  Oh. My. Goodness.  It is soooooooo tacky that I absolutely love it.  There are so many inflatables and lights and every year the display grows larger.  The superintendants, and probably the property manager and owners, goes crazy because they hate the display and get mad about the hydro use.  Their hands are tied because there is nothing in our lease to prevent this display from continuing . . . 

except . . . 

. . . there is a clause about how much space can be used so they compacted the display into a smaller space last year which made it looker even worse/better . . . LOL.

Black Silk by Judith Ivory


Black Silk is the story of a young girl married to an elderly marquess.  Believe it or not she does love him and when he dies she is truly bereft.  But as much as she loved her Henry, that's how much Henry's ward Graham didn't.  And yet the sparks fly between the angry Graham and the bereft Submit.

My first problem with this book is that I absolutely hate the name Submit.  That is not a name I would use for a sex-in-long-skirts book like this.  It's just not right.

Second, the whole premise of the book is annoying and difficult.

Third, why . . . oh . . . why . . . couldn't I stop reading it until the last page?

But I really don't like her name . . . 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Six Word Saturday . . . It's Monday . . .

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2014

Six Word Saturday

Describe your life or current situation using exactly six words.


Why is housework a never-ending chore?

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

A while back I took a "quiz" on Facebook to determine how many of the top 250 movies of all time. I had actually seen. I scored 100 out of the 250 movies that were listed. If I was unsure about seeing a movie I didn't check it off so my score could possibly be much higher.

And then I started thinking that perhaps instead of binge watching old TV series I should binge watch movies. I decided just to take on the top 100 movies for a starter. Now I'm very sure I am going to agree with quite a few of the entries on this list but I already know I'm going to argue about a few as well.

So here is #38 of the top 100 Movies of all time according to IMDB:

To Kill a Mockingbird(1962)

This is a great movie.  Gregory Peck did a fantastic job of portraying Atticus Finch, a southern lawyer, who is raising his children and trying to live an honourable life.  The movie begins sharing the idyllic life in the south of gentility and kindness.  When Atticus must defend an innocent black man who has been accused of raping a white woman, the lawyer and his family begin to feel the ugliness and hate that lay beneath the veneer of southern gentility. 

Based on a book by the same name, this movie does a decent job of representing the author's intent.  As my grandson commented, after reluctantly reading the book for school and then watching the movie with me, the book is better than the movie.  But that's pretty normal, isn't it?





Academy Awards, USA 1963

Won
Oscar
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Gregory Peck 
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Horton Foote
Horton Foote was not present at the awards ceremony. Alan J. Pakula, the film's producer, accepted ... More
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White
Alexander Golitzen
Henry Bumstead
Oliver Emert 
Nominated
Oscar
Best Picture
Alan J. Pakula 
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Mary Badham 
Best Director
Robert Mulligan 
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
Russell Harlan 
Best Music, Score - Substantially Original
Elmer Bernstein 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Awkward

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2014

Today's Writing Prompt: Awkward

I had a really awkward moment with someone this week.  Today, especially with Thanksgiving and family holidays coming up, tell me about any awkward encounters of your own.



My biggest social faux pas is that I cannot remember names.  I remember faces . . . usually.  But not names.  

The dumbest flub is that I have 3 friends -- Krystel, Krista, Kristle -- and I am always calling them by the wrong names.  What is wrong with my brain?

Hubby and I have a deal.  If we are in public and I stop and chat with someone but don't introduce the person to him then chances are I can't remember the name.  Later we will put our heads together and invariably remember the name . . . too late.

This can cause some very awkward moments.

Gone with the Wind (1939)

A while back I took a "quiz" on Facebook to determine how many of the top 250 movies of all time. I had actually seen. I scored 100 out of the 250 movies that were listed. If I was unsure about seeing a movie I didn't check it off so my score could possibly be much higher.

And then I started thinking that perhaps instead of binge watching old TV series I should binge watch movies. I decided just to take on the top 100 movies for a starter. Now I'm very sure I am going to agree with quite a few of the entries on this list but I already know I'm going to argue about a few as well.

So here is #35 of the top 100 Movies of all time according to IMDB:

Gone with the Wind (1939)

1939 was a great year for movies apparently.  And Gone with the Wind is up there on the list of my all time favourite movies.  



I have absolutely no idea how often I have watched this story of a spoiled rich Southern belle who comes of age during the Civil War and the Reconstruction that follows . . . finding everything, losing everything and becoming a strong women who conquers those difficult times.

The cinematography of this movie is astonishing and beautiful and awesome.



Academy Awards, USA 1940

Won
Honorary Award
William Cameron Menzies
For outstanding achievement in the use of color for the enhancement of dramatic mood in the ... More
Won
Oscar
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Vivien Leigh 
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Hattie McDaniel
Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to be nominated for and win an Oscar.
Best Director
Victor Fleming 
Best Writing, Screenplay
Sidney Howard
Posthumously. Sidney Howard became the first posthumous Oscar nominee and winner.
Best Cinematography, Color
Ernest Haller
Ray Rennahan 
Best Art Direction
Lyle R. Wheeler 
Best Film Editing
Hal C. Kern
James E. Newcom 
Best Picture
Selznick International Pictures
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
David O. Selznick was the founder and owner of Selznick International Pictures, and therefore won ... More
Won
Technical Achievement Award
R.D. Musgrave
For pioneering in the use of coordinated equipment in the production Gone with the Wind.
Nominated
Oscar
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Clark Gable 
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Olivia de Havilland 
Best Sound, Recording
Thomas T. Moulton (Samuel Goldwyn SSD) 
Best Effects, Special Effects
Jack Cosgrove (photographic)
Fred Albin (sound)
Arthur Johns (sound) 
Best Music, Original Score
Max Steiner 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Your Week

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2014

Today's Writing Prompt: Your Week

How's your week going so far?


My week has had some great moments . . . especially our trip to Kingston.  But its been a kind of yucky week as well.  I'm sure I probably overdid it on the weekend because I've hardly accomplished a thing since.  My house is rapidly becoming a disaster and I've not made much of a dent in any of my projects.  I think I may just go with this feeling and continue to take it easy until this feeling passes.

Squash and Leek Soup and Thank You SOSCUISINE

For quite a while I have been subscribed to a menu planning service called Soscuisine.  It costs less than $10 a month and they do all the work for you . . . except for the actual cooking.  They focus on fresh, locally foods where possible.  They count the calories and the carbs and whatever else you need them to count.  This service even produces your weekly shopping list for you.  I can't rave about it enough.  Check it out.

Today's lunch menu was for Squash and Leek Soup, an egg salad wrap and a glass of milk.  The soup tasted even better than it smelled . . . and it smelled pretty great . . . 

Squash and Leek Soup [L.S.]


4 servings
Preparation 10 min 
Cooking 1 h 10 min
110 calories per serving 

Ingredients

1/2butternut squash500 g
2 tspcanola oil, to toast the seeds10 mL
1leeks, white and light green parts only 300 g
1 clovegarlic, minced 
1 tbspbutter, unsalted14 g
3 cupschicken broth, low-sodium750 mL
1 pinchsalt [optional] 0.1 g
 ground pepper to taste  

Before you start

blender or food processor will be very useful to purée the soup.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove but keep the seeds. Place the halves on a baking sheet, cut side down. Bake about 45-50 min until soft. Alternatively, cook each halve separately in a microwave oven: Place each halve in a bowl, partially covered, then cook at high intensity about 8 min for each halve. Let the halves cool down, carve out the pulp and dice it into 1,5 cm cubes. Set the cubes aside.
  3. Clean the seeds by removing the threads, dry them with a paper towel and place them on a baking sheet. Add the oil and salt, mix well and bake until golden, about 20 min, with occasional stirring.
  4. In the meantime, prepare the leek. Keep the white and light green parts only, then slice them thin. Mince the garlic.
  5. Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat. Sauté the leek and garlic 4-5 min until translucent. Add the squash cubes and cook 2-3 min with stirring. Add the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmerabout 20 min uncovered. Purée the soup in a blenderAdjust the seasoning.
  6. Pour the soup into serving bowls, add the baked seeds and serve.

Remarks

The soup keeps up to 7 days in the refrigerator or up to 4 months in the freezer. The baked seeds will keep up to 3 weeks at room temperature.

Recipe - Squash and Leek Soup [L.S.]

Top Movies of All Time according to IMDB ~ #17 Goodfellas (1990)

Apparently I love gangster movies.  Of course this another one that was shot back in the day when we didn't have to see all the gory...