Saturday, January 21, 2012

Red Tails... The Tuskegee Airmen


I love this movie. It could have been better. It could have had a much tighter script although there were some really fun lines. It could have had greater depth in the character development. There is some language and a small love scene where one of the actors is standing at the window with his girlfriend who is wearing a short silk nighty and it's made obvious they've been sleeping together. I say this right out because other than that, I think this a really great movie for kids, especially boys (although my girls loved it!) I really want to take all my nephews to see it. It is PG-13 mostly for war violence, but to me (I've seen a lot of war films) it's very minor stuff. This is NOT Band of Brothers. For example, one of the airmen is captured by the Germans which could be a terrifying scene.. it's not. They do make one of the German Pilots a very 2 dimensional stereotypical "bad guy" snarly, surly and racist of course.
There isn't a ton of depth written into any of the characters. This is a George Lucas Film so think Star Wars. But, it's a handsome group of very fine actors and they do a great job with it. The film is made to showcase just a few of the accomplishments of the AWESOME Tuskegee Airmen and it just makes you want to stand up and cheer. The special affects are really stunning to me. I would think all of the flying scenes have to be computer animation and they are amazing. If you have a 6-16 year old boy in your family.. you really might want to consider taking them to this in a theater with a NICE, BIG screen.
There are so many stories of courage like this in American History that could be told and should be told on the big screen.. Hats off to George Lucas for choosing this one! I hope it will be a huge hit for him.

Pioneer Woman's Flat Apple Pie...

(OK.. this isn't a very pretty picture, but it's a very delicious pie. It's almost the same size as an 11X17 jelly roll pan. But, it's not nearly big enough.. it's gone in 2 shakes!)

** NOTE I add a healthy helping of cinnamon to this recipe..

Video at KSL   I have to put this recipe here so it doesn't get lost.. It seems really important :)

Pioneer Woman's Flat Apple Pie
  • 5 peeled & sliced Granny Smith apples
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 recipe Perfect Pie Crust
  • 6 tbsp. butter

1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. 2. In a large bowl, stir together the apples, flour, lemon juice, granulated sugar, brown sugar and salt. Set aside.
3. Roll out two pie crusts into large circles. Place the circles on large baking sheets.
4. Place half the apple mixture on one crust and other half on the other crust.
5. Fold over the edge of each crust so that it covers 2-3 inches of the apple mixture. No need to be artistic - the more rustic the better.
6. Dot the tops of the pies with chunks of butter.
7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the filling is golden and bubbly. If the crust appears to brown too quickly, cover the edges with aluminum foil for the remaining baking time.
8. All to cool slightly, then slice into wedges with a pizza cutter. Eat ‘em on the go!
Variation: For extra sweetness, drizzle on jarred caramel topping after removing the pie from the oven.
(makes 2 pies)
Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pie Crust
  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ c. vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tbsp. cold water
  • 1 tbsp. distilled white vinegar

1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. 2. Add in the shortening. Using a pastry cutter, gradually work the shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles. This should take 3-4 minutes.
3. Lightly beat the egg with a fork, then add it to the mixture. Next, add the cold water and vinegar.
4. Stir the mixture together until it's just combined, then remove half the dough from the bowl.
5. Place in a large plastic bag (do not seal) and slightly flatten with a rolling pin. After flattening, seal the bag tightly. Freeze. (Repeat to freeze second half.)
6. When you're ready to use a crust, remove one from the freezer and allow it to sit on the counter to thaw slightly, about 20 minutes. Remove from the bag and place on a lightly floured surface.
7. With a rolling pin, begin rolling the dough from the center, outward. Be gentle and patient; it'll take a little time to get the dough completely rolled out.
8. If you think the bottom is really sticking to the surface below, use a nice, sharp spatula to loosen it and sprinkle some extra flour on top.
9. Flip it over to finish rolling. Remember to roll from the center in single, outward strokes; no back-and-forth rolling.
10. Again with spatula, loosen and lift the pie crust and carefully lay it over a pie pan. Using your hand, lightly form the crust so that it fits inside the pan and overlaps the edges.
11. Tuck excess dough under itself above the rim.
12. Apply decorative effects to the edge.
13. Fill with filling and bake according to pie recipe's directions. For a pre-baked crust, fill with weights (or pinto beans placed on aluminum foil) and bake at 400-degrees for 10 minutes, or until golden.
(makes two to three 9-inch pie crusts)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Homemade Tub & Shower Cleaner...

I used 6 oz of soap and 6 oz of vinegar. And frankly, it stinks to high heaven.. But, it also works far better than anything else I've ever used. And, I've used them all. Next time I might try Lemon Joy.. just because I like the smell better. Hopefully it comes in a non-Antibacterial because I don't like putting those soaps down the drain. But, this stuff is almost scrub free. There was a little left after I sprayed the showers and tubs.. so I went back to the master shower, added some warm water to the spray bottle and sprayed down the glass door. The verdict is still out. I love cheap, easy solutions like this. Try it!


March Bride...

Custom Wedding Cake Toppers from: