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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Davy Jones

I got an e-mail today from friends telling me that Davy Jones had died of a heart attack at 66 - at first I thought "please let this be one of those false twitter things" but it wasn't - I had some tears fall - I love the Monkees so much!  It is really hard to believe that Davy is gone.

I'm SO LUCKY that I got to see the Monkees in Concert last June, especially since not too long after I saw them, the rest of the shows were cancelled (never did find out why but they said it was business reasons).  As you can see from my BLOG POST about the concert, one of the hightlights for me was when Davy sang "Daddy's Song" (from the movie Head) - he was dressed in white tux and tails and on the screen behind him, they showed the clip from Head.  He danced right along with it (he still had it !).  One of my fave parts of the show.

So... in tribute to Davy, here is that clip from Head... Daddy's Song
God Bless You Davy Jones - thank you for the music, thank you for the memories





I also found this video - taken at the Monkees concert last July - a few weeks after I saw them.

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Photo Challenge - Final Photos

I've enjoyed doing the photo challenge posted by FatMumSlim.  Here are my last 2 photos for the month.  While I enjoyed the challenge, I've decided that a month is enough.  I am going back to my normal photo a day picture taking (which I post on Shuttercal) but I'm glad I did a challenge and actually stuck with it the entire month !  If you are interested in doing a challenge, she has her March challenge already posted.

February 28 - Money
My BIG Winnings in Las Vegas

February 29 - Something You Are Listening To
Monkee's Box Set - Volume 1



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Monday, February 27, 2012

February Photo Challenge - Serendipity

Today's photo challenge is "something you ate" - so . . .  here is a photo of the Frrrrozen Hot Chocolate that I ate at Serendipity in Las Vegas last week.
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

February Photo Challenge

I've been out out of town so haven't been able to update with my daily photo challenge, but I have been taking them - here are some from the past couple of week

Feb 15 - Phone
My phone with GPS, showing my location - yeah, baby !

 16 - Something New
Our "GO" room at the Flamingo

 Feb 17 - Time
Photo take at almost the same time at Hoover Dam - 2 different time zones

 Feb 18 - Drink
Our favorite ! Strawberry Margarita at Margaritaville

Feb 19 - Something You Hate To Do
2 Things I hate to do - go through Airline Security and leave Las Vegas

 Feb 20 - Handwriting
Donny Osmond's Autograph 

Feb 21 - A Fave Photo of You
Me and Donny

 Feb 22 - Where You Work

 Feb 23 - Your Shoes

 Feb 24 - Inside Your Bathroom Cabinet
(for fun !)

 Feb 25 - Green

 Feb 26 - Night
Bellagio Fountains

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

2012 Best Picture Nominations - I saw them !!

I've mentioned before that I have a quest each year to try to see all the Best Picture Academy Awards nominations.  Most of the time there is a movie or two that isn't for me (such as last years 127 Hours, I just don't think I would watch that) but this year, I actually wanted to see all the movies (except for Tree of Life, which I never heard of before it was nominated).

By the time the nominations came out, I had already seen 4 of the movies so I was DETERMINED to see them all this year. Well.... I did it !!!!  I have seen all the best picture nominations for 2012.

Here they are in the order that I liked them.

The Artist 
  • Black and white silent film that is a love story.  It takes place during the silent film era just as they are turning into "talkies" - a big silent star meets an up and coming actress. He is in a love-less marriage, she is smitten with him.  Time moves along and he doesn't move into the talkies, she becomes a big star, their paths cross from time-to-time.  In the end, it all works out and we find out why he wasn't able to transition to the talkies very well.  It is amazing how you could follow the movie without any dialog (only once or twice did they put the words up to tell you what was said) - the actors reveled so much with their expressions and movement.  I really hope this wins Best Picture. I also think that Jean Dujardin should win for Best Actor. I also think they should win for Best Costume Design.
The Help
  • I read this book a couple of years ago and was so excited when I found out they were making into a movie.  I loved the book so much.  Normally the movie can't hold a candle to the book but not this time - the movie was GREAT and stuck so much to the book - there were a few little minor differences but I thought it was one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I've ever seen.  It takes place in the early 1960s and is about a recent white southern college grad who wants to be a writer and comes up with the idea (after seeing the way her "friends" treat their black housekeepers) to write a book from the helps point of view - she first enlist Aibileen, her very snobbish, racist friend, Hilly's maid to help her, eventually she gets others to join, including very outspoken Minnie.  It is a wonderful story.  I can't believe I am saying this (because I love, love, love Meryl Streep and I WANT her to win Best Actress and think she should win everything she is nominated for) but I think that Viola Davis will win.  She was not exactly who I envisioned when I read the book (I pictured someone a little older and a little heavier) but she did such an amazing job (as she always does) and she really deserves to win this.  I also hope that Octavia Spencer wins best Supporting ActressJessica Chastain is also up for Best Supporting Actress and her portrayal of Celia was perfect but I just think that Octavia should win.
War Horse
  • I wanted to see this movie but was a bit apprehensive.  I cannot stand to see a movie with animals in peril and figured that would happen and as predicted, it did but... it was mostly only one major scene and he turned out okay so I made it through.  I wasn't expecting to like this movie as much as I did but I really, really liked it.  It is a classic epic from Steven Spielberg - beautifully told.  Originally a play, it is about a boy and his horse - the horse is sold to the army because the family needs the money.  The boy is devastated of course but vows they will somehow be reunited.  You see all the different lives the horse touches as he goes through WW I - the life of a British soldier who promised to care for him and return him if he could, the life of a sick French girl and her grandfather, the lives of 2 young teenage German soldiers, the life of an army horse care-taker and many, many more.  Eventually the boy becomes old enough to join the army, he looses his sight temporarily (gas explosion) but when he hears of a horse nearby he just knows it is his beloved Joey.  Very nice feel-good movie and exactly what I have come to expect in a Steven Spielberg film.  I would love to see it win for Best Cinematography but I bet that award will go to Hugo or Tree of Life.
Hugo
  •  When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I could hardly wait for its release - it looked so visual (which it is) and I saw it in 3D and this movie was really meant for 3D.  Directed by Martin Scorsese, who I hope wins Best Director, it is about a young boy who is  raised by his dad who is quite inventive.  They come across a automaton (a robotic man who can write) - the father passes away and the boy eventually comes to live alone in a Paris railway station taking care of all the clocks.  He meets a man who runs a toy shop - they don't get along at first but the man eventually comes around and lets Hugo work there to work off some debt.  Hugo is determined to get the automaton to work because he thinks his dad left him a secret message.  He needs a special heart shaped key for the final step.  He discovers through their friendship that the toy-shop's grand-daughter happens to have this key - they don't know why or how but she does and they get it to work.  It doesn't write though - it draws lots and lots of drawings.  They can't make sense of it all but (long-story short) they eventually find out that the automaton use to belong to the girl's grandfather, the toy shop owner, who was a major silent film star and director.  He has lots of bad memories from that time (when the talkies took over) and wanted to forget but eventually they all remind him that it is something to treasure, not forget.  Beautifully acted and visually stunning, it is a heart-warming story. I would also like to see this movie win for either Costume Design or Cinematography. Perhaps they may also win for best Visual Effects.
Midnight in Paris
  •  Directed by but not starring Woody Allen, who I expect to win for Best Screenplay.  It is about a man, who is a writer and is engaged.  His is in Paris with his bride-to-be and future in-laws.  He is a Hollywood screenwriter who is working on his first novel and seeing inspiration.  He falls in love with Paris and wants to move there but his fiance has no desire to do that.  He thinks it is romantic there and wishes he lived there during the 1920s.  He drinks a bit too much one night, goes for a walk and while sitting on some steps, the clock strikes midnight, an old car pulls up, he gets in and they drive into the 1920s, where he meets F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald, Earnest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Gertrude Stein and other famous writers and artist.  He also meets the lovely Adriana and falls for her.  However, it is only for the night - the day time he is back in the present, where he meets Gabrielle, who runs a nostalgic shop and likes Cole Porter (which Gil does too).  The city is beautiful, the music is romantic and it is a very good movie.  Owen Wilson was so charming in this movie, but wasn't nominated for anything.
 The Descendants
  • Starring the very talented, very handsome George Clooney, who I'd be very happy to see win Best Actor (although I think Jean Dujardin should win, I also think Clooney should too - such a pity there can't be a tie).  It is about a man, who has 2 teen daughters.  His wife is in a boating accident and left in a coma and told there is no chance of recovery so they remove her from life support and are basically waiting for her to pass.  In the meantime, he finds out that his wife had been having an affair (something the oldest daughter discovered a few months before the accident).  They go on a quest to find the man she was seeing and eventually find him.  The movie is also about his relationship with his daughters and how they will cope after his wife dies.  It was a good movie, not really sad but kind of depressing at times but also funny at times.  I really liked the it.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 
  •  About a 9 year old boy whose father died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.  Very sad as you can imagine.  He and his father use to play a game where his dad would leave a clue for him to find.  He finds a key in a blue vase after his father dies and is convinced that this key will lead to a message from his dear departed dad (played briefly by Tom Hanks).  Oskar is a special child to begin with, a bit different than the average child but his father's death and his quest to find out what this key fits makes him a bit more unstable.  The key is in an envelope with a last name of "Black" on it so he looks up every "Black" in the New York phone book and goes to visit them.  One of the people he meets is played by Viola Davis (a small part but she plays it well as usual), he meets other people with the last name of Black along the way and they are understanding and kind but can't help him.  Eventually, it turns out that Viola Davis' character does know something about the key - it belongs to her soon-to-be ex-husband, it was his father's and he had sold the vase to Oskar's dad in an estate sale, not knowing the key was in the vase.  The movie is mostly about learning to cope and work through grief.  Although the key held no message from his dad, he did eventually get a message from him.  I thought the movie was good but was a bit long and there were some scenes (one in particular where the boy was basically recapping the whole movie up to that point to his grandfather) that seemed to go on for-ever!  I wanted to shout out - WE GET IT MOVE ON NOW !  The grandfather was played by Max Von Sydow, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actor, but I don't know if he will win.  I'm not sure if he will win.  I didn't quite understand why they made this character a mute.  I mean I know why he was (Holocaust related) but I don't know why  they decided it was necessary for him to be mute.
Moneyball
  • A true story that I watched in an airplane.  It is about the business of baseball and how Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's (portrayed very well by Brad Pitt) successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget. It was interesting to see how the game of baseball works as far as trades and getting new players and such but the movie was a "guy's movie" to me - it was kind of slow and a bit on the long side.  It was good but not great.  It told a good story but I kept wondering when it was going to end.  I know this was nominated for several awards, and I could be wrong, but I don't see it winning any of the major awards.
 The Tree of Life
  • I HATED this movie! I don't say that very often but it was awful.  I can't believe Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain would agree to be in this movie.  It was poorly written and it was full of voice overs - when the characters were talking to God.  It felt like a 2 hour long Obsession by Calvin Klein commercial.  VERY ARTSY, which I suppose is the reason it was nominated.  I could see it winning for Cinematography (even though I would rather War Horse or Hugo win for that) but if this movie wins Best Picture, I will never watch the Oscars again.  I wanted to stop watching this movie after 20 minutes.  I watched the whole thing - I should have listened to my instincts.
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Friday, February 24, 2012

Funny Friday - Clark Kent's Nightmare

Superman's identity is reveled.... by his mom....

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

29 Day Photo Challenge - Feb 2012; Days 12 - 14

I've done well with my first photo challenge. Here are the challenges for the past 3 days

Day 12 - Inside of Closet
{this is my coat closet}

Day 13 - Blue
{My (serious) boss' Cookie Monster}

Day 14 - Heart
{Coke display at Kroger}




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Gotye - Somebody That I Use to Know

I love this song, by Australian signer, Goyte (also features fellow Aussie singer, Kimbra) - his voice reminds me of Sting's. This song is over 6 month's old, I know but it is just now making its way to the U.S. radio stations.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

2012 Oscar Nominations - My Status

I posted a few weeks ago of my attempt to see all the Oscar Nominated movies before the Academy Awards this year.

Here are the ones I have seen
War Horse
The Artist
The Descendants

The Help
Hugo
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


Here are the ones I have left:
The Tree of Life

Moneyball

Midnight in Paris


Guess what?  All of the ones left are on DVD and are in my Netflix queue, so it looks like I might actually see them all this year !
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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Biscoff Granola Balls

I was browsing Foodgawker one evening looking for some recipes using Biscoff Spread and I spotted these Biscoff Granola Balls on Mother Thyme.com

They seemed easy enough to make, so I decided to give them a try.



Biscoff Granola Balls

1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup Biscoff Spread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup white chocolate chip morsels (or you can substitute and add in dried fruit such as dried cranberries instead)


In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine honey, Biscoff Spread and unsalted butter until creamy and smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in Rice Krispies, rolled oats.  Fold in white chocolate chips.  

Roll into golf ball size balls and place on wax paper.  Chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes until set. 


The verdict ? De-lic-ious !!!  Yummy !!  The next time I make these, I'm going to double the recipe and put them in an 8x8 pan and cut them into small squares.  
 
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600 Followers on Pinterest !

I know that having 600 followers on Pinterest is not a big deal to some (who may have thousands, but I think it is pretty awesome myself !!


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Saturday, February 11, 2012

29 Day Photo Challenge - Feb 2012; Day 11

Moving along in the monthly photo challenge...."makes you happy".  Given what has transpired in my life in recent months, I don't have a lot that makes me happy at the moment (don't mean to sound like a Debbie Downer) but I thought of one thing...MUSIC.  As the song goes, I love music, any kind of music (well not all that crazy about rap).

I thought of taking a photo of my car's radio but as the day progressed, I heard the sad news about Whitney Houston passing away.  Just a few days ago, my sister and I were talking about how much we loved her (pre-Bobby Brown days) and what an amazing voice she had.  Her music, her voice always made me happy so I decided to use a photo of Whitney (not my photo of course, found on-line)

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Funny Friday - Crookshanks

It helped if you were a Star Wars fan to appreciate last week's Funny Friday.
This week, it helps if you are a Harry Potter fan. 

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29 Day Photo Challenge - Feb 2012; Day 10

Today's photo challenge - Self Portriat.

Self-Portrait

Okay, so that is NOT me - LOL !! I did take a self-portrait for myself but there is no way in the world that I am going to post a picture of that - haha !
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Thursday, February 9, 2012

29 Day Photo Challenge - Feb 2012; Day 9

Today's photo challenge was front door.  Well, my front door is rather boring at the moment, with a very old decoration on it that needs replacing.  Besides I didn't even see my front door today since I stayed at my sister's house the past couple of night babysitting my nephmew Oscar (kitty cat extraordinaire).

On my quest to see all the 2012 Oscar nominated movies, I went to see Extremely Loud and Incredible Close after work and thought the front doors to the movie theater would be perfect for today's challenge

Front Door

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

29 Day Photo Challenge - Feb 2012; Day 8

Today's photo challenge is "Sun" - not an easy task on grey, overcast winter days but I found a sun that I thought was nice and bright at La Parrilla.

Sun

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

29 Day Photo Challenge - Feb 2012; Day 7

Today's challenge is button.  There were lots of possibilities (elevator buttons came to mind first) but then I thought of my beautiful and colorful Making Memories buttons used for scrapbooking.  Aren't they lovely?

Button


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Monday, February 6, 2012

29 Day Photo Challenge - Feb 2012; Day 6

 Dinner

Day 6 of Fat Mum Slim's Photo Challenge and the challenge is "Dinner" - well that is pretty simple, so I took a picture of my dinner.  Not a healthy dinner, mind you but dinner none-the-less.  I've learned to keep a few frozen things in the freezer at work so when I'm working a bit late, I won't be going home, starving and going to bed (either hungry or on a full stomach) - so I have a few frozen items at work, just in case...

These things are pretty good.  Usually I prefer things like this made in the toaster oven but I actually like these better in the microwave, the crust is softer and the inside is hot and cheesy.
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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Spicy Crabby Shells

It is Superbowl Sunday !  So what better day to share a recipe to eat during the big game?  I mentioned before, when I posted the recipe for the Mini Pizza Bites, that I would have a couple of more Mini Fillo Cup recipes, one of which was the Rotel Cups.  Here is the other one, Spicy Seafood Shells.

I have been making these since 2002 !  (Gee, had no idea it was 10 years ago that I first made these).  I found the recipe on Allrecipes.com and over time have tweaked it quite a bit (the first review of this recipes on Allrecipes.com was left by me)

It is my favorite of these 3 Mini Fillo Cup recipes (probably because I've been making it the longest, the other 2 recipes are fairly new to my recipe box).


Spicy Crabby Shells
  • 1  cup mayonnaise
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 20 drops hot pepper sauce (more or less to taste) - I like Texas Pete's
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans crabmeat, drained and flaked (can substitute 1 can crab meat for 1 can drained shrimp)
  • 2 packages mini phyllo tart shells
  • Old Savannah Seafood Seasoning, Old Bay Seasoning, or Paprika

Preheat oven to 400º  Line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper


In medium bowl, mix together mayo, Parmesan cheese, Swiss Cheese, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce (I like it spicy so probably put more than 20 drops in - you might want to try 10 drops the first time you make it and then adjust up or down the next time)


Fold in crab meat (can substitute one can of crab for 1 can of tiny salad shrimp, I just prefer all crab).



Place Fillo shells on banking sheet and fill each one with seafood mixture. Sprinkle with Old Savannah Seafood Seasoning (my preference) or Old Bay or Paprika.   


Place in oven and bake at 400º for 10 - 15 minutes, until golden and bubbly.  Cool slightly before serving.  That that is some good eatin' right there !!


Note: because of the amount of mayo and cheese in this, it can be a tiny bit on the greasy side (especially when re-heated) so you may want to reduce the mayo a little or you could use lower fat mayo and cheese.  
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29 Day Photo Challenge - Feb 2012; Day 5

10:00
Day 5 of the Photo Challenge and so far so good.  Today's challenge...10:00.  As the early service was letting out from church this morning, I looked up and noticed the big clock in the lobby said 10:00, I thought, "Hey, perfect" so I took a picture of it.
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The Bark Side - VW Commercial

I was just watch SNL with host Channing Tatum (yeah, baby) and they showed this commercial.  I was laughing so hard - love the ones dressed as an Ewok and Chewbacca.  The little brown/white spaniel that lays down (front row to the left) is cute too - heck they are all CUTE !  What a clever commercial.  I was already laughing but when the Greyhound appeared, that was icing on the cake.

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

29 Day Photo Challenge - Feb 2012; Day 4

My photo challenge today didn't go as well.  Photograph a stranger.  Do you know how hard it is to ask a total stranger, hey can I take your picture - uh, yeah, right !  We went to dinner tonight at The Wrecking Bar, for Teresa's birthday and I saw our waiter talking to 2 people waiting for a table, I had a pretty good shot of him but he turned his head right as I snapped the picture, oh well. At least I got a photo.

A Stranger

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I need help - I'm addicted to crafting

I've posted before that I seriously thing I have C.A.D.D - Crafting Attention Deficit Disorder.  Now I have already mentioned that I am working on this beautiful Around the World Afghan and I have not made much progress since last posting about it. 

I failed to mention that when I was in Alabama and Florida so much these past few months, I didn't have that project with me so I went to the local Hobby Lobby and then started working on this Crochet Stripe Baby Blanket

I chose BRIGHT, HAPPY boy colors.  Who I am making this for, I do not know (well I do know but she isn't even pregnant and therefore if she ever decides to get pregnant, who knows if she will have a boy) but I needed something bright and cheery to work on while I was sitting in the critical care waiting area for several weeks.

Today, I discovered this lovely Circles in Octagon Throw and am thinking ... I MUST make that.  It is so pretty.  I like the colors as it is but wouldn't it be pretty to substitute the greens for all purples or all pinks?  Or maybe even use a multitude of different colors instead.  I can really picture it and want to start on it today !!


But... did I not already post that I have purchased yarn for a Mystery CAL ?  Why yes, I believe I did.  But look how pretty that throw is.  But NO, NO, NO - bad girl.

I must repeat...
I (state your name) am a craft-a-holic
It has been 2 days since I last crafted
I vow that I will not, repeat, will not start this beautiful throw until I have
(a) Finished my Baby Stripes Afghan (working on that now - hope to finish soon)
(b) Finished my Mystery Bernat CAL afghan
(c) Finished my Around the World Afghan

This is very hard for someone who is suffers from C.A.D.D. and has a Craft Addiction to boot. But I must be strong - I-must-not-add-new-projects to my crafting queue.

Where can I go get help ?  Ahhh - looks like I found a place Crocheter's Anonymous (do they call it CroAnon?)
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Friday, February 3, 2012

29 Day Photo Challenge - Day 3

Today is Day 3 of the month-long photo challenge. Today's challenge is Hands.  I wasn't sure what to do with that - should I draw something on my hands?  Should I take a picture of some else's hands?  I wish I knew someone with a baby - would love to take a picture of some baby hands.

So...I decided to take a photo of my hands, doing what they do pretty much all day long, working on the computer.

Hands

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Funny Friday - Droids

Since I posted a couple of related items last week, I thought I would follow suit this week.  You kind of have to be a STAR WARS fan to get these but I think they are hysterical.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Rotel Cups

About a week ago, I post a recipe for Mini Pizza Bites and mentioned I had a couple of more similar appetizer recipes to share.  Here is one of them...also using Mini Fillo Shells.  I found this recipe through Pinterest but the original source is Kendall Boggs Fine Arts and Crafts  site.  She calls them Rotel Cups.  I revised it (ever so slightly) and here it is:

Rotel Cups
2 packages of Mini Fillo Shells
1 Can rotel drained
1 bag real bacon bits (use the real kind, not the dried/crunchy one)
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup mayonnaise (I like Kraft)

Preheat oven to 350º.  Mix drained tomatoes, bacon bits, cheese and mayo together.  Spoon generous portions into Fillo Shells and place on a cookie sheet (I like to line with foil or parchment paper since it makes clean up easier).


 

Bake at 350º for 15 minutes (until golden on top) - let cool slightly, eat and enjoy.


My  review?  These are really good !  I think I like them even better than the Mini Pizza Bites.  Next time I might try using Pepper Jack instead of Swiss.  

I also think this would be good placed in a small baking dish, baked and served as a dip with tostito chips 
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29 Day Photo Challenge - Feb 2012; Day 2

Today's Photo Challenge was to photograph " Words " hmmm, so many possibilities.  I had in mind several things I could have done (a verse in my Bible, the cover of a magazine I received today, the title of dad's car, which came today) but when I opened my mail, I decided this was what I would take a picture of today. 
We got a notices that our trash service is changing for bulk items.  Now if we have bulk items to pick up (like and old TV or furniture), we have to go to City Hall, pay $30 and fill out a form. They are also changing the day from Monday to Wednesday and we have to set out the item(s) the night before pickup.  Luckily it is rare I have anything like this.

Words
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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

29 Day Photo Challenge - Feb 2012; Day 1

I have never participated in a month-long photo challenge before but when I saw THIS POST on fatmumslim.com (that is FAT - MUM - SLIM not Fat Muslim, which is what I thought it was originally - HaHa), I decided to give this month's challenge a try.

First up...Your View Today

I spent a great deal of the day and evening working on matching up flat file printout to their supporting documentation, this requires signing them, dating them, stamping them (with 2 different stamps), reviewing them, matching them up and verifying the amounts, putting them in order and grouping the entire package together.  I was trying to catch up the back log from when I was out.  I finally did get it caught up - whew !!

But in the meantime spent a great deal of time looking at these stamps, this stapler, stapler remover, pen & pencil on the top of my desk...so this is Day 1 of the photo challend

My View Today

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