Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Taste Of Home Rocks

My mother collects cookbooks and food related magazines. Most people get excited about the Pillsbury recipe books, but not me. I love Taste Of Home and the other offshoots, like Quick Cooking and Simple and Delicious.

Most of the recipes I make come from these magazines.


Because they make things that are easy and tasty and that's what I like.

Today I made a Colby Jack Meatloaf and Golden Potatoes. The original meatloaf recipe called for Pepper Jack cheese, but my dad has a sensitive stomach so I used the less spicy Jack cheese. Both recipes are winners.

Where do you find your best recipes?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

CBLS Guest Post: Cege Smith

Today Cege Smith is guest posting here at Wenches! Let's give Cege a warm Wenches welcome!

Hollywood Calls

When we authors are supposed to be writing, frequently we find ourselves partaking in a much more passive activity: daydreaming. Something that can be very fun to daydream about is getting the call from some bigshot Hollywood producer that they want to make your book into a movie. It can happen. Hugh Howey recently scored a movie deal with Ridley Scott. (That announcement coincided with a huge spike in author daydreaming by the way).

If I got the call someone in Hollywood that they wanted to make the Shadows series into a couple of mega-blockbusters, I’d probably listen with half an ear. Okay, let’s be realistic. I’d be passed out on the floor with shock. After I came to and picked myself back up off the floor, I’d listen to what they’d have to say.

I think the biggest concern I’d have would be how they’d want to change things in effort to appease the masses. Because as flattered as I would be, I know one thing for certain: I have NEVER seen a movie that’s been as good as the book. It’s hard to crunch all the crucial elements of a story into a two-hour timeframe. So some things get skipped, some get modified, and some things change altogether.

Here’s how I think it could go down:

Although the movie producers love the idea of having Edge of Shadows (Shadows #1) based in Minnesota, they’d convince me that it was best to shoot the exterior shots of the haunted Bradford mansion using an old southern plantation home. I’d give in because I would negotiate in a plane ticket for me to see the filming and that would feed my obsession with old mansions.

Ellie Coulter, my main character, is a thirty-something divorcee who is finding out that she has a pretty significant destiny. The producers would tell me that the movie would be more popular if we made Ellie a twenty-something whose boyfriend had just dumped her instead. I’d acquiesce on the plot deviation only when they agreed to cast Kate Beckinsale as Ellie. She’s the right age for Ellie’s character in the book, but she’s got features that could lead viewers to believe she’s younger. Plus she’s gorgeous.

Ellie’s feelings for David Mitchell, the doctor who romances her, is a key subplot in the series. Her feelings for him are immediate and intense. She sacrifices everything for him to keep him safe, even though he doesn’t realize it at the time. Although I do create the possibility of a love triangle with the villain, Mikel, in Shadows Deep (Shadows #2), there is no doubt that Ellie is David’s perfect match. To give the movie the proper amount of romantic tension, the producers would push to increase the attraction that Ellie has to Mikel. I would be okay with that as long as they maintained the integrity of Ellie’s feelings for David. Those run strong and deep, and shouldn’t be called into question.

At the end of the day, I understand that Hollywood requires some creative freedom to push angles and storylines that they think will make the movie more appealing to a greater number of viewers. But the important thing for me is always staying true to my characters and their stories. So while I may be willing to compromise on some things, I would want to make sure that what readers love about the series is still intact.

That’s probably why I would never completely sign over my rights to Hollywood. Somebody has to watch over my characters and the best person to do that is me. Of course, this is all just my daydream. Back to writing!

Book Info:

Title: Shadows Deep (Shadows, Part II)
Author: Cege Smith
Publisher: Self
Length: 70,000 words
Genres: Horror, Paranormal (Non-Romance)

Available at:

Ellie Coulter made a deal with the devil, and now it’s time to pay the price. Little did she know, the shadows that have swirled around her life since her parents’ death were not a coincidence. As Ellie's destiny is revealed, it comes with the knowledge that her fate is the lynchpin in a far larger, and more dangerous game. And the one who found her has no intention of ever letting her go.

Ellie walks a fine line between keeping up the appearance of acceptance while gathering the information she needs to escape. Along the way, she has to decide who to trust and that includes the man she loves.  As facts give way to lies, Ellie begins to question everything.

With her true intentions on the verge of being discovered, Ellie must find a way to defeat her captor before she becomes a shadow herself.

Letting go was one of the hardest things a person could ever do. Ellie knew that. What happened when she let go of the idea that reality as she knew it was merely a cover on a rabbit hole? She had willingly taken the cover off and fallen down into the unknown darkness. She’d surrendered. Somehow it felt easier that way. But the Voice kept picking at her even though she was deep in her hidey hole. It wouldn’t leave her alone.

“What was it like for you when your parents died?”

Ellie had answered some variation of that question what seemed like a million times over the years, but her response always paled in comparison to the effect of that one event on the rest of her life. How could she explain the depth of pain she felt when the two people who she loved most were ripped out of her life? Or the excruciating, almost debilitating sense of loneliness that followed when she finally comprehended that she was completely alone in the world?

“I was eight,” Ellie replied. “I had no other family. One minute I was surrounded by love. In the blink of an eye I was an orphan. What do you think it was like?” No one could understand what she had been through, and eventually she gave up trying to explain. Her parents’ death was just something that happened to her a long time ago. Ellie preferred to leave that buried there.

“I am sure it was difficult. But you obviously learned to cope, even thrive.”

“Thrive isn’t the word I’d choose,” Ellie said. “I learned how to survive. Eventually I learned ways to be happy again, but I did that on my own. I never felt like I belonged anywhere again.”

The Voice was silent for a while and Ellie was relieved. When it wasn’t poking at her, the darkness was peaceful. Ellie was used to being alone.

“Tell me about your ability. You’ve linked that to your parents’ death.”

Ellie was tired of the questions. They had covered the same ground over and over again. But it was like the Voice was missing some nuance, and so it all started again. Combing through her life. Looking for clues. “I noticed it the first time at the funeral. I was standing there in the cemetery, looking at their caskets, with the social worker beside me. I kept looking around for more people, but it was just the three of us: me, the social worker, and the minister. And then I noticed that the longer the minister spoke, the more these colors seemed to grow out of him. It didn’t make any sense at the time. The colors were deep purple and blue and they got more vivid every time he made eye contact with me. It scared the hell out of me. I didn’t know what to do.”

A familiar cloud of sadness fell over her thoughts as she remembered that lost little girl. “When the service was over, I wanted to kick and scream and lash out. I wanted to push over those caskets because I convinced myself they were empty and it was some elaborate hoax. Any minute they would appear to take me home. But it wasn’t a hoax. My parents raised me to think that showing emotion in public wasn’t ladylike, so as desperately as I wanted to throw a tantrum, I knew they wouldn’t approve. I looked at the social worker and she had a glow of white tinged with yellow around her. Even though I didn’t know what it meant, the colors were soothing. I had to accept that I was left with nothing but this woman to take care of me. I was naive and automatically assumed that she was kind and that she’d be good to me.”

“She wasn’t?”

Ellie sighed. “After twenty-five years of reading auras, I know now that she was indifferent. She probably saw a dozen kids just like me every week. Her aura meant that she was at peace and even slightly happy, but it had nothing to do with me. I was part of her job, and while I was watching my parents be buried, she was probably thinking about getting a manicure or going home and having a glass of wine. Me, I had no home left.”

“You went into foster care.”

“Yes, and in foster care I stayed until I applied for emancipation when I was sixteen.” She remembered the day that the court approved her request. It had been bittersweet.

“Your ability must have been advantageous in that kind of hostile environment.”

“If you mean it helped keep me out of trouble, then probably it did. But I was always a good kid. I studied hard, got decent grades, and generally stayed out of everyone’s way.  I never gave my foster families any reason to really concern themselves with me. I wanted to be invisible. I was pretty good at it,” Ellie said. She had closed herself off from anyone who tried to reach her. It was a defense mechanism that worked well. Perhaps too well.

“Until you met Veronica.”

A face flashed in Ellie’s mind. A pretty blond with infectious laughter. Whereas her parents’ faces had faded over time, Roni’s was vivid and seemed so real that Ellie almost thought her friend was there with her in the darkness.

“Roni just wouldn’t take no for an answer,” Ellie said. “She saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. And for some reason she wanted to be my friend. I owe her a lot.” It was strange talking about Veronica. Those memories were under strict lock and key for a reason.

About the Author:
Cege Smith is a Minnesota based writer who is addicted to lattes and B-rated horror films. She had been crafting spooky stories since she was twelve years old. She lives with her husband, two adorable stepsons, and mini long-hair dachshund, Juliet in the suburbs of Minneapolis.

Jun 1: Hardcover Feedback (Giveaway/Interview)
Jun 2: Young Adult Novel Reader (Guest Post)
Jun 3: Natalie-Nicole Bates (Guest Post)
Jun 4: Lindsays Scribblings (Guest Post/Review)
Jun 5: The Other Shelf (Interview)
Jun 6: She Who Blogs Behind the Rows (Guest Post)
Jun 7: Mama Knows Books (Guest Post)
Jun 8: Full Moon Bites (Guest Post)
Jun 9: Harlie's Book Blog (Guest Post)
Jun 10: House Millar (Guest Post)
Jun 12: Curse of the Bibliophile (Interview)
Jun 13: Luna's Lair (Guest Post)
Jun 14: Sandra's Blog (Book Feature)
Jun 15: Books N Beans (Giveaway)
Jun 16: Ramblings From This Chick (Guest Post)
Jun 17: The Bunny's Review (Interview)
Jun 18: ReadingDiva's Blog (Guest Post)
Jun 19: Cece Reading and Writing Safari (Guest Post)
Jun 20: Bornean Bookworm Reads (Guest Post)
Jun 21: Reading on the Wild Side (Interview)
Jun 22: Black Hippie Chick's Take on Books & the World (Guest Post/Review)
Jun 23: Cocktails and Books (Guest Post)
Jun 24: The Certifiable Wenches (Guest Post)
Jun 25: I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read! (Guest Post)
Jun 26: Close Encounters with the Night Kind (Guest Post)
Jun 27: House Millar (Interview)
Jun 28: Paranormal Romantic Suspense (Giveaway/Guest Post)
Jun 29: Everyone Loves A SiNner (Review)
Jun 30: Kacey's Konnections (Book Feature)

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

CBLS Book Review w/Guest Post: The Last Of His Kind

Title: The Last of His Kind
Author: Alexandra Stewart
Publisher: Self
Length: 188 pages
Genres: Paranormal Erotic Romantic Suspense
Available at: Amazon
Blurb: When Vanessa Morrow bumps into gentle hunk Christopher at the grocery store, she never expects a pleasant exchange of words to blossom into a steaming night of passion. But in Christopher, she finds not just a blisteringly hot sexual partner, she finds herself drawn into a war she never knew existed, and hunted by a man who will stop at nothing to catch his prey, even if it means putting her -- and everyone she holds dear -- in the line of fire.

Steamy, fast-paced, and powerful, this debut by a fresh new voice in romantic fiction is sure to thrill.

She looked away, back over her shoulder at the bags on the counters. Laying a hand on a box of cereal, she said, “This is always the worst part about coming home from the grocery store, isn’t? You have all these things to put away, but by the time you finally get home they’re the last thing on your mind.”

“I know exactly what you mean.” She looked back at him. He was standing closer. After a moment of watching her eyes, he said, “Especially today.”


“They’re the last thing on my mind.”

She tore herself away from his gaze to look down at her ruined blouse. “I need to change out of this thing.”

“Let me help you.”

She reached for the bottom hem of the blouse at the exact moment he did, and again she felt the soft skin of his hand against her own, felt the thrill it sent through her, and this time she didn’t pull away from it. She held the hand and looked up at him.

He was so close. She could feel the heat of his body, the moist breath of his mouth.

She looked into his eyes, unblinking, as she squeezed his hand, slowly, down the waistband of her pants, under the black silk of her underwear.

Review: When I was reading this book, I was seriously wondering if I were reading a Harlequin Nocturne. And yes, that is a good thing. That meant the romantic element of the book is strong. Christopher and Vanessa really clicked for me.

I really liked the description of their meeting in the grocery store. It was hard to pinpoint what kind of paranormal creature he was going to be at first. The book blurb wasn't giving much away.

When I found out the creature was a werewolf, I was really excited. I'm getting pretty tired of vampires. Plus Christopher comes across really well in the story, both as a human and as a wolf. He's accepting of his nature.

Plus the war between his kind and the hunter, Luther had a real Van Helsing kind of feel which I really loved. The book moved at a fairly fast pace, which kept me turning the pages. The back story on how the war between Christopher and Luther's family was a great one, and helped tie everything together.

I also liked how Vanessa's family figured into the story and became part of the war.

Definitely a great paranormal beach read with some pretty steamy sex scenes as well.

Rating: 4 out of 5

About the Author:
Alexandra Stewart is an author from rural Washington State, now living in Texas with her husband and four dogs. The Last of His Kind is her first novel. She can be reached at

Guest Post:

When I began work on my debut novel, "The Last of His Kind," I wanted to see if it was possible to push the boundaries of the romance genre in a small way, playing a bit, perhaps, with readers' expectations, while still staying true to what I felt to be the roots of the form: capable heroine, mysterious hero, danger, and resolution. I wanted, moreover, to write the book in such a way that it would read well for a variety of people: those looking action, those looking for romance, those looking for paranormal thrills, and those looking for erotic sex scenes. Moreover, I aimed for a one-sitting read, something that pulled its reader through its 50,000 words without drawing attention to itself. Finally, I was curious to see what sort of balance I could strike between its three main characters, or, in other words, see if it was possible to make the reader care not just for the female protagonist, but for her troubled love interest AND for the villain pursuing them.

To achieve this, I thought a great deal about structure, something which is often foregone in exchange for plot. Plot, as I see it, is merely a series of events; it's what you have left when you strip away all of the description and ideas and words of the book. It's the events of the story: this happened, then this happened, then this happened. In some books, very little happens, and yet the reader feels as though they've experienced a great deal; in other books, lots of events take place, and yet when the book closes, the reader remembers nothing. The former is a book that is interested in more than its plot; the latter is a book too interested in its clever story to show the reader anything else. While clever stories are all well and good, they often take on the quality of a news ticker: "Man shot. Wife finds killer. Son travels to Bangladesh. Daughter falls in love." These are all evocative ideas, but without anything surrounding them, we have no reason to care about these things: why was the man shot? How did his wife find the killer? What compelled their son to travel to Bangladesh? Is their daughter ready to fall in love?

The first step to alleviating the dryness of a plain plot is characterizing a book's protagonists; by making us feel that these fictional people are in some way real, and by allowing us to relate things in our own life to things experienced by these blocks of words on a page (or screen). There has already been a great deal of good writing done on how the shapes of people present in books can be made to feel real or dynamic.

Structure, however, is less discussed, especially in romance circles. For a book to have structure, it has to fit together in such a way that events, even those that seem most random, resonate with one another; things that are referenced in a certain part of the book are echoed in a similar part; ideas are developed in a pattern that makes sense to the reader, even if such ideas are purely subliminal. In short, the structure of a piece is everything happening "under the surface" of the description and dialogue and scenes that make up the action of the book.

So I would ask you to read my book "The Last of His Kind" and tell me if you see the structure at work that I tried to build. Hopefully, it lends the novel a momentum to keep you reading, while leaving you feeling satisfied by the finale. My email is; if you read my book, then definitely tell me what you think. I hope you enjoy it.


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Monday, June 18, 2012

Movie Review: Mirror Mirror

Blurb: One of the world's most beloved fairy tales takes a hilarious turn in this fresh, exciting film starring Oscar Winner Julia Roberts. After she spends all her money, an evil enchantress queen (Roberts) schemes to marry a handsome, wealthy prince (The Social Network's Armie Hammer). There's just one problem - he's in love with a beautiful princess, Snow White (Lily Collins, The Blind Side).javascript:void(0) So, the sinister queen banishes Snow White from her own kingdom! Now, joined by seven rebellious dwarves, Snow White launches an epic battle of good vs. evil in this funny, magical movie that the whole family will love.

Review: This has been the year of Snow White! First with Once Upon A Time and now with Mirror, Mirror. The two women starring in the film are perfect, Julia Roberts as the wicked Queen and Lilly Collins (daughter of Genesis frontman, Phil Collins) as Snow White. You can't get much better than this. Plus Lilly really is the image of Audrey Hepburn.

Now this take on the Snow White legend isn't what you've read in fairy tales. The seven dwarves are definitely not the Dopey, Sneezy, Grumpy variety, but they are a hoot and a half.

Nathan Lane is another great addition to the cast, playing the right hand man to the Wicked Queen. He's not evil though, and you know his loyalties really lie with Snow White!

Then there's Prince Charming. He's the only ho hum character here. He's easy on the eyes, but his part is a little lack luster. He's upstaged by just about everyone here. In fact, it is really hard to figure out why Snow White even wants him.

But all that aside this was a fun movie to watch, and Lily's song at the end, I Believe In Love is quite fun to listen to.

Rating: Worth Redboxing

Saturday, June 16, 2012

CBLS Book Review: The Gift w/Giveaway

Author: V.S. Morgan
Title: The Gift
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Publish Date: May 15, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: CBLS Book Tours & the author
Book Blurb: At 22, rancher Wyatt Malone sacrificed almost everything, including the Dom he served and loved, to raise his younger brothers. Now, with the ranch running well, his grown up siblings surprise him with a trip to a Caribbean paradise and a date from Madame Evangeline's 1Night Stand. Taking his courage in hand, he fills out an application that bares his soul for a single night of surrender to a nearly forgotten passion.

Rafael is a Dom without a sub. His desires exceed the available men in the dungeon he frequents and memories of rejected love keep him aloof. Can the submission of a Montana cowboy free him or will the date be nothing more than another meaningless scene?

Rafael blotted his mouth with his napkin and placed it on the table. Wyatt set his fork down and waited. The old familiar energy pulsed between them. Heat zipped through his groin, and he shifted in his seat as his erection pressed against his jeans.

“Wyatt, you asked Madame Eve for a Dominant for one night.” Rafael slid a keycard on the table between them. “If you accept my invitation to play, you will take this card and be in my suite, ready, in fifteen minutes.”

Without hesitation, he reached over and grasped it. When his wrist was grabbed, tugging him forward, Wyatt braced his free hand on the table and accepted Rafael’s lips. At first they brushed, a tease, and then the kiss became a sensual play of tongues. His heart pounded at the taste of curry and tequila. He twirled his tongue around the other man’s and groaned. Rafael’s lips trailed across his jaw and down his neck, stubble scraping across sensitive skin, creating a rasp of pleasure that flowed all the way down his spine.

The Dom followed it with a nip on the bottom lip and then pulled back, twisting Wyatt’s wrist slightly to glance at his watch. Rafael released him and leaned back with a wicked grin. Wyatt’s heart raced.

“You now have thirteen minutes.”

About the Author:

V.S. Morgan has lived all over the United States but now calls Minnesota home. She incorporates her travels and experiences into her stories whenever possible. V.S. dreamed of becoming an author from the tender age of eleven after snagging one of her mom’s Harlequins. She writes contemporary, suspense, and paranormal m/m with heart and heat. “The Gift” is her debut publication. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Rainbow Romance Writers and Kiss of Death chapters. When not writing, V.S. is playing with her dogs, practicing Kempo Karate, and reading lots of erotic romance.

Facebook: V.S. Morgan
Twitter: @vsmorgan1

Review:  The Gift is part of the One Night Stand series, but the encounter between Wyatt and Rafael isn't really a one night stand, even though it was arranged to be that way.

I have to say that this is the first guy on guy erotic story that I've read and I wasn't sure what to expect. There's not a lot of erotica that really impresses me, but I found myself liking this story. And with only 34 pages, you can read it pretty quickly.

I liked that there were no stereotypes when it came to both men. I also liked that Wyatt's brothers were very accepting of his sexual preference.

When it came to the sex, it was hot and steamy, but with a touch of romance, and considering this was a BDSM story, that's not an easy accomplishment.

My only complaint is in the length of the story. 34 pages isn't enough. I would have liked some more of Wyatt and Rafael's backstory. There is some in the story, but it just isn't enough for me.

This was a great bedside read.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Book Trailer: 

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Italian Meatballs and Peppers

This recipe is super easy to make in the crockpot and really cheap for those of you on a budget. I found it an old Rival Crockpot Cookbook


2 Cans of Italian Diced tomatoes (Save A Lot and Aldi both make these at less of a cost then the national brands)
1 can 6 oz of tomato paste
1 lb frozen meatballs (I love the Save A Lot meatballs..and they are about a dollar for 7 oz)
1 package frozen peppers. (I use pepper stirfry)

All of these get put in the crock pot and heated on low for about 6-8 hours.

The meatballs and sauce can be served over your favorite noodle, or over rice or on a good bun. The result is an economical, tasty meal that will leave you with some leftovers for the next day.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Andrea's Super Spicy Chicken Chili

This is my recipe so it is subject to change the next time you make it.


3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into small pieces
2 cans of tomatoes with chilis (You can probably use a big jar of medium salsa if you don't like the heat from the chilis)
2 cans of tomato soup
1 can black beans
1 can Northern beans
A heaping handful of frozen chopped onion.
1/2 medium green pepper.
1 cap full of vegetable oil
1 tsp chili seasoning  (If you don't like it hot, omit or use chili powder)


In a pot with oil, brown the chicken until it is no longer pink with onions and peppers. (approx 10 minutes)
Add tomatoes and soup and let simmer for 5 minutes
Add beans and continue to simmer. 15-20 minutes.

Serve with sour cream and cheese for topping.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Movie Review: What's Your Number

Blurb: Anna Faris and Chris Evans star in the outrageously funny comedy that asks: can 19 wrongs make Mr. Right? When Ally Darling (Faris) reads an article that leads her to believe she's going to be alone forever, she begins a wild search to find the best "ex" of her life. But Ally's quest to reconnect with her former lovers goes hilariously awry, from a puppeteer who's more wooden than his puppet to a gynecologist with a "spotty" memory. Through it all, Ally might just find the man of her dreams in the last place she ever expected.

Review: This movie is cheesy and raunchy. Much like Bridesmaids but not nearly as funny. It is cute and it does have some laugh out loud moments, but you still only have one thought while letting Ally Darling into your life for an hour and a half, WHAT A FREAKING HO!

She's not even thirty and she's slept with 19 guys.


And when she reads an article about anyone having more than 20 not ever finding "true love" she starts going back through her ex's to see if she's missed "Mr. Right"

Ho hum!

But even if the plot is a little exasperating at times, you will be laughing especially at some of the situations she gets into with her exes.

What bugs me though, is how all these little pretty perfect chickies are all fired from their jobs, but can still live in perfect gorgeous NYC apartments because their family is super wealthy.


But I remind myself it is a Romcom and it isn't supposed to be intelligent, plus her neighbor Colin (Chris Evans) is freaking hot and always running around with very few clothes on in the hallway!

Glad I didn't see in the theater, but for a couple of bucks for the rental, it was good.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Healthy Spaghetti Pie

Since my mother's been out of the hospital, we've been trying to find recipes that will work for her heart condition, as well as her diabetes, that still have flavor. I've been combing all sorts of recipe books to see what we can make that's healthy and tasty.

Today I found a great recipe in an old Light and Tasty magazine. It is for Spaghetti Pie. The original recipe can be found here I made a few changes.


1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained Italian style works best, as it has basil and oregano
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup fat-free cottage cheese (enough to spread across the pie)
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


In a nonstick skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, salt, garlic powder, sugar and pepper; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the spaghetti, butter, egg whites and Parmesan cheese. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. Top with cottage cheese and beef mixture.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and filling is heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting. Yield: 6 servings.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Wenches Have Gone AWOL

It has been a rough week or so for this Wench. My mom was in the hospital til Wednesday. Then when she came home, I promptly took a spill down the stairs and sprained my ankle.

So things have been a bit crazy here.

But don't worry..this wench will be back.

I will have a few movie reviews coming up over the weekend and probably some other snarky commentary. But I am alive! Just barely!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Fangirl in Me Wants This So Badly!

I've been a sucker for The Phantom Of The Opera for about 20 years now!

I went to Miss Bohemia's site and saw the necklace and I let out a squeal of delight.

Then a sigh of anguish, because right now I don't have any extra money for this.

I definitely don't have $25.00 for it.

~big sigh~

But isn't it gorgeous?

Can't you just see Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman?

And the organ...

Dun....dun dun dun dun dun....

I love me some Phantom!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Movie Review: One For The Money

Blurb: A film based on the incredibly popular Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich, One for the Money reveals an unexpectedly versatile Katherine Heigl. This model-turned-actress is best known for her role as Dr. Izzie Stevens on Grey's Anatomy and for starring in various lighthearted romantic comedies, but here Heigl takes on the meaty role of Plum, a laid-off lingerie buyer who turns bondswoman in a desperate attempt to pay the rent and put food on the table. Heigl is surprisingly believable as a blue-collar working girl who thinks fast on her feet and is not afraid to throw herself into the middle of even the most dangerous situation--especially if it means getting what she wants. Of course, Stephanie's impulsiveness manages to get her into all sorts of awkward and potentially life-threatening situations. Throw in her desire for payback against an old boyfriend, a sleazy cousin, a gang of ruthless criminals, a couple of most unexpected allies, and a quirky family who can think of little more than setting her up with a good husband, and you've got an enticing blend of drama, action, and comedy. Debbie Reynolds is quite funny as Grandma Mazur, Daniel Sunjata makes a great Ranger, and there's definitely a nice chemistry between Heigl and Jason O'Mara. Bonus features include an 11-minute making-of featurette, a 10-minute look at some real-life "bond girls," a gag reel, and one deleted scene.

Review: I really expected this film to be awful, but surprisingly enough, it wasn't. Katherine Heigl really looks like what I'd imagine Stephanie Plum to look like. (Sandra Bullock would have been a better choice, but hey, you can't win them all). I was pretty ok with the casting, except for Ranger. Daniel Sunjata may look the part...and that was debatable, but he didn't fit the part. I think he spoke too much. Anyone that's read the books knows that Ranger is a man of few words most of them are "babe."

I loved Jason O'Mara's Morelli. Who would have thought an Irishmen could play an Italian so well? Maybe it is because he's so damn sexy. I loved him in Life On Mars.

The things that bothered me about this film were more the little things, like not using Grandma enough in the film. Heck, Stephanie's whole family felt like they were put on the back burner, not to mention Lula! Though Lula wasn't a huge fixture in the first book.

Still, I found it enjoyable enough to pass the time. There were enough laughs and a few cars getting blown up to remind me how much I love Stephanie Plum and Janet Evanovich!