Monday, May 26, 2014

Berry Lemonade

Berry Lemonade

2 cans frozen lemonade from concentrate thawed
1 10 oz tub of frozen sweetened strawberries thawed
8-10 cups of water
1/2 c blueberries or the berry of your choice

Pour thawed lemonade into a pitcher
add the strawberries and then water and stir
Add berries
Chill for at least an hour before serving.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Thor: The Dark World

I'm not usually an action movie fan, but developing a crush on Tom Hiddleston had me reaching for this movie at Redbox the other day.

I have to say it needed a lot more Loki! But really, I almost felt like this movie was a comedy. I mean, Kat Dennings is in it. And can I just say that her character, Darcy Lewis...was like a smartened up (bookwise) version of her character, Max, on 2 Broke Girls.

I loved her, even though I started questioning her acting. I hate when actors/actresses play the same part everywhere with just a different name. (But lucky beotch...she got to date Tom!) Pardon me while I jealousy fangirl.

Then there were the actors I didn't know were in the film, like Zach Levi and Christopher Eccleston, even though, gasp, The Ninth Doctor does have billing right on top of the movie poster.


But seriously...This is Fandral aka Levi

Oh and let me talk about Thor...Chris Hemsworth. He's just so...I don't know..too sexy for me to like him, because it is that buff, he-man kind of sexy, that most women love. Not me, I like Loki's evil smarts. In fact, I demand the next movie be called Loki! We all need more of him! Nuff said.

Natalie Portman's character annoyed the hell out of me, and I loved Stellan Skarsgard's  Erik. Seriously, how can you not love a dude running around either naked or sans pants out of sheer craziness?

Totally loved this movie, and may have to buy a copy for myself at some point.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Album Review: Acoustically Irish

Neil Byrne and Ryan Kelly are noted for their work with Celtic Thunder. This wonderful side project gives a further glimpse at some other tunes that are significantly scaled down from what you'd hear on a Celtic Thunder album.

"Don't Go" opens the album. This acoustic folk song that will definitely stick in a few heads. The mandolin adds a lively touch to this song.

"Beautiful Affair" showcases both guys voices.  This song is guaranteed to cause the ladies to swoon. (I know I did). Fellow bandmate, Keith Harkin is The Moody Blues frontman's doppelganger, but this song sounds like it should have been written by Mr. Hayward. (In fact, I'd love to hear him sing this one)

They move away from the contemporary with "The Rose Of Allendale." This is an English song from the 1840's. Neil Byrne's voice is the first you hear and soon he's joined by Ryan. This is the kind of English ballad that tugs at the heartstrings.

On "Back Home In Derry" they go full on Irish. Any fan of Gordon Lightfoot's will recognize the melody as that of "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald." Having listened to this song, it wouldn't be so bad if someone covered the Lightfoot tune.

If you are looking for something a little more familiar, the guys cover Van Morrison's classic "Brown Eyed Girl." This song has been covered many times over, but Neil and Ryan give it a freshness that harkens back to the original.

"The Water Is Wide" is a song that dates back to the 1600's. Its another song that has been recorded many times over most notably by James Taylor and from the Celtic music scene Hayley Westenra,

"No Man's Land" is ballad by Eric Bogle.  The song is written about a young man that died during WWI. It is impossible not to shed a tear as you listen.

They cover Brian Kennedy's "Captured" next. Ryan and Neil give this the boy band treatment, a'la Westlife. It definitely has a British pop arrangement.

The album ends on an Irish note with "The Fields of Athenry" and "On Raglan Road" as well as Paddy Casey's "Saints and Sinners." The latter two songs are ballads, where "Saints and Sinners" is a more upbeat folk ballad.

Acoustically Irish will give the listeners a chance to hear two of the voices of Celtic Thunder away from all the pomp and spectacle that surrounds the band. It also proves that these guys are more than just some very pretty faces on the stage. Both men play guitar along with their divine singing skills.

Even if you aren't a fan of Celtic Thunder, this is an album to take note of. Ryan and Neil are truly a dynamic duo when it comes to folk music be it traditional or contemporary.

Listen: Back Home In Derry

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Cinco De Mayo! Mexican Lasagna


8 inch tortilla shells
1 1/2 ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
Handful of frozen onions
1 can fiesta nacho cheese soup (or cheddar cheese & a can of green chilies)
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 can re fried beans
1 can of tomatoes with green chilies
1 large jar of salsa or 2 normal sized cans
1 bag of Mexican or Taco cheese

Preheat oven to 350
Brown ground beef with onions and drain.
Add taco seasoning, soup and beans to meat.
pour half jar (or one jar) of salsa on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan
Layer with tortillas, I put two whole tortillas and then cut a third in half for the sides.
Layer with meat and sprinkle a little cheese.
Another layer of tortillas
smooth the can of re fried beans over the tortillas and pour the can of tomatoes with chilies
Another layer of meat and tortillas.
Top with remaining salsa and cheese

Bake for 30 minutes...let cool at lease 10-15 minutes before serving for better cutting :)

Best served with Chili's corn cake and Arbor Mist Sangria, for a pretty awesome fiesta!

My mom used to make this before her health turned the cooking over to me. It was never the same twice. If you aren't a ground beef fan, make up slow cooker salsa chicken for that layer. I thank the Mennonite Girls a thousand times over for that recipe!

This is my version, which won a lot of approval by the family today!