Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Movies: This past weekend

John and I only watched one movie this weekend. Can you believe it?
Return to Oz (1985) - John and I watched this one over the weekend. I don't think I had seen it since I watched it in the Kaysville Theater in 1985. It creeped me out back then with the lady and her interchangeable heads... It didn't so much this time. The movie is cute and simple. I don't suggest showing it to young kids. Like I said before it was creepy to me as a kid. Was it worth watching again? Meh.

U2 05.24.2011

I have been trying to write this blog post for a week now, and it just keeps getting pushed out further and further… I’m going to try to get it written and posted today. Here’s hoping I can get something done today.

It's been exactly a week now since the U2 concert on May 25 and I just can't get over how absolutely awesome it was. It’s hard to think of another word to describe it other than “awesome” maybe: Amazing. Atapsimizing. Spectacular. Brilliant. Emotional. Awe Inspiring. Fantastic. Completely Perfect…. Hmm… it was awesome. That about sums it up.

We (Liz and John) attended this year’s U2 concert at Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah, and shared the experience with Norm , Becca, Jessica, and Toby.  What fun that was. It was a family affair and we had a great time with all of them. I’m not lying when I say that this was THE BEST concert I have ever attended, U2 or otherwise. This show was even better than U2 in Vegas in 2009. The stage was the same, but that’s about it. There was such a energy to the show that made the entire experience worth the year we waited since it was canceled last summer due to Bono having emergency back surgery.
John and I got off work at our regular times and picked up some drive through Crown Burger (Yum!) and drove up to the stadium. We weren’t sure what the parking or the craziness was going to look like so we figured getting there sooner than later would be a good idea. We found a great parking spot and there were more empty places than we were expecting. There weren’t a whole lot of people there when we arrived around 4:40pm. We were able to buy a few new shirts without being smashed in the crush of merchandise mosh-pit. The gates opened at 5:00pm and we got right in and found our seats. The stadium was pretty much empty until after 6-ish. I’m impressed that the Utah crowd was so much more polite then the Las Vegas crowd. There weren’t too many drunk people and not a single one of them asked us if we had any pot.

We had great seats, straight up from the stage. Perfect! We were on the east side of the stadium Section E37, Row 38 and John and I had seats 24 and 25. Funny story... When the concert was originally announce for June 3, 2011 I bought us tickets for the General Admission Floor thinking that it would be really fun to get that up close and personal with the stage, but as the time passed and that concert was canceled and rescheduled, we all re-thought our tickets, knowing that John has his bad back and other people had their various reasons... So I got online one random day just before this past Christmas and bought six new tickets to the U2 concert. Reserved Seats. I paid an extra price for them, but it was well worth it. I was able to sell all 6 of the GA tickets to other people in the week before Christmas. Nice. Everyone that came with us was pleasantly surprised at the new seating arrangement and that I let the extra price tag on the tickets go as their "Christmas presents." I'm such a nice sister.

The weather in Utah has been crazy this past month with torrential downpours, snow, clouds and cold. I was a little worried how the evening would turn out when that morning also started out so dark, cold and rainy... I took every opportunity I could to check out the windows while I tried working a full day before the concert. At some point in the early afternoon the skies cleared up and the sun came out. It got so warm and the sky was such a clean, clear blue. It turned into a beautiful day and a evening I'll not forget. Salt Lake City is such a beautiful venue. I was quite disappointed that there was no 2 on the mountain next to the U.

The opening act was The Fray. They came out and preformed at 7:00pm. I don’t know too many of their songs, but John only knew one. They were pretty good. Much better than any of the other opening acts we’ve seen for U2 in the past. I may have to look them up and see if I really want to own any of their music. What I thought was amusing was that the lead singer of The Fray was trying so hard to *own* that stage. Unfortunately he just wasn’t pulling it off, He looked so tiny walking around that gigantic circle I felt kind of bad for him. It was a nice comparison to see how he fit on the stage, and then to see how Bono owned the stage. Bono’s persona/mantle fills that stage as he struts around, it makes the stage seem smaller in his presence.
The set list was great. They played a lot of older songs that I hadn’t heard live before. I loved the acoustic version of Stay (one of my favorite songs,) Love Rescue Me, All I Want is You... Awesome. Apparently the band actively tracks what people are listening to and where and customize their shows to the locations they play. Apparently Utah listens to the old stuff. I thought that was pretty cool to learn how they pick their set lists, apparently they really do care what their fans think.

I wished so much that my Lariann could have been there, she died in May 2009, she would have loved it. U2 has become one of those bands that though I love them so, they remind me of her. I cried during Elevation. Why? Well, for one, it's U2, for another it reminds me of Tomb Raider, and for third, both of those things remind me of Lariann. I remembered her and celebrated U2 as if she were there with me. At the end of the concert (as he usually does) Bono invited us all to pull out our phones and turn the stadium into stars on the ground. Bono let us all remember her at the end in our field of stars.


'Take out your phones,' came the call before Moment of Surrender. 'Everyone has someone they want to think about at the moment.
'Make the light brighter. No need to kick out the darkness.
Hold on to this beautiful world... Hold on tight..' U2.com


I thought of Lari, and I cried. That was twice in one night that I was missing my adorable little sister, and here we were with Bono remembering her too in his own little way. I wonder sometimes if he has any idea how he touches lives and how much people like me think of him and his magnanimous personality. What a difference he has made in the world.




Even Better Than The Real Thing (Remix version)

I Will Follow

Get On Your Boots

Magnificent (Remix version)

Mysterious Ways


Until The End Of The World

All I Want Is You

Love Rescue Me (Unplanned, not on printed setlist)

Happy Birthday (To Bob Dylan)

Stay (Faraway, So Close!)

Beautiful Day (with "Here Comes the Sun" snippet)

Pride (In The Name Of Love)

Miss Sarajevo


City Of Blinding Lights

Vertigo  (with "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)" snippet)

I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Remix version, with "Discotheque" and "Mofo" snippets)

Sunday Bloody Sunday


Walk On (with "You'll Never Walk Alone" snippet)


Aung San Suu Kyi Message


Where The Streets Have No Name (with "Blowin' In The Wind" and "The Times, They Are A-Changin'" snippets)

Encore 2:

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

With Or Without You

Moment of Surrender

Monday, May 23, 2011

Our Weekend in Movies

Bedtime Stories (2008) - This movie was really cute. A lot better than I was expecting it to be. There are some Adam Sandler movies that are worth watching and then there are the ones that you are embarrassed to admit you’ve seen. This one I loved. It was funny, touching, entertaining, and it made me laugh quite a bit. This is definitely a family movie that you could let your kids see.


Get Smart (2008) - I'm not really a Steve Carell fan, but this movie is funny and I enjoyed it. There are a few little add ins that I am sure are funny to some, but I just found unnecessary. Overall it's a pretty good comedy adventure movie.


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) - I loved this movie, and not just because I'm a Pirate fan or a Johnny Depp fan... but those both helped. I saw this twice this weekend and loved it both times. I'm not going to compare this movie to the others because I loved them all in their own right. Jack Sparrow makes the movie what it is and not the supporting characters. LOVED IT.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Eating with Liz 2011 - Italian Chicken & Noodles

Hi There. It's been over a week since I posted something food related. Sorry about that. John and I haven't really been eating at home this last couple of weeks, but believe it or not I have still been able to keep up with my new recipe a week. Some we like others we don't. This weeks recipe to pass on it pretty easy and was a tastier than we were expecting to to be. Like I have said before, we're a little gun-shy with some of these recipes from e-mealz.com, so we're programmed to think something is gross before we even try it. Sad, but true... but on the bright side, when something is good we are pleasantly surprised because we weren't expecting it. So without too much more chatter, here is the recipe for this week:
Italian Chicken & Noodles
2 c Egg Noodles
1/2 c Italian Dressing
2 Chicken Breasts cut into bite sized chunks
1 Tomato chopped
2 c Spinach
1/2 c Cheese
6 oz Bacon crumbled
Boil water for Egg Noodles. Boil noodles according to package directions.
Heat Italian Dressing in a large skillet. Add cut up chicken breasts to hot dressing. Cook for 7 or 8 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Add Tomato and Spinach and heat thoroughly until spinach is wilted.
Combine chicken stuff and noodles on plate. Top with shredded Cheese and crumbled Bacon.
As a reminder, this recipe is "For Two" so you'll have to double up on it if you're feeding your family. We didn't end up with any leftovers of this one. Also, it didn't seem to be missing that "Something" that some of the other meals have been missing. I think the Italian Dressing helped a lot in the flavor category. I think this might be one we'll eat again.
And... as always, if you are interested, this recipe came from www.e-mealz.com.
I <3 Emealz

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Movies: At Our House

The Invention of Lying (2009) - Some of the dialogue was unnecessary. I understand that the point of the movie is that no one lies (and apparently has no inner dialogue) and that most of the time most of the population of the world are thinking naughty thoughts, but come on. Really? I almost turned the movie off before it had really gotten started... but I didn't. The rest of the plot was good. Man discovers lying and tries to make the world a better place, but due to his imperfections he is likely to lose the one thing he wants most. I think I cried a little near the end.
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008) - This movie was pretty cute. There were some bits that were totally unnecessary, but as a whole I really enjoyed watching it. Sad boy dumped by girlfriend is out looking for a concert and finds new love before the night is over. They bond over music.
Castle in the Sky (US release 2003) - John and I watched this movie not to long ago. We loved it. The story is fantastic and the animation is great. There were some parts where it was like "huh?" but not to much. I would recommend this as a good movie for the family. A girl falls from the sky with a magic stone and the two children have to learn the truth and make it to the castle in the sky before it's too late.
The Green Hornet (2011) - Such. A. Waste. Of. My. Time. We watched this last night and have officially decided that it was really stupid. Seth Rogan is a terrible actor. The story was lame... The only reason we watched the entire movie was because Kato was worth it. this is one we'll never watch again. The language was fitly We're glad we didn't actually pay to see this in the theater. That would have been such a disappointment for my birthday.
Thor (2011) - LOVED THIS! There was nothing in this movie that made me think less of it. I'm glad that the excitement for it at our house was not unfounded. I would highly recommend this to everyone to see. Not just fans of superheroes. There was nothing disagreeable in the movie. I don't even remember hearing any of "the" swear words. Go See It. You'll love it too. Thor is cast out of Asgard and has to learn some life lessons. Loki, is scheming. Midgar is troubled. Odin is old. Havoc ensues.
TV on DVD:
Doctor Who: Series 4 (2008 TV Series) - The Doctor saves the planet, nay, he saves the universe, with the help of Donna Noble. I wasn't a complete fan of Donna before watching this series all the way from beginning to end, but I'm a little more fond of her now. Not by much, but I am.
Doctor Who: The Complete Specials (2009 TV Series) - Of course David Tennant can't end his time as The Doctor in a regular series episode. Oh, No, the BBC makes you buy a whole other set of DVDs with 4 episodes on.
Doctor Who: Series 5 (2010 TV Series) - Matt Smith as The Doctor with his companions Amie and Rory. Still not sure that I buy into this new Doctor, but I will. There are good and there are bad, Matt Smith just isn't selling it to me yet. Maybe in Series 6...
Firefly: The Complete Series (2002 TV Series) - John and I spent an entire Sunday watching the complete series of Firefly. What a great series. What a shame that it was canceled so soon. Joss Whedon doesn't get enough appreciation for these great shows that he creates. By the end of the last episode I was pretty attached to all the characters and pretty annoyed that THAT WAS IT. This show could have been so great with so much going on. Sadly there is no more... except the movie Serenity that came out a few years later... Too bad. There was quite a bit of naked, and some made up swear words, but nothing too terrible because it was a TV show after all.
Serenity (2005) - Technically a movie, but really it was kind of a finale to the Firefly series so I'm listing it down here. This is a movie you have to watch to tie up the ends of the series that was canceled. This was a good wrap up... for what it was. I wanted s much more of the adventures of the Serenity crew, but this is all we got. It did make some things better, but it also left a lot hanging. It was a sad reminder of what could have been, but we loved it anyway. It was shiny.
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (2010 TV Series) - What great animation! This is one of the best Marvel Avengers series' that I have watched (slept through.) John really loved it. It's currently on Disney XD channel so season 1 just came out on DVD. I would definitely recommend this as one to watch for all you superhero fans. the animation is great. The story lines have been great. The entire first season is pretty much an introduction to all the characters. Here's to hoping season 2 will be just as exciting.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Royal Wedding and Crumpets

I've been asked a lot this week how I enjoyed the Royal Wedding last Friday… and the answer is: A LOT.

I loved every moment of if so much that I didn't really mind waking up at 2 am to watch it from beginning to end (all 8 hours of it.) The whole thing was just so ... regal. It made me a little nostalgic for my own wedding. I admired Kate's dress. Her veil, her tiara, her beautiful smile. William looked so nice in his red uniform. And they both looked really happy. I'm not a professional entertainment guide, or a royal spokes person, but Will and Kate looked genuinely really really happy to be together. Kate had that wedding day glow.

The wedding service was beautiful. Long. But beautiful.. The sermon given at the ceremony was very eloquent. The words were chosen wisely and spoken so well. The Bishop of London, the Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Richard Chartres,

gave the royal couple advice that we could all use in our own marriages, or life in general. I highly recommend a read through of the service, even if you listened to it the first time.

"Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves"

But even with the fancy words and advice given to Will and Kate, I gained such a positive confirmation of my own marriage. It made me appreciate my simple Mormon wedding that doesn't involve singing or pomp. Now let us pray, now let us sing, now let us pray and sing some more... stand up sit down fight! fight! fight!  I prefer the simpleness of my wedding. "Yes" is the only word we had to speak, and then John was mine and I was his and we are so happy. I'm not preaching, or getting on my soapbox or anything, but I just want to say how absolutely thankful I am for my temple marriage. I'm thankful that my sealing to my husband is for "Time AND All Eternity." When I hear weddings binding people "Until Death Do Us Part" it just makes me sad. I know that not everyone believes what I believe and that to some my temple marriage is just the Mormon "pomp and circumstance" or the way we like to shut others out of one of the most important days of our lives... but to me, if I love someone enough to marry them, than why wouldn't I want to be with them for all eternity. So whether you believe it or not, the words "For time and all eternity" are a comfort beyond belief for a life that is so temporary.

Nevertheless, I wish the Royal couple well in their lives together and hope that their marriage will be steadfast and be an example to the world of what love and marriage should be.

For the occasion (once I got out of bed) I wore my tiara, I wore my replica ring. I even wore a shirt which I have deemed "royal" purple. I'm a Royal fan even though I'm only half British… and even that giver of my British half is less then interested in the goings-on in the Royal family. Oh well. Some days I really wish I was full British. I wish I lived in England (or Wales, or Ireland, or Scotland.) But in the end, I'm here and this is where I'll stay because I'm too afraid to move away from the things and people I know to make a new start. I'm a chicken. That's really all it comes down to when I think about branching out into something new. That being said, I do try new things in the safe confines of my kitchen. For breakfast on the bless-ed day of the Royal Nuptials I opted to try something new. Crumpets. I'd never had them before, but you always hear about having crumpets with a spot of tea.


SIDE NOTE: I'm not a fan of tea in any form although I do have friends that try to convince me that herbal tea is quite good. I was even offered some peach herbal tea that very same night, but I turned my nose up at it because I am just not a fan. Yuck!


These were pretty easy to make. The batter is simple and the cooking directions seem to be pretty straight forward. You do need to have some special tools handy for their cooking, but I figured that the purchase of such tools may come in handy further along in life too. What tools you ask? Well, these ones, of course: English Muffin Rings. I bought mine from the other vendor option they have on amazon.com so I got 8 rings for about $6 + shipping, but considering that King Arthur Flour wants me to pay $11 for 8 rings I think I got a pretty good deal. I guess now that I own them I should learn how to make English Muffins as well. You could also use metal cookie cutters for this, or I read some where that if you use empty tuna cans they work just as well. Don't forget to grease the inside of the ring before adding your batter or it makes removing the crumpet pretty difficult (and hot!)



From: www.kingarthurflour.com


·         1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

·         1 cup lukewarm milk

·         2 tablespoons melted butter

·         3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

·         2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

·         1 teaspoon baking powder

·         1 1/4 teaspoons salt


1) Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, and beat vigorously for 2 minutes. A stand or hand mixer, set on high speed, work well here. 

2) Cover the bowl, and let the batter rest at room temperature for 1 hour. It will expand and become bubbly. Towards the end of the rest, preheat a griddle to medium-low, about 325°F. If you don't have an electric griddle, preheat a frying pan; it shouldn't be as hot as the temperature you use to cook pancakes.

3) Lightly grease the griddle or frying pan, and place well-greased 3 3/4" English muffin rings in the pan, as many as will fit. (If you don't have English muffin rings, use well-cleaned tuna cans, from which you've removed the top and bottom.) Pour sticky batter by the scant 1/4-cupful into each ring; a muffin scoop works well here.

4) After about 4 minutes, use a pair of tongs to slip the rings off. Cook the crumpets for a total of about 10 minutes on the first side, until their tops are riddled with small bubbles/holes. They should be starting to look a bit dry around the edges. Their bottoms will be a mottled, light-golden brown. Note: They probably won't be as full of holes as store-bought crumpets; that's OK.

5) Turn the crumpets over, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, to finish cooking the insides and to brown the tops gently. This isn't traditional; "real" crumpets are white on top, but the crumpet police won't chastise you for adding a little color to the tops.

6) Remove the crumpets from the pan, and repeat with the remaining batter, until all the crumpets are cooked. Serve warm. Or cool completely, wrap in plastic, and store at room temperature. To enjoy, warm in the toaster. Serve with butter, or butter and jam.

Yield: about twenty 3 3/4" crumpets.


The first batch I could were really doughy after cooking for what I felt like was a long time so they got tossed, and the second batch I tried using a little less batter and they seemed to work out much better. After cooking until they were thoroughly browned they still tasted a little doughy… I called my dad. "Dad, what consistency are crumpets supposed to be?" I asked. After expressing he jealousy over my eating crumpets he stated that they should be "a little doughy" in the middle. SCORE! I got something right. I think it's just my American cooking ways that says that something should be cooked completely (except for steak, of course.)

After adding some butter and jam or honey I'm happy to say that the crumpets were very good. Mmmm! I packed some away in my freezer for later consumption, and said to myself: "Self, I think I'll try making those again. They were good." And my self agreed with me.

"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." - St Catherine of Siena