Monday, October 16, 2017

Lack of perfection.

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

In his book My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business, Dick Van Dyke shares what helped him land the role of Rob Petrie:
Over the years, I have heard and read about other actors they considered, including Johnny Carson. I have also heard and read various accounts of why they liked me. My favorites? I wasn't too good-looking, I walked a little funny, and I was basically kind of average and ordinary.
I guess my lack of perfection turned out to be a winning hand. Let that be a lesson for future generations. 
 And let that be a lesson for me. Success does not require perfection.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Comic Relief: Ryan Hamilton

Friday: Comic Relief

Surfing Netflix, I came across a comedian I had never heard of: Ryan Hamilton. He's been a guest on talk shows, named one of Rolling Stone's Five Comics to Watch, plus he's from my home state (Idaho), yet somehow I he was new to me.

His refreshingly clean comedy gave me much needed laughter. Thank you, Ryan!

Here's the trailer to his Netflix special:

Trailer: Ryan Hamilton: Happy Face

Monday, September 18, 2017

Never give up.

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

I love when movie dialogue resonates. Sometimes it's easy to give up after failing, but we truly only fail when we give up.

From Megan Leavey (2017):
There are a few people in life... not many... that you gotta find a way for. If you needed something, I would do whatever it took... not because I'm any kind of great dad... but because how I love you is stronger than when I'm not. I want you to be a person who shows up... for work... for your friend's funerals... for life.
I've tried. I've failed.
So fail again. And just keep failing until... they're... tossing dirt on your corpse. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Working on another blog page.

Friday: Comic Relief

Just a quick update. I am working on another page for this blog. It lists the movies referenced on here over the years, along with links to the posts referencing the movie (some movies are referenced in more than one post). The project is taking longer than I expected (of course), and I seem to hear King Julien shouting... "How long is this going to take?"

 (Madagascar, 2005)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The 50 United States of Filming.

In honor of Independence Day, I created a list of movies filmed in each state. I have visited all 50 of the United States and each one has its own beauty and charm... and filming locations.

Except where noted, these movies were filmed entirely in that particular state according to IMDb (I linked each title to the listed filming locations).

So if you see these films, know that the scenery really is from the state it was filmed in. For instance, if you watch Runaway Bride, all locations are in Maryland (think that's NYC? Nope, it's Baltimore posing). Whereas if you watch Dances with Wolves, you'll see lots of South Dakota, but also Nebraska, Wyoming, and Kansas (thus the movie did not make this list).

As much as possible,  I selected feature-length narrative films that showed in theaters rather than documentaries and small independent flicks.

And of course, this is not perfect or all-incluseive. Sometimes I found copious films to choose from so I limited the selection to three or four, and other times it seemed like scraping the bottom of the barrel to find one or two (a good indication those particular states don't offer decent film incentives).

(NOTE: Many of these movies contain content I would not recommend.)




(Popular state for filming!)



(No surprise... there are pages and pages of movies filmed exclusively in California, so I selected some with plots linked to the movie industry.)




(This state only recently formed a film commission, so maybe we'll see more films there in the future.)




















New Hampshire:

New Jersey:

New Mexico:

New York

(Many, many movies filmed in New York, so I selected three with themes of Broadway.)

North Carolina:

North Dakota:




(Popular state for filming with many filmed exclusively in Oregon.)


Rhode Island:

South Carolina:

South Dakota:







West Virginia:



Well? Did the list hold any surprises for you?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Take 35: Apollo 13

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.

Apollo 13 (1995)

"Houston, we have a problem."

This film earned a spot in Roger Ebert's 33 Movies to Restore Your Faith in Humanity. With that in mind, I rewatched the movie to see if Ebert is right. And he is.

Based on an actual event, Ron Howard directed the film with great attention to detail as it portrays the near-fatal voyage of Apollo 13 when an oxygen tank explosion cripples the spacecraft with astronauts Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton), and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) aboard.

So how does this film restore faith in humanity? Through several facets. The flight crew pulls together in crisis, treating each other with respect. And Houston Mission Control reveals masterful creativity and ingenuity as they put their heads together for solutions. Ebert describes them as, " trained to do a job, and doing a better one than anyone could have imagined." Examples of teamwork and courage abound.

But the biggest boost for my faith in humanity came while watching people around the world worry, watch, and pray for the safe return of three stranded astronauts. Millions praying for three. That's humanity--universal humanity.

Trailer: Apollo 13

Notes on content:
  • The language is a bit strong for a PG film, with several vain references to Deity, and frequent mild to moderate swearing. A possible F-word, but not distinct.
  • A few sexual innuendos and references.
  • Some explosions in space and tense situations.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Enemy of art is the absence of limitations.

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

"The enemy of art is the absence of limitations." (Orson Welles)

Movies of yesteryear had more limitations, so filmmakers were creative with how they portrayed certain scenes. Hitchcock brought terror to his audience without showing graphic violence or gore. And in D.W. Griffith's silent film, Way Down East (1920), no crude language or vulgar images were necessary for the audience to grasp the meaning of a scoundrel's hand on an innocent girl's knee.

Too many of today's filmmakers buy into a no-holds-barred-push-the-envelope mentality and fall short in the creative department.

If filmmakers combined today's technology with yesteryear's stricter codes, we could have some incredibly creative films.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pages for Reviews

I organized my film reviews for easier reference... see the above tabs:
  • My "Take" (Reviews) -- An alphabetical listing with links to movie reviews published on this blog.
  • My ClearPlay Movie Reviews -- An alphabetical listing with links to movie reviews I've written for ClearPlay, published on their website.
    • Note: ClearPlay is a legal filtering company that has been around for nearly two decades. With ClearPlay, you can set what level of filtering you want for various content such as profanity, nudity, and violence. Filters are available through streaming, or with their patented Blu-Ray and DVD player. 
Stay tuned for more reviews to come!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Movie Soundtrack Earworms

Friday: Comic Relief

We watched Moana (2016) last Sunday, and I've had at least one song from the soundtrack caught in my head every day since. Moana earworms.

It started Monday morning with You're Welcome, a catchy tune sung by the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson). I mentioned the frustration to my husband, so he sang lyrics of Shiny, another song from the movie, in hopes that changing the tune would get the first song out of my head.

Nope. It only turned my earworm into a medley of both songs.

I looked up ways to get rid of earworms:
  • Chew gum.
  • Sing another song. 
  • Listen to another song.
  • Chat with someone.
  • Meditate.
  • Visualize changing the channel inside your head to another song.
  • Look up the lyrics.
  • Listen to the song all the way through.
  • Read a book.
  • Do a puzzle.
  • Relax. The earworm will pass.
That last one annoys me the most... the earworm will pass? Maybe someday, but it's now day six. I've tried every one of those suggestions and somehow only succeeded in adding yet another Moana tune to the medley, How Far I'll Go.

Maybe writing this blog post will help. Maybe it will pass those Shiny earworms on to you. You better believe it... yes, that's How Far I'll Go. And if you find those songs stuck in your head... well... what can I say except you're welcome! ...

... And thank you!

Dwayne Johnson - You're Welcome (from Moana)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Creativity Inside the Box

Monday: Dialogue, Lines, or Quotes

M. Night Shyamalan, writer and director of The Sixth Sense (1999), said,
"I believe in the process of limitations forcing creativity. It's important to have walls to work against."
I enjoy blog challenges because creativity flows from limiting posts to topics based on specific writing prompts and guidelines. Limitations spawn creativity.

We like to believe anything is possible and want to dream big, so it's easy to assume having no boundaries is a good thing. We hear the slogan "think outside the box" and forget how the very factors that seemingly box us in--boundaries, limitations, guidelines, deadlines--actually generate creativity. Thinking inside the box sparks ideas.

For instance, the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge gives guidelines to post with a specific letter on certain days throughout the month of April. Since this is a film blog, I added another boundary... each post needed to include at least one movie reference. And another limitation came by following a theme, Food in Film.

The letter K proved difficult, but thinking of my boundaries...
  • food 
  • starting with the letter K
  • appearing in a movie
...gave birth to one of my favorite posts during the challenge: Food in Film: Kibble.

This was my third year of participating in and completing the A to Z Challenge. Each year thinking inside the box stimulated additional ideas for future A to Z posts. Based on that growing list of ideas, I have film-related themes for 12 more of the yearly challenge!

Shyamalan's words ring true, "It's important to have walls to work against." Limitations generate creativity.

(Click here for links to all my A to Z posts, or click on the tab above.)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Food in Film: Zagnut

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Zagnut

The crunchy peanut butter and coconut candy bar was a delicious treat when I was a kid. I haven't eaten one in years, but I can still imagine the taste.

In The Great Outdoors (1988), Chet (John Candy) wants a bonding father/son moment with his youngest son. He drives to a garbage dump where the bears are known to forage, but the boy seems unimpressed. So... Chet tosses Zagnut bars to the bears, then places one on the hood of their vehicle. The bears get closer alright.

I would never entice a bear closer. I read the "Bear Etiquette" pamphlet given to us while camping in The Grand Teton National Park. The instructions included:
  • Never approach a bear. Okay. I have no problem with that rule. 
  • Never allow a bear to get human food. If approached while eating, put food away and retreat to a safe distance. Sorry, but if I'm approached while eating, I am not taking time to put the food away!!
  • Never abandon food because of an approaching bear. Always take it with you. Yeah, right. This is too much like the previous one. Let's see... a bear approaches me because I have yummy food, how does taking said yummy food with me solve anything? 
  • Never throw your pack or food at a bear in an attempt to distract it.  Sorry again, but I'm all for throwing anything (except a family member) at a bear if it will take its attention off me!
So go ahead, Chet, throw the Zagnuts to attract the bears... I will be running the opposite direction while you distract them.

From Apples to Zagnut, that's a wrap on my Food in Film theme, and the 2017 A to Z Challenge.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Food in Film: Yolk

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Yolk

A rotten egg breaks all over Templeton the Rat (Steve Buscemi, voice). The barn animals react to the horrid smell and he puns, "The yolks on me!" (Charlotte's Web, 2006)

Mind if I shell out some egg "yolks"?

The wording might not be eggs-act, but two men place a breakfast order in a diner. One orders cow's tongue and the other responds, "Eewww! How can you eat something that came from a cow's mouth?" Then he places his order, "I'll have the eggs."

Why can't you tease egg whites? They can't take a yolk.

As I've mentioned before, life is what comedy is made of... One day I dropped a trayful of eggs while removing them from the refrigerator. My husband reacted, "What's going on?"

Looking at the broken yolks around my feet, I responded, "Apparently I'm ovulating."

Scene: The yolks on Templeton.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Food in Film: Xiaolongbao

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Xiaolongbao

I need to stretch this one a little. Xiaolongbao, a Chinese steamed bun, is usually a soup dumpling filled with meat. The Chinese steamed buns I refer to in the post are more of a bread bun and called mantou.

A dramatic scene in one of my favorite foreign films, To Live (1994), comes to mind. It's an epic film directed by Yimou Zhang (he also directed the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony in Beijing), and follows the lives of a couple, Xu Fugui (You Ge) and Xu Jiazhen (Li Gong), over three decades.

Tragedy strikes as their daughter goes into labor and gives birth in a county hospital. Nurses attend to her because all the doctors, accused of being "reactionary academic authorities," have been sent to a concentration camp.

Fugui manages to get a doctor to the hospital, but the man hasn't eaten in several days. Fugui buys steamed buns for him. Shortly after, the young mother begins hemorrhaging and the frantic nurses admit they are under-qualified and don't know what to do.

They hurry to the doctor and discover he is nearly unconscious. He gorged on seven buns while drinking a large amount of water. The water caused the buns to swell inside his stomach, making him too ill to be of any help.

The doctor's situation is understandable since we might expect a starving person to overfill on food. I have never known that type of hunger. I have food available and the knowledge that I can and will eat again, and yet I experience occasional times of gorging... eating until I am ill, in pain, and cannot function.

And I find it ironic that part of my compulsive overeating stems from learned behavior... being told as a child to eat what I was served... eat foods I didn't like... eat even if I wasn't hungry... clean my plate... because there were starving children in China.

Trailer: To Live

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Food in Film: Watermelon

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Watermelon

When I eat watermelon, I put a slice on my plate, take my fruit spoon and start on the outer edge and keep working my way around the melon until I finally get to the best bite... the heart. The laaaast bite.

The Dodos in Ice Age (2002) fight for the laaaaast melon:

Scene: The laaaaast melon.

I am selfish with my food, and I save the best for last. As my husband can attest, don't ask for my last bite. When we were newly married, he asked for my last bite of cottage cheese and pineapple. I feigned serving it to him on my spoon but quickly swooped it back to my mouth and ate in delight.

It started our first fight.

Unbeknownst to me, he was testing my love based on that bite."If you truly loved me, you would have given me your last bite!" My argument, "If you truly loved me you wouldn't ask for my last bite!"

It was also our first lesson in marriage. "Tests" of love almost always fail. If we look for signs that our spouse doesn't love us, we will find them. If we look for signs that our spouse does love us, we can find those, too.

We've been married 37 years. He accepts my food possessiveness. He doesn't snitch food off my plate, and doesn't ask for--but sometimes I willingly offer--my laaaaaaast bite.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Food in Film: Vegetables

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...


Do you recall the scene in Father of the Bride (1991) when the daughter is about to leave the house with her newly announced fiancé and the father, George Banks (Steve Martin), tells her it's nippy out and suggests she wear a sweater? She ignores his advice, but when the fiancé agrees and tells her it's cold out, she sweetly complies and takes her jacket.

That was our daughter with vegetables. We had to coax, beg, and bribe to get her to eat vegetables... then she got engaged. Suddenly the war on vegetables was over because her fiancé said they were good for her.

If children won't listen to their parents about vegetables being good for them, maybe they will listen to Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire). In Spider-Man 2 (2004), two boys witness Peter using his spider reflexes to avoid a terrible collision and ask:

How'd you do that?

Uh... Work out. Plenty of rest.
You know, eat your green vegetables.

That's what my mom is always saying.
I just never actually believed her!

Scene: Eat your green vegetables.

I like a wide variety of vegetables and will eat many of them raw. I have no problem with their taste, and usually don't "doctor" them up. So, in my daughter's defense, the vegetables I served were fairly plain. The important thing is that she loves vegetables now and her children--my grandbabies--love them, too! 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Food in Film: Ugli Fruit

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

Ugli fruit

What do you get when you cross an orange, a tangerine, and a grapefruit? The Jamaican uniq fruit, trademarked as UGLI.

UGLI®️ fruit. Photo by GabeB, Flickr
I'm not certain if uniq fruit can be found in a film, but it gave me a good reason to watch Cool Runnings (1993) again. There's a scene where Derice Bannock (Leon) runs through a marketplace and we see some women carrying baskets of what appears to be citrus fruit. Could be uniq fruit, but I don't know.

Research revealed over 30 films shot in Jamaica, but I haven't seen most of them. So why write about uniq or UGLI®️ fruit?

Because the fruit is known for its unattractive skin, yet it yields juicy sweetness inside. It makes me wonder about foods we might refuse to eat because of the way it looks (or smells) and films we might not see because they don't appeal to us.

For years I thought blue-cheese dressing would be disgusting... but then I finally tried it, and loved it.

My husband humored me when I wanted to see Sullivan's Travels (1941). He was certain it would be boring, but watched it with me, anyway. You guessed it... the film is now his favorite comedy.

Do you have examples of foods and/or films you initially avoided but later loved?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Food in Film: Turkey

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Turkey

We had turkey for every holiday and family gathering when I was a kid. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, Easter. Reunions. Turkey, turkey, turkey, turkey. By the time I was grown and gone, I was sick of that bird and determined I would only prepare turkey once a year on Thanksgiving.

Why not copy my daughter and do away with it altogether (see Lobster)? Because I gotta have my turkey sandwich! Bread. Butter. Mayo. Turkey. Sprinkle of salt. That's it.

If I go somewhere else for Thanksgiving and don't have claim on the leftovers... well, I prepare a small turkey roast at home, just to have my sandwich. That's my tradition.

Which means, unlike this scene in Free Birds (2013), at my house there is no pardon for the turkey.

Scene: Pardoned turkey.

For a fun side: Family gatherings create funny movie-worthy moments. I wrote about humorous Thanksgiving incidents in Life... the stuff comedy is made of.

If you have a few minutes, follow the link to that post, then return here to share a funny moment from one of your family feasts!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Food in Film: S'mores

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… S'mores

I was fourteen years old and had gone on a picnic with a friend and her parents. As we stood near a small campfire, Ann asked if I wanted a s'more, and like Scotty Smalls, I had never heard of them. She showed me how to make one, and when I bit into it... oh my... heavenly!!

Here's the classic scene from The Sandlot, (1993):

HAM PORTER (Patrick Renna)
Hey, wanna s'more?

Some more what?

No, no. You wanna s'more?

I haven't had anything yet so how 
can I have some more of nothing?

You're killing me, Smalls!

Scene: Introducing Scotty to s'mores

Have you ever tasted a treat that was so delicious you can recall details years later of where you were at the time you bit into it and angels sang?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Food in Film: Ramen

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Ramen

In The Ramen Girl (2008), Abby (Brittany Murphy), an American in Tokyo, seeks training from a ramen master, Maezumi (Toshiyuki Nishida). She learns technique, but her broth isn't right. Maezumi can't understand why Abby's broth always fails, so he takes her to his mother. Abby prepares ramen and serves it to her. The mother recognizes the problem...

You cook with your head. Understand?
Your full of noise.
You must cook from the
quieter place deep inside of you.

But how?

Each bowl of ramen that you prepare...
is a gift to your customer. The food that
you serve your customer becomes a part
of them. It contains your spirit.
That’s why your ramen must be an expression
of pure love. A gift...from your heart.

Her counsel haunts me. I cook with a head full of noise and it shows in my preparation and presentation. I hurry through the cooking process, and don't take time to make meals look attractive. I just plop it on a plate and serve it up, "Here's your grub."

What does that say about my heart? What does that say about me?

Don't get me wrong, I can prepare tasty meals and I've even won prizes at cook-offs, but think what I could do if I cooked with my heart!

The Ramen Girl - Trailer

Do you cook with your head, or a quiet and loving heart? 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Food in Film: Quiche

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Quiche

They say real men don't eat quiche, but if that's the case, James Bond is not a real man... in A View to a Kill (1985) he even makes quiche.

JAMES BOND (Roger Moore)
(removes quiche from oven)
Et voila. Quiches des Cabinet.

STACY SUTTON (Tanya Roberts)
Sounds interesting.
Mmm. What is it?

An omelet.

Scene: James Bond makes quiche.

My husband doesn't make quiche, but he does make omelets. After the kids moved out, he took over the tradition of serving breakfast in bed on Mother's Day. He serves me an omelet with a "quiche" on the lips.

Mother's Day Breakfast in Bed
Notice how attractively he arranged the fruit. I lack that flare. Tomorrow's post will have more on that topic.

If you have a favorite quiche recipe, please share!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Food in Film: Pancakes

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Pancakes

As in GIANT pancakes! When Buck (John Candy) makes pancakes for his nephew's birthday, he goes all out in major proportions... pancakes so large he has to flip them with a snow shovel. "This is where you separate the men from the boys." Gigantic goodness! (Uncle Buck, 1989)

I hope you're hungry!
You should see the toast.
I couldn't even get it through the door.

The first time I made pancakes for my husband, he was filled with dread, unsure how to let me know he hated pancakes. I use the past tense because up until he had mine he hated them. Turns out that his mom made pancakes so thick he could barely choke them down, but mine were light and thin. 

My mom made delicious hotcakes (as we called them), and my favorite topping was her homemade chokecherry syrup. Oh how I miss that! 

How do you like your pancakes?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Food in Film: Old 96er

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Old 96er

While vacationing at a lakeside resort, Chet Ripley (John Candy) and his family dine at a Paul Bunyan themed restaurant. Chet orders the "Old 96er"--a 96-ounce prime aged beef steak--and if he consumes the entire thing, including gristle, his family will eat for free (The Great Outdoors, 1988).

A few bites of steak and I'm good. If I eat more it sits like a brick in my stomach. When the Old 96er arrives at the table, I cringe.

Scene: Chet eats the Old 96er.

We like to eat local cuisine while on vacation. Themed restaurants can be fun, and if we eat at a franchise restaurant, we select one that isn't available where we live. We don't want same-o, same-o.

Sometimes we select a diner based on the amount of cars in the parking lot, other times we ask locals for recommendations. Once in awhile we try a place simply because of an intriguing name, like Lizard's Thicket (South Carolina). And sometimes limited cafe options in a small town give us so-so foods but fun family memories, like Pickle's Place in Arco, Idaho.

I have visited all 50 of the United States and although I can't recall every dining experience, these restaurants (listed in alphabetical order) stand out in my memory:
If we visited your area, what eatery would you recommend?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Food in Film: Nacho Cheese-flavored Chips

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Nacho cheese-flavored chips

I was introduced to Doritos chips in the late 1960s, and that's my first recollection of eating like an addict. Seriously. I chowed on those chips until the bag was empty, and then devoured another bagful the next day, and the day after that. Finally, I reached a point where even the thought of eating Doritos made me sick, and I broke free.

But then... they came out with their nacho cheese-flavored chips in the mid-70s... and I had to try the new flavor, right?

So I can relate to the instant attraction the animals experience in Over the Hedge (2006) when RJ (Bruce Willis, voice) opens a bag of nacho cheese-flavored chips. Whoof. Cheese powder everywhere. They like it! And when Hammy (Steve Carell, voice) asks what is that, RJ responds:

That, my friend, is a magical combination
of corn flour, dehydrated cheese solids,
BHA, BHT, and good old MSG,aka:
the chip... nacho cheese-flavored.

The nuclear cloud of powdered cheese begins at approximately 0:40. Be careful. It's addicting.

Scene: Nacho cheese-flavor explosion.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Food in Film: Meatloaf

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Meatloaf

I like meatloaf. Homemade, restaurant made, I have rarely met a meatloaf I didn't like. When I visited Hawaii, early pregnant with our first child, surrounded by exotic cuisine, all I wanted was a meatloaf sandwich. (And my husband, the hero, helped me find one in Honolulu.)

For many years I prepared the dish using a new recipe each time. I enjoyed them all. And so did the kids... until they watched Ralphie's little brother in A Christmas Story (1983) whine, "I hate meatloaf." After that, my kids wouldn't touch the stuff.

Scene: Randy hates meatloaf.

That scene still irritates me!

While writing this post, I texted both kids, "Do you like meatloaf now?" My daughter thinks meatloaf is "just okay" but my son says he loves it. Awwww... that warms this mama's heart. He's my favorite child.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Food in Film: Lobster

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...


A few years ago, our daughter and son-in-law took an honest look at the their Thanksgiving meal and accepted that neither of them enjoy turkey and the traditional trimmings. They wondered why they were wasting their time and money on foods they didn't like. From that point on, they broke away from tradition and now their yearly feast features lobster.

They use a Better Homes and Gardens recipe: Broiled Lobster Tails with Garlic-Chili Butter. I'm glad the recipe is for the lobster tail. I have never cooked live lobster and probably never will.

In Julie & Julia (2009), Julie (Amy Adams) cooks her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French CookingThis scene validates my live-lobster squeamishness.

Scene: Julie cooks live lobsters.

I love lobster and it feels appropriate to say I "love" it since I don't abuse it. I don't eat lobster very often, and I don't over-eat it when I do. Every bite gets savored, and brings satisfaction.

Therein lies a key for me... when I take time to actually taste the food and savor it, I feel satisfied and eat less. I mentioned in yesterday's post that I want to learn to be finickier, like a cat, and only eat foods that taste amazing. Well, our daughter is like that, and I want my tastebuds to be like hers when they grow up.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Food in Film: Kibble

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...

… Kibble

I went through a stage of pushing fiber on my family in the form of bran muffins and bran cereals. One morning my husband prepared a bowl of cereal with milk. He took a bite, then added heaps of sugar. It was still disgusting but he dutifully continued eating, thinking, I don't care if this is good for me, it tastes like crap!

Then the kids entered the kitchen and exclaimed, "Dad! Why are you eating the cat food??"

In my defense, I had put the bulk kibble in a plastic container and placed it on the floor of the pantry with the cat food!

In his defense, the plastic container happened to be a Tupperware cereal keeper.

He could learn from this scene in The Secret Life of Pets (2016): Chloe shoves her kibble aside!

I can learn from the scene, too: Be more finicky, like a cat. If a food doesn't taste amazing, don't eat it. (More on that topic tomorrow.)

However, part of this clip is painfully funny because I relate to Chloe at the refrigerator. She tries to resist eating the turkey, but gives in, gorges... and then... she spies... the cake....

Scene: Meet Chloe (Lake Bell, voice) 

So, fess up... do your eating habits resemble finicky Chloe or compulsive-eater Chloe? (Or both?)

Have you eaten dog or cat kibble? (Or both?)

Have you dutifully eaten horrid tasting food because it was supposedly good for you?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Food in Film: Jelly

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

A food addict and connoisseur of tasteful films reviews Food in Film, starring...


When my children were young, a friend showed me how to make what she called "poor man's jelly" using unsweetened Flavor-Aid with apple juice. The juice takes on the flavor of the powdered drink mix. She liked to make that type of jelly (jam) when fruit was too expensive or not in season.

I chose cherry flavor for my batch of jelly. It was a huge hit at home and disappeared in a short amount of time.

To this day I am uncertain why I never made it again. It tasted fantastic, after all, unlike the jelly that Dr. Nefario and the Minions churn out in Despicable Me 2 (2013).

Scene: The jelly factory.

Has that ever happened to you... make something delicious once and never make it again?