Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Movie: Cinderella

  Review: The effects in this movie are extraordinary. There are so many versions of this story, it’s hard to find a way to make it different. Aside from the effects, the story is very much the same as the version we all grew up with. It skips the gory, “Grimm” details, making it suitable for kids. I think it is an excellent story for kids to see,  so hopefully they will believe in a little bit of magic and love.

It has great underlying messages as well.

As for the actual MOVIE, there is no filler. This means since the creators only have so much story to tell, the scenes do end up being pretty dragged out.

Rating: 4 out of 5

   

S’more Pops: These are a nice chocolatey treat, however, the combination of graham cracker and harden chocolate, makes them pretty hard to bite into.

 
Costa Rican Orange Pudding: this is an interesting one. The only two flavours are orange and cinnamon. It’s not bad, but pretty bland.

  
This is a cheesy chicken taco with a lettuce she’ll. I poured an Italian dressing over it. It’s very creative and tasty.

I made a Frozen Hot Chocolate to go with it. The recipe used both cocoa AND chocolate. It was okay, but next time I think I’ll skip the cocoa.

Thanks for reading and send me your suggestions!

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Libya

Libya

Movie: Taxi

  
Review: Taxi, starring Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah. Two amazingly talented actors. Unfortunately, the action, storyline and comedy are only so-so. Jimmy is hilarious. A man of many talents. I have been a fan for years, and probably will be forever. So why was the comedy not better in this movie? He can do soooooo many things, but aside from the one fake accent, he wasn’t used to his full potential. Queen Latifah, while funny and regal, didn’t meet her full potential either. 

That being said, the story does actually follow a pretty solid plot line, good or bad. It’s been done a thousand times, yes, but it’s a classic cop-working-with-civilian story. Aside from a few tiny plot holes, the story actually stood on its own. That is more than I can say for more than a few films out there. 

And you’ll still have a few laughs along the way.

Rating: 3 out of 5 paws

  
Sweet Southern tea: Very easy to make, with just a couple of teabags and a whole lot of sugar, it’s a good iced tea, but I’d still prefer flavoured ones.

Honey apples from Libya: I spent a lot of time looking for this country’s recipe. There were not that many to choose from and since I hadn’t heard of a lot of the other ingredients, I chose this recipe. Apples are not my favorite, so maybe that has something to do with why I didn’t overly enjoy this dish. There’s not a whole lot to it, but it’s not one I’d make again.

Brown sugar salmon: absolutely the best salmon recipe I’ve ever made. I really enjoyed this one. I paired it with some homemade potato wedges with a fry sauce. I used mayo, ketchup, salt and pepper, for the sauce. Delicious.

And I made a Strawberry Chocolate Pizza. The recipe was originally for raspberry chocolate, but I switched them out for strawberries. It’s really good, but the dough should be as thin as possible before baking.

Thanks for reading! If you have any suggestions for movies or recipes, please leave a comment on my home page!

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Movie: Bruce and Lloyd: Out of Control

 
Review: I had no idea this movie existed until I found it in the cheap bin. It’s a spin-off from the Steve Carrell movie, Get Smart. So already you don’t expect much from this movie, but it did surprise me. It had a plot, although the side plots could have been further developed. It was funny at times, but at other times, unamuzing. Still, it wasn’t boring, it didn’t go off on random tangents, and it quickly got to the point.

The good thing about this film is that is isn’t very long. Maybe an hour or so? But for this type of film, that’s really all that was needed. I’m glad they didn’t make it any longer than necessary. The bad thing about it is it’s very predictable, there were no shockers here. 

The good news is, if you liked Bruce and Lloyd in the Get Smart movie, you will probably enjoy this one. The celebrity cameos were pretty great too. There was one that I just thought that’s pretty cool

It’s a good, “light-hearted” film.

Rating: 3.5 paws out of 5.

  
My trip around the world tonight landed me in Hong Kong. I made “glutinous” rice balls in a sweet sauce. The balls themselves are pretty bland, and a bit rubbery. The sweet honey sauce makes them edible. Although I would not be likely to make them again, they were not bad.

Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites: I think I’m getting better at the pretzel thing. These were very good. They can be eaten cold, but I found them better warm. I’m thinking they would be a good snack for children too.

Strawberry Frappicino: Apparently this is an item on the Starbucks “secret menu”. Made with only a couple of strawberries, it is very tasty, not overpowering, and something akin to a strawberry milkshake. I’m impressed.

My favorite part of this movie night was the strawberry-cream cheese dip. It’s a fluffy, creamy, sweet, dip. I served them with animal crackers, but switched to nachos halfway through. The salty nachos went well with the sweet dip. It is a definite keeper as far as this recipe goes. Delicious! 

Mini Movie Night: Belgium

Mini Movie Night: Belgium

Movie: Rapture Palooza

  
Review: Anna Kendrick is adorable. Despite this movie being a complete inappropriate stoner movie, it did have a semi-good story. We’ve all heard about the rapture and how about 90% of us are basically screwed, so it was interesting to have a movie follow the 90%.

It’s packed with amazing actors doing inappropriate comedy, but until it popped up in my Netflix, I had never heard of this movie.

Try as I might though, I could not stop picturing the little kid from Freaks and Geeks…

Rating: 3 out of 5

 
Waffles: you haven’t had a waffle until you’ve had a homemade one. I simply cannot explain the difference between these and any store-bought variety. I made waffle sticks, just because the maker was so much cheaper. Tastes the same, and they are a bit easy to eat. I love how you can have waffles for breakfast, or throw on some fruit and cream and you’ve got a dessert. Thanks, Belgium!

Canada!

Canada!

Movie: The Host

   
Review: The movie starts off with a woman being captured and an alien taking over her body. So it then turns into this woman, talking to herself, trying to convince herself to run away. And then NOTHING happens. It’s so boring. I haven’t read the book, but the movie definately didn’t do anything for me. Then again, I also didn’t get the obsession with the Twilight movies…

I like the idea of a peaceful being taking over the world (movie-wise). The problem with that is, they are peaceful. Where’s the conflict? Yes there’s the scattered crazy lunatic that starts to ruin it all, but it’s not going to result in a full-on war, now is it?

My other problem with this is how easy it was to for the girl once she ran away. Ever see the Hunger Games? Poor Katniss just can’t catch a break. This girl is like “oh you need medicine, here you go.” “Oh you need to find your family, here they are”. 

That brings us to the love “triangle”. Not so much. The dude clearly doesn’t even love her anymore. He doesn’t try to save her, he doesn’t try to spend any time with her. Even with some else living in your body you would think the person who is supposed to love you would want to be around you. At least to keep an eye out.

Yes, it’s sci-fi, meaning you have to leave a lot to the imagination, but this movie could have been done better in my humble opinion. Once again, some magnificent effects wasted on a mediocre production.

Rating: 2.5 paws.

  
Snow Pudding: I know why it’s call snow pudding. Cause it got s’no flavor… I am Canadian, but I never heard tell of this dessert before I started researching for movie night. I’d expect more Canada…

Nanaimo Bars: These things are pretty much in every Cafe around. I’ve had loads of them before, and despite the pretty awful looks and the hard time I had getting them out of the pan, in tact, they were indeed delicious. The only problem was the size of the pan. I halted the recipe and used a smaller pan, but there was still too much batter for the 8 x 8.

Maple Taffy: It’s so stereotypical-Canadian, but yes I’ve had it before. If you’re not from Canada, and you ever first, you MUST visit one of the Sugar Shacks. Making this at home can be a bit messy, but it was pretty darn good.

Poutine: I mean… You really can’t go wrong. I added some crumbled bacon. Just cause. 

And how can you do Canada without Tim Horton’s? Well, I made a copycat version of their Iced Cappuccino. Although I think this version is closer than the previous iced cap I made, sadly there is nothing like the real thing.

Happy Canada Day!

And Happy Independence Day, as well.

Fiji

Fiji

Movie: 2012

  
Review: The movie was much of a let down. It has a strong Day After Tomorrow feel and it’s also a lot like the Titanic. It doesn’t have a path of its own. Yes, it’s a disaster movie so it’s got to be somewhat similar, but the subject of the world ending was such a huge thing that happened that this movie didn’t quite capture. The majority of the movie was so hard to follow. It jumped from character to character, then from place to place. And with Woody Harrelson in the movie, I would have expected a laugh or two even though the world is ending. There were so many GOOD actors in this movie, I didn’t feel they were used to their capabilities. It really only got good for maybe the last twenty minutes or so. There is one scene involving a little puppy that pulled at my heart strings, but I definately wasn’t feeling for these characters. A good note about this one is that they didn’t follow “we can’t kill any characters” rule, making it a little more realistic, but in the end, the ones who lives were very predictable.

They also didn’t seem to mourn the loss of any of the people. Hello! Everyone you know just died! Have a heart people!

Rating: 3.5. Good effects, good story line, poorly executed.

  
Mushroom Taco: It was tasty, but really what is a taco without meat? 

Fruit Sushi: They were really fun to make. The coconut rice goes really well with any fruit and I’m surprised at how well it stays together. You don’t need this much for one person though. Very filling.

Fijian Honey Cake: Really good. I can’t usually eat cake without icing, but I had no problem with this one. It tastes like a sugar cookie… In cake form.

And finally, I finished with an iced caramel macchiato. It really impressed me. It’s a sweet summer drink for coffee lovers, for sure. It’s so easy too because you don’t need a blender or anything!