Created by Train Horn
Hubbs & I saw Defiance over the weekend with a friend. The movie tells the true story of two brothers who take to the woods after the German SS kills their parents. Slowely, more people begin joining them, until they form a whole community trying to survive out in the open. In some respects, it’s very Robin Hood, as they often take supplies from those traveling in the forest or from nearby homes.
I thought this was a good blend of action (for the men) and romance/drama (for the women). The movie is bittersweet, sad at times, but overall an uplifting message of the human spirit’s capacity for survival in the worst of circumstances. If anything, it should make you think twice the next time your complaining about some minor inconvenience in your day. Because at least your not living in the woods being hunted like animals!
Also, I love Daniel Craig as James Bond, and he is equally good in this movie. The soundtrack is also very haunting and reminds me of Shindler’s List, with all the violins and such. I downloaded it from iTunes and have been listening to it all week.
So, one of my favorite shows has finally premiered its Second Season, and so far it has been awesome!
Damages follows Patty Hewes (played by Glenn Close), a bad-ass lawyer running her own firm. She is a mega-B who is not afraid to kick ass and take names.
This season’s plot line revolves around the fall-out from Season One (don’t worry, no spoilers) as well as introducing a new plot line via William Hurt’s character.
I just wish lawyering in real life was this exciting!
So, today marks two weeks into my last semester of law school. I should be relieved, happy, & carefree. But instead I am exhausted, overworked, annoyed, and still unemployed….sigh. Clearly I am doing something wrong.
Today is truly history in the making. I am very excited that Mr. Obama will be our 44th President! I think he is going to be a transformative figure for our country (and that is a very good thing).
While I have class during the day, the school is showing all the events on the big screen in the forum, so maybe I will be able to catch a glimpse if I’m very good & Get Stuff Done! :)
What are your inauguration watching plans?
One of Hubbs & I favorite dinners to make is homemade pizza. This recipe has had an interesting evolution: It began by using Boboli pre-made crusts & pizza sauce (better than delivery), morphed into using Pillsbury canned pizza crust & a square baking pan (decent) to making our own pizza dough & sauce at home (excellent!).
Compared to buying a pizza for take-out, this recipe is laughably cheap & if you already have the dough prepared (more on this later), it can be cooked from start to finish faster than the delivery guy can make it out of Dominos. Also, you get total control over your choice of toppings, which is very important when you live in a household of mushroom eaters (I love ’em!) & non-eaters (although I think they are finally starting to grow on Hubbs).
So, the first step is to prep your dough. This should be done approximately an hour and a half before you plan on eating. Otherwise, you may end up having a very late dinner! Here’s the recipe I use. It’s from Cook’s Illustrated, although you could probably use any recipe that you happen to have laying around.
1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 envelope (about 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups (22 ounces) bread flour, plus more for dusting the work surface & hands (All Purpose flour will work here too, your crust just won’t be as “chewy”)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray for oiling the bowl
1. Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room-temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
2. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. (You could also do this in a food processor or by hand, but I love using my Kitchen Aid).
3. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
4. Press the dough to deflate (Or, if your Hubbs, punch the dough like it insulted your momma).
This recipe makes enough dough for three medium (2-person) pizzas. So, after the dough has finished rising, we divide the dough into three equal balls (we use a scale, but you could just eyeball it). Whatever dough you don’t plan on using right away, you can wrap in plastic & then put them inside a freezer-safe bag & freeze until you want pizza again. Then, just take your dough out the day you want to use it and place it in a greased bowl covered in plastic to thaw (we take it out around noon & its thawed-out for a 6:30 dinner time).
The sauce is even easier to make. Just heat some olive oil in a sauce pan until shimmering. While the pan is heating, whirl 1 can of diced tomatoes & their juice in a food processor, about 8-10 pulses, depending on whether you like a chunkier or smoother sauce. When the pan is hot, add some crushed garlic (we like 2 cloves), red pepper flakes (for spice!) & tomato paste and cook, stirring it all around, until it smells good, about 1 or 2 minutes. Then add the processed tomatoes and stir it all up. Bring to a steady simmer for about 15 minutes & then set aside until you are ready to sauce your crust.
For your toppings of choice, just cut them all up into bite sized pieces and saute them over medium-high heat until all the moisture has been drawn out. Our go-to toppings are red bell peppers, mushrooms, and jalepenos. But leftover chicken or sausage also are really nice. Go with whatever you like. When they’re done, spread them out on paper towels and pat to soak up any remaining moisture.
So, once you have your dough ball ready, just stretch it out on some parchment paper into a good sized pie (depending on how thick or thin you like the crust). Preheat your oven to 475° and when ready, slide in your crust for 4 minutes. If your concerned about bubbles forming, you can poke the dough all over with a fork prior to baking. Also, a pizza stone, while not a necessity, really adds something extra to the crust!
Once the crust has cooked for a few minutes, take it out and sauce it with your sauce & add your toppings and cheese. If you love garlic, like we do, then rub half a garlic clove all over the crust prior to saucing it. Then return to the oven for another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly brown. Then just slice and enjoy! :)
Today is my last first day of Law School. After this semester I will no longer be an unemployed 3L, but an unemployed lawyer taking the bar exam whose student loans are coming due. Sigh.
My schedule for once is not that bad, although its not great. I’ll be taking the following classes:
- Tax (I’ve saved the worst for last, on the theory that they can’t fail me now) – 4 hrs.
- Texas Criminal Procedure – 3 hrs.
- Complex Litigation – 4 hrs.
- Litigation with the Federal Government – 3 hrs.
Oh the joy! Also, Tax is @ 8:00 a.m. Mon-Thurs. Starbucks help me! :)
Here’s hoping it’s going to be an easy one, but I’m not holding my breath…
Whew! It was a close one, but I knew you could do it. Nothing is as exciting as watching your team pull out a come-from-behind victory in the last 2 minutes. You’ve made Bevo proud!
Congratulations to Mack Brown & the Texas Longhorns! There is no doubt in this blogger’s mind that the Horns deserve to play in the National Championship (O-Who?)
Here’s to another great season in 2009! I miss football already :)