Month: November 2012

Hidden

The sense that a mental illness or an addiction is a ‘thing’, a seperate entity from the person experiencing it, is not entirely uncommon. Hidden takes the idea that addiction is something seperate to the next level.

Hidden has a lot of potential. Brian (Sean Clement) has been extranged from his mother for years, but when she dies he is left her addiction recovery center. Along with a group of colleagues, he sets out to determine if the center is worth salvedging. While at the center they stumble on a secret passage which leads them to realize just what was going on in that center. Unfortunately, while the plot was solid (not great but solid) the film sort of fell flat for me. There were a lot of directions that a project like this could go in but I felt like they went with the safest route, which ended up disappointing me.

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Alfredo Sauce

I needed a fast, simple recipe to put together before work on Wednesday. Alfredo sauce is Mid’s favored pasta topping, but I didn’t have milk in the house- just a can of evaporated milk in the baking stash.

This does make a fairly thin sauce. The flavor is really good, especially if you go fairly heavy with the garlic. Use a can’s worth of cream and leave out the butter for a thicker sauce, or melt cream or sheep’s cheese into the sauce before serving. I served this over fettucini.

Alfredo Sauce

Adapted from Cooks.com

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/4 cup parmesean cheese

spices, to taste-cayenne pepper, garlic, oregeno, all purpose seasoning, white or black pepper

1 can evaporated milk

Over medium heat, melt butter into milk. Bring just to boiling and add cheese and spices. Let simmer for a few minutes to let flavors meld, and serve over pasta.

 

The Pact

I had the strongest sense of deja vu in starting this film. I have no idea what movie it is that I saw that had the same framing for the opening shot, but right from the beginning it nagged at me that I’ve already seen this.

Obviously, at least the first portion of the film isn’t particularly original. Two sisters are left to deal with the aftermath of their mother’s death- and the emotional trauma that their parent put them through. One of the sisters, Nicole, is already at the house when the film opens. While on video chat with her daughter, the child comments that she sees someone in the house behind her. The next scene cuts to her sister, Annie, arriving and finding her missing.

To be fair, the start of the film is creepy. And for some reason the fact that it’s Christmas time (or at the very least there’s a tree present in the house) makes the house moodier and darker. However I didn’t feel that there was anything horribly original in it either. That doesn’t necessarily detract from a piece, but it is something to take into account. Caity Lotz’s portrayal of Annie certainly helps the piece.

All in all The Pact is an enjoyable movie, even if I didn’t find it tackling new ground.

Festival of Trees

(Our personal tree. Mid made the string of lights himself- every fourth bulb is blue.)

Each winter just after Thanksgiving one of the hotels downtown hosts an event called the Festival of Trees. There’s a lot of black tie events throughout the two weeks the event runs where people come and bid on the trees- all of the decorations are for sale. The money goes to the Women and Children’s Hospital. After the trees are sold, you can walk through for free.

I try to go with Mid every year. It’s a pretty nice date- we have to pay for parking, but you have to downtown anyway. We get coffee and look at the trees. Mid’s favorite tree was the one with the cupcake ornaments. He liked that they were handmade. My personal favorite is the blue tree.

Reddit Nosleep’s podcast

Nosleep has a podcast that they’ve started updating with some frequency. If you’re unfamiliar, Nosleep is the creepy/horror subboard on Reddit. The idea is that ‘everything’ is true. I don’t think that even half of what’s published on the board are actual personal experiences, but the stories are cool and they don’t allow for known creepy pastas or urban legends so at least what you’re reading is new. Quality varies wildly and they sometimes go through trends where the themes aren’t what I’m interested in, but if you’re looking for short (very short) creepy stories, the site’s pretty cool.

The podcast pulls the creepiest and most popular stories and narrates them. The audio quality is fairly good and the podcast is edited better than I thought it would. I prefer Psuedopod for longer/more professional stories but for what it is, the Nosleep podcast is a good horror drabble show. Each episode has a few different stories and from what I can tell the themes vary a little throughout each episode.

Stir Fry By the Numbers

Stir fries are one of my favorite types of dishes. They’re fast, easy, and taste good. You can throw pretty much anything you want into them and have dinner on the table in 30 minutes-including prep time.

One of my favorite dishes is what’s called a 3-2-1 stir fry, where the sauces are mixed with a set ratio. My favorite is this version, adapted slightly from Sel Et Sucre.

3-2-1 Stir Fry

Adapted from Sel Et Sucre

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon each ground ginger, ground garlic, and ground white pepper

1 to 2 cups chopped mixed vegetables

1 to 2 cups cooked, chopped meat-I’ve used chicken, turkey, pork, and tofu all with great results.

Mix sauce ingredients and set aside (tip: measure the honey after the oil, it helps it come out of the spoon better).

Stir fry vegetables in a wok or large frying pan, and add meat. Fry until heated through, add sauce. Let cook down for a minute or two.

Serve over rice or noodles.