Freezer Meals – Pot Roast

Adjusting to parenthood is not easy.  But it’s wonderful. Really. I’m totally in love. How could one not be? Just look at these feet… toe curls!

Baby O Toe CurlsHowever, if I thought time moved fast before the baby was born, I was sadly mistaken.  The past six weeks have FLOWN by (yet have been the longest six weeks of my life). Every time I turn around, the day is gone and I’ve accomplished nothing besides feeding and entertaining the baby… with the occasional completion of a load of laundry. Heck, I’m lucky if I take a shower. Correction—my guy is lucky if I take a shower. Hahahaha.

But seriously…

If we didn’t have pre-prepared foods right now, my guy and I might starve half the time. After all, feeding the baby comes first… right?

So in order to ensure we had meals in the house that didn’t require a lot of time out of my day, I found some freezer meals via Pinterest to check out. That, and our fabulous friends and family have kept us well fed… (thanks, everyone!!).

But for the sake of today’s post (and a few future posts), I’m focusing on the frozen meals.

Today – pot roast.

Freezer Meals - Pot RoastWhat’s a freezer meal?

A meal that is prepped and frozen prior to cooking all day in the crock pot. Pretty simple, right?

Well, without a doubt, they are lifesavers! Since the baby, I barely have enough time to brush my teeth on some days, let alone stand in the kitchen and cut vegetables for a nice and healthy dinner. So after seeing some freezer meals on Pinterest, I thought it surely wouldn’t hurt to give them a try—and my guy agreed.

First, the supplies:

Large Freezer Bags (gallon)
Marker (permanent wouldn’t hurt)
Vacuum Seal (not necessary, but definitely an added bonus. We LOVE ours and use it all the time)

Next, the ingredients:

1 Eye of Round Roast
1 Packet of Dry Pot Roast Seasoning
1 Bag of Mini Carrots (I LIVED on these things during my pregnancy…)
4-5 (Russet) Potatoes, Peeled and Chopped
1 Onion, Quartered/Chopped in Chunks

Before we begin:

Write the name of the dish and all of the ingredients on the freezer bag/s in permanent marker. Include the cooking instructions. Don’t assume you will remember later on. We may *think* we’ll remember later, but probably not.

Prep Instructions:

Wash and dry the carrots. Peel and chop the potatoes. Cut the onion.

And finally, bag the food. If necessary, use two separate freezer bags… one for the veggies and one for the roast.  I sprinkled the dry roast seasoning all over the veggies, but you can also add later when you are ready to cook.

Cooking Instructions:

Thaw the roast and veggies overnight in the fridge. The next day, dump the roast and veggies in the crock pot (I love crock pot dishes!!). Fill the crock pot about ½ way with water. If you didn’t already sprinkle the dry roast seasoning over the veggies before freezing, do so now.

Cook on high for 4-6 hours.

But is it any good?

We thought so! Only next time, we’re adding chunks of chopped celery. We both agreed that would make the dinner taste even better!

Enjoy!

What do you think?  Is this recipe worth a try?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original Pinterest recipe found on this site:

http://freebies2deals.com/2012/08/frozen-crock-pot-meals-save-money-and-save-time.html

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

Posted in Food & Restaurants | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Motive

Adjusting to life as a new mom is not easy, although wonderful.  However, regardless of the joy, I still have the need to get back to some sort of normalcy.  Therefore, I have decided it’s time to throw out another new blog post.  Well, kind of a new post… today’s post is a rerun from last summer with updated information.  So if you are still wondering whether or not ABC’s Motive is worth a watch, this post is for you!

Television is full of crime dramas and police procedurals today, but most of these shows focus on the investigation and capture of the suspects rather than the motive behind the act.  Some TV programs might answer the “why” in a brief one or two lines of dialogue after they’ve interrogated the suspect for a few minutes, but they don’t really spend a lot of time on the motive.

ABC’s crime drama, Motive, changes all of that.

The series, now in its second season, follows Detective Angie Flynn (Kristin Lehman, Judging Amy and The Killing) and her partner (Louis Ferreira, SGU Stargate Universe) as they work homicide cases.

Detectives Flynn and Vega

Wait a minute… that sounds just like every other police procedural on TV today.  Right?

Wrong.  Motive identifies the killer and victim at the beginning of each episode before we even see the crime scene.  Now that’s unique… and I absolutely love the format!

For the most part, Motive is like all the other police procedurals out there… the detectives inherit a case and work the scene from the ground up, looking primarily for the “who” and the “why.”  But with ABC’s drama (actually, Motive is a Canadian TV series that has been picked up by ABC the past two summers…), viewers get to see the “who” and “why” before anything else.  The show flashes back throughout the entire hour, telling us the stories of both the killer and the victim, and very little about the detectives and their personal lives.

That’s right.  Motive is more about the crimes than it is the stars of the show.  Having missed the pilot last year, I wasn’t even aware that Flynn was a single mother until about the fourth episode.  And even then, the series barely touched on that relationship… but there was enough to give the no-nonsense detective a heart (I’m not saying she’s callous, it’s just that she’s not on the job to make friends).

Detective Flynn is a closer…

Anyway…

Motive kind of reminds me of a combination of Cold Case (because of the series of flashbacks) and the short-lived series The Whole Truth, where viewers experienced the crime through both the prosecutor’s and the defense attorney’s point of view and they had to decide which one was the truth… fun show, but it didn’t last long.

And by the way, the crime drama also stars: Lauren Holly (NCIS) as Betty Rogers, the medical examiner; Brendan Penny (Stargate: Atlantis) as rookie detective Brian Lucas; and Warren Christie (Alphas) as the new boss, Sergeant Mark Cross.

Dr. Rogers is a small role for Lauren Holly, but it’s nice to see her back on TV.

So what’s the verdict?  Motive is different enough from the other police procedurals on TV.  I’ll give it at least that.  But do I like it more than all the others?  Not really.  But kinda.

That’s right; I’m torn. I do really like how the series focuses more on the crime (and the killer and victim) than the cops themselves.  And I am REALLY glad ABC picked up the second season. However, watching police procedurals is like standing on the chip aisle at the local grocery.  There are so many different brands and flavors to choose from, each bag with its own unique twist, that we only have time to grab a few here and there each time or our grocery basket would be nothing but chips. For that, Motive earns the JFTV rating.

Luckily for this one, it airs during the summer and doesn’t have a whole lot of competition. But the more I watch, the more I think it could hold its own with other police procedurals during the regular fall to spring television schedule. And I already find myself hoping for a third season…

Bottom line? Motive is my favorite summer crime drama (on the basic network TV channels).

Do you watch Motive? I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

Posted in More Television, Summer Fun, Television, TV Reviews, Watch it? | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Mistresses

I’ve been quiet here lately,  but for good reason (if you ask me)…. I had a baby!

My Little Guy's Monkey Feet

My Little Guy’s Monkey Feet

I am trying to slowly get back into the swing of things, despite all of these new and very important tasks filling my days and nights, and have decided it’s time to throw out a new blog post.  Well, kind of a new post… today’s post is a rerun from last summer with updated information.  So if you are still wondering about ABC’s Mistresses, this post is for you!

Based on the popular British television series of the same name, Mistresses is a sexy drama following the lives of four girlfriends as they discover who they really are via their friendships, relationships, and sex.

Sound familiar?  I’m thinking of one of my favorites here… Sex and the City.

The series stars: Alyssa Milano (Charmed) as Savannah “Savi” Davis, who is learning to cope with loss and starting over in both her personal and professional life; Jes Macallan as Josslyn Carver, Savi’s single and carefree younger sister, who has recently launched a brand new career; Rochelle Aytes (Detroit 1-8-7 and The Forgotten) as April Malloy, a single mother, who owns her own boutique shop; and Junjin Kim (Lost) as Karen Kim, a formerly successful therapist, whose practice fell apart following an affair with one of her patients… and his son.

All four women are beautiful; they’re all successful; and they’ve all got issues.  Serious issues.

The series began last year with hot and steamy sex… for network TV.  Viewers watched Savi and her husband “role playing” during their attempts to make a baby.  We also first met Joss while she was having a little “afternoon delight” with her then boss.  And let’s not forget about the flashback sex scenes between Karen and her patient.  In season one, April was the only one not sweating between the sheets—but things certainly do change in season two.

Savi trying to be zen…

There for a while, it appeared prime time soap operas were a thing of the past.  Mistresses, however, definitely brings the drama and the sexy back to television…

First, let’s meet the girls.

When Savi and her husband (Harry) learned of their fertility issues last season, he pushed her away as he blamed and punished himself for having abnormal sperm.  This catapulted Savi into the arms of her coworker (Dominick) and they had one night of hot, steamy sex.  And guess what?  She discovered she was pregnant…she didn’t know who the father was… she came clean to Harry, ruining their marriage… and the season ended just as her car was smashed by another in a highway accident. Sadly, Savi lost her baby and her husband. But she also found a light at the end of the tunnel—Dom. Who cares if he’s now her boss?

Meanwhile, as if sleeping with her dying (now dead) patient wasn’t a big enough issue for Karen, the patient’s family couldn’t seem to stop themselves from leaning on her.  His wife didn’t appear to have a clue about the affair (at first), but his son knew there was another woman and he wanted answers… from Karen. One thing led to another… she slept with the son… the wife tried to kill her… her partner reported her to the board and she lost her license to practice… a total downward spiral. Now she’s back, working at the Emergency Room and with one patient in a brand new solo-practice. Karen’s life seems to be back on track. But is it?

Then there’s April… poor April.  Last season, she had a hard time letting go of her dead husband, so much so that she believed that a few prank calls she had received were actually his ghost telling her to not move on.  But it turns out those calls weren’t from her husband, they were from her husband’s mistress and their illegitimate son.  As if that wasn’t enough to deal with, the woman wanted money… after all, her son was entitled to some of the inheritance April’s daughter received from the insurance company—right? Next, April’s supposedly dead ex showed up on her front doorstep. That’s right; he faked his own death. It took her a while, but she finally kicked them both to the curb, somehow managing to keep all of this from her adolescent daughter. Now, April is on the rebound…

And last but not least, we have Joss… we discovered early on that she had climbed her way to the top of her realty company by sleeping with her boss.  But he left and her new boss wasn’t falling for any of her tricks (at first).  Work didn’t seem to be what she was best at, but she surprisingly got her act together. Now, Joss has left realty for a career in event planning. And somehow, she has found herself as the voice of reason when it comes to her sister, ex-brother-in-law/business partner, and her friends. I’m just waiting for the old Joss to return…

April, Joss, and Karen

Now, let’s talk about the title for a minute.

According to Webster, a mistress is a woman who is the head of a household, country, or state… or a woman with whom a man is having a prolonged affair with.

Let’s focus on the latter.

Not only do I watch a lot of television programs, but I also enjoy a good talk show here and there.  Especially when the guests are stars I like.  Alyssa Milano stated in at least two TV interviews that I watched that the girls, her character included, are not all mistresses.  Not by the definition we are most familiar with anyway.  She included the show is in no way glorifying mistresses or situations that tend to break up marriages and relationships… (even if it does seem to us, the TV audience, that each woman is connected to a traditional mistress in one way or another—it’s true; I know people who stopped watching the program for this very reason very early on in season one).

Ms. Milano also stated in an interview that while this program is based on the BBC series, the writers took an entire season of the British version and wrapped up the storyline in one episode… I’m assuming that was the pilot… and that this series is all its own.

I went into Mistresses not expecting to like it.  For one, I’m a big Sex and the City fan and initially felt this series was trying to cash in on Carrie’s and the girls’ success.  But because I’m an Alyssa Milano fan (I watched Who’s the Boss? as a little girl and LOVED Charmed more than words can say), I knew I’d give it a shot.

And after season one, it turned into my new summer guilty pleasure… I was thrilled when ABC gave the show a renewal.

Mistresses earns the JFTV rating.  It’s definitely not good for us, but I couldn’t stop at just one episode. Heck, I couldn’t stop at just one season. And despite having difficulty finding a lot of time to watch (and pay attention to) my television series right now with the new addition to our family, I am all caught up on this one.

Do you watch Mistresses? I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

 

Posted in More Television, Summer Fun, Television, TV Reviews, Watch it? | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Summer Book Crush 2014 – 80 Titles, 99 Cents!

It’s time for Summer Book Crush 2014!!

SBC2014 FB banner

We have over 80 titles priced at 99¢… and Football Sweetheart is one of them!

If you are looking for a bad boy, a guy with bite, a brooding and complicated guy, the perfect gentleman, a sizzling hero, a jock-a-licious dude, the boy next door, or that hottie with a sexy foreign accent, look no further!  Summer Book Crush 2014 is for you.

Simply visit here and navigate your way through the website to find your next summer crush.

* HAPPY READING * HAPPY SUMMER *

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

Posted in Football Sweetheart, Novels and Books, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spring Cleaning – 2014 Edition

Years ago, May sweeps meant that the television industry saved the best for last.  The networks broadcast non-stop, action packed, cliff-hanging storylines every night of the week, hoping to pull in the largest ratings of the year before announcing which shows would receive pink slips.

Time to Clean Up the DVR...

Time to Clean Up the DVR…

And while this still rings true for some series, times have changed (for the most part).  Today’s May sweeps ultimately means knowing which shows will return and which shows will be swept away before the season finales have all aired.

Recent years prove that no show is safe: many shows are done after only one season; some shows make it through the toddler years, a minimum of two or three seasons; some programs have aired for years, even decades with multi-generational loyal followers; and, sadly, some still await their destiny.

2014 is no different and television’s broom was very busy AGAIN this year….

*****

One & Done

Almost Human, The Assets, Back in the Game, Bad Teacher, Believe, Betrayal, The Crazy Ones, Crisis, Dads, Dracula, Enlisted, Friends with Better Lives, Growing Up Fisher, Hostages, Intelligence, Ironside, Killer Women, Lucky 7, The Michael J. Fox Show, Mind Games, Mixology, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Rake, Sean Saves the World, Star-Crossed, Super Fun Night, Surviving Jack, The Tomorrow People, Trophy Wife, We Are Men, and Welcome to the Family

Goodness! Is anything left on TV? Of all of these, the one that stings the most is Killer Women. But then again, nothing new on ABC really had a chance this year. I do believe they’re guilty of the most cancellations of any other channel.

*****

Terrible Twos & Threes

The Carrie Diaries, The Neighbors, Revolution, and Suburgatory

No real loss here as far as I’m concerned…

*****

Seasoned Veterans

Community, How I Met Your Mother, Nikita, Psych, and Raising Hope

Losing Psych really burns. Burns. Burns. Burns. But at least they closed out the series beautifully. And have left me with high hopes there will be a movie!

*****

Barely Escaping with their Lives

The Mentalist – whew! If you are anything like us, we were actually pulling for The Mentalist to be renewed. There was just something about this revamped season post-Red John that refreshed the series. A part of me wasn’t all that worried, considering rumors swirled stating a cable channel might pick it up if CBS had dropped the ax on it… but they didn’t, so it doesn’t really matter.

But back to rumors… I have heard that this next season will be the last; however, I can’t find anything to back that up. So who knows? I do appreciate when a network gives a show the head’s up, providing the writers and creators a chance to tie everything up with a pretty red bow.

*****

And speaking of that pretty red bow… not all chivalry is dead—some shows have earned advance notice that next season will be their last.  Thank you networks; thank you for allowing the writers to close out a series appropriately for the loyal fans.  This doesn’t happen all that often, just ask Law & Order.

White Collar – At least we will get six episodes that reveal how Peter is going to save Neal and how this criminal turned do-gooder and Fed will live happily ever after.

And probably an even bigger one for my family…

Justified – I don’t even want to think about this one. Much like I tried to ignore the fact Psych was ending this year. I understand the creators wanting to wrap this up, with Mr. Elmore Leonard’s passing and all. But what will I do without Raylan and Boyd?

Boyd and Raylan?

Next year’s final season will be rough. However, the season finale this year did give us a glimpse as to what the final season would entail… and let’s just say they’ve got a really good storyline brewing. Who will a root for? The good guy… Raylan? Or the best anti-hero on television… Boyd? I just don’t know!

*****

Seems a bit insane, doesn’t it?  What’s the moral of today’s blog?  Don’t get too attached to freshman television series… AND NO television show is safe from the “new” version of May sweeps.

Which of these cancellations came too soon as far as you’re concerned? I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

 

Posted in More Television, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – 24: Live Another Day

That’s right; Jack is back!

And not just Jack.  Chloe O’Brian too.

A reboot of the very popular 24, 24: Live Another Day premiered Monday night and will consist of twelve episodes—more like a miniseries than an entirely new season.  And while fans are accustomed to the set up of each episode ticking down one hour in Jack’s crazy schedule, it is rumored we will have to adjust a tiny bit to the shorter series with a few hours skipped here and there. But Monday night was true to form—two consecutive hours in Jack Bauer’s hectic day trying to save the world… or in this case, the American president on foreign soil.

Besides Jack and Chloe, 24 produced many popular characters over the years.  And sadly, some of them died.  Heck, most of them…

President David Palmer

Curtis Manning – probably my favorite

Tony Almeida

Michelle Dessler

Bill Buchanan

Renee Walker

And even though he was hated by many, President Charles Logan.

But there are also the fan favorites that survived to see another day…

 Audrey Raines

Aaron Pierce

President Allison Taylor

Karen Hayes

Martha Logan

James Heller

Cole Ortiz

And last but not least, Kim Bauer.

And guess what? I was thrilled to see Audrey and her daddy, now President Heller, back as well in the new series. Not to mention, I fully expect to see at least a few other familiar faces through the 12-episode arc. But I guess we’ll see…

And like any new season, we have new faces (albeit familiar from other projects):

 Benjamin Bratt (Law & Order)

Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck)

And, Tate Donovan (Damages and Deception)

So, what about the premiere of 24: Live Another Day?

First, call me crazy. That’s right – crazy. It wasn’t until my guy, my family, and I started reminiscing about the old 24 that I realized just how much Jack yelled. It never dawned on me. But yeah, Jack yells a lot. Yet still, watching the new episode Monday night, I didn’t notice a lot of yelling…  am I crazy?  Did anyone else notice?  Or were you just as wrapped up in the fast-paced episode that you too didn’t hear a lot of yelling?

Secondly, my guy and I made a bet:

How many terrorists/bad guys/people will Jack fight/shoot/stab/blow up/etc?

I went with eight. It was a two-hour episode, which meant approximately forty minutes an hour, totaling eighty minutes of Jack. That’s one terrorist/bad guy/person every ten minutes.

My guy took the overs… as in more than eight.

He won, but not by much. I was surprised. I can’t remember the exact number, but it doesn’t matter—I lost and the action did not disappoint.

Nothing really did, disappoint that is, at least not as far as I’m concerned. I did have a few crooked people pegged from the get go, but that’s alright. The main storyline, at this point anyway, is a good one. And knowing the creators, there’s still a ton left we haven’t seen yet.

And I can’t wait for it all to unravel…

Did you watch 24: Live Another Day?  What did you think?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

Posted in More Television, Television, TV Reviews, Watch it? | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Still Unforgettable

Oh, the decisions made by the television networks today…

CBS aired a new program back in 2012—Unforgettable. By the end of the first season, the network cancelled it.

However, it seemed the network executives couldn’t quite forget about Unforgettable

That’s right… a network actually admitted (in a roundabout way) that they were wrong, or at least hasty, in one of their decisions.  And this doesn’t happen often—ever really—but CBS officially picked up Unforgettable for a second season last summer after canning it a little over twelve months earlier.

And now? Now Unforgettable is back for its third season!! It’s a crazy world we live in, I tell ya.

So, for the sake of today’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday post, we’re taking a look back at Unforgettable… a show that I honestly think keeps getting better with each passing season.

The CBS series stars Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) as former Syracuse detective Carrie Wells.  Carrie remembers everything:  every moment and every aspect of every day, except for the murder of her sister when she was a child.   When asked to help the New York City police solve a crime that took place outside her apartment that she sort-of witnessed, Carrie is reunited with her ex beau and partner, Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh, Nip/Tuck).

After assisting with the one case, Carrie decides to join Al and the NYC force with one major goal—solve her sister’s murder.

The other detectives on the squad (Detective Mike Costello, played byMichael Gaston of The Mentalist, and Detective Nina Inara, played by Daya Vaidya from Robbery Homicide Division) aren’t quite sure what to think of Carrie; both react as if they think she is weird and don’t appear to want to get to know her on a more personal level.  At first.

But Detective Roe Sanders (Kevin Rankin from Trauma) actually takes an interest in Carrie; he’s amazed with her recall and often times tests her memory, trying to catch her in a slip.  This friendly banter prompts Carrie and Al to open up and share her history and the mystery surrounding her sister’s death with Sanders.

Toward the end of season one, Unforgettable added a TV superstar to the cast – Jane Curtin (Kate & Allie was one of my childhood favorites… and who doesn’t remember Ms. Curtin from SNL back in the day?).

Sadly, all of these characters (with the exception of Carrie, Al, and Jo) are now all gone. With the reboot of season two, the show’s creators went in a different direction with a new cast.

Now, Carrie and Al work for NYC’s Major Crime Division with an entirely new team. Led by Eliot Delson (Dallas Roberts, The Walking Dead), the two work alongside Jay Lee (James Hiroyuki Liao, Prison Break)—the man usually behind the computers—and Cherie Rollins-Murray (Tawny Cypress, Heroes).

Carrie Wells is the ideal detective; especially considering she’s the perfect study subject for a mystery writer as she recalls everything about a crime scene.  Additionally, I absolutely adore Dylan Walsh; while I like Poppy Montgomery (big fan of Without a Trace and love the red hair), I initially watched Unforgettable because of Dr. Sean McNamara (Walsh’s character from Nip/Tuck).

Then there’s the story… during the first season, the writers gave viewers not only the fresh case every week, typical of TV’s police procedurals, but also the ongoing serial mystery behind Carrie’s sister’s murder.  However, there was one downfall… the individual cases seemed a bit too predictable for me.  I personally don’t like to watch one-hour crime dramas only to have the “bad guy” figured out in the first ten or so minutes (my guy likes to call me a TV ninja; I’ve had to learn to keep my opinions to myself while watching police procedurals or I ruin it for him).

But don’t get me wrong; I still recorded every new episode the first year and usually watched Poppy and the boys within a week… and I remember thinking it was a shame the show was in danger of cancellation after the season finale.  Not to mention, I consider most crime dramas great writing research.

After the reboot in season two, I felt the storylines were a bit more enjoyable. And I must say, season three’s episodes are even better.  Really.  They are.

For this, I award the JFTV rating to Unforgettable—the early predictability aside, I wasn’t lying when I said season three is the best yet… and I’m hooked like a fiend.

Do you watch Unforgettable?  What do you think – is season three the best yet?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

Posted in More Television, Television, TV Reviews, Watch it? | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – The End of Warehouse 13

Last week, one of my favorite SyFy series returned for its final season. I like it when I network actually lets a show’s creators know in advance that the series is set to end, giving them a chance to wrap everything up nicely with a big red bow. So, for the sake of today’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday post, I’m revisiting an older post from 2011, featuring Warehouse 13. And I’m asking you—how will it end?

Throughout history, government agencies have built secret warehouses around the world to house and protect magical artifacts.  These warehouses are overseen by the Secret Service and a group known as the Council of Regents.

Warehouse 13, the current warehouse designed by a team including Thomas Edison, is hidden deep in the mountains outside of the fictional town of Univille, South Dakota, also known as the middle of nowhere.  As a part of their cover, the Secret Service agents claim to work for the IRS, and therefore the townsfolk snub them.  After all, who likes the IRS?

Dr. Arthur “Artie” Nielsen (Saul Rubinek) is the agent-in-charge of the warehouse.  Artie has a hard time trusting others with the artifacts, and he is oftentimes frustrated with his two lead agents, Myka and Pete.  Artie isn’t very personable, although he does have an ongoing crush on a visiting doctor played by Lindsay Wagner, who comes once a year to remove his regenerating appendix (it’s a magical show, remember?).

Viewers learn that Artie’s mysterious past includes his unknowingly trading magical artifacts to the Soviet Union in exchange for the release of his imprisoned family members, an act that was considered treason by the United States.  Once he turned himself in, the US government assigned him to the warehouse where he has been ever since.

Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) is the traditional, play by the rules, Secret Service agent working at the warehouse.  Like most women, Myka pays great attention to detail, and her professional style clashes with her goofy partner, Pete.  On a personal note, Myka has a pet ferret (that she named Pete) and she loves Twizzlers. A girl after my own heart…

What “special power” does Myka bring to the table? She has a photographic memory.

Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) is the other side of the partnership.  He’s a former Marine and a recovering alcoholic, yet he still has a goofy and fun side.  Pete loves sports, collects comic books, and craves junk food.

What “special power” does Pete bring to the table? He’s a master at reading lips and he can sense when something bad is about to happen.

The two partners share a cute relationship—it’s clear that they love each other, but more in a brotherly/sisterly kind of way.  Pete dated the town veterinarian for a little while (until an artifact possessed her and she tried to kill him), while Myka managed to kiss the boy she crushed on in high school at her reunion.  Other than that, the Warehouse 13 agents rarely have time for any romantic interludes.

The Warehouse also employs Claudia (Allison Scagliotti), a young techie-genius who went to work for the team after breaking into the warehouse… or at least we’re led to believe that was the first Artie and the Board of Regents had hears about Claudia, until recently, that is.

A few other recurring characters include: Mrs. Frederic (C.C.H. Pounder), the director of the warehouse and liaison between the agents and regents; Helena “H.G.” Wells (Jaime Murray), an agent from the late 1800’s, who bounces back and forth between good and evil; and, Steve Jinks (Aaron Ashmore), an agent brought in after Myka temporarily resigned.

A huge bonus to working at the warehouse is the access to very cool gadgets.  The agents communicate with one another visually and telephonically via a “Farnsworth” in lieu of cell phones.  Instead of using real guns, the agents fire a “Tesla Gun”—a weapon that shoots lightning bolts and stuns the bad guys instead of killing them.  The agents also use caution when in public by capturing the magic of the artifacts by sealing them inside metallic “flash” bags.

Warehouse 13 has featured many historical artifacts throughout the seasons, including: Lewis Carroll’s looking glass, Lizzie Borden’s compact, Marilyn Monroe’s hair brush, Harry Houdini’s wallet, Marie Antoinette’s guillotine blade (well, the one that killed her), Ben Franklin’s lightning rod, and Edgar Allan Poe’s quill pen.

Not personally big on most shows featured on SyFy, I find Warehouse 13 very enjoyable.  I read somewhere that W13 has over 50% female viewers, maybe for the very same reasons that I watch—it’s fun, magical, and an escape from reality.  That’s why Warehouse 13 earns the JFTV rating… it’s like the bag of potato chips that we just can’t put down.

Are you a Warehouse 13 fan? Is there an artifact throughout history that you’d like to get your hands on? And if so, what magical power do you think it might possess?  

Better yet, how do you think the series will end? I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

Posted in More Television, Television, TV Reviews, Watch it? | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Not Just a St. Patty’s Day Food – Corned Beef and Cabbage

St. Patrick’s Day means a couple of things in our house… it’s a day to wear green or get pinched, a lot; it’s a day to treat ourselves to a green beer or two, or maybe a Guinness; and it’s a day to enjoy one of our favorite Irish dishes—Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Corned Beef and CabbageActually, tons of families eat this popular dinner to celebrate St. Patty’s Day… but why limit ourselves with this delish dish only once a year? Corned Beef and Cabbage is not only yummy, but it’s easy to make and it is actually very healthy for us… not to mention, it makes a ton, perfect for leftovers. And who doesn’t like leftovers?

Now, I’m sure there are multiple ways to make Corned Beef and Cabbage, but here’s how we do it:

First, what’s needed:

Corned Beef Roast, prepackaged with a seasoning packet (any size, depends on how much you want)
2-4 Cans of beer (any flavor, we usually use whatever domestic is in the fridge… like Miller Lite)
Bag of baby carrots, washed and dried
Bag of red potatoes, washed, quartered, and punctured with a fork
Head of cabbage
Extra pickling spice

Now let’s cook:

First, you’ll need a roaster. It can be a disposable foil roaster, a heavy-duty oven roaster, or a countertop roaster oven.   Thanks to my parents, we use a GE countertop roaster oven. It’s amazing how much cooler my kitchen is when cooking a dish all day in the countertop oven versus using my gas oven for hours…

Pour the beer in the roaster oven until the bottom is covered. The quantity of beer will depend on the size of the roaster.

Place the Corned Beef Roast—fat down—in the oven with a tiny bit of the natural juice from the package.

Sprinkle the packaged seasoning over the meat and then add some extra pickling spice as desired.

Pour another beer or two over the meat. The meat doesn’t need to be covered, but we usually want the beer level to be about half an inch up on all sides of the roast. If the liquid dissolves while cooking, add water. But in using so much beer, we rarely (if ever) have to add water while cooking.

Corned BeefCover with foil (if using a foil roaster) or lid and cook at 350 degrees for a couple of hours… usually thirty minutes per pound works great.

Sprinkle in the carrots and potatoes in the juice surrounding the roast after about two hours. Cover again with the foil or the lid and cook for another hour or two.

Corned Beef, Carrots, and PotatoesTurn the heat down to 250 degrees. At this point, I usually puncture the carrots and potatoes with a fork.  If hard, obviously they need to cook longer.

About an hour before you’re ready to eat, core the cabbage and cover the entire meal with the cabbage. Season with pepper, cover, and cook.

Corned Beef and CabbageServe with toasted pumpernickel bread and butter. This is some serious yum here, folks.

Enjoy!

What do you think?  Is this recipe worth a try?  Have any other holiday recipes that are good year-round to share?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

 

Posted in Food & Restaurants | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Psych-O for Psych – What I Will Miss Most…

If not apparent from my back-to-back-to-back blogs about Psych this week, I love this show and consider myself a Psycho-O—a die-hard Psych fan.

Not only do the writers and creators outdo themselves with each and every episode, ensuring craftily designed mysteries and packing the show full of pop culture puns and tributes, they never forget to make the audience laugh. Heck, even the commercials and promos kill me every time I see them, even when I’ve seen the same one over and over again. Unlike the Hollywood movie trailers that include all of the funniest moments in the sneak peeks, one can always expect to laugh from start to finish when Shawn, Gus, Lassie, Jules, and Henry take to the screen.

So today, I’ve decided to share what I will miss most after Psych airs its series finale tonight…

1. The special intros & theme songs dedicated to particular episodes.

First of all, the Psych theme song makes me happy. Period. If I’m not bobbing my head along to the music, I might be dancing. Just sayin’.

Every once in a while, Psych adjusts the opening theme song to appropriately fit the night’s episode. As mentioned in my Top 15 Psych episodes posts, “Dual Spires” was one of those episodes – and the show’s creators invited Julee Cruise to sing the opening (that’s right! She also sang the Twin Peaks’ opening).

Another good one? From the “High Top Fade Out” episode in season four.

2. All the popular ’80s and ’90s guest stars and pop culture references.

There are just too many to list here…

3. Looking for the pineapple in every episode.

I’ve even learned to look for the pineapple in everyday life. Just like this one time at dinner when it arrived by surprise on my dessert plate.

Psych Pineapple4. Shawn’s made-up names for Gus

Perhaps one of my favorite elements of Psych and its comedy and pop culture references comes when Shawn introduces himself and Gus during an investigation. Shawn almost always introduces himself accurately (although not always), but Gus isn’t so lucky. Take the “Let’s Get Hairy” episode. When introducing themselves to a psychiatrist, Shawn introduces himself as “Randle P. McMurphy” and Gus as “Cheswick,” two patients from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Shawn provides aliases for both of them in this example, but it’s usually just Gus with names like “Art Vandelay” from Seinfeld, “Black Magic,” and “Fellatio Del Toro.” It’s always something in every single episode…

5. The special USA Psych promos and commercials. Particularly “Private Eyes.”

6. Shawn telling Gus to “not be” something.

There are also the numerous times Shawn tells Gus to “not be” something: “Gus, don’t be Nick Cage’s accent from Con Air” (episode “Death is in the Air” – Season 4) or “Gus, don’t be Pete Rose’s haircut” (episode “Dead Man’s Curveball” – Season 6). These lines of dialog aren’t always pop culture related, sometimes they are just funny when used in context of the episode, but we can always count on some “Gus, don’t be” comment… and a laugh.

7. Gus’ screams. And Gus’ and Shawn’s screams.

8. All the times Shawn and Gus say, “Suck It.”

9. All the times Shawn and Gus say, “C’mon Son!”

10. All the times Shawn and Gus “tisk” something the other has said or a situation.

“Suck It,” “C’mon, Son,” and the tisks have all made their way into this household’s everyday conversations…

Call me crazy because I know I am, but I’m tearing up now just typing this post. So, ten things I will miss most about Psych are all you get.

The rumors have been swirling all week that USA might back a Psych movie. PLEASE DO!! I still don’t understand why the network is ending a show that is still, as of this year, winning awards and has the crazy fan base this particular show does.

Psych, you will be missed.

Love always,
Your Psych-Os

Do you watch Psych? What will you miss most? I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

 

Posted in More Television, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments