Monday, December 16, 2013

Battle Royale vs. Hunger Games

I don't normally do these types of posts but I figured why not? This is just a personal comparison. Please note that I am ONLY comparing the movies as I have not read Battle Royale in either it's manga or novel form. I have only read the Hunger Games books. This is my personal view/opinion on the two movies. If you disagree that's fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and view. I am not here to fight over this so please do not start an argument on my post.

I finally sat down and watched Battle Royale today. People have been comparing Hunger Games to that (mostly those who hate HG.) So I watched it with an open mind.

The main thing I found alike was that it was a bunch of kids killing each other and the government was involved in some way. In BR they straight up said it was punishment, in HG they said it was to help people "remember" what they did wrong. The back story for HG was more detailed or at least it was described in more detail. I may have to go back and watch BR again just to see if I missed anything. Subtitled movies are always harder to watch because you really have to pay attention. If you look away for even a moment you may miss something vital.

In BR it was a randomly selected class of school kids. (The entire class.) They also have no clue what is going on until they get there. In HG it was two kids randomly selected from each "district". Which would kind of be like each city in a way. The kids in HG know it's coming.

In BR there were more than two people who got out in the end.

In BR they were on an island where as in HG they were in places that were man made or specifically set up for them. In HG one girl starts the revolution and all the cities join in. In BR it's just a group of students who do it.

There were a few other similarities and differences but it would take me longer than I have to list them all right now.

I actually enjoyed both movies but I have to say I liked HG more for many reasons. As I said above the story was more detailed. Also I felt I could relate to the characters from Hunger Games more. This could be in part due to the fact that I only read the Hunger Games and I'm sure the language barrier was contributing factor also.

I guess in summary while there were some similarities in the two stories I feel they were also both unique in their own way. So I don't think it was necessarily a "copycat" thing. The author of HG may have been influenced by it, but most authors are influenced by other authors/stories in some way. Even if they don't realize it at the time. Then again the whole idea of a government controlling and abusing society and people uprising was not invented by BR. That story has actually been around (and used) for a long time. So really the few similarities could also just be a coincidence.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Several of my friends have requested my recipe for this, so here it is! Enjoy!


*No need to go to a special store for any of this. You can get these ingredients at most grocery stores. I generally shop at Walmart or Winn Dixie and they always have everything I need including the Basmati rice and Naan.. :)

  •  1 Cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Cayenne Pepper To Taste (2 tsp will be very spicy, 1 will be mild. I tend to use 1 1/4tsp)
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt (Or to taste.)
  • 3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Cut Into Bite Size Pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 2 Teaspoons Paprika
  • 1 (8oz) Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Cilantro ( You can use fresh or dry. This will be put on top after cooked so sprinkle to your desire.)

Directions For Marinade

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup yogurt, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1-2 tsp cayenne pepper, 2 tsp black pepper, 1 tbsp ginger, and 1 tsp salt. Stir and then mix in chicken. Cover and refrigerate for one hour minimum.

Directions for Chicken
Grease skillet and place cut chicken breast pieces inside. Be sure to use a spatula or slotted spoon when you put the chicken in the pan to remove excess marinade. You don't want all of that in your pan. Some of it on the chicken is perfectly fine. Cook the chicken until white, no pink showing. Remove from heat and add to sauce once it's completed.

Directions For Sauce
Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute 1tbsp minced garlic for 1 minute, stir in 1 8oz can of tomato sauce and 1 cup whipping cream. Season with 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp paprika, and 1 tsp salt. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens (about 20 minutes). Be sure to stir occasionally. When the sauce is ready add the chicken and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro before serving over Basmati rice.

* Best served with Naan. (I love the garlic Naan myself. I get it in the bakery at Walmart.)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fried Dill Pickles

I absolutely love these. After having them in a restaurant once I had to figure out how to make them myself.  I hit the web and googled recipes. I found a few but none of them really worked for me.  So I threw this one together and LOVED it! It can be a bit spicy but you can adjust that to your liking. I was just chatting with a friend about this and decided to share the recipe with everyone. :) Enjoy!


Sliced Dill Pickles
1 Egg
1 tbsp. Lea & Perrins Sauce
5-6 drops of Tabasco sauce
A dash of Tony Chachere's (if available in your area)
1 tbsp. flour
2 cups flour
8oz milk
1 packet of powdered ranch dressing mix
Bread Crumbs (I use Italian style but you can use whatever you like.)
Italian Seasoning Mix (Usually contains Thyme, Oragano, Marjoram, Basil, Rosemary and Sage. You can get them all individually I just find it easier to buy the mixed bottle.)


Mix beaten egg with milk, Lea & Perrins, Tabasco and 1 tablespoon flour.

In a separate bowl mix 2 cups flour with salt & pepper, ranch mix, bread crumbs (as much as you would like), Italian Seasoning Mix, and Parsley. (Use seasonings to your liking.)
Dip pickles in egg wash then into flour to coat them.
Place the pickles into hot deep grease and fry until golden brown.
As you remove them place them on a paper towel lined plate to remove the excess grease.

Serve with ranch dressing to dip in.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Chicken & Dumplings Recipe

During the colder weather sometimes you get tired of soup and want something a little heartier and more filling. Sure here especially we have gumbos, but this blog is about something else. :)

This recipe is one I came up with loosely based off of what someone else I know use to make. I had no recipe when I did it the first time, I just winged it and it came out great! It's always a hit when I make it. This recipe does make a lot but you can always half it.

I hope you enjoy!

Chicken & Dumplings


Bisquick (For the dumplings. Directions are on the box.)
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
2 cans of cream of chicken soup  
2 packets of powdered white gravy mix
Chicken bouillon cubes (At least 8, but more may be used as needed for broth.)
Chicken (I use 4 legs, and 6 breasts but it's up to you on which parts and how much of each to use.)
Seasonings to taste (I use parsley, bay leaves, salt and pepper, Tony Chachere's, a pinch of cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, a pinch of rosemary, garlic salt, crushed red pepper and about 3 drops of Tabasco.)
2 cans of peas


Grease large pot with cooking spray (or use non stick pot) and place chicken inside.
Completely cover the chicken with water. (Usually about 8 cups or so. You will have to add more water as it evaporates.)

Add chicken bouillon cubes according to directions on how much water used. ie: I used 8 to start with for the 8 cups of water. You may have to add more as you add more water.

Heat to boil on medium heat and boil for one hour.

When chicken is done boiling, remove it from the pot and set aside in a bowl. Keep the water/broth in the pot. This will be your broth base.

After the chicken cools debone it and break it up into pieces.

Follow the directions on the Bisquick to make the dumplings. You will have to sprinkle it with flour also to make it less sticky. The box calls for making them into little balls. I prefer to roll the dough out after mixed and cut with a pizza cutter into rectangles. The choice is yours on how to make them.

Add seasonings and peas to the pot of broth and bring to boil.

Add dumplings. They will float at first.

You want to gently push the dumplings down a bit to mix them as the cook. Don't stir or you will break them up. Cook the dumplings in the broth for about 10min uncovered, and 10 covered.

Add the soups and gravy mix, and stir gently until the soup is dissolved and the liquid in the pot is rapidly boiling.

Turn down the heat and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes until the desired texture of your dumplings is reached.

Add your chicken, stir and serve.

*Note The dumplings may stick to the pot while cooking. If t his occurs you will have to switch pots to prevent burning.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Four simple steps to help prevent hangnails.

We've all had them. Those nasty little buggers not only make our nails and hands look bad but they can be quite painful as well. Hangnails are caused from dry cuticles. So can you guess what the secret to avoid them is? If you said keeping them moist you would be correct. Below are some basic steps to help you avoid those pesky hang nails.

1. After washing your hands, showering or doing dishes use lotion, and cuticle oil if you can. Water dries out the skin and cuticles which leads to hangnails. Therefore it is very important to replenish this moisture after having them exposed to water. Also when you remove your polish you should use lotion and cuticle oil. Polish remover strips oil from your nails and dries out your skin. That's part of why I use non acetone remover, it's a little more gentle and less drying. I still wash my hands and then use lotion and oil after removing polish regardless.

2. No cutting! Cutting your cuticles cause infections if not done properly. Cuticles act as a shield from bacteria, so if you remove them there is no protection. Instead of cutting them try a gentle removing cream. Where your nail meets the skin apply it and push back the cuticles with a soft pusher so you don't scratch the nail. You may snip any remaining hang nails as they are dead skin.

3. Apply a cuticle oil whenever you can, at least at night before bed if nothing else. If you have a real problem with  hangnails you might even want to soak your nails in the oil once a week.

4. When using the lotions and oils don't just apply it or dab it on, massage it into your cuticles. This will help it penetrate better and massaging promotes growth. It also stimulates the blood flow which gives your  nails a nice healthy tint and glow. So they'll look fantastic even without polish! ;)

That's it here. Stay tuned for my next blog. Until then happy polishing!