Welcome back, everybody. As you already know, this will be our final post in the movie/recipe series. It was a lot of fun, but I’m also very excited to start a new series about cookies. (Although you never know, I might eventually do another movie/recipe series with a different genre.) Starting next week, I will be posting one holiday cookie recipe a week right up until the week before Christmas. Hopefully, this will give you plenty of options to choose from as we start getting into the holiday season. My husband is also very excited about this series since it means that he gets cookies to take to work with his lunch.
Now, before we get to our last movie, I got the opportunity to try a new product, and I wanted to tell you about it. I’ve mentioned a couple of times that I’m a member of a site called BzzAgent. They give you the chance to join different campaigns where you’ll get to try new products and share your honest opinion. The most recent products that I’ve gotten to try are from the new Glade Expressions collection. Part of Glade’s goal with this new series is to give you a way to make your home smell great, but also blend into your decor. The first product I tried was the Pineapple & Mangosteen fragrance mist. Let me start by saying that I’m a little picky when it comes to room sprays. I strongly dislike the heavily-fragranced aerosol clouds that used to be the norm. In recent years, I’ve used Febreze because it provides a pleasant scent in a light, non-aerosol mist. Needless to say, I was a little skeptical, but the Glade fragrance mist has vastly exceeded my expectations. Like I prefer, it’s a light mist with a fragrance that is pleasant and not overpowering. I tried the Pineapple & Mangosteen, and it is really delicious. It reminds me of summer and is a new favorite of mine. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t get to try the oil diffuser, because I couldn’t find them in either HEB or Walmart. What do you do when you can’t find something? Go to Target, of course. Target came through, as usual, and I was able to buy one in the MOST delightful scent, Fuji Apple & Cardamom Spice. Since I haven’t had an oil diffuser before, I can’t say how this stacks up to others. I can say that it was easy to assemble, it looks nice, and it smells amazing!! You already know that I’m in the fall mood, and this makes my house smell like fall. I’ve got it in my office, but I can still get whiffs of it every now and then in my living room. It’s not strong, but it does spread far, which I appreciate. The oil diffuser also comes in the Pineapple & Mangosteen scent and another one called Lavender & Juniper Berry (which I didn’t like too much when I smelled it in the store.) The fragrance mist also comes in the Fuji Apple & Cardamom Spice, Lavender & Juniper Berry, and another called Cotton & Italian Mandarin. So far, I’ve only tried the last scent in the store, but it seemed light and clean. If you happen to live near me, I have coupons (good til 11/30) that I would love to share with you. They’re for $4 off the oil diffuser starter kits and $2 off the fragrance mist starter kits. With the coupons, that should be about $2 per starter kit, and I think that’s about the price of the refills. While I got to try them for free, they didn’t ask me to blog about it. I was just so impressed that I wanted to tell you about them and give you my honest opinion.
So, for this last post in the series, I watched the hilarious remake of The Women. In this movie, Mary (Meg Ryan) finds out that her husband has been cheating on her with a salesgirl (Eva Mendes). She weathers this upheaval of her life with the help of her mother, daughter, housekeeper, and 3 best friends (Annette Bening, Debra Messing, and Jada Pinkett Smith). (Take a peek here.) The movie is mostly about a woman’s relationships with her best friends, but is meant more for adults. (It’s rated PG-13, but I would say it’s closer to PG-17.) Since part of the problems come from adultery, they do talk about adult issues. They also use a lot of swear words. What I enjoy about the movie is the girls’ relationships to each other. It definitely captures the love/frustration relationship that girlfriends can have with each other. Another thing that made this the perfect movie to end on is that it contains several scenes set in fall (yay!) and it ends at Christmas time (double yay!!). There are several really fun scenes: the opening feet scene, Mary’s adventure in finding what she wants from life (it always inspires me to do more of what I love), Mary & Sylvie’s plan after they make up, the fashion show, and the ending showing what each of the girls does with her life. I also really enjoy the upbeat soundtrack and Meg Ryan’s fabulous hair makeover. A couple of my favorite lines are “Would you like to get a facelift in a jar.” “This is my face, deal with it.” and “That’s the navigation lady. She’s always calm. She never talks back. My husband’s in love with her.” Really, I just crack up through the whole thing.
Since a large portion of the movie take place in fall, I decided to do a layered pumpkin loaf. I made this on Saturday with my soon to be SIL. We had a piece shortly after it came out of the oven, and I was a little disappointed with it. The flavor seemed a little bland. Undaunted, I had a piece Sunday afternoon for a snack, and was pleasantly surprised to find that the flavors were much more pronounced and just what I had hoped for. I don’t know if it was from sitting overnight or being in the fridge, but I’m glad that it happened. Now I can’t seem to get enough of it. I’ve been having a piece for breakfast nearly every day, and then I’ll crave it again later for a snack. If you’re craving a taste of fall, this is definitely the way to go.
Layered Pumpkin Loaf (slightly adapted from Kraft)
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 c. + 2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
4 egg whites
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. canola oil
2 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped walnuts (I decided to add these and loved the crunch and flavor they brought to the bread.)
1 8 oz. bar softened cream cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan and set it aside. Mix the pumpkin, 1 c. sugar, brown sugar, 3 egg whites, milk, and oil in a large bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, pie spice, and salt; stir just til moistened. (Stir in the nuts if using.) Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese, 2 tbsp. sugar, and 1 egg white with a whisk til well blended.
2. Spoon about 1/2 the batter into the pan; spoon the cream cheese mix on top. Cover the cream cheese mix evenly with the remaining pumpkin batter.
3. Bake for 60-65 min. or til a toothpick inserted in the center removes cleanly. I checked mine after 45 min. and ended up covering it with foil. It was already a nice brown, and I didn’t want it to burn. Cool in the pan 10 min.; remove from the pan and finish cooling on a rack.
Well, it’s the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. Let me know if there’s a particular cookie recipe you want to see, and I’ll see what I can do. Have a great week!