Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer Under the Stars - Week 1




Hello, dear hearts!

If you happen to be a TCM (Turner Classic Movies) fan, then I probably don’t have to tell you that it’s that time of year again. My favorite month on TCM is August, Summer Under the Stars Month. Each day they feature one actor’s work. This year they have a great line-up.

I thought I would offer my picks to you, one film each day to watch or record for later. It was extremely difficult at times to choose just one film a day, but I stiffened my backbone! I won’t always pick the best film, but I am choosing the film that I would watch if I could only watch one per day. For each film I choose, I’ll write a little snippet about it. I thought the best way to tackle this ambitious project was to break it down into one week increments. So, without further adieu…

Here are my picks for August 1 – 8:



FRIDAY, AUGUST 1 | JANE FONDA

6:45am PST - WALK ON THE WILD SIDE (1962)


I have been waiting for this one to be shown on TCM again! It's such a special little gem and not well known. The cast is stellar, as is the directing by Edward Dmytryk. I don't want to give anything away so I'll just impress upon you to be sure to catch this one, you won't be sorry.

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SATURDAY, AUGUST 2 | DAVID NIVEN

7am PST - THE WAY AHEAD (1944)

I will be tuning in to watch this David Niven film for the first time.  This British war film was the first film for Trevor Howard.  I really chose this one because it's directed by Carol Reed. I adore Carol Reed!

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SUNDAY, AUGUST 3 | WALTER PIDGEON

5pm PST – HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941)


A perfect John Ford film. Be sure to have your kleenex handy, darlings. It's a tearjerker, for sure.
Maureen O'Hara can bring tears to my eyes like nobody's business. She's so tender-hearted in this film. Walter Pidgeon is understated and extraordinary in his role. I believe you will understand immediately why this film won the Academy Award.
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MONDAY, AUGUST 4 | JUDY GARLAND

7am PST - MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944)

Once again, I was torn when choosing just one film to recommend. Finally, I decided to go with the one I watch over and over. This is a personal favorite of mine. It's a delight to watch this film. And the music! The Boy Next Door is my favorite song in the film. Vincente Minnelli's camera follows Judy around like a lovesick puppy and with good reason, she was never more beautiful. The entire film is gorgeous.

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TUESDAY, AUGUST 5 | BARBARA STANWYCK

5pm PST – BALL OF FIRE (1942)


All you could ever want in a comedy! So fun to watch. Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper are wonderful together, they certainly have chemistry! Also, the other professors are like a who's who of fantastic character actors. A complete joy from start to finish. Not to mention, Barbara's costumes are designed by the one and only Edith Head.

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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6 | PAUL MUNI

6am PST – BORDERTOWN (1935)

This is a new-to-me Paul Muni film. I don't have a wide knowledge of Paul Muni films. To be honest, I chose this one because Bette Davis is in it. Also, the description of the film mentions it was used later as a basis for THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT (1940), which I am a big fan of.  I'm looking forward to seeing how the two films compare.

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THURSDAY, AUGUST 7 | JAMES STEWART

10am PST – COME LIVE WITH ME (1941)


This is not the most popular or even the best film offered for James Stewart Day, but I love it. It's not a well-known film, but I feel it's well worth seeing. A sweet and charming film with the added bonus of Hedy Lamarr. Hot tamales!

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FRIDAY, AUGUST 8 | JEANNE MOREAU

11pm PST – THE LOVERS (1958)


I've not seen this film. I have to say I have a soft spot for French films. They can be unpredictable, sad (even though I do love a happy ending), realistic, quirky, beautiful to look at, among many other wonderful qualities. I'm looking forward to this one. I hope you'll let me know if you watch it and what you thought of it.  Jeanne is in the top few of my favorite french actors. The camera loves her.

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Phew! Week 1 complete! I truly hope you will let me know your thoughts on these films. If you watch them, I would love to hear your feedback. More importantly, I hope you have a chance to enjoy these films and perhaps find that you have a new favorite among them.

I will post my picks for August 9 - 15th next week.

Thank you for being you.
Until next time...

xo



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mama D's Super Simple Bread Pudding



Hello, darling dears! I thought I'd bring my sleepy blog back to life with this easy recipe. It is the ultimate in comfort food. It's a versatile recipe too. My family loves it. I hope  yours will too!



Mama D's Super Simple Bread Pudding


8 slices of day old bread*
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup raisins**
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract***

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Cut or tear bread into (roughly) one inch cubes. Put bread into a greased 8 inch square baking dish. Drizzle melted butter over bread. Sprinkle with raisins**.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar cinnamon and vanilla.  Hand mix until well blended. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is somewhat covered and soaking up the egg mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

*You can use what ever bread you have on hand. For this batch, I used whole wheat bread.
**Dried currants, cranberries, blueberries, or diced apple work wonderfully as well.
***I have also used 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon maple extract and it's lovely.

This dish is delicious by itself, but you could certainly serve this pudding many different ways.
Here are a few topping and accompaniment suggestions:

Ice cream and/or whipped cream.
Whiskey, caramel or vanilla sauce.
Warmed maple syrup.
Honey.



Let me know if you try it out, dear hearts.

Thank you for visiting and...
thank you for being you.

xo