Thursday, January 15, 2015

Let's get soapy.

No, not the bathtub kind of soapy. The daytime serial kind of soapy.

So, I've been watching General Hospital regularly again these last few months, and I'm getting really frustrated with it. I'm sick of long-standing characters being sidelined in favor of recently added characters. I shit you not when I tell you that all they had Lulu do one episode was watch TV and fold laundry. Are you FUCKING kidding me? This is Lulu Spencer! Daughter of the super-couple Luke and Laura. Lulu was my favorite character, back when she used to do fun things like tricking her step-brother into sleeping with her and getting pregnant and choosing an abortion against the Quartermains' wishes (yes, I know this story line was like 8 years ago, and no I'm not over it. It was the best). I don't mind the new actress playing Lulu, even though I was a huge Julie Marie Berman fan. I just really hate the way the writing on the show has treated this character. She has become so boring since becoming a wife and mother. Does she even have a job any more? Or is she just a stay-at-home-mom? Not that there's anything wrong with SAHMs in real life, but it doesn't leave many opportunities for drama to happen in soap-world. Happily married doesn't make for great TV. I haven't watched this week's episodes yet (I like to save them up on the DVR for a Saturday morning marathon), but last week it looked like there might actually be something interesting happening in Lulu's life. We'll see how that works out. But even if they start writing Lulu better (or just write better in general...), there's also the fact that I hate every inch of the Port Charles mafia and Sonny Corinthos, neither of which is leaving GH any time soon. I can't even discuss it, because I fast-forward through those stories every time.

So, because of my frustrations with General Hospital, I'm trying to find another soap. I'm a big fan of the genre and I don't want to abandon it entirely. Unfortunately, the soaps I was raised on, All My Children and One Life to Live, were cancelled a couple years ago. I'm still upset about AMC. I tried watching the online reboot but it just wasn't the same. But since I can't turn to my old stand-bys, I'm in the awkward position of starting a soap from scratch. Thank god for Wikipedia, I don't know how I'd even begin trying to sort out characters and histories without it. Well, I mean, I'd catch on eventually, because there's nothing soap opera characters love more than reminding each other how they're related and what the story line is (drink every time Maxie or Lulu says "you're my best friend!" or talk about being held hostage together). I'm watching today's episode of The Young and the Restless right now on some channel called POP, and it seems pretty good so far. I mean, I guess it's been the #1 soap for 25ish years for a reason. I don't really know who the characters are yet, but some blonde lady just got kissed by a dude who is not her fiance (her fiance is played by Steve Burton (formerly of GH) and he is currently in the hospital after being mugged) and then slapped him and ran out... so I'm saying it's pretty good so far.

Anyway, I have all four daytime soaps set to record for tomorrow. I'll watch them this weekend and see if any strike a nerve with me. I'll probably end up recording all 4 next week as well, just to get a better feel for storylines and characters. If anyone stumbles across this post via the all-powerful Google, let me know what your favorite daytime soap is and why.

Monday, January 12, 2015

2015: So far, so good.

Remember back when I was doing 2 new recipes a month? And I did basically the most simple crock pot recipes ever? I have a small, 2 quart crock pot, and every single crock pot recipe is written with a 4-6 qt crock pot in mind. If there is a recipe written for a small crock pot, it's an appetizer or something lame like soup or pasta sauce. Sure, you can cut recipes in half to fit the small crock pot, but that doesn't always work with the ingredient list. I mean, what the hell am I supposed to do with half a can of cream of chicken soup?

Then I stumbled across this blog post via pinterest, and it was like a light bulb went off. DUH. You can totally cut almost *any* crock pot recipe in half, by literally dividing the ingredients in half, between two freezer bags. Then you throw them in the freezer. On the day you want to make that meal, just toss the frozen chunk in the slow cooker and let it do its thing. I've already tried one recipe via this method and it turned out really good. I just mixed up a couple more recipes so I have a total of 5 crock pot meals in my freezer right now.

The recipe I've already tried was the ranch pork chops from the link above. Today I mixed up a variation on the smothered pork chops from the link (instead of cream of chicken, I used garlic cream of mushroom because tell me that doesn't sound awesome), and I also mixed up this Chicken "Pot Pie" recipe. I'll let you know how it works out. I like the ability to come home to a warm, home cooked meal without having to actually cook all day. Because I'm a single person, with a job, and it's winter, and I'm lazy. I spent less than an hour on prep work today and I now have 4 dinners ready to go.

Here's a shot of my ranch pork chops when I made them last week.

And I'm off to a roaring start on my reading goal for the year. 2.5 books out of 52! As Goodreads says, I'm one book ahead of schedule!