Scandal (TV Pick of the Week)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cast of Scandal (
On the recommendation of a co-worker, I watched the first episode of Scandal online.  I really didn't need to add another TV show to my list since I have a hard enough time keeping up with the DVR, but this show is great! So it has been added to the DVR.   The premise is that Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is a crisis manager, a kind of cross between a lawyer (which everyone who works for her is) and a Public Relations specialist.   She deals with problems that usually have some sort of stake in the white house.  For example, in episode 1, a celebrated war hero is convicted of murder and in episode 2, the leader of a prostitution ring is forced to give up a list of her clients which include many influential men of Washington.  Oliva does a great job at covering up PR messes and has a fun-to-watch team to help her out.

The show is Grey's Anatomy (it's creator is the same Shonda Rhimes) meets the West Wing; including some of the same characters.  Meredith's father from Grey's plays Cyrus Beene the President's aid and right hand man (played by Jeff Perry).  The fast talking characters and Josh Malina make me think Aaron Sorkin is involved with this show, is he?  The West Wing's Will (Malina) plays a federal prosecutor (I think).  It's interesting because rather than the regular lawyer situational, it gives viewers a look at what might be happening behind the scenes.

For now it seems the show is on Thursday at 10pm on ABC - good time slot which kicked Private Practice to Tuesday.  Shariously catch up online and start watching Scandal!

My TP is Shrinking!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Everyone knows the scheme companies run to reduce their costs; make the packaging every so sligltly smaller, but keep the price the same.  First it was soda, 2-liter bottles became 1.75L. Then it was everything; juice went from 16oz to 1.58, 2 Quarts of ice cream became 1.75 (which made me furious since ice cream is my favorite food and i always like to be fully stocked).  Recently I've noticed this problem with toilet paper!

I had some rolls that were at least an inch narrower they just don't look right.  I get it, trim 2 millimeters off billions of rolls and you save millions of dollars.  Except that in this case, there is a major problem, the rolls are too short for the toilet paper holder at work.  They seem to fit, but once you touch them it causes the TP to fall out and roll on the floor -  yuck!

If there are any toilet paper manufacturers out there I have some ideas:  (1) make the cardboard roll short and keep the paper a normal length, I mean Scott/Walmart has those cardboard roll-less ones, so that seems like a much better place to cut back or (2) make the cardboard roll longer but keep the paper shorter.  Bottom line, toilet paper is important, maybe even more important than ice cream (nah) so lets figure out some other ways to cut cost.

Shariously, what is the deal with a shrinking TP?

PS - I've also noticed recently that the paper towels are shrinking! Dun, dun, dun...

Vermont Weekend Getaway (Weekend Activities)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Unfortunately for Northeast Ski resorts and their surrounding towns, this year must have been a real economic struggle due to the lack of snow.  Fortunately for someone looking to book a last minute getaway, Vermont had some pretty good deals!  A few weekends ago my boyfriend booked Saturday night at the Equinox Resort through an internet deal.  After booking the resort emailed him to let him know that an extra night would be 50% off.

We left work a bit early and was able to take the scenic route (on the Taconic) up to Vermont while it was still mostly light out, a very relaxing drive.  The weekend and resort were great!  Whenever we arrive at a hotel/resort/cruise the first thing we do is explore every space.  The Equinox had tons of lounges, libraries, restaurants and rooms for us to poke our heads into.  Outside was a beautiful fire pit.  It would have been nice if it was wood burning instead of gas to really get the outdoorsy smell and feel, but i guess when you have a lot of guests and want to keep it burning at night, gas is a better option.  There were also a number of fireplaces inside the hotel, so when it was a little to chilly outside we parked ourselves in front of the only wood burning one there was.

I imagine this resort could get pretty crowded in peak season since there seem to be a lot of rooms, but  although there were plenty of guests buzzing about, (especially on Saturday night) it was a very quiet and relaxing experience and the rooms were so nice and comfy!

Pond with Equinox Mountain
in the background
Saturday morning we had a delicious breakfast in one of the restaurants.  I got an apple cinnamon french toast which was loaded with delicious baked apples and strawberries.  After breakfast we took a nice long hike in the Equinox Mountain behind the resort.  The day was a bit overcast and without snow or leaves on trees it wasn't especially scenic, but we did happen upon a pond that was pretty.  The rest of the day we sat by the soothing indoor pool, and took a yoga class.  For dinner we went into town and found a delicious Italian restaurant.  The town of Manchester was very cute, but it was sad that NO ONE was around.  You can tell from all the large parking lots and abundance of stores that during high season this is a place to be.

Me at the pond
Sunday, we went back into town for brunch at "Up For Breakfast," you get the pun even more when you realize that the restaurant itself is upstairs.  To finish off the weekend we made a stop at Woodbury Commons for some power outlet shopping - always a good end to a weekend!

For a Shariously romantic and relaxing getaway look for Vermont deals!

Matzah Brei (Recipe Monday)

Monday, April 9, 2012

This weekend was the start of Passover, my second favorite holiday (my favorite is Thanksgiving).  

For one week a year, I really don't mind eating matzah instead of bread and other flour products.  Some call me crazy, but I actually crave matzah with cream cheese (whipped) for one week a year.  My other favorite matzah based  recipe is Matzah Brei.  I made it Sunday morning, and although I have been making for years from my dad's recipe, it turned out the best yet.  It's a very simple recipe.

Ingredients (3 Servings):
3 Matzahs
3 Cups boiling/hot water
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp Butter/Margarine
pinch of salt

1.      Break each matzah into quarters
2.      Soak  Matzah in the boiling water for about a minute, keeping the matzah fully submerged, then drain.

3.      Mix together the eggs, salt and moist matzah gently keeping the matzah chunky.

4.      Heat a frying pan over medium heat and melt 1/2 Tbsp of butter.  
5.      Pour 1/3 of the matzah mixture into the frying pan and pat down in pan to make pancake-like. Cook      
      until golden brown on both sides.
6.      Repeat steps 4 and 5 to make 3 pancakes.

How the brei is devoured is up to you.  It can be eaten sweet with sugar sprinkled over it (my fav), syrup or powdered sugar or eaten as a more savory dish by adding salt and pepper or even chopped scallions.

A Shariously delicious and easy way to get through staying away from leavened bread for the week!

In Plain Sight (TV Pick of the Week)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sorry for the delay in this post, should have been published on Thursday April 4, 2012.
I'm so glad that In Plain Sight is back on the air!  But, sad this is the last season, so I hope it's a good one.  I really enjoy this show about the witness protection program (WITSEC as the show calls it).  The writers come up with some pretty unique situations, and it's always interesting to see people from all parts of the country, and all types of backgrounds being placed in Albuquerque, NM.  The show airs on USA on friday nights, or on my DVR whenever I choose. You don't need to have seen previous episodes to catch up.  Check it out, if you get a chance between now and the last 5 episodes.  PS - how can USA call it a season when there are only 8 episodes, I want more :( 

The First episode this season with Mary's baby was a bit strange, but the second seemed to get it's groove back, by the third episode the baby was only a cute background character.

photo: usa
In Plain Sight: Marshall & Mary
Last week's episode (3/30) featured a former Navy Seal gone rogue who was to enter WITSEC and jail for a case against the guy who hired him.  While on the terrace, he jumped off onto nearby  roofs, stole a car and ran away to an Native American Reservation.  Mary and Marshall along with a Reservation patrol woman, Heather head off to find the fugitive and his highly trained partner who has gone looking for him.

All around I felt the episode had some drama and some character focus.  I love how they happened to come across an abandoned "Wild West" town which Marshall of course knows is there because it is a set they built  for Western Films during the 60s. Anyone know if that's actually real?  The show is filmed in Albuquerque so I'd believe if it were true.

This show has a great premise and I will be Shariously sad to see it go.

Feed Readers (Want it Wednesday)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

This is already my 10th Post! I've gotten 9 posts under my belt and good feedback from readers, so now it's time to take it up a notch and spread the word.  I want to let my readers a know a few ways that they can easily keep up with my blogs.

A few people have told me that although they occasionally get forward blog posts to read, or know of some that they check every now and then, there aren't any blgos they read regularly.  Perhaps that's because they don't know some great ways to do that.
  • Google Reader - Through Google Reader you can subscribe to all sorts of blogs.  I've been using Reader for a few years and I love it.  Not only do I subscribe to personal blogs like mine, but tons of news sites as well. I subscribe to NYTimes and NYTimes Columns (ie. Pogue's Posts), Gothamist for my NYC news, Curbed for construction and real estate updates as well as a handful of humorous sites like Damn You Autocorrect and When Parents Text. Depending on the blogs you subscribe to, it has a Recommended Items section where it uses your current subscriptions to find others you might like.  It's through this that I found a lot of of good blogs and info!  Over the years my list has reached into the 30s (some subscriptions never have any activity and some have hundreds of posts a day), but some folks I know have thousands!
  • Email - On the right side, at the top of this post, there is a Subscribe to Shariously box, enter your email and whenever there is a new entry to your email, it will go.
  • Outlook - Newer versions of Microsoft Outlook even have an RSS Feed option.  Right along with reading your daily emails you can subscribe to tons of blogs!
There are lots of good RSS feed readers out there if none of the above suit your needs.  And, I'm sure there's an app for that, although I haven't found a good app for google reader yet - any suggestions?

If you don't already follow my blog religiously you should Shariously use one or more of the methods listed above!

Groupon Now (Deal Day Tuesday)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The key to getting a good "groupon" deal or other similar pre-purchased voucher systems, lies with buying vouchers only for items that you regularly use or places you regularly go.  The perfect example lies in yesterday's lunchtime purchases.
Piggy Bank with bills sticking out
A few weeks ago I saw a new section on groupon's site called Now! Deals I took a quick look around at places in my work and apartment neighborhood took note, and assumed I'd probably never use one.  For those of you unfamiliar,  Now!Deals is a part of the site where you can get groupons that are only valid on the day you buy them, in a certain time window.  More recently I took another look, noticing that pretty much the places did not change.  The thought that crossed my mind, if I ever feel like eating at one of these places, I know where to get a coupon.

Back to yesterday,  I was sitting at my desk, wondering what I should have for lunch.  I hadn't been to Chickpea in a while, and could go for one of their wraps.  Then, I remembered! Chickpea had a Now!Deals.  So I bought the deal, $6 for $9 credit and headed to get lunch.  I picked up a chicken wrap which came out to $8.11 and saved 2 bucks.  If I really wanted to maximize my savings, I could have made a combo that came closer to $9, but was just in the mood for the chicken wrap.

As a side note, I really like Chickpea - so try it if there's one near you.  I highly recommend the falafel wrap with your choice of hummus and toppings.  And the falafel is baked rather than fried, so healthier than a typical falafel joint - although if you like the crunch of a fried one, that might be missed.

May you all save some Sharious dough with these deals.