Friday, December 17, 2010

Preparing for the Mad Truffle Dash

Tonight is the night.

My dishes are clean, the kitchen is sparkling, little bottles of liquor are lined up on my spice shelf.

Baby, it's truffle making time.

I plan on going through 15 pounds of chocolate, if you're looking for an idea of how many truffles I'll be making - nevermind the other ingredients (which are a secret, so you don't get to know about them!!) - I'm about to make people seriously happy with some good Christmas presents!

Flavors will include:
Eggnog (with spiced rum)
Dark Chocolate with Grand Marnier
White chocolate with Chambord
Dark/White Chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps
White Chocolate and Amaretto
And numerous others.  Last year, my fave was a dark chocolate and Tia Maria mix, but I didn't buy any more TM, so it's unlikely that will happen with my budget in rapid shrink mode.

If these truffles sound awesome to you - you should buy some from the woman who taught me all I know (and who ships to wherever) - she has some new flavors, including a Chai Tea (which I sadly haven't had a chance to try yet!)  - check her out at

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Greatest Christmas Movie EVER

Do I really need to do anything other than use that title to let your mind wander?  Obviously - I'm talking about National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - one of those movies I've been watching since it came out, and will watch, with religious fervor, until I'm dead.  There's a possibility that I'll be buried with a portable dvd player with that movie playing.

I am not normally one to recommend you go buy things (unless you want to buy me things, and that's totally up to you), or enter contests or anything of that nature (I'd actually usually prefer people not enter the contests I enter because it messes up my odds - but 'tis the season!) - I just entered a contest to win a set of the glass moose mugs! 

I entered to win a set of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Moose Mugs from Dear Crissy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Updated List of Streaming Christmas Movies on Netflix

*Updated as of November 1, 2016 - if you're on Facebook, like the page, and you will see when there are updates.

This is what I call an act of love…
12 Dates of Christmas - Do you love Christmas and miss Saved by the Bell? Or maybe just one of those two? Come on, this is an ABC Family Christmas movie - if you like one, you like them all.  Watch it here before it airs this December!
Abominable Noel - Nope, it's not about the worst Christmas ever - it's about Abominable Snowmen joining with humans for Christmas!

 All I Want for Christmas - Nope, it's not a typo, it's another Christmas movie!! What's the best reason to start dating again? Because your child wants a new father, that's why. 

Beethoven's Christmas Adventure - Do you love slobber? Well, there's a good chance you don't.  I bet you do, however, love Christmas movies - here's another one for you - starring the most famous gigantic dog of the nineties (or was it eighties?).

Bob's Broken Sleigh - this is a newer movie (2015) - It appears that the premise is that a little elf (Bob) is trying to upgrade Santa's sleigh - something goes wrong - there is a crash (will Christmas be canceled!?!?) - and he needs help to get back up in the air.

Casper's Haunted Christmas - poor Casper, that annoyingly friendly ghost has to scare someone before the big day.  I'm not even referred to as a friendly ghost, and I would feel bad messing with someone this time of year.

Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas, The - I haven't seen this - but the pictures showing up do look true to the original illustrations in the Cat in the Hat, and other Seussian hits.  It appears to be a cartoon - which is a big positive for me - as Mike Myer's terrifying turn as the Cat in the Hat ruined live action for me in the genre.

Christmas Again - This appears to be the tale of a grumpy guy selling Christmas Trees in NYC.  I have a sneaking suspicion Mr. Man is going to learn a Christmas lesson and get some holiday cheer along the way!

Christmas Card, The - You know how every year, you're encouraged to send Christmas cards to anonymous soldiers? This is the story of one of those soldiers tracking down the person who sent the card.  Spoiler alert: I'm pretty sure romance will ensue!! 

Christmas Cracker - This is a document about people who are obsessed with Christmas.  I'm king of disappointed that they didn't try to interview me, but I'll get over it. 

Christmas Kiss, A - Reviewers seem pretty split on this ABC-Family/Lifetime style Chick Flick.  A woman who has trouble with her boss, for some reason kisses a random gent on an elevator, only to discover that he is the boss's boyfriend.  

Christmas Ranch - This one's got all the big hits - naughty teen has to spend the holidays with Grandma on a ranch of all places, connects with a horse, tries to save the aforementioned ranch, learns an important lesson, and has a super merry Christmas.  I'm guessing - but I'm pretty sure I'm right.

Christmas on Salvation Street - This new addition has no reviews so far - so my only information is from the synopsis - a Widowed Preacher moves his family to the inner city. 

Christmas Star, A - It turns out that if you're born under the Christmas Star, you have magical powers.  In reading the description, I wasn't really convinced I wanted to watch it.  Then I checked out reviews, and noticed Kylie Minogue and Pierce Brosnan in it - needless to say, I've added this to my wish list. 

Christmas Town - I've never seen this relatively new made-for-tv looking gem.  A single mother visits her father, whose town is "Totally Consumed with Christmas" - my kind of place!

Christmas Wedding Baby -  I haven't seen this, and nothing in the description has anything to do with Christmas - so maybe that's someone's name? I really don't know.

Christmas with the Kranks - Did you know this movie is based on the book "Skipping Christmas" by John Grisham? Consider yourself educated.  I've watched this, and it is a cute little film - a pair of empty nesters try to get out of their annual Christmas decoration extravaganza when their daughter is away for the holiday, only to have to do a mad dash when her schedule changes.  I promise - plenty of hijinks will ensue.

 Curious George, a Very Monkey Christmas - I do love those cute little Curious George cartoons, along with the Man in the Yellow Hat, it appears the two of them are having a hard time deciding what to give each other for the holiday!

Dreamworks Happy Holidays from Madagascar - You get a hit of Valentine's Day and then two Christmas specials! 

Dreamworks Holiday Classics - while the word "classic" might be pushing it - only time will tell!  Four holiday tales involving your favorite (?) Dreamworks' stars - the digital casts of Madagascar, Shrek, and How to Train Your Dragon.

Dreamworks Shrek's Swamp Stories - time to join everyone's favorite ogre in some fun holiday theme adventures.  Not only does this have Christmas - but Halloween as well!

Ernest Saves Christmas - YES, it's stupid - but YES, I really really really love it!!! Hey Vern, who doesn't want to watch a sassy runaway discover the true meaning of Christmas (AKA giving and receiving gifts) via the heartfelt buffoonery of Ernest P. Worrell?

Evergreen Christmas - I know that if I had a choice between being a musician and running a Christmas Tree Farm, it'd be a no-brainer - obviously Christmas Tree Farm - the heroine of this story has some indecision though.

Fitzgerald Family Christmas, The - A long estranged father makes plans to reunite with his wife and seven grown children for the holidays.

Fireplace for Your Home: Winter Wonderland for your Home - this has festive holiday music along with beautiful snowy scenes - wonderful for those of us anxious for winter in the middle of July!
From Time to Time - What's better than going to stay at your ancestral home for Christmas? If your Grandmother is Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter (okay, technically, the actress Maggie Smith who played Professor McGonagall).

Get Santa - Santa gets arrested? What kind of world are we living in??  Thankfully, a father-son team is going to get him out of there!

Good Luck Charlie: It's Christmas - This looks like a 2011 Version of a Full House Christmas (not the plot, but the family friendly TV show made movie length silliness), the ratings are actually quite good - I've never seen the show, but I just might have to watch the movie!

Happy Christmas - Here is a Christmas movie starring Lena Dunham, Anna Kendrick, and Melanie Lynskey - three of my fave lady actors. Reviews are mixed, but one introduced me to the term "mumblecore." I'll be watching, for the actors alone. 

Hercules Saves Christmas – I’m getting more and more excited about watching this (incredibly ridiculous sounding) movie as I type the description.  When you think Christmas what comes to mind: Presents? Jesus’ birth? A talking dog whose job it is to write Santa’s “nice list,” and has the ability to act as an orphan boy’s lawyer? If your answer was number three – I promise you’ll love this movie!

I Am Santa Claus - This is a documentary following professional Santas.  I watched a similar movie a couple of years ago, and it was wonderful - this certainly looks worth a look!

Journey to the Christmas Star - Something about the cover of this reminds me of "the Golden Compass" (most likely a girl riding a bear).  This is a Norwegian movie, that, from reviews, was poorly dubbed, but is a really lovely story.  I plan to catch it at some point, and will fill this out a bit more with some facts!

Koala Brothers Outback Christmas, The - I'm not familiar with the Koala Brothers - but it appears it's a British show for the littles.  It is some sort of adorable claymation and I recommend it on that alone!  Seriously - who doesn't want to watch two koalas flying an airplane and tracking down their penguin friend in Antarctica? 

Kung Fu Panda: Holiday - Here is one of those newer "holiday" movies; it's winter, it's a special, meaningful holiday, etc. etc. etc. In this new arrival, Po has to deal with some wackiness, and then learn the meaning of Chris- Oops - I mean - the meaning of "Winter Feast."

Last Holiday - This is not your typical Christmas movie - but it is a REALLY sweet movie that takes place at Christmas time. I would put this in the While You Were Sleeping Category of a movie that takes place at Christmas, and has a lovely message.

Legend of Frosty the Snowman, The - Word to the Wise: this is not the original Frosty movie - this is circa 2005, and reviewers say it is a pale comparison.

Love Actually - If you love Christmas, or being a hopeless romantic, or Mariah Carey songs, or a host of other things - you will love this modern day Christmas classic!

Magic Snowflake - the Sequel to Santa's Apprentice.  So - watch that one, and then decide if you're up for a second dose.

Mandie and the Forgotten Christmas - Well, I can't say I recommend this one - most commonly seen in the reviews are mentions of the racism and sexism.  I would certainly leave this off my list this year.

Marry Me for Christmas - A lot of movies remind me that we need to get rid of the idea that people MUST get married for happiness.  This movie, like that one with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, follows the theme of  fake fiance.  I have a hunch that they will fall in love in the end like (spoiler alert!) Holiday in Handcuffs.  But there's always the chance this one will make the point that you should be happy with yourself, and don't require another person for your own satisfaction.

Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mickey Mouse - This is a Christmas special with a number of Disney Christmas shorts (I haven't seen this one - but I highly recommend Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, so I think this is probably worth checking out).

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas - Three cute Disney cartoons: Mickey & Minnie play out one of my favorite O. Henry stories: Gift of the Magi; Donald's three wacky nephews play out a Christmas version of the movie Groundhog Day; and Goofy and his son Max figure out that Santa is real.  *Most disturbing part: when all of the ducks at the table get excited about eating a beautifully roast turkey.

Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas - I am imagining this to be the sequel to Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas.  According to Netflix's description it's a holiday battle between Mickey and Minnie and that mean ol' Scrooge McDuck.

Miracle on 34th Street - This is the absolutely wonderful 1994 version of this holiday classic.  I love the original, and I really feel this remake stayed so true to the message.  It's wonderful, and you should show it to your children to make sure it's a part of their childhoods.

Mule-Tide Christmas - This looks like a digital flick for the youngest of the youngsters.  You've got wicked goblins, a certain jolly old elf who wears a red suit, and his trusty mule.  Sounds good (for the 5-7 crowd) to me!

My Little Pony: A Very Minty Christmas - These are the middle age ponies (from 2005 - they're updated from the mid-1980s ponies I knew, and prior to the new ponies that have inspired the Bronies movement).  I think there could be some very valuable nostalgia.

Pee-wee's Playhouse: Christmas Special - If you're ready for a trip down mid-1980s memory lane - this is the special for you!  If Pee-wee himself isn't enough to pull you in - you've got Zsa Zsa Gabor, Frankie Avalon, Oprah, and even KD Lang to join in the fun!

Pete's Christmas - Groundhog Day meets Christmas Day.  I know Elmo already tried this whole "Christmas is Every Day" thing - it sounds like Pete's having just as hard a time.

Power Rangers Samurai: Christmas Together, Friends Forever - I admit that the Power Rangers have never really grown on me.  I will also admit that I sat through countless hours of them when I was a babysitter to a family with four young sons.  I might even sit through them for 23 more minutes to see this special!

Power Rangers Super Samurai: Stuck on Christmas - here we go - some more Power Rangers (for those of you who are into that sort of thing). 

Radio City Christmas Spectacular, The – If you’ve not had the opportunity to see these incredible women perform in person – I think you should jump at any chance you’re afforded (we saw them for the first time last winter in Boston – they are AMAZING). Luckily for everyone, those who have, and haven’t seen the Rockettes perform – you can watch the show on your TV or computer – seriously – this is awesome stuff!! 

Russell Peters Christmas, A - This 2011 movie was filmed in the style of a 1970s variety show.  Guests range from Michael Buble to Pamela Anderson. I've not seen it, so I'm hoping someone will be able to give me a good review.

Santa Buddies - those rascally golden retriever pups are at it again - Christmas style!

Santa Claws - NOT the horror movie it sounds like - this one is about KITTENS!!!

Santa's Apprentice - What DOES happen when a young orphan is picked to be Santa's successor? He becomes an apprentice of course!

Saving Santa - I've never seen this little digitally animated gem, but the reviews are pretty great - it turns out, you'll find out how Santa delivers all those presents!

Scrooged - HOORAY! It's back - this is an absolute TREASURE of a movie.  Starring Bill Murray as a modern (1980s modern) scrooge, and his interesting host of ghosts.  I can't recommend it enough, if only for the awesome defense of mice.

Search for Santa Paws, The - If you liked Santa Buddies, you definitely want to watch this prequel!  If your children like Santa Buddies, and you need an hour and a half to enjoy a couple of glasses of wine, then they definitely need to watch this!

Secret World of Santa, The - This was a late-1990s French Television Show - there are 26 episodes that have been dubbed into English.

Small Town Santa - If you live in a small town, and arrest an intruder claiming to be Santa, be warned: you are about to get a full-size-sample of the Christmas Spirit!

Thomas & Friends: Santa's Little Engine - Guess who's guiding Santa's sleigh!! Nope - it's not Rudolph - it's THOMAS!!!

Trailer Park Boys: Xmas Special - I'm not a Trailer Park Boys fan, so I'm going to leave this to you to discover on your own.

Traveler, The - I'm not sure if Christmas is anything more than a setting in this very poorly rated movie starring Val Kilmer.  One of us should watch it - I'm nominating you.

Very Minty Christmas, A - My little ponies (I think these are the original ponies - or O.P. as the kids should say) celebrate Christmas.

Very Murray Christmas, A - If you love Bill Murray, and appreciate what an oddball he is - I think you'd better put this on the agenda for running in the background at this year's cookie baking party (which is exactly what I did last year, and probably will do again in 2016).

While You Were Sleeping - I have absolutely loved this movie since the first time I saw it.  It made me fall in love with Sandra Bullock, and made me able to tolerate Bill Pullman.  The plot is farfetched, but adorable.
White Christmas - Quite possibly the greatest movie ever made.  Fact: my sister and I can perform the "Sisters" routine in its entirety, and sing the song together on a regular basis. If you've never seen it - watch it! If you've already seen it, why aren't you watching it again???

Winnie the Pooh, A Very Merry Pooh Year - We already know Pooh's not the brightest bulb on the tree, but we want to watch him have fun adventures during the holiday season anyway!