Tuesday, April 27, 2010

“All Aboard the Shania Twain”

I am like the postal service; neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor sinus infection will keep me from blogging Idol. Welcome to the medicated recap!

One month from finale—the countdown begins as six remain.

Theme: Shania Twain songbook. Let me just say I have loved Shania for many years. When my nephew and niece were wee children about six or seven, we were driving down a country road in a pickup in Oklahoma, and the song came on the radio. They starting singing along and serenaded me with Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under. Now, it is an odd experience to have small children sing these lyrics by heart and direct it at you.

Lee DeWyze is singing You’re Still the One. Not bad, though he seems a bit uncomfortable with country. I think the rock genre is definitely where he belongs. I did like the last line. He tried to turn it into rock, and it almost made it. Something was weird about his face and especially his left eye. What’s wrong with your wonky eye, DeWyze???

Michael Lynch is singing It Only Hurts When I am Breathing. Okay, it seems Michael has peaked prior to this week, and someone needs to have the car waiting when he gets eliminated this week. It only hurts when I listen to Big Mike sing Shania. In the words of Wendy Williams, there is a Michael Lynche out there in lots of churches. It seems to have touched Shania, but it did nothing for me.

Casey James is singing Don’t. I think he was working the bed head, doing his best to make love to the camera. But emotionally, I am not sure he connected with the song. This song calls for a certain heartfelt desperation in the longing behind the lyrics, and he didn’t seem to reach down deep enough for that, though he was trying mighty hard. Overall, a good performance. I think it will pull enough votes to keep her in the competition.

Crystal Bowersox is singing No One Needs to Know. The transitions in the song were atrocious. The whole performance just seemed off. She seemed to be struggling. And she needs to fire her stylist, that dress was horrible on her. There are so many Shania songs that she could have rocked, and she just let me down. I am hoping she is the next American Idol, let’s hope she makes it back next week. I think Simon is really slamming her to get people riled up so they vote for her. That Simon is a crafty one.

Aaron Kelly is singing You Got a Way. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I loved it. His voice was amazing—crystal clear and heartfelt. I think he is definitely going to be a country artist. He really came into his own tonight. Ahhh, he sang that to his mom, and that just got him a few million more votes. Way to work it, Aaron—you’re no fool.

Siobhan Magnus is singing Any Man of Mine. She chose one of Shania’s biggest hits, which is always a danger. Though she reminded me of Shania with her hair and boots and all, I don’t know that she nailed the attitude that this song calls for. She did bring out the big guns at the end. Let’s see if it keeps her. This song is so popular, just her singing this song should garner some votes.

This was a tough night for my favorites, but I have to say Aaron Kelly was the best tonight.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A simple spring meal

The Menu
Grilled Chicken Tenders
Potato Salad
French Style Green Beans

Potato Salad

5-6 Russet potatoes peeled and boiled (but not overcooked)
1 rib of celery, diced
2 hard-boiled eggs
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 Tablespoons yellow mustard

Mix all ingredients together, and sprinkle with paprika when done. You can substitute pickles for the celery and/or add red onion. If it seems dry, add more mayo and mustard. It should have a faint yellow color when you are finished.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Inspire Me Idol

American Idol—Theme: Inspirational Songs

Alicia Keys is the mentor tonight. I guess because she is so…inspirational.

Casey James is singing Don’t Stop by Fleetwood Mac. I always say when Casey pulls his hair back, he means business, and tonight he was all business with that guitar. He reminded me a little of Jeff Buckley tonight. I definitely wasn’t thinking of Fleetwood Mac. It was solid. I enjoyed it, and he can sing that way every night and draw a crowd. Simon said there was nothing inspirational about this song, but I remember Bill Clinton using it during his campaign for president the first time, and I remember it being very inspirational. Have hope, don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, whatever Simon, you tight T-shirt wearin’ British Butt.

Lee DeWyze is singing The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel—and oddly, he does remind me of Paul Simon. Lee can ditch the pink stocking cap forever; BURN it Lee. Say goodbye to it. Let it go big boy, you no longer need to hide behind the pink stocking cap. Nice performance. He seemed so sincere in his performance. It was special in a non-corny way. He is understated-hunky, cool.

Teflon Tim Urban is singing Better Days by the Goo Goo Dolls. The notes are a bit off tonight. But this is Teflon Tim, who cares about notes? He hit his groove about the middle of the song. Okay tweeners, if you hit 10 million votes for Tim, he will take his shirt off…he he he, just kidding! I think he might be in the bottom tonight, but I will be surprised if he goes home. Keep smilin’ TTU!

Aaron Kelly is singing I Believe I Can Fly. This song is so overdone. Bad song choice for him. It was boring because he didn’t bring anything new to the song. There was a certain cheese factor to Aaron’s performance. He is wearing thin with me.

Siobhan Magnus is singing When you Believe by Whitney and Mariah. Has she lost her ever-lovin’ mind??? I mean seriously, you gotta have diva chops to sing this. She made me tense just watching it because I thought at any moment it could be a train wreck—this was a nail-biter. Though she made it through with no major missteps, I just didn’t feel the emotion behind this song, and it didn’t have the impact of a Mariah or Whitney version. Shout out to Whitney (you know, just in case Whitney is reading my blog), poor girl, I hear she is back in rehab.

Michael Lynche is singing Hero by Nickelback. Again, this must be karaoke night on Idol. It just felt like he could be in a bar on Friday night competing with the best of the just okay. And the lip lick at the end, that was just wrong. Big Mike might be going home. This seems like wrong type of song for Michael Lynche.

Crystal Bowersox is singing People Get Ready by Curtis Mayfield. Oh man, can this girl sing. Crystal rocks my world. I actually liked her without the instrument. She really let go and wasn’t focusing on anything else but the performance. She was so in it, she got choked up at the end. This reminds me of my high school buddy Mike who was so into a role for a play we were doing, he actually cut himself on a glass he broke, but you knew he was owning the moment. It was glorious.

Who will be back? Crystal, Lee, and Casey

Who might be going home? Aaron, Michael, and Siobhan

Who is the wildcard? Teflon Tim, of course

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gardening Season is Here!

Check out my backyard, ha ha. Okay, just kidding, this is Walt Disney World. They have some talented gardeners down there. As I leap into my first adventures in gardening, I am using my trip to Disney as inspiration. I want fabulosity, but I will probably just be happy if a few flowers pop up.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Quick-Fix Supper

Jazz the Jar

Tonight's supper was super easy. I sometimes take a shortcut to a delicious meal by using part homemade, part store bought items. I know, I know, Sandra Lee I am not because if I were Sandra, I would be having a cocktail about right now, but I think I can still whip up a delectable dinner.

Salad and Spaghetti Dinner

Sauce Recipe

1 jar store bought spaghetti sauce, any brand will do (I had Always Save in the pantry, so that is what I used.
1 cup Rotel
2-3 lbs hamburger
1/2 cup onions
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons Olive oil
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 Tablespoons sugar

Saute onions in olive oil until translucent. Add minced garlic and saute. Add hamburger and mushrooms. Brown hamburger. Add spaghetti sauce, Rotel, tomato paste, sugar, parsley, and oregano. Simmer on low until heated through.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sleepy Idol

Let’s Come Together People, It’s Lennon and McCartney Night

Aaron Kelly is singing Long and Winding Road. Sing, he will. He seems more at ease on stage than ever, which is amazing for a 17 year old. Not standing ovation worthy, but good one Yoda. I wish he had picked a song with more pizzazz, or done something out of the ordinary with the song he chose.

Katie Stevens, wearing her Pepto Bismol dress, is singing Let It Be. One of my favorite songs—don’t screw it up Katie! Overall, her performances/song choices have been too somber; she needs to lighten up. She has the bubble gum pop outfit, but not the song stylings of the next pop princess. She did perform it well, but I don’t think this was the best song choice to show what kind of artist she will be.

Andrew Garcia has personality??? Where has that been on stage when he is performing? Andrew is singing Can’t Buy Me Love. Ick, awful, blech! Hated it; he may be in trouble this week. It bordered on big band corny. Don’t confuse personality with corny. Bad song choice strikes again.

Michael Lynche is singing Eleanor Rigby. I have never thought of the song Eleanor Rigby as an R&B/soul song, but leave it Big Mike to give it soul. To me, this song has always been a sad song, and Mike’s version was just a bit too over the top for me.

Crystal Bowersox is singing Come Together. Sing on Mama Sox; be true to yourself! This was a very southern, country rock version of the song—it reminded me of Gretchen Wilson. This song totally suited Crystal, and even with a cold, she nailed it. Didgeridoo or DidgeriDON’T? Discuss people.

Teflon Tim Urban is…smiling, surprise! Tim is singing All My Lovin’. I can’t believe it, but I actually liked it. It was probably his best performance to date. Oh yeah, the teens and vote for the worst fans will be dialing in. Oh Teflon, you will be sticking around. Isn’t he just like a puppy?!?

Playboy Casey James is singing Jealous Guy. Shaky start. I wish he had chosen a song that was more widely known. I own the Imagine album, and I couldn’t even remember this song. It seems slow—I wish he would pick up the tempo. I am at the opposite end of the judges, and maybe everyone else, but I did not enjoy it. I might be wrong about his performance, but Goldilocks will be back.

Siobhan Magnus is singing Across the Universe. I think this whole night has just about put me to sleep. Siobhan’s performance was so drowsy and dream-like, I just want to go to bed. You know when you sometimes put on the easy listening station as you are going to bed? That’s what I felt like. But I love her outfit and her look. She is so odd and she embraces her oddities, and I admire that in a person.

Lee DeWyze is singing Hey Jude. I like the sound of his voice on this song, but I don’t think he ever hit his groove on the song. Not my favorite performance from him. I hope it didn’t earn him a trip home. What is up with the bagpipe dude? Good lord, a didgeridoo and now bagpipes!

I think Andrew may go home.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter

The Feaster or Easter Feast

The Menu
Pineapple, Brown Sugar, Honey Glazed Ham
Scalloped Potatoes
Mandarin Orange Salad (Recipe Below)
Deviled Eggs
Crusty French Bread, Buttered

Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe
This recipe was given to me by my good friend Lynda!
1 bunch or bag of your favorite mixed Lettuce, chopped
1 small can Mandarin Oranges
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup to 1 cup sugar
1 cup Wishbone Italian Salad Dressing (regular or low fat)
Frank's Hot Sauce
Black Pepper

Caramelize pecans by heating in a pan over medium heat with sugar. Be careful not to burn them. When done, spread out on parchment paper to cool. Place lettuce in a bowl. Add drained Mandarin Oranges, pecans, and dressing.

Combine Wishbone dressing, a couple of tablespoons of sugar, a bit of the mandarin orange juice, a couple of drops of hot sauce, and black pepper to taste. Pour over salad.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Which Idol Has Sold the Most Albums?

According to MSNBC, this is the list of sales for the top ten best-selling Idols.

10. David Archuleta — 962,000 albums sold

8. Jordin Sparks — 1.2 million albums sold (tie)

8. Kellie Pickler — 1.2 million albums sold (tie)

7. David Cook — 1.3 million albums sold

6. Fantasia Barrino — 2.3 million albums sold

5. Ruben Studdard — 2.5 million albums sold

4. Clay Aiken — 4.9 million albums sold

3. Chris Daughtry — 5.3 million albums sold

2. Kelly Clarkson — 10.4 million albums sold

1. Carrie Underwood — 10.5 million albums sold