Just in cases …

Something is certainly in the Chicago air, folks. You know what it is? Talent. Pure unadulterated talent, genius in fact – and I’m incredibly jealous. Let me explain! Maybe you’ve heard of this and maybe you haven’t but I’m going to obsess about it anyway. The Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project. Foodies, you should know what I’m referring to. Movie buffs, you too! Julie & Julia is the 2009 hit movie starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams that was based off the blog The Julie & Julia Project by Julie Powell. Lady Powell cooked her way through 524 of Julia Child’s recipes in 365 days. She got a book deal (lucky bitch) and then a movie was made based off her experiences with a lead role of Meryl Streep playing the one and only, Julia Child.

Anyhoos, back to the main point here – Lawrence Dai is a sophomore at Northwestern University (Chicago connection, yo) who started a blog on the premise of watching Julie & Julia every day for a year – 365 viewings of the movie, and then he blogs after eachtime he watches. He refers to himself as a “college student with way too much time on his hands” but after reading through all 30 some posts so far, I am in love. Not with Lawrence himself, but with the idea.  The posts are absolutely hysterical – they range from “Is Your Life Really That Bad, Julie Powell?” (a mockery of Julie’s incessant, bitchy complaining throughout the film) to identifying “Random Actor Tuesdays” and finally, my personal favorite, “Stanley Tucci is Probably a Pedophile.” You can check out the greatness here – http://www. http://lawrenceandjulieandjulia.blogspot.com/

As much as I love the movie Julia & Julia (A friend from school would insist I love the movie so much, I based my senior thesis off the premise, which is a big time lie, Logan LaBerge), I’m not sure I could watch it every day for a year. So then I thought, what movie could I watch every day for a year? Well it’s probably the movie I’ve got on right now in the background. Love Actually. Right now, the Christmas concert scene is on, Joanna is killin’ it on stage, Sam’s killin’ it on the drums and I’ve got goosebumps. Aside from it being my favorite movie of all time, it’s one of those movies you could watch anytime. I turn it on while I’m cooking, eating, writing and sometimes sleeping so I can subconsciously wire my brain to have dreams about Karl, the hottie Laura Linney is in love with. I could literally write a freaking novel about how much I love this movie –  I love the acting, the music (that same uplifting score that plays when Sam is running through the airport – sigh!) the humor and the fact that I wasn’t allowed to watch it when I was younger because my mom felt it was too “sexual.”

When I was finally deemed age-appropriate, my mom made it our annual Christmas tradition to watch “Love Actually” on Christmas morning. Despite the fact that Grandma usually konks out thirty minutes in and Matt slithers out after the opening credits, it is always a blissful two and a half hours for the Mortell’s, snuggled up on the couch watching this movie. And yet, this past Christmas, we didn’t watch Love Actually. Tradition just goes OUT the window! So, here I am, on this wintry night, snuggled up on my pull-out mattress left over from our new year’s eve sleepover, watching Love Actually.

Now Watching:

If that short taste didn’t make you shimmy across your hallway with excitement, perhaps my very simple crepe recipe will!


1 cup all purpose flour, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup whole milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, water, butter and salt then gradually add in the flour – beat until combined and smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan (I used vegetable oil on my new crepe pan I got from Santa!). Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using appox 1/4 cup of batter for each crepe (I used a little more, just so I could make bigger crepes). Tilt the pan in a circular motion so the batter coats the surface evenly.

Yes, that is a smiley faced spatula. Santa knows me too well.

Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve right away.

They're even better with nutella spread in the middle

The recipe made three large crepes and one small one –  I experimented with a few different toppings – plain with butter in the middle and powdered sugar on top, lemon juice/zest & powdered sugar, nutella, strawberry jam, etc. I’m even more excited to test out more – some savory, some sweet, most all delicious. I like my crepes a liiiiittle thicker than most, so they’re almost like a very thin pancake, and if you pour less batter in the pan, they will turn out much more thin, probably like the real French crepe.

Feel free to just go CRAZY as I did today. Straying from tradition, watching Love Actually alone and making my first crepes – which Dad very much enjoyed (“I like it” – was his exact response). And on a final note, if you’re wondering what “Just in cases …” is in reference to, just watch the damn movie already.

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