July 31, 2012

Music, Movies & Munchies

The past two weeks have been crazy busy - but in a good way!  Work has been nuts and the weekends have been even more packed!  Two weekends ago I went to see the newest Batman movie 'The Dark Knight Rises' - we saw it in IMAX and even for someone who is not a huge Batman/DC Comic fan it was super entertaining!

 The following week started an intense week of concerts that included Conor Oberst at the Egg, Sharon Van Etten at Club Helsinki in Hudson, NY and then this coming Wednesday it is back to the Egg for Brandi Carlile!  This intense concert week is the first of two that will be happening over the summer!
Pre-concert dinner at Franklin Tower in downtown Albany - right across from the SUNY administration building.

Sharon Van Etten at The Egg
Conor Oberst at The Egg
  The show was awesome!  I had never really listened to either of the artists but now I am definitely a fan of both Conor Oberst and Sharon Van Etten!  The following Sunday we headed down to Hudson, NY to see Sharon Van Etten solo at Club Helsinki.  It was awesome to see her with a full band and performing a full set.  Here are some pictures!

Sharon Van Etten and her band at Club Helsinki
Not completely sure what type of instrument this is - but it sounded interesting!
 Tomorrow we see Brandi Carlile at The Egg which I am SUPER excited about!  That will end week one of intense concerts, of which the next one does not happen until September.

Other happenings as of late include manicures, pedicures and fro yo with a super cool 15 year old (yes there are super cool 15 year olds), completing  my Cornell University Benefits Practitioners exam for the second time, watching the Olympics pretty much non-stop, heading to Rochester, NY at the end of the week for work and becoming addicted to the Showtime show 'Homeland'.

Here are a few other pictures from the past week:
Historic church in Hudson, NY
Thank you co-worker for having awesome iced coffee making skills and providing it at just the right time during a stressful day!

I also mentioned 'cooking' in the title because over the past week I made two fabulous new creations and a few classics such as spaghetti and homemade meat balls, crock pot chicken and of course some mac and cheese.  

First up is a Warm Bean Dip which served as a great appetizer for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics!

Warm Bean Dip
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 cans of refried beans
1 of taco seasoning
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded monterrey jack cheese

Combine the refried beans, taco seasoning, cream cheese and sour cream and place in an 8 x 8 pan.  Top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.  Serve with chips!  Yum!

 The second thing I made was an overnight french toast casserole!  It was super sweet and had the texture of a creme brulee; definitely not something for the everyday but very good nonetheless!

Overnight French Toast Casserole
1 stick {1/2 cup} butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 loaf French Toast bread
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
White sugar, to taste
Cinnamon, to taste

Melt the butter and combine with 1 cup of brown sugar, place the mixture at the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Place the first layer of french toast bread on top of the butter/brown sugar mixture (about 6 slices of french toast bread), set aside and in a large bowl combine the 4 eggs, milk and  some cinnamon.  Pour half the egg mixture over the six pieces of bread and then top with some brown sugar and cinnamon.  Place six more slices of french toast bread over the original six and top with the remaining egg mixture and even more brown sugar and cinnamon.  Cover and let sit overnight in the fridge.  In the morning bake at 400 degrees for approximately 45 minutes.  Enjoy!

I failed to take my own picture so here is a picture from the website where I found the recipe.
Happy Tuesday!!

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