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Movie tickets for $9! For two tickets!

9 Jun

The recipe blitz will resume tomorrow but I had to share this deal:

I’ve been a bit leery of sites like Groupon and Living Social for a while now but I know too many people who trust them completely. So, when I saw a deal on Money Saving Mom for two movie tickets for $9 as an offer from Living Social, I knew it was time to try it out.

The deal is this:  login or sign up for a Living Social account. You can use this link to access the deal (apparently it’s an online offer only) you buy a voucher for two tickets for $9 from Fandango (before you even sign up, check Fandago first to see if it’s available in your area. I can use it by my house and my parents’ house, but not my in-laws’). I’ve used Fandango in the past and it’s awesome, especially for those must-see movies. After you purchase the deal, you’ll get an email with the promo code number which you can use to buy your movie tickets online only; you can’t use the promo at the theater’s box office. It’s a limit of one purchase per customer, and both tickets must be used for the same movie/time. The voucher expires September 9, 2011.

With so many movies coming out this summer that we want to see, this will definitely come in handy!

Full disclosure: If three of you buy the deal, I get my tickets for free. Please do not feel any pressure to purchase the tickets because of the incentive. I just think that $9 for two tickets is an amazing deal that I bought before I knew about the referral incentive, especially when you consider the $22 we paid for 2 tickets. For a matinee. Absurd.


On this day

1 Jun

Today is an important day. It was today, 37 years ago, that my parents got married. To each other. And they’re still married!

Since I can’t provide you with a better anniversary present than me (I was born 3 years and 4 days later) and I’m not quite sure what alabaster is, my gift to you is a walk down memory lane. So now, I present your gift, entitled “Other things that happened on June 1, 1974”:

  • “My Girl Bill” by Jim Stafford hits #12
  • Ray Stevens’ “The Streak” was the #1 song
  •  Bundy victim Brenda Ball disappears from Burien, Wash
  • Chemical plant explodes in Flixborough Lincs kills 29 in UK
  •  The Heimlich maneuver for rescuing choking victims is published in the journal Emergency Medicine
  • Alanis Morisette and Mark Paul Gosselaar (Zach Morris) were born
  • The Mets were in 4th place in the NL East. The Yankees were in last place in the AL East

That’s all I could find.

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad! We all love you so much and we hope you have another 37 years!



Happy Mother’s Day!

8 May

Happy Mother’s Day!

By my definition, if you are the mother to any being, human, animal, reptile or fish, you get to celebrate today. I hope that you have a day filled with no errands, no laundry, no dishes and most of all, no cooking!

Maslow and Swanson: A pairing of pyramids

26 Apr

In 1943, Abraham Maslow published his groundbreaking theory on the hierarchy of needs. This theory described human motivations, starting from the most basic and moving up to the more advanced. As you satisfy the bottom needs, you will work your way up the pyramid towards satisfying the more advanced. The ultimate goal was to get to the top of the pyramid, self-actualization, or the desire to realize one’s full creative potential.  

In 2011, Ron Swanson, the greatest boss on TV,  debuted the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. This pyramid is a set of life  instructions and qualities with each level built on the other designed to help one reach the top of the pyramid–Honor.

Originally, I thought I had to figure out which pyramid was more relevant in today’s world. But it’s hard to put these two in a battle against each other. They each offer valid points and provide insight into our lives. Rather than competing, I think they can go hand in hand in perfect harmony, like Ebony and Ivory or peanut butter and chocolate or unicorns and glitter (thanks, Flo!), and provide us with a comprehensive way of looking at life. It’s nice to have guidelines, like speed limits and daily caloric intake.

Plus, Swanson’s kind of funny.

Renovation in progress!

30 Mar

The Empty Kitchen has been pretty quiet lately. I thought I’d explain why…

We’re under construction.

This blog, much like my thought process, has become a bit scattered lately. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to consolidate and organize my posts and pages in a way that’s easier to follow and a bit more user friendly. Unfortunately, like most construction projects, this is taking a bit longer than I had anticipated. I’m having a bit of difficulty with the static pages and links and all that good stuff but I’m working on it!

I’m hoping to finish construction by sometime next week. In the meantime, there will be a Fantastic Product Friday post this week (thanks to a suggestion from my friend Heidi) but not too much else. I have a couple of long posts in the works and I’m excited to finish and post those once the reorganization is complete.

While you’re here (and thank you for visiting), have a look at some oldies but goodies, or just click on the recipes tag on the sidebar for a listing of all the recipes I’ve posted thus far:

Grieving a sandwich

The Aldi Experiment–the original post

Tacos: they’re messy but they’re good

Burn notice

Ha, ha! Fooled you!

Fantastic product Friday: Shout Wipes

11 Mar

In an effort to start blogging on a quasi-regular schedule, I am instituting Fantastic product Friday. This is a feature where I will share some of my favorite products for the kitchen and around the house. If you have a product you would like me to try out, please feel free to contact me. If you have a favorite product you’d like to rave about, guest bloggers are welcomed!

I cannot eat without dropping food on myself. While eating my lunch today, I dropped an onion ring in my lap, an onion ring on my shirt and ketchup on my cami. I’m not worried about the stains, though. Why? Because of these:

Wonderful stain removing goodness right in my pocket.

Next to my KitchenAid mixer, these are my favorite product that I own. Many of my clothes (and my daughter’s clothes and even stranger’s clothes) have been salvaged by these wonderful little stain removers. If you don’t keep them in your purse or wallet or car or wherever, run out right now and get some. I think they’re $1 or so for a package of 4 at Target.  A nominal price to pay for stain removal and clothing salvage.

Have you used Shout wipes? Or are you more a of a Tide To Go kind of person?

Giveaway winners

3 Mar

Since there were only 2 entries in the Targetgift card giveaway contest, and they both got all of the answers correct, I’ve decided that they will both win the gift card. Congratulations to both entrants!

The correct answers to the movie quiz are:

  1. “If you could have one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? That’s easy. Pez. Cherry flavored pez.”–Stand By Me
  2. “It’s got gray icing. I can’t even begin to imagine how you make gray icing.”–Steel Magnolias
  3. “I bet the Chinese food here is terrible.”–My Cousin Vinny
  4. “If I don’t get a pancakewich, I will have you both arrested for kidnapping and conspiracy.”–I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell
  5. “Tigers love pepper. They hate cinnamon.”–The Hangover
  6. “It has raisins in it. You like raisins.”–Better Off Dead
  7. “A jelly donut?!”–Full Metal Jacket
  8. “Food fight!!!”–Animal House
  9. “Yogurt? I hate yogurt! Even with strawberries.”–Spaceballs
  10. “This is definitely the food prison riots are made of.”–Bachelor Party
  11. “What do you mean, you don’t eat no meat? That’s ok. I’ll make lamb.”–My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  12. “Do you like apples? Well, I got her number. How do you like them apples?”–Good Will Hunting
  13. “Hey honey, go back and tell the chef this is low-grade dog food.”–Caddyshack
  14. “…pb&j with the crusts cut off. Well, Brian, this is a very nutritious lunch. All the food groups are represented. Did your mom marry Mr. Rogers? Uh, no…Mr. Johnson.”–The Breakfast Club
  15. “The tension in the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Which is more than I can say for the liver.”–Brighton Beach Memoirs

Stayed tuned for next week’s giveaway where the winner will receive something better than money–fame (Ok, it’s a moderate amount of fame but still…)!

Celebrating one year

30 Dec

Approximately one year ago, I launched The Empty Kitchen. It was originally born out of an idea to combine two of my favorite hobbies: writing and cooking. It was also born out the desire to make people more comfortable with the idea of cooking, especially if the budget is tight. But this blog has become much more than that.

It’s become a place where I can be my weird self. It’s become an outlet for my creative side. It’s become a forum for me to talk about my shopping habits, my family, my likes and dislikes. It’s become a springboard for me to learn from many other amateur cooks like The Pajama Chef and The Budget-Friendly Chef. Most of all, it’s just become fun.

I’m pleasantly surprised at how well my blog has been received. Sure, for some of the big time bloggers, my daily traffic is what those blogs get in 15 minutes but for me, I’m content. I’m happy that strangers (and friends and family) enjoy what I have to say. And that you enjoy it enough to keep coming back is enough for me to keep writing.

As 2011 approaches, I’ve been thinking about the direction I want to go with this blog. Quite frankly, I’m not sure. I have an experiment that is being planned. I have recipes to share. And I have stories to tell. But I’m not sure how I want to tie them all to an umbrella purpose.

All of the really good blogs that I read have one larger focus and the authors of those blogs are outstanding at sticking to their focus. However, I’m like the kid in right field who pays attention to the game just long enough–until a butterfly floats by and then I’m busy with the butterfly. I need someone to bring me back into the game and just focus.

So, I’m turning to you for help. As The Empty Kitchen progresses, what would you like to see emerge as an overall focus?

Kitchen Table Talk: (Almost) wordless Wednesday

15 Dec

I am not the first blogger to post about this sandwich (see this review). And I might be a little less than timely because Hanukkah ended a week ago. None of that matters because this sandwich endures the test of time, both in your mind and in your arteries:

Latke and brisket sandwich, rounded out with applesauce. From Junior's in Brooklyn

The Empty Kitchen returns with a poem

14 Nov

After a long, unexpected and very necessary hiatus, The Empty Kitchen has returned! I will, at some point, explain why I have been gone for almost 2 months but for now, please enjoy my return with a short poem I wrote about my most favorite kitchen appliance, my Kitchen Aid stand-up mixer:


Stand-up mixer, I love you so

You help me make cake, bread, and cookie dough.

Although you are yellow, dirty and fairly old,

You are one item that will never be sold.

Your multiple attachments and your giant, shiny silver bowl,

To use you as much as possible is a goal.

Stand-up mixer, I love you , you see.

I love you even more because you were free.




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