Sunday Suggestions: 07/26/2020

It’s that time of the week again! Welcome to another installment of Sunday Suggestions! This week, we’ll be covering the following suggestions:

Movie: Gettysburg
TV Show: Cursed
Book Series: Dresden Files
Homemade Recipe: One-Pot Lasagna Soup

Starring Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Stephen Lang, Richard Jordan, Andrew Prine, Cooper Huckabee, Jeff Daniels, James Lancaster, Royce D. Applegate, Sam Elliot, C. Thomas Howell, Kevin Conway
Rated PG
Released in 1993
Found for purchased on Amazon

For those of you that know me well, you know of my love of the civil war. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love the civil war, I just thoroughly enjoy studying and learning about it. I find the war fascinating. This isn’t based on the actual battles themselves (although I do enjoy learning about those), but I greatly enjoy the politics, processes, and detrimental consequences throughout the duration of the war. History tells us that the battle of Gettysburg was the turning point for the Union during the war. Gettysburg, the movie, is a massive piece of art that showcases the war from both the Union and Confederate perspectives. The movie takes place over all three days of the battle, including the short time before it took place and how it all led to one of the bloodiest and longest confrontations of the entire war. The main people from the battle, General Longstreet, Colonel Chamberlain, General Lee, General Pickett, and a few others are all portrayed by professional actors. However, the majority of the soldiers participating in the battles are actual civil war reenactors that all volunteered their time and energy toward putting forth something that was realistic and historically accurate. They provided their own uniforms and guns. Gettysburg is a very long movie coming in at over four hours long, but if you have any interest in learning a little bit about about the battle that propelled the Union forward and helped shape our country into what it is today, give the movie a watch. It will be well worth your time.

TV Show
Starring Katherine Langford, Devon Terrell, Gustaf Skarsgard, Daniel Sharman, Sebastian Armesto, Lily Newmark, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Peter Mullan, Emily Coates, Billy Jenkins, Matt Stokoe
Rated TV-MA
Released in 2020
Found on Netflix

Cursed was a random gem that was recently released by Netflix during the Covid-19 pandemic. I actually had no idea what the show was about. I saw a random trailer for it as an advertisement before a YouTube video. After watching it, I realized it seemed like a good hold-over until Witcher season two and the Mandalorian season two was released. My fiancee and I both thoroughly enjoy fantasy series’, so we decided to give it a go, having absolutely no idea what the show was going to provide us. A few minutes into the pilot episode, and we quickly learned that it was a show based on Arthurian legend. I absolutely love the mythological stories behind King Arthur. But instead of this show being about King Arthur directly, it follows the story of Nimue, the legendary Lady of the Lake and the origins of Excalibur, the mythical sword wielded by Arthur. The show is based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller and Thomas Wheeler. Throughout the ten episode first season, we get to witness the sword’s origin and power, the struggle of the world during Arthur’s time, and the reality of what happened. The typical story you know of King Arthur does not exist in this show. Instead, much like Once Upon a Time, you get a different telling of the origins of such characters like Morgana La Fey, King Arthur, the Lady of the Lake, Uther Pendragon, and some of the different knights of the round table. It is based on a graphic novel, so there is plenty of mature content such as blood, gore, and sex, all done in a stylistic way. I highly recommend the show for any fans of fantasy, graphic novels, stylistic storytelling, and/or the legend of King Arthur.

Book Series
Dresden Files
Written by Jim Butcher
Published by Roc Books
Currently 18 books in series
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy

Before Jim Butcher wrote the Codex Alera series I spoke of in an earlier blog post, he created the Dresden Files. The books are based on a modern day wizard named Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, who lives in Chicago. He works as a private investigator and wizard for hire. My best friend introduced me to the series, and I have read the entire series (minus the last two books) multiple times over. The most fascinating aspect of these books is that Jim Butcher takes well known tropes of the fantasy world and transforms them into a cohesive universe of intrigue and metamorphosis. The magic is fascinating to see as it involves a strong sense of science and the theories behind how science and magic could intertwine. Much like the Harry Potter series, the real world is integrated in a diverse way with the fantasy world. The idea that both could co-exist together makes the ideas behind it fascinating and enjoyable. A television show was made based on the series, but it doesn’t do the books any kind of good justice. In recent years, a different publishing company has worked with Jim Butcher to release comics and graphic novels based on the Dresden Files. I haven’t read any of them, but I look forward to delving in to the series when time and money allows.

Dresden Files

Homemade Recipe

1lb ground beef
1 yellow onion (diced)
4-5 cloves of garlic (minced)
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 jar (24oz) Prego Traditional Italian sauce
8-10 cups chicken broth
1 can (14oz) crushed tomatoes
2tbsp tomato paste
2tsp balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tsp sugar
1tbsp dried basil
1tsp dried parsley
1tsp oregano
1tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 whole bay leaf
10 uncooked lasagna noodles (broken up into 1-2 inch pieces)
½ cup heavy cream
Garnish amounts of: shredded mozzarella, grated parmesan, ricotta cheese

Put a large soup pot over medium high heat
Add beef and onions to pot (you can also brown the meat and onions in a separate skillet if you want)
Cook until beef is browned, stirring occasionally
Add garlic and red pepper flakes
Saute them for about 30 seconds
Drain off grease/fat
Add Prego sauce
Add 6 cups of the chicken broth
Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, sugar, all the spices, and noodles
Add bay leaf on top
Bring to a boil and then simmer until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally (about 20-30 minutes) 
Remove bay leaf
Stir in heavy cream
Stir in 2-4 more cups of chicken broth
Stir until you reach desired thickness
Garnish with cheese choices

Serve and enjoy! 

Until next Sunday!

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