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By Tori Linville

 

The temperature for July easily stretches toward the hundreds and sometimes, outdoor fun just isn’t worth the sweat stains. To save you some body stress and worry, we’ve listed July’s top movies to watch for. Instead of applying the sticky sunblock, apply to some butter to your popcorn, sit back and relax.

 

 

Magic Mike XXL (R) – July 1

 

Creating a different kind of heat is the sequel to Magic Mike, “Magic Mike XXL.” The second installment of the Magic Mike line sees Mike three years after he left his stripper job while he was in serious demand. “Magic Mike XXL” follows Mike and the Kings of Tampa as they visit Myrtle Beach for a last hurrah. In other words, hunky Channing Tatum and other hunks with abs go to beach and look even hunkier than thought possible. Hunks all around, people.

 

Minions (PG) – July 10

 

Despicable Me’s minions have finally received their own movie, and we hope it to be everything you wished for. More specifically, minions Stuart, Kevin and Bob are taken up by Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock). She and her husband, an inventor named Herb (voiced by Jon Hamm), have the age-old plot to take over the world. Maybe Stuart, Kevin and Bob will stop them?

 

The Gallows (R) – July 10

 

A small town tries to honor the anniversary of a tragedy that occurred during a school play 20 years before. Years ago the lead actor, a boy named Charlie, died on stage due to a prop malfunction. The resurrection of the play turns out to be a really bad idea – go figure. Creepy and dark, the movie utilizes the horror home-video aspect that adds suspense. Go watch if you dare.

 

Trainwreck (R) – July 17

 

Growing up, Amy’s father chanted to her that “monogamy isn’t realistic. Years later, Amy is doing what she likes, when she likes it, while working at a men’s magazine. Then she meets Aaron, who actually wants a relationship – which isn’t in Amy’s playbook. Amy Schumer and Bill Hader star in what the movie’s trailer dubs the film “not your mother’s romantic comedy.” Which is enough reason in itself to go see.

 

Ant-Man (PG-13) – July 17

 

Marvel is back in action after the second Avengers with “Ant-Man.” Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is a con-man. After being watched closely by Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Scott is sprung from prison in order to become the ultimate soldier (well, kinda). Armed with a suit that can shrink to the size of an ant, but has unmeasured strength, Ant-Man comes alive. Then he has to fight this guy named Yellowjacket (Corey Stoll). Fun stuff.

 

Paper Towns (PG-13) – July 24

 

Margo Roth Spiegelman is not your average girl next door. But ever since Quentin saw her, he’s been hooked. One night, Margo needs a get-away driver and Q’s hand-me-down minivan is the vehicle that will get the job done. The two avenge Margo’s cheating boyfriend in a memory-filled night, and then Margo goes missing. Q and his friends set out for the road trip of a lifetime to find Margo and learn about themselves along the way. Based on John Green’s novel “Paper Towns,” the movie stars Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff.

 

Article sponsored by DCH.

Find them on the web: https://www.dchsystem.com

Independence Day PUPsicles

 

Serving:

16 for small pups

6-8 for large pups

 

Ingredients:

 

·      1 ripe banana

·      1 cup plain yogurt

·      4 tablespoons peanut butter

·      Dash of honey

·      1 cup water\

·      16 dog bones

 

Directions:

 

Blend all ingredients into an electric blender until the texture is consistent.  Pour into ice cube trays and place a dog bone in the middle as a handle. 

 

Freeze overnight. 

 

Article Sponsored by Fincher and Ozment.

Find Fincher and Ozment on the web at: http://www.fincherandozment.com

 

By Tori Linville

 

Red, white and blue. "The Star-Spangled Banner." It wasn’t said, but you probably thought of the national holiday that is unlike any other of its kind. Millions of Americans celebrate the nations independence with barbeques, fireworks and more. Everyone knows the key to keeping a party going in the summer heat requires hydration. With the help of Pinterest, we’ve picked out some July 4 drinks that scream America while keeping the thirst quenched.

 

‘Merica Mocktails

 

Layered Freedom Colors

 

The key here is to choose drinks with different sugar contents so they actually layer instead of mixing together. Try this combination to get you started:

Pour in a Sobe Pina Colada, followed by Gatorade Fruit Punch, then G2 Blueberry-Pomegranate for a refreshing taste of freedom.

 

Fireworks Frenzy (Non-alcoholic) Martini

 

What you’ll need:

           

            Pop Rocks (blue or red, one pack per glass)

            corn syrup

            sprite

            blow pops (blue or red, one per glass)

 

What you’ll make:

           

1.     To rim the glass with Pop Rocks, pour some corn syrup in a bowl big enough to dip the entire rim. Once dipped in the corn syrup, immediately dip into a bowl or plate of Pop Rocks. You could also just sprinkle the candy as well.

2.     Fill a glass with Sprite and unwrap a blue or red Blow Pop to add to the glass. Allow to sit for five to ten minutes to allow the drink to be flavorized.

 

 

Cocktails

 

Red, White and Blue Sangria

 

            What you’ll need:

           

            strawberries

            blueberries

            pineapples (cut into star shapes if you feel like it)

            2 bottles of dry white wine

            1 cup Triple Sec

            1/2 cup berry-flavored vodka

            1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

            1/2 cup simple syrup

           

            What you’ll make:

           

            Combine and stir! Chill in fridge for at least four hours. 

 

Bomb Pop Shots

 

What you’ll need:

 

            1/3 oz. Sprite

            1/3 oz. lemon vodka

            2/3 oz. blue curacao

            2/3 oz. grenadine

 

            What you’ll make:

 

1.     Mix Sprite and vodka into a shaker with ice, then strain into glass.

2.     Use a spoon turned upside down angled into vodka mix to break the surface. Very slowly poor the blue curacao. If not poured slowly, the two will mix instead of layer.

3.     Then pour in the grenadine by pouring close to the glass’s edge, in a waterfall effect. Since it’s so thick, it’ll drop to the bottom and your shot will be complete.

 

 

Don’t have enough time to mix up a bunch of these ingredients? No problem. Grab some strawberries, blueberries and blackberries and pop a combination of each into an ice tray’s slots. Pour water in each slot and freeze. Add to water or Sprite for a red, white and blue combo that doesn’t take much effort at all.

 

(See punchbowl.com, thekitchenwhisperer.net and Pinterest for recipes.)

 

Article Sponsored by Tuscaloosa Tire & Service Center.

 

Find Tuscaloosa Tire & Service Center on the web: http://tuscaloosatireandservice.com

 

Independence Day Vanilla Infused Peach White Chocolate Ice Cream

 

Serves: 2 quarts

 

Ingredients:

 

·      5 cups fresh peaches, diced

·      2 tablespoons of Vanilla extract

·      1 cup of granulated sugar  (you may add instead vanilla flavored sugar)

·      1 cup white chocolate morsels

·      1 (12 ounce) can of evaporated milk

·      1/2 package of instant vanilla pudding

·      1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk

·      4 cups of half and half

·      Large bag of ice

·      Rock salt (for ice cream machine)

·      Electric ice cream machine

 

Note:  The ambient air temperature will determine the amount of ice and salt used in the ice cream machine.  Be sure to follow instructions on machine.

 

Instructions:

 

Place peaches into a bowl, add sugar, stir.  Allow mixture to sit for 1 hour. 

 

Place peaches into a food processor and pulse 3 times or until mostly pureed.  Set aside.

 

Whisk the evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and pudding mix.  Add the diced peaches, white chocolate morsels, sweetened condensed milk, and half and half, and whisk well.

 

Pour mixture into the ice cream machine and process.  Afterward, transfer to a container of choice and place into freezer.

 

Article Sponsored by Willcutt Block and Supply.  

 

Find Willcutt Block on the web:http://www.willcuttblock.com

 

 

Independence Day Fried Green Tomatoes

 

Serves: 4

 

Ingredients:

 

·      Canola oil

·      4 green tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch rings

·      ¾ cup all-purpose flour

·      1 finely minced fresh garlic cloves

·      4 eggs

·      2 tablespoons milk

·      1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs

·      Dash cayenne pepper

·      Dash paprika

·      Dash curry

·      Dash of salt

·      Dash of pepper

 

Directions:

 

In a deep-fryer, preheat oil to 350 degrees F.  You can use a low/wide pan with a mesh splatter cover, as well. 

 

Take sliced tomatoes and sprinkle salt / pepper on each side.  In a dish, place flour with minced garlic.  Then, in a second dish, mix breadcrumbs with cayenne and paprika.  In a third dish, beat eggs with milk.  Then take the sliced tomatoes and run them through the flour, then the eggs, and then through the breadcrumbs.  Add to fryer.  Only add several pieces at a time.  Allow pieces to fry evenly for about 2 minutes.  Drain on paper towels and serve. 

 

Article sponsored by Townsend Auto.

 

Find Townsend Auto on the web:  http://www.townsendautofamily.com

Independence Day Barbecue Burgers 

Serves:  4

Ingredients

·      2 pounds ground beef

·      Dash salt and black pepper

·      4 slices bacon

·      1 onion, cut into 1/4 –inch thick rings

·      4 hamburger buns

·      4 slices cheddar cheese

·      ½ cup barbecue sauce of choice 

Directions

Create 4 evenly shaped burger patties.  Light grill and set on high heat. 

Place burgers on grill and cook until well charred (about 2 minutes).  Flip patties and brush with bbq sauce.  Then cook for another 2 minutes and occasionally brushing on sauce.

Brush bacon with bbq sauce and place directly over hot grill, sauce side down. Brush top with bbq sauce.  Cook until well charred (about 1 minute).  And repeat after flipping. 

Place onions on grill for 20 seconds, then flip and repeat. 

If you prefer the buns to be toasted, place them on the hot grill until browned.

Assemble burger. 

 

Article sponsored by Belle Chambre of Tuscaloosa and Lakeside Dental.

 

Find Belle Chambre of Tuscaloosa on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BelleChambreTuscaloosa/

 

 

 

Find Lakeside Dental on the web: http://www.lakesidedentalsmiles.com

 

 

By Amy Poore

 

If you’re planning a backyard get-together this summer, why not try something totally new and different? This jerk spiced shrimp with pineapple salsa is a dish that’s sure to please any seafood lover! The salsa is a snap to make, too.

Hope you enjoy this one as much as I do.

Have a great week, and bon appétit!

Jerk Spiced Shrimp 

·                1 tablespoon sugar  

·                1 tablespoon paprika  

·                1/2 teaspoon salt  

·                1/2 teaspoon garlic powder  

·                1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper  

·                1/4 teaspoon ground thyme  

·                1/8 teaspoon ground allspice  

·                2 tablespoons olive oil  

·                1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp 

·                1 gallon freezer bag 

·                Cooking spray 

 

Pineapple Salsa 

·                2 cups fresh pineapple, diced 

·                1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and diced 

·                1/2 cup sliced red onion 

·                2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro 

·                2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 

 

Combine all salsa ingredients well, cover and chill for 30 minutes. 

 

While salsa chills, add all shrimp ingredients in freezer bag, mix well. 

 

Thread shrimp evenly onto skewers (metal or water soaked wooden ones). Place skewers on grill or skillet coated with cooking spray.  

 

Grill/cook on medium/high heat for 6 minutes or until done, flipping once. 

 

Serve immediately with pineapple salsa and jasmine rice (optional). 

Amy Poore is a new mom, a wife and a foodie. To see more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog, Poore Amy, at www.pooreamy.com  

Photo: Amy Poore

 

 

 

By Marlena Rice

 

It is officially summer. Parents of older children probably just said a prayer of relief after that statement. For them, this hiatus in classroom learning means no more dropping off to school before work in the mornings, and no more late work lunches in order to make plays, parent teacher conferences, and holiday classroom parties. I just heard multiple sighs of relief, because although we enjoy all of these things and love watching our little people discover themselves as they participate in their activities, my goodness, it gets exhausting!

 

But what happens when your child goes to school year-round?

 

I have a preschooler. And, although my son’s official preschool session has ended, as all preschool mothers know, the summer leaves us with 2 and 1/2 months of preparation for the next “big boy” and big girl” class come the fall. So, while our babies are attending preschool day camps full of movies, water days and other hot weather fun, it is up to us to continue enriching their learning experiences as they grow.  Here are some great ideas:

 

Visit the Zoo

 

Taking your child to the zoo can result in multiple lessons about a wide variety of land and sea animals. Take photographs, and afterward your child will have pictures to reference as he learns the animals’ names and about the habitats in which they live.

 

Hit the Blue

 

Go to the pool, the river, the beach or play around in the sprinklers in your front yard. It is never too early to teach our babies to enjoy and not to be afraid of the water. Visit a local department store, get some fun water floats and toys, and work on everything from counting multiple buoys to learning to differentiate varying colors as you play together.

 

Flashcard Fun

 

You know what your child loves more than anyone. “M” is for Mickey Mouse, and “P” may be for Popsicle. Your next step? Hit up your computer with your little one and find pictures that match your alphabet. Make flashcards. Sit together for 30 minutes to one hour each day and you will be surprised what can happen during summer break.

 

Explore the Outdoors

 

If you live in a wooded area with lots of greenery or near a walking trail or park, grab your child’s stroller or wagon and go on a nature walk. Be on the lookout for flowers and plants, bugs, rabbits, and creepy crawlies that your littles ones might love (even if you don’t) and combine your exercise session with a lesson about plants and wildlife.

 

Take Up a Shared Hobby

 

Despite the fact that most of us working parents don’t have a summer break like our children (and yes, I’m extremely envious of all my teacher friends), our kids’ summer freedom often means just a little more free time for us as well. If there is something that you love doing, whether it’s picking up the old guitar in your spare bedroom or taking photographs, incorporate your child into your hobby. Teach them a little more about the fun side of yourself.  

 

Pictures are always fun and are such an easy and fun way to document our memories. Pack a picnic one day, grab your camera and buy a disposable one for your little person and have a photo day! Once you’re done, visit a crafts store and build your own scrapbooks or make a collage of your memory together.

 

Whatever you do, have fun with your kids this summer!

 

Photo: Marlena Rice

 

Caption: Beaux William watches the giraffes at the Birmingham Zoo.

 

 

A monthly editorial piece of masterful opinionated writing (insert joke here) regarding life and times in the big town of Tuscaloosa coupled with the musings of a guy nicknamed “Oz.” 

 

All Hail Fathers of Greatness

 

Wives can sometimes be obsessive compulsive.

 

Husbands can sometimes be obsessively repulsive. Well, because we are men. And some men have a way of not being able to identify the unpleasantness of our own being. In other words, we can’t smell ourselves.

 

Men are primarily simplistic creatures, practically to a fault. My grandmother used to tell my father that to get by, all men needed was a bunk and a skillet. And that is (almost) true.

 

Dads are all about priority and contrary to popular belief, dad does have them, although they may not always match those of our superior female counterparts. It’s not that dad can’t remember things. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Dad can remember a plethora of seemingly worthless information that only men can prioritize by order of importance. 

 

For instance, ask dad what team Alabama usually plays on the third Saturday in October? Or who won the National Championship in 1992? Or what time the race starts on Sunday? Or when hunting season begins and ends? Or all of the above.

 

See? That’s history. That’s current events. That’s relevance.

 

It’s not that we didn’t remember to fix the doorknob. It’s just that it hasn’t fallen off of the door yet. It’s not that we forgot to clean out the garage. It’s just that there is still adequate space for you to pull your car in. It’s not that we forgot to call the plumber. It’s that the line was busy when we did.

 

We are the dads of the world. We are the maintainers, the providers. We are the heroes of little girls and the role models of little boys.

 

We are men. We are fathers. And we are undeniably flawed. But our intentions are good although our execution may lean to the side of procrastination.

 

And while we may not know anything about some things, we know something about everything. 

 

For that reason, all hail to the good dads of the world: the ones who fight the good fight, the ones who (eventually) finish their work, and the ones who mostly remember to roll the trash out on the correct pick-up days. Unless there’s a holiday during the week which throws everything off by a day. That confuses us.

 

If you are fortunate enough to be able to hug your dad on Fathers Day, then make sure you do. Everything in life is filled with imperfections, but the love of a man’s family can make our day perfect.    

I tweet insignificant things @ozborn34.          

 

Derek Osborn is the Executive Director of PRIDE of Tuscaloosa by trade and writer by hobby. He lives in Tuscaloosa with his wife, Lynn, and daughters Savannah and Anica. 

 

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason. It’s what a body starts off with and what gives it energy. Some believe breakfast is in a league all its own, while others only save breakfast for the weekends. Which ever way you swing, we’ve listed the best breakfasts in the area to satisfy every stomach.

 

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