Pilot Season Snap Judgements

New tv is upon us, tv-watching people! Settle in, watch some trailers, and then come see how kegger and I feel about things!

Black-ish

ameliebee: I chuckled a few times, but I probably won’t watch it. I have high standards when it comes to sitcoms these days.

kegger: Nah.

 

Cristela

ameliebee: I couldn’t even make it through the whole trailer. Pass.

kegger: It looks kind of awful.  And I actually somehow managed to watch the entire trailer.

 

Forever

ameliebee: That clip gave me NOTHING about the premise of the show. However, IOAN GRUFFUD! HI! (The premise of the show reminds me of New Amsterdam. Does anyone remember that show? It starred pre-Jaime Lannister Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. That was my first Nikolaj Coster-Waldau experience, and you know what they say about your first…)

kegger: Looks… meh.  (Also, what the heck is New Amsterdam?)  This show looks like it’s going to be a procedural… while he figures out he’s immortal?  Whaaa?  The premiss just seems kind of week, to be honest.

(more…)

July 28, 2014 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment

What I Baked: Red Velvet Cake

Confession: I’m not really a cake person. If it’s there, I might eat a piece, but I’d rather have cookies or brownies or pie or anything other than cake. While I don’t like to eat cake, I love to bake it. So when my cousin asked for a red velvet cake for her birthday, I said, “absolutely!”

 

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I’ve never understood the fascination with red velvet cake. It’s just a chocolate cake with red food coloring. What makes it so special? What are your secrets, red velvet cake?

 

Bakerella’s recipe is really good, and pretty easy. I like that it’s a true homemade cake–no cake mix involved at all. I’ve made it several times, and it always comes out perfect and gorgeous (and I guess tasty. No one has complained about it, that’s for sure!) My cake is never as pretty as Bakerella’s example, but I figure once it’s sliced up, no one cares what the cake looked like originally.

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This is what the cake looked like originally. 

One note for first-time red velvet cake bakers: you’re going to get food coloring all over your counters and it’s going to look like you stabbed someone.

 

One more note: The recipe just says vinegar, but I always use apple cider vinegar, and it’s always good.

 

Shit, another note: make sure your cake is ALL THE WAY COOL before you even attempt to frost it. If the cake is even a little warm, the frosting won’t stick. I wrap my layers in plastic wrap (keeps the cake from drying out while it’s cooling) before I stick them on the wire rack to finish cooling. If you’re short on time, wrap the layers up and stick them in the fridge. If you’re really short on time, stick them in the freezer–just don’t forget about them!

July 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm Leave a comment

What I Baked: Strawberry-Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Do you have a cookout/barbecue/party/potluck/some other social event coming up? Do you need to bring some kind of food-type thing to share? Do you have negative time to make something that is both impressive and delicious? These cookies are perfect for you! They are super easy, super tasty, and won’t mess up your entire kitchen. They’re also pretty:

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Ta-da! Strawberry chocolate-chunk cookies!

 

I’ve made these cookies so many times, and they always come out perfect and yummy. In fact, I made them twice last week. The only change I made to the original recipe is that I use 60% bittersweet chocolate chunks instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I am a dark chocolate whore, so I almost never use semi-sweet or milk-chocolate chips. Give me all the dark chocolate chunks!

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Be careful not to over bake them. I only need 8-9 minutes for these in my oven. If you don’t over bake them, they are soft and chewy and stay soft and chewy for several days after (that is, of course, if they actually survive for several days. I almost never have leftovers of these babies).

 

Sally’s Baking Addiction has a ton of awesome recipes, but these are my go-to “oh crap I need to bring something and I don’t have time for a complicated recipe” cookies.

July 8, 2014 at 5:23 pm Leave a comment

New Feature: What I Baked

In an effort to be better about this whole blogging thing, I’m going to share my baking efforts. I love to bake. Baking is my jam, my stress relief, my hobby-of-choice. It’s how I worm my way into people’s lives: be my friend, and I’ll bake you cookies! (Or cake, or brownies, or lemon bars… Not bread. Never, ever, ever bread. I can’t bake bread for shit, so don’t ask.)

My first What I Baked post isn’t actually anything I baked. We’re creeping up on July in Mississippi, and it’s hot as balls outside. So what I baked made today: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles!

 

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If you don’t like raw cookie dough, then I don’t think we can be friends. Raw cookie dough is the best. I actually made two different recipes for these babies. The first recipe I tried was a bit of a dud. The cookie dough had no flavor (despite having a tablespoon of vanilla. Crazy, right?) The second recipe is really good. I didn’t follow the recipe for the melted chocolate part, so these guys have to stay in the fridge or they melt all over your hands. BUT THEY’RE STILL DELICIOUS.

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(Confession: I ran out of melted chocolate because I made two batches, so they aren’t as covered as they should be. Don’t judge me.)

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Aren’t they pretty? Don’t you want one?

 

June 28, 2014 at 12:32 pm Leave a comment

Blogging for Books Review: Reasons My Kid Is Crying

Reasons My Kid Is Crying coverTitle: Reasons My Kid Is Crying

Author: Greg Pembroke

Random House Description: It all started when busy father Greg Pembroke posted a few pictures online of his three-year-old son, mid-tantrum, alongside the reason his son was crying: He had broken his bit of cheese in half. In Reasons My Kid is Crying, Greg collects together photos sent from parents around the world, documenting the many, completely logical reasons why small children cry.  Among them: “I let him play on the grass” . . . “He ran out of toys to throw into his pool” . . . “The neighbor’s dog isn’t outside”.  The result is both an affectionate portrait of the universal, baffling logic of toddlers—and a reminder for burned-out parents everywhere that they are not alone.

Review: I found the Reasons My Son Is Crying tumblr a while back, and it cracked me up. I don’t have kids, but I’ve always had kids in my life for various reasons–work, family, friends. And it has always stunned me how completely and totally toddlers commit to having a tantrum over the smallest things. (One of my cousins wanted to play soccer as a little girl, and after the first game she was done: “I had to RUN! I got SWEATY! THERE IS GRASS ON MY SHOE!!!”) I know, for parents of a child in the middle of a breakdown, there is nothing funny in the moment. I know that strangers stop and stare and judge, and it’s embarrassing and Not Fun. This book, though? This book shows the humor in those embarrassing Not Fun moments. It’s okay, parents of melting-down toddlers: you aren’t alone.

(more…)

June 27, 2014 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

Aaaand we’re back!

It’s been a while since kegger and I have blogged, but we’ll be back more regularly this summer. We’re participating in Blogging For Books, so get ready for lots of book reviews! (And maybe other things, if we feel like it.)

June 27, 2014 at 2:02 pm Leave a comment

The Awesomeness of Vampire Diaries

We will loudly and proudly admit that we like The Vampire Diaries. Doesn’t matter that it’s about vampires—they are totally not lame and there’s no sparkling. Doesn’t matter that it’s on the CW—we’ll always hold a grudge against them for canceling Veronica Mars, but we can overlook it for the sake of this show. It’s not just a guilty pleasure to watch—there’s nothing guilty about liking it.

Here’s why we like this show: shit happens. There is an over-arching mythology, sure. But in building the foundation for the mythology—the mysteries and secrets that give it depth—the writers haven’t neglected to answer the little questions. Take this season’s moonstone. First it was “What is the moonstone?” and “Why does Katherine want it?” We’re six episodes in, and we know what the moonstone is and we have a pretty good guess as to why Katherine wants it. (You could take some lessons from Vampire Diaries, Lost!!) We’ve also got werewolves this year. We know that it’s a family curse, and we know how the curse is activated. We’ve gotten background on Katherine, Stefan, and Damon that’s helped us understand what’s going on and helped push the plot forward. We’ve had permanent deaths, un-deaths, vampire-making deaths. We’ve had fake break-ups and real break-ups. We’ve had all kinds of juicy character developments. It’s twisty and twisted and dark but not dreary, all sharp storytelling and real, coherent plot development. You guys, it’s A Good Show.

And, seriously, the sheer amount of Shit That Happens in each episode is staggering. Most shows would stretch things out as long as possible, which doesn’t really create tension within the confines of the show; it just frustrates the viewers.

It’s almost too bad VD is on the CW, because it’s unlikely that any of the cast will get the recognition they deserve. If we gave out Emmy awards, Nina Dobrev would be high on our list just for the number of scenes she’s in (practically every one, if you’re wondering. And sometimes twice in the same scene. We get exhausted just watching her.) You never have to wonder if you’re watching Elena or Katherine—the differences between the two might be subtle, but they’re there and you know who she is.

Even if vampires and werewolves aren’t your thing, you should give it a try. It has consistently churned out solid story lines, thoughtful dialogue, and, uh, this and this.

October 29, 2010 at 9:54 am Leave a comment

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