April 2008

here are my notes from the latest episode!

I see Andrew misses Ryan just as much as I do

Jen’s still “doing it for Zoi” – shocker!

oh god I want dessert NOW – oh sweet i have cupcakes in my backpack!

some pastry guy no one’s ever heard of, great…

way to plug the book, Padma, this is so silly

why make them do pastry? I am SO sick of this whole can the chefs do pastry nonsense! who cares if they can make dessert?!

LOVE Dale’s ‘tude about it

oh crazy Spike – making a souffle voluntarily!

OK, Nikki and Stephanie surprised me!

I really like Mark’s little pavlovas with wattle seed – keepin it real Aussie!
I really don’t understand that criticism at all

oh great, Richard wins – now we can all make banana scallops! Woohoo?…

I forget that they don’t do improv everywhere the way we do it here in Chitown

Haha, Mark is randomly catty about Richard wearing pink! (although to be honest it really doesn’t complement his skin tone)

Best Shot of the Ep – when they all immediately realize that when the actors ask for foods that this is going to be their challenge! praise the lord for smart reality TV contestants who catch on quick (not like those beauties on ANTM who can’t ever figure out TyraMail)

Oh-ho-ho they get to pick their own teams, nice

What is it about Mark? He’s such a lost little puppy

I wonder which Whole Foods that is – the one on Ashland & School maybe? I saw a sign in the background for “Free Garage Parking” and they have that there…

haha, love that you can hear someone laughing in the background of the cheffesional when Richard does his Seinfeld impression

Lisa is a stupid SNOB – there are plenty of kinds of sausage from Poland besides the typical ballpark treat… be more CREATIVE!

wow Spike is really growing on me – i kind of LIKE him now?!

Ha, Lisa called Richard “Blaise” – i wonder if he ever tried to make “Blaze” his nickname?

btdubs, we get it Jen – you’re gay and butch, we know, we know

Aww, Spike finally gets to make his soup! yay!

Hmm… is “encapture” really a word Jennifer?

(Bravo’s A-List Awards? LAME – let’s make up our own awards and give them to people only on our own network, genius!)

Jennifer seems different since Zoi left – more attractive almost? Or maybe it’s just because she’s totally getting the loser’s edit

It is weird to have a big block of tofu but Dale and Blaze are SO CUTE together!

“Magenta drunk Polish sausage” – damn, i might have to rename the blog! what a lovely phrase!

“no problem man, I’m not Polish!” – Fun Ted Allen is BACK!

Dale, Richard and Andrew have risen to the top FAST!

Lisa is SO ANGRY!

Bye-bye Jen, tell Zoi we said what’s up?
I wish they told us a little more about how they pick one person from the duo to go home…

Next week: Kid Chefs! YAY!!!


(anyone know the source of that title?)

OK, so maybe I’m the pastry chef in the family…?
Because these cupcakes KICKED ASS!!!

So Bear and I were jonesin’ – for cake or cookies or something
and i realized that we actually do have a bunch of baking supplies/ingredients in our pantry

then i thought – hey, this would be a great opportunity to use that awesome cookbook i got!
Off the Shelf: Cooking from the Pantry by Donna Hay
which i purchased because of great endorsements from Serious Eats, My Husband Cooks, Orangette and more
I haven’t used it as much as i would have liked, probably because most of the savory dishes contain ingredients that i don’t actually keep in the pantry/freezer like cannellini beans

HOWEVER, I should have been perusing the dessert section regularly because there is some GREAT stuff in there!

So I found this basic recipe (abbreviated):

Simple Vanilla Cake

250g (8 oz) butter
1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
2.5 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat well. Sift flour and baking powder together and fold into butter mixture.
Pour batter in 8 in square cake tin and bake for 1 hour or until done. Cool on a wire rack. Serves 8-10.

So, nice recipe right? yeah good stuff just a little boring.
plus we didn’t have an 8-inch square baking pan.
and we definitely don’t have 8-10 people to serve!

So I made a few changes

First I decided to make cupcakes! Partly because I love them and partly because it was that or make an extra-thin cake in a 9×13 pan

Then i figured i’d halve the recipe because we only have 1 cupcake pan that makes 6 cupcakes at a time – and no paper liners – and 6 cupcakes is plenty for us anyway

cool, right? Um yeah…

Did you ever notice how hard it is to use half of 3 eggs? yeah…

So i decided to use 2 eggs and a little extra flour (because i like eggs!)

then i threw in some orange zest and chocolate chips just for fun (inspired by another recipe for lemon cake on the same page and because orange and chocolate go so well together!)

and i did them in the toaster oven because the pan fit and it saves electricity – it seemed silly to heat the whole big oven for 6 little cupcakes, don’t you think?



I tried to watch this whole episode but people just kept getting in the way – and i do start to feel a bit lame when i’m placing such a high priority on a television show (i think this is especially acute because i’m unemployed)

Anyway here are my notes on the first part of the Tailgating episode:

Spike in the cheffesional wearing that damn Dick Tracy hat again says he heard thru the grapevine that people don’t like him – must be those detective skills coming through the hat! keepin’ your ear to the streets, eh Spike?

Oh look, Lisa actually showered! (but eschews bra, damn, so close…)

Aw Dale wants to talk it out… but Lisa’s not lovin’ it
If i were here i might feel the same way… except cleaner and with more boob support

pairing beer with food? LAME

oh Spike, another damn hat

hmm, Dale’s pretzels – good instinct, bad result

what’s with all the fish/seafood? does it really pair well with beer?

LOVE Stephanie’s mussels with Hoegarden!

WHOA! Ryan just pulled out some crazy terms! Cripalette? Espalette?
Oh well, he’s got the loser’s edit already anyway

This hat of Spike’s is unbelievably bad – he would definitely win (or lose depending on your definition) in a bad hat contest against Malarkey!
what is this woven monstrosity with a frayed edge?

(to be continued IF i ever manage to see the end of the episode…)

so here’s a nice contrast – when i cook it starts with recipes and ends with confusion
when Bear cooks it starts with an idea and ends with deliciousness

here is Bear’s FIRST LASAGNA – made on impulse with NO RECIPE!

utter deliciousness

what can you tell from a grocery shopping list?

according to the NY Times, your political leanings, for one thing

“For example, Dr Pepper is a Republican soda. Pepsi-Cola and Sprite are Democratic. So are most clear liquors, like gin and vodka, along with white wine and Evian water. Republicans skew toward brown liquors like bourbon or scotch, red wine and Fiji water.

When it comes to fried chicken, he said, Democrats prefer Popeyes and Republicans Chick-fil-A.”

Hmm… Well i hate Pepsi, never drink Sprite, and occasionally drink Dr. Pepper, but mostly if i drink soda it’s Coke or Diet Coke – so I guess i’m an Independent?

Liquors: in public i usually drink white wine (because my teeth get stained easily), but i really prefer reds.
We drink quite a bit of scotch and whiskey around this apt – but at bars i usually order beer or G&Ts or V&Ts.

Water: i LOVE Fiji water!!! I have been a dedicated fan of it since freshman year of college when i was tripping and saw the beautiful exotic gorgeous bottle at the Quik-E-Mart! (if that makes me a Republican then…)

Oh yeah and I like Popeye’s but I LOVE KFC – Chick-fil-A is totally a southern/out west kind of thing so that explains the supposed Republican connection

I’m not sure i like the idea of trying to discern political leanings from food preferences. i get that there are trends – but how useful is all this information anyway? Are you going to vote for a candidate because they like the same cereal that you munch on in the morning?

“Besides, the lines between who eats what continues to blur. Republicans are not necessarily red-meat-eating bourbon swillers, and not all Democrats are carrying their lattes to the farmers’ market.”


so my dad is one of the cheapest men on the planet

the constant refrain during my childhood was “no, we can’t afford it”

what i learned later was that we could have, in fact, afforded it!
we are/were FAR from poor!

He had me fooled that miser!

Anyway around Christmas Papa Owl was not-so-subtley asking me if Bear had/was going to propose during the holiday season.
I said “no” but that it might not hurt to start saving money for the wedding because i thought it would probably happen by 2010.
Papa Owl then suggested that I try to have a wedding for under $2,000!!!
i laughed, i cried, i started sending emails that showed the average cost of a wedding in the Chicagoland area was at least $30,000
he cried, he denied, he started the account

I was surprise that he actually opened a new account to save for my wedding
it’s maybe the most fatherly thing he’s ever done for me
but i figured he was saving a hundred or so a month, no big deal

and THEN
he told me over the phone just now that he’s already got $11,000 in there!
and that’s just since January!!!

you could have knocked me over with a feather!
my cheapass father, the one who complains when you throw out unrecognizable leftovers, the one who saves EVERYTHING, the one who complains about buying $65 tickets to see Jersey Boys – he has saved $11,000 in 4 months just for my wedding?!! a one-day event?!! INCONCEIVABLE!!!!!!

i’m still shaking from the shock of it all

So there we were – Papa Owl, Dweebus Maximus, and myself – for the official unveiling of the new statue and plaza outside U.S. Cellular Field (it kills me to call it that!)

We bought Papa Owl a brick in the plaza over a year ago so after the statue was revealed (completely unimpressive) we all started looking for his brick!

I noticed some yelling and i realized that there was a proposal in progress! isn’t that the cutest thing? He made her look for it and then got down on one knee and offered her the ring! SWOON 

Plus they got on the news!!!

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