The Fun in Funfetti

September 4, 2011

Hello melty colors. Pretty.

Yesterday I whipped up some Funfetti cupcakes for a friend’s gathering (but ended up coming home with half of them… danger zone!). Which, compared to last weekend’s pudding cookie sweatshop (I’ll write about that soon), was a very easy and relaxing task.

Lately if I am performing time-consuming or tedious tasks alone in my kitchen (cooking projects, washing dishes), I will listen to WTF with Marc Maron. (He interviews comedians. It typically gets pretty deep.) So while I cupcake’d, I got to hear Amy Poehler being her delightful self. I still have a lot of cupcakes left, if you want any, Amy Poehler. (And you too, Marc Maron.)

I only have one muffin tin, so it took twice as long to bake everything. Sigh. During the baking, I watched The Soup.

And during the frosting, I watched Thursday night’s episode of Louie. The Funfetti frosting came with oddly baby/Easter-colored sprinkles. And not really enough of them.

A soothing pastel vision.

There’s something very satisfying about the methodical task of frosting things.

When I ran out of pastel sprinkles, I turned to my stash of chocolate sprinkles. So I have a few manly cupcakes. (For Marc, if he wants them. Or Amy. I’m not gonna be sexist about this.) (Or Joel or Louie. You can all have cupcakes.) (Only if you’re in the Los Feliz area.)

Come and get 'em.

Incidentally, Funfetti is a Pillsbury-only thing. The Betty Crocker version was called something like Rainbow Sprinkle Funtimes.

And it was cheaper, but I HAD to go with the REAL Funfetti. Veracity and all.

Happy Sunday/Labor Day! I am taking Mr. Tea on a very special secret surprise Trek today, and I’m very proud of my secret-keeping skills. (Pics to come, I’m sure.)

xoxo…

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Snack With Caution: BEN & JERRY’S LATE NIGHT SNACK

August 9, 2011

When I chip you chip we chip.

Typically I am pretty good with my portions. If you give me a big chocolate bar, I will eat it in small chunks over a series of days.

If I bake a spice cake, I will eat it in small pieces, and it will take me at least a week to finish. (I actually did that, but I didn’t blog it yet.) (WHY I did that is still unclear/stupid.)

It is probably okay for me to buy a big bag of Baked Ruffles, but it’s safer to buy the individual-sized bags. (Sometimes the giant bag FEELS like an individual size– you know?)

But I am really bad with ice cream. It calls to me.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Tea and I bought the Dreyer’s Slow-Churned Drumstick ice cream. It’s the best parts of a Drumstick all covered in chocolate and swirled around in vanilla ice cream (a bit like Ben & Jerry’s Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream, which was a danger to my health when we had it in the old office’s kitchen).

I don’t know what it was (perhaps the awesome just-home-from-the-store melty-ness action), but I ate that slow-churned ice cream until my stomach was doing a churn of its own. Maybe half the container, which is probably double the size of a human stomach. I never learn!

Luckily Mr. Tea retained custody of the ice cream, because even after a mundo stomachache, I wanted to eat it again the next day. (See: I never learn!)

When I saw the new Ben & Jerry’s Jimmy Fallon Late Night Snack ice cream at Gelson’s last week (seriously, they carry every flavor of everything), I was mighty tempted by the prospect of chocolate-covered potato chips. But I held myself back, because I just can’t be trusted around ice cream-y goodness.

I ALMOST bought the mini-size of AmeriCone Dream to console myself, but that just seemed like a slippery slope to a freezer full of mini AmeriCone Dreams.

If you’re like me, there IS a way to keep ice cream around the house– sorta. I buy individual-serving ice cream– like the Skinny Cow cones, or the Weight Watchers English Toffee Crunch Bars. And I don’t let myself eat more than one. (I could just ban them from the house, but that would only resort in teeth-gnashing or spending $4/cup at nearby Gelato Bar.)

So yeah, I’m not trying the Jimmy Fallon ice cream unless I can take one scoop and hand off the rest of it to some sort of ice cream parole officer. Until that day arrives (?), I will console myself with the delightful giraffe song. (Apparently the video is expired? WTF, that was the best thing ever.)

(Okay, now I don’t know what to console myself with.)

Another solution: I need to be amongst many, many other people– people who will eat the ice cream before I can go too crazy on it. Basically I need to have an ice cream-tasting party, and send everybody home with the leftovers. (OR they need to release the mini-size of the Fallon flavor.) (No wait, I already nixed that idea.)

How do you deal with those foods that you love so much, you have to set them free (from your kitchen)?

xoxo…

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THE VAMPIRE DIARIES Returns Tonight!

September 9, 2010

Is she Katherine or Elena? Double the pleasure...

Appropriately enough, the Season 2 premiere is called “The Return.” It’s on tonight at 8pm, on the CW.

I am very excited to watch it.

Coincidentally (or not?), “True Blood” has its finale on Sunday. Vampire shows don’t like to overlap, I guess. They’re lone wolves.

What does one snack on while watching a vampire show?

Be Positive!

I’m not actually going to eat this, because it’s probably just sicky sweet sugar mess. And because I like having it on my bulletin board at work.

So far nobody’s noticed it. Or maybe they’re not mentioning it, because who talks to the girl with a bloody bag pinned to her bulletin board?

But if I were a REAL vampire, I would totally like B positive best. Because it’s such an uplifting affirmation.

Anyway, “The Vampire Diaries!” YES. WELCOME BACK.

Blood and kisses!

xoxo…


Oh Brother: BIG BROTHER’s Wizard of Oz Moment

July 9, 2010

Shit is about to get real.

So I remembered to check out “Big Brother” last night. Well… I remembered about 20 minutes after it started, but I don’t think I missed much. (Just the intros… sigh.)

I got there in time for the challenge, which involved the contestants flinging themselves onto giant fake hot dogs and riding them through the air.

Yes.

And sadly, I cannot find a picture of this challenge on my Google images.

My favorite part was when valiant Brendon (yes, with an O) jumped onto a wiener to try to secure it for the girls (something to do with removing his shirt). Somehow the teammate controlling the movement of the wiener (ha) didn’t understand that Brendon didn’t want to go to the other side (maybe that teammate is the saboteur?), and Brendon flew far, far away. “No!” he yelled. But it was futile. (Also: He could have jumped off. Maybe he’s the saboteur.)

You guys, it was exactly like the scene in “The Wizard of Oz” when the Wizard is about to take Dorothy home to Kansas, but Toto gets out of the basket and Dorothy jumps out to retrieve him, and the balloon’s tethers get cut and the Wizard drifts away. “No!” he yells. But it’s futile! Like, Brendon was equally dramatic about it. Even though he was not playing an over-the-top role in a movie.

I wondered if anybody else had a Wizard of Oz-flashback, or if it was just me. I watched that movie about a million times when I was a kid. (On a VHS recorded from my TV! Olden times!) (There was a laundry detergent commercial at the beginning, with a child in the most adorable Cowardly Lion costume. If you remember that, too… we need to talk.)

My favorite character was the Scarecrow, because he was totally handsome and loyal. But because I was too young to have a crush on him… I decided that I wanted to BE him?

Me, c. 1990. Dressed as the Scarecrow FTW.

I don’t usually post pictures of myself on the blog, but that’s an oldie. (Strangely, though, I look exactly the same.) (Minus the Scarecrow costume… I swear.)

You guys, I thought I WAS the Scarecrow. In preschool I used to dictate crazy stories from the Scarecrow’s POV. One of them involved eating my own limbs. You know, normal stuff. Adorable kid things.

But I digress. Back to “Big Brother.”

Come to think of it– there is an Oz-ian quality to the “Big Brother” house. The contestants are all transported to a strange land, governed by the rules of a remote, eccentric Wizard. (Julie Chen? The producers?) And the saboteur is the Wicked Witch. She locked up their food!

Another good moment was when the redhead fretted about the prospect of getting into a “showmance” with the saboteur. A- It’s hilarious that on this show, people have no illusions about a relationship lasting beyond the airdate. B- Who cares if you screw the saboteur? If anything, that’ll put you in his (or her) good graces… unless the sex is really bad.

There was also a really funny quote from one of the blondes about getting screwed over by a big wiener, but I didn’t write it down. Sorry!

Also: Didn’t realize that this show airs multiple days per week. I don’t know if I can slot it into my Sundays. Especially with “Mad Men” returning so soon! I saw a season 4 teaser trailer today, and there is so much nudity-from-behind. Way to get around the censors, AMC/Matt Weiner!

(PS Didn’t know until I spell-checked this post that the Jewish last name was spelled differently than the meat. Weiner/wiener. Add that to your book of knowledge.) (I guess this justifies all of the Weiners saying it’s pronounced WHY-ner, not WEE-ner.) (And if you pronounce it correctly, sounds like I’m calling them “whiners.” I can’t win!)

xoxo…


Vampire Weekend

July 4, 2010

I gotta, say, you guys… I saw “Eclipse” last night, and I’m just not feeling the Twilight vampires anymore. I’m about to watch the Founder’s Day episode of “The Vampire Diaries,” just to cleanse my palate.

This seems sufficiently patriotic for my July 4th.

Looking forward to hearing one of my favorite Damon lines from Season 1: “I’m a vampire. What’s your excuse?” (Yes, I have a lot of lines from Season 1 memorized… stop looking at me like that. I’m not crazy!) (I’m a vampire. What’s your excuse?)

Sorry, Twilight vamps. I’m sure you’re crying all the way to the bank.

xoxo…


Tasty TV Morsel: THE AMAZING RACE Host Phil Keoghan (Also, Last Season’s Mel & Mike)

October 11, 2009
Watch out for that plane!

Watch out for that plane!

In case you’ve never watched the Emmys, “The Amazing Race” always wins. Yet I don’t know many people who actually watch this show. But everybody SHOULD watch “The Amazing Race,” because it is… I mean, they race around the world. That is cool.

Last season I started watching, thanks to Mike & Mel White. Mike White is one of my favorite actor/screenwriters (SCHOOL OF ROCK), and the star of one of my favorite internet shorts, “Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody?” So I watched to see Mike White, but ended up getting sucked in, because this show is a festival of laughter and tears and flying around the world.

Amazing guys.

Amazing guys.

Mike and Mel were the best, because they weren’t doing it for the money, and because throughout everything they were really kind to each other. Most teammates start hatin’ as soon as the going gets tough, but not these two. They were so proud of each other! And Mel has a fascinating back-story.

I recommend that you go back and watch season 14, if only for the Mel/Mike gems (until they got eliminated… very sad night).

Speaking of inspiring stuff, back to Phil Keoghan. His accent really eluded me for months, but it turns out that he’s from New Zealand. (And yet, he sounds nothing like Bret & Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords.) He had a near-death experience when he was 19, and started an inspirational website (maybe the book came first?) called No Opportunity Wasted. Get it? NOW? (Not to be confused with the National Organization for Women.) So… he hosts “The Amazing Race,” which is also in the motivation genre, I suppose.

I love Phil because he’s generally very serious on the show, but is secretly hilarious. I like to watch his weekly behind-the-scenes snippets, where we get to see more of him. (On the show he’s only shown briefly, to narrate and tell people whether they’re out.)

Word!

Watch it tonight!

xoxo…

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TOP CHEF Started Without Me/Fabio Viviani is a Tasty TV Morsel

August 20, 2009
Fabio (right) and his Euro-BFF Stefan.

Finale-mohawked Fabio (right) and his Euro-BFF Stefan.

Despite the constant commercials on Bravo, somehow I didn’t realize that the new season of “Top Chef” was premiering last night. “Top Chef” is one of those shows that I don’t watch every season, and usually don’t watch from the beginning of a season. Last time around I hopped on the bandwagon about halfway through, and stayed because I LOVED Fabio.

Who can forget his classic lines and phrases, such as “bunky bed” and “This is Top Chef, not Top Pussy”? (And, later, “This is Top Chef, not Top Scallop.”) (And Fabio was from Italy, so he said “poosy” and “scallope.”)

Also, (married) Fabio had a special man-love bond with the shows only other European contestant, Stefan. Fabio was the nicest guy on the block and Stefan had the vibe of an evil super-villain, but somehow they got along like two peas in a bunky bed.

Previous-Roomie (Lauren) and I were distraught when our beloved Fabio was kicked off in the Top 4 episode. Luckily the smart producers brought him back for the finale as a judge. (As I said before, he’s totally invited to join me on my “Rejects of Reality” TV show.)

Fabio’s restaurant, Cafe Firenze, is not too terribly far from here. Someday I hope to make a pilgrimage to the Fabio Mecca, just to bask in the light of his greatness (and eat delicious Italian food).

Maybe for my next birthday (oh yeah, by the way– today is my birthday!).

Back to the matter at hand… I still don’t know if I’m going to watch this season. (Big news, I know.) Let me know how it is, and maybe I’ll jump in later (As “More to Love” Luke would say to Wacky Danielle, “Dive into that, like you’d dive into a swimming pool.”)

xoxo…

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Now We Know They Can Dance: SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE’s Final 4

July 31, 2009
Look who made the Final 4!

Look who made the Final 4!

Looks like my tasty TV morsels are AMERICA’S choice as well. (This is quite a surprise because me and AMERICA don’t generally see eye-to-eye.)

How is everybody feeling about the Final 4? How exciting was it for Evan when he realized that he beat Ade to get into the Final 4? (RIP Ade, I loved you too.) (He’s not really dead!) It was like David slaying Goliath. Or like… the Little Evan That Could!

I’m so excited to see these four dancing all mixy-matchy next week. At this point it’s anyone’s game– they are all worthy of the crown.

xoxo…

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Tasty TV Morsel: Regina Spektor on THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O’BRIEN

July 31, 2009
Isn't she lovely?

Isn't she lovely?

In case you haven’t heard, living in LA involves a lot of commuting. Everybody has different ways of coping with the driving. I tend to listen to music or “This American Life” podcasts. I also like to talk on the phone. (Don’t worry, those of you who are versed in California driving laws– I have a Bluetooth hands-free thingamagig.) Lately, I spend most of my driving-time singing along with Regina Spektor.

I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon Regina Spektor’s music, but I remember when: During the particularly melancholy winter/spring of my freshman year of college (so…approximately 2005), “Love Affair” and “The Flowers” were on a playlist that I would listen to on my iPod every night as I fell asleep.

After my sad spring passed and my iPod died, Regina went off my radar for a while. She came back into my life with a WOW when “Begin to Hope” came out in 2006. (PS ALWAYS buy the bonus tracks versions of her albums.) Then my computer died and took my iTunes with it (technology is really good at parting me from my favorite music), and once again Regina and I were on hiatus. (I have since rectified this problem and I’m listening to “Begin to Hope” AS I TYPE THIS.) (It’s coming from inside the computer!)

And now it’s 2009, and “Far” just came out, and I saw (500) DAYS OF SUMMER last night, which was rife with choice Regina songs. Special thumbs-up to the song “Hero” (500 DAYS… has a great soundtrack, but I didn’t love the movie… sorry!). The thing about most of her songs is that they start out sounding one way, and by the end they’ve progressed into something totally different (I don’t know the musical terms for all this, but I wish I did– I took music theory in high school, so I SHOULD know). And throughout, they’re LOVELY.

Right now I’m a little bit obsessed with “Dance Anthem of the 80′s,” which starts out really fun and pop-y (in a Regina way) and turns into something much more emotional. Actually, I’m obsessed with the whole album. A lot of the songs are infused with melancholy ideas and minor chords, which I guess hearkens back to Regina’s Russian roots. I grew up singing minor-chord songs in temple (you know, us Jews and our sadnesses), and I love sad music in general (my sister calls most of the music that I love “suicide music”), so I am all about her saddest songs. But there are also a lot catchy, fun songs.

Anyway… how am I supposed to describe music to you? This isn’t a music website! This is a website about TV and snacks, and I’m unfairly using a loophole to talk about music. What I really wanted to say was that Regina Spektor was on Conan O’Brien last night, and she was AMAZING and ADORABLE. I never realized how tiny she is! Her gray eyeshadow was really beautiful, and her eyes looked HUGE (in a good way). She was sitting at a GIANT piano (that’s the technical term)–seriously, it was at least ten feet long, maybe fifteen. Also, from one curly-haired person to another: Great hair!

Most notably, Regina is pint-sized. She looks like a Polly Pocket compared to Conan! (Which means she’s probably about my height, maybe taller.) (Polly Pocket was one of my favorite childhood toys.) I guess I was surprised because Regina comes off as such a big personality in so many of her songs. But as we all know (I hope) good things come in little packages.

I didn’t think I could love Regina any more, but I was wrong. I expect her to be soulful and edgy, and she was. What surprised me was the bubbly charm she emitted when Conan thanked her at the end. I have a feeling that she’s a really sweet person. (I don’t have any anecdotal evidence to support my theory. If you do, by all means chime in.) I recommend that you hit up the Hulu to see this performance. (And look up her music on the YouTubes or the iTunes. I’m not always a fan of her videos, but they’re artsy and unique– I can’t fault her for that.)

And also: Her lyrics are lyrical, as lyrics ought to be. Seriously, go listen to “Blue Lips,” or “Machine.” Any of them, really.

“It’s been a long time since before I’ve been touched/Now I’m getting touched all the time/And it’s only a matter of who/And it’s only a matter of when.”

(You know what’s been touching me? Your blog comments! Thanks, guys.) (Now I’m putting down this corndog.) (I don’t even eat corndogs!)

I really want to see Regina Spektor in concert. She was just here, and I knew about it but didn’t buy tickets, because I am dumb.

I’m sure I’ll be writing a similar post about Imogen Heap in August, when her new album is released and she (hopefully) hits the talk show circuit.

xoxo…

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Tasty TV Morsel: Jeanine Mason from SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE

July 27, 2009
Pretty sexy: Jeanines the queen.

Pretty sexy: Jeanine's the queen.

This is a watershed day: My first female Tasty Morsel! And why not? I can admire females all I want! If you read last week’s recap, you know that I have a major girl crush on Jeanine. As in, wish I could look that good in a tattered military uniform and/or a sports bra thingy and some bicycle shorts. And, you know, dance like whoa.

And why post it on a Monday? Good question. Mondays are a sort of doldrums day for SYTYCD fans. It’s been a long time since Thursday, and we still have several days to go until Wednesday. On top of that, I have the day off from work, thanks to a swine flu outbreak. No joke! It’s my first snow day ever, and it’s 80 degrees F out here.

After the tremendous outpouring from Evan Kasprzak’s fans last week (thanks, you guys!), I just want to give them a shoutout and reassure them that I am still all about Evan. At this point all the dancers are great, so why not spread the love? Collect ‘em all!

From the first week of the top 20, Jeanine was a force to be reckoned with. She’s a contemporary dancer, but she matched hip-hoppity-hopper Phillip Chbeeb in their hip hop routine. And let’s be honest: Jeanine and Phillip were an adorable couple. I was hoping that they were an off-screen item, even though it seemed like Phillip might have been dating the girl he auditioned with (or maybe no girls at all! I’m sure that somebody will correct me, if I’m off-base here).

Being paired with Phillip was a blessing and a curse because he already had such a big SYTYCD fan base, having been featured on the show last year. But right away I knew that Jeanine could rise to the challenge, because she glows with mega-watt star quality (that’s why she’s still here… RIP Phillip.) (You’re not really dead! Whew.) Seriously, I would have to rewind and watch Phillip and Jeanine separately, because they were both total eye-magnets.

And whatever the judges said, I loved every dance Jeanine and Phillip did. The tango? Sexy. (When Jeanine reappropriated it and used it as her solo dance? Cool callback!) The Russian dance? (Does Nigel has some sort of beef with Russia and Poland?) I thought it was fun!

And remember when she wore the Amy Winehouse costume?

Can we talk about the fact that Jeanine is 18 years old?! When I was 18, I was just learning how to walk and chew gum at the same time. If you Google Jeanine or look her up on the Youtubes, you will find that she is already the Queen of Dance. I’m sure that she’s very famous in the dance community and everyone’s saying, “Ho hum, Jeanine, we know you’re great. You’ve been around for years and years.” But I am not in the dance community, and I say, “Color me impressed, Your Majesty.” (Also, Jeanine rhymes with “queen.” Coincidence? I think not.)

Can we also talk about how beautiful Jeanine is? Ye Gods, she’s like a Disney Princess come to life. She has a great body, and not in the twiggy sense. Jeanine is made of muscles. She could beat up a gang of thugs. And yet she still rocks the flowy gowns and princess. I admire that duality in a woman.

And she is so poised! 18 years old! And when she was a girl, they told her she didn’t have the right legs for dancing. (Whoever “they” were, they were wrong.)

But the real reason that Jeanine gets my Tasty Morsel seal of approval on this Monday afternoon is that her solos are amazing. Remember how I was kind of stumped by the cancer dance? I realized that it was partially because Jeanine’s “Let the Drummer Kick” solo, which came just before that dance, MOVED ME MORE THAN THE CANCER DANCE. If I was going to shed a tear between one commercial break and the next, I would have shed it for Jeanine’s dance (instead, I just rewound it and watched it a bunch of times in a row). Those quick kicks were like sonic booms for my eyes. Wham! Pow! Out of nowhere! Stealthy.

And the “Moonlight Sonata” dance? Forget about it. The precision of her movies, the sync with the music, the costumes, the emotion, the choice of song… no wonder this girl is a Hall of Famer. Mein Gott! I always get really upset when the timer cuts her off, because her solos pull me in like whoa. Don’t cut her off like that, countdown clock!

The first time that Jeanine and Phillip got in the bottom three, Cat called it a blessing in disguise, because she really wanted to see their solos. I was right there with Cat, especially because Jeanine didn’t get to dance in her own style until really late in the game. (And when she finally did– remember the Travis Wall dance, with Jason? Of course you do.) Can you believe how well she did in all those not-her-style styles? And bonus points forever that she danced to the “Moses Supposes” song from “Singin’ in the Rain” (oddly, one of my favorite songs ever), and swallowed a pillow-full of feathers for her craft.

Jeanine is so good that I’m always super-pumped for the guy who gets paired with her. I don’t think we’ve seen her dance with Evan yet, and I have my fingers crossed that she’ll dance with either Evan or Ade this week (or both).

After last week’s performance show, my mom called me, distraught. “Jeanine’s going home this week,” she fretted. “They judges didn’t like her waltz.” I told my mom to chill. “Chill, Mom. Jeanine’s going to be fine.” And with the demise of Janette this week (their names were too similar! Apparently, there was only room for one J-girl from Florida), Jeanine just might end up being the top girl of the year, if not “America’s favorite dancer.” (Let’s be honest: At this point, they’re all winners.) (RIP Janette! You’re not really dead!)

So Jeanine, I can’t wait to see you dance this week. (DANCE FOR YOUR LIFE!) You’re a reliable and lovely dancer. You also give off a bit of a dangerous vibe sometimes, and I like that. If you’re part-bitch, part-nice, that’s totally relatable! Nobody’s perfect. And who says that you have to be nice to be perfect? Not I, I say. (And please please please– try not to get swine flu. It’s all over Los Angeles, apparently.) (Or at least, all over my office, in theory.)

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