So Many Things

27 04 2010

You guys, so much stuff is going on right now.  Hockey, birthdays, Lady Gaga, weddings, classes, insomnia – all of these are sucking our time and energy.  But even with all of this going on, we’re also working on some big stuff here at the ol’ Triple-B Ranch (I’m not sure if I approve of what I just said) that we’ll be rolling out over the next couple of weeks.  We’re super excited.  And the first thing we’re debuting is the one we least understand!!  We’re on TWITTER.  We’re going to start a-twattering all about interesting and funny things that are also useful and important.  I’m pretty sure that if you start “following” us, your life will improve exponentially.  And chances are, we’ll follow you too!  And possibly mock you mercilessly – which is why you love us.  As an added bonus – something very funny happened to Lo today at work…and you’ll only be able to find out what it was @elandlo.  You may want to finish whatever you’re drinking first – you’ve been warned!





Stop Whatever You Are Doing and Make These Brownies.

25 04 2010

I like to entertain. A lot. Since I’ve had a kid, it’s a tetch more difficult to go out and get hammered at bars anymore, so I like to throw casual little dinners where people can come to me and get hammered. Or just delightfully tipsy. So last weekend I had some people over and made some drool-worthy steak fajitas. (Not to toot my own horn, but MAN, they were fucking delicious. The secret is to put the lime juice on AFTER you take the steak off the grill or frying pan. Ta-DA!) My friend Leigh was coming over too, and she isn’t really a big sweets person, but loves her some brownies. I’ve been using the ATK Lunchbox Brownie recipe for quite some time and I love it, but I just get so boooooooooooored sometimes. They’re perfectly acceptable, fudgy and cakey and they take well to add-ins. But, you know, boredom. I’d read on someone’s blog post some time ago about a Dorie Greenspan recipe that I’d never tried. Being someone who describes herself as a “batter whore,” I was intrigued because they were described as being really fucking fudgy, almost to the point of not being thoroughly cooked. DING! SOOOOOOLD to the batter whore in the back. So I made them. And 5 of us polished off nearly the entire goddamn 9×9″ pan in one night. I put my own little Mexican chocolate spin on them, and, well, yes. These were unfuckingbelievable. Leigh is making me make them for her upcoming birthday. I want to make them every day and roll around on the floor with glee. I want to marry these brownies. I want to spend a day in bed with a spoon and these brownies and a series of my favorite movies. I want to sing to them “Always and Forever” over and over again because they are that good. No lie. I will say to pay attention to the directions, as they’re a little different from your run-of-the-mill brownie directions. So stop watching The Tudors, or eating a bowl of Life, or knitting something for your grandmother and make these. DO IT! (Oh, also, one cool thing about these is that they were originally created for Julia Child!)

Rick Katz’ Brownies for Julia (from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours)

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 large eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Put a 9×9″ baking pan on a baking sheet. (Note it doesn’t say to butter it up at all.)
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and chipotle.
  3. Put butter and chocolate into a double boiler. Stir until melted, but don’t let the butter separate. Remove from heat, stir in 1 cup of sugar and vanilla.
  4. Put the remaining 1 cup of sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and stir in the eggs with a whisk.
  5. NOW. This is where shit gets tricky. Take half of the egg/sugar mix and pour it ever so slowly into the chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula. Make sure you do it slowly so you don’t ruin everything by cooking the eggs.
  6. Go back to the remaining egg/sugar mixture in the bowl of the electric mixer and, using the whisk attachment (or a hand mixer if you’re sans Kitchen Aid), beat it for about 3 minutes until it doubles in volume.
  7. Very lightly and using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped eggs into the chocolate. Lightly sprinkle the dry ingredients over the chocolate and mix juuuuuuuuuuust until its folded in.
  8. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 25-28 minutes. The top will look dry, but the insides will be ooey-gooey awesomeness. Attempt to eat one at a time, but fail miserably.

I really love Google Image.





Sorry For the Delay…

22 04 2010

…But the NHL quarterfinals are happening and I’m a bit of a hockey nerd. I’ll have 2 awesome posts this weekend, one involving AMAZING Dorie brownies and another involving a book! A real, live book! Meanwhile, here’s Alice Cooper. And the fucking Muppets.





Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

19 04 2010

[This is my first review for my “Once Upon A Time” challenge.  Look at me doing stuff.]

I absolutely love the Harry Potter series.  I’ve read and re-read all of the books over and over and over again.  I went to the midnight madness book release parties.  I even took time off of work so I could stay up all night to read, and after I finished, I’d fall asleep for a couple of hours, wake up and read it again.  Hard freaking core.  So, keep that in mind when I call the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Harry Potter-lite, because it is totally a compliment.

From the website, because it’s a much better synopsis than I can do:

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper.  And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse — Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him.  When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea.  Soon, a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

So, the similarities are pretty obvious between Percy and Harry but the stories are different enough to make these worth reading.  Rick Riordan wrote these in first person from Percy’s point of view, which creates a different feel to the story, and he does a great job of making Percy’s voice believable.  Also, Percy and his friends are not only unsupervised for most of the books, almost all of the adults (well, gods) are actively working against them – even those on their side.  These books are filled with much more action and the stories go by so fast, I couldn’t believe it when it was over.  Again – not a bad thing!  After finishing the first book in 2 days, I immediately requested the other 4 from the library and squealed with delight when they all came in at once so I could immerse myself in them for a week.  Each one is great, with an individual quest that ties into the series as a whole.  I had a wonderful time in Percy’s world and think everyone should stop by for a great escape.






Beer, Beer, Beer Biddily-Beer, Beer, Beer

16 04 2010

Last weekend, during my Days of Getting Shit Done, I mentioned I had some hang-time with The Greek. During said time, we wandered down to my favorite convenience store EVER. It’s this dinky little store right next to a laundromat that has THE MOST AMAZING BEER AND WINE SELECTION EVER. Seriously. The whole place isn’t bigger than my goddamn living room, but it’s SO RAD. They have a constantly rotating selection, based on season and availability. Every time I go in, I take forever to decide what I want, because I love to try new beers. So long as it isn’t an IPA or a stout/porter. I don’t like them too light or too dark, what can I say? Anyway, I’m glad The Greek was with me because we were quick to make a decision. We made it solely based on how fucking adorable the packaging was:

Seriously, how fucking cute is this?

So, it’s called Hanami and it’s by Smutty Nose. It’s made with cherries! It is super yummy, with a hint of tartness in the aftertaste. It also has a pretty high alcohol content, which is awesome. I think I liked it more than The Greek, but I have a tendency to prefer my beers and champagnes a little on the sweeter side. This would make an excellent dessert beer (is too a thing) or a great one for porch sitting on a hot day. I totally recommend it! Now, if only I could decide what I want for next time…

Yummy AND adorable. Sign me up for two, please and thank you.





Procrastination Wins Again

14 04 2010

WORD UP

So, I’m getting ready to go down to New Orleans to see my uncle get married.  Of course, I’ve left everything until the last possible minute because that’s what sensible responsible people do.  I wanted to do a post about the Percy Jackson books, but I’ve run out of time, so that’ll go up when I get back.   But!  The reason for this is to let everyone know (or remind everyone) that it is NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK!  As if that wasn’t rad enough, the honorary chair this year is none other than one of the coolest MFers on this planet, Neil Gaiman.  You can go here to listen to his NPR interview about how much he loves libraries if you want to get your nerd on.  And then you can go to his website and watch some of his readings.  And then you can go to the library (see what I did there?) and check out his audiobooks, or his book-books, or his graphic novels, or a movie based on his book, or his children’s books, or his poetry.  Or you can go to the library and look for something else – I’m not the boss of you.





Lo Has a Productive Weekend! (Co-starring Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies)

11 04 2010

Banana bread! IN A COOKIE!!!

YOU GUYS. SERIOUSLY. I WIN AT THIS WEEKEND. Check it out: Friday night I got a good night’s sleep so I could wake up on Saturday, do some Jillian Michaels (level 3, ya’ll), tend to my squirrel-ravaged seedlings, go to the DMV (where my child was not a methamphetamine-riled hellion!), go grocery shopping, find SOMETHING to do with my old, black bananas (they were seriously black. And kind of shriveled. And the sugars may possibly have fermented.), and hang out with the Greek. Check on ALL COUNTS. Then today? TODAY??? I cleaned. For FIVE HOURS. I cleaned my fucking baseboards. BASE. BOARDS. And I finally cleaned off the desk in our guest room so I could have a spot for my laptop and printer! And I feel very accomplished, and those 4 tacos I ate for dinner don’t count for anything because I was SO PRODUCTIVE!!

Anyway, the point of this post was not to make you feel bad about yourself (I swear), but rather talk about these delightful little nuggets of yum I stumbled upon using ye olde Google. I’m SO TIRED of making banana bread (I’ve mentioned this before on this site). I love banana bread. If you offered me some right now, I’d eat the hell out of it. And talk about how fucking good it was. Because I LOVE banana bread. But I also get sick of it. Look, I love my kid too, but I don’t want his batshit crazy ass around me all the goddamn time. Life is about variety people. Deal with it. So, back to these cookies. I went cruisin’ the old internet for some recipes involving bananas. Then I got the wild hair to include oats in my search. Then I decided to just go balls-out and say, “HEY INTERNET! Fetch me your finest recipe using banana and oats and make them COOKIES!” And the internet obliged, giving me this. I’m going to post it down below, though, because I made a few changes to it. These cookies are like little banana bread pieces, but not quite. I kind of love them, and they’re so easy to make and to consume, I think these will be my new banana bread until I get sick of them and find a new way to use decomposing bananas.

Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from Allrecipes.com)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temp.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves (or less – the more you add, the more it’ll take away from the banana flavor, which as you know, makes me MAD)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used mini. It was a good decision.)
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line some baking sheets with parchment paper (I used 4 sheets).
  2. Cream together butter and sugar in an electric mixer til smooth. Add in eggs and vanilla, mixing thoroughly.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cloves, cinnamons, and salt. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients.
  4. Stir in the oats, then then the chocolate chips.
  5. Plop by the spoonful (I used a regular ol’ teaspoon) on to baking sheets, keeping in mind that these guys spread pretty good. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let them sit on the baking sheet for a minute or so, then transfer to wire rack.
  6. Shove into mouth and be glad that I exposed you to this recipe.