next_to_normal: (Christmas Chelsea)
Sorry I've been MIA for, like, forever. Lots of unpleasant health stuff. I... don't really want to get into it. There was a lot of vomit. Occasionally, projectile vomit at the Kennedy Center. 2017 is off to a banging start.

Welcome, LJ refugees. Sorry Russia is fucking with you. You know, more than they're fucking with the rest of us.

I have been cheating on DW a bit by posting on Facebook again. Mostly because I now have a bunch of Crohn's buddies on there, and I feel better about dumping my shit (literal and figurative) on those who identify? Also I post ridiculous pictures of my cat. Here, you can have those.

Read more... )

Oh, hey, I also has recipes from aaaages ago I never posted.

Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Salted Pretzel-Marshmallow Bars


I took pictures of those, too:



Desserty things taste good. (In the spirit of "this is my life now," I made them for a party I was supposed to go to, only to end up barfing and missing the party, so my coworkers ended up getting the goodies.)

How you?

next_to_normal: (Andrew cooking)
Cantaloupe Salad with Basil, Fresh Mozzarella, and Onions - When I got back from Italy, I was so inspired to cook All The Things, I went out and bought a basil plant and a parsley plant. (This was also somewhat necessary to replenish the balcony garden, since the great "My cat-sitter forgot to water my plants and it was 100 degrees while I was gone" of 2016 killed all my flowers, lol.) I immediately killed the parsley plant, lol, but the basil did pretty well. It's still alive, at any rate (and, booya! All but one of my "dead" flowers eventually came back, EVEN THE MARIGOLDS, which looked completely fried). Anyway, I was looking for things to use fresh basil in, and this fit the bill.

Lemon-Basil Chicken Salad
- Another "use the basil" recipe. Not that much different from my regular chicken salad, but good enough that I didn't get sick of it after eating it for lunch four days in a row, lol. It made, like, a whole chicken's worth of chicken salad, which is a LOT of chicken salad for one person.

Quadruple Chocolate Pudding Cookies - OM NOM NOM. The instant pudding mix in the cookies reminded me of [personal profile] mcmegan's mom's chocolate chip cookie recipe. Except with a lot more chocolate. Don't follow the recipe and make giant cookies. You won't need them. A little bit of these goes a loooong way. SO MUCH CHOCOLATE. But a big hit in work. The next challenge: QUINTUPLE CHOCOLATE cookies (yes, there is a recipe for them on that same blog). 

Shrimp Puffs
- I have had two cans of Pillsbury pizza dough in my refrigerator for way too long and haven't used them, so I finally broke one out for this recipe (even though technically it calls for biscuits, I figured it's all basically the same dough, right?). I also don't have a mini-muffin tray, so I made them regular muffin sized. I also couldn't find baby shrimp, so I used regular-sized shrimp and cut them into pieces. The pizza dough did turn out more doughy and less puff-pastryish than the biscuits probably would've been, so it's more like a mini shrimp pizza, but that's fine. If you're making them to serve at a party, maybe follow the recipe, but if you just sometimes like to eat appetizers for dinner (don't judge me), my way is just as good.

One-Pot Creamy Pumpkin Pasta - This was decidedly meh. I hate clean-up, so I'm all for a good one-pot recipe, but I don't think I'd bother with this one again. The goat cheese kind of overpowers the pumpkin flavor, and the garlic doesn't come through at all. Maybe if it was sauteed a bit in the pot before adding the other ingredients? Or possibly I just think I like pumpkiny things more than I actually do, because I am inevitably disappointed.

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Glaze - Between this and the peach bread fail, I am starting to get nervous about making these bread recipes. This one didn't overflow, at least, but the toothpick in the center kept coming out gooey, so I left it in the oven for a good 15-20 minutes longer than the recipe called for. I also had to add twice as much heavy cream to make the glaze glaze-like. I don't even know how it came out, since I am taking it in to work tomorrow, and I didn't want to cut into it ahead of time to check. If the raw batter (so chocolatey!) and the glaze (just like a cinnamon bun!) are any indication, it is DELICIOUS. I just hope it's cooked all the way through. 
next_to_normal: (Andrew cooking)
I've been sort of up and down, health-wise, since getting back from vacation, but when I am capable of eating real food, I've been trying to replicate some of the best food I ate in Italy, with quite a bit of success, actually, so have some recipes!

Peanut Butter Banana Cookies - I actually made these before I left, because I was looking for a way to use up some overripe bananas. I took them into work, where they got compliments all around. They're not especially sweet, which made for a good mid-morning snack, I guess.

Eggplant Parmesan Dip - One of my favorite lunches was rather unexpected. I ordered eggplant parmesan, expecting it to be like what you usually get - breaded and fried slices of eggplant, layered with tomato sauce and topped with melted cheese. But this was completely not that, instead all blended together more like a dip and eaten spread on delicious Italian bread. The recipe I found replicates it pretty well, although without the melted mozzarella and parmesan on top (though I have rarely found a meal that cannot be improved with more cheese, so).  

Linguini with Slow-Cooked Zucchini, Basil and Cream - Another very surprising favorite meal, since I typically don't like zucchini. I honestly don't know what made me order it - it was close to the end of the vacation, and I think the rest of the menu was stuff I'd had too much of by that point, so I just wanted to try something different. Also, I hadn't had a bad meal yet, so I sort of assumed that EVERYTHING I ate was going to be good (even chicken liver and cow intestines, yes I ate those things) so why not give it a try? Anyway, the secret, according to NPR, is to cook the zucchini slowly over low heat. Could also be the pancetta, though. Anything tastes better when you put bacon on it. 

Ricciarelli Almond Cookies - We had these cookies in Montalcino and my mom loved them so much, she basically demanded that I find a recipe to make them when we got home. So I did, and I made them for my mom's birthday, and she loved them, so I'm going to call it a success, even though I don't think they came out exactly like the ones we had - those were a little lighter and fluffier, while these came out a bit more dense. 

Peach Bread - This one has nothing to do with Italy. I just stumbled upon the recipe while looking for something else and it looked really good. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a major fail. There was far too much batter for a standard loaf pan, so it overflowed and made a mess of my oven. I didn't even use all five peaches that the recipe called for - I cut them all up, but probably only used about four, and I can't even imagine how much it would've overflowed if I'd put them all in. And even though I left the bread in the oven for 20 minutes longer than I was supposed to, the middle of it was still soggy and undercooked. It's possible it was too wet because my peaches were too ripe, but I ended up throwing out about half of it and just salvaging the fully baked parts as a peach cobbler-y type thing. It still tasted good, but did not look at all presentable, lol.
next_to_normal: (Andrew cooking)
This makes me look like I've been a cooking fiend, but I was saving up links until I had enough for a full post, so this is going back to since I got back from Christmas.

Shrimp and Scallops in Garlic Cream Sauce - Since Robert Irvine apparently only cooks for people the size of Robert Irvine, I had to cut this recipe way down - I only made 1 lb of scallops, left the shrimp out completely, and halved the sauce. I also made 1 lb of angel hair pasta, which was WAY, WAY too much, at which point I regretted cutting the sauce in half, lol. I actually made a second half-batch of the sauce for my leftovers. I was kind of skeptical when the recipe said to strain the sauce - I was like, but you're straining out all the good stuff! But it still tasted really flavorful, and I'm not gonna lie, I didn't mind making the sauce a second time since it went a lot faster when I was less careful with chopping and just throwing in whole sprigs of thyme, knowing I was going to strain it out anyway. 

Creamy Parmesan Mushroom and Spinach Tortellini Soup - I wanted a creamy tortellini and sausage soup, but I couldn't find the exact recipe I wanted, so I left out the mushrooms and added crumbled sweet Italian sausage to this. Not only is it delicious, it also reheats well. I ended up taking it for lunch a few days, and it survived the microwave just fine. 

I should also note that I ended up with this recipe because I bought all the ingredients for replicating a dish from my parents' favorite Italian restaurant, but then I chickened out because I didn't think my tummy could handle it. Anyway. it's called Vesuvio, and it's a breaded veal cutlet, topped with tomatoes and spinach, melted mozzarella cheese, and then tortellini alfredo on top. I did eventually make a couple attempts, and although I never quite got it exactly like Barone's, it's still a pretty stellar combination.

Pineapple Barbecue Sauce Glazed Meatballs - This was... disappointing. The sauce is fine, but good lord, this is a terrible recipe for meatballs. No breadcrumbs and too much onion (I dislike when recipes say things like "one small onion," because onions vary pretty widely in size, just tell me, like, 1 cup or whatever), and so the meatballs didn't really stay together in the pan. Also four tablespoons of butter? I never thought there was such a thing as too much butter, but the meatballs weren't browning so much as they were basically being poached. 

Pull-Apart Garlic Rolls - These looked AH-MAZING when they came out of the oven, but taste-wise, it was kinda meh. The refrigerated biscuit dough makes it easy, but I'm sure there are better garlic roll recipes out there.
next_to_normal: (Christmas Chelsea)
And all Chelsea wants is her two front teeth back. We make quite a pair.

No, actually, Chelsea is doing just fine. Her stitches have healed up, she's eating regular food again, and as far as we can tell, she remains flea- and tapeworm-free. \o/ I, on the other hand, am having worse pain and diarrhea, so we're back to having the dietary diversity of a five-year-old (grilled cheese, goldfish crackers, and plain buttered noodles). Went to the doctor yesterday, and he added another steroid to my daily regimen, so we'll see if that helps. Needless to say, the Entyvio still has not kicked in, and, like, I want to give it time to do its thing (because if we ditch this one, I don't have many other options to try), but I also don't want to be in pain for another three months. 

Before I stopped eating real food again, I did try out one new recipe. I wanted to use up that goat cheese (I clearly bought too much goat cheese), and I found this Pecan and Goat Cheese Pasta, which appealed because goat cheese, pecans, and dried cranberries are a combo I really like in salads, but would never have thought to put in pasta. 

You know how experienced cooks are always like, "I just made up this recipe by throwing together whatever I had in the fridge"? I cannot do that. Whenever I have an ingredient or two I want to use up, I have to google what I have and try to find a recipe that uses it AND ALSO does not require me to buy more things. I don't know how to get good at the "throw in whatever's lying around" style of cooking, except to practice and watch a lot of Chopped, I guess? Anyway, I did get slightly adventurous and add sauteed shallots and garlic to the recipe, since I HAD THEM LYING AROUND, lol, and while it all tasted good, the goat cheese never really melted into a sauce the way I hoped, so it was a little dry.

I am totally done with my Christmas shopping - I actually finished early (for me) this year, i.e. a whole week before Christmas. \o/ Usually I am last-minute ordering stuff online and then freaking out because it has not arrived by the time I have to leave to drive to New Jersey. Which... has happened again this year, but ironically the one thing that hasn't been delivered yet is the VERY FIRST GIFT I BOUGHT way back on December 8th! It's not like they're shipping it from India or something, either, just Fredericksburg. I'm starting to think it got lost in the mail. (And yes, I emailed them, and they were like, "USPS says 1-2 weeks is the average this time of year..." They offered to resend if I don't get it by today, but that does not help with getting it in time for Christmas.) Even the last-minute gift for my dad that I bought off eBay on Saturday that wasn't supposed to be delivered until the 26th managed to get here early, but not the one that had two leisurely weeks to make it to me from 5 miles away.

ANYWHO. Here are photos of my Christmas tree and Chelsea helping/eating the decorations:

Read more... )
I opted not to torture Chelsea this year by making her wear her Christmas outfit. YET - there is still time, but really, the poor thing has been through a lot lately.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and all the other holidays to you all. Chelsea and I are off to the 'rents tomorrow, for a whole week, which I am hoping will give me a chance to rest up and feel less terrible in 2016! 
next_to_normal: (VM exasperated)
1. I have decided to get myself a TV streaming stick, either a Roku or Amazon Fire. I am leaning toward Roku based on internet comparisons, but I do have Amazon Prime and a Kindle Fire, so I'm open to being persuaded in that direction. (Also, I have a suspicion that as soon as I buy a Roku, they will announce that they're coming out with a newer model, whereas Amazon already did.) Anyone have a recommendation or preference? (Obviously the best time to purchase such a thing is AFTER I spent the weekend binge-watching not one, but TWO TV series - Jessica Jones and The Man in the High Castle - on my laptop. Both shows are highly recommended, FYI.)

2. I really want to email this to my mother and be like, "Do you think maybe we could try this for a change?" I might possibly be cranky after a phone call this weekend in which I mentioned having a lot of pain this week, and her response being, 'Well, you have been doing a lot of cooking lately and eating more than usual." Like, SORRY MY BAD for trying to eat relatively balanced meals and maintain a healthy weight. Maybe I should go back to eating nothing but grilled cheese. I get that she just wants to be able to make me better and critiquing everything I ingest is her trying to ~solve my Crohn's but CROHN'S DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY and just once I would like to say, "Hey, I'm in a lot of pain," and hear, "I'm sorry, honey, that sucks," instead of, essentially, "Well, that's what you get for eating FOOD." 

3. Speaking of food, I made butternut squash soup this weekend. I'm not even going to bother linking the recipe because the proportions were way off and I ended up having to add more than twice as much chicken stock as the recipe called for in order to get the right consistency, so I'll be looking for a different recipe the next time I make it. My parents have one, but it makes about eight gallons of soup, so I figured I'd just look for a smaller batch recipe online, but this one was not a winner. Tasted fine, though, once I made it not mashed potatoes-esque. 
next_to_normal: (Andrew cooking)
Look at me go!

Rosemary Olive Oil Crock Pot Bread - YOU GUYS I BAKED BREAD IN A CROCK POT. I don't know why I am so excited about this achievement in particular, considering I've done a fair amount of cooking and this was ridiculously easy, but something about the novelty of baking bread in the crock pot makes me want to brag to everyone I know. The bread is delicious, btw. I have eaten it every day since I made it, and I have some epic plans for grilled cheese if I can stop myself from just eating it slathered in olive oil (definitely try it with the olive oil herb dip included at the same link). There will be more soon enough, though, because my mother has already demanded that I make it again when I come home for Thanksgiving.

French Onion Beef Stroganoff - This is another recipe from the same blogger, and it's another winner, so I'm thinking I need to just work my way through the entire site. I am not usually big on beef stroganoff, since I don't really like mushrooms - I actually left them out when I made this one - but I loooooove french onion soup, so adding beef and noodles couldn't really go wrong. I also didn't bother with the red wine, since I don't drink it; I wasn't about to open a whole bottle just for 1/4 cup to cook with. I added extra broth instead, though I probably didn't need to, as the sauce was very liquidy and needed longer to reduce than the recipe said. But hey - I've got delicious bread to sop it up!

Butternut Squash Casserole - So this is the casserole recipe I was going to make last time, except I forgot to buy squash. On a related shopping note, I happened to do my grocery shopping on Saturday with [personal profile] angearia and [personal profile] gryfndor_godess and they must be good luck charms or something, because all my recipes turned out awesome this week! (And I managed to get all the correct ingredients, lol.)

Anyway, this recipe kind of ticked me off - or rather, the lack thereof ticked me off. I don't remember how I stumbled upon this link - I get daily emails from recipe.com, but I also may have been searching for something - but reading through the post, I was super excited about the goat cheese + parmesan combo, and then I clicked on the link for the recipe, and it turned out it was the ORIGINAL recipe, pre-modifications, which is completely not what the post's author described. My parents may be of the "exact measurements are for losers" school of cooking, but I prefer specific instructions. So, if you are like me, and you're all, "Okay, but HOW MUCH goat cheese did you use? What is the ratio of goat cheese to parmesan? And goat cheese is a totally different consistency than cheddar! Will it melt the same?" I went with 2 cloves of garlic tossed with the squash and olive oil before roasting (which took more like 40 minutes to get to tender). I used 1 cup of goat cheese and 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan to make the cheese sauce, and then another 1/2 cup of parmesan sprinkled on top. I also added 1 tsp each of fresh rosemary and thyme, since I had it left over from the bread and stroganoff recipes. I do like the combo of sage and butternut squash, so I might try that if I made this again, but you definitely have to add something, as without any herbs or spices at all, it'd be pretty bland.
next_to_normal: (choose your weapon)
Well, it figures that as soon as I post that I'm doing okay enough to eat real food again, I start feeling worse again. FFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUU

Anyway, I did manage to start cooking again long enough to put a post together. Except I totally had an ingredients fail with TWO out of the three recipes I had planned. First, I had the idea to make shrimp scampi to use up some shrimp I've had in the freezer for FOREVER. Except, of course, I didn't bother to check the shrimp before I went shopping and as I'm about to start cooking, I open the bag and discover it is freezer-burned all to HELL and too gross to look at, let alone eat. So, cancel the shrimp scampi.

Then, I realized that I went grocery shopping totally planning to make a butternut squash casserole and somehow bought all the ingredients EXCEPT THE SQUASH. I wasn't about to go back to the store, so this is what I made instead:

Peanut Butter Snickers Pie - Or "how to use up your leftover Halloween candy," lol. I was actually looking for a recipe that would replicate this amazing peanut butter pie served at a restaurant near me, and alas, this is not it, but it's still pretty good. It got thumbs up all around from my coworkers when I brought it into work. I definitely took the "stronger peanut butter flavor" option and added the extra 1/2 cup of peanut butter. I also used chunky peanut butter, which probably wasn't necessary, since the candy made it chunky enough, and Snickers already has peanuts in it.

Pasta with Prosciutto and Melon - Watching The Sopranos has me all craving cured meats, so I bought prosciutto on a whim and then needed to come up with ways to use it. I was kind of skeptical about a pasta sauce made out of cantaloupe, but it actually tasted really good! The cantaloupe cooks down into a kind of goo, so it's not like you're eating fruit salad with pasta in it or anything, and really the strongest flavor is the lemon, so the cantaloupe is more of just a vague sweetness.

French Pork with Apple Cream Sauce - I was originally looking for a base recipe I could fiddle with, because I wanted to use the goat cheese I bought for the squash casserole. (I was going to maybe combine it with this one or this one.) But then I decided not to use the goat cheese (it'll keep longer if I don't open the package), so I mostly followed the recipe as is. Except I didn't have any cider, hard or otherwise, so I used vegetable stock instead. Also, by that point, I'd looked at about a dozen recipes involving some combination of pork, apples, goat cheese, and heavy cream, and I think every single one of them used different herbs, so... I decided to add all of them? I didn't have any fresh thyme anyway, so I just browned the pork without it, and then added 1 teaspoon of dried thyme to the sauce, along with 1 teaspoon each of sage and rosemary and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Came out pretty delicious, so I stand by my "all of the above" strategy.
next_to_normal: Spike and Dawn looking thoughtful; text: are you pondering what i'm pondering? (Spike/Dawn pondering)
1. Is it problematic that my diet now consists almost exclusively of grilled cheese? I do occasionally eat other things (eggs, for example, which seems to be the only food left I have not at some point vomited back up), but I had TWO - count 'em - TWO grilled cheeses today. Not for lack of trying - I made an attempt at broth at lunchtime and chicken for dinner, but couldn't manage more than a few bites of either.

Something about that combination of buttered bread and cheese - which they tell you not to eat when you have an upset stomach! No dairy is one of the main things they tell you! But this is not your normal nausea, apparently - manages to satisfy my stomach's desire for solid food, because the nausea kicks into overdrive on an empty stomach, while also not being substantive enough to cause too much abdominal pain as I digest, while ALSO apparently being bland enough not to upset the delicate balance in there but not SO bland that the mere thought of choking it down makes me want to hurl (like the chicken, pasta, rice, crackers, toast, and every other goddamned starch on the planet). 

2. Why don't they just sell ginger ale already flat? I'm sure there are a few people out there who actually like drinking it (my mother is one of them), but it's also sort of universally accepted as "the thing you drink when you have an upset stomach" but for that it's supposed to be FLAT, so why not just sell a non-carbonated version? It'd probably be a big seller! Because it is a pain in the ass to have to sit there and stir out the damn bubbles. When I want my ginger ale, I want it NOW. I've actually taken to pouring out glasses and just letting it sit, so that by the time I'm ready to drink one, it's already flat. 

3. Is sympathy puking a thing in cats? Chelsea chokes up the occasional hairball just like anyone else, but she's vomited twice during the last couple weeks I've been sick. I know that seeing (or worse, SMELLING) someone throwing up can cause an upchuck reflex in people, but CATS?

(Actually, I think I know the answer to this one. I think it's just that she eats too fast. Because occasionally I'd forget to feed her so she'd be really hungry? And by "forget" I mean "lay down to take a nap, totally meaning to get up again before I go to bed, but I was on that crazy knock-out medicine so six hours later the nap turns into just going to bed" and I'd feed her the next morning.)
next_to_normal: Peggy Carter in profile, wearing a red hat (Peggy red hat)
Agent Carter premieres tonight (right now, in fact, if you're on the east coast), so there are plenty of articles and interviews about it. Early reviews seem to be largely positive, and I've enjoyed what I've seen so far. Hayley Atwell is outstanding and should be in all the things. If only Agents of SHIELD had been this good right out of the gate...

ETA: Here's the trailer for Ant-Man that aired at the end of the episode. Meh.

I don't have any other links, but rather than hold those until I have enough for a full post, I figured I'd better post them now if I want any semblance of timeliness. So instead I'll fill the post with links to recipes I've tried recently.

My Christmas cookie baking this year wasn't terribly adventurous. I jazzed up a standard chocolate chip cookie with some Reese's chips, but otherwise, my only new recipe was for Pecan, Sea Salt & Caramel-Filled DelightFulls Brownies. I'm a big fan of the salted caramel trend, so this was right up my alley. Two suggestions: first, my mother thought the brownies were a bit dry and recommended her secret ingredient (adding chocolate syrup in the batter) to make them more gooey. And second, I wouldn't bother with sprinkling the DelightFulls on top - they didn't bake into or melt enough and mostly fell off when I cut up the brownies. Just mix 'em all in the batter at once.

On Sunday, I tried a recipe recommended by [personal profile] per_aspera_ad_astra - Slow Cooker Sugar and Roasted Garlic Pot Roast Sandwiches. I am kind of nervous about leaving the crock pot on while I'm not home (Chelsea has zero sense of self-preservation, she will walk across the stove, lick hot pans, and once got too close to a candle and singed her fur, so I would not be surprised if she managed to knock the lid off the crock pot and curl up right in the damn thing). It's a shame because I love the concept of a meal that does all the work itself and you just come home and eat it. And this one was really good! At least I'll have leftovers.

And then tonight I made Risotto with Shrimp and Peas, which I was less impressed with. It wasn't bad, just kind of bland. I probably should have realized this, but if you're not going to add any real spices or flavors to your risotto, you really need better ingredients than boring shrimp and peas. I could see this being improved with scallops and asparagus, maybe, or a bit of white wine in place of some of the broth.

Food post!

Nov. 23rd, 2014 07:23 pm
next_to_normal: (choose your weapon)
I have been remiss in telling you about my culinary adventures! (In fairness, "culinary adventures" miiiiight be overstating it a bit.) Still, this is what I've been baking lately.

Breakfast Apple Pie: Egads, this was a really long time ago, because I made it for a Sunday brunch back in the SUMMER. Oh well. It was still good, so I'm going to tell you about it. It's the oatmeal that makes it breakfasty.

Outrageous Peanut Butter Brownies: I actually made these a while ago, and almost didn't bring them in to work because they were soooo good. But in the interest of not weighing a thousand pounds, I decided to share and all my coworkers loved me for a day. Then the next day, they were like, "What'd you bring us?" because they are greedy, ungrateful wretches.

We are having a potluck Thanksgiving lunch in work tomorrow, so this is what I made to bring:

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits: We all know the only reason to go to Red Lobster is the biscuits, so now you don't have to leave your house! Not hard to make at all, and tastes even better than the restaurant ones.

Buttermilk Cornbread: The jury is still out on this one. I don't know if it's my oven or what, but these needed to bake quite a bit longer than 15 minutes. Which I did not realize until they had cooled and I cut into them and they were still kinda gooey. (I don't understand, I did the toothpick test and it came out clean...) So I put them back in the oven. We'll see how this goes. Also, I made the "jalapeno" variation, and whoooooo that is spicy. Kinda glad I also made the biscuits, since these may not be to everyone's taste.
next_to_normal: (Captain America)
* Jonathan Banks is officially in the Better Call Saul spin-off, which, IMO, makes it 10x better already.

* And here's an interview with Aaron Paul and his young Hellion co-star, who happens to be a Breaking Bad fan.

* Another image of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.

* Tom Hiddleston jumps rope, does push-ups, and breathes heavily. You're welcome. Also, Tom wearing the Captain America suit in a Thor: The Dark World behind the scenes feature. He even does Chris Evans' VOICE, hilarious.

* The new Maleficent trailer is creepy and awesome as fuck.

* And, since we haven't had a cooking post in a while: Garlic-Lemon Mahi-Mahi. Super simple, probably doesn't really need a recipe, but I made it and it was yummy so I'm gonna brag about it.

Linkspam

Nov. 12th, 2013 11:20 pm
next_to_normal: (Avengers crack team)
* Laura Prepon's role in Orange is the New Black season 2 has been expanded from one episode to four.

* I am not sure how I feel about a Princess Bride musical. I mean, it combines two of my favorite things, but I remain wary.

* I mentioned it in the comments of my last linkspam, but in case you missed it, here is the trailer for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode.

* Elizabeth Olsen talks about Avengers: Age of Ultron.

* Not surprisingly, The Originals was picked up for a full season. I didn't make it more than two episodes, but it doesn't take much to be a hit on the CW.

* Speaking of successful shows I'm not watching, Downton Abbey was renewed for season 5. I'll probably watch season 4 when it airs on PBS out of perverse curiosity. I don't care enough anymore to be bothered with avoiding spoilers, so I kinda already know what happens and I look forward to the inevitable facepalming.

* Dan Stevens will be playing Lancelot in Night at the Museum 3. Bet he's glad he left Downton for that movie career. In other news, they are making a Night at the Museum 3??

* It is Catching Fire time, which means it is time for Jennifer Lawrence Says the Darnedest Things. The crickets OMG dying.

* It is also Tom Hiddleston season. I watched that whole interview, and it was... strange. But his Natalie Portman impression is spot on and deserves to become an internet meme.

* The Dissolve looks at what Marvel's shared universe means for movies, and pretty much nails why I am such a fan of the Marvel movies in general. I tend to prefer TV over movies because of the greater emphasis on character development and opportunity for long-term arcs, but what Marvel is doing is actually a way for the franchise to sort of duplicate that on the big screen in a way that other franchises don't bother to do. By keeping all its movies centered on the characters, by letting them weave in and out of each other's stories and carry arcs through, Marvel has embraced the long-form storytelling of its comic book source material (which is otherwise impossible to do in a two-hour film) and managed to tell stories with the depth and richness that you typically see in TV series.

Weird, then, that Agents of SHIELD is its weakest link, although the last two episodes (including tonight's) have been much improved. These are the kinds of stories the show should've been telling right out of the gate, so we'd care about the characters sooner.

* I made these cookies for a potluck this weekend. Make these cookies. They are delicious and will win you lots of admirers.
next_to_normal: (Captain America)
* Batman and Captain America saved a cat from a burning building. NO REALLY. YOU GUYS I CANNOT STOP GIGGLING AT HOW ADORABLE THIS IS.

I hope the inevitable Marvel/DC crossover movie involves saving kittens.

Okay, fine. Here are more links to make this an actual "spam."

* 12 Breaking Bad storylines that never made it into the series. I hope Badger is in the Saul spinoff, because I really want to see him shoot a flaming arrow at ANYTHING. Expert!Archer!Badger FTW.

* Vince Gilligan and the cast of Breaking Bad drop hints about what's coming for each character in the final four episodes of the series.

* If you haven't seen it yet, the Parks & Recreation season 5 gag reel is fairly epic. I could really do without all the Councilman Jamm, though. He is not nearly as funny as the show seems to think he is.

* Pinata cookies! These look absolutely awesome and I waaaaants them but they are way too involved for my lazy ass. Someone make them and send them to me, and I will shower you with... idk, whatever you want!

AND NOW IT IS BREAKING BAD TIME, BITCH. HOOOOOOOLD MEEEEEEE.
next_to_normal: (Walt/Jesse)
* Dean Norris talks about Hank Schrader and Breaking Bad.

* Kyle Chandler talks about a couple projects. I'm kind of intrigued about The Vatican, yo.

* What to expect in season 2 of Orange is the New Black.

* 28 Musical Theater Life Ruiners. Buzzfeed knows my jam. Only person missing: my girl Heidi Blickenstaff.

* London, WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH YOUR BUILDINGS. Melting cars is, like, sci-fi shit.

* Throwing this in because I haven't done a cooking post in a while, and these White Chip Chocolate Cookies made me the most popular kid in school when I brought them into work.
next_to_normal: Aaron Tveit in Graceland (Mike Warren)
I have been boring and not posting much, but it's summer and therefore not much is on TV and apparently that is all I talk about? *pause for existential crisis*

I've been using this time to whittle down my Netflix queue a little bit, but haven't watched anything really worth mentioning. On TV, I'm still watching my bb Aaron Tveit in Graceland, which is a fun and not terribly thought-provoking show. Oh, and Dexter, but I've only seen one ep, so I can't decide if it's still good or not.

Ooh, I did try cooking some things. Let's see, recipes...

Stir-Fried Rice with Asian Vegetables and Beef - This was good! I don't know why they recommend using frozen rice? I just made regular brown rice.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies - These were meh, but I might possibly have screwed them up, since the recipe called for egg substitute, which I didn't have. So I put in a real egg, but it was more than 2 tbsp. so then I added more flour and oats to counteract it. Oh well.

What is everyone else up to? What should I do to entertain myself? Talk to me!
next_to_normal: Haymitch giving a thumbs-up; text: Haymitch approves (Haymitch approves)
Despite working long hours lately, I've weirdly been doing a lot of cooking? IDK. Sometimes I get ~inspired.

Pesto Shrimp Mac and Cheese - Yum! I love anything with pesto, though, so I may be biased. In fact, I even tried making regular mac and cheese the other day and decided it really needed pesto, lol.

Chicken with Cashews - Not bad. A little bland, but good enough to satisfy the take-out craving.

Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce - This was super easy to make and tasted amazing the first time around, but rather less so as leftovers (too gloppy), so maybe cut down the recipe if you're not going to eat the whole thing in one sitting, haha. In other news, I now have half a can of canned pumpkin to use up. Any suggestions?

Grasshopper Parfaits - I was craving something creamy and minty, and this did the trick. Very simple. I didn't bother to dye the Cool Whip green. This is how low-maintenance I am right now.

(Also, in case anyone is wondering, my new workplace is having its big annual conference this week, and I pretty much got thrown into the deep end with the planning of it. hence the long hours and lack of non-linkspam posts. Once it's over, I will hopefully return to some semblance of normalcy re: my time on the internet.)
next_to_normal: (Andrew cooking)
Ginger Glazed Mahi-Mahi Swordfish - My supermarket didn't have any fresh mahi-mahi, and the guy at the seafood counter said swordfish was the closest thing he had. I don't really know how they compare, but the swordfish was very good? I definitely wanted more of the glaze, though, especially since I was eating it over rice and the entire point of rice is to get the sauce into my mouth, lol.

Chicken with Tarragon and Vermouth - Also yummy, but also needed more sauce. The chicken itself was actually a bit bland. I'd probably let it simmer in the pan a bit longer, to give it more of the tarragon and wine flavor. (I used chardonnay instead of vermouth, because the bottle was already open.) I'll have to tell my mother about this one. Wine and butter are basically her two favorite things.

Roasted Potatoes with Blue Cheese and Walnuts - I love the combination of blue cheese and walnuts. Forget the potatoes, I could just eat the topping with a spoon. Er... but the potatoes are good, too! My potatoes stuck to the baking dish a bit, though, so I should probably be more thorough with the cooking spray, haha.

next_to_normal: (Andrew cooking)
Some of you may recall that my first-ever Cooking with Eowyn post involved my friend Kelly (aka [personal profile] per_aspera_ad_astra) and a mug cake made in the microwave. It was... not a smashing success. HOWEVER. Not to be defeated, I have returned to my roots with three mug + microwave recipes.

Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Cup: This was not bad for a first effort. A little dry and more cake-like than cookie, really, but I think if you are going to be a microwave-baking aficionado, you just have to do some trial and error to get the timing right. These suckers go from too gooey to dry and crumbly in about five seconds. I might actually try this one again to see if I can get a better result. Also, of the three, it was the only one that seemed to be a good portion size for snacking.

Nutella Mug Cake: Whoa. I did not think I'd ever say this, but that is too much cake. If I make this again, I'd be sure to cut the recipe in half at least. I used a giant mug, which was completely filled when the cake was done. But it tasted good, although it mostly just tasted fudgy and not very Nutella-y. Also felt like it was lacking in texture - maybe needed some nuts?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake: Alas, I did not have any cream cheese to make the peanut butter mousse, but the cake by itself was pretty good. Nicely balanced, chocolatey and peanut buttery. And I used a regular-sized mug this time, but it still felt like too much cake. By the time I'd eaten 2/3 or so, I kind of didn't want any more cake? This is not a feeling I am familiar with!

next_to_normal: (choose your weapon)
I wasn't feeling much of the Christmas spirit this year, so I didn't get too creative with my cookie options. I snagged this recipe from [personal profile] aerintine for my book club's cookie exchange, and they're OM NOM NOM GOOD:

Jamie's Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c margarine or butter
3/4 c packed brown sugar
3/4 c white sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 c rolled oats
1 c peanut butter
2 c chocolate chips

Cream butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Add vanilla, eggs, flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well and then add oats, peanut butter, and chocolate chips. Drop 1 1/2" balls of dough on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Cool 2 minutes and then move to cooling rack.

Since I had the oats handy, I also made Frosted Oatmeal Cookies to take home to the family for Christmas. I decorated them with festive sprinkles since it was the holidays, and they came out really well, even though I ran out of powdered sugar and ended up with four unfrosted cookies. (Don't worry, I ate the evidence so no one would know!)

The Apple Butter Flax Seed Cookies, on the other hand, did NOT look pretty - in fact, before they were baked, they kind of looked like poo? :( Also, the batter was very wet, and so the cookies spread out a LOT and I sort of ended up with a few giant cookies that had a cake-like consistency. But don't be fooled - they taste like healthy. Not bad, though. But if you have a hankering for cookies, this probably would not satisfy. But at least baked they looked less like poo. :-\

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