Saturday, September 14, 2013

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

Did you hear about this? In addition to the annual appearance of Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Frankenberry, this year General Mills brought back Fruity Yummy-Mummy and Frute Brute! I don't remember either of them from their original run, but you bet your sweet ass I bought them as soon as they appeared at Kroger.

Frute Brute is "cherry" flavored; if you like artificial cherry, you will probably like it. Fruity Yummy Mummy is supposedly the only orange-cream flavored cereal. It's pretty good, too. You should give it a shot.

I still hate the marshmallows in all the Monster cereals and I considered whether I could pay somebody on Fiverr to remove them for me. But it's not too cumbersome--if you're eating this, it's not likely you have places to be, amirite?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Finding New Movies for the Fam

Asha had a good post up the other day, reminding us to flex our library cards this summer when looking for DVDs. I'm having some luck finding titles at the library that were mentioned on GKids.

GKids is the site of the New York International Children's Film Festival. They feature foreign movies made for children that didn't get a wide release in the US. They're big on Hayao Miyazaki/ Studio Ghibli movies, like Ponyo and Kiki's Delivery Service, of course. I think this might be where I first heard about A Town Called Panic, which is funny and quirky and beloved in this house, yet absolutely not something I would have known about without GKids.

Now, if Letitia were here to keep me honest, I would have to admit that the kids aren't always enthusiastic about the movies I pull up from that site. Chiefly they are resistant to any movie without a Happy Meal tie-in, or not titled Shrek 4: Yet More Booger Jokes. That's why we had to institute a 10-minute rule: you watch it for 10 minutes, and if you still hate it, you can opt out. [Why yes, I have found a way to make movie time a chore; did you doubt that I had it in me?]

Also, I am probably the last person to know about this, but I've recently started using Commonsense Media's site to figure out if a movie is appropriate for my kids. For example, I was sure E&B would love Moonrise Kingdom, because I loved it so much--and there was really only one (potentially) objectionable scene, in my memory. But looking over their review, I realized that they will probably enjoy it much more in a couple of years, so why not save it?

I resisted Commonsense Media for a while, because I thought it might be run by insane fundies, but it turns out that's not the case. The site has also been helpful in pointing me toward some iPad apps that I didn't know were out there.

Finally, yes, we're seeing movies at the megaplex, too. I'm not trying to be this guy. Last week Papi took one for the team and escorted E&B to see Epic. This was poor planning on my part--it means I'm on the hook for Smurfs 2.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kari's Skeleton Swimsuit

We are watching last week's Mythbusters. Kari is wearing an amazing swimsuit for some kind of sauna test (not to worry about exploitation, of course: Grant and Tory are naked). Anyway, Becca and I are in love with the suit. Somebody asked her about it on Twitter--it's from an Australian company called Black Milk.

They have lots of goth suits. I guess Becca's set for her teens.

N.B. to Sara--There's a Steampunk version, too:

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Catholic Cuisine

This was a very exciting discovery. I am not Catholic, but I have long admired their dedication to celebrating the saints of the church through pastry and fried foods. Of course I had heard of King Cake for Epiphany, but how about:

Pentecost Pie

Probably less tasty, but visually way impressive, FLAMING Pentecost cupcakes

Or these Pentecost brunch ideas. All red food!

And the Cocoa Krispie Treat grotto for Our Lady of Guadalupe? Oh yeah.

FWIW, the Feast of St. Nacho is on July 12.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Secret Menu Items

There was a great thread on Reddit last week: "Fast food employees: what is the best thing on your restaurant's menu that no one ever orders?" 

Now I ask you, is that most-Reddit question ever? Anyway, it pointed me to my new favorite thing: Pineapple Dr. Pepper from Sonic. There is REAL pineapple in it! I mean, it's life-changing. [The Pineapple Diet Dr. Pepper, fortunately, is also good.]

Sonic wants you to use this as your wallpaper.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vinegar Valentines

I don't know if this is the same one.

Over at Collector's Weekly there is a post today about Vinegar Valentines. I never heard of them before today, but I think that must be what my Grandmother received one year as a kid. She told me that her maternal grandmother gave her a Valentine that said something about being an Old Maid. It broke her little heart so much that she remembered it decades later. Can you even imagine doing such a thing to a little girl? And listen, my Grandmother was no pansy, either.

Just in case you ever thought that the Internet invented rudeness.

HT: Sarah Pavis @ Kottke

Saturday, February 9, 2013

What mamacita is...


Did you see Rachel Dratch on Billy on the Street? Hilarious.


The Real Husbands of Hollywood

It's a sendup of Real Housewives shows. Robin Thicke: gorgeous AND funny. And JB Smoove is always a plus.

Listening to

Thrift Shop

Water skiing + fur coats = best video EVER

Spin magazine had the dumbest review ever of the song. I don't know about you, but any time a music writer uses the word sustainability, I start looking for the exits.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Houston Mini Maker Faire

We went to the Houston Mini Maker Faire last month. The kids had fun. Papi and I were SO excited about it. We planned everything in advance--maps and tickets loaded on our phones; clothes and backpacks laid out the night before. I was expecting there to be a massive crowd, because it was going to be full of fun and educational stuff, but it was definitely not overwhelming. Their loss!

Personally, I was mostly interested in the food trucks: Monster PBJ, Coreanos, Waffle Bus, Bernie's Burger Bus.

Monster PBJ has, hands down, the best graphics. Becca requested a Classic PB + strawberry jam on white with sliced strawberries and Nutella, cut into FOURTHS thankyouverymuch. She would not so much as let me look at it until she got bored with eating it. I can confirm that the crust was tasty.

I was really looking forward to trying Coreanos, but I was a little disappointed in what I got. It turned out to be one of those humongous burritos that can't even fit in your mouth, and it wasn't anything special.

Waffle Bus made great waffles. I got a single bite of Emmet's. Bernie's Burger Bus I've had before, and it's really good. Great buns.

So anyway, the Maker Faire/ Aspie Convention:

I was mentally keeping track of entries in the Nerdiest T-shirt Contest.

This guy was an early favorite.

But I finally had to go with this one.

There was a booth featuring souped-up Nerf guns and a firing range.

 Which gun do you want to try, Rebecca?

The biggest one, of course.

This one is a little more manageable.

Emmet liked the robotics. These kids were in a competition to build a robot that could shoot a basketball.

The Sashimi Tabernacle Choir art car made an appearance. "What can be more annoying than an animated singing fish? Try 250 of them bolted to a Volvo and singing opera." All the kids LOVED this.

I'm so glad we went, even though I wasn't really in my element. If your little nerdlets need to find their people, get them to a Maker Faire near you.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

What are we making for the Super Bowl? Part II

photo via

I emailed my pal Emily for some advice about San Francisco food. Here's what she said:
How fun is this! Let's crab dip with sourdough? Anything Chinese, pot stickers?  Shrimp cocktail, artichokes, oysters. We are also the home of green goddess dressing, red vines, Irish coffee and the mai tai. Rice a Roni :) And garlic fries!
I also found recipes for cream of artichoke soup and cream of Anaheim pepper soup, which are sometimes combined at this restaurant outside SF. I think I can get on board with that.

So we will have:

Cheetos with Old Bay (B)
Cream of Artichoke / Anaheim pepper soup (SF)
Ricearoni (for Emmet) (SF)
Crab cakes (B)
Garlic fries (SF)
Berger cookies (B)

I think I can scare up an Anchor Steam beer, but Natty Boh might be a little more difficult.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What are we making for the Super Bowl? Part I

So, we have San Francisco vs. Baltimore in the Super Bowl. I asked my friend Meg of Pigtown*Design for advice about what they eat in Charm City.


I was disappointed to discover just how much love your fair city has for mayonnaise. It's in everything! I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to this subject of Super Bowl food. The Pit Beef recipe looked intriguing (until I saw the Tiger Sauce recipe with m-a-y-o). The crab pretzels also looked good up until the m---- part. One time I made Berger cookies, but I was a little disappointed with how they turned out. Maybe it was a bad recipe?


 First, looking at your Pinterest board, no one knows anything about Smearcase. To me, it sounds like some ghastly OB/GYN sort of problem.

Second, what's the matter with mayo?! Food of the gods - especially Duke's or Hellmans.
photo via Roopa's twitter feed
Third. Here's the secret recipe: CHEETOS + OLD BAY! Yep, that's it. I've given you the secret of the known universe and now you can entertain with abandon. Everyone here puts Old Bay on everything, and many years ago, we discovered the secret of happiness: Old Bay on Cheetos.

You'd probably hate hot crab dip, given that it's about 1/3 mayonaise, but it is at I've ever been to.
The Cheetos + Old Bay actually sounds good. And I forgot all about Southsides, which I heard about from you and loved. Thanks, Hon!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Latest Kitchen Hijinks

On Monday I wanted to make Hawaiian food in honor of the President's inauguration. After rejecting spam masubi and macaroni salad (hurl), I decided that I had everything on hand to make chicken katsu.

It's essentially a breaded, pan-fried chicken cutlet. Nothing too extraordinary, although I had never used panko before. Every recipe for the sauce said to mix ketchup with soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce, but those instructions were a bit of a let-down. Also, I couldn't see just pouring ketchup all over the chicken like gravy, and that's what the pictures were showing. So I finally decided to try and make Japanese tonakatsu sauce, which involves applesauce, grated carrots, grated onions, tomato paste, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. And which ultimately tasted like grainy ketchup. Ugh.

chicken katsu

More successful was dessert, which I didn't get a picture of. This is chocolate haupia pie. Haupia is a flan-like coconut dessert popular in Hawaii; some GENIUS had the idea to layer it on top of a regular chocolate pie. It was pretty good.

It's worth noting that my friend Cayce, who lived in Hawaii during middle school, suggested Huli Huli Chicken. She says that they sold it there for school fundraisers, the way we would sell barbecue here. Huli Huli Chicken looks way better than what I made. I didn't have the ingredients on hand Monday for the inauguration, but maybe on Sunday for the Pro Bowl...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's colder than a welder's ass here

I made this stew and now I'm telling everybody about it. You HAVE to make it. This is Ruth Reichl's Pork-Tomatillo-and-Dark-Beer stew. Now, let's all feel a little sorry for Ruth, because she has some labor-intensive stovetop method of making it. She doesn't realize that you can just put all the ingredients in a slow cooker and call it a day in the kitchen. Here's the lowdown (seriously make it SOON).

Pork, Tomatillo and Dark Beer Stew 

1 pound of tomatillos, husked and cut into quarters
1 bottle of dark beer
12 ounces of fresh orange juice
28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
2 pounds of pork shoulder, cut into hefty cubes
salt and pepper for the pork
10 cloves of whole peeled garlic (I used less—maybe 5 cloves)
2 large onions, chopped
2 whole jalapenos (take them out before serving)
1.5 cups cooked (or canned) black beans

Put all of this into the slow cooker and cook it until it’s done. Serve over rice, and if you like, cilantro, a squeeze of lime and a dollop of sour cream.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Let's start with this

I was on the Weather Underground site this morning (flash floods in Houston) and it turns out they have t-shirts for sale. Is this not the cutest thing ever?