Archive for April, 2013

Cheddar and Blue Cheese Chips: VIP Treatment at the Austin Food and Wine Festival

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What a freakin’ weekend I had, y’all. (Copyright R. Kelly, 2003) I’m still reeling from three days of binge eating, day drinking, and hobnobbing with some of the nation’s foodie elites at the Austin Food & Wine Festival. By “hobnobbing,” of course, I mean awkwardly standing behind them pretending to text but really eavesdropping on their conversations with other important people.

As far as festivals in Austin go, this is really the only one that has anything to offer me. I don’t really listen to music that isn’t Billy Joel or Beyoncé, so Austin City Limits and South by Southwest always feel like a homework assignment to not embarrass myself in front of the cool kids. Smoking weed takes me on an introspective journey through all of the people I have disappointed in my lifetime, so Reggae Fest and Eeyore’s Birthday are also out of the question. (Don’t I sound like a super fun person? Call me if you want to hang out!)

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Whiskey-Glazed Salmon with Mango Habanero Chutney: Brush Your Food (and Your Teeth) with a Bottle of Jack

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Pop stars are people too, you guys, and they want us all to know it. It is for this reason that the popumentary was invented. You see, to prove just how down-to-earth these celebs are, they allow cameras into their lives to document them doing totally normal people things (prepping for world tours, crying about leaked nude pics, etc.) We’ve seen it a thousand times, and in recent years the phenomenon has exploded. You have Katy Perry’s “Part of Me,” Beyonce’s “Life is But a Dream,” and of course, the creme de la creme- Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never,” referred to by everyone who is me as The Godfather of modern day popumentaries.

At their finest, the popumentary effectively humanizes the humans we idolize, painting an endearing portrait of a person we previously assumed was a narcissistic psychopath. At their worst, they are an early sign of a very serious mental breakdown.

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[THROWBACK THURSDAY] Red Velvet Black and White Cookies in Salute of Seinfeld

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Welcome to the first installment of a new (every other?) weekly feature on this blog, the Throwback Thursday. No, this is not a forum for you to post a pic of you and all your old besties at the middle school dance so you can make fun of Tina’s scoliosis brace. Leave that for the ‘gram.

My version of #tbt involves me breaking into the vault of old movies, TV shows, and various other pop cultural phenomena in order to reintroduce them to myself, and to you, my screaming audience of devoted readers. (You really shouldn’t scream at the computer tho that’s weird.)

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Cuban Sandwiches with Prosciutto and Sweet Pepper Relish: Don’t Mess with the Bey.

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America, our royalty is under attack from within. Earlier this month, their highness Beyoncé & Jay Z decided to celebrate the 5th year anniversary of God proving his eternal love for us through their union by going on nice, relaxing vacation. No big deal, right?

Wrong. That trip happened to be to Havana, Cuba, which apparently is like illegal or something.  For those of you who haven’t kept up with the news for the past 53 years, the United States has this embargo against Cuba, meaning our citizens are forbidden from travelling there due to our disagreements with their oppressive Communist government.

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Spicy Veggie Breakfast Hash with Poached Eggs: The Apocalypse Brunch of It’s a Disaster

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I feel like we’re in kind of a lull period right now, entertainment-wise. Well, as much of a lull as there can be in the era of 3000 channels, On Demand, DVR, Netflix, Hulu, etc etc etc. God bless us, everyone- we are truly living in the Golden Age. Queen Elizabeth ain’t got shit on this.

Like I said though, we have a bit of down time at the moment. A lot of my favorite shows just wrapped up, it’s still post-Oscar crap movie season, and all of our most beloved celebs have taken a time out to dust off their dumpster attire and congregate in the desert to be photographed pretending to like cool music. (Three day music festivals are the setting of 97% of my nightmares.) (The other 3% are dinner parties at Donald Trump’s house; I have no real explanation for that.)

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Garlic and Herb Skillet Fondue: A Mad Men-induced Existential Crisis Cured by the Power of Cheese

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(Warning: This post contains spoilers from the premiere of “Mad Men,” so skip down to the food if you don’t want to read it.)

In Sunday night’s 19 1/2 hour season premiere of Mad Men, a lot of stuff happened. Well, kind of. It was long, and there were many scenes, but I’m not really sure what happened. I think the last season ended around the same time Bush was leaving office, and they didn’t give a “previously on” recap at the beginning of the episode, so I spent the first half hour doing a lot of “wait, who is that dude again?” and trying to readjust to the size of Megan’s teeth. Ugh– Megan. Don’t get me started.

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Mini Churros with 3 Dippers: a Nod to Theme Parks in Honor of Jurassic Park 3D

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I feel similarly about 3D movies as I do about TLC shows about freak people. It used to be fun and exciting (Avatar! Primordial dwarves!), but now it’s all played out and the field is just too convoluted. Harold and Kumar 3D? Extreme couponers? No, thank you.

I mean, don’t get me wrong- I’ll play along, for the most part. I recently donned the 3D glasses for over two hours through Oz the Great and the Powerful with no real complaints (other than James Franco’s furrowed brow, “this is my serious role” face.) (Also, I wore my real glasses to the theater, so then I had to stretch the 3D glasses OVER my real glasses and I was looking through two sets of frames the whole time, like WTF?)

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Tyler Florence-Approved Parmesan Gnocchi with Short Rib Ragu

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My first interaction with celebrity chef and Food Network star Tyler Florence was a phone conversation that went something like this:

Tyler: “Hey Shay, I’m calling to invite you out to San Francisco in March for a weekend of wine and food and fun and everything is free because I think your food is awesome so do you think you can make it?” (paraphrase)

Me: “Shut up. Shut up. Shut your mouth. Who is this? Okay. Yes. A thousand times yes. I mean I have to check my schedule but I’m a cashier at a taco truck so yes. Okay talk to you later Tyler can I call you Tyler k thx love you byeee” (exact quote)

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