Tag Archives: Harry is sexy

Who Should Hook Up?

Here at C&R, we’re all about love and happiness.  With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’re hoping to spread some love by pairing up some previously unattached couples.  Vote for your favorite new couple below … and maybe we’ll spark a love connection! *Contestants (except for Mr. Sombrero) are encouraged (but are under no obligation) to bang.

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It’s Taste Test Time!

There are certain brands that I always buy or order because I think that they are superior. But am I just being blindly loyal or do I really think they are the best? The only way to know is to compare them with their competitors in a blind taste test. So join Harry and me as we separate the best from the rest.

First up were pretzels. Which aren’t as good as chips. But they’re healthier – so there’s that, I guess.

Here is what we thought.

Snyders
Michelle – Okay. Tastes like your standard pretzel.
Harry – Salty, good taste. Thin and crispy.

Glutino (gluten free. Remember when I was doing that? Yeah, that didn’t last long).
Michelle – Not bad for a fake pretzel. Will do in a pinch. Obviously Glutino.
Harry – EW! That should not be called a pretzel. Has a chlorine taste. EW!

Rold Gold
Michelle – Salty, very crunchy. Crispier and saltier than the others.
Harry – Tastes darker, more caramelized, maybe cooked longer. Okay.

Safeway Brand
Michelle – Good salt taste, good. Tastes a little burnt.
Harry – Thicker, more doughy. Like a soft pretzel. Salty.

So the winners were:

Michelle – Rold Gold

Harry – Safeway brand

And the loser was:
The little pretzel that couldn’t – Glutino.


Next up was peanut butter. The inspiration for the taste tests in the first place. I always get JIF because choosy moms choose JIF (so what if I’m not a mom). But am I just a slave to advertisers or do I actually like JIF? Hmm…

*I wanted to include Peter Pan, but like Schweddy Balls ice cream, I couldn’t find it anywhere.

Skippy
Michelle – The sweetest. Has a nice peanut finish. Reminds me of peanut butter cookies.
Harry – Mellow. Not a lot of taste.

Organic brand
Michelle – Sticky, not too sweet. Peanutty.
Harry – Has a nice peanut taste. A little over-roasted. Has a slight bitterness. Sticky. Reminds me of peanut shells.

JIF
Michelle – Starts sweet. Peanutty and creamy. Very thick and salty.
Harry – Mellow. Not a lot of taste. (Harry couldn’t tell the difference between JIF and Skippy).

Laura Scudders
Michelle – Super sticky. Has the most peanut taste. Kind of bland. All I can taste is the peanut oil. Has a bitter aftertaste. Needs something (salt and sugar).
Harry – Stronger peanut taste. More bitterness going on.

And the winners were:

Michelle – JIF! Yay! I’ve been buying the right peanut butter all along.

Harry – Organic brand

The loser was:
Laura Scudders. Also, it was very gloopy. It was one of those peanut butters that you had to mix, but stirring didn’t make it any less oily. Gross.


Last up was pasta. Penne pasta in particular.

*Usually we eat whole wheat pasta, but I was too lazy to drive all over looking for four brands.

Eh. We tried, but they all tasted exactly the same. A couple of them were thicker and more ridgey (that’s what she said).


So if you’re in the area, stop by for some bland pasta, peanut butter and pretzels. And make sure to join us in the test kitchen next time as we taste the letter C(h)!

The (not) Friday Five!

1. Harry. Harry made Thanksgiving dinner this year and did a fantastic job. On the menu: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans, Brussels sprouts* and acorn squash.  And not only did he do the shopping and cook, but he cleaned up as well!

2. Marcel the Shell with shoes on 2. The cute little shell is back to share his adventures and musings on life.

3. New foods. This week I tried two foods that I had never had before. Pretty impressive for the unadventurous eater. I’d heard horror stories about Brussels sprouts all my life, so I was a little worried. But I had nothing to fear, they were pretty good!  The Nutella was  for a snack I made with my 4 year old nephew (Acorns. We also made fall wreaths with leaves we picked up around the neighborhood). The Nutella was yummy. I’m not a fan of hazelnut, but the flavor wasn’t overpowering.


Cute and tasty.

Unfortunately, one of these foods gave me an all-over body rash. My money is on the Nutella. But it’s possible it was my new coconut lime breeze shower gel from Bath & Body Works.

4. Zombies. Harry got The Walking Dead compendium, so after he finished I stayed up a couple nights reading it. I won’t spoil anything but there are some major differences between it and the tv series. It will be interesting to see how the tv storyline unfolds.

5. Cooper. Just because he’s so damn cute. Here he is in his food dish. Stay tuned for Cooper’s blog – coming soon!

Runners up: mashed potatoes, naps, not going out on Black Friday and this:

the CONAN show

Last Tuesday Harry and I went with our friends D. and S. to see Conan. Check in was in the ground level of a parking garage at 1:30. Notice my nails – I painted them orange for the occasion.

After we got our tickets we had time to kill until they took us to the studio at 3:00. The garage was freaking cold, so we left to find something to eat. We found a place called Henry’s Hat not too far away. The Conan staff took my camera, so here is recreation of my lunch: a Mai Tai in a tiki glass and breakfast potatoes.

Back at the garage we were led in groups (I have never seen so many f*cking hipsters in one place) to the studio. We walked across the street and then wound our way through the various sound stages to the Conan holding pens. I thought it was funny to muse out loud if random people we passed were famous. After the 30th time it was still hilarious. To me. Or maybe it was the Mai Tai talking. Anyway, imagine my excitement when I spotted Johnny Galecki (of The Big Bang Theory and one of my favorite shows, Roseanne)! He was on his cell phone and wearing a blue shirt! “It’s David Galecki!” I said excitedly (I was thinking of his character on Roseanne).

Brad, the guy in charge of our group confirmed that it was, indeed Johnny Galecki. Not one minute later an Asian guy passed by. “Hey, that guy’s famous!” I said. I didn’t know his name, but he looked like the guy from Entourage. Brad said he was on Community and Ugly Betty. So I said I’d Google him when I got home.

I don’t know what the hell Brad was talking about. It was totally Rex Lee from Entourage and Suburgatory (A show I watch!). Besides, Suburgatory films there, we passed right by their trailers and wardrobe racks. Whatever, Brad. We also passed by Chuck Lorre’s parking space and the Harry’s Law soundstage. How awesome would it have been to see Kathy Bates?! After a brief wait in the holding pens, we finally made it into the studio.

We were in the 7th row. Yay! Out of 9 rows. Boo!

The set looked so much smaller in real life. Some dude came out to warm up the audience and tell us to clap when the “applause” sign lit up. Then the band came out. They were awesome! First, La Bamba sang a song.

Then Mark Pender (the bald guy) sang a song. It kind of sounded like “Jump, Jive and Wail”, but it wasn’t. Anyway, they were fantastic.

Then the most boring Conan show ever taped started. Conan came out and did his monologue. He did his little jump, but no string dance. It was their one year anniversary, but you wouldn’t have known it from the show. They did nothing special to mark the occasion – no skit, no confetti, nothing. Maybe they were tired from the New York trip. He did do a funny sign bit with a guy in one of the front rows (to sit in the front rows you had to get there at 9:30).

Andy did a bit about fall foliage. Um, I adore Andy, but it wasn’t that funny. I’m going to blame the writers.

There was also a peanut players skit about Herman Cain. It was kinda meh. I think the Depardieu one from August was hilarious. Here’s that one.

The first guest was Julie Bowen. I love Modern Family, but she bugs me. Oh – we just watched Horrible Bosses last night – it was cute and funny and I would recommend it. She was in that. Oh well, at least she had some energy.

Her son made a turkey. It was the most interesting guest on the show.

Next up was a snowboarder. God, he was dull.

My mind wandered off halfway through the interview.

Then a comedienne (?) came out. She had a baby voice and made weird faces. She spoke too softly so we couldn’t make out a lot of what she was saying. That night when we watched the show on tv we were able to confirm that she was lame and not funny.

Then it was over, but before Conan left the stage he sang a sweet little goodbye song to the audience.

Outside it was dark and we made our way back to the garage. We passed my new friend Brad who called out to me to remember to Google that guy. Which I did. Brad, you need to watch more tv. On the way home we stopped at the Downey Brewery where I had a Lambic Frambois and some onion rings. God, I ate nothing healthy that day.

Harry had a sausage party.

Back on the road we went in the wrong direction for about half an hour, because we’re awesome like that. Despite the lackluster show, we had a great time and hope to see Conan again in the future.

The next day I had some homemade yellow split pea soup and a big salad to make up for the delicious crap I ate the day before.

It’s Taste Test Time!

There are certain brands that I always buy or order because I think that they are superior. But am I just being blindly loyal or do I really think they are the best? The only way to know is to compare them with their competitors in a blind taste test. So Harry and I decided to do just that.

We started with citrus sodas.

We tested them blindfolded to get the full soda experience.


Here is what we thought:


7up:

Michelle– it was okay – it was more limey/citrusy than the others
Harry – very sweet with a lemon/limey taste

SunDrop:
Michelle– did not like at all – it had a chemical, artificial taste
Harry – had more of an upfront sugary taste

Mello Yello:
Michelle – supersweet and articial
Harry – too sugary – not happy with that one

Sierra Mist:

Michelle – has a weird aftertaste – not very citrusy
Harry – good – lemon-limey

Sprite:
Michelle – okay, I guess
Harry – sugary – not very good

So the winner was:

Michelle – Sprite

Harry – Sierra Mist

And the loser was:
Mello Yello. We both hated it.

Next up was soup – chicken noodle.

Except for the Organic brand, they all kinda looked the same.
Some definitely had bigger chunks of chicken and carrots.

Here is what we thought:

Wolfgang Puck:
Michelle – had a weird herby taste? Maybe fennel. I hate fennel.
Harry – some saltiness, decent flavors, good

Progresso:

Michelle – had a canned taste and a sweetness – like caramelized onions
Harry – had a bright taste

Healthy Choice:

Michelle – watery, no flavor, tasteless, needs LOTS of salt
Harry – a sharp, burnt taste, tastes like catfood, canned tuna, weird, blech

Campbell’s:

Michelle – had a weird taste – like dirt. It’s the worst!!
Harry – had a sharp, herb taste, pungent. It’s better than catfood.

Organic:
Michelle – alright. The chicken was dry
Harry – the chicken was big, not as salty. The flavors come through.

And the winner was:

Soup in a box! We both chose the Organic brand

*Of course, the best chicken soup is my own not in the running homemade
(even when I forget to add in the celery).


The loser was:

Michelle – Campbell’s. The next day we got this coupon in the mail.
Maybe I should ask for a a refund…

Harry – Healthy Choice.

Which cracked me up because he bought a case of it at Costco.

We didn’t want to confuse out palates, so we saved salsa for last.
As you can see, Chachies is the brand we usually buy.

So how did our favorite measure up?

Rojo’s:
Michelle – good heat, too vinegary. I would not buy this.
Harry – was the spiciest heatwise – had strange tastes

Margaritaville:
Michelle – had a strong cilantro flavor. Not much heat. Was mushy in texture (except for some crunchy onion bits)
Harry – not too much tomato taste. Had more of a vinegar pickle relish taste

Chachies:
Michelle – tomatoey, nice heat. I like it.
Harry – Lots of tomato flavor. Not as hot as some of the others.

Santa Barbara:

Michelle – Had an oregano or thyme? flavor
Harry – Had some heat, a vinegar taste, muddled flavors

Sabra:
Michelle – nice, had an herby taste, not much heat, tastes like something you’d get at a restaurant
Harry – okay. More herby than the others.


So which salsa came out ahead?

Just like Joanie, we love Chachies!

And we both rated Rojo’s last. Ay caramba.

So, do you have a favorite soda, soup or salsa? And are you sure?
Maybe you should have a taste test of your own…

Make sure to join us next time in the M. test kitchen as we taste the letter P!

The Unadventurous Eater: Adam’s Beanie Burgers


No pork. No seafood. No cheese. No tofu, mayonnaise, yogurt, eggs, horseradish, mustard, mushrooms, etc., etc. I’m a little picky when it comes to food. Harry and I have determined that if I ever had a cooking show it would be called “The Unadventurous Eater.” I’m always on the lookout for new recipes with ingredients that don’t gross me out. So when Adam told me about his Black Beanie Burgers – Mr. Sombrero Approved! I couldn’t wait to try out the recipe. Here it is:

2 15oz cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
2 tsp. Creole seasoning
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup flour
1 cup frozen corn
optional: Add some hot pepper seeds or cayenne pepper to give them some extra flavor.

Makes about 10-12 burgers (depending on how big u make your patties).

Mix and smoosh (works best if you use your hands) all ingredients. Form into patties and freeze for a few hours or until they’re fully frozen. If you’re in a big rush, don’t bother freezing them and just throw them on the grill — but they stay together better if you freeze em first.

Cook frozen patty on a George Forman-style grill or frying pan with a little bit of olive oil spray until they brown a bit (maybe 10 minutes? I’ve never really timed it). I liked to squish them a little in the GF grill about 1/2 way through.

Suggested topping: grilled cubanelle or bell peppers, grilled mushrooms, lettuce and a smear of roasted red pepper hummus. Serve on a toasted English muffin instead of a hamburger roll. Mmmm.

When I cook, I like to put on some music. I thought Adam Ant would be appropriate, but I don’t have any on my player, so I put on some Andy Gibb. Adam, Andy, whatever.

Next I had Harry pour me some wine. When I cook, I also like to drink. Harry is having a beer, because as he says, “If you’re not drinking with me, you’re drinking against me.” When Harry is hungry his eyes turn red. And stop looking at our brown lawn. That’s going to be replaced this summer after we tear out the patio.


Here I am enjoying my beloved Beringer’s in a plastic champagne glass. Klassy! I do have fancy wine glasses, but I have to hand wash them and that is just too much for me to deal with. Cheers!


Here are the ingredients. I bought the Creole seasoning especially for this recipe. Speaking of Creole, I just finished watching season 1 and 2 of True Blood. My favorite character is Lafayette! Isn’t he the best? LOVE him!


Exactly! HBO is free for us this weekend, so I get to watch Season 3. By the time you read this I will have had a True Blood pajama marathon! It’s good to be me.


How big is a small onion anyway? The store pretty much has one size. So I just cut it in two and used half.


Doesn’t this look delicious? The smooshing was fun.


Balls! Tee hee. After I flattened them, I froze them for about 2 hours.


If you don’t have a George Foreman grill, I highly recommend one.


Here is Harry assembling his burger. He put everything Adam suggested on his. I skipped the mushrooms, peppers and hummus (I don’t like tahini). Luckily for Harry and for Adam, the hummus was not too garlicky and Harry didn’t have to sleep on the couch. Yay!


Here is the beauty shot. I also made sweet potato fries and steamed some broccoli. So what did we think of Adam’s Beanie Burgers – Mr Sombrero approved!?

*Yes we eat on tv trays. Once again, keeping it Klassy.


They were terrific! I think next time I make them, I’ll put in a little more cayenne pepper. We like it spicy. I might also see what happens if I put in a little less flour. But in all, Adam’s Beanie Burgers – Mr. Sombrero approved! were delicious. They taste great, are easy to make (not much prep work is needed), are super healthy and are very versatile. The next day Harry put one on a tortilla and I had my burger with barbecue sauce, chips and a pickle. I’m going to try one tomorrow with salsa.

*That’s berry flavored iced tea (yuck). I totally had more chips than are in the photo. I didn’t want to look like a pig.


On my peas in a pod scale, I give Adam’s recipe 5 peas in a pod! Thanks Adam!

If you have a recipe for me to try (that doesn’t include any yucky ingredients) send it to me and I’ll make it and rate it next time on “The Unadventurous Eater”!