Monday, March 31, 2014

Half Assed April Fools Day Pranks: 5 Pranks for the Kitchen

April Fools day is tomorrow, and I am happy to inform you that I have spent the last month conniving against my roommate and can now share with you the dastardly ways I'm planning to destroy my kitchen for the sake of April 1st.

1. Googly Eyes in the Fridge


Perhaps you've heard of this little thing called Pinterest where people post pictures of very fattening food, very skinny women, and googly eyes on their milk carton. If you haven't, you need to get with it (and follow me)! You also need to put googly eyes on everything in your fridge, because that's not unnerving at all.


2. Rubber Band on the Sink


My little brother actually ruined this one, but the idea is that you wrap a rubber band around the spray nozzle so that when your victim turns on the sink they get a face full of water.


3. Turn it Up


Every morning my roommate turns on the news/oldies station really quiet in the background. My plan is to switch the stereo to the Top 40 station, crank the volume and up the bass so he gets blasted when he turns it on.


4. Coffee Gone Rogue


My roommate drinks this microwaveable instant pseudo-coffee stuff. I'm swapping it out for real coffee, so he can stir and stir and stir and it will never dissolve. (I'm not completely evil, though, I'll put the old stuff in the cabinet so he can find it.)


5.Old News
I saved a week-old paper and plan to pull a switcheroo on the internal pages. The front page will be current, the inner pages will all be old news.


What's the best April Fool's Day prank you ever pulled? Tell me in the comments!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Easter M&Ms Review: Carrot Cake and Peanut Butter Eggs

So, apparently peanut butter M&Ms are a thing.


I did not know about this.

I also did not know that M&Ms now come in sizes. No, not just different sized bags, but different sizes. You can buy giant bags of M&Ms in minis, regulars, and jumbos. I was unaware there was a large demand for various M&M sizes, but evidently I was wrong.


At any rate, these have happened.


And you know what, they're not all that bad.


They mostly taste like candy-covered peanut butter, and they could use more chocolate, but I'm pretty sure if they added more chocolate these would just be chocolate covered peanut butter eggs, and that's already a thing. They aren't quite as sweet as Reese's pieces, which was disappointing, but I'm probably going to eat them all anyway, because, yaknow, they're peanut butter M&M eggs.

I also bought a bag of the Carrot Cake M&Ms but very much considered cancelling the taste test, expecting a repeat of the Candy Corn M&Ms from last Halloween.


I was wrong.

I was very, very wrong.


These are actually delicious.

Strange, but delicious.


They taste like nutmeg and cream cheese frosting and some other things I haven't figured out yet (carrots, presumably). They do not taste like M&Ms, which is kind of unnerving. I keep expecting to get hit with some crazy chocolateyness to ruin them, but it hasn't happened yet, so I'll keep munching along until it does.


If you don't like carrot cake you will not like these, at all. Consider yourself warned. But if you feel so inclined to buy them anyway (perhaps due to the very seductive Playboy M&M on the front) I'm sure you'll be able to find a carrot-cake-loving friend who will appreciate them.

This is the part of the show where I ask you to comment about whether or not  you like carrot cake, but instead of that, I challenge you to write your best "Dear Penthouse" letter about these sherbert-colored M&Ms. Twitter shout out to the winner! (I'd offer you a bag of M&Ms, but these aren't going to last long. Sorry.)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Brand Wars: Twizzlers vs. Red Vines

Okay, we's just gonna cut to the chase this time.

Twizzlers are awesome.


Twizzlers are the King of the strawberry twist empire.


If you like Red Vines you should probably leave now.

Don't get me wrong, we totally did the brand war, with the blind taste test and everything. (Well, mostly.....it was pretty obvious which was which.)


The three of us (me, my brother, and my roommate) rated each of our three contenders (Twizzlers, Red Vines, and Target-brand knockoff Twizzlers) based on three criteria (texture, flavor, and ability to be used as a straw.) Here are the results:


Subject C, the horrible disgusting Red Vines were voted softest bite, thanks to their very large hole (insert dirty joke here) and the fact that our Twizzlers were stale. We decided their taste was most decidedly different from the other two, and while it tasted sweeter, it also kind of tasted like play dough.


Subject B, the imposter Twizzlers ala Target, were a little difficult to bite into but softened up quickly. They tasted chemically and had a less-than-fantastic aftertaste, but my brother liked these ones the best.


Subject A, the glorious Twizzlers themselves, were dreamy. Stale, but dreamy. They didn't taste like playdough or chemical waste (like the Red Vines), and they didn't have an aftertaste (like the imposters). There is absolutely no doubt that Twizzlers are the best strawberry licorice candy ever.

After the taste test, we commenced testing for the best straw replacement.


Subject A was a little tight (aherm) but delicious (aherm).


Subject B didn't even have a hole (aherm) and we couldn't get anything out of it, no matter how hard we sucked (aherm).


Subject C clearly had the biggest hole (aherm) and was quite easy (coughslutcough) to drink through.

Despite superior suckability, the Red Vines still failed our brand war and looked on in misery as we awarded Twizzlers the gold. We then proceeded to eat all the Twizzlers and the Red Vines have been sitting on the counter untouched ever since. They will be thrown away as soon as I can do so due to "staleness" and not "these are disgusting and I totally wasted my money."

Also, if cost means anything to you, I can inform you that the Twizzlers and Red Vines both cost 11 cents per ounce and the knockoff Twizzlers cost 9 cents per ounce, but really, you can't put a price on quality like Twizzlers. (This pricing information may or may not be entirely correct as I bought the Twizzlers at Walmart and the Red Vines and "candy twists" at Target.)

What do you want to see in the next episode of Brand Wars? Vote in the comments!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Handful of Everything Trail Mix and LIES!

A while back I was in Target and they had trail mix on sale so I picked up a bag and thought, "hey, this'll be great for a snarky exposé on how Target lies about putting 'everything' in an 11oz bag of trail mix."


Then I got it home and sorted it out (because that's the way you're supposed to eat trail mix) and decided to scrap the whole 'everything' thing and do a snarky exposé on how Target lies about having a 'handful' of everything in the bag.


Great idea, right?

You see, there was a handful of almonds...


...and a handful of mangoes...


...and a handful of pineapple...


...and a handful of chocolate chips...


...and a giant handful of banana chips...


...and they even threw in some yogurt covered rabbit poop for good measure.


But then!


There was not a handful of apricots.

Nope, there was just one sad, lonely apricot and I was all outraged that the silhouette rooster from Archer Farms didn't have the decency to send the apricot on its long journey with a handful of its friends. The inhumanity! The horror! I was about to call Apricot Protection Services and watch them haul all of Target's asses to jail.


That was, until I took a closer look at the bag and discovered the true Target lie wasn't about misusing the word 'everything' or about having irregularly-sized handfuls, but about an undercover fruit smuggling ring.

The bag doesn't say anything about apricots.


I more thoroughly examined the rest of the trail mix and decided there were more stowaways in my snack.


Not all of those raisins are raisins. Some of them are craisins.

Clearly, there's something sneaky going on in the dark halls of the Target headquarters. There's something about the fruit they don't want us to know. Please, next time you're at Target, keep your eyes peeled for dried fruits who may be held captive against their will! Be sure to check all the bags of trail mix and fruit snacks so you can help free innocent fruit!

LONG LIVE THE APRICOT!

Monday, March 17, 2014

The F-Bomb Cake (Reader Discretion Advised)

I hate cake.


Perhaps you didn't hear me.

I HATE CAKE.


Still not sinking in?

I freaking HATE CAKE.

Except that while I was making it I didn't say freaking.

I said fuck. A lot.

It started, innocently enough, on Wednesday morning at 11am. I needed a three layer cake and I had a recipe for a two layer cake. My genius solution was to double the recipe and have an extra layer of free cake.

Seems reasonable, right?

Ha ha ha.

No.


Some kind of crazy cake chemistry happened when I doubled the recipe and the first two cakes were mushy in the middle and wouldn't come out of the pans and the third cake came out just fine but tasted like crap, so I threw away all three cakes and the batter for the fourth cake because, hey, I could just make more cake.

At this point I wasn't too worried, being only at the "damn" stage of baking, not the "fuck" stage.


I started over, with a single batch this time. I measured and mixed and poured and baked and took them out of the oven. The cakes didn't come out of the pans. I threw them away.

I think it was right around here that I dropped my first F-bomb of the experience, but whatever, no big deal, I could just bake more cakes.

(Deja vu, anyone?)


So I measured and mixed and poured and baked and took out of the oven. These ones came out. These glorious hunks of chocolatey cakeness slid right out of the pans and onto the cooling rack.

I rejoiced, washed the pans, and started over again.

To recap, at this point in the process I had two cakes sitting pretty on my kitchen counter and had six others down my garbage disposal. The sewer rats were having a banquet and I'd only said fuck once.


Happy it was finally my last batch of cake batter, I measured and mixed and poured and baked one more time. I took the cakes out of the oven and the fucking bastards were glued to the pans like they thought their lives depended on it.

At this point I started ripping the cake out of the pans in giant chunks and yelling fuck every twenty seconds because I was fucking frustrated.

My roommate told me to salvage as much cake as I could and stick it all together with frosting.

I told my roommate to go to hell.

Then I made some more fucking cake.

I measured (fuck) and mixed (fuck) and poured (fuck) and baked (fuck). I took the fucking asshole cakes out of the fucking oven and said fuck a few more times for good measure.

Now, I don't know what majestic cake fairy blessed these particular cakes, but finally, finally, the cakes glided out of their pans and I had four layers of beautiful gorgeous chocolate cake sitting on my counter.

I hate cake.

At this point I had all four layers of cake cooling on my counter (after a mere nine hours) and I decided I deserved some fucking tequila. I downed four shots (one for each fucking cake) and did some very bad singing in the shower, because, apparently, that's what I do when I'm tipsy on a Wednesday night.


On Thursday morning, after my tequila therapy, I got to start the cake process all over again to make the decorations.


I started by melting the chocolate in my ghetto-rigged double boiler.


Then I spread the chocolate out on some plastic wrap and stuck it in the fridge while I mixed the frosting.

So far, so good.

Only problem was, I couldn't find a frosting recipe on the internets for which I had all the correct ingredients, so I decided to wing it. I figured if I used half the chocolate called for in my chocolate frosting and maybe added a little extra sugar and vanilla I would have vanilla frosting with a hint of cocoa.


I was wrong.

The frosting was horrible. Terrible. Really, really bad.

So I said fuck a few times and started over.

I ended up mostly following the directions for some buttercream frosting and even though it wasn't all that great either, I shmeared it on the first layer of fucking cake.


Then I shmeared some more fucking frosting on the second layer of fucking cake.


Then I put the third fucking layer of cake on top and wiped the sweat and chocolate from my brow as any self-respecting melodramatic baker would do.


I decided now would be a good time to take the chocolate out of the refrigerator since it had been in there for a good hour and a half or so and I had to leave in....oh, about an hour and a half or so, and I was still in my pajamas.

I pulled out the chocolate and started breaking it up but the fucking asshole chocolate started melting in my hands because, apparently, it wasn't actually set, so I put the fucking chocolate back in the fucking refrigerator and sulked for thirty fucking minutes.

After my thirty minute sulk I made the chocolate frosting and decided I didn't give a fuck if the chocolate wanted to be melty or not so I crushed it up some more, spread the frosting on the fucking cake, threw the chocolate at it, and declared it done.


Oh, and then I put fucking candles on top of the fucking cake. Because I didn't do any of this for me, I did it for some unappreciative 17-year-old who would have been perfectly happy to have a cake from the fucking grocery store.


And that, my friends, is the story of how I came to hate cake and chocolate and birthdays and cake. It is the story of how my houseplants learned the word fuck, and it is the story of why my stubborn ass will never ever again bake another fucking birthday cake ever again. Because I fucking hate cake.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I Went to Burgatory and it was Beautiful: A Review

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know I spent some time in the car last weekend to experience the world's best burger.


The world's best burger lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.



I do not.


These polar bears do, though.


Thanks to some faulty Google directions I got a little lost.


But finally, I found it.


Burgatory.



The home of the world's greatest burger experience.


I'm not kidding.


They also have magnificent milkshakes. S'mores milkshakes. With toasted marshmallows.


After a 90-minute wait for a table (worth it!), we placed our orders and snacked on some Pale Ale Onion Rings, served with chipotle horseradish sauce and a house-made spicy ketchup.


My roommate used the "Custom Creation" sheets to order his personal burger concoction. (He's pretty boring.)


I ordered the Phat Patti, sans-tomato.


This is what perfection looks like. Don't question it, just drink it in.


Next time you're within 500 miles of Pittsburgh, take your ass to Burgatory and sink your teeth into the best burger consciousness will ever know.

Don't bother taking a date. You'll fall in love with the burger and live happily ever after.