Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Cross dressing KenIf you interrupt Barbies, it's a good idea to come bearing candy.
Although the girls had been feasting on blue cotton candy and playing metrosexual Barbie, they'd seen Marley and Me earlier, so were still in the movie candy frame of mind. Let's face it, kids are always in the movie candy frame of mind.

Blue tooth cuzI won't see Marley and Me due to imminent dog death and a preference for good movies, so until Gran Torino comes out, I'm prowling the video stores.
You'll find Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites next to the Hannah Montana microphone gummies (which look like severed thumbs or worse) at the video store.
The kids and Cross Dressing Ken (do you not love the fur mini) gave the Bites a big snapping yum. The adults wondered how many candy companies would be out of business if they relied on taste alone.
I'll resist saying the Bites bite, but they taste just like they look, cheap chocolate covered bits of mint chocolate chip cookie dough.

Cookie Bite A Taste of Nature does a good job of marketing to the movie rental crowd. I mean I bought these hideous things didn't I, and kids would likely pounce on any one of their products. Yet I don't have to try Muddy Bears to remember my first chocolate covered gummy.
The girls didn't like ripping through the plastic pouch to get to the candy, but praised the Bites as chewy, doughy, and mint tasty.

Cookie Dough girlsAlthough my favorite thing about the not all that new Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites is a warning on the Web site to not bake them in the oven (not even an Easy Bake Oven?), I'll be all over their Mike and Ike and Hot Tamales Cotton Candy the instant I find them.
What do you think of that Cross Dressing Ken?

Friday, December 26, 2008

From The Cheap Seats

Santa hat JMOThank you for the festive hat, Olga, what a wonder (bra) you are.
Happy holidays, and before you ask how mine are going, don't ask.
I hate the holidays, my sister hates the holidays, my mother really, truly hates the holidays, and most of my cousins hate the holidays as did their mothers before them.

Little KathyGrandma Farino battled sink squid while slinging pasta and antipasto for cigar chomping, poker playing, moonshine making Italians with little thought of sitting down anytime between Thanksgiving and January 2nd. I doubt she got to nibble so much as a tentacle, let alone sneak in a much needed bottle of Metaxa. Although there was that week we lost her to the wine cellar, but I digress, this being a post about

Christmas Movie Releases
On The Cheap

Gabe 1) Buying a $5.00 ticket before noon is an excellent way to embark a full day of movie watching.

2) Writing down show and running times is as important as planning the correct snack to movie ratio. These days you can use the glow of your cell phone to double check running times instead of grabbing the mag light off your bike and that cheap light up watch you took from your parent's junk drawer.

3) If you bring a child, they must be able to sit through multiple movies and have a high tolerance for sugar and Icees. It helps if they wear baggy clothes with many pockets.
Andy, aka Guido (left), could never sit through a single movie, Disney be damned (not literally, don't want to inflict the wrath of The Mouse).

Andy,Chris Christopher (right), who ate nothing but Italian bread and Skippy's until he was 19, was a more suitable candy mule. Joey fared well with waves of people in motion, which may be why he joined the navy.

Plan Ahead
Buy multi functional Christmas cookie decorations. Forget the fondant, buy Dots, Snow Caps, and Red Hots. In other words, use movie candy to decorate your holiday cookies, they look and taste great, and will survive the end of days.

Leftover candy
Using snack sized plastic bags, I was able to stuff this and more into a purse no bigger than a poodle's head. Plastic soda bottles can be refilled with water or a friend's never ending big gulp, and are better than cans (which can spill or leak into your coat pocket).

The Trifecta
Both of the main features I saw (Doubt, Benjamin Button) and the *bridge movie (Slumdog Millionaire) may be the best out there. They're the only ones (besides Gran Torino in limited release until January 9) I wanted to see. Any one of them are solid movie going choices, but for brevity's sake (yeah, too late) I'll take a look at my favorite.
There's a ready made audience of lapsed Catholics for the thought provoking Doubt, and of course it stars Meryl the Peril Streep (The River Wild). I would bear her children...somehow, if possible.

Snack bagsAnd every time I see Philip Semour Hoffman (Twister) I'm impressed. Just watched Charlie Wilson's War (also starring Amy Adams). Impressed.
Love Amy Adams (Night at the Museum 2), and always want to hear her sing and be poignant, but she only has one exceptional moment here—one of striking clarity, but in comparison to the two leads, incidental.
John Patrick Shanley (Congo, Joe Versus The Volcano) wrote the 2005 Pulitzer winning play on which the movie was based. Shanley directed and wrote the movie's screenplay (he also wrote Moonstruck)—good for you John Patrick Shanley.
The movie explores the possibility of clergical advances toward an isolated altar boy, and questions Streep's unshakable certainty, one's place in the world, and the politics of the Catholic church.
Is it me or is Streep channeling Olympia Dukakis. Oh, she's not dead?
It's the acting which stands out and although Adams and more so Viola Davis are fine, the scenes between the iron willed Streep and the soul baring Hoffman are the heart of the film. That I do not doubt.
See it and bring snacks.
*A movie which bridges starting and and ending times between movies you plan to see in their entirety

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Joey, SquidChristmas squid, anyone? Funny, the sailor boy here was alone in craving pots of pickled blech. It's very Italian. I remember the horror of seeing one taking up residence in our kitchen sink. A squid, not a sailor, but that would have been fun.
It was a minor trauma when I was a kid, seeing that tennacled lump lounging in the same sink that strained our pasta.
But Grandpa said I didn't havea to eed it. At least I think that's what he said, and nobody smacked me or called me some kind of vegetable when I backed away slowly.
Another myth dispelled: A dead squid will not come to life and spray you with poison ink if you lean in too close. And you're a big baby if you don't lean in too close.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day

snow bob Almost everything closed today. But you can't close the outdoors.
Hmm, tell that to someone from New Orleans. Or Lake Delton.
Seems as if we've come close over the last few years.

snow noseMeet Soco. She's a crazy-friendly one-year-old rottweiler/something else and the world is not only her toilet, but one giant powdered sugar playground.
She lives down the hall.

dog leapLook at that catch—you go, girl!

off to the woodsNo, hey, come back here.
And she was raised among deer and beaver until the thaw. Which came a week later when it hit 50 degrees, then froze, then snowed, and then a tornado hit and there was fog and thunder snow until the next blizzard.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Gobstopper candy canesIn the yearly hunt for tree worthy candy canes, I was surprised by the tri-flavored Everlasting Gobstopper candy cane. I was surprised I hadn't tried them before, and how in the thrall of a cold weather sugar fit, the White (Fruit Punch, Orange, Strawberry) cane was so crunch crispy yummy.
The Red cane is a little redundant with it's Cherry, Lemon, and Strawberry flavors, but toothsome nonetheless, whispering a hint of cherry lemonade.
I prefer both the White and Red Gobstopper candy canes to the Green (Watermelon, Grape, Strawberry) because the light sour taste is underwhelmingly represented by a layer of watermelon.
I'm often surprised by Wonka products and became recaptivated with Nerds over the summer. No, not that kind of nerd.

Haning candy canesThe color changing effect of the Gob cane is a waste on me because I like pitting teeth against hard candy. Ask my dentist. I don't fare well with Tootsie Pops either. But it's fun if you like that sort of thing. Not that I've had the will power to find out.
If these canes make it to a tree it will be a Christmas miracle.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Enstrom's Toffee

Our taste testers loved this stuff. I found it too crumbnutty, and both Karen and Jackie found me equally crumbnutty for saying so. And making up words whenever I felt like it. Phil 2 was milling about the kitchen to sample and offered a typically succinct, "Mmm, goodth."
Although Karen instantly hoovered the milk chocolate off the bark, she seriously enjoyed the buttery crunch of the toffee between.
Both testers were too busy scarfing it down to say much more than how could I not love this Colorado candy and the toffee to chocolate ratio was perfection itself.
Jackie, the toffee lover, gave the golden nuggets the highest marks.
Yeah, okay, I was mostly eating the crumbs from the box before taking photos and passing it on to the test kitchen, but I could have done without the thick dusting of crushed nuts.
(That there is what we call a set up.)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

car accident
The good news, this was the car that hit us. The bad news, this was the car that hit us.
The ofcoursewhynot news, I got the ticket.
The probablyforthebest news, she smashed in my door preventing me from opening it and "having a word" before the ambulance and police got there.
The almostfunnynews, the only thing my dad was concerned about after we got my mother to stop screaming, was dripping blood on the interior of his truck.
He' fine, has a V-shaped battle scar. The EMTs calmed my mother down and she tried to give one of them money. Always tip the people with sedatives.
My sister had to drive my parents back from Milwaukee to Madison and then drive us back to Milwaukee that night. Needless to say she has several guilt chits with my name on them, and I didn't get to join the Black Friday mob for the flat screen TV I've been stalking Kathy Bates style for a year.
We did, however, pass a crazy throng at Johnson Creek around midnight just to rub it in, which was fine because I'd already gotten a TV the night before during a recon mission at Best Buy.
But I don't really like the TV and the tow truck company charged us for two days in less than 24 hours, charging more to tow my dad's truck (the son he always wanted) from Wauwatosa to Brookfield than it cost to tow it from Brookfield to Madison. They also changed the price at the last minute and demanded about $400.00 bucks in cash.
Shall we continue?
I think not or I'd have to mention the incident with the toilet. Guido. And that might taint my holiday experience. (Growling Edward style. Yes, I'm still reading those books.)