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Grown-Up Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce OR “Cloak and Dagger Ding Dong Duty”

I like to tell people how my mother used to hide Ding Dongs around the house when my sister Kelli and I were growing up.  Then, because the real reason she did it isn’t very exciting, I’ll make up more fantastic explanations, such as “My mother had ‘Night Eater’s Syndrome!’ If there weren’t Ding Dongs in every room of the house, she’d swallow the nearest thing she bumped into.  We lost so many cats!”  Or, “She really likes the shiny paper wrapped around Ding Dongs.  She makes fancy jewelry and takes it back to the state hospital after her weekend visits with us.”  I’m convinced these stories are at the top of the list of reasons I’m so popular now, and why I’ve had so many calls from producers at Dr. Phil.

The truth of the matter is that my mother was more or less forced to hide Ding Dongs around the house when we were little because my sister Kelli and I were a couple of ravenous child sugar bandits who could suck down all the sugar Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompas could churn out in a single shift.  If the two of us had ever found an entire box of Ding Dongs just lying around in the kitchen, we would have immediately whisked it outside to the back of the house and gnawed our way through it with our faces like two raccoons who’d had their hands chewed off by an owl.  Then Kelli would re-fill the empty box with socks or paper towels, close the top and slip it back in the cupboard.  Eventually my mother would discover it, and when she confronted us with the evidence, Kelli would claim consumer fraud and demand my parents call Ralph Nader.

Kelli and I orchestrated a variety of schemes to maximize our daily sugar intake in ways that would leave my parents and our two older siblings completely dumbfounded.  Maple syrup bottles would be drained and re-filled with Evergreen tea when no one was looking.  Seemingly unopened boxes of Lucky Charms would ultimately reveal themselves totally lacking all colored marshmallow bits.  While the rest of my family sat at the breakfast table, eating charm-less bowls of toasted oats and wondering why their pancakes tasted like Christmas trees, Kelli and I would giggle knowingly and high-five, or whatever 1970s kids did to celebrate their superiority… I can’t really remember… Hustle Bumps? Farrah Fawcett Head Flips?

Kelli was the one who discovered that when the Green household was out of Hershey’s Syrup for pouring out over ice cream, powdered Ovaltine could be used as a substitute.  So we would shovel six or seven spoonfuls out of the jar and dump it over the tops of our vanilla scoops, then churn it feverishly for several minutes, taking a minimum of two breaks to switch hands or shake out our wrists.  The resulting concoction resembled used motor oil mixed with cream of mushroom soup, and had a consistency strikingly similar to volcanic ash.  We gobbled it up with the treasured, single, extra long “ice cream” spoon we’d share 60-40 (in Kelli’s favor, of course), then we’d go in search of some baker’s chocolate or bottles of corn syrup we might have missed in the back of the pantry.  And if Kelli ever ran out of ways for us to ferret out new sugar sources around the house, we might switch to melting Barbie heads on the stove or bursting open glass thermometers and sliding the mercury around on paper plates

As for the ongoing troubles she had successfully hiding desserts in our home, my mother ultimately gave up the quest to outsmart her two youngest kids and handed over “Cloak and Dagger Ding Dong Duty” to my dad.  He immediately started slipping the boxes into the bottoms of the dirty clothes hampers in our bedroom, and we never found them again.

Click here for the Recipe for “Grown Up Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce”

Posted 1 year, 7 months ago.

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Aunt Emily’s Lip Smacking Strawberry Sauce

This is a recipe for my Aunt Emily’s Lip-Smacking Strawberry Sauce.  Aunt Emily is not exactly the warm, inviting face of home and hearth you might imagine on a jar of desset topping, but she is definitely worth a few minutes of your time.  She met my Uncle Raybon on a blind date at a mini-golf and pirate-themed adventure park just before the bicentennial.  They were married six weeks later, the second time for both.  The first piece of furniture they split fifty-fifty was a tiki bar with light up palm trees and wooden, half-pineapple ashtrays.  It was the focal point of their sunken den, and the home base for all their football parties.  Raybon would mix the drinks and Emily would sit on one of the stools, sipping and barking out raunchy jokes with set-ups always involving someone who farted at the worst possible time.

While she was married, Emily worked as a cocktail waitress in a hotel bar.  Her bouffant Brenda Vaccaro hair was almost exactly as wide and exactly as red as the short, ruffled skirt that was her uniform.  In between the hair and the skirt was a crowd of hilly cleavage and a deep, weary tan. Emily liked to twirl in her waitress skirt before she left the house and say, “It’s the preferred look for today’s cocktail gal… Mexican square dancer with super titties.”  Then she would run her fingers in circles around her blouse where her nipples were underneath and stick her tongue out sideways like a rock star, while my mother shouted out her name with reproach and the rest of us fell on the floor.

Continue reading “Aunt Emily’s Lip Smacking Strawberry Sauce” »

Posted 1 year, 9 months ago.

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Season of the Cookie: Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies – VIDEO

Also known as “gobs,” “bobs” “black-and-whites” and “BFO’S” (Big Fat Oreos), the whoopie pie is the official “state treat” of Maine.  These cakey cookies exploding with buttercream have never had their origins fully explained, though most attribute it to Pennsylvania Dutch country.

My sister Jodi and I recently had an all-day marathon cookie making session that included carrot cake cookies (see them here), chocolate mint sandwich cookies (here), and these peanut butter whoopie pies.  Working side by side, we quickly reverted to the traditional roles we held growing up within the structure of the Green family.  She transformed into the bossy taskmaster who knows better than everyone else, while I became the whiney “mistake child” who resorts to raising his voice and cutting other people off in an effort to have his opinion respected.  If you don’t believe me, check out the VIDEO PROOF below.

The combination of my sister’s and my family-fostered dysfunction and rampant insecurities appears to have worked wonders!  By the end of the day we had something along the lines of 300 cookies cooling on dishes and parchment paper slices all over my home.  And they all turned out pretty spectacular, plus we were still speaking to one another. There was a brief “missing acrylic fingernail” panic, but what kitchen experience is complete without one of those? Continue reading “Season of the Cookie: Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies – VIDEO” »

Posted 1 year, 10 months ago.

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Season of the Cookie: Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies

Thin Mints are now relics of your past. THIS is the cookie recipe girl scouts will kill to keep out of your hands!

Forget what The Bossa Nova favorite, “Once I Loved” tells you.  I am here to testify that love is in fact not the saddest thing when it goes away.  A plate of these chocolate mint sandwiches disappearing is far far worse.  It’s enough to send me to the bottom of the swimming pool in my apartment courtyard, sucking my thumb and desperately holding on to a lead teddy bear.

Think “chocolate covered mint Oreos” and you’re pretty much on board.

Here is that phenomenal cookie that will keep you up at night, as it quietly calls your name from that easily infiltrated plastic dessert container on your kitchen counter.  You know… the one you have every intention of taking with you to work the next day because you truly mean to share these sinfully rich cookies – gooey on the outside, crispy on the inside, and a rich chocolaty peppermint center – with your co-workers.

But really, is that actually going to happen?  What have your lousy co-workers really done for you?  A sheet cake with your name misspelled for your birthday and a Darth Vader Get Well card when you were sick (“I sense a disturbance in the force!”).

Fuck ‘em.

Share these with nobody.  And I guarantee that at least one of these cookies you end up eating while your pajamas are on.

Continue reading “Season of the Cookie: Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies” »

Posted 1 year, 10 months ago.

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Season of the Cookie: Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies


Fall is fast approaching. Those of us here in Hollywood are breaking out the sweaters and leather jackets in anxious preparation for the two weeks of the year it’s actually cool enough to wear them. The scorcher days of August have given way to September cloud cover and occasional showers, which means soon my car will be clean again.

Autumn is definitely my favorite time of the year. I approve of the setting of clocks back and nights getting darker earlier.  It keeps me home more often and gets me into the kitchen more regularly.  The cooler evening weather also ups my cookie-making quotient considerably.  I’ve got a few hundred recipes tucked away thanks to cookbooks, family members, and recipes I’ve been introduced to from my friends from the blogosphere, most especially Smitten Kitchen and Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen.

In fact, it’s from the fantastic Penny at Lake Lure that I discovered these amazing raisin pecan oatmeal cookies.  Sweet and chewy with just the right amount of pecan snap, they’re a can’t-miss receipe, even for new bakers.

So let’s all say goodbye to summer here in the goold old Northern hemisphere.  Toss those drink umbrellas, tiki cups and hurricane glasses into the cellar and break out the electric mixers, ceramic bowls and the extra stash of dental floss.  Cookie season has begun here at Tv Food and Drink.com!

Continue reading “Season of the Cookie: Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies” »

Posted 1 year, 10 months ago.

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Season of the Cookie: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe Halloween

Through these cookies, you will come to understand why it is necessary for me to keep all my toilet paper in the trunk of my car.

Continue reading “Season of the Cookie: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies” »

Posted 1 year, 10 months ago.

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Season of the Cookie: Peanut Butter Cookies


Have you ever wondered why you’re supposed to use the fork to make those little criss-cross marks on the tops of peanut butter cookies?
Continue reading “Season of the Cookie: Peanut Butter Cookies” »

Posted 1 year, 10 months ago.

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Season of the Cookie: Cream Cheese Walnut Cookies (How to Make “Halloween Brains”)


Butter continues to be the primary ingredient in most of the latest creations that have sprung to life in my rinky-dinky Holly Hobbie kitchen. Papered in the image of an Indian maiden holding a butter box (Land O’ Lakes), salted or unsalted (my brief research into the subject indicates that either can be used in a recipe that demands one or the other – any argument?), I have not been able to keep enough on hand to prevent me from stopping at the Rock and Roll Ralphs on Sunset every other day to replenish my supply. But even I consider it a bit much when a recipe calls for FOUR FULL STICKS of the stuff.

Happily, I didn’t let that stop me from making this recipe. These babies will SET YOU FREE!

Continue reading “Season of the Cookie: Cream Cheese Walnut Cookies (How to Make “Halloween Brains”)” »

Posted 1 year, 10 months ago.

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Lemon Sponge Pie with Oreo Cookie Crust: Recipe Swap

This is my first month participating in the Burwell General Store Recipe Swap.  Burwell General Store is a fantastic food blog run by my new friend Christianna who I recently met while working on Beat the Chefs for Game Show Network. Though we were on the same show, we actually have only been in the presence of one another a handful of times.  Nevertheless, as is often the case when two foodies with extroverted personalities run into one another, it was admiration at first sight.

Once a month Christianna sends to all the Burwell swapping participants a recipe from The Second Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes From Famous Eating Places, compiled in 1954.  Participants are asked to re-create the recipe and put their own spin on it in the process.  This month it was Lemon Sponge Pie, as presented by the Old Court House Tea Room in New Castle, Delaware.

As I am of the type to duly investigate a subject before diving in (see my post on Heidi Bohay and the NuWave oven), I pulled the old Google off the shelf and learned what I could about the Tea House’s history before deciding on my “in” for changing up the recipe.  Here’s what I learned:

There’s great debate on how old the New Castle Court House actually is, though a 1952 article from Wilmington’s The Sunday Star confirms that the Delaware state constitution was adopted there in the 1780s. The accompanying Tea Room, however, didn’t open its doors until 1926, when it began luring in with food and drink the Delaware passengers lining up to board the ferry to New Jersey.

A quick call to the court house informed me that the tea room disappeared in the early 1950s. According to the court house supervisor/museum curator, its fate was sealed in April 1945 when the Delaware State Highway Department authorized construction of a bridge which would connect New Castle to Pennsville, New Jersey, thus eliminating the need for the ferry.  No ferry meant no line of people outside the tea room, and no line of people meant lots of Oolong and lemon sponge cake left untouched in the kitchen. On August 15, 1951, The Del Memorial Bridge officially opened… the final nail in the coffin for the birthplace of this month’s recipe.

Here’s something else: On July 2, 1938, a 10 year old Shirley Temple lunched at the Old Court House Tea Room with her parents, business manager, and friends. Shirley had a chicken sandwhich, a piece of cheese, and a chocolate milkshake! Over 300 people turned out to greet Shirley on Delaware Street up on her exit.  No word on whether she took the ferry to Jersey.

So I decided to take my cue for twisting up this month’s recipe from Miss Temple’s visit to the Tea room.  I have yet to read anywhere that lemon sponge pie pairs well with chicken or cheese, so I zeroed in on the chocolate, adding an Oreo crust for the bottom and a chocolate shell for the top.  I won’t say it made for the most attractive pictures as no matter how delicately I pierced the shell on top it immediately cracked into chocolate shards each time.  But the flavor combination more than made up for what this rich, citrusy dessert lacked in camera flair.

You can check out my recipe, and the rest of the Burwell interpretations below.

Click Here for my Recipe Twist on Lemon Sponge Pie

Posted 2 years ago.

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Three Berry Pie with Brown Sugar Topping



I didn’t intend for this to be the pie I made to celebrate having to put my cat to sleep, but that’s the way it turned out.

Z had been back and forth to the vet for about a week, and the ultimate diagnosis was a cyst inside his intestine which would most likely have just grown back had I spent the several thousand dollars on surgery to have it removed.  His disposition in that week had altered itself from playful and relaxed to sullen and despondent. He wasn’t eating or drinking, and he couldn’t use his box.  It was clear he could not find a comfortable position for himself to rest.

I started this pie in the late afternoon, while wallowing in denial over what would have to be done.  Michael arrived later in the evening and talked me back into reality.  Without being able to use his box, there wasn’t a lot of time for Z.  None of us were benefitting from delay.  So after a few more crying sessions, I finally caved and said to Michael between sniffles, “Ok… let me just get this pie out of the oven, and while it’s cooling we’ll take Z in, and then when we get back we can eat it.”


I understand dividing my attentions between a dying cat and a three berry pie with brown sugar topping might seem a bit coarse.  But once I had accepted what needed to be done for Z, it was no longer tough for me.  We had shared fourteen years of companionship and he’d been content and healthy through all of it. Below is the last picture we took of him.  The heart sleeve on his paw is covering up the IV that was delivering the dose that would move him on.  He was at ease all the way through the end, purring and nuzzling me.  I could not have asked for a better end for him.

It’s been over a month now, and I’m starting to hear the call of kittens at the Saturday afternoon pet adoption fairs outside the Petco on Sunset.  But I’ll hold off a while longer.

And we did go back home that night and eat the pie.  We topped it with ice cream. We each had two giant slices.  At his peak, Z weighed approximately 19 pounds, so I’m sure he would have wanted nothing else for us.

Continue reading “Three Berry Pie with Brown Sugar Topping” »

Posted 2 years, 1 month ago.

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Browned Butter Sugar Cookies (Part of the “Keep Your Man Employed” Series)

When telemarketers call my home in the middle of the day and cheerfully ask, “Hi!  May I speak to Mister or Misses Green?” I usually shout back woefully, “Misses Green has been dead for eight days now.  Who are you… and why do you keep doing this to me?”

After a momentary gap of dread, the telemarketer begins desperately apologizing in clumsy stammers and half-sentences, and when I feel like they’ve suffered enough I interrupt them by saying, “You sound hot.  What do you like in the bedroom?”  Before they can recover, I hang up on them.

The tingling afterglow I experience from indulging in little weekday funsies like this has convinced me that I could be a stay-at-home husband for the rest of my life and never be bored.  Why did I spend so many years convincing myself that the keys to a fulfilled life were challenging my creative limits and building myself a robust career outside of the home, when it’s just as rewarding to watch Franklin and Bash all day in my bathrobe while I’m drinking iced mochas and painting my nails?

Continue reading “Browned Butter Sugar Cookies (Part of the “Keep Your Man Employed” Series)” »

Posted 2 years, 3 months ago.

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Cornmeal Thyme Cookies (Part of the “Keep Your Man Employed” Series and the “Pictures of Paralyzed Chihuahuas” Series)

When Michael sent me this picture earlier today from the Robot Chicken animation studios, I texted him immediately and asked if this guy was going to mind having his face on my website.  Michael responded: “Oh, no.  Kevin is an attention whore.  He’d LOVE to be on your site!”  And so for Kevin the attention whore, the road to fame and notoriety begins here today at TvFoodAndDrink.com.

Michael tells me a lot of stories about the characters he works with, but I rarely see these people in person.  I may meet them at a wrap party or a Christmas party, but months will pass in between, and I’ll inevitably forget which face belongs to which name.  It’s a character flaw, but it isn’t limited to Michael’s co-workers.  I can’t even keep track of my remote control.  The other day I found it on top the cat box out on the balcony.

So when Michael texted me last week, simply saying, “Olive is here!” boy did I feel the pressure.  I knew he was waiting for an appropriate response, but I hadn’t a clue who “Olive” was.  The few of Michael’s co-workers I have managed to burn into my sickly memory banks I’ve done so by associating with things I’ve learned about them or moments I’ve shared with them:  “Joy who’s getting married,” “Tommy who lives downtown,” “Trish who used to work at Starbucks,” “Jeanette who I got drunk with,” “Dan who has the blog,” “Sarah who I made hot dogs for that one time.”

But who the hell was Olive?

I decided to roll the dice.  It was clear Olive didn’t work with MG or he wouldn’t have felt the need to celebrate her appearance.  Instead, I figured it had to be a loved one associated with someone at work – the kind who is occasionally brought into the office for a special guest appearance, to be coddled and adored over while work goes completely ignored for twenty to thirty minutes.

So I texted Michael back, “Oh… Olive!  Is that the baby… or the paralyzed chihuahua?”

I figured I might be able to trick Michael into thinking I at least almost knew who Olive was by narrowing it down to two possible options.

But I was wrong on both counts.

Olive is a pug… a pug with four fully functioning legs.  Boyfriend points denied.

If we’re out together and someone Michael recognizes waves at us and begins an approach, I quickly lean in and whisper, “Do I know them?” and Michael either assures me I don’t, or gives me a lightning fast bio so I don’t make an fool of myself, just like Emily Blunt did for Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada.  “That’s Rick.  We met him at Comic-Con.  He lives in the hills.  He does calligraphy.”

And for that, but not that alone, I will always be grateful to Michael.  And I will always make him cookies to share with his co-workers. Even Kevin the attention whore.


By the way… I wasn’t making up the paralyzed chihuahua.  You can see a picture below. You ought to watch the way that baby can get around on those back wheels, coasting and swerving through all the legs at Robot Chicken and snapping up every dropped cheese puff in sight!

I can’t decide who I like the most… paralyzed chihuahua, Olive the pug, or Kevin the attention whore.  But one thing is certain. Now that they’re all on my website, I’ll forever have a short-cut to remembering which is which.

Click Here for Recipe for Cornmeal Thyme Cookies from Martha Stewart

Posted 2 years, 3 months ago.

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Cheesecake Marbled Browines Recipe 2012 (Part of the “Keep Your Man Employed” Series)

Today, I sent my man off to work with a double batch of these babies.

You may be saying to yourself, “But Gary… you go to such great lengths in the kitchen, and then you let MG take all those brownies to work with him?”

And I’d answer, “yes.” Because when the hubby goes to work with cheesecake brownies made from scratch, his stage (he’s an animator) becomes the focal point of the production offices.

When his stage becomes the focal point of the production offices, he’s more readily able to showcase not only his brilliant animating skills, but also his winning personality and magical blue eyes.

When he showcases his brilliant animating skills, his winning personality and magical blue eyes, co-workers say, “Wow, that Michael Granberry is something special!”

When co-workers say, “Wow, that Michael Granberry is something special!” they’re more likely to throw promotions, raises and multi-million dollar production deals his way.

When co-workers throw promotions, raises and multi-million dollar production deals his way, he becomes a Hollywood hotshot, all his career dreams come true, and I get a swimming pool!


So yes, the brownies go to work with MG.  Just like the oatmeal truffle cookies did last week, and the yet-to-be-determined dessert will next week.

And the week after that, and the week after that, and the week after that.

And whenever Michael comes home with good news from the office, I close my eyes, smile, and say to him, “I can almost smell the chlorine already!”

Get Cheesecake Marbled Brownie Recipe Here

Posted 2 years, 4 months ago.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Truffle Cookies OR How to Keep Your Man Employed



The husband went back to work this week as animator for the new season of Cartoon Network’s Robot Chicken. Why are they lucky to have him? Well, he took my decadent oatmeal chocolate truffle cookies to work to share with the entire production staff.  That’s reason number one.  And he will continue to take my cookies to work to share as long as my oven works and they’re smart enough to keep him on the payroll.   That’s reason number two.

He’s also a pretty phenomenal animator.  That’s reason number three. I might be willing to bump that up to reason number two, but he’ll have to feature my likeness in more of his work before that happens. My effigy hasn’t made a cameo in almost five years!(that’s me in the driver’s seat of the car during Georgie’s Wish below).  Recipe follows after the jump:


Click here for my recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Truffle Cookies

Posted 2 years, 4 months ago.

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Sour Cream Chocolate Cake (The Booth Counts Me Down)


I have made less than ten cakes in my entire life.  The first ever was just a little over two years ago, when I foolishly made a casual offer to bake one for my fellow control room members at GSN Live.  I didn’t think at the time I would actually have to go through with it, or that they would remind me of my promise every day from that point forward.  I definitely didn’t expect a sign reading “Countdown to Gary’s Cake” to end up on the wall, forever reminding me that, among other things, I have a very big mouth.

Long believed lost, the much-discussed “Gary Green Cake Booth Countdown Sign” was discovered on my old iPhone – April 7,2012

But when you make a promise to your cohorts in the control room, you’d be stupid not to come through.  You spend hours a day, five days a week, in a darkened room with these people, in close proximity, with zero windows and only one exit.  It’s a foxhole environment. You’re acutely aware of all sneezes, sniffles and congestion levels detectable in a cough. You discuss current headlines, wedding plans, the previous night’s dinner, sporting rivalries (I just listen), family frustrations, pet situations, in-laws, dental emergencies, broken bones, broken relationships, and on the rare occasion, politics.

It makes sense, considering the tight quarters, that you all do your best to get along with one another.  First of all, it makes the day go by faster.  But there’s also that annoying little thing called live television… and when things start to go wrong in front of the camera, you need to make sure you’re all on the same side of the situation. And even if there’s very little you can do to save it, you hope you at least have some people around you you’ll want to laugh about it with, even two years later (The “oh shit” moment happens at 4:34).

 

 

I didn’t know how to make a cake in 2009.  And I don’t mean a cake from scratch… even pre-made box mixes confounded me.  I didn’t own cake pans.  I certainly didn’t have things like flour, sugar and oil just sitting around my kitchen.  And if I did somehow manage to successfully pull a cake off, I had no idea how one moved it from its place of origin to a second destination without leaving half its frosting behind on the passenger seat of a car.

But you can’t let down your control room.  So I recruited MG who helped me purchase not only the necessities, but also suggested some candy lettering, because come on…  gay men are experts at snappy little messages.  Witness our Facebook updates.  They’re legendary! And if we can do the same thing across the top of a cake using colorful little letters made of sugar, saying no isn’t even an option.

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Posted 2 years, 4 months ago.

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Oatmeal Toffee Crunch Cookies and Daylight Savings TIme

Hey there! Are you going to remember to set your clocks forward an hour tonight? It’s crucial you don’t forget.

We need to all do this together. That way, tomorrow morning we’ll all look equally tired and washed out from being deprived that whole hour of sleep. It’s not fair if some of us look more attractive and desirable than others. That’s why the federal government initiated daylight savings time, you know.  Outward mutual sickliness brings a society together.

If we all look equally disgusting and troll-like tomorrow, we’ll be able to release some of the resentment we hold for the beautiful people God put on this planet to be more successful and popular than we are… lookers like Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron.   They could go a full month without sleep and if you ran into them in public, they’d still look refreshed and eager to make us believe they’re ready to have sex with us right on the spot. I know this for a fact because I once ran into Jon Hamm at Gelsons and he definitely looked ready to throw me down right there in front of the Gorton’s fish fillets. But I had to hurry home because Cake Boss was starting.

Click here for the Oatmeal Toffee Crunch Cookies Recipe!

Posted 2 years, 5 months ago.

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Valentine’s Day Recipes: Cookie Dough Truffles

I don’t want to alarm you, but are you aware that Valentine’s Day is almost upon us yet again? If you’ve got a Valentine you’re looking to impress, might I suggest these sinfully rich chocolate-covered balls of cookie dough? They will scream your unending love and devotion with every bite and make this one of the most romantic and memorable Valentine’s Days you and your lovebird have ever had. Or, you can just go with that Ziggy card you’ve got in the top drawer.  It’s your call.

Continue reading “Valentine’s Day Recipes: Cookie Dough Truffles” »

Posted 2 years, 6 months ago.

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Five Things I Learned From the Hollywood Arsonist OR “Cornmeal Thyme Cookies”

Don’t be fooled by the two ingredients in the name, these babies cook up with a sweet, buttery flavor and just a hint of cornbread goodness. This is the perfect cookie to ween you off the daily sugar showers you took through the month of December.

Last weekend, a crazed arsonist terrorized the streets of Hollywood, igniting over 50 fires all over town in the span of three nights, and causing over 2 million dollars in damage.

Here are five things I learned from the experience, followed by a recipe for cookies.

1.) I probably am not the person to contact in case of emergency, especially if I don’t know you.

MG called me at 4 in the morning last Saturday to tell me he’d woken to the sounds of his neighbors screaming “Fire!” He looked out his bedroom window and saw the carport of the apartment building next to him engulfed in flames.

“Okay, what do you want me to do?” I asked — not in a snotty way, but because I actually did not know what I was supposed to do!  Thankfully, he didn’t know what I was supposed to do either.  Then there was about five seconds of awkward silence, like when you run out of pieces for your new IKEA credenza but there’s still a page and a half of assembly instructions left to go.  Finally, I managed to come up with, “You need to get out of there!”  Boy, the Red Cross really needs to put me on the payroll, don’t they?  My split-second thinking would be an asset to any life-threatening crisis.  Did MG actually need to hear this from me?  Was he sitting there thinking, “Aw really?  I was planning to just go back to bed.  The fire is like twenty feet away, and if I can’t jump twenty feet, will a fire really be able to?”

Despite what the stickers on the elevator wall ask of me, I do not stay calm in a crisis.  When I first heard the phone ring, I immediately panicked, the way one does when they hear the words, “I think we should run additional tests,” or “Now we’re going to go around and all say something interesting about ourselves.”    Before I even picked up the phone I had the thought, “Please please please don’t be a number I recognize,” because at least then I’d be off the hook.  If someone I actually know is calling me in the middle of the night, it’s probably going to require a level of cool-headedness I’ve never had to muster before.  No one ever calls you in the middle of the night with good news.  Even if your sister went into the delivery room and instead of giving birth to one baby, as the doctor had predicted, she gave birth to nine babies and a Cuisinart hand blender, everyone knows you wait until sunrise to spread the good word and invite people to omelettes.

If someone I don’t know is calling me at 4 am, while it’s true they may be in the process of getting mugged, going down in a plane, or choking on a chicken bone, what’s also true is that thankfully, it’s not my problem.  That’s why you should always make sure you’re dialing a phone correctly, especially if it’s the middle of the night and your life is in jeopardy. Grandma may hop into her Yugo and speed over to your house with a pamphlet on the Heimlich Maneuver, but once I get my six pillows into their proper sleepy-time configuration, if you call me by mistake, you’re pretty much fucked.

Continue reading “Five Things I Learned From the Hollywood Arsonist OR “Cornmeal Thyme Cookies”” »

Posted 2 years, 8 months ago.

3 comments

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes


That 72-ounce bag of Nestle chocolate morsels sounded like a great ingredient to have handy a month ago when I tossed it into my cart at Costco. But that’s back when I was still a producer at GSN Live.  I could have baked up a recipe that served the entire Salinas Valley State Prison and within an hour of busting the results out for the staff and crew, there wouldn’t have been a crumb left standing.

But GSN Live has gone to that great “interstitial-game-talk show heaven” in the sky along with… well, maybe it’s the first to qualify for that particular branch of heaven, but that’s not the point.  There’s just suddenly no need to be making recipes that large anymore, and the chocolate chips stuffed to the seams of that gargantuan bag have becomes less of a valuable component in my baking needs, and more of a nightly snack, gobbled down by the handful while I’m clearing out the 12 episodes of Charlie Rose that have accumulated on my DVR.

So whether or not I was going to be able to find enough people to help take these 24 sinfully satisfying muffins off my hands or not, they simply needed to be made.

Continue reading “Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes” »

Posted 3 years, 2 months ago.

2 comments

Lemon Cinnamon Icing… or “When I Confused the Salt and the Sugar”


I may be fast approaching middle-age, and on my way to senility, but I’m still entitled to make the mistakes of a rookie now and again.

I suppose it was going to happen sooner or later. Instead of one tablespoon of salt and two cups of sugar, I accidentally used one tablespoon of sugar and two cups of salt in the blackberry buttermilk cake batter I was making.

As you might have guessed, it did not taste delicious.

I suppose I’m no longer allowed to permit my “inside-head” voice to re-assure me I’m smart enough to tell the difference between salt and sugar based on looks alone.

I suppose I’m also no longer allowed to keep the two in identical canisters, sitting right next to one another, unmarked and usually filled to nearly the exact same levels.


I suppose I’ll have to buy one of those label-makers now… the ones that near-sighted great-gradmas have to use so they can tell the difference between the jar of gumdrops and the jar of buttons.

I suppose it could have been worse.  I could have posted it to Facebook.

See right in the middle of the comments, where Gloria says she has no comment?

I suppose that could have been worse too.

She could have decided she did, in fact, have a comment, and call me at home as I was dumping batter into the garbage can and weeping over my ineptitude.

Click on the link below to listen.

salt_cake.mp3

Continue reading “Lemon Cinnamon Icing… or “When I Confused the Salt and the Sugar”” »

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Posted 3 years, 5 months ago.

2 comments