Sunday, October 19, 2014

Currently: October 19, 2014

Digging... a couple of new shows I acquired this season. Cristin Milioti and Ben Feldman are pretty much the cutest thing ever on "A to Z," and I found myself sucked into "Madam Secretary" far more quickly than I anticipated.

Wearing... a t-shirt and shorts. We don't do autumn the same as the northern folks. No sweaters, no scarves, no boots. We're just relieved to be able to shut the a/c off and open some windows without melting into puddles.

Enjoying... the run the Kansas City Royals have been on this post-season. My team was long ago eliminated even the possibility of October baseball, so it's been fun to see fans who haven't seen baseball this late in the year for nearly three decades soak in the wonder of it all.

Coveting... weather forecasts that show no signs of anything over 75 degrees for highs.

Drinking... water. Always water.

Devouring... so many delicious foods at Food and Wine Fest. I'm five rounds in and it still seems as if I've hardly made a dent in my list!

Wishing... I weren't seeing 86s and 87s in this coming week's forecast. These past few days of low 80s have already spoiled me so.

Working... some photo editing, some DVR backlog, and a few more magazines. Sundays at home are my favorite.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

This Week on My TV: October 18, 2014

Disclaimer: Consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. You read at your own risk!

**(The MiddleS6E3 "Major Anxiety"Axl [to Hutch]: You were being responsible behind my back? -- Sue is on the committee to choose the homecoming committee. ::snort:: -- Sue [hyped up on caffeine and cleaning under her bed]: Even the dust bunnies have dust bunnies. -- OMG Sue on coffee = me on coffee. -- Axl wants to be an engineer because he's "always liked trains." -- Frankie [voiceover]: So Brick decided to go stag to the Fall Fantasy Dance, the fantasy being that this was a good idea. -- Sue: I rode the caffeine pony and it took me to the depths of hell. -- I audibly gasped when I just knew Sue was going to fall off the roof...and then she did. -- Cindy returns Brick's shoe that was left at the dance. BAHAHAHA. Cindy...Cinderella...lost shoe at a dance.

**(The Big Bang TheoryS8E5 "The Focus Attentuation") Sheldon: Well, don't feel bad. I think we've all been distracted since the girls entered our lives. Howard: You admit Amy's a distraction? Sheldon: Oh, very much so. Listen to this. This is from two days ago. 'Hi. Hope you're having a good day.' Who has time for this constant sexting? -- Penny: Bernadette. Girls weekend. Vegas. You in? Bernadette: Hell yeah. Penny: Yes! I'll check flights. Bernadette: I'll check hotels. Amy: I'll check my underpants. I'm so excited, I think I peed! -- This was the second show I watched so far this season that mentioned the Back to the Future 2 hover boards. -- Wardrobe did a fabulous job finding character appropriate black sequin outfits for each of the girls in Vegas. Sexy for Penny. Understated sexy for Bernadette. And a long sequined skirt for Amy. -- Raj: So what kind of name is Biff. Sounds like when you pop open a can of Pillsbury dough: bifffff. -- Punishment for not staying focused on the guys' science weekend was ripping off a strip of tape applied over their arm hair? I don't know whether to laugh hysterically or be horrified.

**(A to ZS1E2 "B is for Big Glory") I love the window phone calls between Andrew and Zelda. -- They try a little too hard to give the supporting cast more prominent stories in the episodes, but they just feel like filler, especially because the audience doesn't "know" them yet. It will take time to care about what is going on in the periphery of our two main characters. For now, just give me Andrew or Zelda on the screen at all times, with the supporting cast members...or better yet, Andrew and Zelda together, because holy chemistry, Batman! -- Andrew opens up, tells Zelda that he hears his "Big Glory" music in his head all the time since he's met her and she replies "That's sweet...thank you." OUCH. No one ever wants to be that's-sweet-ed! -- The ending, when Zelda hears her own "Big Glory" music after coming to thank Andrew for the cobbled together "Zelda" mini license plate and telling him to never stop saying sweet things to her, and then she does this happy little bounce of joy on her way out of his office. She is just the cutest thing. In fact, this whole show is.

**(ScandalS4E3 "Inside the Bubble"Michael the guy (?) looks like he could be related to Owen Wilson. -- When they showed the video clip of the guy falling off the cliff, I gasped so loudly, T actually got up out of bed and came to check on me. (Oops.) -- Well, at least Mellie has graduated to eating the largest apple I've ever seen. That's an improvement from chips and generic Froot Loops, I suppose. -- Awkward: That exchange between Olivia and Rowan outside his house when she "just stopped by to say hello and bring him coffee" and he insisted on inviting her and Jake to dinner. And speaking of enormous: Rowan's front door. -- I approve of Jake standing firm and telling Olivia she isn't his girlfriend, so he isn't going to dinner with her at her father's house, and to call him when she wants him to do that thing. -- Jake: C'mon, Charlie, use your head. ... and Jake then proceeds to use Charlie's head to bang the front of the vending machine holding Charlie's snack hostage. ::snort laugh:: -- I was a tad concerned that, with all the interest Mellie was taking in the newlywed bride suspected of pushing her new husband off a cliff to his death on their honeymoon, that she may have been...plotting. -- I got really nervous that I would have to watch Jake torture Charlie "Huck style" and I really don't want to see him go there. Even if it was Charlie. -- That was some move Quinn used on Charlie. -- Cyrus, how are you falling for Michael's agenda? Normally, your suspicious nature would have you immediately wondering who (in this case, Lizzie Bear) was trying to set you up for something (which she clearly is). -- Oh, Fitz. You're still thinking about Vermont. I *want* to pity you, but I'm Team Jake now. -- Abby [to Olivia, who just said that, ethically, she could not discuss a client with Abby, because she isn't a gladiator anymore]: rigger of elections?! -- Wait. *David* is going to blackmail that Justice into voting the way Fitz wants? Good David, with his white hat? All for what? To stay "inside the bubble" with Fitz? Oh, David. You sold out. And then the Justice took his own life. Now what? -- Quinn kinda had a point about being gone for 24 hours and no one noticing, much less coming to look for her. That isn't how the gladiators have each other's backs. -- For a brief passing moment, I felt sorry for Mellie. She just needed something to distract her, to make her feel useful, maybe inspire her out of her deep grief...and it turns out, even though she was correct, the bride did NOT push the her new husband, the local police had already figured that out without her help. Someone find Mellie a project! -- I was wondering what Fitz's hangup was with learning that Abby's name was not "Gabby" and then it all becomes clear. He pours her some scotch, pays her a compliment on the job she's doing for them...and then starts asking her about Olivia. Yeeouch. -- I jumped when Rowan stabbed that carving knife into the dining room table between Jake's fingers, but Jake never even flinched. Heh. -- I admit to being disappointed when Jake did finally accompany Olivia to dinner at Rowan's...until I realized that he went so he would have the opportunity to let Rowan know he was onto the fact that it was Rowan who had Fitz's eldest son murdered and that Harrison may have figured that out as well, so Rowan had him killed. Your move, Rowan, which scares me to say, but I can't help wondering if you've finally met your match.

**(The BlacklistS2E4 "Dr Linus Creel") Red is decent, deep down. He knows he wasn't a great husband to Naomi and he's truly trying to keep her safe from the repercussions of his actions. -- Based on that exchange between Red and Naomi regarding Liz and "how much she knows." I am dying to know what it is they know about Liz!! -- Red: Strap on your tin foil hat, Lizzie. -- Red's eyes and ears, aka Samar, are hard at work at the FBI Task Force headquarters. Especially when Liz asks Aram to pull Frank and Naomi's phone records. -- Who keeps watching Liz?! One of Red's people? Tom? Someone we don't know yet? --  That whole mind control bit, which at first appeared far fetched, started to feel just possible enough to be really creepy. -- What was with Dr Creel ripping out his own hair in clumps?! -- Senator: You're asking about mind control. This government can't make up its own mind, let alone control one. -- Naomi: Carla Reddington was a miserable housewife, married to a miserable man. That woman no longer exists. -- Frank and Naomi, you are so foolish to refuse Red's help out of sheer stubbornness and pride. -- Red has a great story with everyone he knows. A falling out with Haskell, the redacted documents genius, at a craps table? There's always a woman, a wild time, some food. -- Vargas in Monica's house, berating her for not taking better care of her dog. Possibly the weirdest break in ever. -- Frank was cheating on Naomi??? -- Frank: Monica, what did you to... Red: She's fine but from this point forward, there is only Naomi. She believes you to be an honest man, Frank. Faithful. And that is what you will become. You're going to accept my protection and leave Philadelphia. Frank: No. I'm going to call the cops, turn you in. You're not going to get away with this. Red [after snapping a stick into a point and holding it to Frank's neck]: You make her happy. That is the only reason you're still here. -- I get so worked up when they are rushing, trying to steal some info under great constraints. These scenes are so tense, I feel like my heart may beat out of my chest. And course Liz got the scrap of paper with the password on it, Aram. As if! -- I did *not* expect Creel to pull a gun when he took Liz hostage. -- It's that guy from where Liz is living! On the roof, shooting Creel, all sniper-like! That gun wasn't to attack Liz, it was to *protect* her. Because of course he was hired by Red. -- I wanna be chauffeured around like Red. -- Samar: So you think Reddington could have known, when he gave you this case, that you'd find out? ... FIND OUT WHAT??? -- So where *is* Jennifer? Red doesn't know and is trying to find her and protect her. Naomi claims she doesn't know. -- Naomi: And there's no one on earth who can make a woman feel like the center of his universe more than Raymond Reddington. -- If anything indicates when Red is furious with Liz, it's when he addresses her as "Agent Keene." -- Must be awkward to be Frank, watching Red stare into Naomi's face, tenderly brush hair from her forehead, lean in and give it an almost lingering kiss.-- Red: My associate saves your life and instead of saying thank you, you try to get him fired. If I knew better, I'd say you were hiding something. -- Where was Liz in that final scene? What's behind that door to which she appears to have the key? Where did she get it from? AAAHHHHHH!!! I cannot wait a whole week to (maybe) get answers!

**(The Good WifeS6E3 "Dear God"I am having the worst time reconciling "September from Fringe" being the slimy State's Attorney Castro now. -- I'm really liking Taye Diggs' character, Dean Levine-Wilkins. He brings a certain charm that has been missing in the post-Will-ness of this show.  -- This whole "Cary's bail" thing is wearing a little thin, but I did love his parole officer and how they formatted her meetings with Cary, Alicia, and Diane, with flashbacks that give insight, often contradicting the answers given to her questions. -- Fear a woman who gets cold and clipped in her speech, like Alicia did when Castro said she would run against him as State's Attorney "as retribution for the death of her lover, Will Gardner."

**(CSIS15E2 "Buzz Kill"I thought the dispensary owner was going to be behind the whole kidnapping of his wife and kids for ransom. Nope! The wife was behind it. Good twist! -- I'm glad to see that the Gig Harbor Killer case isn't being tabled any time soon. -- Hmmm. Finlay is back in Seattle (thank you skyline with the Space Needle and the cliched rain on the window for the locale hint) and she's alone, digging up history on the twins. How long before she finds herself in some sort of danger?

**(Person of InterestS4E3 "Wingman") Captain Moreno [to Reese]: Is this the third or fourth guy you've knee capped this week, Riley? -- Shaw [about Bear]: Don't you want him to catch it? Finch: Not if it means rat entrails in our new office. -- Reese saying "not it" is about the most ridiculously hilarious thing ever. -- Lionel gets stuck with the "professional wing man." And I'm thinking he wishes he had thought to call "not it!" like Reese did, because he looks, shall we say, less than thrilled. ... Lionel [to Shaw about the latest number, Andre, the wingman]: I think I know who's gonna kill our guy. -- Finch and Root got out of their missile purchase location just in the nick of time, before the police raided it. Thanks, Machine! -- Andre [to Lionel about meeting potential women to date]: Smile, but not too much. You don't want to look like a crazy person. -- Lionel in training for the dating scene was particularly painful to witness. -- I'm liking Reese with his five o'clock shadow. -- The three nicotine patches Captain Moreno is wearing can't really be safe, can it? -- We sure are seeing an awful lot of Shaw all dressed up. It's weird. -- Who does everyone who meets him think that Mr Egret actually is?? They all seem awed and slightly intimidated by him. But Badass Finch is so *not* Finch that I think I would fall to the ground laughing if I had to actually interact with him.  -- HAHAHAHAHA. Lionel finding a use for his cuff links to get himself and Andre out of handcuffs. -- Reese [to Lionel after rescuing him and Andre from the container]: I'm about to close my third case of the day. Wanted to make sure you didn't die before I had a chance to brag about it. -- The Machine is hooking them up. Weapons. Big black bags of untraceable cash. "Ill gotten gains put to good use" indeed, Root.

**(Modern FamilyS6E3 "The Cold"Claire with DayQuil in her wine glass. -- Cam [about being sick with a cold on his way back from their honeymoon]: I may have whined a bit. A crying baby complained about me. -- I don't know what was more funny: that video from the wedding, showing Phil sneezing all over everything, proof that he started the great family cold or his editing of the video. -- Whoa, that kiss between Haley and Andy. Haley may be in for the biggest shock of her self-important life. -- Jay [when Claire shows up at family dinner, stricken with The Cold]: Can we catch this again? -- Why do sitcom colds always seem to also involve nausea? I've had a lot of colds, but none that also affect my stomach.

**(Law and Order: SVUS16E2 "American Disgrace") Let's see which headline(s) Shakir Wilkins' case was ripped from. -- Mr Bauer: Have you read his autobiography? I don't even know if he read it. -- That look the Barba and Rollins exchanged when the father told Cordelia he was "glad she was a good girl now and he forgave her for everything" totally said "we are so going to discuss this in the elevator, because what the hell was *that* about?" -- Able to pinpoint three headlines used for this episode's inspiration: Blaming senility on racist comments made by someone of prominence in the sports industry that were recorded. A scene in an elevator. Accused athlete losing corporate sponsorship.

**(About a BoyS2E1 "About a Vasectomy"Were Marcus and Fiona seriously re-enacting Marcus' birth? As Will said "I'm so glad things didn't get weird while I was gone." -- Andy *faked* a vasectomy? Duuude. Also, instead of 'fessing up, I might just tell the possibly pregnant wife that the procedure must have, ummm, failed. -- Sell the San Francisco place? I can't fall for that. The show would cease to exist. So, how long before Will and Dr Sam split and he moves back?

**(Sleepy HollowS2E3 "Root of All Evil") Very clever spin on Benedict Arnold and quite the well-executed creative license by the writers to link this evil coin back to the thirty pieces of silver Judas received for betraying Jesus. Anyone who has possessed one since, betrays his deepest loyalties with no warning. There is, obviously, plenty of creative license in this show, but I'm impressed with the spins they make and the people, places, and events they weave together to fit the premise. -- There are an awful lot of connections between the Mills family and Chief Reyes. I am suspicious. -- Henry Parrish is popping up everywhere, with that smug smile. His being a lawyer is bad news. -- Crane's beer rant when he saw the bottle of Sam Adams. Priceless. -- Blondie posed a valid question I had but couldn't articulate: How to take possession of this evil coin without it taking possession of Crane or Abbie? -- Priest: How long has it been since your last confession? Crane: Ohhhh...feels like centuries. ... HAHAHAHAHA! -- Abbie: Even without an evil coin, telling the friends from the enemies gets harder all the time. Crane: That's why we so appreciated the British wearing bright red coats. -- Hawley: Good? Or evil? (He's no match for Crane in the swoon department, though.) -- Crane: And again, your silence in the matter of my wife is most telling. Do you believe I should not have allowed her to remain with the Horseman? Abbie: Allowed her? She's 1) a grown woman, 2) a witch, 3) a redhead. You couldn't have stopped her if you tried. -- Crane [to Abbie]: Trust is the only currency with any value. All other forms are too easily counterfeited. -- Crane is correct. The battle lines have been drawn and all that matters, now, is upon which side each of the players fall. Some of these players are pretty obvious. Abbie, Crane, and Jenny are on the side of light. Henry and Abraham are on the side of Moloch's darkness. Where will Katrina, ultimately, fall? Reyes? Irving? Hawley? All seem to have or could have reasons to straddle the line, but no one can stay with a foot on either side. A choice must be made. -- It seems Katrina is right about Henry on some level. He is still strongly connected to her, as her son, but based on his pyrotechnics on the bed where he was born, that connection it, at best, complicated and conflicted, and at worst, a fuel for his dark destruction.

**(Marry MeS1E1 "Pilot") They nailed tirade of a typical single girl in her 30s. Been there, felt that! -- I about died when Jake called everyone out of hiding. Way to kill the moment, Annie, by slamming almost everyone waiting to jump out and surprise you, to celebrate what should have been your engagement! (This is why I wanted no witnesses to my engagement: fear of mortifying myself.) -- I am glad Dan Bucatinsky found some place to land after his abrupt departure from Scandal. -- Annie's gay fathers are both named Kevin? I'm not sure whether or not I find this funny enough to actually laugh. It worked for that one scene in the car, but I could see the joke getting old quickly. -- I approve of the way they use flashbacks to tell Annie and Jake's story from before the point where the show picks up. -- Annie doing yoga is precisely how I would look. -- Annie [about goofing up Jake's attempted proposal]: I waited 32 years. If I had just waited 32 more seconds... -- Annie [on yoga]: My body doesn't go these places. -- How did annie not rip that lace dress while squeezing past the mail cart in Jake's office? Lord knows I would have. And probably gotten it dirty too. -- Whoa, Jake and Annie dated a year before saying "I love you"? Are these the rules? No wonder I didn't end up married until just before my 36th birthday.

**(Blue BloodsS5E2 "Forgive and Forget"Jamie and Janko argue like cats and dogs. Or, ya know, people in denial of their feelings for each other. Janko is a *itch though. I don't know what Jamie sees in her. -- Erin looks like she's ready to choke Danny half the time, usually as a result of him needing a favor. They are certainly at each other's throats more than any other Reagan pairing on the show. -- Was that the speed dating opposing counsel guy that Erin met last season who she had for a sleepover while Nicky was away on a field trip? Who is potentially going to be her interim boss? Complicated and awkward! (Also, I hope Erin does a better job than I do remembering your name, buddy.) -- Heavy on the "right thing to do" when it comes to cops making bad choices and how it should be handled this episode. Between how cops treat one another when one makes a statement against a partner, and when one of Frank's old friends, who is about to retire, is in an accidental shooting situation with his partner (who was non-fatally shot). -- When Janko called in Kara getting hit, she asked for "a bus, forthwith." She isn't a Reagan, so is she authorized to use that phrase? -- Ouch. No backup showed up at that drugstore armed robbery scene...because no one would back Kara (and subsequently, her interim partner, Jamie) up after she testified against her partner. -- Frank: Past heroism is no excuse for present misconduct.

**(Law and Order: SVUS16E3 "Producer's Backend"Ripped from the headlines: Gee, could Tensley Evans be Lindsey Lohan-ish much? -- Awww, Amaro with baby Noah. -- Donna Evans[Tensley's mother, when asked to leave the room while the detectives speak with her daughter]: She's my baby! She needs me right here! ... OMG, shrieky and annoying and also, your baby is 24 years old, lady. -- I'm glad to see that Amaro is back with the unit, but I still don't like Sonny. Why couldn't they have made Murphy a regular after last season? I liked him a lot. -- I love when Barba finds a loophole. He gets this hungry gleam in his eyes. -- When liv said "he doesn't just spit up on anyone" and then asked the nanny to dry the baby's hair after his bath because he still had a cough, I had a feeling something was up with baby Noah. Confirmed by the episode ending with Liv racing out of the squad room, after getting a call that the nanny was at the ER with him. -- I don't know how much of that kind of disgusting behavior actually goes on in Hollywood, but it sure would make me hope any daughter of mine would stay out of professional acting. Yikes.

**(Last Man StandingS4E4 "Sinkhole"A sinkhole? In Colorado? -- Kristin: Why even argue? You can't settle anything. Everyone has their own set of facts and a cable show to back up the opinions he already has. -- Ryan: Mike, false machismo isn't going to make him feel any safer. Mike: Well, real machismo would be better, but we get what we get. -- I rarely laugh during Ryan and Kristin scenes, unless Mike is making fun of one of them, but I was pretty amused when Kristin showed more resolve than Ryan, and threw Boyd over her shoulder and carried him out to the car, with a firm "enough is enough" over Boyd refusing to leave Mike and Vanessa's house due to fear of the world, following the near run-in with the sinkhole.

**(ScandalS4E4 "Like Father, Like Daughter"When Olivia asked Huck if he could shut down cell service so no one could get video of her and Quinn extracting the drunk First Daughter from a party without people posting videos all over the internet, I realized that now I am going to wonder every time the internet or cell service hiccups. -- Fitz [after learning of his daughter's escapades and the *ahem* video that was made]: And then find a convent in Switzerland to stick her in. Olivia: That didn't work when my father did it to me. -- Cyrus [to Abby, after she told him he makes he feel small when he keeps things from her]: Red, there are things that happen in this big White House, with this particular President, that you will never, ever know about. Some of those things, many of those things *will* involve Olivia Pope. Several of *those* things will make it hard for you to do your job. But you are a patriot, you are a fighter, and so you will solider on. As for feeling small, I don't do that to you. I suspect that jealousy does that to you. My advice on that is this: you are not Olivia, you will never be Olivia, and hating Olivia for your own shortcomings will not change that fact. Also, have you ever stopped to think what it must be like to actually *be* Olivia Pope? Doesn't seem like that much fun. -- Jake: Rosen. David: Hi. Am I due for a good threatening? -- Mellie [to Fitz, in a rage, after learning Olivia had been in the White House]: A magical fairy granted your wish and POOF! Olivia Pope appeared in the Oval Office. -- I actually approve of Fitz's response to Mellie's temper tantrum over Olivia being in the White House. ... Fitz: I have dealt with drunk Mellie, bad hygeine, wait, I've got it smelly Mellie. I have dealt with Drunk mellie, smelly Mellie and screw everything to hell Mellie, crybaby Mellie and eat everthing that is not nailed down Mellie, and I have not complained, but I will not put up with whatever righteous history re-writing Mellie you have going on right here right now. -- Quinn is pretty hardcore these days. -- I'm so mad that Olivia had a moment with Fitz. I'm mad for Jake. I'm mad that Fitz won't respect what's left of his marriage. I'm mad that Olivia allows herself to be sucked in. -- I'm a little weary of Fitz's poor me routine. Olivia left him and he nearly died. YOU ARE THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD. Get *over* yourself, Fitz, and do your job. -- I was impressed by what Mellie said to Karen about her wild night. -- Fitz sent Rowan in to question Tom?? About the mission *Rowan* sent him on! The orders he received to get the vial that ultimately killed Jerry Grant?? And now Tom lied, framed Jake, and Rowan gets away, literally, with murder. Jake, who Fitz hates more than anyone else on the planet, because Liv took him with her when she ran away, leaving poor Fitz all alone ::eyeroll::. is going to believe it's true because he wants it to be true.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Food and Wine Fest 2014: Round Four

Round Four was another unseasonably warm day (oh, who am I trying to kid? it was sticky hot), but I was back at it, plan in hand. I had kind of wandered aimlessly the first three times, and now that we're getting to the midway portion, I have to keep an eye on my list and attempt some kind of balance for the remaining rounds. I don't want to reach the end and be eating four desserts! Or ::gasp:: four savory dishes and *no* desserts.

Kicking off in...


Venison Sausage with Pickled Mushrooms, Baby Arugula, and Black Currant Reduction.

This is probably one of the most surprisingly balanced dishes of the Fest. The sausage is very flavorful (though there is minimal greasiness, probably due to leaner venison), and somehow it manages to match up well with its complements without overwhelming them. The peppery arugula. The zingy pickled mushrooms. The sweetness of the black currant reduction. They each add this layer of flavor, which is amazing all together, but also stands up well in smaller pairings of the dish's components. I'm not a huge fan of mushrooms. I'll tolerate them in the right circumstances. I can't say I ate them all, but I certainly added the smaller ones to my carefully constructed forkfuls because the zip of their being pickled really is a tasty addition.

I needed a little bit of food in my stomach to execute my plan, so venison sausage devoured, I was on my way to...


Kimchi Dog with Spicy Mustard Sauce. iCing Grapefruit Sparkling Rice Brew.

I'm still unclear what makes the dog that orange color (and with a hot dog, sometimes it's best just not to know too much, if you know what I mean), but it's a delicious combination. It's like an American classic -- the hot dog with mustard and sauerkraut -- had a little Asian makeover. The kimchi slaw provides a nice zippy crunch, and the mustard sauce gives it kick (although, unless I miss my mark, I'm pretty sure there is a low to mid level heat to all the pieces of this dog, except the bun). I've had this one before, so I knew what to expect from it. Every good baseball fan knows that a beer and a hot dog go together (whether you actually consume them or not, it's baseball fact), but I'm also fairly well documented as not liking beer. The taste, and especially the aftertaste, are just not suited to my palate. However, I have discovered that I do like fruity flavored beers, so I decided to get out of my comfort zone and go with the recommended pairing. Oh. My. Rice beer? I'm in! *None* of that taste or aftertaste that makes me put on a yuck face! It was light and crisp and refreshing, and just exactly what I needed to cut through the heat from the kimchi dog. It's also a little deceptive. I am a lightweight, so I make a pretty cheap date, since I get a quick buzz. I felt *nothing* from this rice brew. I attributed it to the half bottle of water, the venison sausage, and the kimchi dog also in my stomach.

Moving right along...

Oh, wait...

The buzz was delayed! About fifteen minutes after I finished the iCing, there it was. The slightly giggly, pink-faced buzz. Not that you could tell by my face, because it was already a little pink from the heat. (But not from the sun. SPF 100, baby! And a Red Sox cap on my noggin.)

Better get some more food in my stomach. I need to be driving home when I'm done...


Sauerkraut Pierogi with Pork Goulash.

If I needed to soak up a little of that alcohol, this new Fest offering was the dish to handle it. I've had my share of pierogies in the past, but they've always been filled with some version of potato. I expected this dish to be hearty (I assumed it was the dough from the pierogi responsible for that), but it was even more heavy than I anticipated, and not in the way I had expected! The pierogi was unexpectedly light. The tangy sauerkraut filling was far less dense than the potato I am accustomed to. But that pork meant business. The tomato based sauce of the goulash was not a combination I would have expected with the pork and the sauerkraut, but I did end up enjoying it. My only real complaint was that the pork was a little dry, but pork tends to do that, so I wasn't overly disappointed.

The heavier dish and the rest of my water diluted my iCing buzz enough that I was ready to do something completely off the wall (for me) (remember, I'm a pretty boring human, so my risks are...well, you'll see)...



Florida Grass-Fed Beef Slider with Pimento Cheese. Stella Artois Cidre.

Thinking back to my kimchi dog, earlier, what more appropriate dish to include on this round, but a burger, right?? This little guy was very tasty, although a wee bit dry (low fat content, I guess, because it wasn't overcooked). What made it pop, though, was that pimento cheese sauce on top. It was more "creamy dressing" than "melty cheese" but was still packed with flavor. The pimentos gave the sauce some texture and there was just a hint of warmth. There were some other diced "things" in the cheese sauce that provided crunch, but I'll be darned if I could actually tell you what they were. Onion, likely? And I could swear I tasted cucumber, but I'm not certain that was actually in there. What I know is that it didn't lack for taste, but the burger could have been a bit more juicy and the roll was not as soft as I would prefer. I'm thinking they chose a more sturdy option than a soft bun that may get soggy. At any rate, it wasn't bad, but not my favorite either. To wet my whistle with the slider, I did something heretofore unprecedented for my Festing: I matched the food with a beverage from another location. ::horror movie scream:: (Hey, I warned you my risk-taking was boring.) As stated, not a fan of beer. Didn't want wine with my slider. No other options at the Hops and Barley kiosk. But I *had* wanted to try a beverage from Belgium that decidedly did not match with the waffle I had gotten there previously in the Fest: a hard cider! I do really enjoy a hard cider. This did not disappoint. It was a great combination with my slider. A little sharp, a little sweet, a little bubbles. I'm glad I decided to go outside the box on this one.

And now to my goofy sense of humor. If you're a real Disney geek, you may have noticed something in the background of that food photo. Hops and Barley...America, if you will, joined up with Belgium...and invaded Morocco! BAHAHAHAHA! (I better disclaimer this, in case some misguided child searching the interwebs for a school project actually believes this happened. America and Belgium invaded Morocco to *eat* there, because it's cool(er) and quiet(er) and I really like sitting in Fez House.)

I know this amuses me more than probably anyone possessing an actual sense of humor, but I chuckled my way (and no, I was not buzzed, so no excuse there, since I tempered the Cidre with more water and I had a fair amount of food in my stomach now) over to...


Cannoli al Cioccolato.

I was pretty stuffed, so dessert needed to be light. A nice, cool chocolate-covered cannoli filled with sweet ricotta, chocolate chips, and a little candied fruit called my name. The problem was finding a shady spot to enjoy it. By the time I found an available spot, I had gotten all the way to China, and my poor cannoli was starting to melt! Not to worry, because it still tasted delightful. The sweetness is subtle and it's just enough to make my meal feel "finished."

Satisfied, I wiped the chocolate off my face -- melted chocolate can make even a fairly civilized adult look like they have the table manners of a two year old! -- and made my way out of the park. I'm crossing my fingers that some more comfortable weather reaches us, because I have so much more left to try and the heat really saps my appetite!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

This Week on My TV: October 11, 2014

Disclaimer: Consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. You read at your own risk!

**(Grey's AnatomyS11E1 "I Must Have Lost It on the Wind") Alex [to Mer]: You can't break into my house and wake me up to talk and then tell me to shut up. -- That helipad scene brought by emotions from ER when Romano's arm got chopped off. ::shudder:: But, holy crap, that gurney flying off the helipad and through the roof of a minivan on the ground. -- I'm not sure how I feel about Geena Davis in a surgeon's role. -- I totally bawled with the guy who was lost in the desert when he realized his wife and little girl were probably dead. But seriously, the way he kept freaking out, why didn't they sedate him? We won't even talk about how I wept when his family arrived at the hospital, safe and sound. -- Mer: Pierce is no Yang. She's perky and chatty and I bet she likes cats. --  Ouch, Pierce telling Richard she doesn't need to add any unwanted random blood relatives...not realizing he could well be her father. -- Of course, Callie and Arizona are going to go around and around on new baby vs fellowship for Arizona, which will surely lead to more discord. -- Every time Bailey and Alex "face off" about taking Cristina's board seat, I expect to hear the music from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." -- Derek chose Mer. And the kids, of course. But he chose *her*. So, what is her freaking problem??

**(ScandalS4E1 "Randy, Red, Superfreak, and Julia"Whoa. Olivia with curly hair. And amusing irony, reading "Gone Girl" while she hides on some...deserted beach island? -- Huck: Are you back for now or are you back for good? Olivia: They found Harrison's body. Huck: I read the paper. Are you back for now or are you back for good? -- Abby working for Fitz? Mellie wandering around in her bathrobe with a box of cereal? And what has happened to Cy's hair?? -- Cy [to some blonde woman he refers to as Lizzie Bear in his office]: Do you need to validate a ticket for your broomstick or can you find your way out of here on your own? -- Jake: Do you remember the last time we were together, Rosen? David: Was that the time you killed three people or another time? All the fear and violence starts to blend together. -- David [to Jake]: I spent two months going through those files. I read them every day. I even created a color-coded system. Orange for scary. Red for very scary. And black for crap your pants and wait for someone to come kill you scary. And most of those files, Jake, are black. Those files are terrifying. -- Abby: Is there bad news? Something abroad? Should I sit down? Cyrus: That might make it harder for you to run when I start yelling. -- Why do I suspect that, despite what Rowan would have Liv believe, Maya is *not* dead. -- I really like Jake. A lot. And he adores Olivia. I'm going to be very angry if Olivia breaks him too. -- As broken as Fitz and Liv were, Mellie and Fitz are disturbingly heartbreaking. -- The show obviously wouldn't work anymore, but I kinda liked Liv-and-Jake-on-the-island.

**(ReignS2E1 "The Plague"I did not catch, in the season one finale, that the girl Leith was making moves on was none other than Lord Castleroy's daughter. This will obviously get very complicated. -- And so with one careless philanderer, The Plague enters the castle walls. -- Lola's baby was a boy. A son. An heir. Illegitimate or not, it's more than Mary has been able to give Francis. -- Go, Mary, telling Catherine to shut it when Catherine was taunting her about her inability to conceive and Francis being at Lola's side for the birth of their child. I especially enjoyed when Mary reminded Catherine who was Queen now. Of course, Catherine will need to be (gleefully) showing Mary the darker side of her newly acquired title.-- Oh no. The sick guy was talking with Kenna and has taken Pascal with him. Ack! By the time Kenna got to Pascal to check on him, the sick guy was dead, Pascal had The Plague, and she ends up locked in their rooms, as Pascal is dying. Bash is coming into contact with all kinds of people with The Plague while he searches for Kenna. At least, with both of them being exposed, they should be able to be together when he finally finds her. -- Ah, crap, there is Plague in Lola's midwife's home now too. With Francis there. Time to beat feet! -- One thing is for sure: Royals must never know who is truly loyal, and who has an agenda and some excellent acting skills. -- Ok, the cannot kill off the entire cast with The Plague, but with the disease running rampant and all of them risking exposure, how are they going to justify the number of them that don't get infected? -- Mary and Nostradamus conspired to infect Catherine with something so she thinks she has The Plague. Freaking priceless. -- OMG, Castleroy's daughter was accidentally murdered by the vengeful Lord who poisoned a whole household for revenge when Mary would not trade favors with him and have the man killed in exchange for a food supply. -- That was a really weird vision Bash had of that little ghost girl. Is he ill? Seeing visions like Nostradamus? Exhausted? -- I thought, for sure, we were saying goodbye to Lola, but now that Francis has fallen in love with his tiny new heir, it appears he will not be sending them off to a new life after all. I wonder how that will fly with Mary?

**(The BlacklistS2E3 "Dr James Covington") I fell, hook, line, and sinker, for Liz's dream sequence with Tom. -- Red: Slushie? Liz: Pass. Red: Oh my gosh. You have no idea what you're missing. Try a Grapefruit Gusher. It's just like you today: a little sour. -- Aram [upon being introduced to Samar]: Whoa, you're...tall. -- Liz: How does an Iranian end up working for Mossad? Samar: How did the FBI end up working for Raymond Reddington? -- Red: Mr Vargas. Sounds like a shady character from a Humphrey Bogart movie. I like him already. -- I wonder if we'll ever know the history of how Red and Mr Kaplan began their relationship. I bet that would be a fabulous story. -- That scene with Babbit, where Red sent him drinks spiked with a drug heart patients shouldn't have, to encourage Babbit to call the special number Convington gave him only for emergencies. Red was so cold and sinister. "Does this feel like an emergency?" -- Harold is a good boss. I like that he doesn't reprimand Liz or put her on leave. Just offers to listen anytime. -- Cross, double cross, triple cross. I almost lost track. Two of Red's business associates betrayed Red by going to Berlin (or so we think). Nico betrayed Reddington to Vargas/Berlin (and also made the other two associates out to be defectors when they weren't).  Surprise, Nico! Vargas actually works for Red and now *your* betrayal has been exposed! -- What a moral conflict: Covington makes criminals pay big bucks for illegal transplants and he uses the money to fund a secret clinic that does organ transplants for children who would otherwise die. -- Red: Value loyalty above all else. -- I knew I had a bad feeling about that guy Liz thought was following her at the beginning of the episode. Her first instinct was obviously right, judging by that gun he was assembling. -- Ouch: that slap Red received from Naomi. I'm guessing she, and maybe Liz, are the only two people who could get away with that move. -- What kind of business deal was Red part of with Niko? Something related to the bigger story? I had a hard time following.

**(Blue BloodsS4E1 "Partners") I was not expecting the mentally unstable homeless guy to get hit by a van when they used the stun gun on him. Holy crap. -- I could have sworn that the scene of the domestic dispute Jamie and Janko responded to was the same place Jamie's first partner was killed. -- Jamie's feelings for Janko are clearly getting in the way of his being professional. -- I yelled out when Danny and Baez got t-boned when their extra detail with the DEA got ambushed. This episode is making me jumpy. -- I do not like the Mayor. It's pretty clear Frank shares that sentiment. -- What is Baez's problem?? She has copped an attitude with Danny all episode. -- You can't go to your sister for advice and not expect her to tell you the truth, Jamie. -- Linda's hair is different every season. I'm not so sure how I feel about this season's style though.-- Frank: Everyone who comes in this office has an agenda. Most people tell me what I wanna hear. Some people tell me what they want me to do. What I don't have is someone with firsthand knowledge of police work giving me the unvarnished truth. Sgt Gormley: I believe, sir, that's because they don't wanna piss you off. -- How long before Jamie gives in to his resolve to keep things purely professional with Janko?

**(The Big Bang Theory, S8E4 "The Hook-Up Reverberation") Finally, Raj's girlfriend makes an appearance! -- I totally didn't catch why Emily would take an immediate dislike to Penny. T, correctly, pointed out it was probably because Raj bragged about hooking up with Penny in the past. -- Penny: No one ever says they don't like you straight to your face. Amy: We have led different lives. -- Leonard: Is Stewart trying to get a loan or find investors? Howard: All I know is he's got my mother buying 4-ply toilet paper. I mean, FOUR PLY. If his butt is so delicate, why doesn't he just use an angora rabbit? Sheldon: For starters, they shed and bite. -- OMG, Sheldon, Howard, and Raj totally not seeing how their idea to offer vans to drive around and pick up children to bring to the comic book store they want to open is a bad bad bad idea. LOL. -- Howard's freak out over his mother calling Stewart 'bubula' and offerinf him the money to re-open his comic book store was spot on and hilarious. -- Bernadette's abrasiveness is still alive and well. Meh.

**(The Good WifeS6E2 "Trust Issues"Alicia has to be torn. She likes Finn but he's making her life rather hellish. -- Taye Diggs! I prefer him in this lawyer role over the police role he has on "Murder in the First." -- The deposition on the ChumHum class action lawsuit was 47 different kinds of uncomfortable. I can't imagine how they feel in real life. -- I still don't get how two male characters on this show are named Cary. It's not that common a name! -- Valerie Jarrett looks so fake from her tan to her facial structure. And it freaks me out that she was playing herself!! -- Holy crap, the tension between Peter and Alicia when she asked him to sign the second mortgage so she can get Cary out of jail and he refused. -- Diane is shaping the future of Florrick Agos the way SHE wants it. I don't believe that is what Alicia and Cary have in mind. -- Who sent Ernie Nolan with that check if it wasn't Eli? -- I really like the bronze colored suit Diane was wearing toward the end of the episode. -- OMG, all those LG attorneys coming with Diane and Dean now. Things are spiraling out of control and Alicia doesn't even realize it. -- Eli is going to bust over wanting Alicia to run for State's Attorney. -- Lorraine Joy [to Alicia, after Alicia ate for her lunch in that series of depositions]: I should have hired you. You'e an assassin. -- Diane was dressed appropriately fierce in that leopard print dress she wore the day she, Dean, and their entourage walked out of LG. -- Lockhart Gardner Canning going to need a new name, now that one has "retired" and another is dead, leaving just Canning? Because it's kind of weird, but I could see the firm wanting continuity. I could also see David Lee wanting to be a named partner.

**(A to ZS1E1 "A Is for Acquaintances") Pretty sure, after her role in How I Met Your Mother, I would give almost anything Cristin Miliotti was in a shot. -- It isn't (I checked), but you could have totally sold me that the girl who plays Stephie also played Larissa on "The Carrie Diaries." -- After all the horrendous chemistry issues on "2 Broke Girls," I feel like I judge all new comedies on where the chemistry falls in relation. This show has more of it in the opening scene than "2 Broke Girls" has had collectively in three complete seasons. -- I do believe I will be giving this one a shot. It's cute. It made me chuckle. I like the two leads. -- Ohhhh, the kiss that ended this episode. Love!

**(Person of InterestS4E2 "NautilusI will guess that saying math is 'boring and stupid' to Harold Finch is pretty much akin with blasphemy. -- When those guys took Harold's money for "shooting out" their car window, I would have been amused if that would have been a wad of singles. -- Reese [to Finch]: Code cracking. Sometimes you forget I was an internal spy. -- Kid in coffee shop [to Finch]: Who are you? Shaw [holding the kid's arm pinned behind his back]: The guy who tells me when to let go. -- BAHAHAHA! Reese asking "excuse me does this thing work?" about a payphone and then planting the receiver right between the biker's eyes. -- Very interesting twist making the nautilus game's host be Samaritan. Well done, POI. -- Reese and Shaw exit an elevator, with unconscious bad guys in their wake. It's just like old times! -- Hooray! Finch is back in!

**(The BridgeS2E13 "Jubilex"I had half a dozen heart attacks when Hank was pulling over that tractor trailer truck. -- Linder!! Muttonchops is NOT dead! Almost but not quite. -- I am so confused. How did Eleanor regain possession of her father? I thought the Marines that chased Fausto as he escaped from his compound and discovered the father locked in his cage had taken him. -- Adriana: You're drunk and stupid. Daniel: I'm not stupid! -- Why does Sonya always use earbuds with her phone? -- Weird ending. Abrupt. Eleanor cuffed beneath the tree where Sonya found her being strangled by her sick, deranged father. The father's body lying where Sonya shot him. And Marco telling her how he's going to make it all ok.

**(ParenthoodS6E1 "Vegas"Amber being pregnant was probably the worst kept secret ever. Her not being sure what to do about it was a bit more surprising. -- Uh. Who is Julia in bed with?? -- I just don't see Hank and Sandy married and having Ruby (who, by the way, is a major brat, like on Sydney levels). -- Ugh Drew is still with Natalie. Do not like. -- At least Haddie exists this season. So far. -- Whoa. Victor had a growth spurt. -- I think my heart stopped when Zeek fell out of his chair at the blackjack table in Vegas. -- Cliche: young doctor who gets asked if he's fourteen. -- Arg. I am as frustrated with Julia as I was with Joel last season. I get where she's coming from, but ARG. -- I feel like I know Zeek's doctor from something else, but I've looked and looked, and I can't seem to find anything. It's kinda bugging me. -- Tears: Max went to Chambers for his mom.

**(Law and Order: SVU, S16E1 "Girls Disappeared"Demotion, it seems, for Amaro after beating that psycho last season. -- Looks like Liv took baby Noah into her care. But I saw how quickly she hid the pacifier that fell out on her desk. Is she trying to prevent people from knowing? -- I don't like this new detective. I miss Murphy. -- I was so jumpy through this entire episode. Every time someone shot a gun or banged open a door. -- What the heck happened with Liv and Cassidy? I am still confused by what, I guess, was the weirdest breakup ever last season.

**(The MiddleS6E2 "The Loneliest Locker"Sue: Guess what? Axl: Nobody likes you? Sue: Can't ruin my day, Axl! Axl: Ooo, a challenge! -- I'm trying to decide whether I found Axl stealing everything from home to furnish is unfurnished apartment, or Frankie's second job as a airline customer service rep made me laugh more. Sue's play and Brick's basket of noisy toys made me twitchy though. -- OMG that dump Axl and Hutch live in. Gross! -- I have no words for Sue's and Brad's senior play. But so exactly what I would have expected from those two.

**(Modern FamilyS6E2 "Do Not Push"Mitch: Ok, easy on the filters, Cam. This is a family picture. We don't need sepia tone. Cam: You know what other tone we don't need? -- Manny [to Jay about getting a gift for Gloria]: I once gave her a bag full of hugs and she definitely prefers stuff. -- I love when Lily messes with Mitchell and Cam. -- Awkward flirting between Alex and that guy Jason. Totally awesome! My guess: Alex decides to stay local for college.

**(ScandalS4E2 "The State of the Union"Olivia: They care about you. They want you to live. Cyrus: Sons of bitches. -- Olivia has got to look at this bickering couple, who are the "face of gun control," and think "I left a tropical island paradise with a sexy man for THIS??" -- Abby is looking a bit overwhelmed by her new job in the White House. I think she finally found a tiny bit of confidence when she told Mellie that she was not the only parent to lose a child and that all those Americans who have also lost children needed to see Mellie put on a dress and appear at the State of the Union, despite her grief. -- Cyrus: A broken heart is a broken heart. To take a measure is cruelty. -- I think I like the position Jake is taking with Olivia. She cannot keep stringing him along. He is in his hotel room, she knows where to find him for a booty call, he is not her lapdog. ... Olivia [on the phone]: I don't like this! Jake: Don't like it then. ::click:: -- Charlie's baaa-aaaack! -- Oh, it makes me mad that Lizzie Bear is preying on Cy's loneliness. That's about the lowest of the low.

**(Sleepy HollowS2E2 "The Kindred"This new sheriff is in for a surprise. She has no idea what she is up against in Sleepy Hollow. -- I will never understand why the Headless Horseman looks around. How can he *see*?? HE HAS NO HEAD. -- Abbie: Just stand in line and go with the flow. Crane: Two statements which mean the opposite. Abbie: You founded a country. Figure it out. -- Crane [looking at the pen on a chain]: These people entrust you with their fortune and you cannot entrust them with a simple inkwell? ... His observations are the best. -- Crane: It is this kind of gross invitation to indulgence that mocks the power of the invisible hand to foster the true wealth of nations, a boon to your industry, I'll grant, yet cementing pains me now to say it, *our* lot as an insolvent flock of debtors. -- Katrina is very brave to stay behind with Headless Abraham to learn as much as she can about Moloch's plan in order to help Ichabod and Abbie. -- John Noble is freaking brilliant, even just sitting in a chair, albeit controlling that demon suit of armor Moloch bestowed upon him. -- What a kiss between Ichabod and Katrina! ::swoon:: -- OMG, Henry is Irving's new lawyer?! *That* has to be bad news. And did he just sneakily get Irving to sign that document in blood?! AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!

**(Last Man StandingS4E1 "Here's the Kicker"Justin: I'm going to go to the concession stand. Does anyone want anything? Mike: Yeah, a beer. Justin: Oh, but I'm not 21. Mike: Then you're going to be gone a while, aren't you? -- Why is Kristin doing her laundry at her parents' house? GROW UP. -- We totally called that Eve would end up getting hurt. We didn't count on it being playing soccer though!

**(Last Man StandingS4E2 "War Games"I. Hate. Ryan. Episodes. -- Ryan left for a hair appointment...and came back with his hair looking....exactly the same? -- I loved the whole "Vanessa looking sexy, age be damned" bit. -- Mike [to Kristin]: You know, the best thing about your moving out is I get to see so much of you. ... Yes! YES!! Thank you for acknowledging it!

**(Last Man StandingS4E3 "Rediscover America"Two episodes ago, Kristin was disparaging Eve for playing on the boys' football team "because girls playing on boys' sports teams sends the message that girls' sports teams aren't as good." Now, she's all "Eve is inspiring girls everywhere to believe they can be every bit as good as boys." Pick a side already and stick with it. -- Joely Fisher's character as Ed's girlfriend is kinda annoying. -- I kinda love that Mike and Ed know that a box full of steaks being delivered means "I'm sorry." 


Friday, October 10, 2014

Food and Wine Fest 2014: Round Three

Ack! I better get to last weekend's visit before this weekend's arrives!

First stop...


Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Puree.

In previous years, this kiosk used to be Argentina. Apparently, this year, they decided to include the region instead of a single country, so that both Argentina and Chile could get some representation. This beef skewer is practically a Festival staple at this point. And I don't care that I get it every single year. The beef was there and tender and all that, but let's be honest. It's really just a vehicle for that chimichurri so I don't have to embarrass myself by licking my little paper dish. And any that is left over gets scooped up with boniato. I don't even know how many years they've offered this menu selection now (I could look, but I'm feeling lazy), but the boniato always amazes me. It's like potato and yet...not...but not in any way I could actually explain to you.

Sticking close by (in Fest terms, not actual geography) is...


Garlic Shrimp with Roasted Tomatoes, Lemon Myrtle, and Rapini.

This is a dish that is better when each mouthful contains each piece of the whole and not as individual components. The rapini (which I am guessing, based on appearance, is in the broccoli family, of which I am an overall fan) is on the bitter side, for me, when it stands alone. But tempered with the tomato or some garlicky shrimp scales back its bitterness. The garlic on this one is dialed way up. Now, I like garlic, don't get me wrong, but I kind of wish it hadn't been so hot and humid, because I would have liked a glass of riesling with this, but I was going heavy on the water to keep myself hydrated instead. Blah. Water didn't add the extra flavor I think would have made this whole thing truly pop.

Sticking with the seafood note...


Seared Sea Scallop with Spinach-Cheddar Gratin and Crispy Bacon.

It is not your imagination. Three rounds made at Food and Wine Fest, three visits to the Scotland kiosk. What can I say? They knocked it out. of. the park, this year. And this? OMG. I would fight you for that spinach. The scallop was ok (it's tricky to keep a scallop the right temperature and consistency in this type of high quantity environment and have it be excellent, so I keep my expectations realistic), but that cheesy spinach and that crispy bacon was to die for. Honestly. It's been almost a week and I am *still* thinking about that spinach.

At this point, it was time for some dessert, don't you think?


Creme Brulee Caramel Fluer de Sel.

For those of you who didn't take or retain enough high school French to figure out exactly what that says, this is a sea salt caramel creme brulee. Let's just take a moment to admire that caramelized sugar crust on top. I am convinced part of the fun of eating creme brulee is the little tap-tap-tap you have to do to break up that layer of sugar.

But let's talk about the what lies beneath now, yes? For ages, the creme brulee at this kiosk has been milk chocolate, which is good, of course, but I was ready for something new here. And this? This delivered. Look at that color. Perfectly caramel! Now, here's the thing about salted caramel. I like there to be just enough saltiness that I know it's there, but not so much I can actually pick out the saltiness. They nailed it with this. I think what surprised me most, though, was how light this dish was. It was creamy but not heavy, at all.

Which for one more!


Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins and Cream Cheese Icing.

Just look how pretty that is!

I should preface by saying that I don't generally consider something dessert if it contains veggies. Things like zucchini bread and carrot cake qualify as good snacks or (ahem) breakfast, but I eat all my veggies to *get* dessert. I don't want them *in* my dessert. However, a) I had already had my "real" dessert and b) did you see that icing?

The cake was very tasty. Not dry. Lots of spiciness. Good tang from the craisins. Which it needed, because I do like me some cream cheese icing, but I was starting to get concerned that it was going to send me into sugar shock. And there was a ton of it. I actually...left some on my plate. ::gasp:: I know. I know! My sole complaint: they did not mention the nuts. (Walnuts, maybe?) Now, I am not allergic and I don't know that it would have deterred me from adding it to my list, but I'm not a fan of nuts in my baked goods. (I like them in my trail mix or by the handful or in savory dishes, but my preference is that they not be in my brownies or cookies or cakes.) I guess I just would have liked to know.

And with that, I was stuffed, it was beyond disgustingly sticky, and the crowds were growing like crazy, since there was a race taking place, so it was time for me to scram.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Broken Road Confessionals: October 7, 2014

**There's this show on TLC. Four Weddings. It's a train wreck. If you're unfamiliar, four brides who don't know each other, get to attend each other's weddings, judge them, rate them, and the winner gets a honeymoon. I spend each episode laughing at the catty comments, horrified at the amount people spend on weddings, aghast at some of the lengths to which people go to throw a memorable party (you know, rather than focusing on the promises they are making that are supposed to be forever), and being really eternally grateful I'm done with ever planning another wedding. I cannot stop watching this show. I need help. (No, this is not a plea for my husband to delete the remaining twenty episodes from the DVR.)

**I feel a bit bad for those who spend every day fishing for attention on social media. But not enough to stroke their egos.

**Few things burrow under my skin more than those bumper stickers that admonish me to "WATCH OUT FOR MOTORCYCLES." Listen. I will give motorcycles no more or less attention than any and every other vehicle on the road in the same time and space as me. I watch them all equally. If I'm being completely transparent, it is only in small part out of concern for the safety and well-being of my fellow citizens. I'm more concerned about the safety and well-being of *me* (and any passenger I may have), the state of my almost paid off car, my pristine driving record, and my low-as-I-can-probably-hope-for auto insurance. Don't give me that look of shock. I've *seen* the way people drive. Back on point, I am not saddling myself with the responsibility of paying extra attention to motorcyclists who create lanes and spaces for themselves, like some special God given right of being on fewer than four wheels, riding like a bat out of hell, double the speed limit, without a helmet, at the expense of the other vehicles on the road. If they're not all that concerned with self-preservation, why must that burden fall on me to be extra vigilant as a result of their foolishness?

**People really will complain about anything and everything. Exactly how many times will I need to relearn this lesson?


Saturday, October 4, 2014

This Week on My TV: October 4, 2014

Disclaimer: Consider the fact that there could be spoilers ahead. You read at your own risk!

**(Modern FamilyS6E1 "The Long Honeymoon") Claire has new hair! -- LOL, Phil with all the perfect plums. -- Gloria: My husband is an older man, but he is not an old man. But with the track suit and now the glasses, it's like he's just stopped trying lately. Comfort is not everything. My toes have been numb since my quincenara. -- Mitchell: There's no easy way to ask this but are you all high? Claire: No, Mitch, we're happy. Mitchell: Oh, I'm trying to get away from happy. -- Phil: Abracadouch. -- Though while positive-negative effect of whether or not Alex was around the rest of the Dumpheys was hilarious. It was like an on-off switch! -- Phil [to Alex, who is offended that they are all happier when she isn't at home]: You can't leave us. We're a danger to ourselves. We're a family of fire starters, poison eaters, and online prostitues. -- I nearly died laughing when Gloria ran  out of the room and re-entered, fully dressed and made up, in 30 seconds, and Jay just stared at her, dumbfounded.

**(UnforgettableS3E13 "DOA"Crazy opening scene. A potential political assassination always sets up for an intense situation. I knew that security guy was bad news right away though. Carrie and Al had just finished telling the Senator that the assassin used poisons delivered in large crowds, and two seconds later, that guard had volunteered to take the Senator's belongings and deliver them to the podium...including his water bottle. -- I never expected the assassin to run straight out a door and into the path of an oncoming truck when Carrie chased him. -- Kinda loved Al's almost-profession of loving Carrie still. -- Really good season finale topic. A poisoned Carrie starts losing her memory, only the most pivotal piece of who Carrie is and what makes the show unique and special. -- Al: I never knew that about you. Carrie: Well, some of the most sacred memories, it takes a while to reveal them, even to the person you love. ... Awww!!! Carrie loves Al too! Well, anyone could have seen that, but she *admitted* it. Out loud. To him. -- I was a little nervous that when Al kissed Carrie, they were admitting defeat and the show was all but certain not to return for a fourth season...and then Carrie's husband showed up at the office looking for her, what??

**(Person of InterestS4E1 "Panopticon"Loved seeing where our band of heroes have been flying under Samaritan's radar. Apparently, right out in the open. Shaw in cosmetics sales, Finch as a professor, Reese as a narcotics cop, and Root going on some sort of job interview. -- Reese [on the phone with Shaw]: Hey, it's me. I need you to drop the eyeliner, pick up a gun, and help me take out a street gang. -- Excellent! They have now have use of an undetectable phone network using old tv antennas! -- A promotion for Mr Reese: detective. And he gets to be Lionel's partner. And oof. He gets assigned to Carter's old desk. -- Of *course* the typos on "Finch's" dissertation, which was composed by The Machine, were actually some sort of message. Brilliant! Also, brilliant: Mr Finch has access to a new library at the university and he has been led to a potential new home base. If only he would just stop fighting The Machine. -- Wait...*what* is Shaw's new job??

**(The Big Bang TheoryS8E3 "The First Pitch Insufficiency") Baseball! -- Leonard [about Amy and Sheldon]: Nice to see a busy couple keep the spark of bureaucracy alive. -- How perfectly Amy and Sheldon to have a ranking system of the couples in their group. And that they see themselves as the top seat. -- Where *is* Raj's new girlfriend? -- Bernadette is kind of a witch so far this season. I was hoping it was going to be limited to just getting Penny the pharmaceutical sales position, but she's treating Howard the same way about his practicing to throw out the first pitch at Angel Stadium. -- Penny [to Leonard, about why she doesn't want to take the compatibility test]: That we're engaged and have nothing in common and that scares me. ... Ouch, Penny -- That was definitely NOT Mike Scioscia catching Howard's first pitch, I don't care *what* the name on the back of that jersey was.

**(The BlacklistS2E2 "Monarch Douglas Bank"When that "cleaning crew" walked into that bank, I knew immediately that they were up to no good. Shouldn't security have been at least mildly suspicious? I didn't see it being about a kidnapping, and not a classic bank robbery, though. -- Mr Kaplan sighting! I love the relationship she has with Red. -- Lizzie told Red that "Jennifer" (I assume his daughter?) has been in protective custody but that they had lost track of her about seven years ago. Considering Lizzie was placed with her adoptive father as a child, I'd say that piece of information pretty much closes the book on Red secretly being her father, yes? Good. -- Trying to figure out if the woman taking photos of Liz was Samar Navabi or someone else. -- I love it. Red identifies the mystery substance on the seat of the getaway van as jam from a jelly donut without even being there. I also love that he seems to find food everywhere he travels. -- Slick move by Naomi to stash that bone from her dinner and using it to stab the guy guarding her for Berlin. I see Red taught her well. Although not well enough, since she popped right out of her hiding place, assuming Berlin has given up looking, when the door closed...and right into Berlin's hands. -- How did Ressler not hear Liz thrashing around, getting attacked, on the other side of that interrogatin room window? -- So is Samar Navabi on Red's payroll now? -- Lizzie: Can we trust him? Red: No. You can trust me. -- Red: What a terrible waste. Time. Blood. Money. And in the end, for what? Berlin: Revenge. That's my passion. Red: Revenge isn't a passion. It's a disease. It eats at your mind and poisons your soul. -- Ressler: At least it's finally clear now who our perpetrator really is. Harold: Is it? Illuminate me. ... I loved Harold's reply to Ressler. -- I suppose it's pretty handy to have a manicurist who is also a surgeon. Red has the best connections. -- Red [to Berlin, after informing Berlin that he had taken possession of all his money until he gave back Naomi]: Shhh...listen. Hear that? That's the sound of your checks bouncing. -- Ohhh, Berlin, threatening Lizzie is going to make Red very, very angry. -- I was nervous at the exchange of Naomi from Berlin to Red. I thought Berlin and his thugs were going to open fire on Red. -- I wonder if this is the last we'll see of Naomi. I hope not. I really like Mary-Louise Parker in this role. -- Hmmm. So now Samar has found a way into the FBI. -- Red: Lizzie, don't be absurd. I don't have friends. -- Good question, Red. How *did* Liz know about Berlin's money? Who's her source?

**(TurnS1E10 "The Battle of Setauket"Mary is really being quite the little witch, sulking around, sneaking looks in Abraham's spy code key, taunting her husband about an inability to perform in the bedroom, then, when he makes his move, belittling him and being sarcastic. -- Simcoe was totally out of control, hanging one of the prisoners, disobeying orders from Hewlett, using prisoners as shields, taking Lucas Brewster outside and executing him in front of the rebel soldiers. Thank God he was finally subdued, but far too late. -- Surprise, Anna! Your husband actually is NOT dead. She sure didn't look thrilled though. Gee, I wonder why not. /sarcasm --  Baker [walking in on Mary and Abe, as they're talking about Abe being a spy for Washington]: Just my luck, I suppose. Always walking in where I'm not wanted. ... I do feel really bad for Baker. He seems so decent. -- Holy. Crap. Abe. Shot. Baker. I literally gasped. -- I was so furious at Mary for burning Abe's spy key and then she took charge of the situation, while Abe freaked out over Baker's body, devising a plan to cover for him. Her story: A few of the rebels came through the countryside, they killed Baker, but spared Mary and Abe because they took pity on Thomas, and let them go before burning down their house, and with a calm "I know how to clean up a mess." What an ending. What an ending! So glad to know this one's already been renewed!

**(The Last ShipS1E8 "Two Sailors Walk Into a Bar...") I was worried the Russians were going to leave Tex behind in the ocean when they grabbed Chandler. I'm glad they didn't. I enjoy Tex. -- Chandler looked more sunburned by the minute, once he was on board the Russian ship. -- Ruskov [to Chandler]: Like with all tragic heroes, your hubris became your downfall. -- I really like Patrice. I hope they continue to use her character and not allow her to fade into the background. -- So. Rachel was able to use Patrice's natural immunity to effectively vaccinate the last living test monkey. I got the feeling it won't be that easy though, which was later proved to be an accurate assessment. -- I was flabbergasted by that passionate kiss Rachel gave Chandler. I should have seen it coming that she was slipping him something. I about died at Tex's insanely jealous reaction though. -- That Russian sailor that got "volunteered" to be the vaccine test subject pulled off looking legitimately terrified. And now we know who added the human DNA to the virus and effectively killed off the world: the man in the plastic tent on the Russian ship. He appears to be not only immune but a carrier. Which, I guess, is different that Patrice's immunity? Because Rachel sure doesn't seem concerned about quarantining Patrice like the man in the plastic tent. -- Clever girl to have that gun in your medical kit, Rachel, and find a way to access it by claiming there was a second part of the vaccine left to administer. -- I was totally holding my breath while Chandler, Tex, Rachel, Quincy's wife and daughter, and the rescue team were attempting to make their way off the Russian ship. -- I thought Ruskov was going to pop a blood vessel, he was so pissed the Americans were escaping -- PATIENT ZERO IS OUT OF HIS QUARANTINE!! The Russians now have a much bigger problem than the Americans: this psycho is infecting them all. -- Have to admit, I shed a tear as Green carried the body of the slain sailor onto the Nathan James.

**(Chicago FireS3E1 "Always"So, it was Shay who died. And of course, Severide goes MIA, and Dawson is giving Shay's replacement the cold shoulder. Predictable. -- I see the rivalry between Houses 81 and 66 is going strong, because we are nothing without conflict. -- Why don't I remember anything about this "Mills searching for his father's family" arc? Did we touch on this last season and I've just forgotten or is this something new? -- Is Dawson lying to Casey about meeting with her brother while she really goes to counseling? Why cover it up? -- Flashback Shay was much more cheerful, playful, and upbeat than Shay has been during the course of her time on the show.

**(CSIS15E1 "The CSI Effect"Pretty intense opening, with Finlay stuck in a car with a bomb, and a mysterious caller on Russell's cell, asking "Who am I?" -- Pretty amusing: mystery caller asking "Who am I?" and then right into the show's opening credits song, singing "Who are you?" -- Mark Paul Gosselaar makes a creepily believable psychopath...and his twin. -- What a great episode. I wonder if this will be a season-long arc or just a couple of episodes. I can't wait to see how it plays out.

**(Once Upon a TimeS4E1 "A Tale of Two Sisters"I feel so bad for Regina. Every time she finds someone to love, they are taken from her. -- Mary Margaret: Is everything ok? David: No one's been incinerated yet, so that's a good sign. -- I want to believe that Mr Gold will take his recognition of the fact that starting his marriage to Belle with a huge secret and lie being a problem, and will make it right...but I have my doubts. -- I respect Robin's decision to honor his marriage vows to Marian, despite the fact that he loves Regina, but...ouch. -- Regina: I need my mirror. ... Sydney is back!! I love Giancarlo Esposito. -- Love love loved Belle and Mr Gold's first dance to "Tale as Old as Time," complete with the costumes. -- Are we going to learn what the story is with that little box that caught Gold's attention at the place he and Belle are honeymooning that turns into some kind of wizard's cap with the universe inside it when Rumplestiltskin's dagger is waved over it? (I'm sure we are, but I'm impatient.) -- Emma: I'm not avoiding you. I'm just...dealing with stuff. We have a crisis right now. Hook: There's always a crisis. Perhaps you should consider living a life during them, otherwise you might miss it. -- I have never seen "Frozen" so I'm not sure how closely they are following the story, but that giant snow monster had me laughing out loud. -- Emma, Emma, Emma. What are you thinking holding Hook at arm's length. Have you not really looked at him?! -- I'm a bit confused. If, in the backstory of Anna and Elsa, "tomorrow" was Anna's wedding day, how, exactly was there enough time for Anna to make a two week journey? -- I like the angle of Regina looking for the author of the book, and the spin of "it's time for the villains to get their happy endings." This could pose some interesting opportunities for this season.

**(Madam SecretaryS1E2 "Another Benghazi"When Elizabeth was video chatting with the Ambassador in Yemen about the protesters getting violent and he was insisting he was fine, I kept expecting a grenade or something to come flying through a window and take him out while she watched helplessly. -- Congressman [to Elizabeth]: You think war's expensive, wait until you get a load of peace. -- I hope Andrew Munsey is going to be a regular character. I like Patrick Breen. -- Ooo! Jeff Hephner (the guy who plays Isaac Bishop) is the guy who played Clarke on "Chicago Fire"!! I approve. I very much approve. It wouldn't hurt my feelings if they brought his character back again either. The suit, well, suits him as well as the fireman's gear did. Ahem. -- I jumped a flipping foot off my couch when Elizabeth did lose the connection with the Ambassador in a later video chat session, following her sending in Vesuvias to up protection on the Embassy. -- I kinda love the relationship between Elizabeth and Henry. -- Stevie [about the fact that her parents told her she can take a year off from college, but she'll have to work]: Tell me the truth: Is this you? Or is this her? Henry: This is us. We're a unit. Ya got that? -- Thumbs up: I like that Vesuvias managed to get the Ambassador to safety. -- I'm not sure how I feel about Stevie dropping her mother's name at that interview. When she walked away, saying to never mind, I couldn't figure out if it was a strategic move or if she had a stroke of conscience. -- I wonder what the real story is behind George's "accident" that took his life. Not to mention the "accident" that took the life of the former Secretary of State.

**(Sleepy HollowS2E1 "This Is War") Crane: And he specifically summoned us? Abbie: Yep. Crane: Well, that's never good. -- I'm a bit confused by this timeline. First, Crane was being put in that box by Henry. Then, suddenly it was his birthday, at least a year had passed, it seems Katrina and Jenny have been killed, and Henry is being held captive? Ohhhh...and then it all makes sense: They're still in Purgatory and this was all illusion! Got me, Sleepy Hollow!-- Interesting way to weave Benjamin Franklin into the story too. The key wasn't about discovering electricity, but was an attempt to destroy the key to Purgatory! -- It's good to see Andy working for the good guys again. (At least, so it presently appears. But if I've learned one thing with this show, it's that very little is as it appears.) -- Crane: Hear, hear, for fire and brimstone. -- Crane "driving" the ambulance and not knowing how to make it go in reverse. "I just learned to drive." I die of laughter. -- Franklin: You still haven't learned my alphabet, have you. Crane: There are only so many hours in a day. Franklin: The key to success lies under the alarm clock. ... And I totally figured out that last part was a clue before it was actually acknowledged as such! -- I'm fairly certain Moloch is one of the creepiest creatures I've ever seen. -- I'm so very confused. As is the theme of this show for me. How did the illusion or demon Crane get the key that the real Crane removed from the pocket of his beheaded body? I thought the real Crane had the key? (And I just confused myself, trying to type that out.) -- John Noble is freaking brilliant at everything he does.



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