Wednesday, December 16, 2009

[review] Books and Movies and crap

Recently, I've been very active. Not only in crafts, but also in reading and movies. Here's a quick summary of everything.

Knit One, Kill Two
rofl. This is the first in a series of mysteries that take place in a knitting store, or around it's patrons/owners. This first book was a good way to blank out on the world. Easy read, I'm curious how the New Found Love at the end evolves throughout the rest of the books.

Dead Till Dark
First of the Sookie Stackhouse books, on which True Blood is based.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It keeps with your typical Anne Rice cannon of vampires (no glittery shit here) and respects tradition. The beginning was a little too simple, where the main character just can't help falling for the new vampire in town, but the interactions and plot throughout the rest of the book are very entertaining. There's a guest character at the end that is just fucking hilarious! It just kept on getting better and better, and there were times towards the end where I couldn't help laughing for five minutes straight. The best thing is that it seems like it was intentional.

Whip It
This was Drew Barrymore's directorial debut, based on a memoir of the Texas Roller Derby in the 80's. If they hadn't used a cell phone, I would have sworn it was set in the 80's. There were so many hipster kids in it (including the chick from Juno) that one more guy in girl's pants would have made it painful. Luckily, it all managed to blend together and disperse. I loved the story, I loved the bouts, the music was incredible, and the cast was surprisingly tolerable. A very good experience all in all.

Julie & Julia
This movie made me have to make room on my altar next to Martha Stewart in order to also fit Julia Child. Holy crap, this woman was amazing! She just decided that she was going to take classes at Le Cordon Bleu with the Big Boys, just because she was bored of being a house wife! I hope my love for her super duper cooking prowess isn't just due to my love of Merril Streep who played her. I now want to find her memoir, cookbook and tapes of her show, because I really, really want to cook like her!

I saw this for the second time, and it is still a great movie. It is a wonderful movie where all you have to do is laugh and enjoy. It has a great soundtrack, simple yet effective plot and cast. And Bill Murray ^_^

Gobble Gobble, Motherfucker! hahahahahahahahah. Dude, DUDE! You have GOT to find this movie on Netflix on Demand! It is a horror/slasher movie that prides itself on its minimal $4000 budget. It's a spirit that is pissed off at the pilgrims, that reincarnates 505 years later in the form of a turkey (puppet) that is out to kill the descendants of the pilgrims. It is bad, and they know it, and embrace it, and make it absolutely awesome!

Monday, December 7, 2009

[recipe] Seltzer Cupcakes with Strawberries

Last year a friend made this recipe for rainbow cake, which I have tried in many incarnations. One of my main gripes was the use of artificial sweetener in the Diet Sprite, so I decided to use seltzer instead.

1 box cake mix - devil's food cake
12 oz (1 355 ml can) plain seltzer
24 small strawberries for decoration (these were a bad idea, next time will try dehydrated)

The important part here is that the seltzer replaces ALL of the additional ingredients, so you don't use oil, water, butter or eggs. As far as I've read, any carbonated beverage can be used. This drops the calories from about 220 to 160 for two cupcakes.

Mix, pour into molds, and follow the baking instructions on the box. Some people on the internet have mentioned that this cake is a bit crumbly (mine haven't been) and recommend adding an egg or egg white.

I decided to put a strawberry on each cupcake, and I would now like to advise people against this. They were very good right out of the oven, but after a couple of hours, the strawberries started to melt, leaving these tiny bunt cakes with strawberry mush in the middle. Future incarnations might include dehydrated strawberries instead of fresh, or chopping them up and tossing them into the batter.