Friday, July 23, 2010

Get Chocomized

If you follow me anywhere else on the Internet (hello and thanks!) you've probably seen me yammering on this week about a chocolate contest.  Unlike running for office, a chocolate contest comes with zero responsibility and maximum enjoyability.  And, thanks to your help, I'm a winner!

This particular contest was run by the fine folks over at Chocomize, a website that lets you build a chocolate bar to suit your every taste whim.  You start by choosing either dark, milk, or white chocolate as your base and then add up to five additional ingredients.  Like candy in your candy?  Cram it full of gummi bears, nerds, or even jelly beans.  Fancy yourself a gourmand?  Sprinkle your chocolate with lavender or sea salt.  There are over 100 filler options, including the more traditional nuts and fruits.

If you can't decide what to include they have a Favorites page with pre-built bars ready to shove in your face.  Part of my prize is a featured spot on this page for my chocolate creation "Fresh Face Forward."

This is a dark chocolate bar with blueberries, gogi berries, organic flax seeds, roasted sunflower seeds, and cantaloupe pieces.  I assembled these ingredients (and the name) because they are all packed with the antioxidants and Vitamins A & E necessary to give your skin a healthy glow.  They are also all packed with deliciousness.  I'll be receiving a free bar for the win, and if you happen to be around on the day it arrives I'll be happy to share.  I don't anticipate it surviving long once in my hands though, so if you're keen on trying it I suggest you order one for yourself.  At $6.95 I think it's a pretty affordable indulgence.

If you prefer your candy involves more sugar, I still would recommend you give the site a try and design your own bar.  The company is run by a few college friends who made the most of this crappy economy by being inventive and industrious.  Still jobless after graduating from grad school last summer (come on ad industry, give me a call), I really identify with their plight and admire their determination.

In fact, Chocomize guys, if you're reading this and are looking to hire a writer/advertiser/chocolate fan/hilarious lady you should drop me a line.  I dig what you do.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Muffins and Cookies and Cakes (Oh My!)

As many of you already know, my sister's bridal shower was last weekend.  In preparation for the party, I spent all day last Friday pretty much chained to my oven making various sweets.  Well, almost all day.  I spent some time in the morning at the gym creating a negative calorie bank for me to fill later with sugar cookies.  It was a very delicious decision.

First up I made strawberry cupcakes topped with Sunkist fruit gems that I sliced into the shape of little flowers and leaves.  I forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but just imagine these tasty bites:

Covered in a classic white icing and decorated with sugary goodness:

Next on the agenda was trying out my brand new purchase of customizable cookie cutters.  I bought the set for $19.99 at Williams Sonoma and it was worth every penny.  You slide in the letters like a stamp and then, presto!  Your cookies are imprinted with a message.

The main ingredient in any good sugar cookie is butter.  Lots and lots of butter.  These cookies have so much butter in them that you have to refrigerate them after cutting out the dough and before baking just so they don't melt before they cook.  I'm a big fan of healthy desserts, but sometimes you just need butter in your life.  It's a beautiful thing.

Lastly I made some graham muffins and cream cheese icing for the bachelorettes.  This is absolutely my new favorite snack food.  If you just eat it as a muffin it's quite healthy, and if you're not worried about such things then go for the icing as well (it is also full of heavenly butter).


16 crushed graham crackers (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup skim milk
1 egg (beaten)
2 Tb. honey

Mix them all together and bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes.  It's that easy.  I don't really measure spices, so just add them to taste.  If you're into cloves (personally I'm not) a dash may also go well with this blend.  The batter looks pretty gross, but the end result is beyond tasty.  For a cream cheese icing recipe, see my previous post on carrot cake!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My verbal doppelganger

Found a fun website that analyzes a selection of your writing and then tells you what author best fits your style.  I'm pretty chuffed.

I write like
Stephen King
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Man and His Fan: A Self-Fulfilling Parody

Let's be clear about one thing: I love James Dyson.  I love him the same way I love researchers who spend twenty years living in the jungle watching one gibbon family eat bugs and breed.  There is something fascinating about such single-minded dedication.  Especially when that dedication produces something that's useful, but not so useful that we couldn't live without it.  Would I like for my vacuum to be more efficient?  Sure.  Would I spend decades designing prototypes in order to maximize the amount of dirt my vacuum grabs on to?  Well, no.  If it were up to me, I'd just stick to picking up stray hairballs and throwing them in the path of the vacuum.  That's my version of efficiency in cleaning.

While Dyson's passionate pursuit of suction perfection eventually resulted in a pretty kick-ass vacuum, the inevitable side effect has been quite a few jokes at his expense.  I mean, the man is basically a poster child for parody.

And just when I thought Dyson's delicious insanity had finally reached its peak, he unveiled this gem:

This is the Dyson Air Multiplier, or in layman's terms the bladeless fan.  While I'm sure the "buffeting" sound of a fan is very annoying to some people, I actually find it rather soothing.  That aside, I'm pretty sure the billions of dollars in research spent on this project could have done massive amounts of good spent elsewhere.  Like, for example, the AIDS vaccine or clean-burning fuel.  But then again, if he were a "big picture" kind of guy I probably wouldn't love him nearly as much.

After seeing the ad on tv, I'm pretty sure a slew of parodies will soon follow.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Old Spice, New Laughs

I was worried nothing could top "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like," the first ad in the most recent Old Spice campaign.  In addition to catapulting the handsome and deliciously deadpan Isaiah Mustafa into sudden stardom, the ad actually made me consider reconsidering my stance on the brand's sex appeal.  Previously having been mentally categorized to be as desirable as a drunk and aging boat captain, I was forced to see Old Spice in a new light.  This light:

After laughing hysterically (and perhaps drooling ever-so-slightly), I began to wonder how they could possibly follow that ad with something equally entertaining.  As it turns out, the secret to their continued success is Isaiah Mustafa.  Old Spice, I implore you to ditch the disturbingly twitchy Odor Blocker and embrace the man your brand could look like.

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