Annual Reading/Review List: 2012

4 Jan

I completed a grand total of 156 books (39 fiction novels, 3 short story anthologies, 16 non fiction novels, 45 young adult novels, 36 graphic novels and trades, 16 children’s books and 1 poetry collection).

The Best of the Best:

20th Century Ghosts - Joe Hill20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
Recommended for: Anyone with a desire to read creepy stories about ghosts, serial killers, super powers and everything in-between.

I discovered Joe Hill last year when I read the amazing Heart-Shaped Box which gave me nightmares for weeks, but this collection is proof that he also shines in short story form. From tales about ladies who haunt movie theatres to vengeful super-powered boyfriends, a family of redneck killers tied to a manuscript and ghostly victims who send messages from beyond the grave via telephone, Hill leaves no terrifying stone unturned.

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Battle Lemon Cake

4 Jun

Five lemon cakes enter… Only one wins. By being the tastiest.

With “Game of Thrones” season two airing and not one but two cookbooks for the novels being released, I knew I wanted to make lemon cakes for the premiere. The problem: I found five lemon cake recipes and wanted to make them all. This lead to the formation of Battle Lemon Cake, in which every other week (give or take) I made a lemon cake recipe to represent one of the five rulers bidding for the Iron Throne- George R. R. Martin calls them Kings in the Appendixes even though Daenerys is most certainly a woman. Psh. Regardless of the semantics, only one lemon cake can be crowned the ultimate champion of Battle Lemon Cake. Unfortunately for them, they will all be eaten.

Lemon Cake #1 (Lemon Cakes)

FOR: Renly Baratheon, the King in Highgarden
FROM: Tom Colicchio’s Taste of Westeros Food Truck – Recipe Here

Just like these cakes, Renly is flamboyant, fun, and well liked, but a little pompous and full of himself. The recipe showed its pompousness by the whites and yolks of the eggs having to be separated and the cake having to cook in individual ramekins in a water bath. Not to mention being made by Tom Colicchio automatically labels them hoity toity. Putting together the batter also created a huge mess, which we all know Renly would do if he took the Iron Throne, he’s only 21 after all. Despite this, the cakes were delicious and had nice crunchy bottoms when they were inverted. Loras Tyrell might also agree that Renly has a nice hard bottom. Bom chicka wah wah. These cakes tasted much better once completely cooled down because they had time to fully come together, so I would recommend waiting to eat them until they’re cold. It’s hard to do, but I believe in you! Insert joke about Stannis preferring Renly’s body cold here. Ultimately, this recipe was yummy but not necessarily worth the time, effort, mess, or low yield amount (only 4 cakes in my 4.5 ounce ramekins). Not that many A Song of Ice and Fire fans would expect a Renly inspired dessert to last long in Battle Lemon Cake anyway.

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Geeky Gecko Tank Makeover

16 May

Written for CulturSHOCK’s tutorial section CulturCRAFT. Read submission.

Lyle Lyle Crocodile’s Geeky Tank Background.

With all the geeky accessories for the human population, it’s easy to forget about giving our pets a little personality of their own to enjoy. If you’re not a fan of dressing your pet, you missed out on Pet Smart’s amazing Marvel pet themed products, or your pet is not of the roam around free variety, this is the craft for you! With a tank background, magazines, stickers, glue, and some imagination, your reptile, amphibian, fish, insect, or mammal can enjoy its own sanctuary of nerdom.

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Rocketeer Helmet Pinata

1 Feb

Rocketeer Helmet Pinata.

For my friend Pietro’s birthday, he had mentioned that no cool pinatas existed in New Jersey for him to smash. Being born and raised in New Jersey I decided to take that challenge and find a cool pinata. With no such luck in either Party City or Target, I decided to craft a pinata instead, using Pietro’s favorite movie for the subject: The Rocketeer. Obviously.

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Annual Reading/Review List: 2011

3 Jan

I completed a grand total of 141 books (38 fiction novels, 1 short story anthology, 5 non fiction novels, 26 young adult novels, 58 graphic novels, and 12 children’s books).

The Best of the Best:

Batman: Noel by Lee Bermejo
Recommended for
: Batman fans who don’t mind that pussy Superman too much.

Just in time for Christmas, Batman is visited by three spirits to change his grumpus attitude. Featuring Catwoman, Superman, and the Joker, this remake of A Christmas Carol has the most stunning artwork I have ever seen in any other graphic novel.

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Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Waffles

28 Dec

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Waffles.

I have this problem where I need to follow a recipe. I can’t just make things up off the top of my head like everyone on the Food Network can. Thankfully I am pretty good at “adjusting” things to fit my needs. I started with a simple recipe for waffles and turned them into red velvet inspired waffles with chocolate chips. (I say inspired because there’s no buttermilk). In hindsight I should have made blue velvet waffles so I could quote the film this entire post.

Adapted from the non brand name box of all purpose baking powder’s recipe for waffles:

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Waffles:
2 cups of all purpose baking powder (AKA Bisquick)
1 and 1/4 cups of milk
2 large eggs (size doesn’t really matter- that’s what he said)
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
red food coloring
a waffle iron (if you don’t own a waffle iron, make pancakes)
flour, in case you do something wrong and are out of all purpose baking powder
confectioner’s sugar

Makes 4 round Belgian sized waffles if you’re not very careful about measuring or scraping the bottom of the bowl for all the batter.

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Pet Stockings

23 Dec

Pet stockings in all their felty glory.

I used to have really cute mini stockings for our dog and cat (they were once gift card holders in the shape of stockings my sister found at CVS), but unfortunately our leopard gecko was left out of the equation. Poor Lyle! So with a little felt and a lot of hot glue, I bought $3 mini-stockings on sale at Michael’s and set to work making personalized stockings for all the beasties.

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