A Likely Lass

probably nothing of consequence

Cooking with alcohol – Southern Comfort Caramel Apple Crisp

southern comfort apple crisp

Baking has never been my Favorite Thing Ever. I like to cook well enough, but tend to like recipes that take some degree of technical intensity (and that take forever to make and use every dish I own). 

I make an exception, though, for cooking with any type of alcohol.

For instance, Boeuf Bourguinon soup… it takes forever, but tastes divine. It also includes alcohol. Tiramisu? Delicious, and includes alcohol. Beer can chicken… rum cake… dark beer chili… I could go on, but I think you get the point.

And what do you know – Sunday afternoon, I found myself in possession of six apples and a half a (small) bottle of Southern Comfort. I thought about making a simple apple crisp, but really, what isn’t better with alcohol? And I didn’t want a simple, comforting apple crisp. I wanted a crisp that makes you feel like you’re living on the edge. An apple crisp that makes you feel like you’re dating James Dean and George Clooney and neither of them know about each other.

Without further ado, I introduce: Southern Comfort Caramel Apple Crisp. 

This recipe is adapted slightly from a Pastry Queen recipe, Chef Mark’s Southern Comfort Apple Pie. 

Filling ingredients:

  • 5-6 apples (tart ones are good, but you can use what you have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon (Vietnamese cinnamon if you have it, but use what you have)
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup Southern Comfort liquor
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Peel, core, and cut up your apples, you want them roughly cubed. Melt the butter in a skillet heated to medium-high until foamy. Add the apples. Let them brown up a couple of minutes, then add your spices. When the apples are slightly soft (about 5 minutes), remove and place in a baking dish. Add the Southern Comfort to the liquid left in the pan, and simmer until alcohol is mostly burned off, about five minutes. Add the cream slowly while stirring, and let it simmer another 5-10 minutes, until slightly thicker. Remove from heat, add flour and stir until thickened. Pour over the apples in the dish.

Crust:

  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the melted butter and combine well. It will be a somewhat dry mix. Sprinkle over the apple mixture in your dish until completely covered.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes, then serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Wait for people to become faint with pleasure, then apply smelling salts so they may eat more apple crisp.

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How to dramatically change Congress within a decade (or so)

1. Don’t vote for an incumbent, ever. No matter how good they are, how virtuous, don’t vote for them because they have contributed to Congressional deadlock. If they haven’t solved any problems or come up with brilliant plans to make things work or tried to get bipartisan support for their measures, they don’t deserve to be there.

Yeah, you may have to cross party lines. You may have to vote for someone you don’t 100% agree with, but ask yourself: what is more important? Maintaining the status quo, or making your voice heard?

Yeah, that’s YOUR voice. Yours. No one else’s, yours. Forget electoral college and “my vote doesn’t count.” If enough people stand up and use THEIR VOTE to vote in people that AREN’T INCUMBENTS, things are going to change in Washington. Your vote DOES count.

2. Vote. Vote at every opportunity you have. Find out who’s going to be voted for – not just Senate or House or President, but Sheriff and Councilwoman. Find out where your local elections are and GO TO THEM. Participate. If you don’t vote, you have no voice.

Research the person you are voting for. Find out if they’ve attended the meetings they say they were a member of. Find out where they stand on the issues that are important to you. If all else fails, show up and ask questions.

Yeah, it might be bridge night with the girls or bowling night with the boys, but this is important because these people – your councilpeople, your sheriffs, your politicians in your town – that mostly make up the next Congress. They make the tiny decisions that influence the larger decisions that influence even larger decisions that eventually go statewide and nationwide.

That’s it.

Do you believe in term limits? Then vote and enforce term limits because you know Congress isn’t going to do it. Do you believe that things need to change? Then vote, tell people who you’re voting for and why. Do you think Congress needs to do something instead of sitting on their duff and refusing to cooperate? Use your vote.

Use the best weapon you have, the one that’s been handed down to you by our venerable founding fathers, the one men died to give you: your vote.

Breaking Dawn/

Very late Saturday night, I am going to go see “Breaking Dawn” part one.

Would that we all could not have any pores at all

I kno, rite? This is my actual reason for going:

Burke-o-licious

Therefore:

Nerd alert!

will be worn. Not to be confused this this much less attractive Charlie:

Good god... eat a sandwich and quit the tiger blood.

Palate cleanser!

And then, there was pie

For Thanksgiving, I set out to make this pie.

It was, I figured, absolutely Southern, and Virginia being my adopted home, I can always use a little more Southern. Even the name hollered iced tea and wrap-around porches and the kind of thing that inspires a hush so absolute you can hear the crickets 15 miles away. Ok, no, it doesn’t really say that, but what it does say is Southern Comfort Caramel Apple Pie. It says honey, put your girdle on because I am bustin’ out.

Obviously, it being about a week AFTER Thanksgiving, I didn’t make it (though not for want of effort), but now I wish I had.

This pie is like the pie of dreams. If Betty White and Chuck Norris had a baby, it would be this pie. This pie will smack you around and still make you want to cuddle after. One look at this pie and your grandmother would faint. Seriously, it’s some good pie.

My husband, who notably is no great fan of apple pie, said “This is not pie, this is crack.” And there I will let it stand. Have some photos:

Southern Comfort Caramel Apple Pie

Pie

Yes, I know. Only two photos? I know, it’s not the most photogenic pie ever, but it’s my first, and it took me two hours to make and by GOD I was starving for a piece of this pie by then and you know? In that instance, photos come second. But you’ll have to trust me that one piece of this pie will make you beg the Holy Father’s forgiveness because that is some DAMN good pie.

Fox News

Everyone knows that if you watch Fox News, you’re crazy and probably are predicting the end of the world to happen in about fifteen minutes, so it never surprises me to see news like this (for the clickphobic, a study found that Fox News viewers know less about news than people who don’t even watch the news).

Let’s digest that for a moment. That’s some serious stuff.

So just reading the headline and the first paragraph and drawing my conclusions from that, this is what happened:

Interviewer (to a normal person who doesn’t watch any news): So, do you watch any news?

Normal person who doesn’t watch any news No. 1 (NPWDWANN1): No, I like, really am in to Guitar Hero right now? So like, I do that?

Interviewer: Do you know who Hosni Mubarak is?

NPWDWAN: Um… isn’t that a sauce that goes in Japanese food?

 

Interviewer (to a Fox News viewer): So, do you watch any news?

Fox News Viewer No. 1 (FNVN1): Of course I do. I watch at least ten hours a day, on the Fox Channel. If I watch less than nine hours, I get a little palsy, you know, trembly.

Interviewer: That’s a lot of news.

FNVN1: And I already know we’re all going to hell and Obama is going to rise to shroud the earth with his batskin cape. Because he has one. Why do you think they reopened Area 51? TO HIDE IT. Glenn Beck told me that. Good man, is Glenn Beck.

Interviewer: Ok…. (making notes) Do you know who Hosni Mubarak is?

FNVN1: Obama’s Chief of Staff. Evil bugger.

Interviewer: Well…. no.  Do you know what happened in Egypt this past spring?

FNVN1: Didn’t they discover Moses’s ark? I heard they may have found it. The lamestream media, you see, is keeping it quiet. They don’t want us to know about any ark. If ‘we’ had it, we might melt the skin from their bones, right, like in that movie.

Interviewer: So you weren’t aware of any uprising, or perhaps a revolution, occuring?

FNVN1: SHIT CHRIST. Did I miss it? Have they started already? Goddamnit son, get out of my way, I need to get my guns!

 

Interviewer (to Normal Interview Subject No. 2): Do you ever surf the internet for news?

Normal Interview Subject No. 2: I’m afraid of news.

Interviewer: Er… ok. Do you know who Hosni Mubarak is?

NISN2: No, and I don’t want to know. It sounds scary.

Interviewer: Well, he is-

NISN2: NO! LALALALALALALALA! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! LALALALALALA!

Interviewer: But-

NISN2: NO NEWS FOR ME! LALALA! LAAAAAH! MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB, LITTLE LAMB…

 

Fox News Viewer No 2: I got this hat at the grocery store, isn’t it lovely? I love all these little jewels set around the edge, you see those? I know they’re probably fake but I pretend they’re real. My sisters are SO jealous.

Interviewer: Ma’am… that’s a fruitcake.

FNVN2: My sisters said that too!

Interviewer: Moving on… have you heard about any uprising or revolt in the Middle East?

FNVN2: You mean like Australia? You know, I always did think they were a heathen country, all those big rocks with those handprints on them, Anne Coulter says they’re just a backwards people, maybe it comes from being on the other side of the world, and then those weird bwongo sounds you hear in the commercials-

Interviewer: No, I mean the Middle-

FNVN2: BWWWWWWWWWONGWONGOOOOOOOO! Sounds like that, right? BWWWONGOWONGOWONGOOOOOO-

 

Interviewer (to non-news watching person): Do you ever watch your television?

Normal person who doesn’t watch any news: I watch Wheel of Fortune. Every night.

Interviewer: Do you ever watch any news?

NPWDWAN: No.

Interviewer: Not even when they have the special report come on in the middle of a broadcast?

NPWDWAN: Are you kidding me? That’s just Pat having his little fun with the audience. We all KNOW we don’t have anything like national crisiseses any more. Have we merged with China yet?

Interviewer: …Sorry?

NPWDWAN: I figure it’s inevitable we create a glorious future with our technological rival and eventually start a space program that will launch humans into other solar systems and create a central government that will outwardly protect us while preying on those with special talents and persecuting anyone that steals from good people, thus creating the need for space bandits that will roam the new solar system and eventually bring the downfall of the now-cruel-and-evil Empire?

Interviewer: Isn’t that the plot to Firefly?

NPWDWAN: What?

 

Interviewer: Sir, do to know who Hosni Mubarak is?

Fox News Viewer No. 3: Fruit cup.

Interviewer: Sorry?

FNVN3: Fruit cup. I like them with grapes.

Interviewer: Are you saying he IS a fruit cup or-

FNVN3: Who?

Interviewer: Hosni Mubarak.

FNVN3: Probably. Probably he is. Do you know I have thirty years’ worth of food stored in my basement?

Interviewer: I… Why do you have thirty years worth of food stored in your basement?

FNVN3: Because of that new healthcare plan. It’s going to take it all from us. I plan on going rogue, me and Sarah Palin, we’re going to live off this stash for years to come.

Interviewer: So you’re close with Sarah Palin?

FNVN3: Well… no, but she’ll find me when the time comes. She’s got sense like that. A mind like a hungry badger.

Interviewer: Have you seen any news about what’s going on in the Middle East?

FNVN3: Of course I have! Can’t live without my Fox News. They tell me that women are driving cars over there. Do you believe that? That’s crazy. Women would make terrible drivers. Can you imagine them on the roads here?

Interviewer: Sir… women have been allowed to drive for quite some time now…

FNVN3: Oh, there you go with your lamestream media misinformation again. I’ve never seen a woman driving a car. I bet the only woman who can drive a car is Sarah Palin. She’s got a mind like a fox dropping acid with Chuck Norris, lemmetellya. Brilliant. Will you tell her I’ve got food for when the end of days come, if you see her? Just mention it in conversation, smooth-like.

Admittedly, after looking in to the article and actually reading it, this isn’t what happens. I mean, sure, they do probably do have some out-there ideas (like thinking the TARP programs were opposed by Republicans or thinking that most scientists think climate change isn’t happening, deep in their tiny scientist-brains), but really, I’m sure Fox News just presents the most accurate possible information they have…

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Fox News’ False Statements
www.thedailyshow.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:390183
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

Emotions with Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm is one of my favorite actors. This is primarily due to the fact that he is a handsome beast, but also because he can actually emote – not the blank stare that passes for emotion in Hollywood these days. When I stumbled upon the blog “Emotions with Jon Hamm“, I was way excited. Possibly too excited. Yea, I may have squee’d like a fangirl. Maybe.

The blog’s description says it all: “One day, Jon Hamm realized that he is the best human in the universe in the having a face department, so he decided to bless us all by becoming an actor. Emotions With Jon Hamm is a celebration of his craft.”

Here’s a brief sample:

 

PUPPIES!

 

How can you not love this ridiculousness?

That's Betty White and Jon Hamm. It's a wonder the room didn't explode with the awesomeness contained in it.

Nice job, Hamm. Nice job.


Go check it out. It will make your day. Or several days, perhaps, all at once.

-all images courtesy of Emotions with Jon Hamm.

And because ‘rumpus’ is an awesome word

Even though Valentine’s Day is over, it can live on in our hearts. For instance, take this sage wisdom from The Oatmeal: less complaining, more sexy rumpus.

Good advice for every-day use.

Top 10 Most Awkward First Dates

In the interest of Valentine’s Day, I am going to share the most awkward first dates I’ve had. And also in the interest of truthiness, I will say that these were first dates… only, and I’ve done my best to keep it G-rated. And yes, they are all, fortunately and unfortunately, true.

#10: Cowboy Class: *sees the cowboy hat, cowboy boots, dinner-belt-sized belt buckle with the likeness of the Confederate Flag stamped on it walking over, everyone in the uptown cafe staring* “Hey, are you Mel?” “Yes?” “Well hells bells woman, I’m your date!” (internally – “Did he just say… hells bells?“)

#9: The Billiards Player: “I play pool for a living,” he said. “Wanna watch?” “Sure.” He whipped out a pool cue, screwed it together. Looked professional. Then, as he leaned down to take the first break, he went “HA!” in a… forceful voice, while kicking his leg back. Okay, thought I, it might just be a break thing. It wasn’t. Every shot was accompanied by a “HA!” or a “HO!”, and the leg-kick that threatened to take out pedestrians and nearby bar stools. Then in a moment of frenzied excitement, he brought his cue up sharply and smashed the light over the table to pieces. Cue his ensuing argument with the bartender that the table was “interfering with play”.

#8: Damn Catholics: Him: “C’mon, come in and say hello to my Mom.” Me: “Well… okay.” *walks into the house, sees crone-like Mother coming towards towards the front of the house* Mother: “You’re not Catholic, are you? I can smell a Catholic from twenty feet away!”

#7: The Count: “You’re the count of what? Comino? The visiting dignitary gave you the Countship because you saved his life? Oh, and you’re a fireman and a local politician as well? And you want me as your slave-girl in your ‘harem’? Uhm….. I’ll call you.” (author’s note: sitting in a crowded cafe trying not to split into peals of slightly hysterical laughter after hearing all this is insanely difficult, and will result in stiff face muscles for days to come)

#6: The World’s Most Awesome Magician: Me: *recieves explanation about how the guy can control the weather and make lightning appear in his hands but by doing so conjured up a demon that haunts him* “Uh huh.

#5: The Other Most Awesome Magician: Me: *receives explanation from completely unrelated guy about how he *seriously* controls the weather, can make lightning appear in a clear blue sky, how he is one of the greatest sorcerers the world has ever known and the evil sorcerer is trying to get him but he locked him away into a prison and the only requirement to keep the awful evil sorcerer from escaping into the world is to stay chaste and never lay his hands on a woman which is why he hasn’t dated in five years and OMG he has just violated that with me so now the evil awful sorcerer is going to try to kill him because he held my hand* “Uhm… sorry about that, then.”

#4: Anne Rice Devotee: Him: “I’m a vampire. Doesn’t it make you nervous to go on a date with a vampire?” Me: “Yes, yes it does.” He proceeded to stare at my neck all night and then by way of a “goodbye”, bit my hand instead of kissing it. I went to the doctor the next day for a tetanus shot, just to be sure.

#3: Abducted: Him: “I was kidnapped by aliens, I think. But I can’t remember. Will you record me if I start making weird noises and look like I’m spacing out? Here’s a tape recorder.” Me: “Check, please!”

#2: Severe arachnophobia: I invited him over to my apartment before we went out to meet friends. When he went in the bathroom, a spider was sitting next to the toilet. I heard his extremely loud and high-pitched scream, followed by the ripping sound of my shower curtain as he climbed into my bathtub, then slipped, grabbing the curtain as he went, screaming the whole way. The problem? It was a plastic spider-ring.

#1: The Scotsman: Him: *complicated explanation about how he proudly inherited his Scottish Sean-Connery-ish accent from his Scottish grandfather once-removed because he stayed with them a couple of times in the summer of 1993* Meanwhile, I spy a huge collection of Sean Connery’s work in closet, autographed Sean Connery photo, large “James Bond” framed poster, Sean Connery action figure with pump-fist motion. “Ah. It all makes sense now.”

Ray

It’s my goal this year to go through all of my photos (thousands, at this point), print the ones I like, and archive the rest.  This one was taken at the aquarium in Tampa, Florida.

Maroon 5 – Misery

Please forgive me for messing about with the layout here – I’m trying to find something that I can tolerate while not being too full of… things.

I am having a tough time articulating why I like this video. Normally, Maroon 5 isn’t quite my thing – I’d pass it up for Tool or some Nine Inch Nails in a heartbeat, or something with drag queens, stilettos, and/or lacy bodices. But somehow, I kind of like it:

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