From the first episode, I knew OITNB would use food creatively. They roast a whole pig on her last night before prison! I knew I was definitely not wrong when Piper got a tampon breakfast sandwich on her first day (I think??) in jail. I've been wanting to make something from the show for a while, and have a lot of options, but I'm behind and a friend of mine suggested I make Flamin' Hot Cheetos based on a story arc from the current season. You don't have to worry about spoilers because I need to catch up and only know what I've read for context that the governor sent a goodwill gift that included the spicy snack in a shipment. This is yet another experiment in making store-bought things homemade and I'm not sure if it's worth the effort, but they were tasty and the coating would definitely work as a versatile seasoning for a lot of snacks (it was originally intended for popcorn).Read More
I made these scones for an Easter brunch I was invited to last year, my first Easter brunch ever. As a leap of faith, I decided to bring a brunch-appropriate baked good that I had never attempted before. For my first go, I went with a plainer, neutral flavor and spent the whole time they were in the oven sufficiently anxious. I don't have that intimate a knowledge of scones to be confident when they were or were not done, so it was a long process of feeling them when they had been baked a while, relying on my not very reliable gut and adding 5 more minutes to the oven timer. In the end, you kind of just *know* when they're ready, and they were a big hit! The whole time I was making them, I couldn't stop thinking about the scone mix Emily gives Lorelai in the first episode of season three, and what a fuss Lorelai makes about never making them. It's a semi annoying, semi comical moment. On the one hand, Emily HAS to know Lorelai never goes near her kitchen for cooking, but on the other it's like Lorelai shut up and just take the gift and give it to Sookie or whatever. I felt pretty Lorelai-ish throughout the process and at times wished I had a mix to go off of, but I was so happy with the end result, I can't wait to try different flavors in the future.Read More
The Bachelorette is back! After a spring intermission the Monday night staple has returned, and, to me, it's one of the most conducive snacking shows around. Bachelor/ette watching parties are usually the most entertaining. For once during a TV show talking is welcome and something about the suitors being men makes it especially fun to discuss and yell at the TV. Rachel was always going to seem like a great Bachelorette, and she hasn't disappointed in the first two episodes. I made these beignets in time for the premiere, but since I was traveling, I didn't put the post together in time. Remember when Rachel and Nick went to NOLA and Nick ate beignets for the first time (as pictured below, very aggressively) with Rachel? Well, that was the inspo for this particular post. No worries that they're a little late, enjoy them for tonight or the rest of the season!Read More
As a non-native New Yorker (yes, I admit it), black and whites have never been my favorite type of cookie, but as an almost 5-year New York resident, I've eaten my fair share and as a person who loves to bake, they were going to need to come out of my kitchen eventually. The cookie is famous in its own right, but I wanted to attribute it to a particularly New York-y show and moment, so Seinfeld was the perfect fit. In a perfectly Seinfeld-y scene we get both an obsession with the cookie itself AND a great view of the cookie. There's not much more to be said except sorry in advance for making you wanting to watch that episode since you know you can't just stop at one (that can apply to the cookie AND the show, see what I did there!).Read More
The food world of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a lot more spare than the food world Tina Fey and Robert Carlock created in 30 Rock, but there are still some choice moments. In the first episode when Kimmy is claiming her independence through all the things she can finally do now that she's out of the bunker, she goes to Dylan's Candy Bar and fills up a bag for dinner. I've obviously partaken in candy for dinner more than once, but I wanted to think of a fun way to make Kimmy's meal both homemade and personal. While I was perusing homemade candy options, I came upon these wine gummy bears and it was like a cartoon lightbulb idea moment. What better way to signify adult candy than making it with alcohol? Obviously I dove in head first and made all three types of wine (also obviously I HAD all three types of wine on hand). The result is definitely different—a reconciliation for your mind between what you expect from a gummy bear and how you normally taste wine—but let's just say I'm more than excited that I also have the option to make bear-shaped ice cubes for the rest of time.Read More
Now that it's finally getting warmer and summer aka the season of just re-watching everything I've already watched is upon us, I think of warm weather treats and what shows are on the agenda. This Bluth Boardwalk staple came to mind. Not only is it the center of so many funny moments on the show, it's also the most obvious Arrested Development-related food. Actually, it has been on the list of things to make since before the blog even existed, but there's a time and a place for everything and this one is here now. It doesn't take a genius to freeze a banana and coat it in chocolate, but through some research, I got more ideas. The good thing about this treat is that you can use whatever toppings you like once you know the general process. Mine included milk chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, coconut chips and nuts, but there's plenty more months of warm weather to experiment with more combinations. The bad thing about it is that no matter what it will always be awkward to eat and photograph. But when all is said and done, there's always money in the banana stand.Read More
The first time I was made aware of Tracey Wigfield was when she was on stage with Tina Fey to accept an Emmy for co-writing and episode of 30 Rock. It prompted me to do a deep dive into her background, and shortly after I was made aware through Mindy Kaling's Instagram that she had been recruited to be a part of her writing staff when 30 Rock was coming to an end. I then followed their friendship and her eventual sale of her very own Tina Fey-produced comedy and its making on her own Instagram. I find her hilarious, and some of her 30 Rock episodes are the funniest of the series, so I'm optimistic about her new show, Great News, which premieres next week. To celebrate, I decided to make a familiar favorite from one of the episodes of 30 Rock that she wrote.
Oreos are one of my all time favorite foods, and I've been wanting to make homemade ones for a long time. These were so much easier than recipes I've found in the past, and they were a big hit with all 6 people who finished them in about 24 hours. It's not hard to identify with Liz finishing the half sleeve of Oreos she was bringing to Jack's house for Christmas in the cab on the way.Read More
While we're on a political roll, I'm celebrating the premiere of Veep with an early episode that I will always associate with the show's antics, plus it's even CALLED Frozen Yogurt. Selina was set to have a froyo tasting at a local DC shop where they even named a flavor after her. Selina gets a taste of the presidency in this episode, and between the staff and her dismissal of her VP tasks once she's briefly called to be president, this episode is always one I like to revisit. Although she went thinking she was going to try the flavor named after her, Selina Strawberry, she only got melty vanilla. I wanted to go the fruit route though since I already made vanilla ice cream, and I had frozen blueberries on hand. If you want to make vanilla, I considered using this recipe (via Greatist) before settling on blueberry. I guess we can call this...Biden Blueberry?Read More
Just a warning that this might turn into a love letter to The West Wing. I just finished the almost 20-year-old show last week, and I'm in major withdrawal. I started it a year ago once I had finished my foray into fast talking with Gilmore Girls because Joshua Malina (who ended up being on the show) and Hrishi Hirway started a podcast to discuss each episode. Like I had been doing with Gilmore Girls/Gilmore Guys, I wanted to follow along. I had to give it up for a while because Aaron Sorkin's writing demanded my full attention, but around the inauguration this year, I found myself craving the humanity of President Bartlet and his loyal staff. From there, I attempted to savor it in the beginning, but eventually devoured each season pushing far ahead of the podcast and unfortunately to the end. I could sing so many praises about the show, but we're here for the food, so let's get to it.
At the beginning of season 2, we meet Ainsley Hayes, a conservative lawyer who challenges our main staff of democrats. In one of her first episodes, we are introduced to her love of baked goods through her telling off a panel of White House opponents and then asking to take a muffin from the meeting. We don't get a great look at the muffin, but I imagined a selection of untouched assorted bakery style muffins on a tray in the middle of the table, so I went with my obvious choice, chocolate chip.Read More
Breaking Bad had people wishing Los Pollos Hermanos was as pervasive as McDonald's, and Gus Fring was an amazing stoic villain. We're getting more of him on Better Call Saul, and there's lots of publicity to go with it (it's even coming to life!). Although that restaurant seemed more like a bone-in chicken type of joint, I was in the mood to eat some tenders. I'm not shy about my dislike for cooking with hot oil, so I dove yet again into oven frying. I found this great easy recipe that's practically fast food (minus marinading time), and they taste just as good as anything you'd get off a restaurant menu.Read More
TV is funny because it's creating little realities that many times seem to exist in a parallel universe, one that includes food and brands that don't exist in our world. Sure, we're used to really obvious and maybe less obvious product placement at this point, but it's more fun when things are made up, or in this case, a TV industry-wide inside joke. There have been a few different stories (and even a now-defunct blog) about the famous Let's potato chips that pervade TV—spanning networks, genres and decades, and it's fun to compare how the fictional brand is used in different fictional worlds.Read More
I'm so obsessed with 30 Rock and Parks and Rec, it's surprising to find out I didn't watch The Office for the first time until a couple of years ago, and obviously I instantly loved it. I've only re-watched one more time sequentially, and I decided to revisit it again recently, which was an excellent decision. Unsurprisingly, food is used intentionally and thoughtfully in the show, featuring specifics for peak comedy moments. This episode, Dunder Mifflin Infinity, was no different. Michael Scott is trying to win back clients with elaborate gift baskets that include all the cliché fixings. I LOVE chocolate turtles and have since I was really young, so when Andy Bernard reached for them and was shut down by Michael, I felt his excitement and disappointment. The turtles recur as a plot point later when Michael throws a fit when he goes to get a basket back in true Michael Scott form and sees they ate the turtles already. I can't blame him, they're delicious. I needed something sweet to bring to a reunion of coworkers and when I chose this, I didn't make the connection that I was bringing something from The Office to former coworkers, and it made me love the choice even more. I wanted to up the flavor with some homemade caramel and I definitely think it elevated these from an above average day at work to Pretzel Day.Read More
In the first season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rebecca was not thrilled when her dinner hang with Josh became a group hang with a delicious looking pile of nachos (and a lot of other food). The show employs food very thoughtfully, and in the song "Group Hang," I had a lot to choose from. Not only do the nachos appear in the scene and get a call out, when I saw the scene, I got an instant craving for a delicious pile of nachos with the works. I engineered my perfect combination of homemade layers for my own Oscar watching group hang, and then fantasized about them until they were ready to go. Let's just say, they disappeared before the ceremony started.Read More
Technically Galentine's Day has passed, but I'm celebrating Saturday so it still feels like this week is Parks and Rec domain. Instead of going full Leslie Knope and having dessert for every meal, or just straight sugar for the week, I decided to make something a little healthier, if not just as delicious. If I was going to follow the actual NutriYum recipe, it would really be just sugar because according to Ann, it is a block of sugar. I decided to not go that route, but that doesn't mean they aren't tasty and filling. With just six ingredients, these bars are super easy and make a great snack or breakfast on the go. Despite the fact that there is no added sugar (besides the peanut butter if you use sugary peanut butter), I still think Leslie would eat a case of them and be really hyper if she was doing an all night fundraiser.Read More
Betty's fat suit era was a fun one for the lifer viewers of Mad Men. Especially when she indulged her larger side and, oh I don't know, ate two sundaes in one sitting when Sally abandoned hers. The idea of this scene feels like an American fantasy—a mother and daughter sharing an American treat in their American home in the 60s. I wanted to recreate it for myself. Except my mom lives states away and it's 2017. So basically I will be sharing this with myself and will soon look like I have some padding just like January Jones did.Read More
The Path (a Hulu original series) is a weird show by nature. A fictional culty religion and its followers is the kind of premise that implies that. Season two episodes just started to be released, but one of the weirdest things that stuck with me from the first season, though, was the use of a green juice. Part of the "rehab" or "detox" process for members who essentially are in solitary confinement to re-find their connection to the religion is to drink a psychotropic green juice. Something our society has come to revere as the definition of a healthy choice is used in this world as a "reprogramming" device.Read More
The Super Bowl is Sunday, which is the best night, not for football, but for food, obviously. Not everyone likes football or commercials that are now released ahead of time, but sports food is universal. The perfect example of this comes from The One With The Football episode of Friends. Rachel gets bored of the intense game of football the group plays to win the Geller Cup and "went really long" to get a soft pretzel instead.Read More
Olivia Pope has a lot things about her life "handled" (or, she did until things went CRAZY a couple seasons ago), but her diet was never one of those things. For someone so in command of insane situations, we pretty much only ever see her eating popcorn with red wine out of her signature Crate & Barrel wine glasses. Even though she's an established woman with more than enough means to at least get delivery, she makes the sad choice to eat several servings of popcorn on her own. But at least she has it together enough to always put it in a chic glass bowl. That way you know this questionable nutritional choice is deliberate.Read More
If Tina Fey is the female and comedy icon we all aspire to be, then Liz Lemon is the food icon we all recognize in ourselves. 30 Rock's episodes are dense with both jokes and food references, and the fictional food is used perfectly in the show. Liz Lemon falls at about Lorelai Gilmore levels of healthy when it comes to her diet, but that doesn't mean healthy food can't be extracted from moments in the show.
When Liz accompanies Jack to rich, house-arrested businessman Gavin Volure's fancy house, she puts on a dress in place of her usual jeans and flannel, but that doesn't give her appetite a makeover. She reaches for a bowl of dried something at the table instead of engaging Jack in conversation, but it turns out to be potpourri or "these are not chips." Here, I offer the alternative outcome.Read More
I arrived a little late to the Stranger Things party. I knew I couldn’t multi-task while I watched, and I know myself well enough to know I don’t have the self control to watch it an episode at a time. Finally in December, I had a completely free Saturday. I started it immediately when I woke up, and eight hours later was relieved to be rid of the FOMO I had been experiencing for the five months that I hadn’t watched it.
There aren’t a ton of food moments in the show that aren't pre-packaged or semi-homemade. Eleven’s Eggo obsession was intriguing and endearing, so in the absence of a waffle iron, I decided to go semi-homemade myself and turn America’s favorite freezer waffles into the foundation of different kid food, five ways.