30 October 2010

Honey Ice Cream

A month and a half ago, I made dessert for Rosh Hashana dinner at Grandma Bobbie's house. I went with apple pie and honey ice cream, and it was my first time making both. Here's how it went!

I found the recipe on a website called Pinkbites.com. What I liked about it was that it used only four ingredients, and its only sweetener was the honey, itself. Here are the ingredients:

 "We are half-and-half, whole milk, four egg yolks, and honey! (We are best friends)"

I cooked up the milks until they started to simmer, then tempered the eggs and honey with them. At that point the ice cream officially became custard

 "I still need to thicken up, but in the meantime I really like your cds, bro!"

Here's the recipe, lifted straight out of the pinkbites page:

Pure Honey Ice Cream Recipe:
You will need:
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup of pure honey
1 1/2 cups of half-and-half
1 1/2 cup of whole milk
a pinch of salt
Bring the cream and the milk to a simmer, do not let it boil. While the cream mixture warms up, whisk the yolks, honey and salt together until pale and fluffy.
Slowly incorporate the warm cream mixture into the eggs, one ladle full at the time, whisking vigorously. Return the egg and cream mix to the stove and cook over low heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Do not let it boil. The custard is ready when it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail if you pass your finger on it.
Cool custard completely in the fridge before putting in the ice cream maker. Follow instructions of your ice cream machine.

I can't find the picture I took of my finished ice cream, so here's the picture from the pinkbites page:

"We looked basically the exact same."
And here's a picture of the pie I served it with:

"I come from a Cooking Light recipe. But what's REALLY great about me is that I'm the first apple pie Becky's ever made. And I think I turned out pretty good."

Oh man I just found my picture! But I'm leaving the other one because it's prettier:

"But I still look pretty good."

My Newest Gig

May I have your attention, America:

I now have a job writing articles (for money!) at gather.com. I'm planning on posting a link for every article I write, and I'm asking you to click on those links so that: (1) you can read my hilarious stuff that's legally obligated not to appear here and (b) I can make some money! (it's based on page views, obviously, you know that, I know you know, I was just saying just in case, etc)

So far I have written 3 masterpieces:

1. How I Met Your Mother Recap: Baby Talk
An in-depth look at not only Monday's episode (6.6 "Baby Talk") but also Ted's quest for The Mother on a larger scale.

2. Gossip Girl's Blake Lively & Penn Badgley Break Up - And What It Means for Gossip Girl
A speculative journey into the fabulous teen soap's dating dramas - onstage and off.

3. Halloween Costumes for the Entertainment-Minded 
How to dress like one of your favorite characters from film, television, or music without being too blah. 

I still plan on writing my more hilarious posts here, where the blogging guidelines work a lot more like Calvinball. So don't worry about that - Becklectic Takes Manhattan is here to stay! At least until it moves away or dies, whichever happens first.

26 October 2010

Chuck Bass De Sade

After months of waiting, Gossip Girl finally opened Monday's episode with one of Blair's gratuitous me-as-Audrey-Hepburn dreams. FINALLY! And just as Blair's ugly side has nothing to do with Audrey Hepburn at all, the rest of the GG team has ugly sides that are getting to be unavoidable. Serena's so..."accessible," she's dating a known womanizer/known faculty member THE WEEK AFTER the dean told her to stop being so flirty with professors. Nate's so not unstupid, he's only
starting to get suspicious of Juliet's one million lies. Blair and Chuck are so self-absorbed, neither of them remembers that it was actually Chuck who screwed up so much at the end of last season - shouldn't Blair feel more self-righteous about her ex-boyfriend (who sold her to get back his hotel, cheated on her with her arch nemesis, and then pretended to be dead) trying to ruin her so hard? Looks like Ugliness was the name of the evening, as embodied by any piece of clothing Jenny Humphrey has ever designed.

What I Thought:
  • Amazingly, Serena wastes no time in finding a blue business shirt/business-shirt-style-pajamas at any new lover's apartment. Is this really his apartment, by the way? Because, as we know from the end of the episode, he's not exactly who he says he is...even if he does own a co-op and work permanently as a faculty member at Columbia University.
  • Columbia Reality Meter: Nate wants to get breakfast at Tom's with Juliet. That is, he wants to go to Tom's and have the brittle old Greek waitresses bark at Juliet while she tries in vain to order a hundred cups of coffee at once. Classic CU!
  • Is it just me, or does Chuck go to more classes than any of the rest of them? And he's not technically in college...right?
  • I know I should've given up on this question a long time ago, and I did, but now it's back: How on earth did all these kids make it into Ivy League schools? How did Serena make it into two of them? Yes, these people are rich. They're unearthily rich. But there are tons of schools that you have to be rich to afford that do not require their applicants to be the geniuses of their prep schools, right?! Because what kind of grades did Serena really make, really? I'm not trying to say "Hardee har, dumb old Serena could never hack it there." I'm trying to say "I didn't think Serena was the type of student in high school who would even want to go to an Ivy League." Then again, it's a tv show. A soapy tv show. So let them all transfer to Harvard next year and I'll deal with it silently in my room.
  • Jenny: "Parsons is like 100 blocks away-" Blair: "SEMANTICS! You were banished!" Oh, Blair. Is that semantics? Let's face it, anything Blair doesn't want to hear is semantics.
  • Surprise surprise, Juliet's wearing another blazer ensemble in gray/neutral/beige. Coming from a costume designer who recently declared Blake Lively as the Jackie O of our generation, I totally get it. I get it.
  • Blair is the best despot ever: "Yours is not to wonder why/ Yours is to do or die. GO!"
  • Chuck sneaks off with Jenny's portfolio, then stands around his hotel suite in a silk robe waiting for her to come fetch it. Was his master plan to have Blair walk in on them sleeping together again? Or does he just set up situations (while wearing silk robes) where a number of things could happen, but each possibility will piss off Blair? It's senseless to ask. Chuck's brainwaves are clearly like "$$$$$Blair$$Fleur$$$$she'll wear a silk dress$$$$no that would look better on me$$$$I might as well grab this portfolio$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzhookers!$$"
  • Vanya, you old Heavyweight!
  • Wow, Dan really went into Big Brother mode this episode. He waits outside Parsons for Jenny to finish her interview. He guards Jenny on the sidewalk so these khaki-floppy-red-bow freaks won't descend on her. What a great big brother! He cain't even halp it none!
  • Remember last year when Jenny was nonstop trying to get the best of Serena? Well, against all odds, Serena does.
  • But not without swinging by Lily's pad first to say "Mummy, I came by to raid your jewelry box!!"
  • Let's face it, Lily was the Master of Reverse Psychology before she ever read about it in Colin's magical book. Somehow, she always knows the exact wrong thing to say - she's always like "I'm so proud that I think you're doing the opposite of what you're actually doing." That's like, super-mega passive aggressive reverse psychology. "I'm afraid you'd have to correct me in order to tell me the truth, which will make you feel even worse. Now let's raid my jewelry box!"
  • Tim Gunn, I don't care what you do or say. Just be on my tv screen always.
  • When I saw Chuck waltz into the party, I was pretty sure he had two non-sister identical models on his arms. Now THAT'S what I'd call Classic Chuck, until the other recaps started referencing the models as actual twins. I can't get confirmation from imdb either way. Real twins would not be pure Classic Chuck.
  • Obviously Tim can arrange for another interview for Jenny. Tim Gunn is the man of a thousand chances.
  • It's rough to hear about Nate's dad getting shanked and everything, but remember how miserable he was in season 1? I'm not saying anyone deserves to get shanked. But would you feel that bad if Georgina got non-fatally shanked?
  • Isaac Mizrahi, what are you doing here?!?! This season of GG has even more celebrities than ANTM!
  • I think Chuck has seriously misjudged how much punishment Blair deserves. What is he, the Marquis de Sade? Just trap her on a platform on a sunny day and be done with it! SHEESH!
  • Chuck to Blair: "I warned you I wouldn't stop!" Fair enough, he did warn her.
And true to form, Chuck never stopped. It looks like next week, Chuck won't be stopping for anything. But he will likely be shtupping. Shtupping Blair, that is. Next week's episode: "Hate-Shtups!"

12 October 2010

Celebrities I Confuse With One Another

An Homage to the Ladies (and Occasional Gentlemen) of Hollywood whom I Can Never Keep Straight: 
Meryl Streep and Glenn Close, I was merely a child when I first noticed the two of you. And I was merely 21 or 22 by the time I could finally refer to you as your correct name.  

Mira Sorvino and Marisa Tomei actually look pretty different, but since they play the exact same roles all the time, I still can't tell them apart. Romy and My Cousin Vinny's High School Courtroom Drama?

Ellen Barkin and Ellen Burstyn, why can't I do this? One is old and the other looks like she would rather die than get old. I think this is a simple case of "Ellen B Syndrome."

Abby Elliot looks just like Jayma Mays from Glee. I can tell them apart but theoretically shouldn't be able to.

Wentworth Miller and Channing Tatum. I don't exactly know who either of these guys is, but I know they share a huge case of Last-Name-Last-Name-itis. And they both play characters who've been through jail even though they're good looking white guys and I'm suspicious that they'd really make it through. And probably they can both breakdance.

11 October 2010

Gossip Girl Mega Triple Play

*look at the note at the bottom if you want to live

Somehow I've missed the past three weeks' worth of Gossip Girl recaps. Tonight I'm going nuts and stuffing it all into one magnificent blog post.
Bloggy: But do you really think that could ever work, Beck?
Me: Of course, Doubting Thomas dot com!
Bloggy: I only brought it up because that might take like an hour or more even, and maybe you have to get to sleep for work-
Me: THAT'S IT! I'm doing it!

My first recap (from three weeks ago) would have been called "First Day at Columbilair."
  • Barely one day back as Chuck Bass and he's already wearing half a purple suit. Welcome back, Bass!
  • JulietPrisonBrother wears a lot of blazers. Even at Fashion's Night Out. Blazers.
  • Columbia Reality Meter: it's the first day of school and Blair and Serena walk straight into St. A's. Classic.
  • As Serena, Blair, and JPB catfight over membership to key club, Best Friends Lily and Chuck reunite across town. Lily's text reads something like: "Eric and Rufus not here come over" and when I say "something like," I mean "verbatim." It's really nice of Chuck to apologize to the girl he deflowered's stepmother. Maybe she'll be kind enough to pass the sentiment along to what's his face, Roofio.
  • Meanwhile in Brooklyn, Vanessa is nonstop staring at Dan & the baby and about to say "I will be Milo's mother" all the time. Oyyyyyyyyyyyyy
  • At one point there were two different denim vests in consecutive scenes. And wouldn't you know it, they took that episode off cwtv.com already. 
  • It was nice to see Nate get some closure with Serena, like when my barbies used to play When Harry Met Sally(...). Of course Serena thinks they "parted as friends."
  • Then the episode ends with us seeing JPB at P with her PB. Boring!
The next week's recap would have been called "I Finally Get It, Vanessa Is Supposed To Be One Of Those Blue-Eyed Missing Roanoke Settler-Native-American Kids."
  • This episode was pretty unpleasant - Blair goes for a big stupid doomed frame job, Dan makes a thousand awkward "please take off your clothes" jokes to Serena, and Eva turns out to be a nurse/hooker. In retrospect, the Dan comments were actually a highlight of the episode.
  • Miracle of miracles, a prophecy fulfilled:
    Vanessa wears something stupid.
  • Dan falls in love with the movie Wild Hogs and then says something like "It's okay, I'm having fun. I mean, we always have fun" to Serena about how it's going with Vanessa. He's the best one on the show, I don't care what anyone says. This kid is for real.
  • OldLadyJuliet sure mentions coffee a lot, doesn't she? She takes Nate out for all-night coffee after drinking a latte in her room while she reattaches pricetags. She offers to buy everyone lattes. What is this mysterious coffee endgame?
  • I just don't think it's okay to donate $5 million to your girlfriend, no matter how generous a person she is. She's still not a charity or a nonprofit or a school or anything. Right?
  • Nate: "We Archibalds all have skeletons in our closets...and we have mansions FULL of closets."
  • So Chuck and Blair are going to war. I sure hope it's like the War of the Roses. I need to see that. I'm assuming it's great, if it's really the sequel to Romancing the Stone. Which I also need to see.
  • No no no, I just did a little research. That's wrong up there. What's The Jewel of the Nile?
  • Who closed that door in the end? Gossip Girl.......!!!! You get out of there!
This week's recap shall be called "Bad News Joan, He Didn't Go to Vietnam After All."
  • As much as I still hate Joan's fiancee (now husband) for the things he's done, I can still appreciate that he's playing a character that's basically Rock Hudson from Pillow Talk. You're my inspiration, Serena...
  • Columbia Reality Meter: They're up at Grant's Tomb! That's pretty close.
  • What is this scene between Vanessa and Rufus, the one with all the tight close-ups and bedroom eyes? Now this is a headline for Gossip Girl - "Ex-rock dad & exotic beauty eyefuck for a minute or two." I was paying attention to what they were talking about, and trust me, they were babbling. That's your first sign.
  • What did Serena do to MelrosePlaceJuliet's prison brother? Is he the one Serena and Georgina killed? Is he one of Serena's many scorned suitors? I can't imagine the other possibilities, but there must be literally thousands of other reasons PB is so mad at Serena. Did she steal his horse at that racetrack thing when she was still trying to make tabloid covers for her dad's sake? WHAT HAPPENED IN SANTORINI?
  • Two different attempts at "taking away Columbia" from Blair and Serena. Guys, you can't take what isn't even shot on location. Even if you're Chuck Bass, trillionaire.
  • Columbia Reality Meter: Serena's drinking a coffee from the Hungarian! Hipster Classic!
  • It's hard to believe that Blair would think she could win over a visiting professor by promising her an introduction to a woman-respecting businessman. Chuck's response was therefore appropriately inadequate. 
  • Why is STD testing the bad guy here? So far like three couples have been shaken today over people going to the clinic. I thought STD testing was like carte blanche. Please don't confuse the tweens!
  • Dan is hilariously annoyed at how stupid Rufus is: "Please get there faster."
  • Serena's dress buttons are popping open and it looks like what I'm desperately trying to avoid every time I pin my between-buttons areas together on my shirt. Congratulations, Serena, you can do it.
  • I wish we could have seen the professor's face as the dean accused Serena of emailing him a sexual proposition - you know it was like "oh, yes, oh no, I mean, I might actually be into something like that"
  • For a minute there I got really close to feeling sorry for Vanessa as she got framed for sending the email. Realllly close. Soon enough the gang will band together to get back at MPJ.
  • Wow, I've got to get a picture of MPJ's crazy face as she peeks between Serena and Blair's heads. She looks hypnotized!
  • According to drinksmixer.com, a Red Snapper is
    • 1 shot Crown Royal Canadian Whisky
    • 1 shot amaretto 
    • 1 shot cranberry juice
  • So Phase II of Chuck's big plan is to get Jenny a recommendation for Parsons from Tim Gunn. Diabolical!
There you go, that's three weeks' worth of recaps in one night. Oughta tide you over for a week or so. Actually, I think Gossip Girl's taking a break next week, so *you might want to break this up into a few separate readings. And you should probably read this part first. I'll do an asterisk.