Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Donuts

Auralgasms #3

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before today, but I am in rehearsals “Twelfth Night.” I am playing Viola. I’m going to assume I’m getting to play this awesome role because of talent, and possibly nepotism, and not because of nepotism and the fact that I’m shaped like a 13 year old boy.

Anyways, that’s beside the point. Theatre, in all of its madness and chaos of live performance and all that rot, is essentially a liquid, living, visual experience. As an actor, I’m able to use my body, my face, and the stage to portray everything I want to as that character. Really, it’s all very Waiting for Guffman. 

This is where we’re going to pretend I get all Inside the Actor’s Studio about acting, and what it takes to do it and yadda yadda yadda, more shit people don’t care about if they’re not actors….

But I will answer this:

Because it’s so easy. It’s “cunt punt.” Sorry, PSM.

Moving on, my point is, when I’m on stage or in front of a camera, I have a fuckton of means available to convey emotion and everything else. HOWEVER, some of the ABSOLUTELY MOST DIFFICULT work I’ve done as an actor is voiceover work. You’re expected to make magic with only your instrument. (insert skin flute joke, here.) It’s a very solitary gig. It’s just you and the producer, in a disturbingly quiet room, and a microphone that stares at you like it’s about to eat your face.

Sometimes, if you’re recording dialogue for a cartoon, you get sketches or stills for inspiration. Also, chances are, you’re going to be doing one or two of the voices–so, not so bad. You flail, you pull your hair, you get all “method” in front of the face-eating microphone.

If its an ad, it’s a reasonably straight-forward gig. Read, get it clear, get it across, get it done. Great. BAM. Thank you very much, don’t forget my check.

But when it’s an AUDIOBOOK. It’s JUST YOU. (mostly) For HOURS. You’re doing every voice, every emotion, every call and wail, every breathy intonation, every bit of it. Face Eater just hangs there in judgement of your every word. Your producer occasionally stops you dead in the middle of the line to tell you that you need to swallow. (perfect place for another skin flute reference.) You have a script in front of you with eighteen different colors of highlighter splattered across its pages like some sort of evil modern art graffiti. You drink approximately a gallon of throat coat, and proceed to wiggle through the last 4 pages because your bladder is about to explode. By the end of the day, you’re wanting to add some gin to that tea, because you have had it with hearing yourself talk.

Also? Sometimes you read books that may make my jokes about *woodwinds* seem like the most innocent of humor. Sometimes, you find yourself describing, in detail, very interesting scenes. There could be moaning…heavy breathing……….grunting.

Sometimes, if say, you’re a pale-ass Slav with a fundie father, you develop a fever of the face through the entire read.

There’s a good reason why I do theatre, and why I admire the ever-loving fuck out of actors who make their living reading for audiobooks. It is seriously hard, and somewhat lonely, and GAH! HARD! *twhs.

Auralgasms.

This week’s aurgasms narrator, Xe Sands, makes it sound effortless. Like, homegirl just walks up to the face-eating demon recorder, says “FUCK YOU, I WILL CUNT-PUNT YOUR ASS INTO SUCCESS!” and then she just rocks that book like the San Andreas fault rocks Cali. Or how I rock myself in a corner before I go into the recording studio. (it’s all very Emily Rose, for me)

I want to rock like Thorin.

The first series I listened to that she narrated was the Nightwalkers, series by Jacquelyn Frank. The series itself is pretty boss, great writing, fun plot, interesting characters, good books, right? Would I have stayed with the series through its entirety, and listened to the spin-off series if not for the narrator? I don’t think so. I think if it was on my kindle alone, it would have sat in the long line of TBR that I have no idea if I’ll ever read.

Her reading of Euphoriaone of my favorite books of last year, was ABSOFUCKINGAMAZEBALLS. Her accents, her characters, her men, her women, everything. Perfect. My cast mate came in while I was listening to it, and he looked at me, and said “that voice should read me to sleep every night.” I sent him to her audible page.

If he chooses the right novel, sleep won’t be what’s on his mind…

Her voice is reminiscent of Kathleen Turner, only a bit more youthful, a bit less tobacco. It’s sexy in a way that’s exactly the right amount of turn-the-page hotness, and toned-down seductress. She is exactly who you’d choose to read the chapters of your memoirs that deal with your clubbing 20s and peak 30s.

I also think it’d be hilarious to hear her totttalllly sex up a read of bad high school emo poetry, because I am fucked up like that.

A lot of my emo poetry from high school is ALL ABOUT unrequited love, and my gay boyfriend not really knowing what to do when he felt me up. It was an embarrassing time for all.

I’m about to kick some serious ass, running all weekend, and just POUNDING a series narrated by Xe Sands. (plus a few others, I have ADHD.) I suggest you do the same.

The recipe for the narrator.

Thankfully, Xe Sands is on social media and I could ask her for her favorites. She was polite enough to respond, and thus, y’all are getting

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Donuts.

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Donuts

 

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Donuts Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Donuts Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Donuts

These are like the best bakery sour cream donut, combined with delectable dark chocolate, and an ooey-gooey glaze that makes your mouth sing.

 

 

Chocolate Chip Sour Cream Donuts

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 45 minutes chi

Cook Time: 5-8 minutes

Keywords: fry appetizer bread breakfast dessert

Ingredients (1 dozen donuts)

  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 1/3 cup AP Flour–sifted twice
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • fat for frying

glaze

  • 100 ml HOT, but not scalding whole milk
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
  • 3 tbsp white corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract

Instructions

whip together wet ingredients in a mixer on high

reduce mixer speed to slow

sift in dry ingredients, save chips

stir in chips

cover and chill for 45 minutes

preheat 2 cups of oil in a shallow pan

bring oil to 325F

roll out dough on floured surface and cut into rounds and cut out centers 1/2″ thick.

re-roll excess and repeat

fry each donut 3 minutes per side

let cool

make glaze

glaze

whisk sugar and extracts and syrup into hot milk with a whisk

AVENGERS, ASSEMBLE!!

dip each cooled donut into the glaze and set aside for a few minutes

eat.

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spicy satay chicken wings

Winging it.

Marathon training is kicking my ass. Not because I can’t do the running (I can), or that the Yassos make me want to puke on some days (they do), or even because running sixty miles a week takes approximately forever (it does); It’s kicking my ass because the weather in NYC has been ten levels of dreck for five months. More than once, I’ve been running 10 or more miles on the treadmill wanting to be almost anywhere else. The stress of that, combined with the stress of school, and add on top of that–my agent JUST text me not ten minutes ago:

“Um hey, can you record a commercial for me tomorrow? Oh yeah, BTW…it’s in French.”

Sure. needtorunneedtorunneedtorunborntorunborntorunbrucespringsteenjerseywhat?

I’ve been running 6x/week, and on average, only 3 of those days each week have been outdoors. I’ve done LONG runs indoors because of ice, snow, cold, wind, or just plain weather-related crapsicles. When I’m outdoors, I can pump to my music, or to my audiobooks, and just feel my run. Indoors? Well, indoors I need all of the distractions. I’ve been running mostly at my Crossfit box once it’s closed for the day. Luckily, my zen Navajo spirit running guide and the Viking own the box, so I can pretty much go in whenever. Also? Zen Navajo had a giant tv installed just for me and the Highlander. Our ADHD DEMANDS IT. We marathon Netflix shows while we train for the Boston Marathon (because we loves, and because cable is a giant ripoff!).

Sure, sometimes we fight like children over what we should watch, “NO, Highlander, I DO NOT WANT TO WATCH FISHTANK KINGS!! Jeez, why is that even a show?”

I will absolutely watch this fish tank…as it is shoveled into my face.

Because I have an exceptional ability to whine, and I know too many secrets, I usually end up getting my way. Usually.

So for this month’s Netflix recommendations I have decided to present them in .gifs and memes. Because I can.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I feel this way about life…and Sweet Valley High. 

 

And now I’ll just post this to remind us all why Peaky Blinders is such a good idea.

Oh, that was shallow of me. To be fair, I DO watch this at a Crossfit Box surrounded by half-naked man gods. CUT ME SOME SLACK. (it’s not like I’ve lost my love of the Fassbender)

*from Centurion

And now some food.

Perfect to eat while “marathoning.”

Spicy Satay Chicken Wings

spicy satay chicken wings spicy satay chicken wings spicy satay chicken wings

Spicy Satay Chicken Wings (Baked)

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: overnight marinate

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Keywords: bake appetizer entree side snack

Ingredients (2 dozen wings)

  • 2 dozen wings

for the marinade

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • the juice from 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp sambal
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp black vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice

for the sauce

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp sriracha

Instructions

add marinade ingredients and wings to a bag,

marinate in the refrigerator, in a dish, overnight

preheat oven to 450F

mix together sauce ingredients

place wings on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet

bake 15-20 minutes, or until the center of the wing reaches 165F

toss in sauce

serve with scallions and cilantro

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Though Netflix sponsored these posts, all opinions and recipes are my own.

Though Netflix sponsored these posts, all opinions and recipes are my own.

Bacon-Fried Apple Pie

Get Series(ous). #9

Is there a word like “penultimate” that means “ninth?” I feel like nine Get Series(ous). posts deserves some sort of fanfare. Maybe just a dance.

Honestly, this post would’ve been up a while ago, but the original recipe I wrote for it felt…somehow not quite perfect. I’ll explain that later. Also, there is this book I’m reading…I told myself if I ran this morning, (I did. Ran 4, walked 2. Weekly milage 54.) I’d allow myself a few chapters…

It’s possible I haven’t showered. It’s possible I’m also too lazy to even switch to my ipad to read the book. It’s possible I have a ton of work to do today, and I’m choosing to ignore it.

My hair is messy, my makeup is non-existant, I'm not moving.

My hair is messy, my makeup is non-existant, I’m not moving.

*the bag is a gift from the PSM. It’s filled with my scripts and translation materials I need to get to today…

To the meat of the post!

This week’s series is another series that my husband and I fight over on release day. I am CONSTANTLY quoting from this series to him. It’s fucking endlessly quotable.

Who should read this series?

This reader LOVES South Park–or at least–the idea of it. A socially conscious humorous series that uses a lens of questionably-appropriate humor to shine a light on the things that need discussing, but which make us uncomfortable? Yes. That.

This reader misses The Flight of the Conchords like a missing limb, and is actively waiting in line, right now, to see their vampire mockumentary.

This reader cannot understand why there was never a crossover between Teen Wolf and Teen Witch. 

This reader values a strong sense of justice, but also understands that sometimes it’s necessary just to…

But most of the time, they’re going to stand their ground to the bitter end.

These readers are sick of typical shape-shifter or vamp novels, and they’re SO OVER dystopian, but DAMNIT!! They want to believe someone can lure them back to the genres they fell in love with long ago.

This reader will never admit to watching Preppers, but they’ve secretly googled “how long will canned ham remain edible if unopened?” Alongside “Accuracy of the pull-out method.” (Let’s be honest, there’s not going to be a lot of Yaz available in a post-apocalyptic world. Also? no EPIDURAL.)

What is this series?

The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews.

The Blurb: (first book, pictured above.)

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t want it any other way…

Why I love it:

This series is everything I wanted in a read after finishing The Hunger Games a few years ago, and wanted more dystope, but I wanted something new. I wanted more. I wanted humor and charisma, and fun.

When I started the books I thought “this is really Urban Fantasy! A lane where magic overflows? A giant lion in human skin who wears sweatpants? A heroine who carries a sword that requires feeding, who also has a forceful amount of snark?” Needless to say, I fell head-over-heels in love with the series.

“Sometimes the Universe smiled. Mostly (1)

There is just enough romance in this series that even the most die-hard romance fan will love it, in spite of the romance not being the main aspect of the series. The action is where it’s at. The insanely in-depth world building. The mastery of a well-told tale.

When I think of master world-builders, I think of Stephen King’s Dark Towers or Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. I also think of The Violent Bear it Away by Flannery O’Connor. There’s intensity in world building of Ilona Andrews that causes you to step back, reflect, and wonder at the imagery of it all. Take the humor of Pratchett, the focus of O’Connor, and the fantastical doom of King, and you get the writing team of Ilona Gordon and Andrew Gordon, who together write as Ilona Andrews.

Which brings me to my next point. The authors of these books are a husband and wife team. If I ever chose to write a novel with someone else, my husband would be dead last on list of people of whom I would choose to co-author the novel. I mean, no. Just. No. The fact that these two seem to THRIVE in this situation?

Holy Flying Spaghetti Monster. Damn.

It makes me wonder what life with them must be like. I know that my husband and I mostly talk about our kids and our jobs, as well as myriad other things when we’re together. I blather on about this or that, and he responds in kind. But Illona and Andrew Gordon work, create, and ostensibly live together. At the dinner table, I picture Illona Gordon looking over at her husband and saying something like, “Hey, you know what sounds like fun? A blind and vegetarian were-tiger. Amirite?” And her husband looking at her–lovingly, of course–not like she’s crazy at all–and saying,”And she should hook-up with the second-most badass alpha in the pack. They’d probably like to eat Keebler soft batch in bed, if those were still in existence in post-apocalyptic Atlanta.” And that would be their normal. 

The recipe inspired by the series:

Ok, I’ll admit I made two recipes for this post, and it came down to the wire which one I chose to post. In the end, the wings I made just didn’t feel exactly right. Not because fried chicken isn’t eaten in the stories, but because the sauce I used didn’t feel right for the series. I know, I’m weird. 

But one food is PROMINENT in the series. It sets things in motion, it hurls the plot forward.

What is that food?

pie. so much pie.

In the series apple pie is a big gesture–and sticking point–between the MC and her LI. But for this recipe, I considered where it takes place, (post-apocalyptic Atlanta) and who is in the series, (a fuckton of predators) and came up with something new.

Bacon-Fried Apple Pie

Smoky, salty bacon fat combines with sweet spiced apples, and a flaky crust, and BOOM! taste explosion. I also suggest dipping them in sour cream because both Kate and I are Slavic, and that’s what we do with our apple desserts. It sounds weird, I know, but it’s OMG SO GOOD.

Bacon-Fried Apple Pie

Bacon-Fried Apple Pie Bacon-Fried Apple Pie Bacon-Fried Apple Pie

Bacon-Fried Apple Pie

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Keywords: fry appetizer breakfast dessert pie

Ingredients (2 dozen pies)

  • 2 circles of pie dough (store bought is FINE)
  • 3 large granny smith apples
  • 1 cup bacon fat. (just collect it. it takes a while)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp clove
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups canola, coconut, or peanut oil for frying

Instructions

for the filling

peel the apples and dice into 1/3″ cubes

in a saucepan on medium, add 3 tbsp bacon fat

when fat begins to ripple, stir in apples

gradually toss in spices and brown sugar

when apples begin to soften–about 3-5 minutes, sift flour over apples

stir until combined and smooth

remove from heat

for the pie

I used Pillsbury pie crusts, unrolling them, and using a drinking glass to make about a dozen rounds

drop about a heavy tbsp of apple mixture onto each round, fold dough over, and pinch to seal. PINCH HARD.

prepare the fry fat

add remaining bacon fat and cooking oil in a cast-iron skillet

heat on medium-high to 350F

fry each pie for 3 minutes per side

serve dusted with powdered sugar and a side of sour cream

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Dark Chocolate Cheesecake with port wine berry sauce and homemade whipped cream

Auralgasms #2.

I think it’s pretty clear to everyone who reads this blog, that I’m well on my way to a slow descent into the insane abyss. One day, in the not too distant future, my journey into fully-blown recluse will be complete, and I’ll no longer need to worry about under-eye concealer or bras. I hate … Read more…

The Tom Donnely aka the Mango Collins

Get Series(ous). #8

Hey scamps! Guess what NYC is getting today?!?!

Yup. Four inches. (that’s what he said.)

Well I’m not going to wallow! I’m going to order my groceries, and watch my Netflix, and read my books, and contemplate ways to knee mother nature in the boobs.

You can read, too, because today’s post is Get Series(ous).!!

Who should read this series?

This series has a very broad appeal.

However, to be more specific…

This reader’s first language is sarcasm, their second language is food, and their third language is probably alcohol. English falls somewhere between whiskey and log rolling.

They know the words to “Come On, Eileen,” even if they’re 21, because they know what’s up.

it’s a damned catchy tune.

 

This reader may be a fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, or The League. When they’re picking out a book, they probably get pulled in by the cover, but then they spend an hour reading reviews. Because, peer-reviewed data is the safest data.

They want their lumberjacks to be useful, and not just hipsters with a beard and flannel from their dad’s closet.

Did I mention this reader likes beards? (The kind on a man’s face, not his arm.)

This reader may also have a puppy who has decided to take up residence on their lap while they write, and lay their puppy face on their arms, or lick their faces.

pupperWow, that got personal really quickly. Side of Peanut not included in assessment. My flannel is one of four from the fancy Tar-jhay collection.

This reader appreciates the subtlety of delightfully-timed off-color humor.  The reader for this book is the person who describes the Washington Monument as “the big marble phallus on the mall.”

What is this series?

The Modern Love Story Series by Daisy Prescott.

The Blurb: (first book)

“… I think life is better when you have love. Not a friendly neighbor or old friends kind of love either, but a love that causes your heart to race and your toes to curl.”

Maggie Marrion is just getting back on her feet after a horrible year, or two, or three. With their twentieth reunion approaching, she invites four of her closest friends from college for a mini-reunion at her beach cabin on Whidbey Island. What she doesn’t expect is her best friends Selah and Quinn to play matchmaker. Will Maggie risk her heart and her quiet life for another chance at romance?

Gil Morrow, former grunge musician turned history professor, joins them as Selah’s date for the weekend. With the support of old friends, a few wishing rocks, the world’s largest burrowing clam, and a hot lumberjack thrown into the mix, Gil reminds Maggie she isn’t too old to fall in love.

Reality Bites becomes The Big Chill when a group of Gen-X friends spend a summer weekend together sharing laughter, tears, life’s ups and downs, old stories, second chances, and new beginnings in this humorous contemporary adult romance.

Why I love it:

Let’s start with moments like this…

Geoducks are for Lovers

I also love that the characters are adults with real adult issues, and real adult desires. Yes, I love a good YA/NA, but to me, there is something wonderful in reading something that feels contemporary to me. Not to mention that the first and third books in the series features academics.

None of Daisy Prescott’s characters feel like caricatures. The manner in which they’re written let’s the reader feel as though they might bump into any or all of them in real life. The struggles each MC encounters are the struggles we all face each day, but they’re told in a way that makes them interesting and personal to each reader.

Whether it’s re-kindling a long lost love, or letting friendship to blossom into something more, The Modern Love Story Series by Daisy Prescott series keeps the reader turning the pages, nodding their heads, and smiling at nothing and everything.

The recipe based on the books:

I will admit I was originally going for something cool and hipster as this book is set near the Portland/Washington region of the country. I made a gin/vodka cocktail with cucumbers, mint, and lime. I loved it. My very best good Will person told me it tasted like a sad spa cocktail that one would drink to forget they’re fat. 

Not a rousing endorsement.

So I kept the gin, added mango, and BOOM, magic. In this cocktail, which is a play on a Tom Collins, I’d suggest using an AMERICAN gin. American gin is not as juniper forward as a London Dry gin, and it makes the flavors meld in a cohesive play on subtle notes.

I call this cocktail the Tom Donnely, after a character in the second and fourth MLS novels, because it’s deceptively sweet, smells like a pine tree, and gets you drunk. 😉

The Tom Donnely aka a Mango Collins

The Tom Donnely/Mango Collins

The Tom Donnely/Mango Collins

The Tom Donnely aka Mango Collins

by Cat Bowen

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Keywords: beverage

Ingredients (2 cocktails)

  • 3 oz mango nectar
  • 6 oz soda water
  • 2 oz American gin (country of origin, not brand)
  • 3 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz lime juice mixed with 2 tsp confectioners sugar
  • 3 small leaves of basil
  • 5 leaves of mint
  • lime wheels and mango wedges and additional herbs for garnish.

Instructions

shake together all ingredients save soda with ice in a shaker

shake for around 15 seconds

pour OVER ice, into two collins glasses

top with soda

serve with straw.

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