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‘Southern Charm’: Foul Play.

Oh Craig…

The night’s episode kicks off with Kathryn heading over to JD’s house, where she finds out that Jennifer invited Thomas to her Sip n’ See, but not Kathryn… and she acts SHOCKED. Uh, girl you accused her of having an affair with Thomas, among being a blatant cold shrew to her about her son!

Meanwhile, Shep gets up and jogs over to Whitney’s house, as he’s still on his health kick. Shep says he wants to take the gang on a guided quail hunt, so that should be interesting.

Later, at Criag and Naomi’s, the two attempt to talk about what happened in the previous episode. Craig still doesn’t think anything he did was wrong, They continue to go in circles, so Naomi says she won’t talk about it any longer until their is a couples’ counselor in the room.

On Patricia’s porch, Landon stops by for a rum slushie, and Pat is wearing a kimono with chauncey printed all over it. Pat is giving Landon some love advice, and she’s quietly pushing Thomas into the picture. Landon admits she is proud of the father Thomas has become but she doesn’t want to be involved in all of the baby mama drama. Speaking of Thomas, he’s getting his kids ready to go with Kathryn for the weekend.

The group is heading out of town for the hunting trip, and naturally the lodge is GORGEOUS. Whitney jumps right into his hunting outfit which had me rolling laughing, as he looked like the Lorde of the manner, or even Benjamin Button. Ha!

Chelsea is living her dreams with all the guys dressed to the nines and her, carrying her own gun. She tells Austen she wishes he was more into trucks and guns… and then he walks into the field and gets the most kills of the day.

That night, Thomas arrives (once the hunt is over as he cannot hold a firearm per his conviction), and Austen and Chelsea seem like two peas in a pod. So, is it a coincidence that Shep starts drinking again? Nope.

Over dinner, and after, the group proceeds to get completely HAMMERED, so much so that even I was laughing while watching. But, it’s all fun and games until Austen and Chelsea head off to their cabin alone… dun, dun, dun…

So, they slept together, and in the morning, they’re having some pretty cute pillow talk. Chelsea says something about how they’re on the same page, but her page is “nothing serious”, and Austen admits he’s feeling a sense of attachment toward her post-sex. Awwww man – I kind feel bad for him!

It should also be noted that I’ve started recording “Southern Charm Savannah”, but I haven’t watched any of the episodes yet. I’m just not sure how it could be better than the original…

‘Southern Charm’: To Liver and Die in Charleston.

Shep and Cam.

Can I just say that Monday nights are pretty awesome – I’ve got two of my favorite dance classes to take, and then I come home to some great TV, plus there’s that whole feeling that at least Monday is over. Right??

I was extra excited to see last night’s episode after last week’s craziness with Craig and Naomi. So, let’s get into it. At the top of the episode, Shep’s doctor calls and tells him the results of his labs. Turns out he has an elevated enzyme in his live and needs to cut back on the drinking, and will be tested again in two to three months.

At another house, Cameron is waiting on Craig (typical). She’s showing him some investment properties so he can fulfill one of his many dreams! Turns out, he’s pretty picky about what he wants in a rental home, and Cameron asks him if Naomi is supportive of this financial decision. He says he can’t continue to do things JUST for her, or else he’ll come to resent her.

Meanwhile, Patricia is at the pool with Chauncey and Whitney stops by and tells her about the conversation he had with Thomas about dating. Patricia suggests Landon as a possible match for Thomas, and of course, she decides she should host a casual dinner party and she can seat Thomas next to Landon (how Charleston of her).

Then, Chelsea and Austen go on another date – beer tasting (perfection). They get to talking about Shep and Austen tells Chelsea that Shep was a little disappointed that he was the last to know about the two of them talking. However, Austen assures Chelsea that he’s squashed it and he has no questions about it, and he does not feel like he violated Bro Code.

Remember last week, when Cameron had the witch doll made for Shep? Well, she takes him out to dinner: a table for Cameron, Shep… and Mama Estelle (Cam’s doll). She explains to Shep that she had a doll made for him because she was going to cast a love spell on him but she’d since changed her mind. So, she gave him the doll and said he could use it when he met someone worth falling in love with.

Later, Patricia’s is putting the final touches on her dinner party, and she says, “With these kids, I can just go to Costco and buy all the liquor.” Seriously? I would PAY to see Patricia in a Costco. The dinner party goes fine, but it doesn’t seem like any crazy sparks are flying. However, Thomas sniffs out that it’s a setup pretty early in the evening.

Meanwhile, Craig is on the sewing machine, embroidering tiny images of his cat, Gizmo, onto pillowcases. Naomi is not impressed by this at all, and when Craig casually mentions that he put an offer in on a house, she’s not really interested in that, either.

Later, Shep joins Kathryn for his first ever yoga class, as he continues his journey to detox. He’s struggling pretty hard throughout the class, but afterward tells Kathryn that he’s trying to see what it’s like not to drink every night. There’s a few clips of Shep at home, taking vitamins, and making a fruit smoothie in a Vitamix. He then calls his mom and says, “I just made a smoothie!” …It’s probably one of the cutest TV moments, ever.

Speaking of parents, Austen has dinner with his parents, and they are REALLY fired up about him starting a business. They don’t see his work as a beer salesman as anything serious; they want him to settle down, get married, and have a 9-5, and they really want him to make a business plan to show them he’s getting serious. Whoa.

And finally, the gang heads to Jennifer’s sip and see, where Thomas and Landon are flirting pretty heavily, and Naomi and Craig continue their fighting in front of everyone. Basically, she’s calling him out on his bullshit and he sees it as her not being loyal…which doesn’t really make sense.

But at the end of the episode, it doesn’t look like things between them are getting cleared up anytime soon, because she leaves the party without him. Bloop, bloop! Guess we’ll find out next week!

‘Southern Charm’: Craig of All Trades, Master of None.

I cannot get enough of this show!

Yay for Monday night TV! When the episode starts, Cameron is heading to a witch’s house…no seriously. She admits she was into white magic as a kid and has remained interested, so she picks out and purchases a voodoo doll to keep evil spirits away.

But let’s face facts, we are here for the drama between Shep and Austen, which I now realize I’ve been spelling his name wrong all along. Apologies.

So, the boys are playing basketball, and basically Chelsea comes up in conversation. Austen admits he’s seeing her, and Shep tries to play it cool but says Austen should have “let him know.” Austen is all, so I have to check in? No.

Meanwhile, Whitney and T-Rav meet for drinks and T-Rav admits that he can’t attract the right women because of his baggage with his baby mama. Well, well, well…

Later, Katherine calls Jennifer to see if she wants to get lunch. Basically she wants to rip her because she thinks her and Thomas got together.

Katherine is cold from the start, and Jennifer asks for clarity. Katherine is still pissed that Thomas passed her a handkerchief at the damn show reunion! Jennifer reminds her that she gave birth to a baby that very well could have died.

Pas Jennifer is sitting there, telling Katherine about her child’s brain surgery, crying… Kat is an ice COLD bitch.

At Craig’s house, he’s amped because he bought a sewing machine, and it arrived. Seriously what the hell? When he calls Naomi to share the news, she’s less than thrilled. I wonder why!?

Later, he’s legitimately sewing a tiny shirt…using the pedal barefoot.

At T-Rav’s, he pours himself a little cocktail, and calls Landon to ask her out to dinner. She has plans so she suggests lunch… Which Thomas says is the friend zone. He agrees on the phone but hangs up and throws it…ha!

Then, Shep takes himself to the doctor for a checkup, and the doc suggests not drinking for a week…. Uhhh… We will see how that goes.

Later, Craig cooks dinner for Naomi, and while eating it, he tells her that he’s looking to buy a rental property buy the end of the week and he also signed papers for his clothing line. LOLZ.

Naturally, Naomi is visibly pissed and tried to spell it out for him, that he can’t do all of these things at once if he ever hopes to pass the bar exam.

He then tells her that she’s acting dumb. Oohshitttt. The episode basically ends there but from the looks of next week’s episode, the fight isn’t over. Yowza!

‘Southern Charm’: Step and Release.

Geez, I love this show.

I started last night by watching part three of the “Vanderpump Rules” reunion, so that was juicy, and then settled in for another episode of “Southern Charm”.

It kicks off with Cameron hitting the gym, saying she’s taking charge of her health after living off “gas station food”, which makes me even more jealous of her. Chelsea joins the training session and says Shep stayed over, but they didn’t have sex. Not buying it.

Later, Craig and Landon meet for lunch where he says he’s helping Naomi put on a charity event, but shocker – he has no clue what he’s doing and hasn’t done much. Craig and Landon bond over how much they both hate Shep.

Meanwhile, Naomi is at Shep’s to pick up a donation and apparently have a glass of wine… hmm…

Later, Catherine shows up to meet with a modeling agent. While her pictures from the past are quite stunning, her agent gives her a reality check: she’s older, and well, doesn’t present as well in person. She suggests perhaps modeling with her children for family shoots – but because of her past, her visitations must be supervised. So, we’ll see.

Then, Landon heads over to T-Rav’s house for a cocktail, and he tells her he wants her help putting on a polo match for charity. He says he also wanted to reach out since he hadn’t in awhile. She seems really excited about both of these things, and we alllll know the relationship wheels are turning.

T-Rav, Austen (Austin?), and Shep head out for a guys’ night, which doesn’t happen without a little Landon bashing. They move on to a separate bar and proceed to have shot after shot, and Shep runs off with a random chick, who then actually turns him down for T-Rav! What!?

Despite his little efforts, Craig pulls off his part of the charity event and Naomi is happy, for now – I’ll still be shocked if they stay together this entire season. At the event, Landon is telling her friend that she doesn’t think her boyfriend has a “real job” because he sent her a picture of a fish he caught. Umm, ok? What’s your job, Landon?

Also at the event, Chelsea and Austen get to talking…flirting heavily, and he says they should go to the polo match together. She agrees, and gives him her number. Uh, WHAT?

Then, of course the episode is over and in the previews for next week, it looks like things get REAL awkward after they have their date.

Well, I’ll be there to watch it all go down and will report back!

‘Southern Charm’: Roamin’ Holiday.

They all look so Southern in their whites.

Nothing makes me happier than a fresh episode of “Southern Charm” – especially after part2 of the “Vanderpump Rules” reunion.

Episode two of “Southern Charm” begins with Whitney at T-Rav’s, for a visit. Sadly, Whitney admits that he’s single – and apparently ready to mingle. T-Rav says he wants to see Whitney out every night “closing on-site”, meaning hooking up with chicks in public bathrooms. Oh laawwd.

Katherine goes over to Dani’s house, and she admits to not passing the drug test (the initial drug test we heard about at the end of last season). She also talks briefly about her time in rehab, and says her and Thomas are not speaking.

Katherine says she’s passed her most-recent drug test, which means she may be eligible for joint custody of her children.

Meanwhile, Cameron is heading to Jennifer’s house. Jennifer was pregnant at the end of last season, with a child that was likely to have birth defects. The baby is four weeks old, and has already had brain surgery.

Jennifer says many people in the “group” have reached out to wish her well, but not Katherine.

At Landon’s house, she is having a meeting with her “staff”… huh? Turns out, she is still working on her travel lifestyle magazine. They are hosting a soft launch to show everyone what she’s been working on.

Shep meets up with Craig at the batting cages, where we learn that apparently it was Craig’s original dream to play in the major leagues. What?? Shep then confronts Craig about not graduating from school, and where the application for the bar exam went.

Craig wants to know why Shep is so obsessed with him – obviously, he says, it’s because he’s old and single and just unhappy in his own life. Yeeessshhhh.

Cameron meets up with Chelsea, and I guess she’s got a little crush on Shep… but we all know how that is going to turn out.

Whitney, Austin, and Shep go to lunch, and Shep admits that he thinks Chelsea is beautiful. Whitney notes that Thomas has admitted to “trying” with Landon, but that was the end of the conversation.

At Craig and Naomi’s, he explains the incident with Shep to her, and although she takes his side, she seems pretty annoyed that she’s been working toward getting her Master’s degree, while she’s not really sure what he does all day (hint: he talks to the cat).

It’s the day of Landon’s soft launch party, and I’m already annoyed with her. She’s all, “It feels good to show people I have a job”…umm no you don’t?

Whitney arrives at the party with his date, Daisy… and she’s a lil wild. Then Craig confronts Cameron about everything Shep said.

There’s only a small part of this gathering dedicated to Landon’s website, and in all honesty, it looks pretty basic. But give everyone free cocktails, and sure, they’re going to love every pixel of it.

Shep pulls Landon aside and tells her that some people in the tech industry had a negative experience with her recently – that she made comments about how she only hangs out with billionaires. She denies it and basically tells him to go fuck himself, and he suggests to simply kill with kindness.

Well, she gets even more pissy and is ready to shut the party D O W N.

Later, Shep takes Chelsea on a date for some real fancy cocktails. Cameron joins them to see how things go. Shep explains to the ladies what happened with Landon and the tech investors. And the episode is overrrrrr.

In the preview for next week, it looks like the date with Shep and Chelsea is a success, but may go downhill fast. And then Craig has a meltdown over a charity event.

Cheers, y’all!

I want to live in ‘Summer House’.

The cast of Bravo's "Summer House".

The cast of Bravo’s “Summer House”.

It’s true… I am obsessed with the show “Summer House”, and I just want to BE them. It’s very “Hills’-like to me, and I cannot get enough. Here’s the description of the show from Bravo.com:

Affluent New Yorkers have been fleeing to the Hamptons for generations to get the ultimate luxurious experience, but Montauk, a breezy beach town on the easternmost point of Long Island, has become the summer playground for young professionals who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. “Summer House” brings together a group of nine friends who work hard making their money and building their résumés during the week, but on the weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day, they share a summer house to let loose in a big way that speaks to their exclusive, high-end lifestyle. 

For years, this group of friends has summered in Montauk with a variety of people, but this year they’ve put together the perfect group to share a rental for an epic summer filled with drama, boozy brunches, beachfront thrills, rosé parties, charity galas, bonfires, and jaw-dropping hookups. This close-knit group includes Kyle Cooke, the life of the party who must decide whether it’s time to grow up or to remain the quintessential bachelor; Ashley and Lauren Wirkus, fun-loving identical twins who have reached a crossroads in life; group newcomer Carl Radke, a flirtatious ex-model who has caught Lauren’s eye; longtime friends Everett Weston, an ex-Army Iraq war veteran, and Lindsay Hubbard, the ultimate alpha female, who throw everyone for a loop with their newfound love; Cristina Gibson, Lindsay’s roommate, a freelance reporter who grapples with her friendships; Stephen McGee, the wild card of the bunch who isn’t afraid to speak his mind; and Jaclyn Shuman, a flirty, newly single girl-next-door type who is looking to be distracted from a broken heart.

The show focuses on these incredible weekends in Montauk – the house is huge, beautiful, and has all of the amenities for a great party: pool, beach access, hot tub, bar, and lots of room to crash. This group of friends (and probably most New Yorkers) live for the weekends, leaving early on Friday to get to the house and sometimes not leaving until Monday morning to head back to the city.

Of course I’m super jealous of anyone who has a summer house, a weekend house, a winter cabin – whatever – that is the life. Secondly, of course everyone that lives in this house is pretty hot and successful. This leads to hookups (and drama) within the house, but I’m still jealous!

On the one hand, I feel so grateful that my single life has lead to a life of very little drama and no heartbreak. But seeing all the fun at “Summer House”… makes me want to jump right into the pool with Karl and say oh well, I’ll deal with the consequences later, amirite??!

There probably aren’t many episodes of “Summer House” left, but I hope this show gets a second season; because between this and “Below Deck” – I’ve pretty much got my bucket list set.

AC2: Just what I needed.

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AC2: Andy Cohen & Anderson Cooper.

I am slowly recovering from my meltdown last week, which I discussed yesterday on the blog. Hopefully that post made history as the most insane piece you’ll ever see here, but I’m not making any promises. And thank you to those who reached out to me yesterday via this blog, Facebook, and text, to make sure I was okay. I really, really appreciate your kindness.

Anyway, just after my meltdown, I was really looking forward to a relaxing weekend (I was lucky enough to get a little bit of freelance work to help with my bills), and I was thankful I had a ticket to see AC2 Live: An Intimiate Evening With Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen.

I’d purchased myself a ticket prior to my financial woes; and considering I’m on a self-induced spending freeze, I didn’t take myself to dinner before or treat myself to any beverages at the event as I’d originally planned. But, none of that mattered, because I still had a great time.

I’ve been a fan of Anderson Cooper for as long as I can remember. I have always looked up to him as a journalist – rightfully so – as he’s created some of the best news coverage, ever.

Although born into the Vanderbilt family on his mom’s side, Cooper has said – in news articles and in the recent documentary with his mother – when his father died (when he was 10), he immediately felt like he needed to take care of himself, and started working as a child model. He later attended Yale, and after failing to get an entry-level job at ABC, he got a few students to help him create a fake press pass, so he could start covering news stories.

He was able to sell these homemade stories to a local news channel, and he started his work as a correspondant for ABC five years later. Six years later, in 2001, Cooper joined CNN, and became host of Anderson Cooper 360 in 2003. Several pieces of his news coverage has won awards, including Princess Diana’s funeral, 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, Chicago Police brutality, Haiti earthquake, Bosnian war, and of course, Hurricane Katrina:

His recent coverage of Orlando was also nothing short of fantastic. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that he’s one of, if not the top, journalist of our time.

And then there’s Andy Cohen; the genius who brought us all of the shows we loved and still watch: “Queer Eye for The Straight Guy”, the entire “Real Housewives” franchise, “Below Deck”, “Shahs of Sunset”, “Vanderpump Rules”, and serves as the creator and host of “Watch What Happens Live”. He is also the host of each and every reunion for “The Real Housewives”.

Cohen has a degree in broadcast journalism, and worked as CBS for 10 years, serving as the producer for “48 Hours”, “The Early Show”,  and “CBS This Morning”, before moving to the Bravo network. He is the only openly gay host of a nightly talk show, and he also has his own channel on Sirius XM, Radio Andy.

Uh, how can we not love the person who brought us, “Close ya legs to married men, trash box!”

So, on Saturday night, Cooper and Cohen joined forces for their live, touring show, right here in Austin. The show began by showing a bit of history about each one of the men before they came on stage. They then explained that they actually met by being set up on a date many years ago – but never actually went on the date, and confirmed that they’ve never slept together.

They joked a lot about how they are so opposite: Cooper is self-admittedly grumpy, introverted and shy, whereas Cohen is forever the life of the party and absolutely loves being famous. Both of them admit to being workaholics, and are humble about the role they play in pop culture and breaking news. They are also both best-selling authors (“Dispatches From the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disaster, and Survival” by Anderson Cooper, and “Most Talkative: Stories From the Front Lines of Pop Culture” by Andy Cohen).

For me, the night was the perfect mix of yin and yang – I absolutely loved it! They shared hilarious stories about their careers over the years, talked about their families, and vacations they’ve gone on with mutual friends. They even showed a few videos – a clip from “60 Minutes” when Cooper swam with crocodiles despite not knowing how to scuba dive, Cohen’s friends making a tribute to him for his 40th birthday, and a compilation of the best moments of the “Housewives'” reunions.

They also took several questions from the audience (which was interesting, and a bit brutal at times), in which Cooper revealed that after talking to the family of one of the Aurora shooting victims, he made a policy that, on “Anderson Cooper 360”, any mass murderer would not be named, and it has become his mission to speak of and remember the lives of those we lost. We saw this policy in action during the Orlando coverage, and I think it’s a fantastic shift in media coverage.

Aside from it just being an entertaining couple of hours, it was also really inspirational for me on many levels. Not only am I a TV junkie, in both news (especially CNN) and reality (Bravo is the KING of reality networks), but I also love talking about pop culture and news events. Without even realizing it when I bought the ticket, I’d set myself up to see two people that have probably brought me more joy over the years than I even knew – and I got to wear my fringed high heels for the first time, in honor of the occassion!

Are you following me on social media? If not, you probably should – unless you’re a troll, then, just… no. I’m @OrangeJulius7 for Twitter, SnapChat, and Instagram! See you there!

BBC: ‘The Andy Cohen Diaries’.

I was really excited when Blanche’s Book Club decided to read “The Andy Cohen Diaries” by Andy Cohen, because I’m going to SEE Mr. Cohen LIVE, along with Anderson Cooper tomorrow night, right here in Austin! And… I’m SO excited! You can definitely expect a recap of the event right here next week.

So, the book! “The Andy Cohen Diaries” is Cohen’s second book, and I sadly have yet to read the first one. In “Diaries”, Cohen explains the book was meant to model “The Andy Warhol Diaries“, which was released in the early 90’s, and was considered to be shocking and controversial, given Warhol’s commentary of the celeb-elite.

A description from Amazon.com, “A year in the whirlwind life of the beloved pop icon Andy Cohen, in his own cheeky, candid, and irreverent words. As a TV Producer and host of the smash late night show Watch What Happens Live, Andy Cohen has a front row seat to an exciting world not many get to see. In this dishy, detailed diary of one year in his life, Andy goes out on the town, drops names, hosts a ton of shows, becomes codependent with Real Housewives, makes trouble, calls his mom, drops some more names, and, while searching for love, finds it with a dog. We learn everything from which celebrity peed in her WWHL dressing room to which Housewives are causing trouble and how. Nothing is off limits – including dating. We see Andy at home and with close friends and family (including his beloved and unforgettable mom). Throughout, Andy tells us not only what goes down, but exactly what he thinks about it. Inspired by the diaries of another celebrity-obsessed Andy (Warhol), this honest, irreverent, and laugh-out-loud funny book is a one-of-a-kind account of the whos and whats of pop culture in the 21st century.”

Of course, Cohen is no Warhol, but one thing I definitely noticed about Cohen’s book – he is out and about every single day/night! He’s always heading off to a party, dinner with friends, or pool-hopping in the Hamptons. Frankly, his life sounds pretty damn fabulous! And you can’t forget his almost-daily massages he gets before bed, right in his apartment. I need a job at Bravo, or wherever will pay me that much cash.

I also realized that Cohen is really close with Sarah Jessica Parker, so there’s some dish on her (nothing bad, of course), Kelly Ripa, and… drumroll… John Mayer! I was really happy to hear that when John invited Andy out to Montana, he cooked him breakfast everyday. I would die. D-I-E.

The book is written diary-style, in that there is nearly an entry every single day for the course of one year. Of course, there’s a decent amount of Real Housewives dish – which I found entertaining, and it also felt like I was getting let in on a big secret.

A large part of the book is also about Cohen and his journey in adopting a dog – whom we eventually come to know as Wacha! Their relationship is really cute, and it’s funny how serious Cohen takes his moments with Wacha, and his Instagram posts.

When writing this post, I came across an interesting article from Time magazine, “Andy Cohen’s Memoir Is the Frankest Book About Gay Life In Years”, which talks about Cohen’s documented struggle with fitness and weight loss:

It’s in the latter category that the book becomes resonant and sadder than the author may even realize. Each day is either a victory or a defeat for Cohen, measured alternately in hours at the gym or hors d’oeuvres eaten and drinks consumed. At one point, he meets his goal weight, and then revises that goal weight yet again lower; a litany of fattening foods he is ashamed to have eaten at a party hilariously and tragically includes the addendum “and a Popsicle.”

Many readers might not treat ice pops as a shameful indulgence. And yet many readers aren’t trying to prove their value in a marketplace in which superheroic body proportions win the day. Cohen’s obsession with his appearance — endless documentations of squats and the inevitable “two-hour massage” that follows — are of a piece with a wealthy, urban, privileged gay life that more intellectual or explicitly political novels are loath to expose in such detail. Cohen’s world is not that of most or even of many gay people, but it’s one that really exists and that hasn’t recently gotten this much attention in print.

In the beginning of the book, Cohen talks about feeling pressure to lose weight, and struggles with his lifestyle – it’s tough to lose weight when you’re in a culture of going out to eat and having cocktails with celebs on the daily – in order to drop a few pounds. He does hit the gym pretty religiously, which does not seem to be an issue for him, even when he’s admittedly hungover.

I had no idea his stories were, in any way, representative of “privileged gay life” – and it kind of makes me love him that much more! If you’re at all a pop culture junkie, or a fan of Bravo, and/or, Andy Cohen, I would definitely recommend this book.

The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “Girls In White Dresses” by Jennifer Close. Want to read it with us? We’d love to have you! Share your thoughts on the book with us via the comments, email (holly@thebitterlemon.com) or on Twitter & SnapChat @OrangeJulius7.

What I would cook for Matt Harvey.

Helloooooo! It’s been a hot minute since I featured two of my favorite pieces of this blog: “Celeb Crush” and a “Boyfriend Recipe”, so I figured why not combine the two for something steamy, plussss…. did I mention I have a giveaway? A FREE FOOD giveaway?! Yes!!

But before we get into that fun stuff, let’s pick up what hottie Matt Harvey is throwing down (baseball puns!). Let me paint the landscape for you: I enjoy going to baseball games, but mainly because I’m willing to do just about anything for a chili cheese dog and an icy beer.

I’m not a huge Mets fan, so I’ll be clear here… I had no idea who Matt Harvey was until I saw him on Watch What Happens Live. While it was revealed on the show that he “dates” a lot of models, he was also sexily coy and I pretty much loved every second of it.

Aside from the model-thing, the other downside to having a crush on Matt is his name. If you’re new here, welcome, and all you need to know is that I’ve dated WAY too many guys named Matt in my life and they are all complete douchers.

But that’s the glory of the celeb crush, right? We (me) get to suspend reality and dream on, like the fool that I am! So, a few fun facts about Mr. Harvey:

  • Birthday: March 27, 1989
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Went to college before being drafted by the Mets
  • Set a record during his debut game for 11 strikeouts
  • He is a huge hockey fan and loves the New York Rangers (le siiigggh)

So, what would I cook for Matt Harvey even though he can buy something that may taste a million times better? I would cook Harissa Steak Tacos with smashed beans, ginger slaw, and lime-dressed kale. I actually made this earlier this week, as all of the organic ingredients were delivered to me from Green Chef.

These. Are. Delicious.

These. Are. Delicious.

And that, my friends, is what I’d like to give away today: organic ingredients for meals delivered right to your door, for FREE! I’ve been ordering from Green Chef for about three months now, and I love it. You get to choose how many meals (by meal they mean serving) you want delivered, and set your preferences. You can change your food preferences as often as you want, or skip weeks if you’re not feeling it, and there’s NO penalty for it.

I generally have my preferences set on “omnivore” and I get ingredients for 6 meals each week; however, most of the time, it ends up being enough ingredients for 9 meals. Usually the box (which is right on my doorstep and packed with ice packs) has two recipes with meat, and one vegetarian. Some of my favorite meals I’ve gotten so far include:

  • Poached Tuna Salad, with Spinach Salad and Olive & Red Pepper Couscous
  • Chickpea Shawarma Salad, with Cucumber & tomato millet, olives & pine nuts
  • Sweet & Sour Chicken with Black quinoa, edamame, ginger, pineapple & pepper
  • Greek Gyro Flatbread with Baba ghanoush, ground beef, tzatziki & feta
  • Pumpkin-Stuffed Shells with Spinach & walnut-parsley pesto, orange-chard salad

So, you’ll get the ingredients and then you cook the meals at your leisure. All of the ingredients are pre-measured, and organized with color-coordinated labels. Some of the ingredients are even prepped for you (chopped, mixed, etc.), so it makes the meals pretty fool-proof. But seriously, no catch with the free meals – I really just want other people to try this delicious stuff!

I have three free gifts to give away, so if you’re interested, shoot me your email address using the form at the bottom of this post. I’ll draw numbers tonight at 10pm Central time, and announce the winners in tomorrow’s blog! The Green Chef email with the free meals will be delivered to the email you provide, so keep that in mind.

In the meantime, I’ve got the recipe for those fantastic Harissa Steak Tacos I’m going to make for Matt Harvey on our fantasy date, where of course, he’s going to fall madly in love with me.

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 ounce grass-fed sirloin steak
  • 6 organic corn tortillas
  • Organic red cabbage slaw
  • 1 tablespoon organic harissa spice blend
  • Organic lime, jalapeño & red bell pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic cannellini beans
  • 4-5 leaves organic Lacinato kale
  • 3 tablespoons organic pepitas
  • Organic creamy ginger dressing

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pat sirloin steak dry with a paper towel. Season both sides with harissa spice blend, salt, and pepper. Set aside. Zest half of lime with a microplane (or on small holes of a box grater) into a small bowl; reserve. Cut lime into wedges.

Remove center rib from Lacinato kale. Roll leaves into a large “cigar” and slice across into about ¼-inch wide ribbons. Place in a medium bowl. Squeeze juice of one lime wedge over kale. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Massage kale with hands (or tongs) to break down fibers. Salt and pepper to taste.

Place red cabbage slaw in a large bowl. Drizzle with half of the creamy ginger dressing. Add pepitas. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cut jalapeño in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and stem. Small dice desired amount of jalapeño (or omit) and red bell pepper into about ¼-inch pieces.

Heat about 1 ½ tablespoons cooking oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add bell pepper and desired amount of jalapeño (or omit) to hot pan. Stir. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until peppers have softened, stirring occasionally.

Open, drain, and rinse cannellini beans. Add beans to pan with peppers. Add reserved lime zest. Squeeze juice of another lime wedge over pan. Stir. Reduce heat to medium-low. Mash about half the beans with the back of a cooking spoon. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm on back of stovetop, off heat.

Place corn tortillas on foil. Sprinkle with water. Wrap foil over tortillas. Warm in oven 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat about 1 tablespoon cooking oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add steak to hot pan. Sear 4-5 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness. Transfer steak to cutting board and let rest at least 3 minutes.

Cut steak against the grain into about ¼-inch thick slices. Pile beans and slaw on each plate. Serve three tortillas each. Place kale in each tortilla and divide steak between tacos. Drizzle remaining creamy ginger dressing over tacos to taste. Garnish with lime wedges. Enjoy!

What’s on my DVR?

This is NOT my DVR.

This is NOT my DVR.

For some reason, I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job of hiding the fact that I’m a TV junkie… not sure HOW I was able to hide it (hell, maybe I haven’t), but I’m here to assure you, it’s true. I’m a TV junkie.

I’d love to tell you that hey, it’s fall, and it’s getting chilly out, and the TV is really good right now, but let’s face facts: I watch loads of TV all the time. All year ’round, you can count on me to be parked in front of the TV watching shit that’s rotting my brain. K?

Now that we’ve got that cleared up, let’s get right to it and snoop through my DVR. Wanna know a fun fact? I just got DVR for the first time two months ago! When I lived in Baton Rouge, my basic cable (completely basic) bill was $85/month. I refused to pay more, even by a dime, so I skipped out on hi-def, specialty channels, and DVR.

When I moved to Austin, I really wanted to spoil myself, and since my rent is cheaper, and I got a shiny new job, I splurged on my cable package. I use AT&T U-Verse, and not to sell you on it, but when I joined I got three months free of HBO, a six-month new customer discount, and a $100 Visa gift card just for joining!

Even after all the specials are over, I’m left with more than 300 channels, plus the HBO package, and DVR on both my TVs for a little more than $100/month. It’s a great deal (and if you’re considering it, you can use my code here to get deals and an extra $25 gift card) — just saying.

To make things even BETTER, I downloaded the AT&T U-Verse app on my phone, which means I can schedule things to record while I’m not at home, and you can even use your phone as a remote, because… who doesn’t lose the remote from time to time?

Now, I’ve got 160 hours to use on my DVR, so I record everything. Here’s what’s on my DVR right this moment:

  • LA Ink — The adventure of Kat Von D and her tattoo shop, High Voltage in Los Angeles. This show used to be on TLC, but now it’s on the Spanish Channel, I think Nuvo. The funny thing about this is that, all the episodes are super old. But it’s still great TV; tattoos, dating, LA… I love it.
  • Manzo’d With Children — I whish Caroline Manzo was still a part of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, but she’s not, so this is where we have to see her… not to mention her hot son, Albie.
  • Oprah: Where Are They Now? — I am not a fan of Oprah. But this show is pretty cool. It’s celebrities and people in the news that we haven’t heard of for a long time. There’s been Holly Madison, Columbine survivors, Danielle Staub, Tori Spelling, Dave Coulier, among many others. Each episode features 3-4 different people.
  • Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations — I feel like Anthony Bourdain and I are kindred spirits. He’s like this witty foodie who writes/does travel documentaries and analyzes shit until it’s dead. And then analyzes it again. I love it.
  • Project Runway — This season just had it’s season finale, but this is a show I’ve never missed, and I don’t plan on missing it anytime soon.
  • The Pioneer Woman — Who doesn’t love Ree Drummond and her amazing ranch home… and the fattening food she cooks without a care? Truthfully, I love that her recipes are simple and easy, yet really impressive. Plus, she’s sweet.
  • Scream Queens — I’m still not sold on this show, but I had to see what all the fuss was about.
  • CSI — One of my favorite shows ever, but I only watch the episodes with Grissom. Period.
  • The Real Girl’s Kitchen — Haylie Duff hosts a fun cooking show that features “real” food (not really sure what that means, but I will say there’s lots of celebrity guests and she’s got some pretty nifty kitchen tricks.
  • American Sniper — I’ve had this movie recorded for awhile, waiting for the emotional guts to actually watch it.
  • Deal or No Deal — I have a love/hate relationship with this show.
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close — Again, waiting for that moment to watch this (I read the book and saw it in the theatre, but I just bawled).
  • DRONEX: The Hunt for El Chingon — I am a sucker for documentaries and this one sounded too great to pass up, “fearless journalists hunt down and interview the most wanted and dangerous drug lord in Mexico.” YES.
  • Vanderpump Rules — Who can resist the drama at Pump and Sur? Not me.
  • Apres Ski — This show just started, but it’s pretty good. Skiing vacations of the rich and hot? It’s kind of like “Below Deck” but for the mountains. Sign me up!
  • Workaholics — A recent favorite, the loose story of three dude-coworkers who also live together, and do dumb shit. Loves it.

Welp, now that I’ve clearly made my case… what are you watching on TV these days? And yeah, check out AT&T U-Verse if you’re looking to switch carriers!