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The October 2018 Episode

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In the October 2018 episode of Could Be Better, we try to be a little nicer, a little more helpful, and a little less judgy. But that’s no fun so we quickly devolve to our usual cocktail-fueled opinions. Though the cover of this month’s Better Homes and Gardens mag has us hopeful for autumn color–and the Halloween features are on point–our time machine has us trapped in the horrors of 1970’s design. Dark colors, spider-thin staircase railings, and ghostly-white walls  play up the witchy vibes, but Rob never gets any trick-or-treaters so it’s all lost on him. J. admires another big wallpaper pattern (shocker) but can’t get past all the pom-poms. But hey, it’s just decor. Why not embrace imperfection, warts and all? Signature cocktail: The Pum-mosa, made with cava and Roundhouse Pumpkin King Cordial.

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Food prep by Tim Lawton. Check out videos of our recipe tastings on our YouTube channel. Camerawork by Michael Hall. Music by Bensound.com. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook at Could Be Better Podcast.

 

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recipes · Show News · Videos

Video: September 2018 Recipe Tasting

Could Be Better’s Rob Conlon and J. Dewey sample the coconut-chia oat crisp recipe from the September 2018 issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine, and Rob creates a signature cocktail inspired by the global flavors and colors throughout the issue and the special feature about chocolate.

If you don’t have the magazine, you can find the recipe on the BHG website here.

Once again, Tim Lawton did an excellent job with the recipe. He also tried the French chocolate mousse recipe, but we seriously think there was something off about that recipe because it didn’t turn out quite like we all thought it would. We may try it again and see how we can do better.

Camerawork by Michael Hall. Music by Bensound.com.

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The September 2018 Episode

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In our September episode, we plant the seeds for fall with a new focus on decor. (Foodies, don’t worry: check out our YouTube channel for our monthly recipe tastings).  Rob mixes up a signature cocktail inspired by this BH&G issue’s global flair (a Chocolate Spice martini) but J’s excited by this month’s Editor’s Letter: cue another dramatic reading!

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In this Stylemaker issue, white walls reign supreme, purple is a neutral, citrine green and peacock blue are “it” shades, kitchens suffer from visual clutter, and there’s nary an “I Did It” nor a craft project in sight. Plus, we throw more shade in Waco’s general direction. Pour yourself a drink, open your magazine and join us for another intimate conversation about design trends (#tagforhate). After all, it’s just decorating. Signature cocktail: Chocolate Spice martini.

Recipes: Oat-Chia Bars, French Chocolate  Mousse. All music: Bensound.com. End credits: Tim Lawton.

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August Recipe Tasting

Summer foods are all about fresh fruits and vegetables and the August issue of BH&G is full of fresh-from-the-farm recipes. Before our podcast taping, Chef Tim whipped up three iterations of inspired creations from the magazine’s pages.

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Top: Spinach Dutch Baby. Middle: chilled corn soup. Bottom: crostini topped with gruyere and garlic-onion jam.

First up: quick garlic-onion jam served on toasts with gruyere cheese for some contrast. Tim said it was incredibly easy and his favorite thing this session. How else can you use it, besides on these appetizers? We quickly decided it could be used almost anywhere–on burgers, BLTs, other sandwiches, a roast beef and horseradish French dip…it’s a very versatile (power vers!) condiment.

Next: a chilled corn soup topped with lots of mix-ins: feta, more corn, lemon zest, dill. We both agreed that it’s light, summery and would make a perfect cocktail shooter soup. It’s made with yogurt, not cream, so it’s not as heavy as you would expect, and not as overtly corny as imagined, either. Tim served it in the family’s vintage Currier & Ives china bowls but the blue-and-white pattern works perfectly for a summer’s afternoon.

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Chef Tim plating our Spinach Dutch Baby through the pass-through window. What service!

Tim whipped up a last-minute addition: the Spinach Dutch Baby. This is also a fairly simple recipe, with an egg dough pancake cradling fresh spinach and farmer’s market tomatoes. It would make a wonderful weekend lunch with a salad, or even a light weeknight dinner. Plus it looks impressive (it’s a grower) enough to serve to company.

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The Salty Be-otch: peach puree, rosemary simple syrup, Tito’s, a pink Hawaiian sea salt rim, and rosemary for garnish.

As for our signature cocktail, the magazine left us thirsty (only one beverage recipe–for iced tea, and iced tea cocktails are so 2010) so Rob invented something original: a take on a Salty Dog. He swapped in a fresh peach puree (made from fruits provided by Clarkes Family Farm) for the customary grapefruit, and called it a Salty Be-otch. A rosemary-infused simple syrup melded nicely with a scoop of peach sorbet, and plenty of Tito’s Vodka gave it a kick. J. licked off his salty rim job right away but others in the group said that you can take or leave the salt rim (Rob used pink Hawaiian sea salt for color).

Check out our YouTube channel for videos of these tastings and tune in to our August podcast episode coming soon!

 

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Poolside Recipe Tastings

Recipe tasting, signature cocktail drinking and episode taping on a hot summer day. Berry Lemonade martinis (based on this recipe but with citrus vodka of course), chickpea flatbreads, and strawberry chicken panzanella all from the July issue of Better Homes & Gardens. Our July episode comes out later this week! Happy summer, y’all.IMG_7481IMG_7482IMG_7485IMG_7489Rob_shaker_yall
We also enjoyed the ginger-lime icebox cake but were too sloshed hot to remember to take photos.
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Mini Episode: The New Victorihemians

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The new what? In this segment from the June 2018 episode, Rob and J. own up to confused feelings about “The Natural Life” feature on page 116 of the Better Homes & Gardens June 2018 issue. Meet the forager family behind the Insta account Fox Meets Bear and decide for yourself if their style is 1980’s “Country Living,” an update on Victorian naturalism, trapped-in-the-70’s-Woodstock–or do we have it totally wrong? (J. provides a little corrective at the end of this mini episode.) By the end, we crack the code and determine that swingers, open relationships, sex dens and far away husbands are soooo gay pride. Suggested signature cocktail for this episode: a sparkling wine with a shot of an herbal aperitif, such as Aperol, St. Germain or Cap Corse, garnished with a shasta daisy.