In our February recipe taste testing video, get the skinny on Rob’s Mid-Hudson Mule signature cocktail, and watch as we rate the Coconut Curry Short Ribs with bok choy and hand pies (the February issue’s cover stars). You should also know that J. hates bok choy and Rob hates pie.
But it all works out, because even if you have a tag for hate, love comes first.
Welcome to Season Two of Could Be Better! If a certain #1* magazine is still pumpin’ out issues, we’re still pumpin’ out episodes. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Rob brews up a red signature cocktail to get your blood racing: a Mid-Hudson Mule. They do pack a kick, because it takes us about three sips to start talking dirty about the February issue. Though lacy envelopes don’t do it for us, we do fall for a white-on-white room (don’t worry, it’s a guest space so it’s OK), a kitchen makeover, an I Did It feature (at last, hallelujah), and hand pies. Cupid’s arrow misses the mark on windowsill gardening, and one space may send Rob to therapy. Will your favorite looks get a tag for love, or a tag for hate? Listen in and find out! Signature cocktail: Mid-Hudson Mule. Recipe tastings coming soon to our YouTube channel: coconut curry short ribs and hand pies. Music by Bensound.com.
*If you discount two AARP publications, Better Homes & Gardens has the widest subscription base in America. So it’s actually #3 in the US but c’mon…AARP magazines?
To celebrate our one-year anniversary, we recorded our January 2019 episode live at the Crafted Kup Coffeehouse in Poughkeepsie New York! And because we had a captive audience (and a timer!) we touched on a few highlights from the BHG magazine, instead of letting ourselves ramble for hours. Guests got to see the pages with us in a slideshow–which you can also check out below! We also asked for listener submissions for what we called the “You Did It!” section. To wrap up, we discussed a few design trends for 2019 and the Colors Of The Year. With lots of audience participation, you’ll be able to hear which trends are in–and which ones are over before they begin.
Thanks to everyone who came out to support us, and for listening all year long. Special thanks to Tanner and everyone at The Crafted Kup, Adam and Ryan from Dead Radio Podcast, Amy Dittmar for cupcake creations inspired by the magazine, Chef Tim Lawton for party foods (also pulled from the January issue of course), Joe C. for the “Tag for Hate” shirts, Joe W. for keeping time. Recipes: Spicy Beef Sloppy Joes, partyboards. Signature cocktail: spiced pear prosecco cocktails. Music by Bensound.com. Subscribe and listen for Season 2 wherever you get your podcasts!
On Friday, January 18, 2019 we held our first-ever live event, featuring a taping of our January episode, free food inspired by the January issue of the magazine, delicious custom-made cocktails, audience participation signs, and nearly a full house of friends and listeners! We’re so grateful for all your support over the past year. We always have fun while we tape but this time we got to share it with you!
Tanner and his staff at The Crafted Kup in Poughkeepsie provided the venue, a cash bar and lots of set-up help. The guys from Dead Radio Podcast chipped in with audio/visual support.
Chef Tim chose the Spicy Sloppy Joe recipe from the mag, and turned them into sliders which were UNREAL–definitely a keeper recipe!
He also set out savory, cheesy selections on big black cock cheese papers, since this issue went back to those fucking #partyboards AGAIN.
We also asked our friend Amy Dittmar to create custom cupcakes for us. Though there were no cupcake recipes in this issue, the paint can lid page (featuring desert hues–a la succulents) inspired her creation of stunningly real-looking succulent mini-cakes.
Since The Crafted Kup has a beer and wine license but not a full booze permit, we had to get crafty with our signature cocktail. Knowing that most people like bubbles for a special event, J. suggested a spiced pear prosecco cocktail. Rob whipped up a huge batch of simple syrup warmed with winter spices (cloves, black pepper, cinnamon), and the ‘Kup crew garnished each glass with a thyme sprig.
We wanted lots of audience participation, so Rob also created hand-held signs featuring some of our most-uttered phrases. The f-bomb icon got a lot of play during our taping!
Since some of our guests didn’t subscribe to the mag for the entire year, we brought along our back issues, tags intact. We laid them out for guests to peruse and read our notes. A bunch of people went back to the March issue for another look at Hot Toilet Guy and Kyle the gardener!
We also gave away copies of Better Homes & Gardens’ January and February issues, and one lucky guest will receive a year’s subscription! Amazingly our winner Joe didn’t have a subscription already.
If you couldn’t join us in person and would like to follow along with our slideshow, we’ll post it here once the episode is available in our podcast feed.
All in all, we had a wonderful night babbling about home decor trends along with our audience. Thanks to the CBB community and new friends for supporting us. We are truly touched! Here’s to Season #2–and please keep in touch as we roll along into 2019!
On Monday, January 14, 2019, we went live on Out Radio, an hour-long show on Radio Kingston (NY) 1490 AM, hosted by Jeff Rindler, the Executive Director of the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center. We had a blast educating Jeff on our show, the world of podcasting, and how this whole Could Be Better experiment got started.
Though our podcast feed is quiet now as we prepare for our Live Event on January 18th, that doesn’t mean we can keep our mouths shut. In advance of that super-fun event (that you can still attend!) we did a crossover episode with Dead Radio Podcast–another Hudson Valley based show featuring two guys who banter and drink (a lot).
We went live (though it’s Dead Radio) on YouTube on Monday, January 7, 2019 to talk with Adam and Ryan about our show, their show, the local podcast scene, and lots of pop culture references. The DR guys even made a cocktail on the spot inspired by the December issue of Better Homes & Gardens: the beer smash. None of us liked it, BTW.
Watch us on their YouTube channel or tune into the podcast episode once it reaches their feed. Subscribe, too, because these guys are awesome (they’re organizing a big charity event for May, and Ryan is a huge #RPDR fan!) And be sure to get your ticket for Could Be Better LIVE! on January 18th!
Happy holidays, bitches! Here’s our gift to you, a special bonus episode to tide you over while we take a little Christmas break (there’s a lot of eggnog and pom-ginger shandies to drink). We’re also putting this out there because we won’t have a new episode later this month since we’re talking about the January issue (which already arrived in our mailboxes) during our LIVE episode taping on January 18th.
In this bonus ep, we un-sidebar the Editor’s Letter sidebar from the December issue, which we also sidebarred from our main monthly episode too. Then we discuss two big ways to make your Christmas decorations more personal and #moremeaningful. Both involve a little crafting, so be warned!
As promised, here’s a pic of the grapevine wreath J. made with greens from his family’s Thanksgiving centerpieces, plus juniper cuttings from the yard. Seeded eucalyptus and asymmetry are very in this year! True story: J did receive help from a totally frazzled AC Moore employee who was the only one working the sales floor. Despite the crazy happening that store, she walked J. over to the grapevine wreath aisle (which was the only one J. didn’t walk down in his solo search). Another bonus for this project: remove the greens when the holidays are over and use the grapevine form to dress up the door for other seasons!
Join J. and Rob for a live episode taping of their snarkalicious home and garden podcast on Friday, January 18, 2019 at The Crafted Kup in Poughkeepsie! Audience participation is encouraged!
Doors open at 7:00pm. Podcast taping begins at 8:00pm. Admission is free but registration is required.
Chef Tim will be sharing a few small bites, and The Crafted Kup’s full espresso menu will be available. We’ll also have craft beer, cider, mead and a special prosecco cocktail in honor of this special occasion! Drinks are on you, but we’ll provide the snark!
Want to be part of the show? Email pictures of your “I Did It” project, craft, tablescape, or room design ready for flaunting or revamping to firstname.lastname@example.org Your submission could be highlighted in the show!
This month, Rob adapts the Pom-Ginger cocktail to his taste (sans sour beer) and Chef Tim makes the sheet pan ginger shrimp dinner and thumbprint cookies for the holidays. Check out our full December episode for more cocktail-fueled shenanigans. All recipes adapted from the December 2018 issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine.
Oh, the irony! We’ve been looking forward to the December issue all year, and then when it arrives (super-late, for Rob) we get…more pink. Can we please declare a new It color for 2019? J. and Rob unwrap a holiday surprise when Santa reveals the hottest seasonal decorating trend: not using red and green. Stuff your stockings with thumbprint cookies, pom-poms, pom-ginger cocktails, water bottles (sooo romantic!) and clothespin dolls–if you’re lucky to get them at the craft swap party. J. shares another childhood trauma (it involves glitter) and Rob gets a little tearful (with laughter). Yet in the end, the guys make peace with this season of giving–10,000 spoons and butt butter for everyone!
Look for this month’s recipe tastings on YouTube! For December, Chef Tim made the ginger shrimp sheet pan meal and the thumbprint cookies. Signature cocktail: Pom-Ginger Shandy. Recipe tasting prep and end credits: Tim Lawton. Theme music: Bensound.com. End credits music by Lenny B and Madison Park. Merry Christmas, y’all!