Episodes

The November 2020 Episode

It’s November again, Thanksgiving (arguably the best holiday for food of the year) is approaching, and you’re wondering what design trend to highlight on your family table. Spoiler alert: it’s dowdiness. How to turn a negative into a positive? Pretend it’s cool! You could also throwback things (like the Throwback feature, which is back, sorta) to a trend you embraced a loooonng time ago, like the one we highlight as our “last page.” (Boycotting the Stylemaker feature.) Rob goes all-in on 90’s female musicians and J. flips for hex tile floors. You know things are weird when one of our favorite (and agreed-upon) tags for love is for the article about composting. Never fear, magazine lovers, this is our penultimate episode so you won’t have to disagree with us for too much longer. So take a new look at Lace (the 80’s miniseries), dried flowers, the color pink, International Male mesh sweaters, and crafts, pour a Thanksgiving cocktail or four, and join us for another episode. Signature cocktails: apple-cran-pumpkin sour, pear-ginger tart martini. Music by Bensound.com.

J’s apple-cranberry sour with pumpkin spice vodka. You wouldn’t think it would work but it does! Tbanksgiving in a glass.
J.’s Throwback is the 1970s mushroom trend, which was HUGE. It was everywhere!
For proof, see this whole PAGE of an old Sears catalog. So many different shroomy options! My aunt had ALL of this.
J.’s favorite duvet cover and shams, from West Elm, featuring a modern update on the mushroom trend,
Episodes

The October 2020 Episode

For our October 2020 episode, we go full-on Halloween and revel in the autumnal palettes of the season. We sip apple cider-based cocktails and gush over the “not too spooky” handmade projects in the October issue of Better Homes and Gardens–and, shocker, J. admits to liking these crafts! There are very few tags for hate, so the editors either did a good job or we drank the pumpkin-flavored Kool-Aid. We talk Halloween candy favorites, ghosts (that when wet can look like other things that are even less savory) and ghoulish tableaux. “I Did It” features shiplap, a renovated kitchen inspires J’s reno project, and Rob admits to a huge tag for hate on marshmallows (from a highly specialized store OR in Peeps form). Signature cocktails: caramel apple martinis and apple-ginger sours. Music by Bensound.com. Happy haunting and safe Halloweening!

Episodes

The September 2020 Episode

September is here, if you can believe it! In this month’s episode, we discuss how the magazine celebrates gay pride a few months late, railroad stripes, and how to project joy throughout your life. It may have been PROject joy in the mag but we’ve turned it into ProJECT Joy. Which we kind of fail at by lamenting more white walls and even (maybe) having a falling out over plans for J.’s upcoming kitchen reno. Oh, the drama! We’re also not sure if one front porch is more M.C. Escher or Q-bert. Plus: another peacock chair, another hot gardener, and throwbacks to the 80’s all over the place. Signature cocktails: an Aperol spritz and a Rum-eo & Julep. Music by Bensound.com.

Episodes · recipes · Show News

The November 2018 Episode

CBB_Nov2018_1200x1200

In our November 2018 episode, we switch things up and hang out at J’s house, where green is a neutral. We tried hard but we could not find many tags for hate in this issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine! Maybe it’s because we both love Thanksgiving so much. Maybe it’s because the issue was mostly about the food (though we did do a fun recipe tasting at J’s house–watch it soon on this site)! Never fear, we managed to find plenty to talk about: more white walls and big art, pumpkins of all sizes and shapes (#phrasing), trends we actually like for once, and dramatic facelifts (the furniture kind, not ours). But how will Rob, aka Mr. Tablescape, react to the big tablescaping how-to feature? Make sure to listen all the way through for a special announcement about our first-ever LIVE event! Signature cocktail: a bourbon orange-cran smash. Recipe prep by Chef Tim Lawton and J. Dewey. Music by Bensound.com.

Cranberry pear quince sauce toasts
Here’s J.’s version of the cranberry pear quince sauce…made with guava paste instead of quince paste. He turned it into an appetizer by toasting baguette slices and spreading on a layer of cream cheese and goat cheese.

FLf+ZtstQfeYChzMWesg5w

J. also tried turning Carla Hall’s roasted vegetables into an appetizer too.

bourbon cocktails and cranberry sauce
Rob’s bourbon orange cran smash cocktails, made with some of Chef Tim’s cranberry sauce (made correctly with quince paste, unlike J’s).

IMG_8203

Chef Tim tried the cover recipe: pumpkin bread trifle.

Pumpkin bread trifle
Pumpkin bread trifle with bourbon whipped cream. To die for! Tim skipped the pomegranate arils but did make candied pecans.

IMG_8205
Yum.

recipes · Videos

Video: October 2018 Recipe Tastings

This month we sample paella, delicata squash rings with an herb buttermilk dip, scones, and poached pears–plus our signature cocktail, of course!

Chef Tim got busy (especially for a Thursday night) with four recipes from the October 2018 issue of Better Homes & Gardens: the delicata squash rings with an herb buttermilk dip, chicken and pork paella, poached pears, and classic scones. Rob paired these with a new cocktail, which we’ve dubbed a Pum-mosa: cava (Freixenet in this case, because it’s easy to find) and Roundhouse Pumpkin King Cordial. It’s an autumnal take on a mimosa…but it’s also very similar to hard cider. So if you’re a fan on that…

Watch and see our reactions to each dish, and stay for the playful banter between Chef Tim and cohost Rob.

Recipe prep: Tim Lawton. Squash from Clarke’s Family Farm. Camerawork by Michael Hall. Edited by J. Dewey. All music by Bensound.com.

 

 

Episodes · Show News

The October 2018 Episode

CBB_Oct2018_1200x1200

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.

CBBOct2018_delicata

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.

 

CBBOct2018_cava

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.