Kids these days… In our April 2019 episode, we become art critics, in that it’s the Art of Color issue and we’re highly critical. How many Tags For Hate can one episode handle? Apparently pink is here to stay (baloney is so on trend right now), beige is back (thank you Gen X), anything can be a neutral, and the most exciting thing about spring is cleaning your toilet. Oh, and the Could Be Better Department of Outdoor Living really needs you to turn in the paperwork attesting that you’ve decorated your deck or patio with an outdoor rug. We also share a few secrets: the recurring nightmare Rob had as a child, J’s middle name, and which featured room is really a sex den. Our takeaway lesson? Take time to smell the irises in the neighbor’s yard. Signature cocktail: Ginger-Rhubarb Raspberry Punch. Chef Tim’s Recipe Tastings: Spiral Ham With Orange and Garlic, Buttered Sweet Pea Rice, and Rhubarb Tart. Music by Bensound.com.
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?
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!
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!
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 email@example.com 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!
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.
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.
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.