WATCHING / LISTENING 11.20.17

TV:

Umm, OBVIOUSLY. Stranger Things (Netflix)
2nd season was a blast. I have thoroughly enjoyed Steve’s evolution from Nancy’s douchey boyfriend to babysitter hero. So much to love about the kids – can’t believe the kid who plays Will – who was so absent in the first season – is such a good actor. They’re all great but he was a surprise. The whole cast is superb.

Search Party (TBS)
I absoutely adored the first season and its truly hilarious cast of well-meaning-yet-criminally-self-absorbed/deluded Millennials.  Can the second season live up to the binge-worthy-ness of the first? I hope so. First two eps were great.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Season 2 (BBC America)
I will shamelessly admit to watching basically everything Elijah Wood has ever been in (including every. single. episode. of Willfred) so he is the reason I started watching this show. I’m not a Douglas Adams fan, whose book series this is based on, so it certainly wasn’t that. But this show straddles the line of absurdist humor, heart, and intelligence, and is thoroughly enjoyable. The first season I started watching for Elijah Wood but stayed once I realized there were ghost cats/sharks (?). Anyway, it’s fun. This season is about an alternate dimension.

PODCASTS:

Nerdist – Episode 912, The Duffer Brothers: Well obviously this one caught my eye as I’m currently going through a Stranger Things phase. Fun interview with the creators.

My Favorite Murder: OK it’s growing on me. I figured out how to fast forward through the ads on my podcast app, so that helps. 😛 I often find their rambling annoying, though. My sister says the newer episodes are better; I started from the beginning while she started from the newest and is working her way back.

WATCHING / LISTENING 10.24.17

I have been busy this month with a big work event that is happening Saturday so it’s been quiet around these parts since my time has been spent at the office getting everything together. Plus, I MOVED offices right in the middle of all this (to the new downstairs office) so I have just been swamped lately.

Anyway, this week in ears and eyeballs.

TV:

I stole this image off the internets

GHOSTED (FOX Sundays 8:30pm except when baseball is on): Well, the first episode was pretty mild but I enjoyed it. I’ve always liked Adam Scott (Ben in Parks & Rec) and Craig Robinson (Darryl in the Office) so when I saw the commercial for this show I was vaguely intrigued. Which is good for them – commercial worked and I did actually watch it! Anyway, this is about two normal (?) dudes who get recruited into the Bureau Underground (literally, an investigative bureau that is underground) which takes on multi-verse, paranormal, and alien abduction mysteries. Adam Scott’s character’s wife was supposedly abducted by aliens which caused him to go a little crazy, but he’s conveniently a theoretical physicist or something who specializes in the multi-verse. Craig Robinson’s character is a mall cop who used to be a real cop. Anyway, it definitely has potential but unfortunately for it, it’s on FOX, which is not known for keeping the good stuff going.

Anna Torv! Loved her in Fringe.

MINDHUNTER (Netflix): I was semi-interested in this from the commercials so I decided to check it out. It is based on the book of the same name about the FBI’s study of serial killers in the 70’s in order to understand them better. I thought it would be another bloody gore fest but except for the very first scene when a hostage negotiation goes wrong, it has been a cerebral (if highly creepy!) exploration of the criminal mind. The two FBI agents are joined by an academic psychologist in their study and it’s just a really interesting show. They interview real life serial killers (played by actors. The agents have fictional names but the serial killers are based on their real life counterparts) with a lot of the dialogue taken from the real life transcripts. Anyway, it’s been interesting.

SLASHER Season 2 (Netflix): I enjoyed the first season of this anthology series. I’m almost done with Season 2 and it’s a TOTAL gore fest (more like what I was expecting for Mindhunter, honestly). It’s totally tasteless dreck that for the most part I am enjoying. There is one particular instance of violence in the second half of the season that was totally uncalled for that was perpetrated on one of the victims, who then survived it, who then was burned alive! Come ON. It was too much – and for me, that is saying something. If you watch it you’ll know what scenes I’m talking about. Anyway, this season is about a group of camp counselors who somehow killed another of their fellow counselors and buried the body. The camp area is about to be redeveloped so they go back in the dead of winter to move the body. The camp is now a spiritual (yoga/vegan) retreat so those guys are there too. When the ex-counselors go to move the body, they discover it’s missing and then chaos ensues! I’m going to finish it (I only have 1-2 eps left) but that one scene I mentioned above I found really off-putting. The first season was better.

***

MOVIES:

John Wick 2: Good but not as good as the first one. Though to be fair, I have watched the first one like 17 times so I may need to watch this one again before final judgement… (I love Keanu though… I just watched some stupid anorexia movie on Netflix called To the Bone only because he’s in it. So, whatevs.)

PODCASTS:

Revisiting my opinion on My Favorite Murder, which I mentioned last week… there are a LOT of ads on this show. I’m still debating on if I really like it much. I don’t like it when podcasts start out with a bunch of ads before you get to the content. It is very annoying! And I’m usually trapped in the car with it so I can’t fast forward. Anyway, other listeners are telling me that this gets really good down the road but… we’ll see. I did learn I can’t listen to true crime on the commute in – not the greatest way to start your day!

Which is funny because I watch true crime allllll the time and have Investigation Discovery running in the morning on the weekend but I don’t like it in the car in the morning.

Anyway… that’s it for this edition. Stranger Things 2 comes out on Friday and I’m going to be all over that!

RECIPE: TURKEY BURGERS (or: the saga of the mushroom powder)

About a month ago I had been left to my own devices for a few weeks because everyone I knew besides coworkers was out of town, and I wound up at Whole Foods (as one does) to look for the Nom Nom Paleo stuff that was supposed be sold there. She has a couple of products in the butcher section and her magic mushroom powder, which I was interested in because every review I read said it was truly magical.

<I will be the judge of that>

So, they didn’t have it. They had the signs for it but no product. So, normally I would have been kind of put out by this as I don’t live near any Whole Foods and had driven across town to WC (on a Sunday!!) so it was disappointing but the butcher guy helped me out and was super nice and they had frozen dragon fruit packets in the freezer section which I was pretty stoked about so it wasn’t a fruitless (haha) endeavor.

While I was there, I saw that they carry dried porcinis which the recipe calls for. So, I decided to get those and make the recipe myself. I have a Vitamix now so I knew I could pulverize the mushrooms into the fine powder the recipe needs.

I was very excited about this little project and I went home and ground up the mushrooms. I opened up the Vitamix after it was done and was welcomed by a cloud of awful smelling powder.

I mean, that stuff smelled like cat food.

Like the way canned cat food smells when you open up the can.

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

I am not a pet person for a variety of reasons but I do thank my lucky stars I don’t have to deal with that particular odor on a regular basis. So, you can see how I would be kinda horrified by the scent of the very expensive mushrooms smelling EXACTLY (to me, anyway) like cat food.

With a heavy heart, I made the recipe but thought to myself that it was a waste of money and spices.

A couple of days later I was making chicken in the Instant Pot and wanted gravy but not mushroom soup gravy because I am trying to eat cleanish. I thought about the mushroom powder and was like, well, I guess I could try making a roux with that and some almond flour and the bone broth from the chicken… Why I thought this would be worth doing I don’t know. I don’t really have advanced gravy skills. But I kept thinking about all those articles I read where they were praising the mushroom powder and its umami flavors. I mean, I use deadly smelling fish sauce in Thai cooking and that’s the same sort of thing. Maybe the mushroom powder worked the same way.

I opened up the container I’d placed it in and was like, ugh, still smells like cat food. But, I made a roux and eventually thinned it down with the broth, and you guys:

That was the best damn gravy I have ever made in my life.

I couldn’t get over it. And I hadn’t made very much so it was gone in a flash. A couple of days after that I was planning on making turkey burgers and thought, well, now I know the mushroom powder is okay so let’s try putting it in the turkey burgers.

Those were the best damn turkey burgers I have ever made in my LIFE.

I make an excellent (ground beef) meatloaf from my grandfather’s recipe but it’s not paleo. So I have been experimenting with turkey burgers and meatballs to fill that hole for times when I’m eating less beef.

Here is the recipe. I’ve had several people try them now and the verdict is in: they’re delicious.

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 T magic mushroom powder (linked above)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • handful of spinach, de-stemmed and cut up small

Squish everything together and make sure it is well blended together. It will be kind of wet – this is okay. Form into 4-5 patties (depending on how big you want your patties) and fry on a non-stick pan over medium heat. About 5min each side – cook until nicely browned and the internal temp reads 165º F.

Then, enjoy! You could get nice buns and make regular burgers out of them, but they are so tasty that you can eat them plain on their own. I just eat them on their own with delicious sides.

A lone turkey burger awaits its fate (in my belly)
with tater tot sides and purple cauliflower
with acorn squash, potatoes, cauliflower, and homemade mushroom soup

You’re welcome.