Challenge: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Rules

31st Oct 2014

My good friend has spent the last four months being told, bit by bit, to cut chunks of delicious options out of her diet as her doctors try to figure out what the hell’s going on with her and why she’s having such a terrible reaction to stuff she eats. So… goodbye onions and garlic. Goodbye chocolate. Goodbye dairy. Goodbye soy. Goodbye gluten. It’s difficult to watch, and I’m only seeing it now and then. I can’t imagine living it.

Meanwhile, Halloween’s here, and that means I’m ready to hunker down and make my annual pumpkin mini cupcakes. So when she sent out invites to her annual pumpkin carving contest, I had a dilemma.

How to Enjoy Comic Con as a Cosplayer’s Sidekick

13th Oct 2014

Cosplay, or for the nongeek layman the art of dressing up in costume to represent a character from popular culture (movies, video games, anime, books, etc.), is one of the best parts of any major comic conventions. The sheer creativity that goes into replicating or interpolating the looks of a character — whether it’s classic, blockbuster, or obscure — is downright awe-inspiring.

I’m always psyched to hear Taran’s character wish list, then I get to watch as it all comes to life right in front of me. Once in a while, I’ll jump onboard, of course. More often than not, though, my desire to be comfortable wins out.

Still, accompanying someone in costume when you’re not has its own challenges. Here are a few tips for my fellow cosplay entouragers.

Slaying the Dragon Fruit

1st Oct 2014

I was wandering through the Whole Foods produce aisle when I stumbled upon the strangest looking item. As soon as I saw the sign reading Dragon Fruit (ignoring the crazy expensive $9.99 lb price tag below it), I grabbed two and decided I’d figure out what to do with them later.

That evening I looked them over and it was clear that I needed to keep that gorgeous, scale-like rind solid for a colorful bowl to hold some vanilla ice cream. The rest I decided to bake into cupcakes to accompany (and to be eaten on their own).