I am a total wannabe foodie. But then I get in the kitchen and I get overwhelmed almost immediately. My grandmothers were both masterful in the kitchen. One was Italian and taught me everything there is to know about basil and noodles. The other was Scandinavian and had a real talent for meats, potatoes and breads. Yum, breads.
If I have one of their recipes in hand or in my mind, I’m set. But as soon as it gets beyond that, well, I start to feel OVER IT. And so I set out on a mission to make my kitchen conquests more geeky and therefore, more my speed. After all, if you make it high tech and dorky, it’s bound to be at least a little bit fun along the way.
1. Start with the Nerdy Recipes Archive on Being Geek Chic!
I don’t know if you know this, but Emma Carew Grovum, our resident food writer is a freaking genius. Like honestly, she makes food so much more approachable, because she tackles all my favorite things. Some of my personal favorite recipes she’s dreamed up for us: Veronica Mars Marshmallows, Death Star Popcorn Balls and Iron Man’s Arc Reactor Cookies.
2. Use a Giant Tablet for Referencing Recipes and Images
I’ve been using the AOC My Smart All in One Tablet to get access to all my favorite recipes on my family’s shared Google Drive, check out Emma’s awesome images on the blog and watch some really great cooking shows on YouTube so I can follow along with some of the funnest shows on the web. Not only does it feel super high tech, it makes my time in the kitchen feel like play time, which is both shocking and delightful. It’s also kind of shocking to me how affordable it was to add this tech to any kitchen. For under $400, you’ve got a touch screen tablet that can stream movies if you get bored, give you access to a ton of tutorials via YouTube and even let you Skype with your aunt so she can help you with the perfect onion slicing.
3. Subscribe to Bitchin’ Kitchen and other great YouTube cooking shows
I am perfectly willing to admit this: Bitchin’ Kitchen is silly as hell and I love it. Nadia G, the internet cooking show host turned Food Network host, is Italian so I feel a certain kindred spiritness with her food tendencies. Also, she is 100% who she is and I respect that. AND, she did the thing so many internet people dream of: she turned a web show into a television series. Gotta respect that. Other shows you might like to check out: Bon Appetempts is hilarious because it’s all about trying to make fancy foods and failing. And then hopefully succeeding through learning new stuff. Kitchen Vignettes from PBS Digital is just absolutely beautiful and aspirational. To put it simply: it’s food porn. It feels weird to call something PBS distributes porn, but people, it is. Blueberry Lime Cake. It’s on my list to try and make it. No promises it will look quite this beautiful. In fact, let’s just admit right now that it just won’t be that beautiful.
4. Holy geek kitchen gear. You win.
Spatulas don’t have to be boring. How about a spatula shaped like the Enterprise? Who says mixing bowls can’t be beakers? I refuse to subscribe to the idea that a Spock oven mitt is impractical. No, no my friends. It’s a winning solution to not burning your hands.
I may not be a master chef anytime soon, but by making my kitchen a bit more tech savvy and a lot more geeky, suddenly cooking feels like a game I can win.
When we think about ass kicking women in media, we don’t often consider the world of animation. And it’s easy to see why. Women in animation have been princesses and tea pots (well, one was…) for decades and never really the leader or the protagonist. But not right now. Now there are a host of incredible options.
1. Burka Avenger: this show is not in the US, but I hope it will be soon, because I’m so impressed by the message. Think Malala as a TV show for youngins’.
2. Bee And PuppyCat: This amazing series was recently successfully funded on Kickstarter for a bunch more episodes. And we are all the awesome recipients.
3. Gravity Falls: I love me some Kirsten Schaal. How can you not? Well, this kids show pairs her with her brother as they deal with growing up in a rather weird place with their creepy uncle. There is some potential for this to be weird, but I appreciate what The Mary Sue had to say about it.
4. Ametheyst: Princess of Gemworld: And here’s a blast from the past I just love and you can watch online… can you say ladies saving the prince?! Hell yeah, 80s comics!
What shows am I missing? Is there an animated web series or TV series with lady leads that you love? Clue me in, friends!
It’s my birthday today, which isn’t that exciting for you, but is very exciting for me. Because, Ice. Cream. Cake. Well, that’s only part of the reason. The real reason is because a few years ago I instituted The Birthday Rule.
What is The Birthday Rule, you ask? It’s kind of like Retta’s Treat Yo Self. On your birthday, you are required to buy yourself one present. One thing that you would not normally buy because:
1. It’s silly.
2. It’s expensive.
3. It’s inappropriate.
4. It’s just kind of dumb… but it makes you smile.
5. It’s a duplicate of or very similar to something you already own.
It’s The Birthday Rule. Just buy it. This year, I am buying myself a poster of a giant crystal structure. It’s expensive. And huge. And totally not necessary. But I love it and I want it, so thank goodness for The Birthday Rule.
I’ve been working more and more in writing scripts for animation and this project is one I found particularly fun. It’s for an amazing site (and client!) called The Parsnippety, which aims to be The Onion for Plant and Animal news.
We had a lot of fun poking at the food industry in this one. Did you know that some scientists believe that the combination of salt and sugar is more addictive than many narcotic drugs? It’s true. Look at the ingredients in many “healthy” products like protein bars and gluten free mixes and you’ll find out that salt and sugar are hiding inside in massive quantities.
If you’re interested in foodie culture and healthy living, I can’t recommend The Parsnippety enough.
I never thought I’d be an internet filmmaker. Storyteller. Videographer. Movie maker. But never internet filmmaker. And you know what? I like it. I like that something I didn’t even know could be a job just a few years ago is totally my job today.
If you’re thinking about making a living as someone who produces videos for the web, then I have three sites I need you to bookmark, like now:
So technically this is a site for people who make motion graphics. But, seeing as motion graphics are the hottest, most intensely loved thing on the web right now, it only makes sense. Plus, most people don’t know that many of the fundamentals of what makes a great motion piece are very similar to what makes great animated pieces in general, so you’ll end up finding a lot of great tips, tricks, Q & As and other generally awesome stuff on this site.
I always find the best stuff on Short of the Week. While Vimeo’s Staff Picks often take up a lot of real estate on here, there are also lots of really cool unnoticed pieces that get picked up here that just blow my freaking mind. I get so many great ideas from the fellow artists featured here.
This site is relatively new amongst the internet shorts websites, but it’s one of those places that I’m excited about, because they also pick up on little known ad spots that are expertly done. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding a diverse set of resources and I’m looking forward to seeing this site grow.
Who did I miss? Who do you count on to find amazing internet short films?
Every so often I work on a video that is so fun, so silly and so exciting that it’s beyond real explanation. No, that’s not true. It’s easy enough to explain with a simple question: what do you think is faster? Building robots or making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?
Aha. I know. We had more fun than any people should be allowed to have while “working.”
But what’s the real lesson here? Building robots is kind of insanely fun. And thanks to new innovations in toy making, it’s like play time activity. And when it comes right down to it, that’s a good thing, because science should be wickedly awesome to kids and adults alike. For those wondering, the product in the video is called Cubelets and it’s available at modrobotics.com.