Monthly Archives: January 2013

American Idol – Long Beach

I tried to be extra tame in the San Antonio review because I’m full of spite and blah about the Long Beach auditions. There are many reasons, none of which technically involve them being on a boat, but really, I seem to recall a lot of terrible episodes on a boat. Why did they ever decide this was a good place to hold auditions? Is it some kind of support our troops thing? I mean, I don’t see them going onto a base, or maybe like, Tikrit to hold auditions. They don’t even really show a lot of soldiers auditioning in general – yes, I realize there was one on this particular episode (I feel like I remember a handful of service members making it through but they could’ve been firefighters or something. I honestly don’t recall).

I digress. There are way more things to talk about than being on a boat.

Ok, here’s the first thing I wanna  talk about. Her name is Stephanie. AKA The Screamer. I think you all remember her from last night, yes?


Yeah, the screamer. Ok, so I remembered her too. Except it wasn’t from American Idol. It was from X Factor.

sanson xf

And it turns out, that wasn’t her only other reality show performance. She was on America’s Got Talent as well!

sanson AGT

Every time a little different and yet, every time exactly the same. And therein lies what I hate about them featuring her on the show. Ok, so I know you do your due diligence. I know you, yes you faceless producers, check out all your contestants to see what they have going on. So what on Earth possesses you to show someone who’s not only been on 2 other reality competitions, but did literally the exact same thing EVERY.FREAKING.TIME. It’s the most unoriginal of the many unoriginal things you’ve done! I don’t mind you having people on that have tried out for other shows, but at least have them be the good ones, and not the shitty schticky ones. I don’t even want to say anything else about this girl so just check out some funny twitter comments and lets all be done with her. I mean that for all TV shows. I hope you’re listening networks!


Oh also, follow-up to crazy, we all noticed the fire alarm went off on the ship after Crazy walked out of her audition. I can’t decide if it’s because: a) she pulled the fire alarm, b) she set a fire, or c) her head exploded and caught something on fire. Is it possible to be all of the above?

The other person I didn’t like, who also happened to appear on another reality show, was Matheus. This guy was on the first season of the Glee Project and I hated him them as much as I hate him now. It really has nothing to do with his singing. I think he has a fine voice. HOWEVER, he has one of the worst attitudes. He shouldn’t be sympathized for how short he is because it doesn’t matter how tall you are if you’re a dick. And this guy was. At least twitter agreed with me.


If this guy makes it though Hollywood week I’ll not only be shocked, I’ll be super pissed. I can only hope he ends up fighting with someone in group week and they kick him off the show. That’s my ideal scenario. Not to mention, you already had someone sing A Change is Gonna Come earlier that same evening. Did we really need to hear it again? I know I’m writing about Matheus before I write about the soldier but in my notes where I wrote about the soldier, which was first, I was talking about how I was so over this song. For the record, Syesha Mercado still has the best version of this song that’s been sung on Idol. I digress.

I think that’s all I hated about this episode, so lets get to talking about the people I liked. Some more than others.

Shubha Vedula – Somethings Got a Hold on Me – Points for best name of the night, and points to Randy for offending all of Shubha’s family. God I hate you, Randy. I mean, you feel bad for the chick that gets bullied, and then make fun of a girl for her “weird name”. Way to go ass hole. Also I found this little YouTube gem on twitter that’s worth checking out! Something tells me she’ll do better than the Turbinator. She sounds like someone you might find on Glee so maybe if she doesn’t make it on Idol she can find a home on the Glee Project or something. But I hope she finds a home on Idol.

Micah Johnson – Chicken Fried – What is it with these speech impediment guys getting me so emotional? Between him and the kid with the stutter, wow. I just feel so much empathy towards them. Way more than what I feel towards like, the single moms or the bullied kids. Anyway, this guy was great and most definitely one of my favorites! Sob story aside, I think. I dunno. It’s hard to tell if emotions effect who you pick when you do connect with their story, you know?

Rachel Hale – People Get Ready – My only comment for this girl was “pretty good”. I think I’ll leave it at that for now. Well, that’s where I would’ve left it. Except my boy, Michael Slezak said she was the best audition so I’m wondering if I was just bored/not paying attention/yelling for my wet dogs to get off my bed? You never know. I re-watched the audition this morning and it was good. I do remember liking her accent a lot. Yeah, she was pretty good. Michael, you’re so smart. Why do I ever doubt you?

And now for the ok’s.

Matt Farmer – A Change is Gonna Come – This song is one that scares me when guys say they are going to sing it (because A: I’ve heard it 100 times and B: the best person to sing it was a chick – see above). Matt sang it well but I don’t think we’ll be seeing this papa after the Hollywood week is through.

Jesaiah Baer – Settle Down/ Doobee doobee doo – I felt bad  that this girls lovely/quirky audition got interrupted by fire alarm, but really I didn’t love her performance, or her. She was ok, don’t get me wrong, she just didn’t give me quirky the way I like it, ala Megan Joy Corkrey.

Briana Oakley – Up to the Mountain – She was ok but mostly a little meh to me. I still love MamaSox performance of this song. She’s the epitome for me. In fact, let’s just wrap up this whole thing with that performance, shall we? It’s a nice note to end on.

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American Idol – San Antonio

I realize last night was 2 cities, so in lieu of having a crazy long post, I figured I’d just do two posts today and try to keep things a little on the shorter side. Haha. I realize the irony of this. I think my shortest Idol post was still like, 3 pages in a word doc. Luckily I edit a lot of that stuff out. You’re welcome. haha.

We’ll start with the more tame, San Antonio. This city was a lot more like Chicago in that I liked a LOT of the contestants tonight. I thought they were so good for the most part. Especially when compared to what all went down in Los Angeles. That being said, San Antonio had their share of weirdos as well. One in particular really.

Let’s start with Papa Peachez, shall we? So, I was with the No’s in the group because I really didn’t like what Papa Peachez was bringing to the table, which he claimed, was a large black womans voice. I felt my inner Simon just screaming at the Yes’s in the room. What are you doing, Judges!! How is this guy getting through? We already have someone who was good, and auditioned with an original song (Hey KezBan!) and Papa Peachez wasn’t that person. Twitter sums up most of my opinions of him…


What Papa really reminded me of, was how much the judges have been in agreement this season. Even when they were  in that “epic argument”, they still all agreed that girl should go through. I feel like Simon would never have let this guy go through and Randy just backing down to the crazy, well, I guess it was a good thing because I’m always looking for new reasons to hate him. Mostly though, I just find it bizarre how they’ve completely agreed (you can tell by all the times Randy’s given his “1..2..3..” count for them all to say “yes”) this season. It’s almost obnoxious. I like seeing the judges petitioning to get their fellow judges on their side for a certain competitor. It used to happen all the time. Paula did it regularly. Not always coherently, but regularly. I miss that. I also miss this…

Now besides Papa Peachez, I really genuinely liked every other person that won a golden ticket in San Antonio. I thought they were all really good and definitely worthy of a ticket to Hollywood. And I hope a lot of them make it through to the live shows, at least based on their performances tonight. I’ll try to keep my comments on everyone brief since I liked so many of them! Maybe I’ll just talk about the reasons I loved them. (I was going to put them in order of least to most favorite but it proved too difficult so I’m just putting them in order of performance)

Vincent Powell – Rock Me Baby – Your singing was great but what I loved, was when you were asked why you didn’t get through Hollywood week last time and you vividly recalled Randy taking a long sip of his soda before showing you the door. I hope he doesn’t do that to you this time.

Savanna Votion – At Last – This is all I have to say about your performance… maybe get a stylist.


Cristabel Clark – If I Ain’t Got You – Liked your look, liked your voice, liked that you’re trying out before you’re too old to be famous (apparently that age is 29).

Ann Difani – Stronger – I was hoping that: a. this would be the Kelly Clarkson song, b. Your name was really Anni because I think that would be awesome, c. You’d make less weird faces when you sing. All in all, I don’t see me seeing you passed Hollywood week, but take pride in the fact that you look a lot like a young Julia Roberts. This part did make me laugh… is it because of how much your hubs liked Randy Jackson?


Victoria Acosta – Mariachi – I don’t even want to mention that first song you sang (something by Fergie) because you were meant to sing that Mariachi music. Your voice was wonderful! And, you just seemed to enjoy singing the mariachi music more than you did that other song. Twitter agreed with me (as it usually does).


Now we’ve come to the point in the show with one of my first “super favorites” of the night. It wasn’t hard for me to say that Sanni M’maurura was definitely a favorite of the evening. And I agreed with all the points that people on twitter were bringing up.


They also brought up that he was very much like a young Justin Beiber (possibly more like LesbiansWhoLookLikeJustinBeiber). He even has a cover of him singing some Beiber on YouTube. My personal favorite on his YouTube channel, is his cover of Firework. Doesn’t hurt that this made me realize he can play the piano and we all know that’s a plus for me!

Let me go on a slightly minor tangent just to say that I feel like Idol has had a lot of what I’ll call “Gender Neutral” contestants this season.  It makes me happy to just hear a person sing and not even care if the person is male or female because their voice is THAT good. I’ve also realized I’m a terrible judge of male vs. female. How is my gaydar so good and yet my gender identification powers are so limited? It doesn’t make any sense.

Finally, there was Adam Sanders – In my write up while watching the show I actually thought they said his name was Adam Sandler and I was laughing really hard because this guy is like, the antithesis of Adam Sandler. Then I realized I’m an idiot and it was Sanders. Anyway, Adam sang I’d Rather Go Blind and it was stunning! All I wrote as far as his singing voice was “Wowza”. And I’d be remiss if I left out all the praise twitter heaped upon him. The last comment was my favorite.


Something tells me his shyness might not see him through passed Hollywood week. We’ll see though, it was a good performance this time, if nothing else.

And with that, the San Antonio hour of Idol was done and we were moving onto a ship! I hate episodes on ships, for the record. This one wasn’t much different.

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A Raven’s Super Bowl Party!

Hey folks!

Ok so there’s this thing coming up for Baltimore that people will NOT stop talking about… maybe you’ve heard of it?


I think we can all agree we at least have the hotter of the two brothers. I’m not bias at all, I swear (but for the record, our Governor is hotter too).

Screen shot 2013-01-28 at 7.00.57 PM

I’m not a huge Ravens fan (Go Skins!) but given the choice of Harbaugh brothers (or Governors), I’m going with the local ones. I mean, I only know 2 people even affiliated with the city of San Francisco and I have Raven’s fan friends oozing out of my Facebook feed. I’m also employed by the City of Baltimore, so it only makes sense for me to root for this great city.

So, I can’t really offer any insight on the game, but what I can do, is offer some insight on what to make FOR the game! I love a party and I happen to be going to a couple (one that the I’m hosting on behalf of the floor I work on, and another at my friends house that is mostly just going to be a small group eating and yelling at the TV). I can’t wait! Eating is my favorite part of watching football. That and clutch field goals.

So let’s get to Baltimore Party Food! There are a few different ways you can go.

First there’s food from the home city, which would consist of a few of the following things –


1 – Rhebs Truffles 2 – Berger Cookies 3 – Utz Potato Chips
4 – Smith Island Cake 5 – Natty Boh and Blue Crabs 6 – Fishers Popcorn
7 – Matthews Pizza 8 – Crab Dip 9 – Dangerously Delicious Baltimore Bomb Pie

I realize most of those aren’t thing you make, but a lot of them are things you eat while watching football, so I think it counts. And if you’re ever in Baltimore City, please don’t leave without trying a Cheese Pizza from Matthews Pizza. It’s the most amazing thing you’ll ever put in your mouth. Or certainly one of them.

Now, for Party Numero Dos, you can go with “foods that are purple”. That’s the theme that I’m going with!

It’s harder than you’d think to find purple foods. (Foods that are black are even harder to find! However, I do see some Oreos in my future! But back to purple foods. When I googled I found this…


I’ll just throw it out there that I’ve never heard of “Purple Kohlrabi”, I don’t think I’ve ever seen purple carrots, peppers or asparagus, and I don’t think raisins or figs, are purple. That being said, I think I came up with some pretty good ideas that revolve around purple foods, and foods that I can make purple with the glory of food coloring!

So here are some options of things I could make (and for the record, I’ll definitely be making one or two of these):

blue cheese purple potatoes

Purple Potatoes with Sour Cream


Purple Deviled Eggs (you make them purple by soaking them in Ravenswood Merlot, or Beet juice, which I hear makes them tangy)


“Purple” cabbage sweet and sour coleslaw


Purple Potato Chips (with crab dip perhaps?)

Not too bad for a little list of ideas! And of course, we can’t forget about dessert! Lots of options there (thanks food coloring!)


And, in case you were wondering how to make some purple beer, here ya go… Courtesy of Baltimore’s own, McCormick!

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American Idol – Baton Rouge

Hey folks, sorry this is a bit late but our new dog Karl was getting his balls chopped off yesterday and with work/snow/traffic/being Friday, I slacked off. But, I’m here today.

I should also mention that I wasn’t taking the best notes because well, lets be honest, I’d had a drink or 3 before I even started watching Idol and some good friends/phamily (anytime I start things with ph is because they’re the fake version of things, like my little pal Aidan that I call my phnephew. He’s not my real nephew but I wish he was. And so his family is my phamily. They aren’t my real family but they might as well be. I love them like they are! I even got to go to one of their family reunions – mostly by being in the same city as them when they held it, but really I just like them to think I’m family. So deal with it Allens/Wilsons/O’Sheas/all your other last names) Anyway we had a great little group chat on facebook while we were all watching Idol. Maybe I should just post that little convo instead of a real post. Maybe one day. I don’t know if everyone would get our personal humor.

So, long tangents aside, let’s talk about Thursday night. I feel like no matter what Idol does with the time of their show I’m never happy. When it’s two hours there are always lulls but when it’s one, I feel like I’m always left wanting more. Maybe it’s better to be left wanting more, though. It certainly makes for shorter posts!

I did enjoy Baton Rouge. I love the attitude of the Louisiana lifestyle. They seem like so much fun! It’s definitely a place I’d like to visit. I hear New Orleans is a blast! I did notice there were a freaking LOT of country singers this time. Maybe it’s because they just did Charlotte and then went over to Baton Rouge so it was just a lot of “the South” all at once? I totally get it’s a more popular genre and I have a feeling that having Keith as a new judge has been bringing out a few more Country Crooners than usual. What I like is that I think Country music (and R&B) can really show who’s got the chops and who doesn’t. I just kind of wish that maybe Baton Rouge was next week and some northern city was available for Thursday night. It was a lot of country for one week.

Watching this episode, I didn’t really feel like anyone sold me on going well passed Hollywood week. Maybe one or two of them but not many more than that. As for any winners among the group, I just don’t know. Maybe the girl with the busted knee. She was certainly determined to be there.

So lets get to the contestants I really liked. Er, the contestant that I really liked. His name was Charlie Askew.

Screen shot 2013-01-26 at 11.03.57 AM


Wrong indeed. How could this sweet adorable Charlie who’ll probably get eaten alive in Hollywood week have that kind of voice? Well he had the answer,


Sure everyone was screaming about how social awkward he was, and I can’t deny that, but when he started singing Nature Boy, I swooned, more with motherly love than any kind of “hubba hubba” swoon. That never bodes well for contestants because we have to remember teen girls (and people with minds like them) do the voting. I also really liked Mariah’s advice to him: “I think there’s an opportunity for you to really shake things up in this competition if you stay on the right track.” Please stay on the right track Charlie! Nickiname: Mystery Man

As for everyone else…

Miss Greater Baton Rouge (Megan Miller) (Somethings Got a Hold on Me): I like your determination. It’s a big part of the competition. You’ll need that. And thankfully this isn’t a dancing competition!

Maddie (Oh Darlin): Another Randy grab. I liked you because you mentioned Haley Reinhart as one of her inspirations. However, I was just completely obsessed with her grandmother. (check out the tweets at the bottom of the page). Talk about the embodiment of New Orleans!

Paul Jolley (I Won’t Let Go): I actually REALLY liked this guy. I can’t see him making it passed Hollywood but I really liked him.

Let me pause to mention Mushroom… I thought he was going to be another Blondie, but really he was just another one of the crazies. This is all I have for you…


The Singing Doctor (Whenever Wherever Whatever): Pretty good. Maybe stick to the more lucrative job of being a doctor though, something tells me you’ll make more money there, no? Have fun in Hollywood though.

Dustin Watts (Some Garth Brooks Song): Not bad. Not good enough for me to take note of what song you’re singing. He’s a firefighter though so you know he’s got the hunky thing going for him if nothing else.

Right around here I was having trouble remembering if there were any non Country singers (how could I forget Charlie!)… Which also made me think – If my friend Paula is watching this episode, I hope she’s not on the verge of slitting her wrists. A Country fan, she is not! I haven’t really seen any of the rockers she loves so much. Not recently anyway. I think they need some time in like, Seattle or like, some Mid-West area. I think that’s where the rockers come from.

But just when I thought Paula would be turning off her TV (minute :48), I realized that there was really only time for one more performer. And his name was Burnell. He sang I’m Here from the Color Purple, a movie I watched in college but barely remember. I didn’t remember any singing though. Luckily Wikipedia was able to inform me that it was in fact, turned into a musical. I really liked him though. He was probably my #2 next to Charlie. He seemed really sweet and genuine, yet powerful at the same time. I didn’t catch his sob story but it seemed to be Katrina related?

And with that I thought I’d just throw in some tweets, and another comment. The comment being, that I loved the montage during a little snippet of horrible singers, where they were showing scary things: Bad singers, Snakes, and Randy’s choice of shirts…

It’s bad when I think the guy is the one who looks horrible…



And now, for a little smattering of tweets I liked. Remember I was drinking so I wasn’t really looking for specific tweets, I seemed to just collect some randos so I thought I’d just put them all in one little image at the end this time.

Until we meet again fellow Idol watchers!


I threw that last one in for you, Paula! haha.



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American Idol – Charlotte

Well if I can say anything, it’s just that Charlotte, you were no Chicago. You weren’t the worst city they’ve ever been to (only because I can’t think of any particularly crappy audition episodes) but you certainly weren’t my favorite. The entire beginning of the episode (minus the face plant which I think every episode should begin with) was pretty boring. I don’t even think it really got good until post-argument.

Maybe I was distracted, maybe I was bored, maybe I was just over the build up the fight that was BARELY a fight at all. Simon had some entirely more dramatic exits than Nickis was. I thought I’d discuss the little tiff mid-episode, with a series of tweets that express my feelings…

Screen shot 2013-01-23 at 9.04.45 PM

I think it’s pretty safe to see whose side I’m on. And that side, is the contestants, and by proxy, Nicki Minaj. Also it makes me like Nigel Lythgoe a little more. I think the people that suffer in these judges arguments are always the contestants. I felt bad for Summer, who gave a lovely performance (and I should note, she got yeses from everyone despite their argument about whether she should or shouldn’t be country), and Brandy Alexandria Hamilton (totally fine with her 3 names) who was like the child of divorced parents. It’s like your heart breaks (if you were to have any feelings towards Mariah/Randy/Nicki’s friendship) when she asks them not to fight anymore. Finally, I’ll just say that I have to side with anyone who’s arguing with that idiot, Randy Jackson. He deserves every once of criticism he gets.

And while I’m hailing praise on Nicki, can I jus say that I love her “nickinames”? Because I love them. I barely even wrote down “real” names of contestants. More than half the contestants whose names got written down, were the nickinames. Can I just use the term nickinames now, anyway? Some of my favorites: Gumby, Big Crazy Barb, Chicken Lady, Tom Cruise, Top Hat. She gives this show LIFE.

Ok now let’s talk about the contestants. I saw this tweet around when the show started and I really thought it just fit with my mindset of how they pick their “winning ticket” contestants:


And a wife that beats Stage 4 cancer? Yeah. I think that counts. The good thing was that nickinameless Brian Rittenberry was really good. I thought Let It Be was a great choice for him. I’m glad he made it though. Sob story or not, he’s one that I’m glad made it. And for a first of the night, I remembered him even at the end of the night! I’ll mention him later as one of my tops of the night. Actually, lets just go with tops of the night now, and I’ll talk about the okays later.

Next up on my favorites was Brandy Alexandria Hamilton. I love Etta James and her performance of All I Could Do was Cry was stellar. And ironic what with her comment to the judges not to fight because it makes us sad. Either way, great job Brandy! Me gusta.

A super favorite of the night was most DEFINITELY Miss Blondie, (real name, Ashley Smith). As soon as I saw her eating her sandwich I knew I’d at least like her attitude. Who doesn’t love a delicious sandwich? I wish she’d get rid of that bull ring but it was like I couldn’t even see it when she started singing Cowboy Cassanova. When I was writing this up this morning, she was the only person I remembered as far as song choice. Not to say I didn’t like others but she just stood out to me. Always a good thing! She was also my favorite as far as twitter comments go:


Ok now lets talk about Candace Glover. I did a search of my old blogs and I think the reason she didn’t make it in Vegas? She sang with Jessica Sanchez and DeAndre. I liked that in my critique of that group performance, I said they all sucked and none of them should make it through so it’s funny to me that not only did DeAndre and Jessica make it to 8th and 2nd respectively, but all the judges just luurrved Ms. Glover. Meh. I know I’m in the minority of not-like but I can’t deny she can sing. Blerg.

Candace did have a few people on her side. First, Jeremy Rosado:


Second, there was what Nicki Minaj had to say…

Screen shot 2013-01-23 at 10.30.00

Obviously there were people who liked her more than I did.

Finally, in the list of people we had that I liked, there was DunDun… wait, that was Nicki’s nickname from baby girl London. What was that girls name… google please help me…Seretha Guinn. You’re always there for me google. Thanks, friend! So, Seretha. She reminded me of that girl from last season or possibly the season before whose boyfriend had the stroke. Similar story I suppose. I loved her song choice. I loved her daughter. There wasn’t much for me to not love about this lady.

And now we have the non-favorites, and some random thoughts (aren’t all my thoughts random though, for the most part?)

Jimmy Smith (God Bless the Broken Road) – He was good but I just wasn’t feeling him. He took weird breaths but other than that he was fine. Seriously though, cut your hair. Please. I don’t say that often but I’m saying it now.

Isabella Gonzalez (Nothing Can Change this Love) – Another early favorite I had (I’d call her Hollywood week material overall). She looked like a little like Selena Gomez to me, and Phoebe Cates to Mariah… lets compare…

Screen shot 2013-01-23 at 10.29.08 PM

It could go either way. I have to say the picture just makes me think that Phoebe Cates could be the mother of Robin Scherbatsky. I did the math, she could’ve been. On the audition though, I was just glad Randy didn’t go grab another contestant only to have them not make it. Maybe if she doesn’t make it on Idol, she can be a Disney star!

Taisha Bethea (Folsom Prison Blues/You Oughta Know) I wanted to like this girl because I like her look and I love her attitude, but her voice didn’t really do anything for me. I don’t think this is the competition for her. I bet (as Keith surmised) she sounds better with a band. I’m glad she made it if for no other reason that to prove to stupid Randy that a girl without the typical “look” can still be a presence. I think this was where his comments were really starting to wear on Nicki. If you haven’t formed your opinion of Taisha yet, check out her band because I kind of dig ‘em. My vote, if it matters, stick with the band Taisha! You’re already better than Avril J

Janelle Arthur (Where the Blacktop Ends) She probably would’ve made my top group but I just heard so many country auditions that I liked. Enough for me to kind of forget Janelle. Had she gone before Brandy/Blondie, I might’ve put her in the top but going after didn’t help me remember her.

Rodney Barber aka The Voice of Charlotte (I’ll Be) This song was on the list of songs not to feature on Idol anymore, (check out the Michael Slezak article here) and for good reason. He didn’t impress me.

Frog Giggin’ girl, whose name and performance song I did not write down… well… this was all I wrote for her, I’ll leave it as is – That’s like, some Duck Dynasty shit right there. It pains me to say I actually know what “frog gigging” is because of that damn show. According to Mariah, “It’s very French dahling”. Her voice is good.

Now lets get to just some minor random follow-up points:

  1. Did someone sing Teach Me How to Dougie? It was no Fresh Prince.
  2. Favorite Nickiname? Probably DunDun? Or Juju for that guy that face-planted the wall.
  3. Randy, I know you aren’t going to stop with the catch phrases but please don’t let this years be “Let them eat cake” – do you even know what that comes from?
  4. Who was that wrestling headbanger guy? He seems like maybe he’s killed people before. He did sing my jam. I love A Whole New World.
  5. While I was looking up to try and find a clip of the guy that face-plants in the beginning of the episode, which I couldn’t find. But I did find this, and I’ve already watched it like, 5 times this morning… It’s not even from American Idol but I could watch it all day. I bet those dance judges see it all the time. Never gets old. It.Never.Gets.Old.

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American Idol – Chicago


Ok so seriously, who remembers a time when we actually saw so many successful contestants in a single episode? I can’t remember that time, if it ever happened. I mean, I started 4 minutes late and they had already had some hilarious thing about a girl not making it, and some chick that had some kind of connection to Vince Gill, who sang really well. Burn, Idol. I mean, Wednesday you didn’t have your first singer until 12 minutes in and last night you just hit it right out of the gate? Ok I get it! I need to watch as soon as 8:00 hits! Lesson learned.

And more importantly, I think I learned the lesson that if you want to watch a great episode of Idol,  you tune in for Chicago! I should’ve known when people like Hailey Reinhart and Katelyn Epperly (I was just talking about her yesterday and her performance of The Scientist) came from Chicago Auditions. Man those auditions just had talent oozing out of them for the most part! It was just a great night of music, some good laughs, and some good tears (just once for me though, I’ll get to that in a minute). Could we have seen the future winner in last nights episode? Twitter certainly seemed to think so!

Speaking of Twitter. I’m gonna call this post a bit of a “social media edition”. I was on twitter and watching live so I was picking and choosing some of the best lines I saw, for some of the more… standout contestants. I think you know who I’m talking about, yes?

In fact, lets discuss the more unique contestants before we delve into the ones who delivered actual talent, and not just a laugh.

First off we had Mrs. Bush, the massage therapist/superhero. I feel like this was the point where I just clicked with Nicki. As much as I thought I’d hate her going into the show, I genuinely believe we have the same sense of humor. I just get her. Well, her sense of humor. I hate her cattiness, fashion sense, finger condoms and British accents, but her humor makes me laugh. I also feel like we have the same taste in men, but we’ll get to that later…

Back to Mrs. Bush though (no relation to any famous Bush families, much to my chagrin). Lets see what Twitter had to say, shall we?


Marks comment was my favorite and probably the most astute. Secondly, if you’re confused about the hilarity of that last comment, they you’ve obviously never seen Donnie Darko, and we probably can’t be friends. Ok, ok, I forgive you, but go see it before I see you again. Thanks.

Secondly, we had Kevin Navity who got into music thanks to Vanilla Ice and TMNT Rap. Well, I can’t fault him for that. I too was a big TMNT fan. What’s that you say, not familiar with TMNT rap? Let’s see if google can help enlighten you…

I should’ve known. Maybe it’s a child of the 80’s thing but I used to know all the words to this song. Now, unlike me, Kevin took his love of Ninja Rap, to a love of dancing, to a love of martial arts, to a love of… dropping a bō into the lake? Awesome-sauce. I mean, you knew he had to be good, right? At first I questioned seeing the subtitles. I don’t get it… he’s completely understandab…. ok nevermind. Wow. Twitter pretty much had the same reaction.


When Nicki said “What Randy, you don’t like him? I love him!”  I was dying. And Keith saying he should stick to dancing was like Mariah telling that Asian Justin Beiber wannabe yesterday, that he should DJ. Come on people. Come on.

Third and final contestant I’d like to mention on his own, and not because of his singing ability, was Griffin Peterson. Oh Griffin! You can follow him on twitter like I am at @GriffinPete. I was really sad when Keith had to leave the audition but for this particular one, I think it saved Griffin. I honestly don’t even know what he sang or how well he sang it. I know it wasn’t bad because I hate a pretty face that thinks he can sing but can’t, like second time auditioner and Golden Ticket receiver, Johnny Keyser. I seriously don’t know WHAT the judges see in that guy.

But back to dreamy Griffin. I think Nicki summed up my thoughts perfectly saying “Beiber don’t do this to me!” and that his name should be shortened to “Grrr”. Word, Nicki!!Randy, shut your damn mouth and just listen to these ladies. They know what’s up. And if you even were to question whether they were right or not about teenage girls loving him, may I present to you, Exhibit A, Twitter:


’nuff said. I can’t say we’ll see him post Hollywood as he wasn’t even in my Top 5 of favorite singers of the night, but boy has a pretty face and a nice voice so it was fun to look at him for a few minutes.

Let’s talk about my favorite 4 contestants, shall we:

First there was Clifton Duffin. Wow. I seriously liked this kid. Singing his mother’s favorite Luther Vandross song (Superstar) and having her watch, unbeknownst to him? So adorbs. I wrote “adorable” like, 5 times for him. I like his shyness and somewhat of a vulnerability, but only in his pre-audition talking. I didn’t sense any unsteadiness in his actual performance. It was as perfect as it could be.

Coming in third, there was Isabella Parell (Baby it’s Cold Outside) I loved everything about you dahling! I loved that you wanted Keith to sing with you, it was the perfect song choice. Your look was perfect for your sound, and I loved the little bit of humor,writing on the note for Keith to say “You were wonderful. Please don’t read till after we’ve finished our duet”. I also really liked Isabella’s dad asking the camera guys about how much action they get. He’s right, they probably do get a lot!

As much as I’d love to differentiate between a first and second place, I can’t because I loved these other two contestants equally. At least when it came to singing ability. So, I’ll just talk about them in order of appearance.

First we had Kez Bon. Kez Ban? Catherine? Whatever this persons name is, I have to say, the Producers fooled me. When (s)he was asking the camera if she was going to be one of those auditions that people made fun of I was thinking, “Yes. Der”. Specifying that she was from North Carolina, Planted Earth, and that as a street performer, accidentally burned down a tomato plant? And to say that (s)he didn’t even hope to win, I kind of thought the judges/producers would just tear her apart. But maybe now, Kez Ban will want to win? Maybe (s)he just hasn’t really seen praise like that before? But Kez Ban is an original in the truest sense of the word and I’m so glad I was wrong about my original opinion! It was almost like the Susan Boyle audition all over again! I mean, you know you’re good when you can see this on twitter:


His individual shout outs don’t come easily! And I appreciate his opinion more than anyone else that writes about Idol. He wasn’t the only one though:


And I’m drinking that kool-aid too! To say America was surprised is probably a ginormous understatement! When (s)he said (s)he’d sing Pinocchio, I didn’t even know what that meant, but the song was great. Who would’ve thought the original song would be even better! She kinds of had an Ani DiFranco quality, no?

Oh also, 10 points to Keith for the zinger about asking KezBan if (s)he had any old flames. Loved it. Oh, one more thing I wrote down, I loved when she was in her post-audition interview and (s)he tells Ryan, “If you want some excitement, you’re going to have to wait till the shock wears off.” Truer words have never been spoken.

And finally in my group of favorites, there was the, Lazaro Arbos. Wow! F-ing WOW. I knew, probably from psych class or Discovery Channel TV show, that stuttering doesn’t affect singing. It’s a different part of the brain from speaking. Amazing little fact, isn’t it? I figured he’d be good based on all the commercials leading up to his performance but to just see him speak about his troubles and how he doesn’t really have a lot of friends, it was so heart wrenching. He seems like such a cute kid (a young William Valderrama, no? or a young Richard Alpert?). I loved his look and his bow-tie especially!


No matter what he looked like though, his signing was just breathtaking. Bridge Over Troubled Water was the perfect way to pull on the heart strings while still proving what a great singer you are. Talk about a Moment. That was a moment if I’ve ever heard one. I’m tearing up writing about it now. How can you not! If you aren’t, you don’t have a heart. I don’t know how far he’ll make it because something tells he might have trouble once the stress of the show kicks in but this was just a perfect moment for him and I hope he remembers it. I know America will.


As for the rest of the group, here’s a small recap.

Mackenzie Wasner (Whenever You Come Around) – The girl whose dad has a Vince Gill connection.

Kiara Lanier (The Prayer) – The girl who sang for Obama.

Stephanie Schimel (Dream a Little Dream) – I think this exchange said a lot about Stephanie –

Keith: Doesn’t she look like a star?
Nicki: I don’t think she feels like a star.

But she made it through, so does it really matter? Not today, friends!

Gabe Brown (Gimme Shelter) – The baker. I was glad they asked for the follow-up song because the first song didn’t impress me but after the second, I wouldn’t have minded hearing more. He’ll have fun the day he’s in Hollywood. I also really liked this tweet:


Finchy (God is Able) – I didn’t love him, I didn’t hate him. His voice was definitely good. Better than Joshua Ledet, who tweeted that Finchy was in his group in Vegas last year! You could tell Mariah got “brought to church” as it were. I definitely liked his attitude.

Mariah Pulice (Let it Be) – It’s bad when you are jaded by every sob story isn’t it? I felt little to not sympathy for this chick. I wanted to but I just didn’t feel for her. Maybe it’s just a story I’ve heard too many times? I don’t know. I’m not completely cold hearted because I certainly cried once this episode, but it wasn’t for her (see above). She was a good singer though and I’m glad she made it through. But I agree with Michael Slezak’s article when he said “Reality TV is about as appropriate for someone in the early stages of recovery as a pit filled with live boa constrictors is okay for a miniature dachshund.”

Brandy Neely (Your Cheatin’ Heart) – Good song, definitely the perfect pick for her. Have fun in Hollywood (she’s been there twice before with Idol), and good luck picking a song as good as the one you just performed with because that’s going to be the hardest thing for you.

Josh Holiday (Back at One) – Sorry dear but I already forget you. And Johnny Keyser after you, I don’t even want to justify him with his own section. I already feel like I’ve talked about him more than I want to. He creeps me out.

Categories: American Idol, Television | 2 Comments

American Idol – New York

Hey folks!

Well, we’re back. It’s officially Season 12! As you may’ve seen in my last post, I had some serious reservations about this upcoming season. I knew I’d like Keith. He just seems like a good enough guy and it’s kind of nice to have someone who likes country music, but Nicki Minaj weirds me out, Mariah seems bland and uninteresting (unless it’s crazy Mariah) and Randy well… he’s Randy, ruiner of things.

I thought it would be good to kind of do a bit of comparison of judges of last season, with judges of this season and their respective pluses and minuses.

Season 11


– um….. let me think… um…. yeah… literally nothing is coming to mind.


– They were entirely too nice and way to susceptible to sob stories. Oh, you’re homeless? Well, I know you can’t sing but I understand your plight and I’m gonna let you through. Oh, your father is a crackhead? You poor baby! Here’s a golden ticket to wipe your tears with. (JLo, I’m looking at you!)
– Randy had to be the mean one. RANDY! He’s terrible at being mean, just like he’s terrible at everything else he does.
– Steven making eyes with girls that could be his daughters daughter! Your Grandchildren, Steven!!

Season 12


– Not at all susceptible to sob stories. Bravo for letting the kids who you knew wouldn’t make it passed Hollywood week, not get their hopes up. I agree with you both (Nicki and Mariah I’m looking at you) that another year or two will serve those “just ok” kids well and hopefully they’ll come back with whatever they were lacking when you said “no” in their audition.
– More Judges = Less Randy
– Kieth Urban. I didn’t write down a single bad thing he did/said/wore. Way to go pal!
– Nicki Minaj’s glitter eye shadow. I was mesmerized!
– Nicki Minaj’s advice/criticism/praise. I thought for the most part she was dead on accurate. I wanted to hate her but I really thought she gave the best advice/criticism/praise.


– The fighting. Ohhhh the fighting. I was over it by minute 7. You know, when the fighting started before a contestant even graced the stage. MINUTE 7!!
– Fake British accents. I don’t get it. I never have. I never will. Stop doing it Nicki.
– Nicki Minaj’s voice. While I agree with what she said to contestants, her voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me or something. Maybe it’s the heavy New York and my inherent hatred of New Yorkers? I don’t think that’s it because it bothered me when it was British, too. I think it’s just how nasal her voice is.
– That weird finger condom thing Nicki was wearing. She wore it both days, for the record.
– You’re really not going to let the guy with 1 leg through??? Are you aware how awesome people with one leg are? Let me remind you:


Seriously, no one is more awesome than Amy Poehler. It’s a fact.

That’s all I have though. I realize my plus/minus list is a touch contradictory. I mean, I can’t complain about letting everyone with a sob story through, but cancer and one leg? And a voice that isn’t terrible? That’s a hell of a story! Granted you’re right, he probably wouldn’t have made it through Hollywood week, probably not even the first day, but I think I still would’ve given him the pass. How could you not? Well, scratch that, because you found a way. I also don’t see why you would go to a bar to tell a girl she got an Idol callback (the only one you showed being informed) and then you don’t let her through? I get not letting her through. Her original song was dull and her voice was just ok, but don’t go pick her up. Pick up that Sara chick. She seems like she’d be fun to hang out with! And she’s a great singer!

I should also mention that while it wasn’t a total “sob story” they did let a few contestants with good backstories on the show (Frankie the subway singer and Ashlee with the foster family) who could sing well!

I also realize that I have somewhat of a bi-polar opinion of Nicki Minaj. There’s things I love about her (read: her judging ability) and things I hate about her (read: everything else). I genuinely don’t know how I’ll tolerate her voice for the whole season but I’m going to give it the ol’ college try, because she is good at being a judge. I can’t deny that.

So with that, lets get to the contestants.

I read somewhere that there were 8 golden tickets passed out last night, that we saw. Something tells me they gave out way more than that. I thought that sounded high but that did match my list. That’s also not including the random “good performances”. I didn’t count if they got tickets or not because I don’t know. I assume they did since they showed them in the good performance montage.

In order of Golden Ticket performances, there was Teena, Christina, Shira, Frankie, Sarah Restuccio (I have no idea why she’s the only one I wrote a last name for, also not sure if it’s spelled right), Angela, the Turbinator (didn’t write down his real name and, and Ashlee.

I tried to remember when watching these kids that Phillip Phillips (and Shannon Magrane) both appeared in episode 1 of last season at the Savannah auditions, so we very well may’ve witnessed the winner of this seasons Idol. I don’t think that’s the case in this scenario as I didn’t write any reviews ala my experience with Phillips’ panty melter performance. I just relived it a few times myself 🙂 Man his accent was so much thicker when he started, wasn’t it? How did it change that much from then to now? Crazy! Maybe it’s the singing lessons or something?

I think the closest to a Phillip level performance for me, was probably Sarah? I mean, Ashlee was the best singer I think, but Sarah won the “Most Enjoyable” for me. You all know my love of the quirksters though. I appreciate people who can sing country and then rock out to Super Bass. Nicki had a good point though that since Taylor sang it with her, it makes sense that a bunch of country white girls are familiar with it (personally, Karmin does my personal favorite cover)

Just about everyone that got a ticket did deserve it though. I was worried that chick Teena who went to Camp Mariah (that’s a real thing??? Like, real enough that Oprah featured it in an episode? It actually looks kind of cool) was going to be terrible.  She definitely seemed like she was trying to imitate Mariah a little, but not in a bad way.

I will say that while I was happy with the no’s that were doled out for the most part, I was really surprised that Shira, the Israeli one-hit wonder, made it through. I love the song Valerie but I thought that was weird. Like, Amy at her drunkest, singing it bad. I don’t really see what they saw in her but maybe I missed something. I thought she sounded like Borat trying to sing, personally.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t discuss my FAVORITE contestant of the night. Yes, I’m talking about the Turbanator. And what’s more? I did some digging – he’s from MARYLAND and goes to UMBC! I work right near there, how have we never met? Let’s hang out? Brewer’s Art? You, me? Come on! You know I love a local!! The internets told me his name is Gupreet Singh Sarin. I was really worried he wouldn’t make it through because Randy is an idiot. Thank god he dropped that he had a marigold (points for knowing the color marigold) turban to match Nicki’s hair. I was so happy when I heard “Turb, Turb, you’re going to Hollywood!”


You may not make it through Hollywood week but you’ve made it through to my heart! And my twitter feed. Yes, I’m following you now. You guys can too, if you like – @GPreetSingh90


So what did everyone else think of Idol? If nothing else, I think it’s off to a great start!! Way more awesome than I had hoped for. I think that if you go into something with low expectations, it’s always going to be more enjoyable when it’s good.

Categories: American Idol, Television | Leave a comment

It’s Back and (Probably Not) Better than Ever!

Well, the time has come. American Idol is back. The quasi-original (if for nothing else than the fact that it far outlasted any other original) singing competition is back in action this week! In honor of this momentous occasion, I thought I should psych myself up for said event.

See, my issue is, as always, the new judges, and the old herpe of a judge that you just can’t get rid of. Yes, I’m looking at you Randy Jackson. This is only the second time I’ve even considered not watching the show, and really, I think we all know that this is my crack and even if I hate it, I’ll just watch and complain the whole time. I think the best way to describe my relationship is this sketch. Just pretend that I’m Chris Kattan, and American Idol, is Amy Poehler.

In order to psych myself up for the season permiere, I decided it might be in my best interest to make a list of all the reasons I’m looking forward to the upcoming 12th season. So, without further adieu, here it goes…

1. Randy Jackson’s fashion choices. Most notably his pins, if you’ve read this blog, you probably know that his pin selection is kind of an obsession of mine.


I will say he’ll probably get a run for his money from a one Nicki Minaj when it comes to crazy fashion choices.

2. And speaking of crazy, the possibility of  Crazy Mariah showing up is second on my list of reasons for hope this season. I think we all remember when Mariah went from this:


To this:


My personal favorite Crazy Mariah being this (it’s long but soooo worth it):

I shouldn’t be too mean to Mariah though. I may “think” she’s crazy but when her co-star is Nicki Minaj, we have to kind of put things in perspective:


Crazy is relative. Also, crazy might be the lovechild of
Randy and Mariah, and thy name is Nicki.

3. Whily Nicki may be the lovechild of Randy and Mariah, I think their similarities are few and far between. Unless ego size can be considered a similarity. And Keith, how on earth does he even fit in there? Maybe just to give the country contestants some love? He just seems way too normal and down to Earth (possibly the only one actually residing on said planet). There just seems to be this immense awkwardness in this conglomeration of judges. I know sometimes it takes a while to get into the groove. Take Kelly Ripa, when she replaced Kathy Lee Gifford on “Regis and Kathy Lee”. They didn’t just “work” immediately. It took time. And I’m sure this group of judges will also take time. After watching this video though, something tells me it’ll take a little longer than a season, if all 4 of them make it to a 13th season without just bringing the entire enterprise of the show to a screeching halt. And if they do, well, it was probably for the best anyway.

4. As much as I wanted to hate last season because of the judges (and the season before that), many of the contestants really wowed me last season. And shouldn’t the show really be about the contestants and not the judges? It’s like when the Simpsons realized the show wasn’t about Bart, it was about Homer. I think last season reminded me why I love the show. When you can fall in love with a contestant, it just makes the show that much better. I think that goes for any reality TV Show. I dare say Phillip Phillips reminded me of that.

5. Finally, the reason to like all competitions/reality trainwrecks, TWITTER! Specifically Twitter rants against Randy Jackson.


And that’s all I can think of. So, Idol, try not to disappoint me after I just spent a solid 30 minutes trying to think of reasons not to drop you like a hot potato. I think we’re all aware of how many other shows I could be watching on Wednesday and Thursday.

Categories: American Idol, Television | 1 Comment

Veggie (with chicken) Enchiladas

So this is the New Year, and I don’t feel annnyyyy different… the clanking of crystal, explosions off in the distance…

Anyone? You all know that song, right?

Love me some Ben Gibbard! He likes baseball AND he can sing? I am THERE!

Ok anyway, back to the post. This is the new year. and in my household, we’re trying like 60% of the US to eat healthier! At least healthier than we did last year. Shouldn’t be too hard, right? Not to mention, I got a bad ass food processor for Christmas that holds more than 2 cups of processessiness. Yeah. That’s a word bitches. But back to my food processor. I love it. I love it so much.

I know, you’re thinking – wasn’t this a post about Enchiladas? Yeah. It was. It IS. Sorry about that. So, here they are…


Pretty delicious looking, ey? And healthy? You don’t say? I know, you aren’t seeing any veggies but I swear, they’re in there! Here’s how it works:

Ingredients for the Enchiladas

1 package of 10″ whole wheat tortillas (the smaller kind are fine too. Smaller the tortillas, the more enchiladas you’ll make)
1-1.5 lb of chicken breasts
1.5 cups of 2% shredded cheddar cheese (or mexican shredded – we used mexican but I know it’s hard to find sometimes)
3 carrots
2 stalks of celery
1 large onion
1/2 package of low sodium taco seasoning (if you make your own like us, you need about 2 tablespoons)
1 small jar of salsa (or 1.5 cups of salsa) – if you’re really into it, you can make your own salsa in the food processor like we do!

Ingredients for the Sauce

1 cup chicken broth
1 cup FF sour cream
2 cups 2% shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 package of taco seasoning


– First you want to pre-heat the oven to 375.
– Place your salsa into a 9×9 pan and then lay the chicken on top then sprinkle taco seasoning onto chicken.
– Cook the chicken for about 20 minutes

In the meantime, shred up the carrots (peeled), celery and onion in the food processor

– When the chicken is done, take it out, shred it up with 2 forks and mix in the mixture from the food processor
– Cook for another 10-15 minutes

While the second round is in the oven, you want to put the sauce together. It’s as simple as throwing all the ingredients into a saucepan on medium heat and stirring until creamy. Never let it come to a boil and once its consistent, put it on low until the time is up on the chicken.

Next comes assembling the enchiladas. I like to lay out the tortillas on a piece of aluminum foil. Use a slotted spoon and scoop about 1 cup of mixture into the tortilla and add around a third of a cup of shredded cheese (eyeball it, then roll up and place in a glass dish (I use a 9×11) with the “open” side on the bottom. My mixture made 4 enchiladas but if you used the small tortillas I could easily see it making closer to 6 or 7.

Then pour the sauce onto the enchiladas in the pan and put them back in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes. This is a good time to cook your side dishes. I was going to make rice but in the spirit of healthy eating I made some FF refried beans and corn.

The final result were very flavorful enchiladas that were juicy, cheesy and relatively healthy. Certainly healthier than your standard enchiladas!


Categories: Recipes | Leave a comment

Sriracha Pizza

Hey folks!

So here’s another recipe for you involving my favorite things – leftovers! I realize I didn’t post about making the delicious Sriracha Spaghetti and Meatballs because really it wasn’t my recipe at all (except to use ground turkey instead of beef). That being said, I highly recommend it! De-freaking-licious! And the website too for that matter. It’s full of recipes I’ve tried and I’ve loved all of them so far! Maybe I should take a moment though to focus on the most delicious saucy condiment one can enjoy. If A1 is my best condiment, this is a VERY close second! It’s so spicy and garlicy and amazing. It’s usually in the Asian section of the supermarket, if that can be considered a section? It looks like this:


Anyway, the recipe made way too many meatballs for two people I froze enough for another dinner and STILL had about 5 more leftover. So I decided to try and make something else out of it. And maybe… empty out the refrigerator a little as well. Upon finishing this recipe, I probably would’ve removed an ingredient or two when all was said and done. You can see those notes at the bottom of this entry.

The ingredients I used went a little something like this…



Oh, also not mentioned was that I used a Pillsbury thin crust pizza dough (you pre-cook it for 5 minutes on 400 degrees, and then you bake everything at the end for 8 minutes)

So, as for amounts of ingredients, it went a little something like this:

1/2 cup of chopped frozen* spinach, cooked and drained (WELL! NO WATER!)
1 cup of diced frozen mixed peppers
1 6oz. jar of artichoke hearts (take the artichokes out but use the oil they’re in as your sauce if you want)
1 large diced tomato**
5 sriracha meatballs (and the recipe for those are here)***
3 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
Sriracha and Olive Oil for sprinkling

So this is how this pizza works:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and then put in the thin crust for 5 minutes.

While the oven is pre-heating/your dough is doing it’s first round of cooking, you can:
– cook your spinach (I cook mine in the microwave – jut follow the direction on the bag)
– heat up the peppers (same goes, microwave the directions on the bag)
– heat up the meatballs
– dice the peppers

When the dough is out, I spread the artichoke “juice” thinly over the dough. I then topped it with the first round of toppings – spinach, artichokes and peppers.

Then add the cheese and follow it up with the next round of toppings – tomatoes, chopped up meatballs and a quick squirt of sriracha sauce over the top of the pizza. The more you put on, the spicier it’ll be, so consider yourself warned.

You then put the pizza back in the oven for about 8 minutes, give or take. You want the edges to be brownish.

And then you have the finished product, which was pretty darn delicious.


*First, thing I would’ve liked to change – using fresh spinach and putting it on last, as opposed to frozen spinach. I think it would’ve cut down a little on the heaviness of the pizza. Same goes for the peppers. Sometimes frozen is just easier though.

** I might not’ve used the diced tomatoes had I had more meatballs. The amount of meatballs only covered half the pizza, which is great if you have people who don’t eat meat or something. which leads me to…

*** This amount of meatballs is really only enough for half to three quarters of the pizza. You would probably need closer to 8 – 10 meatballs for the whole pizza.

Categories: Recipes | 2 Comments

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