Random Night Of The King

Posted in Everyday Life, games, music on August 27th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

On a random note, I decided at the last minute to kind of theme-up game night a little bit last week.  I went to the library to find some background music to put in the kitchen CD player during game night, and the first thing I found was a Garth Brooks Greatest Hits collection – and not one of the two that I owned back when I was a huge fan – one of the reasons why Garth Brooks became intolerable, what a sell-out.  But he has some really good songs, and I thought it’d be great to hear some of them again.  Realizing I’ve tortured enough unwitting souls with my love of country music, I looked through the regular music.  But it was the adult section of the library, and I had two of the kids with me, so I was in a big hurry and all I could find was an Elvis greatest hits collection.  Thinking about it on the way home, I remembered a recipe I had come across months ago and put aside – Elvis’ favorite sandwich in a cookie.  What was Elvis’ favorite sandwich?  Peanut butter, banana, and bacon.  So I made the peanut butter, banana, and bacon cookies, we rocked to Elvis, even though he ruined more than a few people’s careers in the Mafia, I think.  I didn’t come across anyone all night who was ecstatic about my Elvis cookies, but they were more for the experience of emulating Elvis (this would have made a fun dress-up version of game night, haha) than they were for people to find delectable.  I, for one, found them tasty, but not great.  I’m not a big cookie person anyway, and I found the combination of bacon and banana quite interesting, though in a good way.  Coincidentally, I found out that 3 days before our game night was the 32nd anniversary of Elvis’ death, so it ended up being a tribute of sorts, I guess.  I like the idea of themed game nights once in a while, especially if it doesn’t require much extra dough (pun intended) or work.  How about we light up the comment board with suggestions for possible future game night themes?

*** – Here is some bonus footage – the Elvis cookie recipe.  Enjoy and let me know any alterations and feedback you have!
From the article where I read about it:
“Go with your gut – not your head – on this one; the combination of peanut butter, bacon, and bananas really is delicious.
ELVIS COOKIES
Makes 30 cookies
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup crumbled cooked (very crisp) bacon (about 6 strips)
1/2 cup diced firm banana

Heat the oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. (I did some research because I didn’t want to buy many extras like parchment paper, so I just greased a cookie sheet with margarine and it worked fine. So in place of the parchment paper, lightly grease a cookie sheet.) In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Use an electric mixer on medium to beat until well combined. Beat in the egg until just combined and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and the baking soda. With the mixer running on low, add the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Gently mix in the bacon and the bananas, trying not to mash the bananas. Using slightly wet hands, roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them. Dip the tines of a fork into water, then use it to flatten the cookies until they are about 1.5 inches around. Bake on the middle rack for 11 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then remove with a metal spatula to racks to cool completely.

NOTE – a guest commented that he wished there was more bacon!

CMA TIME!

Posted in music on November 12th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 It’s fall – time for the CMA Awards already!  If you don’t know that CMA is short for Country Music Association, then you have my permission to skip this blog post – it will only bore you anyway!

For other country music fans like me, this is one of our two biggest nights of the year – the Superbowl for country fans.  I get really excited, and unlike other awards shows like the Oscars, I don’t like to tape  (I am a child of the ’80’s) record country music awards, and I especially don’t like to miss anything – the live performances are some of the best parts!  I always play along and try to choose the winners, but I don’t think my picks are going to be that strong this year because I’m listening to country music radio less than ever – I enjoy talking to my kids in the car, or they’re watching dvd’s.  At home I’m usually listening to Dora, the DoodleBops or Noggin.  But the CMA Awards show will be a blast to watch, as always, and there are only two nights like this a year – cross your fingers for me that my kids decide to act like human beings tonight and let me watch the show.  My picks for the winners, however uneducated they may be, are made obvious by my comments in itallics:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Kenny Chesney – ok, so he doesn’t dominate this awards show like the ACMs, but I’m going with him anyway – just because he is not one of my favorite singers and I’m not expecting the show to go well for me
Brad Paisley
Sugarland
George Strait
Keith Urban
  Top Female Vocalist
Alison Krauss
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood – I called her from one of her first appearances in American Idol.  I said – she’s going to win Idol, but she has a voice for country.  Now she’s established herself as one of the best female country singers out there today.
Top Male Vocalist
Kenny Chesney
Alan Jackson – my favorite of those nominated, but what’s he done lately?
Brad Paisley
George Strait
Keith Urban – my pick to win – tough call between Keith and Brad, but you gotta congratulate a guy for a successful stint in rehab
Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Brooks & Dunn
Montgomery Gentry
Sugarland – their unique sound will win them many awards – just one question:  who else is in Sugarland besides Jennifer Nettles?
The Wreckers
Vocal Group of the Year
Eagles
Emerson Drive
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Rascal Flatts – tried and true, these guys have talent.  So do Brooks and Dunn, but they haven’t come out with anything lately
New Artist Of The Year
Jason Aldean
Rodney Atkins
Lady Antebellum
James Otto
Kellie Pickler – another American Idol reject crossover
Album Of The Year [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]
Carrie Underwood’s Carnival Ride Produced by Mark Bright
Brooks & Dunn’s Cowboy Town Produced by Tony Brown, Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks
Alan Jackson’s Good Time Produced by Keith Stegall
Kenny Chesney’s Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates Produced by Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney
George Strait’s Troubadour Produced by Tony Brown and George Strait – gotta give him something
Single Of The Year [Awarded to artist and producer]
“Don’t Blink” Kenny Chesney Produced by Buddy Cannon & Kenny Chesney BNA Records
“Gunpowder & Lead” Miranda Lambert Produced by Frank Liddell & Mike Wrucke Columbia Nashville
“I Saw God Today” George Strait Produced by Tony Brown & George Strait MCA Nashville
“Stay” Sugarland Produced by Byron Gallimore, Kristian Bush and Jennifer NettlesMercury Nashville – not really sure of the difference between single and song of the year, but Stay has to win one of these.  I’m going with Single, I guess.
“You’re Gonna Miss This” Trace Adkins Produced by Frank Rogers Capitol Nashville
Song Of The Year [Awarded to songwriter and primary publisher]
“Good Time” Alan Jackson EMI-April Music/Tri-Angels Music
“I Saw God Today” Rodney Clawson/Monty Criswell/Wade Kirby Big Red Toe/Extremely Loud Music/Steel Wheels Music/Blind Mule Music – like I said, I don’t think Strait will walk away with nothing tonight – just hope I didn’t reverse the single and song of the year!
“Letter To Me” Brad Paisley EMI-April Music/New Sea Gayle Music
“Stay” Jennifer Nettles Jennifer Nettles Publishing
“You’re Gonna Miss This” Lee Thomas Miller/Ashley Gorley EMI Blackwood Music/New Songs of Sea Gayle/Noah’s Little Boat Music/Songs of Combustion Music
Musical Event Of The Year [Awarded to each Artist]
“Another Try” — Josh Turner featuring Trisha Yearwood MCA Nashville
“Every Other Weekend” — Reba McEntire and Kenny Chesney MCA Nashville
“Gone Gone Gone” — Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Rounder Records
“Life In A Northern Town” — Sugarland featuring Little Big Town and Jake Owen Mercury Nashville
“Shiftwork” — Kenny Chesney (duet with George Strait) BNA Records – What does ‘vocal event’ mean anyway?  By the looks of how they wrote the nominees, I guess ‘vocal event’ means ‘when record labels lease their stars’.  Chesney always wins big at awards shows, but I personally prefer Jimmy Buffet’s beachcomber style over Kenny Chesney’s knock-off version.  I’m guessing the Country Music Association does not agree.
Music Video Of The Year [Awarded to artist and director]
Don’t Blink Kenny Chesney Directed by Shaun Silva
Good Time Alan Jackson Directed by Trey Fanjoy
Stay Sugarland Directed by Shaun Silva – everyone knows by now that Jennifer Nettles cried real tears during the filming of this video, is it enough to win her the award?  My vote is yes, but maybe it’s just wishful thinking.
Waitin’ On a Woman Brad Paisley Directed by Jim Shea
You’re Gonna Miss This Trace Adkins Directed by Peter Zavadil
Musician Of The Year
Jerry Douglas, Dobro — Drums
Paul Franklin — Steel Guitar
Dann Huff — Guitar – will win.  But then again, this is the blind lottery award for viewers.  Like I know who any of these people are, so I just picked the name that jumped out at me, and Dan Huff it was.
Brent Mason — Guitar
Mac McAnally — Guitar

For sure, a great time will be had by all.  I might update my blog with winners as I watch tonight.  And after reviewing my reasons for my picks for tonight’s awards, it needs to be said that it’s been way too long since some classic artists (and my personal favorites) came out with anything noteworthy!  Alan Jackson Garth Brooks and Martina McBride, you know who you are!

Academy of Country Music Awards Night!

Posted in Current Events, TV Shows on May 19th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Awards time was upon us again last night!  Overall, I had a good time during the Academy of Country Music Awards, not as much fun as actually being there like I was in 2000, but a good time!  There were some disappointments for me though, as you will read in my play-by-play of the awards below:

Carrie Underwood opened the show – I like Carrie Underwood; even though she’s a country crossover, I think she has an amazing voice.  By the way, very early in her season of American Idol – when I still watched it – I predicted that she would win and also that she would be a very good country singer.  Just had to get that in there to boost myself after I did so horribly at predicting this year’s ACM awards.  But her new song isn’t country enough for me, and it made it seem like she is trying to cross back over into pop or rock.  Was not a big fan of her performance.
Next Reba McEntire made a funny joke in a beautiful blue dress with a classy fit.  The joke was about 1986, and she said, “Back then, Roger Clemens wasn’t even interested in country music!”  The audience oohed and ahhed, I guess it was kinda controversial, but I liked it.  The joke was in reference to the affair that took place years ago and just now came to light between a married and much older Roger Clemens and a teenage up and coming country star named Mindy McCready, who unfortunately is better known these days for controversy than for country music.  Reba’s jokes were actually pretty funny tonight, I liked the Kenny Chesney song reference: “she thinks my fracture is sexy” and also when Reba was talking about the correlation between #1 hits and birthdays, she said, “I have 33”.  Her delivery made that joke pretty funny, and I do like her as a host.

Next up was a live performance from Toby off-Keyth.  To his credit, many of the performers seemed off pitch tonight, could there have been some issue with the sound system?  That aside, his new song is simply awful.  Quite possibly the worst country song ever.  The lyrics are terrible, and hearing it off-key was even worse.

Time for the first award!  SINGLE RECORD OF THE YEAR – I guessed Don’t Blink by Kenney Chesney, and hubby guessed Stay by Sugarland.  Other nominees were Miranda Lambert, Big and Rich, and Gary Allan -Slow start – hubby is one up on me already since the winner is Stay.  Gotta give him some credit, it’s a nice song.

Next is a live performance from Brad Paisley – his new song is ok, I like it, but he seems off key too.  Hubby says, Brad Paisley?  He’s always off key on the live shows.  I don’t remember this being the case, Is he?

Next, Taylor Swift wins TOP NEW FEMALE VOCALIST – no surprise there – hubby is 2 for 2, and I am on the board with 1.

Miranda Lambert’s live performance – alright.

Now the award for NEW DUO/VOCAL GROUP – Never even heard of any of the nominees since I listen to Kidsongs in the car now; I no longer get to listen to country radio, so all the new stuff on the awards show tonight was truly news to me.  Quiz me on Kidsongs episodes though, and I’d win every time!

Rodney Atkins gives an off key live performance.  Not that this song about kids swearing sounds that great on the radio either.  It’s an ok song, but he has a crackly country voice, and live singing just makes it worse.

TOP NEW MALE VOCALIST – Hubby guesses Luke Bryan I guess Jake Owen, and the nominee not chosen by either of us wins – Jack Ingram.

Live performance from Kenny Chesney – I’m never a huge fan of Chesney, but he wasn’t off-key, so I won’t complain.

Live performance by Geroge Strait  – I was not crazy about his new song but at least he wasn’t off key either. Live performance duet – Kenny Chesney and George Strait – Chesney went a little off key, but I don’t like this song Shiftwork anyway.

Next was a world premiere of Sugarlands new single, which I really liked!  The woo-oohs were a little corny, but the song reminds me of 80’s country and it was a very catchy tune.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR was won by Miranda Lambert – and nobody in our household guesses this category correctly.

Live performance by Brooks and Dunn – not off key

SONG OF THE YEAR – I guessed Kenny Chesney, hoping he would win this instead of Entertainer of the Year, but I was disappointed because Hubby guessed Sugarland’s Stay would get this award.

Taylor Swift gave a live performance – a little off key until it started raining on her on stage.  That was pretty cool, but did they turn off her mic and let her lip sync?  Would the mic even work in the rain?  She got pretty wet and was suddenly on key, so I wonder…

TOP VOCAL DUO – Brooks and Dunn – We both guessed this one correctly – EVERYONE WINS!

Trace Atkins live performance – pitch problems

I have to comment on the baby puking commercial that aired here.  I believe it originally aired during the Superbowl.  But it shows a baby talked into a webcam, and all of a sudden, he spits up.  I just love the irony of the baby talking like a normal adult, then all of a sudden spitting up like a baby.  You have to see it and probably have kids to appreciate it.

Now finally, after stringing us along all night, it was time for the Garth Brooks tribute.  Garth used to be my favorite country singer, way back when, until he sold out, retired a few times, became Chris Gaines, etc etc.  But he still has some great music in his library, some of which he treated us to tonight in a live performance.  Reminded me of the 3 times I got to see him in concert.  He was a GREAT performer, and even though he has aged a little, he can still give a good concert.  I loved how when he went off key, he covered by pretending he was just having fun with the song and meant to have pitch problems – yeah right!  And he did mess up the words in The Thunder Rolls – he came in too early.  But a good concert by him overall, even if he was a bit rusty.  He also included the following songs in his montage: Callin Baton Rouge, Friends in Low Places, We Shall Be Free, The Dance, Just Ledoux, In Another’s Eyes (special guest duet with wife Tricia Yearwood.  Not to be rude, but I was POSITIVE Garth was going to be announcing some baby news – Tricia looked extra puffy.  He didn’t say anything though, so I guess I’m just a jerk for noticing and saying so.  Being in the public eye must suck!), More Than a Memory, Rodeo, and the finale Ain’t Goin Down Til the Sun Comes Up.  Then, Garth was given the Crystal Milestone Award of which he is deserving, despite all the selling out he’s done.  And when he called Reba Ms. Yearwood, it was hilarious, but since it was followed by “I love her”, I can see why he mixed up the names to say that about his wife – aw!

Next award – VOCAL GROUP – Rascal Flatts

Keith Urban live performance – liked the song, but what’s with the do doo’s?  This is the second do doo’s song tonight!

David Spade’s long joke was funny, but I have yet to understand his presence at country music awards?

Rascal Flatts live performance was off key.

Eddy Arnold tribute – Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley sang one of Eddy’s songs as a duet, and it sounded magnificent.  Awesome tribute.

Kellie Pickler live performance – off pitch, like so many others before her.

Trisha Yearwood comes out to present MALE VOCALIST – kudos on the costume change, shouldn’t be any baby rumors due to this dress.  I have Kenny Chesney, Hubby has George Strait.  Paisley wins.

Lee Ann Rimes – live performance – not off key, but the band is way loud.

Carrie Underwood wins FEMALE VOCALIST and puts me within one point of tying up the contest between my husband and me!

Montgomery Gentry – live performance off key – sounds horrible

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR – Wait, my ballot sheet says we still have Video of the year and Vocal Event of the Year, what happened?  Some research on the internet shows I lost both those categories, ugh.  I guessed Brad Paisley and Hubby has Keith Urban – Chesney wins AGAIN!!!  I should have seen it coming, I was just hoping that with the new voting system this year – they let the fans vote for Entertainer of the Year – I thought the fans would take away Chesney’s monopoly on this category.  His joke about thanking his parents for doing what they did so many years ago that led to his creation was kinda funny, if a bit unexpected.

So, you can see where my disappointments lie – mainly with the entertainer of the year award, losing to my husband, and not liking many of the new songs that were performed.  But like I said, I had fun watching, and now I know I will have to do more research before the next country awards in the fall so I can get more correct guesses.  I’ll have to find a way to take back control over the car radio for starters!