... A Sour Apple Tree

Your source for fast and/or frozen food reviews, Huntington and/or West Virginia commentary, rasslin' (not wrestling) nostalgia, bad parody, dumb satire, rejected slogans, pointless lists, unreliable sports predictions, and funny local pictures.

Location: Huntington, WV, United States

I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Week 4 NFL Picks

Last week I pulled off a 13-3 record, bringing my season total to 33-15. Here's my thoughts on this week's action:

Lions @ Bears
Seahawks @ Colts
Buccaneers @ Redskins
Raiders @ Texans
Giants @ Chiefs
Ravens @ Patriots
Bengals @ Browns
Titans @ Jaguars
Bills @ Dolphins
Jets @ Saints
Cowboys @ Broncos
Rams @ 49ers
Chargers @ Steelers
Packers @ Vikings

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bad kitties

You know, in rural Switzerland, northern Vietnam, and Guangdong, cats wouldn't be so damn casual about laying around on the dining room table...

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Random stuff

1. Yes, Geek Squad person, you can hook a laptop to a TV using an HDMI cable. Dumb ass.

2. Megan Fox is a "triple threat" because she's "sexy, sexual, and (her) boobs:"

3. My cat Mosby killed a mouse yesterday. He gets a week's worth of "sitting on the dining room table with getting shooed down" privileges.

4. Sam's Cola Zero Calorie is a passable knock-off of Coke Zero.

5. Can the Browns get another expansion draft?

6. Who dey?

7. Ben Roethlisberger hadn't lost a game in Ohio since Aug. 30, 2003.

8. Chorizo is my new favorite food.

9. According to my 3 year-old, Monopoly is actually called "House Game." More on his rules in a future post.

10. Remind me... why people are defending Roman Polanski?

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Week 3 NFL Picks

Last week I had another 10-6 outing, bringing the season total to 20-12. Here are this week's picks:

Browns @ Ravens
Giants @ Buccaneers
Jaguars @ Texans
Falcons @ Patriots
Packers @ Rams
Chiefs @ Eagles
Redskins @ Lions
49ers @ Vikings
Titans @ Jets
Saints @ Bills
Bears @ Seahawks
Dolphins @ Chargers
Broncos @ Raiders
Steelers @ Bengals
Colts @ Cardinals
Panthers @ Cowboys

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fast Food Review: Burger King's Angry TenderCrisp

Every so often, BK re-releases a sandwich called the Angry Whopper that has an onion & jalapeno kick to it and I've always though "man, that'd be a great TenderCrisp." Well, finally Burger King has introduced (or at least I've noticed that they've introduced, as it very well could have been available before and I just failed to take notice) an Angry TenderCrisp.

When I open the sandwich, I notice tomatoes on there that have to be removed. I love salted tomato slices and cooked tomato sauces, but I'm not to big on fast food grade maters on a sandwich. Bye-bye.

After that unpleasant business is finished, I se lots of "angry" onions (onion petals, it seems) and plenty of jalapeno slices resting on the chicken, a slice of pepper jack cheese, and some bacon, all covered with "angry sauce."

This angry sauce is a spicy, but not too spicy, bbq sauce that has been thinned out with what tastes to be a mild hot sauce. It also has a smokey-sweet kick that goes well with other ingredients, especially the bacon and zesty onions. The sauce is very enjoyable and there could stand to be more on the sam'mich, but the jalapenos bring the heat in lieu of the missing extra squirt of sauce.

In fact, the jalapenos bring so much heat to the sandwich that I'd prefer either fewer peppers of to have the peppers ribbed, seeded, and diced and somehow incorporated into the sauce or the mayonnaise in order to make the heat less cheap and more of a background note.

I like the use of bacon in the sandwich. The TenderCrisp is not too bacon-centric like some other sandwiches at BK and other fast food joints. The flavor of the bacon gives the product a smokey saltiness that works with the smokey sweet heat of the angry sauce.

Overall, this is a pretty good fast food chicken sandwich. If they tone down the peppers it would be good enough for a sit-down restaurant like Chili's. Next time I'll order one without the tomato and pick off about half of the jalapenos.

I give it 4 out of 5 Lewis Blacks

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ten Things Funnier Than "Accidentally On Purpose"

Jenna Elfman's new sitcom Accidentally On Purpose debuted last night on CBS. It is a wannabe-yuckfest of one-liners and stiff acting. Despite the raucous reaction from the show's canned laughter button, I find it to be a total bore. Therefore, in the interest of helping The Tiffany Network out, here are ten things that are funnier than this new show:

1. Ingrown toenails
2. Howie Long
3. Terms of Endearment
4. Tired Appalachian stereotypes
5. My friend J's efforts to repeat off-color jokes that require exact memorization and perfect comedic timing.
6. Comparing Bush and/or Obama to Hitler
7. Dead kittens
8. The 1994-1995 season of SNL
9. Dharma & Greg
10. Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

The 3 Year-Old's Top Ten Favorite Fictional Characters

1. Spongebob Squarepants
2. Boba Fett
3. Batman
4. Wall-E
5. The Joker
6. Captain Huggyface
7. Ruff Ruffman
8. Storm Troopers
9. Darth Vader
10. Word Girl

Hon. Mention: Spiderman & any robot.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Week 2 NFL Picks

Last week I went a mediocre 10-6.

Texans @ Titans
Panthers @ Falcons
Saints @ Eagles
Rams @ Redskins
Vikings @ Lions
Patriots @ Jets
Raiders @ Chiefs
Cardinals @ Jaguars
Bengals @ Packers
Seahawks @ 49ers
Buccaneers @ Bills
Steelers @ Bears
Browns @ Broncos
Ravens @ Chargers
Giants @ Cowboys
Colts @ Dolphins

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Monday, September 14, 2009

2009 Fake Emmy Ballot: Series

Outstanding Drama Series
* Big Love
* Breaking Bad
* Damages
* Dexter
* House
* Lost
* Mad Men

This season of House is one of the better chunks of episodic television in recent memory. It has dealt with themes of death, loss, grief, drug addiction, and complicated romance while still not losing the popcorn-tastic "curmudgeon doctor" stuff that got me hooked in the first place.

Outstanding Comedy Series
* 30 Rock
* Entourage
* Family Guy
* Flight of the Conchords
* How I Met Your Mother
* The Office
* Weeds

30 Rock is going to win, and it probably deserves the trophy. That said, I'm pretending to vote for HIMYM for presenting a great pivot season. Much like the Empire Strikes Back, this season did a great job of bridging the gap between the setup and the conclusion and marked a turning point between a good and a great comedy series.

Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
* The Colbert Report
* The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
* Late Show with David Letterman
* Real Time with Bill Maher
* Saturday Night Live

I'll go with Colbert over Stewart, mainly because he pronounces "Appalachia" correctly.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Homemade Lentil Burger

I love veggie burgers, but I'm not too huge on paying damn near $1 per frozen patty at the grocery store. So after my wife made some lentil curry the other night (btw, it gets a rating of 5 out of 5 "The White Girl in that Indian Dance Troupe on America's Got Talent"s), I hads me an idea the next day.

Since it seemed to bind together nicely, I pattied some of it up and pan fried the result in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil.

After it was finished, I served it with some knock-off American-made Parmesan cheese (much too soft and mild for pasta, but pretty good on a sandwich or as a snack) and some Sweet Baby Ray's Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce.

Overall, I wasn't a big fan. The lentils still tasted great, but they needed something more to bind them. Next time I'll likely add some egg white or mush them a bit to break the beans open. It also could have used a less-creamy cheese (I was out of everything else). As for the sauce, it just plain sucked. It was waaay too sweet and not spicy at all. Sweet Baby Ray's Raspberry Chipotle sauce is to serious bbq fans as Michelob Ultra is to Trappist monks.

2 out of 5 Good Ideas with Bad Condiment Choices.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Someone throw Mick a chair

Here is a classic clip from the glory days of ECW.

Cactus Jack (aka Mick Foley) and Terry Funk are beating the hell out of The Public Enemy in a tag match when Jack asks the crowd "someone throw me a chair."

Well, just about everyone in the audience responded to the request. The result is one of the most memorable moments in 1990s rasslin' lore.

EC f'n W.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Week 1 NFL Picks

Titans @ Steelers
Jaguars @ Colts
Lions @ Saints
Eagles @ Panthers
Cowboys @ Buccaneers
Jets @ Texans
Chiefs @ Ravens
Broncos @ Bengals
Vikings @ Browns
Dolphins @ Falcons
Redskins @ Giants
49ers @ Cardinals
Rams @ Seahawks
Bears @ Packers
Bills @ Patriots
Chargers @ Raiders

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Fake 2009 Emmy Awards Ballot: Lead Actors & Actresses

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

* Simon Baker, The Mentalist
* Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
* Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
* Michael C. Hall, Dexter
* Jon Hamm, Mad Men
* Hugh Laurie, House

Baker is quite charming as Patrick Jane, but for this year my fake vote has to go to Hugh Laurie. He has been overdue for an award for Dr. Greg House and this season his portrayal of a strong-willed, ego-driven loner finally being brought to his knees by drug addiction is TV drama at its most powerful.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

* Glenn Close, Damages
* Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
* Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
* Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
* Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
* Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

Hargitay has turned Olivia Benson from an unsympathetic CopBot 2000 into a real and complex character with depth and breadth in spite of some of the material that she gets dumped in her lap.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

* Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
* Steve Carell, The Office
* Jemaine Clement, Flight of the Conchords
* Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
* Tony Shalhoub, Monk
* Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men

I like Alec Baldwin in everything and I would have probably voted for Bret McKenzie if he had received FotC's nomination, but I give the nod to Jim Parsons. The socially ignorant super-genius Sheldon Cooper is quite simply one of the funniest characters on TV in many, many years.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

* Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
* Toni Collette, United States of Tara
* Tina Fey, 30 Rock
* Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
* Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
* Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program

Tina Fey is the funniest person in America and stars in the funniest show on TV. 'Nuff said.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Rubbed Flat Iron Steak

Kroger has recently been selling flat iron steak (a tender, tasty, and inexpensive butcher's cut of beef) at $3.99 a pound, which is as cheap as I have ever seen it (it is usually $5.99-ish), so I snapped up a larger steak this weekend and grilled it up for dinner yesterday.

After reading some stuff online, I decided to make a more complicated rub than my usual salt 'n pepper blend. In addition to the kosher salt and fresh black pepper, I added fresh crushed garlic, onion powder, and brown sugar.

I rubbed the steak with some extra virgin olive oil and the rub and let it marinate for a couple of minutes while the George Foreman Grill warmed up.

After America's favorite indoor grill was good and hot, it was time to cook the meat.

After cooking any meat it is a good idea to let it rest for a while before putting the knife to it.

I carved this steak thinly and at a 45 degree angle. This allowed for more aesthetically pleasing and easier to manage cuts of meat as opposed to the thick perpendicular slices I've tried in the past.

I drizzled the slices with some more olive oil and served them with oven roasted beets my wife had made and some store-bought garlic bread from the previous night's pasta.

I really like this rubbed version of the flat iron steak. The onion powder and garlic gave the steak an extra level of flavor and the brown sugar gave the beef a nice char without making it too sweet or dry. The angled cuts helped to tenderize the beef (I don't think I'll slice flat iron steak any other way from now on). The beets were also a nice accompaniment in therms of taste and color and offered a refreshing break from the usual potato. My only regret is not having some better bread.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 Aaron Coplands (after a half-point deduction for recycled bread that wasn't that good anyway).

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

2002, A Rasslin' Odyssey

Back in the mid-80s, a tag team from the distant future came to World Championship Wrestling. Using the flux capacitor, they came through the space-time continuum from the near-future, 2002. It is a world filled with robots and bad haircuts, where they've "been partying like it's 1999 for 3 years."

Why did they travel back to the 80s? Apparently to prove that Hector Guerrero was a robot and to perform medical experiments on the Rock 'n Roll Express:

It should also be noted that, in the year 2000, Dusty Rhodes will be elected President of the United States.

Man, I miss those days. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch Cena vs HHH and/or Orton for the 234857234890 time.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Top Ten Tomato Varieties

Here are my 10 favorite tomato cultivars:

1. Roma. The perfect tomato for all things Italian.

2. 1884 beefsteak. Discovered in WV, this thing is the size of a small European car.

3. Cherokee purple. So pretty, so juicy.

4. Mortgage lifter. Another WV original, this one is good for kids due to the low acidity.

5. Ida Gold. My favorite of the yellow and/or orange 'maters.

6. Mr. Stripey. Fun to say, fun to look at, fun to cut into, and even more fun to eat.

7. Sweet 100. My 3 year-old' favorite, they are very sweet and poppable.

8. Pink beefsteak. Its fleshy look makes any sandwich look like a zombie's sandwich.

9. Tomatillo. Ok, not a true tomato, but it makes for some great salsa.

10. Ugly. The uglier, the better.

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