Mindy Kaling is my Spirit Animal

mindy2My latest book to finish was “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me” by Mindy Kaling. Not only did I become completely obsessed with Mindy Kaling in general from her nonfiction book about her life experiences, but now I’m in love with the book and a huge fan of her TV show “The Mindy Project”.

 

That’s right, pretty much as soon as I started the book, I rented the series from the library and started watching that too. In my honest opinion, it’s the funniest show currently on television. Mindy Kaling writes and stars in the comedy about a quirky gynecologist living and looking for love in New York City. 

 

Not only does everything she does on the show bring a smile to my face, but the rest of the cast is awesome as well. Chris Messina (Danny), Ike Barinholtz (Morgan) and Adam Pally (Peter) are hilarious as costars. 

 

I seriously watched the first two seasons in a matter of days because I just couldn’t stop. Thanks to a beautiful thing called DVR I’m all caught up with the current season too. I would have written this blog about the book a lot sooner, but I just didn’t have time with all the viewing I needed to do. 

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But enough about TV. I’m really here to review books. Let me tell you, this book is hilarious. If you are a woman or you enjoy laughing (which should be everyone in the world) you should definitely pick up this read.

 

There’s something for everyone: stories about romance, stories about work, stories about childhood and stories about friendship.

 

 I’ve read a lot of humor books (like those written by Tina Fey and Chelsea Handler) in my day, but this one is my favorite. Mostly because Mindy Kaling and I are essentially the same person, and I’m pretty sure Mindy Kaling and Mindy Lahiri are the same person too. Mindy is my spirit animal. 

 

If you don’t believe me, here’s some comparisons between myself and my new favorite person.

 

  1. We are both writers. She is obviously much better at writing than I am. She’s published, I’m not. She writes for a television show, I write for 10 readers if I’m lucky. But we both want to be writers and that’s what’s most important.

 

  1. We both think we are constantly on the verge of being murdered. Mindy (at least on TV) sleeps with a knife under her pillow, while I used to keep shoes, pants, sweatshirt and car keys next to my window in case I needed to get free.

 

  1. We both “fluctuate between curvy and chubby” on a regular basis. No explanation needed on that one.

 

  1. We both lose our phone constantly. She said on the Mindy Project, “I mostly just think about where I left my phone.” Story of my life.

 

  1. We both seriously hate exercising. Thanks Mindy for just being honest. Now I don’t have to pretend anymore because you’re beautiful, famous and not a size two. 

 

  1. Both of us have a serious problem with romantic comedies. By that, I mean we watch a pathetically overwhelming amount of them and we aren’t ashamed of it. We’re proud. 

 

  1. Neither of us have a filter, and we say what we want when we want to say it. We also own our self-confidence and tend to think we are always the coolest person in the room. Let’s just face it, we generally are. 

 

  1. As writers, we both have beautiful desks to do our work at and choose to do all our work in the comfort of our beds. I wrote this blog in bed. No joke. mindy3

 

  1. We’re both Indian. Okay, that one I completely lied about. I am a white girl. But I do work for an Indian family, attend cultural events and constantly watch that cartoon about Krishna, so I’m about as Indian as you can get without actually being Indian right?

 

       10. There are like a million little things to so I’ll highlight just a few her character on the show and I have in common. We have the same ring tone (it’s Fancy by Iggy Azalea), we both picked a man with incredibly long eye lashes to fall in love with and we both wear  bright and non age appropriate clothing.

 

I’m completely convinced that if Mindy and I ever met one day, we would instantly become best friends. We’d probably go get a pizza and eat the entire thing rather quickly.  

 

Then we’d end up at the nearest movie theater seeing whatever Michael Fassbender movie was out at the time. We’d probably spend a good portion of the time discussing Shonda Rhimes television shows and dissecting the people on reality TV.

 

Then we’d somehow eventually end up at a karaoke bar singing duets by Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj. At the end of the night we’d find ourselves at a 24 hour donut shop eating bear claws and reminiscing about all the crushes of our past. It would be the best day ever. 

 

Her book and show are hilarious, and I recommend both to anyone who believes they have sense of humor. If you don’t find her funny, then you probably aren’t funny at all yourself. 

 

In all honesty, I recently got a new Twitter account just to follow her. I have no other friends or whatever they call it in the Tweeting world. I just really wanted to know what was going on in her life. 

 

The best thing about Mindy isn’t how funny she is, how much like me she or how great of an actress she is. The best thing about her is simply just who she is as a person. Even though some of what she may do on her show is a little scandalous, she really is a great role model for girls. She exudes confidence and shows the world it’s okay to just be yourself and own it.

 

After reading her book, she’s probably my favorite celebrity. I mean, other than Justin Timberlake. But if she’s anything at all like me, I’m pretty sure she would respect that. 

Golden Oreo Layer Cake

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Recently I wrote about how much I love to create desserts using cake mixes. You put a few delicious ingredients together and make something magical without saying goodbye to your whole day. This past weekend, I created a dessert that took little time but gave great reward—it was delicious.

Something I hate to admit, but that is absolutely true, is that my husband and I pretty much always keep Oreos in the house. We have a mutual respect for that delectable cream filled cookie.

When I found out my friend Beth loved Golden Oreos, I honestly was filled with excitement because I knew that meant for her birthday I was going to concoct some type of Golden Oreo Layer Cake. The problem is I was also making a dinner for five people and I needed to clean the house before guests came. I had time to make a cake, but I didn’t have multiple hours to spare.

Here’s how I made the best cake I’ve ever made (according to my husband at least) quickly and easily.

 

 

WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED?

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-Two 9 Inch Cake Pans

-One Duncan Hines Golden Yellow Cake Mix

-One Stick of Butter softened

-Three Large Eggs

-One bag of Golden Mini Oreos

-Two Cans of Hersey’s Cookies and Cream Frosting

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW DO I MAKE IT?

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease your two cake pans.
  2. Make the cake as instructed. Mix the cake mix, eggs and softened butter togetheFullSizeRender (1)
  3. Microwave half a cup of the frosting and pour into the cake mixture.
  4. Pour the mixture into the greased pans—half in each pan.
  5. Bake the cakes for 24 minutes until golden brown.
  6. While the cakes are baking, crush up a cup of the Mini Oreos and set aside.  FullSizeRender (3)
  7. When the cakes are done, allow them to cool for at least 20 minutes.
  8. Microwave the remaining pre-opened frosting for 30 seconds, and pour the top of one of the cakes (this will be your bottom layer). Spread the frosting out evenly on the top of the cake.
  9. Place the second cake on top.
  10. Frost the entire outside of the cake.FullSizeRender (2)
  11. Add whole mini Oreos and crushed pieces on the top and around the cake to decorate.

 

 

 

When you’re done, throw some candles on top, sing the birthday song and enjoy.

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If you like butter, you’ll love this

 

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Just because you love to bake, doesn’t mean you love the entire process. So many times I have had the urge to bake, but I haven’t done it because the time it takes to do so.

These days, though, people are figuring out more and more how to take out an entire step by using a cake mix to make an element here or there.

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Recently I had pumpkin spice cupcakes made by a friend at church that tasted absolutely divine and homemade. Then I found out that the baker had used a spice cake as the base of the cake. She added all sorts of things to make the recipe her own, but eliminated a lot of the strenuous work involved.

One of my favorite “cake mix recipes” is Ooey Gooey Butter Bars.

This delicious piece of buttery goodness takes only a few minutes to prepare, and is an excellent dessert for fall. It’s the perfect comfort food—or in my case the perfect dessert to eat during a new episode of “Grey’s Anatomy”.

 

 

WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED?

-1 Yellow Cake Mix

-3 Eggs

-2 Sticks of Butter

-1 Teaspoon Vanilla

-16 Ounces of Powdered Sugar

-8 Ounces of Cream Cheese

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HOW DO I MAKE THE CRUST?

  1. Grease a 13×9 inch cake pan, and preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Mix together 1 stick of melted butter, 1 egg and the cake mix together using an electronic mixer.
  3. In the bottom of the greased pan, press down the crust mixture.

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HOW DO I MAKE THE FILLING:

1. Make sure the cream cheese is softened and whip it

2. Mix in 2 eggs, 1 stick of butter and vanilla until it is well mixed

3. Slowly add the powdered sugar

4. Spread the filling mixture over the crust

5. Bake for 35 minutes

6. Sprinkle on powdered sugar

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You do not want to overcook this yummy concoction. Remember, these bars are supposed to be gooey, so once the crust starts to brown, you will want to remove the bars from the oven.

They taste yummy straight out of the oven, and they taste great after being refrigerated. They’re pretty scrumptious no matter how you eat them. The best part about them is how easy it is to make something so delicious.

If you like butter (and aren’t insane) I have a feeling you’re going to really enjoy this recipe.

I can’t promise you that you will love them, but I can promise you every person I’ve made them for has. ooey6

 

 

 

 

 

From bookshelf to cinema: Gone Girl

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I started this blog with the intention of writing about sweets and books. However, during and after college I spent much of my time writing movie reviews. The whole idea of this blog was to do something different, but with the recent release of Gone Girl—a book turned movie—I thought I’d make an exception.

I am a fan of the book Gone Girl—a huge fan actually. I was enthralled by the way it was written. I found the depth of the characters and character development to be on a completely different level than most modern day novels, and I got completely wrapped up in the story itself.

When I saw the preview for the movie I felt two emotions: excitement that it was coming to the big screen and fear that it would be a mediocre replica of a book truly enjoyed (as most book to movie transitions are). Plus, there was a rumor going around that the ending was being changed so it would be a surprise. Thankfully, though, that was just a rumor.

gg3When I saw Gone Girl this weekend, I was pleasantly surprised. The truth is, this was the closest book to film adaption I’ve ever seen. The plot stayed consistent, the characters were just how I imagined them and nothing was added to the story that wasn’t a part of the original.  This is probably because the writer of the novel, Gillian Flynn, actually wrote the screenplay, which rarely ever happens. Overall, I was very pleased with the script she created and the movie as a whole.

That, to a certain extent, is lost a little in the film. The movie runs a solid two and half hours and does seem slower paced than the book. However, that didn’t really bother me, because I love a good crime movie, and I generally have no problem sitting for long amounts of time eating Twizzlers and watching whatever is on in front of me. On any given day you can find me watching a two hour episode of Dateline, so adding thirty extra minutes to that for a scripted film sounds great to me.

That being said, even though I knew exactly how it was going to play out, I never once got bored or found the movie to be long winded. I imagine had I not known the ending, I probably would have been even more captivated by the way the story played out. Not too terribly much was taken out of the original story, and the things that were removed weren’t that important to the story as a whole. The film version, for instance, has a lot less back story than the book, but I don’t think that was a key element to making us understand who both Amy and Nick are.

ggbenOne thing I really enjoyed about the film was the cast. Ben Affleck did a great job playing the role of Nick Dunne. He was likable and mysterious at the same time. Unlike the 80 percent of the world who has decided they hate Ben Affleck for no reason at all, I am a huge fan. Honestly, besides the travesties of 2003 that are Gigli and Daredevil, I pretty much think he can do no wrong. Maybe the man just had a bad year 11 years ago and we should give him a break. I mean did anyone else see Argo or The Town? Ben Affleck has talent.

Most of the supporting cast was memorable too. Neil Patrick Harris did a wonderfully creepy job as Desi Collings, and I really enjoyed both Kim Dickens and Patrick Fugit in their roles as Detective Boney and Officer Gilpin, respectively.

I never thought I’d utter these words in my life, but Tyler Perry did a great job in the film as well. He plays Tanner Bolt, who has a minor, yet important role in the film.

My favorite character in the book and movie was Nick’s sister Margot (affectionately referred to as Go). In the movie, she was played by Carrie Coon, who you may recognize from The Leftovers. She fit the character of Margot perfectly and actually made me like the character more when brought to life.

The standout performer, however, by far is Rosamund Pike who played the Gone Girl, Amy Dunne.

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Even though I’ve seen her in a few things here or there, when I saw the original trailer, I was thinking, “why the hell did they cast this nobody as the most important person in the whole movie?”

Boy, was I wrong.

I can’t say too much about this character, because I don’t want to give anything away, but I can say that Pike was an absolute fit for the role of Amy. I’m predicting, like the rest of the world, an Oscar Nomination could be in the future for Pike.

If you like the tone and style of David Fincher movies, you will enjoy this flick for sure. It’s got the cinematography of the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the craziness of Fight Club and the tone of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo all rolled into one. Above all that, though, it has a fantastic storyline. I honestly already want to watch it again.

I think Gone Girl is a phenomenal movie, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. However, I think if you see the movie without reading the book you are doing yourself a huge disservice—not because the movie is bad, but because the book is just so good.

 

*Photos Courtesy of New Regency Pictures