Archive for June, 2011

Last weekend I attended H’s corporate summer party, which was a multi-million dollar fête on Randall’s Island.  There were carnival rides, free beer, tons of food, live music…basically an amusement park for adults.  It was awesome.

This week is my own office summer party.  It’s a potluck “picnic” that takes place on a Wednesday afternoon in the central hallway of our office.  There is certainly no booze, free or otherwise.  And no live music.  And the food, as I mentioned, is home-made.  Weemp womp.

I work for a very small, privately-owned company, so the ridiculous difference in Summery celebrations is to be expected.  But here is one thing H’s gigantor 10,000 person party didn’t have that mine does: Salted Toffee Chocolate Squares.  Handmade by ME.

I know it’s summer and everyone is supposed to be skinny and stuff cause of the bathing suit situation, but honestly, these things are so worth the extra pound or two.  They are addictive and easy to make.  And they are salty.  And you know how I feel about salt (hint: it’s the light of my life).

I suggest you go to the grocery store ASAP, get your materials, and get baking.  You’ll thank me later.

Salted Toffee Chocolate Squares

Adapted from Martha Stewart


2 sticks butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 package (8 oz) toffee bits

1 package (6-8 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 box Graham Crackers

Sea Salt


To Do:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Melt 2 sticks of butter over low heat (don’t burn it!)
  • As that’s happening, lay out your grahams  (I used 2 packets) on a cookie pan covered with foil.
  • Cover grahams with Toffee bits, set aside momentarily.
  • When butter is melted, add sugar, and increase heat to medium-high
  • Bring mixture to a boil, cook 2-3 minutes
  • When Butter/Sugar is a syrupy consistency, remove from heat and immediately pour over the grahams/toffee.  Don’t worry if it overflows the grahams a little.  Trust.
  • Bake in oven until bubbling, approximately 12 minutes
  • When done, remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips & sea-salt.
  • Try not to eat the entire pan in one sitting.
  • Fail.





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Leader of the Band

I know Father’s Day isn’t until Sunday, but for a variety of reasons I am not going to be with my dad on Sunday.  So I thought I’d take this post to say: Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Here is one of my favorite things about my dad: he looooves to have a soundtrack.

Christmas Morning?  We weren’t allowed downstairs until he could cue up just the right Bing Crosby carol to join us in the present opening.

St. Patrick’s Day?  Of course we were awakened at 7AM with blaring bagpipes

Birthdays? The regular old “Happy Birthday” didn’t suffice.  We had a special Happy Birthday song (what uppp Tom Chapin, kid-song-singer-extraordinaire) that was playing as we sang along before eating cake.

It’s not even big holidays or events that get this treatment.  It’s really anything that he can think of.  And my gosh does he think of plenty.  Perfect example: this past June 6th (D-Day, you uneducated fools) every single Wood child was called up and met with the swelling instrumental score from one of our favorite Wood Family Classics, the WWII series “Band of Brothers.”   And when my brother’s Alabama-native girlfriend came to visit New York for the first time, you better believe Dad made absolutely sure he had the Crimson Tide fight song cued up as she walked in the front door.

It’s a quirky and charming trait and I have to say, I have grown to love it.  It’s sort of like living in a movie.  A movie with a totally awesome soundtrack.

It is of course one of many fun qualities that he has that makes him a entertaining guy to be around.  But the soundtrack thing is not something that everyone does (at least I don’t think so!).  His superior music-appreciation even found me a theme song: Red-haired Mary (I gloss over the naughty lyrics and focus on the red-haired! and the Mary!  Pervs.)

Anyway.  Dad, I hope you have a fabulous father’s day in Boston.  I love you!  Here’s some Harry Chapin (and no, I am not going to do Cats in the Cradle…because that is a depressing Dad-centric song) to commemorate the day.

Instead, something more topic-appropriate:


PS: Dad, you’d be really proud…I’m voluntarily listen to Harry Chapin at work.  Job well done!

PPS: SICK mustache, Tom Chapin.

PPPS: It appears I can’t help mentioning mustaches in every. single. post.

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Oh hey guys.  How’s it going?

I know it’s been six months since I went on “hiatus” (sorry for not warning you.  My bad. Things got a lil busy.), but guess what? Now that summer has rolled around and I have a little more free time, I think I can pick this business back up.

Also, and this has NOTHING to do with it, but my little sister C. stared a blog too–not only because she wants to emulate me in every way possible but also because she’s in Hawaii for her post-grad summer. Just hanging out on the beach. Meanwhile, I got a JOB after I graduated college…but that’s neither here nor there.  I’m ecstatic for her and not even the slightest bit smug that she can’t figure out the Hawaiian public transit system.  Look, I’m so un-bitter about this whole thing that I’ll even link to it: http://summerinhawaii.wordpress.com/

She’s a doll and she’s pretty witty so you should go visit.  Also, she gets really tan and I’m sure she’ll document that heavily as I sit wasting away in pale misery in my cube.

Now, you would think that as my blog was lying dormant (it was hibernating!  There you go, that’s my excuse) it would slip through the cracks of the vast internetz.  However.  That was not so.  You see, WordPress has a handy and very entertaining feature called “Top Searches” that shows you how people found Better Off Red. And to my utter surprise, not only did my busiest day come mid-hiatus, but people stumbled onto this site in the strangest of ways even sans-updates.

So, for my grand return to blogging, I give you the list of search phrases that led people to my humble corner of the web:

Search Views
hipster glasses 44
snowpocalypse 16
ironic mustache 9
dirty hipster 9
creep stache 5
better off red wordpress 5
hipster goatee 4
wordpress better off red 4
people with mustaches 3
george leier 3
snowpocalypse new york 2010 3
beard hipster glasses 3
new york snowpocalypse 3
moustache 3
betteroffred 3
you’re doing it wrong stache 3
+”synthesize ddt” 2
ironic mustaches 2
шнауцер 2
better off red blog 2
snowpocalypse.jpg 2
turbot dill 2
tom selleck mustache eyes 2
awesome moustaches 2
snowpocalypse gizmodo 2
hipster with glasses 2
cop with mustache 2
hipster fashion 2
the ironic mustache 2
scraggly beard “angry” 2
novel red led alarm clock sports cool cubby hole design 1
winter squash canelloni 1
noodles for breakfast 1
winter squash manicotti filling 1
turbot fillets en papillote 1
turbot en papillote 1
щенки морки 1
worldpress “better off red” 1
ragey glasses 1
betteroffred.com 1
jamie oliver stuffed cannelloni 1
maryewood 1
julia child’s cookbook 1
betteroffred.wordpress.com 1
fashion disaster exercise clothes 1
your doing it wrong 1
hipsters glasses men 1
the ironic stach 1
turbot en papillot 1
dead fish apocalypse 1
red mustaches that look good 1
snopacalyspe 1
snowacalypse sanitation workers strike 1
david tutera 1
ironic moustache 1
dirty hipster glasses 1
hipster facial hair glasses 1
ferris beuler’s day off 1
snowpocalypse new york 1
snowpocalypse nyc 2010 1
tom selleck black and white 1
ironic stache 1
no no no don’t lie 1
dill papillote sauce 1
better off red 1
hipster beard hat glasses 1
subway snowpocalypse 1
dirty hipster pics 1
hipster in glasses 1
unwonderful 1
ugly hipster 1
“must grow a mustache” 1
pedophilia your doing it wrong 1
“better off red” blog 1
porn stache selleck 1
cop stache 1
mens hipster eyeglasses 1
turbot wine sauce 1
evil genius moustache 1
ironic hipster glasses 1
http://www.betteroffred.fantake 1
tribecataco 1
duxbury croakies 1
turbot en papillote recipes 1
wonderful mustache 1
tom selleck porn stache 1
ultimate hipster glasses 1
alone again naturally flip side 1
hipsters mustaches 1
squash manicotti 1


Let me first say that it is so stupidly ironic that the phrase “mustache” and “hipster” bring the most people to my site.  Because, as you know, both things are the bane of my existence.  Funny how life turns out, isn’t it.

A few of my favorites off this list:

– “george leier”: either my dad’s BFF is googling himself a lot OR someone has a stalker!  Sorry George.

– “щенки морки”: I am dying to know A. what language that is and B. what it means.

– “no no no don’t lie”: Okay okay…I won’t.

– “scraggly beard “angry””: Which is how I described H throughout much of college.

– “tom selleck mustache eyes”: Only because the idea of “mustache eyes” kinda freaks me out

– and finally, “red mustaches that look good” : I can answer that one for you.  Those don’t exist.






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