FAVORITE COOKIES: More Than 40 Recipes for Iconic Treats by William-Sonoma

PUBLISHER: Weldon Owen, 4/2017
GENRE: Cooking/Baking
PURCHASE: link
MY GRADE: C

FROM PUBLISHER: This comprehensive collection of over 3 dozen cookie recipes provides all the much-loved classics, along with tips and variations on how to make them unique. The beautifully photographed volume will feature recipes for holiday and gift giving, but will also include drop cookies, bars & sandwich cookies. The recipes are simple enough to be understood by beginning bakers, and share a timeless quality that will make them cherished by cooks of all levels. The recipes are the type home cooks will return to again and again.

Whether you’re an avid baker or a novice, the experts at the Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen have you covered. Inside this inspiring volume, you'll find 37 recipes for all types of cookies, including drop cookies, holiday cookies, sandwiched cookies, and bar cookies. Step-by-step photography and instructions illustrate how to roll out dough, cut cookie shapes, and decorate with panache.

Drop Cookies: Chocolate Chip; Peanut Butter; Oatmeal Raisin; Cowboy; Coconut, Butterscotch, and Macadamia; Chocolate Crinkle.

Holiday Cookies/Gift Giving Cookies: Sugar; Gingersnap Molasses; Gingerbread molasses; Spritz; Snickerdoodle; Candy Cane; Peppermint bark; Thumbprints; Meringues; Florentines; Almond Crescent.

Sandwich Cookies: Chocolate pretzel and peanut butter sandwich cookie; Lemon cream cookie sandwiches; Homemade Oreos

Bars: Blondie; Toffee Triangles; Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Brownie Bars; 7-Layer Bar; S’more Brownie; Orange Creamsicle.



THINGS I'VE MADE

PERFECT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES


These cookies taste alright but they aren't perfect. They're ordinary and the doughballs didn't spread much at all. I had to flatten the rest of the unbaked balls with the back of a measuring cup. I won't be making these again and mine look nothing like the ones in the book. They're like two different cookies.

Using a 1.5" diameter/1T. scoop I got 53 doughballs. I used 1c. mini semisweet chocolate chips and 1 1/4 c. toasted and chopped pecans.


OATMEAL-RAISIN COOKIES


These are very good and the recipe is basic. They use rolled oats and both types of sugar, white and brown.


LEMON CREAM SANDWICH COOKIES


I didn't make the lemon filling because I don't like cream cheese so I just used raspberry jam. This cookie dough was very easy to work with and is in fact the best roll-out dough I've ever worked with. Unfortunately it's basically the same as a shorbread cookie and the baked cookie is crumbly and the cookies soften a lot, even in an air-tight container. For that reason alone I wouldn't make these again because I don't like a soft cookie. I got 32 2" sandwich cookies.


MY THOUGHTS: I'm not at all impressed with this cookbook. Only one of the three recipes I made turned out good. Most of the cookies look unappetizing.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.




A NIGHT AT HALSTED'S ADULT GAY DVD, 1982

STUDIO: Cosco, 1982
SCREENSHOTS: link
WATCH: link
MY GRADE: B

FROM DVD: Fred Halsted could create a fantasyland where anything and everything goes, a place where you can meet the video stars of your dreams, and make them come true. Gloryholes, slings, and other toys become a living playground for this orgy of tight, glistening flesh! Fred Halsted's a crowning achievement.


SCENE 1: Some guy who looks like he's in his forties goes to a club and talks to the guy working inside. He walks outside to the back yard(?) that's fenced in, and spots a curly haired guy he likes the looks of. A man is standing inside a building outside getting blown by a guy who's on his knees. Another guy is standing there watching. This scene is very brief and I have to wonder why it was even in the film since they showed so little of it.

SCENE 2: The curly haired guy is inside now walking naked down a hallway with red lighting. He goes into a tiny room with a glass/Plexiglas wall dividing it from the other room. There's an oblong gloryhole in the glass. He jerks off a little then a guy wearing a leather jacket walks into the other room that's on the other side of the glass wall, so they're facing each other. A penis appears in another gloryhole on the naked guy's wall, so he blows it. We don't see who it belongs to.

SCENE 3: A Latin uncircumcised guy in red shorts goes into a room with a mirrored wall. He drops his shorts and jerks off, staring at his refection most of the time.

SCENE 4: Back to the room with the naked guy and glass wall. A man with a green hat walks into his room and blows the penis that's sticking through a gloryhole that's in a different wall. When he's finished with that guy, he goes over to the gloryhole in the glass wall and along with the naked guy, they blow the man in the leather jacket, as seen below in the first photo. You can't really tell the glass wall is there. He comes on the glass and the two guys are trying to lick it through the glass.

SCENE 5: The naked guy and guy with green hat are now alone and the guy with the hat blows the naked guy. He comes on his face, rubs it in, then leaves the guy alone with his poor green hat. He gave three bj's and got no action himself.

SCENE 6: JW is standing in the hallway leaning against the wall, shirtless. A guy walks over to him, unzips his pants, undresses himself, and JW blows him. JW fucks him in the ass while the guy's laying on his back on a table, then fucks him from behind. JW comes on the guy's ass and the guy jerks himself off. See photos 2 and 3.

SCENE 7: A guy is laying back in a swing. A guy goes over to him and fucks him. He pulls out and they jerk off at the same time. See photo 4.

SCENE 8: Threesome with young guys, two brunette, and one dark blond. They're on the top bunk of some odd looking bed. There's lots of bj's in different configurations and positions, pictured below. Anal with one guy on his back while blond guy fucks him. Guy on his back comes on his own stomach, rubs it in, and the blond guy drags his tongue through it and they kiss. The other brunette fucks the same guy who's still on his back. See photos 5 and 6.

SCENE 9: The original leather-clad man from the beginning goes into a room with the curly haired guy he first spotted, the same naked guy from the room with glass wall. Leather man sits in a chair and the other guy licks his boots then licks up his leg, then gets blown while standing up. He jerks off on the naked guy's face then naked guy jerks off.


MY THOUGHTS: First off, that's a horrible DVD cover and that scene's not even in the movie. I don't know who any of the guy's are except for two of them because there aren't photos to match the names on the porn actor sites. Two guys got bj's but their faces weren't shown. The lighting was terrible in this but it was supposed to be dark anyway. But that combined with the poor quality of the copy I watched online made it a bit difficult to see at times. If not for the poor lighing I'd have given this an A.

The sex in this was what you'd expect with basic gay m/m porn, nothing out of the ordinary. It had far more blow jobs than anal. The threesome got the most time.

This porn used all new wave and punk music by the original artists, which was a big surprise. I heard Anarchy in the UK by Sex Pistols, What I Like About You by the Romantics (hate that damn song), I Didn't Have the Nerve to Say No by Blondie, Devo's cover of (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Lucky Number by Lene Lovich (one of the worst songs ever recored), Look Back in Anger by David Bowie, etcetera, and the music never stopped. I wish it would have. All dialogue except with the leather guy at the beginning and end is done in voice over.

Fred Halstead, the guy on the cover, overdosed on sleeping pills and died in 1988 at the age of 47.
JW King died from an AIDS-related illness in 1986 at the age of 31, just five years after this was filmed.
Ben Barker died from an AIDS-related illness in 1995 at the age of 44.






CARNAL ENCOUNTERS OF THE BAREST KIND ADULT DVD, 1978

STUDIO: Ferret Films, 1978
LENGTH: 76 minutes
RATING: XXX
SCREENSHOTS: link
WATCH: link
MY GRADE: C

FROM DVD: These hot, willing women and hard, horny studs are boldly going where no kinky crew has gone before! Aliens from outer space think that all we Earthlings care about is sex! They are ready to prove their point by infiltrating the human race and breeding us out with silly, but sexually deviant antics! Get ready for a cheese ball XXX sci-fi skin-flick notable for its clay-mation aliens, stop motion disembodied alien cock fuck scenes and a pick-nicker getting a fried chicken leg stuffed up her snatch!


SCENE 1: Nancy Patterson and Robert Bullock. Bill Margold is giving some speech in front of a fake audience taken from stock footage inside some building. Nancy and Robert are sitting beside each other in the audience. She blows him then jerks him off until he comes.

SCENE 2: Vicky Glick and Dan Rathernot. Vicky's on her bed watching Dan on the television news. She's naked and masturbating to a magazine and using a vibrator. Dan gets up, passing by this infamous poster of Farrah Fawcett with one of her teeth blacked out, disrobes, sits back down behind the desk, jerks off, then gets a blow-up doll and fucks it in his seat behind the desk, reverse cowgirl position. Vicky's still watching him and switches to a dildo. Dan jerks off until he comes.

SCENE 3: A spaceship appears, a man drops down from it, Bobby, and enters Vicky's home and goes into her bedroom, where she's still masturbating. He's wearing some stupid white wig and mustache, pictured below. They kiss on the bed, he fingers her and licks her clit. She blows him then gets on top, then they're on their left sides. He pulls out and she jerks him off until he comes.

SCENE 4: A spaceship beams down Hans. He's wearing some strange outfit with a cape and has a gun. He stumbles and the gun goes off on the fish bowl that has two frogs in it. The frogs turn into women, pictured below. Cindi has the lighter hair and Maria is the one on the left of the photo. They hop down. The three get on the bed and they blow him. Maria gets on top of him, then reverse cowgirl, then he fucks her from behind. Cindi is underneath Maria a little, kissing her. He pulls out and comes on Maria's ass, gets dressed, then leaves in the spaceship.

SCENE 5: Marlene, a brunette, Nancy from scene 1, Robert, and Bill from scene 1 go on a picnic. Bill is the one standing in the white shirt in the fourth from last photo. They're chowing down on KFC chicken. The bucket of it is shown several times and you can see it in the photo of Bill, bottom right. Bill tells Nancy to dip his dick in the glass of wine so she does. Marlene blows Robert, then he fucks her on her back. Nancy blows Bill on his back. Bill tells her he tastes better than chicken. Then he does the grossest thing- he fucks Marlene with a his partically eaten chicken leg. He pulls it out, sucks it, then puts it back inside her. Nancy gets on top of Bill, he pulls out and she jerks him until he comes. The men throw around a football, naked from the waist down, while Nancy and Marlene eat each other out.

SCENE 6: Angel and Gerry are kissing in a parked car and a spaceship scares them away. They go home, they're in the kitchen, naked. She's sitting on the counter, he's standing in front of her and fingers her. He picks her up, turns her upside down, and she blows him. They 69 on the sofa. She gets on top, reverse cowgirl, then on their sides. He pulls out and comes on her public hair. She's on her back and he continues to fuck her. A claymation dildo slides across the carpet, then it hits him in the head, knocking him out. The dildo slide into her and fucks her very fast.

SCENE 7: Bill's giving a speech again. Marlene's blowing him behind the podium it so the audience can't see it.

SCENE 8: Crystal and R.J. are watching tv and the picture on it goes out. They get naked, she blows him. She gets on all fours, he eats her from behind, fingers her, then fucks her. She gets on top, reverse cowgirl, him rubbing her clit. He gets on top.

Pat and Lee show up in some weird costume with black and white faces and body makeup on, pictured below. The women blow the men, then get on top, reverse cowgirl, pictured below. The men pull out and come on them.

SCENE 9: Marlene and Bill are in the shower. He eats her out, then she blows him. She runs out of the house, he chases her, they argue about her being an alien and she steals his paperwork, there's a big white spaceship-type thing above them, pictured below, and it explodes. Marlene's in the spaceship and turns into a claymation alien.


MY THOUGHTS: This looks lower than low budget but I had to watch this because of the claymation. Who puts claymation in porn?! I learned of this through a porn documentary called Rated X: A Journey Through Porn. The opening scene is a closeup of a woman's vagina with a spaceship flying out of it. The closing scene is the spaceship flying back into it.

This film is typical old porn- they don't really spend a lot of time on each scene. In fact, it's pretty hurried. No shaven vagina's or shaven men either. The greatest part of this is there are no breast implants, body piercings, and only one man has a tattoo, and it's so tiny you can barely see it. It's the outline of a cross on his arm or leg.

The claymation aliens are supposed to be penises, at least some of them are anyway.

Bill Margold died January 17, 2018 at the age of 73, possibly from a heart attack.

R.J. Reynolds died from cancer in January 1987 at the age of 32. It's speculated he may have had AIDS. He apparently was 'mostly straight' but did gay porn and had a boyfriend at the time of his death, according to this post.

Maria Tortuga died from cancer in November 2014 at the age of 65.

Bill produced a documentary in 1982 called What Would Your Mother Say?!, where he interviewed male and female porn actors, including the late Maria Tortuga. Arcadia Lake was interviewed. She died from an accidental drug overdose in 1991.

Here's a great interview with Bill from around 1982 from Oprah's Baltimore talk show People Are Talking.






STILL HUNGRY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: MY STORY by Richard Simmons

PUBLISHER: GT Publishing Corporation, 9/1999
GENRE: Nonfiction/Memoir
AUTHOR SITE: link
PURCHASE: link
MY GRADE: A-

FROM PUBLISHER: On a sweltering New Orleans evening in 1948, Shirley Simmons, eight-and-a-half-months pregnant, had an overwhelming craving for Chinese food. But she would never get the eggroll she'd longed for; she went into labor in the restaurant. Sixteen hours later, her youngest son Milton T. Simmons was born. And so begins the saga of fitness guru Richard Simmons and his lifelong love affair with food. Along the way he's helped millions of Americans with their battle of weight loss. Many know him through his groundbreaking infomercial products like Deal-A-Meal, Get Down the Pounds, and his exciting new Move, Groove, and Lost program. Still more have enjoyed his best-selling low-fat cookbooks Farewell to Fat and Sweetie Pie.



MY THOUGHTS/SUMMARY: What's not to like about Richard Simmons?! He has such a good nature. The book is pretty well-written and full of his trademark humor. He seems to be a very good-hearted person who has done so much for a lot of people, including many he's never even met. Examples would be him calling strangers who've written him letters and arranging doctor appointments for obese people in crisis. He maintains relationships with some of those people as of the book's publication in 1999.

He didn't have that great of a relationship with his father when he was young. His father seemed annoyed by him and saw him as the source of any discord between he and his wife. They got closer as Richard got older. His father Leonard was fifty years old when Richard was born. He's always had an excellent relationship with this mother, Shirley. His older brother Lenny wasn't mentioned too much in here but Richard seems to get along fine with him. The only relative Richard's ever known is his father's brother, Milton. Milton paid for Richard to go to college. Milton died around 1969.

Richard's been an overeater since he was very young. He was teased for it by boys at school so he naturally bonded with females since they didn't pick on him. He began taking diet pills around sixth grade, pills he'd get from his female friends, who got them from their own mothers. He took laxatives that were in the form of chocolate (Exlax or similar brand) and was also bulimic for awhile. He stopped taking diet pills when his heart rate got very fast and it scared him. In his late teens-early twenties, after receiving an anonymous note on his car's windshield telling him he needed to lose weight (he was well over 200lbs and he's 5'7"), he became anorexic. He once passed out and went to the hospital. He worked at a resturant and when he was twenty-two, a female coworker taught him how to be bulimic, so he gave that a try. During a doctor visit he somehow knew Richard had been purging and he told him how bad it was for his health, so Richard stopped it. He got his act together and started eating healthy and exercising. He opened up his own exercise studio in 1974/75, before he was famous.

A sad story is he had a client named Ellen, a petite woman with a young-sounding voice. She had a job making teddy bears. Richard noticed she kept getting thinner and thinner but he never asked her about it. She didn't show up to his class a few times and he didn't know how to get in touch with her. One day he went to a place that sold her handmade bears to inquire about her. He was told she died from anorexia. After that he got the idea to start exercise class thirty minutes early so he and the class could discuss diet, health, and any other issues they wanted to talk about. He even got anonymous letters from the women with topic suggestions.

A funny story would be that when Richard was in seventh grade or so, he'd steal the heads off of Barbie dolls and store them in a drawer in his bedroom. His father was snooping and found them one day.

Richard never mentioned dating anyone at all so that part of his personal life was left out completely, which is too bad and it's why I didn't give the book an A+.

Richard's comment about being out of the closet here.

I've uploaded some photos from inside the book here.

Missing Richard Simmons podcast here.

Richard on left with older brother, Lenny.