Who Crushed Better: You or Your Grandma?

Just because guys from decades ago didn't have stylists and manscaping and Annie Leibovitz doesn't mean they were mediocre in the looks department. 

Check out a young Theodore Roosevelt. Umm, YES, Mr. President.

Our moms and grandmas had it good, y'all. Let's dive into the pages of Tiger Beat from the good ol' days and see how our crushable dudes stack up over three "generations."

 

The Classy Heartthrobs:
Cary Grant, George Clooney, Ryan Gosling

The classic smoldering suave beasts of men. Cary was the original, George set the modern standard, and Ryan is waiting in the wings. 

Best Crushable Performances

Cary: The Philadelphia Story
Clooney: the Oceans movies, ER
Gosling: Crazy, Stupid, Love and The Notebook which I've never seen but based on the collective gasps from every woman ever, I'm guessing it's pretty legit. 

But Cary still wins. Point for grandma.

 

The Endearing Swagger:
Clark Gable, Hugh Grant, Jake Gyllenhaal

Playful smirks that they KNOW send the people into Swoon Zone, and they play that card with feigned surprise that we don't hate them for. It's remarkable really. One step, and these guys are insufferably annoying. Instead, they're sexy and adorable.

Best Crushable Performances

Clark: Gone with the Wind of course, but It Happened One Night is adorable.
Hugh: Love Actually, Two Weeks Notice, and every other rom-com ever
Jake: some surprising choices with Proof, Prince of Persia, and Brothers

Hugh is killer, but he doesn't have Clark's eyebrow situation. Clark wins. Grandma scores again.

 

The Men:
Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, Ben Affleck

All started as actors with hits and horrible misses, all turned into excellent directors, and all are MEN. Approachable and cool, but a little like Come on, dude, take it down a notch

Best Crushable Performances

Clint: A Fistful of Dollars
Mel: Braveheart, Forever Young
Ben: The Town fortheLOVE

Can The Town really and truly propel Ben over Clint? It's close, but nope. Grandma is on a roll.

 

The All-American Good Guys:
Gary Cooper, Morgan Freeman, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Quietly dominating performances, universal appeal, and classy all the way. Even though we don't know much about their personal lives, on screen, they seem trustworthy, like if you were stranded on the side of the road and they offered to give you a lift, you wouldn't automatically assume "killer." Chiwetel has a long way to go, but it's not hard to imagine him finding space among folks like these.

Best Crushable Performances

Gary: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Morgan: Shawshank Redemption, Driving Miss Daisy... you love him no matter what
Chiwetel: 12 Years a Slave

Morgan Freeman is everything. Point for the regulars. 

 

The Charisma: 
Gene Kelly, Tom Cruise, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

All three of these guys would totally jump on couches. Charismatic, big smilers, a bit comical in how "larger than life" they are (or want to be). All iconic in their own ways (athletic dancer, heartthrob hero, hipster extraordinaire), these guys ignite some rabid fangirl love. 

Best Crushable Performances

Gene: Singin' in the Rain
Tom: A Few Good Men, Top Gun, Jerry Maguire... feel free to stop me whenever
JGL: 500 Days of Summer, 50/50, 10 Things I Hate About You, and any other movie with a number in it.

Gene Kelly is a genius, but Tom Cruise is... Tom Cruise. Another point for the middle people.

 

The Atypical Heroes:
John Wayne, Denzel Washington, Tom Hardy

Each the hero of their generation. John Wayne is obvious. Denzel is even more obvious. Tom Hardy? I'm calling it. The guy is on his way. He's had a flood of great performances the last couple of years, and he's about to head up the Mad Max franchise reboot. He's got the chops. And the jawline ohmyword.

Best Crushable Performances

John Wayne: I've only seen The Searchers, and I wasn't disappointed.
Denzel: The Pelican Brief, Much Ado About Nothing, Remember the Titans
Hardylicious: Inception

HOW DOES A PERSON CHOOSE HERE. Easy. You choose Denzel. Watch out, grandma; we're tied.

 

The Troubled Genius:
Marlon Brando, Christian Bale, Robert Pattinson

Vampire Robert hasn't had as much time to prove his genius, but don't let the Twilight situation fool you. The guy is good. Brando and Bale both have reputations of being difficult and a little nuts, but they're also remarkable actors and super hot. In Hollywood, it seems that's all it takes to keep you working.

Best Crushable Performances

Brando: On the Waterfront, A Streetcar Named Desire 
Bale: Little Women, his Batman movies, Newsies
Patty: Water for Elephants

Christian Bale. In terms of the crushable, it's not even a contest. The regulars take the lead.

 

Svelte and Sexy:
Montgomery Clift, Jude Law, Jamie Dornan

Lots of baggage here, but we'll ignore that for now. Svelte and sexy. That's all a Monday's asking for. Aaaaand they're kind of creepily alike, right?  

Best Crushable Performances

Clift: Suddenly Last Summer, A Place in the Sun
Law: The Holiday, Cold Mountain, The Talented Mr. Ripley
Dornan: haven't seen him in anything but the 50 Shades trailer, but I'm trusting those who love him in Once Upon a Time and The Fall. Plus, I have EYES.

Jude and Jamie can't peg the same mystery that Montgomery could, so grandma takes the lead.

 

The Best:
Laurence Olivier, Daniel Day-Lewis, Benedict Cumberbatch

Say hello to the obscenely talented. Highly respected, a broad body of work, freakishly awesome, and uniquely sexy. 

Best Crushable Performances

Olivier: Wuthering Heights, Rebecca
Daniel: Last of the Mohicans
Benedream Cumberheart: EVERYTHING

Don't make me do this. I can't NOT do this. Based on work? Sure, Daniel Day Lewis. But crushability? NO CUMBERCONTEST. The younguns take one.

 

The Robert Redfords:
Robert Redford, Brad Pitt, Charlie Hunnam WEEEEEIRD

Yeeeeeah. 

Best Crushable Performances

Redford: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Out of Africa (even though it was as long as days)
Brad: Thelma & Louise, A River Runs Through It, Legends of the Fall, Oceans, Babel, World War Z, yeah he's got a lot of these
Charlie: Sons of Anarchy

Everybody wins. 

 

The Professionals:
Richard Burton, Jason Isaacs, James McAvoy

Distinguished, professional, versatile, and in the background of more popular leading men, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve their own spotlight. 

Best Crushable Performances

Burton: Cleopatra
Jason: Nine Lives
James: Atonement, Becoming Jane, and my dreams

Umm, James. Forever and always. That's two for the up-and-comers. 

 

The Devastatingly Cool:
Paul Newman, Harrison Ford, Michael Fassbender

Can we just have a moment of silence here? Or at least a moment for me to try and find my face? Get in a room with any of these guys and watch your cool points disappear into The Vortex. I can't wait for my sister to see these photos because I'm pretty sure she'll stop breathing long enough to need preventative measures. 

Best Crushable Performances

Paul: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Harrison: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Witness
Fassy: Jane Eyre, X-Men

Sorry, Harry and Fassy. You both would destroy any competition ever... except against Paul Newman. It's the biggest no-brainer of all the no-brainers. Go, grandma, go.

 

The Ones Who Are Everything:
Gregory Peck, Tom Hanks, Matt Damon

First order of business: umm, CAN WE OGLE THAT PHOTO OF GREGORY PECK FOR A BIT? Gracious. 

These guys are just the best. Likable, talented, funny, humble... no one hates them. And if you do, you have no soul.

I'm not saying that Matt Damon is the next Tom Hanks. No one is. Just like no one was the next Gregory Peck. But it's a good slew of dudes. 

Best Crushable Performances

Gregory: To Kill a Mockingbird, Roman Holiday
Tom: Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail
Matt: Bourne [Everything], The Adjustment Bureau, Good Will Hunting

Y'all, Matt Damon is my most marryable celebrity. I love the guy. But he's got nothing on Gregory Peck. 

Grandmas win at crushes. Also at pie. Well done, ladies. Well done.

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How to Throw a Fangirl Office Party

Today is Sugar Box Day! My local friends have all picked up their Office-themed Sugar Boxes, and I want you guys to get in on the fun, too! Here are some ways to bring The Office party to your own living room.

 

Fangirl Level One

A random Tuesday night with a handful of Office fan friends. 

FOOD

Having folks over for dinner? Carbo-load with fettuccine alfredo. The Pioneer Woman has a recipe with only four ingredients and great reviews. Pasta, butter, cream, and cheese - the only food groups a person needs. 

Just snacking? Buy or make soft pretzels. Or dip pretzel sticks in chocolate and sprinkles to channel your own Pretzel Day.

 

ENTERTAINMENT

Office Bingo. Download these Bingo cards, and then play while watching a few episodes with your friends. The Bingo spaces are things like "Jim pranks Dwight" and "Michael says something racist, sexist, or homophobic." Yeah, somebody should be getting Bingo just about... now. 

 

DECOR

You could craft it up Best Boss style by serving coffee or hot chocolate in World's Best Boss mugs that you make beforehand or make together as a group. Do whatever Office quotes you'd like, but fangirl foodie gifts are always fun. Get some mug-making tips here

 

Fangirl Level Two

Friends coming to play, but you have a little more time to make Dunder Mifflin come alive.

FOOD

Need more than fettuccine and pretzels? Set up a few candy bowls around your kitchen and living room, a la Pam's reception desk. Serve bacon off of a George Foreman grill. Drink Mexican lemonade. 


ENTERTAINMENT

After you watch The Office and play Office Bingo, play Michael's favorite way to shake things up. Except don't use race and nationalities because obviously. Use Office characters - main and periphery. Have folks put a character card on their foreheads, and then everyone talks to people as if they're the name on their heads. 

 

DECOR

Rip off a long strip of paper from your kid's easel and make a Dunder Mifflin sign to hang over your front door or in your living room. Just block letters in black or blue marker. No need to go crazy. 

 

Fangirl Level Three

Now is the time to go crazy. Wave that Office fangirl flag with pride.

FOOD

Have a heftier budget? Have a legit, not terrible dinner party, and make Jan's osso bucco. Just start braising it several hours before everyone arrives. Here's a recipe from Food Network that looks legit. 

Or have random food items that are attached to a character. 

  • Stanley's pretzels
  • Michael's morale-boosting ice cream sandwiches
  • Cocktails by Meredith
  • Jim and Pam's "first date" grilled cheese
  • Creed's mung beans (but really just serve green M&Ms)
  • Jello. Everything in Jello.
  • Andy's Big Tuna sandwiches
  • Dwight's roasted beets

Get creative with characters and moments. The show is ripe with ideas.

 

ENTERTAINMENT

Host your own Dundies. Real awards to make people feel good, fake ones to make them laugh, or simply prizes for winning games. You can't go wrong with a table full of Dundies. Please wear a tux and speak into a microphone plugged into a cheap amp. At a Chili's. I digress.

In addition to Office Bingo and the name game, you always win with a "Who Said That" quote quiz. There are SO. MANY. great quotes that you and your friends will love remembering.

 

DECOR

Put cheap name plates on the relevant doors of your house - Men and Women signs on the bathroom door, Break Room for the kitchen, Conference Room in the living room, etc.

Cover surfaces with desk setups - jars of pencils, a tiered desk rack, staplers in Jello, etc. Bonus points if you have an old copier in the garage that you set up center stage.

Have your guests be the decor by asking them to come dressed as their favorite character or moment from the show. You'll always be surprised at how creative folks are. 

And that about settles it.

12 Easy Meals to Take to a New Mom That Aren't Lasagna

Being a new mom is like training for a triathlon, but instead of swim! bike! run!, it's try not to kill this tiny human person that you just met! take care of everyone else in your family! never sleep again!

It's the bestworst thing ever. The high point? Other than that whole new life that makes your insides pudding? You get to watch a lot of TV. Babies need constant attention but aren't great at conversation, so hallelujah for Netflix. 

If the new mom you know doesn't have Netflix? Skip the meal and get her a subscription for a couple of months. TRUST ME. Best. Gift. Ever.

Aside from Netflix, feeding a new mom and her family is the greatest gift you can give. But let's avoid lasagna for awhile, shall we? Yes, it's easy, portable, and a crowd pleaser, but not when the family gets lasagna six nights in a row. Which ohmyword totally happens. 

Here are some fresh ideas that everyone will love.

1. Baked Chicken with Tomato Rice

WHY IT'S GREAT

You basically brown chicken in a pan, dump a few more ingredients in, and then bake it. Simple to make and surprisingly delicious for such a humble ingredient list. Plus it's fine if it sits out while a crying baby is looked after. It also reheats like a dream. 

HOW TO MAKE IT

If you have a large Dutch oven, it's the only dish you'll need. If not, you'll need a large skillet and a casserole-type dish. 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375. 
  2. Heat a Dutch oven or skillet over medium-high heat on the stove. Generously season 3-4 pounds of bone-in chicken pieces (all legs, all thighs, all breasts, a cut-up whole bird, or whatever you have) with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the hot pan, and put the chicken in with the skin side down. Cook until golden brown on both sides, flipping once. The chicken won't be cooked through, so just concern yourself with getting color which you achieve with a hot pan and not moving the meat around.
  4. Remove the chicken to a plate, and add the following to the hot pan: 2 diced celery stalks, a small red bell pepper diced, half of a red onion diced (but only if the mom isn't nursing since onions make breastmilk wonky), 1 1/3 cups uncooked white rice, 2 cups of canned crushed tomatoes, 1 cup of water, 2 tsp of salt, and a few cracks of black pepper. If you want to add a pinch of dried oregano or basil, go for it. 
  5. Stir that up and place the browned chicken on top. Put the lid on the pan, pop it in the oven, and it's done in an hour. Check the chicken for doneness, but an hour should do the trick.

 

2. Baked Polenta with Tomato and Basil

WHY IT'S GREAT

It's soooo comforting to eat and practically mindless to make. It takes an hour or so, but most of that is completely hands-off. We eat this all the time at our house. I vouch for it big time.

HOW TO MAKE IT

Head over to Joy the Baker's lovely space to get the recipe

 

3. Beef, Spinach, and Feta Pie

WHY IT'S GREAT

Again, super comforting and hits familiar flavor notes, but it's unusually presented and super delicious. You can also easily double it and make one for your family at the same time.

HOW TO MAKE IT

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Fill a pie dish with a sheet of homemade or store-bought pie crust.
  3. Now layer the following in the pie plate:  2 cups of seasoned cooked ground beef; 6 cups of fresh spinach that's been seasoned, sautéed, and well drained; 1 1/2 cups of jarred or homemade spaghetti sauce, and 2/3 cup feta cheese. 
  4. Put the second pie crust on top, crimp the edges of the crust together, brush the top with egg wash (an egg beaten together with a splash of water), cut a few slits in the top to let air escape, and bake for one hour until golden brown. 

 

4. Chili

I don't need to give you a recipe for chili, right? I know you've got one that you love.

Everyone loves chili, it's good dude food, and it reheats well for lunch the next day. Just make sure you check with the family to see if the mom is nursing. Most chili recipes contain onions, sometimes beans, and often chile peppers. Some folks are more sensitive than others, so just ask first. 

Bring cornbread along to be a rockstar. 

 

5. Mexican Pork and Tomato Chile Verde

WHY IT'S GREAT

IT'S DELICIOUS for one. Two, it takes a few hours for the slow cooking to happen, but it's mostly hands-off. Plus your house will smell awesome and make your family love you.

HOW TO MAKE IT

It's essentially a slow-cooked pork dish that you can serve over rice, polenta, grits, or even a short egg pasta. You'll love it. Head over to Barefeet in the Kitchen to get the full recipe

 

6. Creamy Barley with Tomato and Greens

WHY IT'S GREAT

I've been making versions of this for a long time, and it's always so easy and comforting. This is also one of the more healthy dishes to share with a family even though it tastes rich and satisfying. 

HOW TO MAKE IT

You essentially cook vegetables to make a thick sauce and stir in cooked barley and yummy cheese. Feel free to adjust the kinds of vegetables and certainly the kinds of cheese. Real Simple tends to think we have bigger wallets than we do, so go for mozzarella and parmesan if Brie isn't in the budget. Totally no big thing. This recipe relies on seasoning, so make sure you taste it before you serve it. More than likely, it'll need more salt to sing. 

Head to Real Simple for the entire recipe

 

7. Creamy Caprese Quinoa Bake

WHY IT'S GREAT

It makes people who don't like quinoa eat quinoa. Cheesy, rich, hearty, and super delicious, you'll love this take on the flavors of lasagna without being as heavy. We dig this at our house.

HOW TO MAKE IT

Heat to Half Baked Harvest for the recipe

 

8. Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps

WHY IT'S GREAT

This is a family recipe from my sweet little Japanese mother-in-law, and it's THE BOMB DOT COM THERE'S NO OTHER WAY TO SAY IT I DON'T CARE IF I'M LAME. The meat is seriously the best meat ever, and wrapping it in lettuce is light but filling. Serve with rice, or send along a bowl of simple potato salad to unite the nations in one meal.

HOW TO MAKE IT

1. Make the marinade. 

  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. sake
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

2. Slice 2 pounds of ribeye or flank steak as thinly as you can against the grain of the meat. Add the meat to the marinade, and let it hang out in the fridge for at least two hours and up to a day. Then cook the meat over high heat on either a grill or in a sauté pan. It'll take NO TIME because the meat is thin and doesn't need to be cooked all the way through anyway. Serve it with big lettuce leaves, and call it a day. So simple. SO. GOOD.

 

9. Shrimp Couscous with Arugula and Tomatoes

WHY IT'S GREAT

So fresh and yummy. It's one of those dishes that combines simple flavors to make something freaky good. I had something like this at a popular restaurant in town and immediately went home to recreate it. That was over ten years ago, and I'm still making it. You'll love it, and it'll make your new mom friend feel like a person.

HOW TO MAKE IT

Head over to this Google Doc to see the recipe. No sign-in required.

 

10. Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos

WHY IT'S GREAT

Satisfying, a little spicy, and they reheat so well. You can also wrap the burritos individually so they're easily put in the freezer. Then the family can take out as many as they need and heat them up in the oven since there's no real "cooking" needed. Most of that is done on the stovetop. 

HOW TO MAKE IT

You can get the recipe here, but feel free to play around. I use different flavors and cheeses than they call for depending on what I have around. Sweet potatoes and black beans are a classic combination, and you can flavor them in just about any direction with a good result.

 

11. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

WHY IT'S GREAT

Because sometimes you need to feel like a kid when you're a new parent.

HOW TO MAKE IT

I'm guessing you know this. Try your hand at homemade tomato soup (The Pioneer Woman has a tasty one), and get a little grilled cheese education over at Serious Eats.

Be sure to wrap the sandwiches in foil to transport them, but don't close them all the way. Let a little air get out so that they don't get soggy.

 

12. Chicken Tikka Masala

WHY IT'S GREAT

Man oh man. This is possibly the favorite meal in our house. It's basically Indian tomato sauce with chicken cooked in it and served over rice. But MANALIVE it's tasty. So comforting and unexpected. You'll love it.

HOW TO MAKE IT

I started with Aarti's recipe several years ago and have adjusted things to my taste over time. For example, feel free to use canned crushed tomatoes instead of fresh. Saves a ton of time. Also, you can cook the chicken right in the simmering sauce, not on the grill first. Sure, you lose a little flavor that way but not enough to warrant getting another pan dirty. Simply cook it in the sauce until it's done, and make sure the bubbles are a nice steady simmer the whole time. 

Get the recipe here

And for a baker's doze, try trashy tamales. Every new mom wants to eat a food with the word trashy in the name. 

 

Any go-to meals you love to bring new moms and their families?

10 Things The Mindy Project Can Teach Us About Food

1. Don't eat or drink something new or cool to impress a guy.

You'll just end up spitting whiskey all over Schmidt because whiskey is gross and you've never had it before. 

 

2. Don't profess anything when you're drunk.

After four vodka sodas, I realized I had something to say.
- Mindy Lahiri

Because if you wouldn't say it sober, you'll should never say it drunk.

 

3. Spend time making beautiful food.

Don't fill your life with too many quick-fixes and time-savers. Otherwise, you'll forget the joy of slow. On occasion, take the time to do something that takes awhile. It's good for the soul. 

Danny's annual gingerbread house is a good reminder of that. Also his red glasses are everything.

 

4. A coffee date as the first date is a horrible date.

So you went on a coffee date with a loser. ALL coffee dates are with losers.
- Peter Prentice

 

That's because coffee dates are the WORST.

Joe asks you to meet him for coffee at 4pm. What do you do if you get there first? Sit down? Wait outside? Order something? Then once Joe arrives, you have to awkwardly stand in line together to order overpriced lattes that you won't drink because coffee makes you poop and you already have the nervous first date poops, so WHY add to the problem. Plus you're sitting at a cafe table next to an old man and his sudoku puzzle, so the conversation feels like your grandpa is chaperoning. Then when is the date done? Okay, I guess I'll go hang out somewhere for 40 minutes before it's dinnertime this wasn't awkward timing at all let's do it again!

No. Let's NEVER DO THIS AGAIN.

 

5. Emotional eating is a human right.

Every great love story also has an end. And when your love story ends, all you can do is cry, listen to sad music, and drink wine that you bought from a gas station.
- Mindy Lahiri

Don't fight it. Sometimes McDonald's, gas station wine, or an entire cake is what the moment requires. Also Danny Castellano is what all moments require ever.

 

6. Fuel your body the right way.

Find yourself a beat fuel, y'all. Something that gets you going in your work. High protein, low sugar, and P.S. not frozen cookie dough balls. They're horrible for productivity, plus your fingers get all sticky and buttery, making it impossible to type or operate heavy machinery. 

 

7. Never leave food behind.

I just dropped a Mike & Ike; I need everybody's eyes ON THIS. 
- Morgan Tookers

The five-second rule is for the cold-hearted. You rescue lost food no matter how long it's been sitting there.
 

8. Don't give your single friend a copy of Microwave Cooking for One for her birthday.

It's insulting to assume single people can't cook or like to eat garbage. Be nice. She isn't a walking Lean Cuisine.

 

9. Be kind to those on a diet.

Your friend is trying gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, and/or food-free for awhile. Don't bring it up. Don't ask how it's going. Don't apologize if your breath smells like the meatball sub you had for lunch. Just. don't. SPEAK. Then when it's all over, bring her a cookie and let her eat it in peace.

 

10. Being confident and not being skinny at the same time shouldn't be exceptional behavior.

Enjoy food and treat your body kindly. End of story. Ignore everyone else. 

Welcome back, Mindy. Can't wait to see you and DANNY CASTELLANO tomorrow OHMYWORD I'VE BEEN WAITING SO LONG.

The Chocolate Chocolate Cake Shake

The binge watch. 

It's dangerous. Exciting. Perfect in the moment. Worth staying up until 2am because you pull the "just one more episode" bit five times. 

Until the morning. Then you regret everything about your life ever. 

My friend, that is exactly the story of The Milkshake. 

How many times have you had a milkshake and were happy about it two hours later? But how many times have you had a milkshake and it was basically the best thing you've ever tasted?

Here's my strategy. If you're going to binge-watch a show late into the night, you'd better make it good. Breaking Bad wins on all counts. Totally worth it. So if you're going to have a milkshake, it better be the best milkshake ever. 

Enter The Chocolate Chocolate Cake Shake. 

In honor of National Chocolate Milkshake Day (a real thing), we're going all out with a binge-watch-worthy milkshake.

Chocolate ice cream, chocolate milk, and chocolate cake.
I won't tell if you don't. 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup of awesome chocolate ice cream
1 cup of awesome chocolate milk
1/2 cup of chocolate cake scraps

HOW TO MAKE IT

Blend it.
Drink it.
Don't regret it for a second.