The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

Photo via bettycrocker.com

Photo via bettycrocker.com

Every single time I make chocolate chip cookies, I am kinda disappointed. They taste pretty good, but the consistency is NEVER RIGHT. You know how mad I get when the cookie part spreads out really thin and crispy, and then you hit a burst of chocolate chip a couple times? I hate that. Or when they’re thick, but too hard? It’s so difficult to get it the way I like it!

So I’ve been experimenting for a while, combining different recipes and tips, and I’ve finally found it. The PERFECT (to me) chocolate chip cookie. The primary keys to this recipe are fiddling with the baking temperature, butter consistency, amount of chips, and size of the dough balls.

As I mentioned, I’m totally picky about my cookies. And Robbie doesn’t like sweets enough to eat something unless it’s awesome. But he gobbled these up. I really made them for us to munch on during our recent road trip up to North Carolina, and on the way back, Spencer (our little dog) was trying so hard to co-pilot from the middle console that he stood right on top of the cooler and crushed them into small pieces. Robbie’s response was, “Dammit, Spence! Is this the last bag?”

Unfortunately, it was, because I had left the rest at my parents’ house for them to enjoy. My mom is kind of a health food nut, so my dad is always pretty excited if anyone leaves him something to eat that is not a gluten-free rice cracker. So now we have one small ziplock bag of mostly broken cookies in the refrigerator that everyone is trying to avoid. So sad. Must make more immediately!

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 sticks melted butter
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 whole package chocolate chips
I also threw in about 1/4 bag of Heath bits just because I found it in the pantry.

Mix everything together with a spoon (not electric mixer! *hand smack*). Place ping-pong-ball-sized balls of dough on ungreased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Or golf ball sized, or whatever your sport of choice for non-athletic people is. I don’t think the order of adding ingredients really matters, but I basically mixed all the dry stuff together and then added the wet ones, with the chips coming in last.

Here’s the important part: preheat the oven to 425, but as soon as you put in the pans, turn it down to 375. Bake 11-12 minutes. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing. If you have to bake in more than one batch like I do because I don’t have enough pans, turn the oven back up to 425 each time before inserting the pans, then turn it back down to 375 while baking.

I think this temperature tweaking is the secret to the crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside miracle! I didn’t invent it, though. Like I said, I have been reading and trying different things, and this temperature fiddling was suggested on another blog. And it totally worked magic!

Easy Guacamole (No Measuring!)

Photo via chow.com

Photo via chow.com

Robbie makes tacos for dinner about twice a month, because he is the master of anything involving ground beef, and I just don’t prefer cooking with it for some reason. It’s not that it’s difficult. And I don’t mind eating it usually. I just think it’s weird. I don’t know why. We all have our quirks. For example, Robbie hates the way microfiber towels feel, and he can’t stand to touch loose change because it smells weird and is dirty. So, I am the change jar roller! And he is the ground beef cooker. And I no longer buy any type of microfiber towel. But anyway.

Robbie takes real pride in his secret seasoning combinations for steaks, burgers, taco meat, sloppy joes, and the like. And I find it totally impossible to cook refried beans properly, and he is actually very good at that, too. So, this is why he is in charge of taco night. Plus, I get to watch TV on the couch with my beer while he does all the work! Yassssss.

My ONLY job on taco night is to make the guacamole, which we use for dipping tortilla chips in while everything is cooking, and also for putting on our tacos as an extra condiment. Before he met me, Robbie had never had guacamole or avocados in any form (I KNOW!), and he claimed to not like it. He was afraid to try it the first time I made it for him. But I forced it into his mouth! Muahaha!

And he loved it. Now he asks for it any time we eat anything remotely related to Mexican cuisine. Sometimes I let him taste-test to make him feel like his opinion matters. Ha!

Funny story: Once, I tried to grow an avocado tree using the pit from an avocado I used to make guacamole. There are instructions on Pinterest for this. It started out really easy. Just skewer the pit with toothpicks and set it over a glass of water so it’s about half-submerged. It grows roots, then a stalk, then leaves, and then hopefully about seven years later you have fruit. Mine grew roots, and a stalk about three feet tall, but it never, ever grew any leaves. Everyone who came to our house asked why I had a stick in a flower pot. It did not make the move with us to the new house.

I am all about recipes that don’t require exact measurements. I’ve played around with different ways to make guacamole over the years and finally have a pretty good process that, in my opinion, is just as tasty (if not better) than the tiny $5 bowls you get at Mexican restaurants. The best part is that you don’t have to measure anything at all! Unless you are just very Type A and want to make sure it is totally perfect. I can relate to that, too.

Easy, No Measure Guacamole

2 avocados
2 tbsp salsa
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
On rare occasion, I also add a couple tablespoons of minced onion for a little crunch.
(All measurements are approximate!)

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. Use a spoon to scoop the meat out into a bowl. Mash with a fork until you reach the consistency you like. Some people like their guac a little chunky; some people like it smooth and creamy. If it doesn’t mash easily with a fork because the avocados are not quite ripe enough, you can use a fork and a knife to cut it up into tinier, mashable pieces.

Stir in the salsa and sour cream. I don’t use the tablespoon from my measuring spoon set. I just use a spoon from my eating utensil drawer — not the small cereal spoon, but the larger one. Like the one you would use to mix ingredients. I have no idea if that is actually the same as the measuring tablespoon or not. It seems close.

For the other ingredients, I just cup my hand as if I was trying to collect a handful of water from a faucet. I fill up the little divot it makes in the center of my palm with each ingredient and dump it in, stirring to mix well. That’s it!

Obviously, you can taste it as you go and adjust the amounts according to what you like. I don’t let Robbie taste-test it anymore, because he always asks for more salt than I normally add. But when I just present it to him already finished, he never mentions it needing more salt. SO. THERE!

The lemon juice seems to help it from turning brown so quickly in the refrigerator, and I can keep it for about 2 days after it has been made to use for leftovers. Be sure to cover it with plastic wrap, though! Enjoy on your own Mexican dinner night at home! Because who can even afford to go out to eat anymore?

Chocolate Caramel Heath Bar Cake

Photo via Taste of Home

Photo via Taste of Home

When Robbie and I were in North Carolina this past week visiting my parents for a few days, my mom had made this cake for us to munch on during our stay. She knows we are both big Heath Bar fans — I made Robbie a Heath Bar cheesecake for his last birthday cake and may have eaten more of it than he did.

I’m not sure where she originally found the recipe. There are several versions of it online, but I’m posting this one because she (of course) tweaked it to suit her better, and when I make it for us now that we’re back home, I am not going to change even one single thing! Robbie told her it was THE BEST CAKE HE HAS EVER HAD. We both raided the refrigerator every night around midnight, like teenagers with the munchies, tiptoeing around so we didn’t wake any adults, whispering, and giggling. Robbie’s tip for sneaking around: always walk on the balls of your feet!

Here is Vicko’s version (in her own words) of this amazing, gooey, chocolatey, candyriffic, moist, fluffy deliciousness.

Chocolate Caramel Heath Bar Cake

1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
1 1/4 c. diet Coke
1 egg (calls for 1 egg white, but I used whole egg)
Mix with mixer on low for 1 min. Pour into sprayed 13×9 pan. Bake at 350 25-30 min. until done.

6 oz. fat free caramel ice cream topping
1/2 can fat free sweetened condensed milk (OOPS! I used a whole can!!! No wonder it was SO gooey! Do what you want)
Bag of Heath Bar Bits
8 oz. Cool Whip Fat Free

Heat (don’t boil) over med. low heat, stirring until smooth. Do this about 10 min. before cake is done. You want it to be very warm as you spoon over cake. Poke holes in cake when you get it out of oven and pour/spoon this over as evenly as you can. I use Kebab skewers to poke. Sprinkle 1 c. Heath Bar bits over top. Let cool completely. Cover with 8 oz cool whip and sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 c. heath bits over top. Keep in refrigerator. Such a good cake!

Fourth of July 2011

Yes, even though I post misanthropic things about government and politics at times, I still celebrate the Fourth of July. Well, sort of. I mean, I go to celebrations, and I enjoy them. I don’t feel particularly patriotic about it, and never have, with the exception of July 4, 2002, when everyone was still feeling patriotic on a daily basis after the events of 9/11/01. I bought a Boston Pops CD then, and the music made me cry. It was a good release. I still have it on my iPod, and I listen to it every Fourth of July, but it hasn’t stirred the same emotion since then.

This year was my first Fourth of July in Alabama. One of my friends’ coworkers invited us out to her house at Lake Martin for a get-together involving grilled meats, tossed footballs in the driveway, and jubilant children passing out tiny flags for waving. As it turned out, the husband of said coworker has family and roots in North Carolina, although they came here via Michigan most recently. We had a great time talking about differences in barbecue and between the Deep South and the “regular” South. How people are mistaken when they call a cookout a “barbecue,” how we both get challenged on whether North Carolina is even “the South” on a regular basis. (Seriously, have you people never heard of the Mason-Dixon Line? Can you not hear the way I speak?) There were some other coworkers of theirs present with their families and some neighbors from the street passing in and out.

I am a big fan of being near any body of water, no matter how large or small. So, I was very excited when we decided to caravan from their house on a small peninsula down to the neighborhood docks. What a beautiful spot of Earth! We sat out over the water, drinking beers, watching the sunset, craning our necks up at amateur fireworks being set off all around us, and watching kids and dogs swim merrily in the lake nearby. It was breezy and balmy and felt amazing. I can totally see why people dig living out there in the heat of an Alabama summer.

Lake Martin is about 40 minutes from where we live in Auburn, mostly two-lane back roads with nary a house in sight. It always sort of amazes me at how rural everything is here as soon as we get out of the city limits, particularly going west. I don’t feel like I live in the middle of nowhere, but it only takes driving for fifteen minutes to discover that in fact, I do.

According to my research, Lake Martin is actually a lot bigger than I thought it was when I was there. It’s about 40,000 acres and is actually one of the largest artificial lakes in the United States. I’m guessing I thought it was smaller because of the way it’s shaped, dipping in and out of many small peninsulas. I kept thinking I was looking across to the other side of the lake, but I think I was just looking across to other peninsulas. In a way, it reminded me of Lake Lure, which I grew up near in North Carolina, but without the mountains. Only Lake Lure is about 800 acres. Okay, so really not at all the same except they’re both lakes with houses and boats and docks.

Very interestingly, both Lake Lure and Lake Martin feature a rock formation called “Chimney Rock.” Here’s where I get to brag about mine. Alabama’s Chimney Rock is about 60 feet tall, and people jump off it into the water. Which sounds really frickin’ fun. But our Chimney Rock, in North Carolina, is 315 feet, and sits at a mountain-top elevation of 2,280 feet. You do not jump off that. You stand at the top and survey your 75-mile panoramic view. And yes, while a couple people have died jumping off Alabama’s Chimney Rock over the years, and it’s always possible because shit happens, I guarantee you if you jump off our Chimney Rock in North Carolina, you will absolutely die. No two ways about it.

Here’s a pic of Chimney Rock in Alabama:

Here’s the Chimney Rock I grew up with in North Carolina:

Incidentally, I think the North Carolina one looks a lot more like a chimney than Alabama’s. Although for years I’ve thought it looked more like a penis than anything else. Juuuuuuust sayin’!

Now I Can Survive

Reason number whatever that I am loving living in Alabama: SNO-BIZ! I can’t say I’ve ever lived in a place that had sno-cone stands everywhere. It must be because it gets so damn hot down here, and that phase of summer is just barely beginning right now. But I am a complete sucker for shaved ice. Back in high school when I was a marching band geek, we would go on trips to competitions on Saturdays and get Hawaiian ice (same difference) after we performed, changed clothes, and were ready to relax and watch the other bands. We spent hours eating Hawaiian ice, hanging out with our friends in the bleachers, watching our competitors, and flirting. Great memories. Prior to this week, that was probably the last time I actually had a shaved ice.

And then, someone introduced me to the awesomeness that is Sno-Biz.

Not only do they have a three-page menu of potential flavors and flavor combinations, but you can also get Italian cream sodas which are basically just slushier and in a cup with a straw. Personally, I prefer the spoon and bowl. Mother of God, I love it so much! I can foresee this as one of my savings graces for surviving the summer down here. That, and friends who love going to the pool.

Funny story: when I first moved here, I drove by this place called Tiger Ice, a little roadside stand with a sign. I was so freaking excited because I THOUGHT it was a Hawaiian ice stand. Then a friend informed me that since we are in SEC football country, the land of epic tailgating, there are places where you can just randomly buy bags of ice. I was so disappointed! Plain ice? How boring!

Happy New Year!

One would think that being out of work would mean so much more time for fun things like blogging. Unfortunately, the universe took over my life for the past couple months, and I have been out of town more than I’ve been home. And away from a reliable computer with decent internet access more than not. Hence the reason for my being MIA lately. But I’m here now (for how long remains to be seen), and I’m blogging! Yes! Best way to ring in the new year! After this I’m going to do some catching up posts, but right now I want to go over the highlights and lowlights of my 2010, which I am not so sad to see exit through the gift shop.

This year,

1) I reconnected with more than one old friend, and I am a better person for it.

2) I got laid off from my job.

3) I moved out of my apartment and into a house I love but am close to no longer being able to afford due to number 2 above.

4) My grandmother went into a nursing home.

5) I started a charity project that has yet to make any money.

6) I traveled A LOT but only regionally.

7) I met some awesome new people at home and in other towns.

8) I fell in love for the fourth time in my life.

9) I let go of old flame number 2, to the best of my ability, which was the only one still hanging on to my brain.

10) I learned quite a bit about football.

11) I tried and failed to rescue an abused dog.

12) I was reminded that sometimes you lose no matter how great you do.

13) I was reminded that when life closes a door, it often opens a window.

14) I went to some really good concerts and music festivals.

15) I saw in person a dream come true for a friend of mine.

16) I witnessed the birth of (and helped deliver) my goddaughter.

17) I learned how to sew properly.

18) I developed relationships with extended family members that I am grateful for.

19) I learned how to cook the world’s best filet mignon in my own kitchen without using a grill.

20) I was reminded that life just goes on, no matter what good or bad happens. It keeps going. And I keep thinking of new adventures I want to experience and trying to figure out how to make them happen.

There’s a whole lot more that happened this year, but those are probably the main highlights, broken down to a basic level. I don’t make resolutions, because I think they’re crap. So I will leave you with the words of one Benjamin Franklin of rap legend (ha).

“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.”

 

Tasty Thursday: Stuffed Mushrooms

I don’t attend or host many events that require party food, but for some reason I make a lot of it for myself to eat. I make my own party, yo! LOL. This is a pretty tasty recipe that I modified from one I found in a magazine to suit my liking, so I am claiming it as my own invention. And look! I actually made a picture of THE ACTUAL dish! Pioneer Woman, I am not. I am the single, childless, broke version of her. So, actually not like her at all.

Stuffed Mushrooms, Megs Style

2 16 oz. pkgs of whole mushrooms (You can use portobello and be all fancy, but I kinda prefer the milder flavor of regular button mushrooms.)

8 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar

1/4 cup crumbled feta

2 tbsp. bacon bits

1 quarter of a large onion, minced finely

1 tsp. garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Soften the cream cheese in the microwave for a minute. Dump it with  everything else in a bowl (not the mushrooms) and beat together with a mixer.

Rinse the mushrooms to get the dirt off. Ina Garten says you shouldn’t rinse mushrooms, but just use a damp sponge to brush the dirt off. But that idea kinda grosses me out, and I seriously dislike unexpected grit in my teeth, so I wash mine. Pop out the stems and discard (or set aside to use in another recipe, like chicken and mushroom quesadillas, which is what I do). If the stem doesn’t pop out cleanly, use the tip of a case knife to carve out the rest.

Stuff each mushroom with about a teaspoon of filling. Put them in a baking pan. You can spray the pan to prevent sticking, but the mushrooms produce a lot of juice in the process of cooking, so it’s not really necessary.

Bake for 22 minutes at 375 degrees. Enjoy!

If you are not a big mushroom fan, this also makes a really tasty hot dip for toasted pita points or garlic crostini, or even just fancy crackers. Just put the filling in a baking dish instead of stuffing mushrooms with it, and bake as directed. You can even top with a bit of cheddar at the end and put it back in the oven for that to melt. Good served hot. Although I’ve also been known to eat it cold on various breads. Whatever. It’s cheese and bacon. It’s never bad.

“Don’t let the spiked hair fool you — like I’m not a bitch.”

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I have finally jumped on the Jersey Shore bandwagon. When the show first came out, I was (like most people, I think) mortified that someone would actually watch that and concerned about what it meant about our collective intelligence level. I am also not a fan of reality shows in general, for many reasons. The people are just fake fame-whores. There is not much reality in them at all. I read enough to keep up with popular culture, even if I am not immersed in it myself, so I knew all about GTL and Guidos and Snooki and all that crap. And I still had no desire to see it. Then, a couple weeks ago, my friend and I had the following conversation:

Friend: “We have to watch the season premiere of Jersey Shore Season Two tonight!”
Me: “Whaaaaaat? Nooooo.”
Friend: “Yeah! It’s so funny! You have to experience it!”
Me: “I don’t care about watching a bunch of stupid idiots get drunk.”
Friend: “That’s because you haven’t watched it with me. There is so much more to it than that. Just watch one episode, and then if you don’t want to see any more, you don’t have to.”
Me, thinking this sounds like a good compromise: “Okay. I guess one hour won’t kill me.”

We started with the first episode of Season Two. Two days later, I’d seen every episode that ever aired.

I typically abhor drama, particularly in my own life. Although some friends of mine may disagree with that, because I often have drama going on in my life (but not usually of my own making). I also can’t stand catty girls. But it is SO much more fun to laugh at other people’s dumb drama and cattiness. It makes you appreciate the sheer lack of it in your own life by comparison.

On Jersey Shore, someone is always getting punched in the face — and ALWAYS with good reason. They will punch people being punks at the club (“She called Snookers fat and that like triggered me, umm, so I threw my drink in her face. I was gonna try to uppercut her, but at that point I had too many bouncers wrapped around me.“), haters on the boardwalk (“Damn, the kid’s sleeping right now. That’s what you get for talking shit.”), people who are bullying others (“GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE, BRO! THAT’S ONE SHOT! THAT’S ONE SHOT, KID!“) and even each other for being assholes (“Mike, he’s a creep, I mean at this point you’re lucky I don’t crack you in your face right now.”) I mean, I won’t lie and say I’ve never wanted to punch any of my friends in the face, and they’re all great people. But sometimes people are shits, you know?

I love how these random people got thrown together and became friends, and then became like family. All these kids are decent people at heart. They have their flaws, but who doesn’t? Most of their Italian culture reminds me of ours here in the South — the whole “don’t mess with my people or I will fuck you up” attitude. We hang together. We stand up for our own. (“How do you watch a girl get punched in her face and do nothing?“) Family is everything, and we treat our true friends like family members. (“I think what happened to Snookers brought us a lot closer to her, definitely. I mean, we get on her and stuff like that, but we still care for her.”) In fact, there are a lot of similarities between Italian and Southern culture:

The family is the center of the social structure and provides a stabilizing influence for its members. In the north, generally only the nuclear family lives together; while in the south, the extended family often resides together in one house. The family provides both emotional and financial support to its members. Prefer to do business with people they know and trust. In the north, people are direct, see time as money, and get down to business after only a brief period of social talk. In the south, people take a more leisurely approach to life and want to get to know the people with whom they do business. Generally highly satisfied with social relations and family, health care, daily life and friendship relations; however, find economic status and job opportunities generally less satisfying, especially with the fact that Southern states still suffer from relatively high unemployment. Those from the Southern region generally perceived to be less intelligent by the rest of the country. Place great importance on religion and family. Originally an agricultural society. Reverential about food. Proud of contributions to history. Serious about preserving honor. Not afraid to call people on their bullshit. Accustomed to living with false stereotyping. Love car racing. Jersey Shore = Myrtle Beach (or Panama City Beach).

My advice to those haters out there who think they’re above this type of entertainment: stop being such a snobby asshole. This is the first reality show I’ve ever seen in which the people act like real people who have real ups and downs and real shining moments, as well as real low points. (“Down here at the Shore, one minute you got three girls in the jacuzzi. Next minute, somebody’s in jail and you have to bail them out.”) And the girls will only put up with the cock-blocking and drama-starting for so long before they have to take action. (“I’m putting Vaseline on my face, I’m taking my earrings out, I’m putting my hair up, and I’m beating the crap out of her.”)

Also? Get over the fact that none of them are from New Jersey. It’s called Jersey Shore because it’s located on the Jersey shore. What is so hard to grasp about that? As Pauly D would say, “Don’t spill the haterade.”

Tasty Tuesday: Chewy Gobstoppers?!?

Leave it to your best friends to crack you up at all hours of the day…and night. I got an ecstatic call last night informing me that my friend had just bought every box of Chewy Gobstoppers at this one service station, because they are his favorite artificial fruity candy and terribly elusive…which is part of the fun of Wonka candies anyway. They are all sort of elusive. As a kid, the regular Gobstoppers were my favorite, back when I didn’t care if I broke a tooth because I didn’t have to worry about not being able to afford going to the dentist. Some of my best Saturdays were spent sprawled in my friend Alice’s floor, watching movies (or Duke basketball) and chomping hard candy. But I swear to you, I had never even heard of Chewy Gobstoppers until last night. I didn’t even know they made such a thing. And now I am on a quest! If you see them, grab some for me…and watch me turn violet, Violet!

Update: I still can’t find these here, but I was in Alabama recently visiting friends and got several boxes. They are everything I expected and more. 🙂 I’m thinking about buying a carton online.

Movies: Phish 3D

We were so worried about getting tickets to this thing. It consumed us for a week or more. “It’s not showing up! The Phish email says it’s playing here, but it’s not showing up!” Finally, the theater listed the show times on its website and we were able to purchase in advance. Had a tasty Mexican dinner with Swamp, Josh, Jess, Lizzy, Taper, and Jen before heading over — the hippie posse in tour shirts and a lot of hemp, rolling up to the ticket window on the same night as Kenny Chesney 3D. People in Wranglers beside us in line squinted up at the marquee and said, “What’s Phish 3D?” No surprise, then, that we were seven of maybe twenty people in the auditorium. If only we’d gone to Asheville, Swamp said, we could have been packed in like sardines with all our hippie brethren and drinking beers at that one theater that serves alcohol. But it was not the worst thing to have the theater practically to ourselves. We got some laughs from fellow movie-goers by shouting along to “Wilson.” The best, most comprehensive review I’ve seen is here. I highly recommend reading it. But I’ll give you a few pieces of personal feedback. I know you care so much what I think! 🙂

The acoustic set was the highlight of the whole thing. “Strange Design” was so honest and emotional, I almost cried. I loved seeing them play in daylight. I loved the set list. It was the one part of the movie where I forgot about the whole 3D thing and stopped being dizzy and just felt immersed in it, like I was sitting on the stage with them. Unfortunately, I was a little distracted by Mike’s huge blue jean bulge. He needs to invest in some looser pants. That shit just doesn’t look comfortable. That was definitely not something I needed to see in 3D.

The “Shine a Light” cover was excellent. Loved the backup singers. Loved the horn section. Even though the trombonist reminded me a little too much of Barry Gibb. Loved Trey’s faces of ecstasy and grins of sheer joy. Loved seeing his eye crinkles in 3D. “Suzy Greenberg” was entertaining but way too damn long. I wanted to smack that backup singer going “SUZY! SUZY! SUZY!” over and over and over. The first portion of the film had some great Page close-ups, where he was looking totally in the zone and deep in his groove. And it was kind of interesting to see Fish’s set up so close. I had no idea how huge his kit was. And I enjoyed playing “Where’s Waldo?” with everyone’s copy of the set lists.

Overall, I would have preferred less camera motion. Towards the end, we were all feeling sick and taking off the 3D glasses. I liked elements of it, like the balloons floating by that Swamp and I pretended to bat at each other. But as far as the show footage, it was more effective when the camera actually paused on something long enough for you to kind of savor being up close and personal. I could have done without “Maze,” which is possibly my least phavorite song. I have a little anxiety freak-out every time I hear that chorus. But everything else I was really happy to hear. And I will totally be purchasing the DVD.

Bottom line: A-. Could have been better in some ways, but I left with a great big smile on my face. And I’m totally pumped for summer tour!

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