Christmas Is The Time For Baking

Christmas Is The Time For Baking

TB: Team Baking.
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I consider myself a “foodie.” For those of you who don’t know what that means, it basically means I love food. A lot.

Take my combination of being a “foodie” and the fact that Christmas is in the air, it’s officially time to begin baking Christmas cookies!

My grandmother had this tradition of making our family’s favorite Christmas cookies with my aunt every year. Sadly, my aunt passed away last year so now my cousin and I are hopping on the tradition bandwagon of Christmas cookie baking and today was the day. We were quite excited, to say the least.

We had so many different cookies to make. We started with some pumpkin cookies, then snickerdoodle, and the classic chocolate chip. Then we moved on to spritz cookies, peanut butter balls, and rum balls. We had a system and for the most part, it was going great.

My grandmother was the cookie creator. This is not because my cousin and I don’t know how to bake cookies, but rather, my grandmother was having us make all these cookies that we thoroughly enjoy devouring but have never baked ourselves. Besides the chocolate chip that is.

I was the self-selected decorator. If I’m being totally honest, which I am, I was probably not the choice my grandmother wanted because I accept the fact that cookie baking can be messy. Translation: I don’t care if I make a mess.

Finally, my cousin was the cookie watcher. It was her sole duty to watch and make sure the cookies don’t burn. She failed; two batches although still edible, are quite brown. However, I will take half the blame because as the little cousin, it’s my life’s duty to be a distraction with my humorous commentary. Another reason my cousin should not take the blame for the burnt cookies is that our grandmother has an oven that I have declared as being "too advanced for us." You see, our grandmother has a convection oven and because of this, it bakes faster than your standard old oven that we each have. Plus, my grandmother doesn’t use a timer and we’re not focused enough to just watch a clock.

As a result of our burnt batches, my cousin and I will be returning to our grandmothers house for a “re-do baking session.” We are determined to meet the rest of our family’s standards for bomb Christmas cookies!

Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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How To Play 'New Girl's' True American Drinking Game

"It's 75% drinking, 20% Candy Land, and the floor is molten lava."
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I think it's fair to say that anyone who watches New Girl knows about True American. This crazy, non-sense drinking game which pops up every so often throughout the seasons and first introduced in Season 1 Episode 20.

The game, as described by New Girl character and fan-favorite Schmidt, is 75% drinking game and 20% Candy Land with a floor of molten lava.

The point of the game is for players to navigate through the Candy Land-like spaces to the "castle," which is a table in the center of the room that holds beer "pawns" and the "king" bottle. The first person to reach and sip from the bottle wins.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things "New Girl" Fans Know to Be True

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Here's how to play:

Step #1: Prepare the "castle"

First, set up your "castle." The castle is made up of beer "pawns" and the "king," a bottle filled with the alcohol of your choice.

The bottle should be in the middle of the table, surrounded by four lines of beer pawns. There is no exact number of beers necessary for each line of beer pawns. Choose any amount of beers that seems appropriate for the amount of players.

Step #2: Set up spaces

Set up spaces using pillows, chairs or any other objects players will be able to stand on. Place an equal amount of spaces around the table. You'll want about 5-8 spaces on each side, depending on the size of the room you're playing in.

Only four of these spaces should reach the castle, lining up with the parade of beer "pawns" and allowing players to take a beer pawn from the castle. For example, in the photo above, each of the chairs touch a corner of the table at the end of the line of beer pawns. Therefore, these are two of the four special spaces that allow players to take a beer. Unlike the pillows pictured, which are just regular spaces that the players can use to move around.

Step #3: Pick teams

Teams are optional. To pick teams, all of the players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers against their forehead on the count of three.

Any players who hold up the same number are a team. Unmatched players can team up as needed or simply pair up with the person standing closest to them.

Step #4: Begin

Begin with a shotgun "tip-off" to determine which player goes first.

The winner of this shotgunning contest will yell, "One, two, three...JFK!" to announce the official beginning of the game. All players will enthusiastically respond, "FDR!" then quickly grab a beer pawn from the castle and run to any space they wish to start at, excluding for the four special spaces that reach the castle.

Step #5: Make moves

The winner of the shotgunning contest has earned the first turn. From then on, the order of turns will move in a clockwise rotation. During each turn, the player will move one space toward the castle and choose to play one of the following mini-games.

Mini-game number one: the player whose turn it is will count to three then all players will place a certain number (1-5) of fingers on their forehead. Any player who selects a number no one else selected can move ONE space.

Mini-game number two: the player whose turn it is will recite the beginning of a famous American quote. The first player to complete the quote can move TWO spaces.

Mini-game number three: the player whose turn it is will name two famous American people, places or things. The first player to identify what the two have in common can move THREE spaces.

For example, say it's your turn. You will move one space then choose one of the three mini-games. You and all of the players will participate in that game, and the winner will move accordingly. After this, your turn is over and it's the next player's turn (in the original clockwise rotation).

Step #6: "Play on, playa."



Continue playing by these rules until one lucky winner reaches the bottle and sips from its royal glass.

The bottle cannot be opened until every last pawn is removed from the castle. Any players who fail to keep at least one beer in hand, who accidentally end up with more than three beers in hand, or who touch the lava are immediately disqualified. Disqualified players can rejoin the game by shotgunning a beer.

Congratulations!

You are now able to impress all of your New Girl-loving friends with knowledge of the workings of the epic True American drinking game. Know your limits, drink responsibly and enjoy!

Cover Image Credit: i.amz.mshcdn.com

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Predicting The Next 7 WWE Champions

There's a long, long list of potential candidates vying for the richest prize in the company.

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Ever since the second brand split in 2016, Smackdown Live has been the home of mega-matches, intriguing characters, and the longest-tenured championship in WWE. Greats like Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Rock, John Cena, and now AJ Styles have had incredible reigns with the championship. Recently, Styles has committed his career to defending the title globally in the "house" that he built: Smackdown. Contenders like Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe have come very close to capturing the title from The Phenomenal One, but as 2018 turns to 2019, there are many superstars still chasing the elusive yet richest championship.

1. Daniel Bryan

Bryan's return to pro wrestling this year started with ridding Smackdown of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, conquering the now-released Big Cass, and engaging in another chapter of his long rivalry with The Miz. After defeating Miz at WWE Super Show-Down for a championship opportunity, the "Goat" now has his eyes set on the title he once held and has already gone toe to toe with the incumbent champion two days after Wrestlemania 34. It will be an interesting sight if WWE higher-ups give Bryan the go-ahead to cap off his return year with a championship win.

2. Samoa Joe

Smackdown's resident monster mauled his way to the top of the show when he attacked longtime friend/adversary AJ Styles that led to three impressive matches at the end of the summer and beginning of fall. However, Joe has failed to capture the title due to disqualification and controversial calls by referees. Styles' anger got the better of him in their Summerslam encounter, but if Joe is given one more chance against Styles (or decides to go after Bryan if he wins at Crown Jewel), it is certain that the "Samoan Submission Machine" will be a "Champion Submission Machine."

3. Andrade "Cien" Almas

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The newest NXT call-up reportedly has strong support from Chairman Vince McMahon, so Almas is sure to have a main event push coming very soon. His resume in NXT included fantastic matches with Johnny Gargano and Aleister Black for the NXT Championship, and his high in-ring IQ and savvy persona add to his character that is needed for a brand based on match quality and realistic storytelling. Imagine Almas being the Number 1 entrant in the Royal Rumble, lasting over an hour before winning a shot at the title of his choosing at Wrestlemania. An Almas/Bryan or even Almas/Joe title match would be quite a match due to the difference of styles.

4. Randy Orton

The Apex Predator returned this summer as his former, sadistic self. Unleashing attacks on Jeff Hardy and now Tye Dillinger that has left them wincing in pain, Orton's return can definitely pay off in the near months with another WWE Title reign. His lackluster win at Wrestlemania 33 from Bray Wyatt and subsequent loss of it to Jinder Mahal can be redeemed with another heel Orton reign. His veteran status can elevate a fresh, young talent to the title picture as long as Orton is willing to do so. Either way, Orton can easily enter the main event talk for the title at any given point.

5. The Miz

Another WWE veteran, Miz has had many ups and downs regarding the main event picture. His stunning win over Orton in 2010 for the title via his Money In the Bank briefcase caught many by surprise. However, the last few years has seen him capture the Intercontinental Championship a few times and be second in most reigns with it behind nine-time champion Chris Jericho.

His mic skills are on point and easily makes him the best talker in WWE right now, yet his continued rivalry with Daniel Bryan could reach main event status if Bryan wins the title before him. A Wrestlemania bout for the title in 2019 would definitely please the fans, and Miz's heel persona would have the perfect chance to redeem his 2011 title run with a second WWE Title reign.

6. Jeff Hardy

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2017 and 2018 were quite rewarding for Hardy: returning to WWE with brother Matt at WM 33, winning the tag team titles, returning from injury after Wrestlemania 34 and winning the US Title. His 2008-09 reign with the WWE Title was cut short, yes, but his continued ability to take high risks and put on a great show levels him with a chance to put his name out in the main event talk. Although some reports say he's dealing with numbness in certain parts, a potential final title reign before retiring needs to be the WWE Championship.

7. Rey Mysterio

WWE's resident luchador legend officially makes his return on October 16 for Smackdown's 1000th episode, so why not make an early prediction for his 2019? A wild card pick, he defied all the odds back in 2006 by lasting over an hour in the Royal Rumble and winning the World Heavyweight Championship from Kurt Angle at that year's Wrestlemania. He can definitely do something similar, this time with the WWE Title in his sights. His very, very, very short reign of like, 1 hour, back in 2011 can easily be forgotten with a major run at and with the richest prize in the game. He's in great shape, has amazing in-ring abilities, and his history with the company can pay off once again for the title.

It will be interesting to see if all or any of these seven superstars hold the title by this time next year.

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