I have found the secret equation for good reality tv. It’s simply: food deprivation plus leading emotional questions equals reality tv magic.
I’m not sure if that recipe fits for every barely based in reality show but it was definitely the path to success when I shot an episode of Say Yes to the Dress in the fall. And you can watch what happened at my appointment on Friday May 20th at 9pm on TLC. While you watch consider making a tray of these homemade peanut butter cups, they were the light at the end of my Say Yes tunnel.
Now let me preface this by saying I willingly submitted to the Say Yes insanity and was in a rush to get an appointment at Kleinfeld Bridal. When I found out I would have to wait nearly two months for a 1 hour window to try on wedding dresses I decided that would not work for me. Patience is not a quality that can be attributed to me.
Having watched many episodes of Say Yes To The Dress I knew there was a formula, every bride that appeared had something and whatever it was they had it all the way. No casually showing up, thumbing throw the racks and trying on dresses on with a level-head. No, that doesn’t make for interesting television. But I was able to figure out how to get on Say Yes To The Dress.
How to get on Say Yes To The Dress
I dutifully filled out the online application highlighting a few key things about myself: my mom got her wedding dress at the original Kleinfeld store, I didn’t consider myself to be very bridal, I believe strapless wedding dresses are for mannequins and women with breast implants, and that my entourage, as the show called it, would comprise my mother who also thinks strapless dresses should die, my sister who eventually hated almost every dress Kleinfeld showed us and my soon-to-be mother in law, the glimmer of hope in our group who was actually enthusiastic about the whole thing.
Having been clear and concise on the application, practically spelling out the storylines, I was not surprised when my phone rang a few hours later from a cheery producer. After figuring out logistics and reaffirming that yes, I did not want a giant princess dress, our Say Yes appointment was set for a few weeks later.
The day of our appointment I showed up at the wedding dress megahouse full of curiosity and empty when it came to my stomach. This would eventually be my downfall once the dress parade began.
But before they get you into a voluminous gown or two, you sit for what seems like a never ending pre-interview with questions about my fiance, my style, my budget, “my dream day”, and why I wanted to shop at Kleinfeld. I left out the part about stalking episodes of the show to figure out how to get on Say Yes To The Dress so I could bump up my appointment date.
Then my “entourage” and I met the consultants, the poor souls who were stuck helping us that day. Now if you are a regular Say Yes viewer then you know Randy is the big guns and the show trots him out to deal with crazies and gets brides to close. Both Randy and Antonella, another Say Yes regular were my consultants for the day. I knew then that the producers had realized even though I may not be a super bride, I knew how to make super tv.
Finally it was time to try on some dresses!
No wait, I will take that exclamation point back because the first round of dresses that I was presented with were kind of all the things I didn’t want in a dress: strapless and a little too poufy for my taste. But I tried one on and expected to quickly walk out of the dressing room to show my entourage and then turn back around.
Nope, time knows no boundaries when dealing with reality tv. Cameras had to be set so I got to chat with Randy and Antonella about their weekend plans while I stood around in a strapless marshmallow. They were nicer than they are on the show, if you can even imagine, and Randy said I wasn’t the craziest person he’s seen in the store. Phew, at least there are nuttier people out there.
I finally was able to show my crew the dress and since they were also not a fan, we repeated this process for over two hours. My hanger level ratcheting up with each passing dress that I tried on. By the time I tried on my final dress we had been at the store for going on four hours and the half a bagel I had for breakfast was a long gone memory. After slipping out of the last gown the crew mentioned they had a bunch of snacks I could have before we did my final interview. What?! These people had snacks all day and were holding out on me, no!!!!!!!!
As I was guided to the interview chair to recap the madness I saw a plastic container of Trader Joe’s brand chocolate peanut butter cups and started shoveling them in my mouth like I had never tasted food before. My head instantly clear from the surge of sugar and I realized that holding these little treats hostage is what makes reality tv so good.
Try and tell me you don’t feel all the feelings when you’re hungry and trying to do something important. You don’t want a person in a food coma trying on wedding dresses, no that’s boring. You want the on edge hangry girl who is word vomiting her thoughts in hopes of getting the perfect dress and the promised snacks at the end.
If you want to see how my appointment went and if I ended up saying yes to the dress, check me out on Fri. May 20th at 9pm on TLC. And if you’re trying to figure out how to get on Say Yes To The Dress then my advice is be a little hangry and be ready to embrace your crazy.
- 16 oz semisweet chocolate
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts, finely minced
- ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
- ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
- Coarse kosher salt
- Lay out 16 standard-size cupcake liners on a large baking sheet.
- Melt the chocolate either using a microwave or double-boiler and add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil, the instant coffee granules and a large pinch of salt.
- If using a microwave, melt the chocolate in 15 second increments and stir each time the microwave goes off so you don't burn the chocolate.
- If using a double boiler, set a heatproof bowl over a small pot filled halfway with water. Heat the water so it is at a simmer and make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. If the bowl and the water are touching then the chocolate could burn.
- Finely chop the roasted peanuts, you don't want big chunks in the filling.
- Stir together the peanut butter, confectioner's sugar, chopped peanuts and a generous pinch of salt.
- Adjust to taste, I like the filling a little salty.
- Pour about 2 teaspoons of the melted chocolate in each cupcake liner. You want the bottom layer to be thin.
- Place the tray in the freezer for five minutes to firm up the chocolate.
- Once the chocolate is hard place a tablespoon of the peanut butter filling in each cupcake liner. You can either just drop the spoonfuls in the liner if you don't mind a peanut butter cup with a hump or you can flatten the filling into a disk so the end product looks more like a traditional Reese's cup.
- Pour the remaining chocolate over the peanut butter filling, again using about two teaspoons per peanut butter cup.
- Place the tray in the freezer again to harden the chocolate.
- Store in the fridge to keep them from melting.