Monthly Archives: February 2010

Weekend Update

Saturday was rather productive.  I went on a hike, had a great lunch with my great friend Emily, cleaned the house, and made chicken stock.  I love making chicken stock on cleaning day because it has to bubble for about 4 hours and the entire house fills with that beautiful smell as you clean.  All you do is throw left over chicken parts, I use the bones and giblets of the chicken I roasted last week (just freeze it all in a big bag), left over veggies like carrots, celery, asparagus, garlic cloves, and herbs.  During the week i just take the very middle of the celery, the parts of veggies I cut off, and whatever I haven’t used for cooking and put it in my “stock bag,” then I add whatever herbs and I have.  This time I threw in some thyme, parsley, and whole pepper corns.  Some people put the herbs in a container to keep them separate, but I don’t have one, so I just throw it all in.  Fill the large stock pot with enough cold water to cover all the veggies and bring it all to a boil.  Once it is boiling, turn it down to a simmer and leave it for about 4 hours.  Strain out the veggies and either freeze or refrigerate depending on when you want to use it.  I separate it into little bags of a cup each, that way I can thaw per recipe.  You can use stock for just about anything.  I boil rice in it, cook kale in it, and it is also an all natural cure-all inside of soups and sauces.  With all that healthy fat and minerals that come from the organs and bones, it is so good for your immune system 🙂 

I also went on a date on Saturday night.  Yup, a date.  It was super fun and he took me to a restaurant I have been dying to try in Silverlake, Barbrix.  The stand outs of the meal were definitely the saffron arancini, stuffed with smoked mozzarella and the seared sea scallops with yogurt dill sauce.  Not far behind was the treviso salad.  With grapefruit and shaved manchego the flavors were crisp and downright brilliant.  Seriously one of the best salads I have ever tasted.  We finished the meal with the chocolate creme brulee, which was also epic.  Although I would have loved to bring you pics from the entire meal, it was dark and I didn’t want to embarrass anyone.  So here is the menu and the creme brulee.  If you live in LA and love food and wine, Barbrix is definately worth trying out.

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Night In

I have stayed out way too late, way too many nights this week.  Relax, i’m not cruising the Hollywood club circut, just good times with good friends.  But, all this time out has left me very sleep deprived and so a night in, watching t.v. movies and baking these fantastic chocolate chip cookies with crushed raw almonds, was long overdue.  Add a little vino rojo to that, and you have got one fantastic, rainy Friday night!

       

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Belated V-day coverage

Alright, alright, i apologize for not coming to you sooner with the story of my Valetine’s Day dinner, but now I am here and ready to tell all!  So the night begins with finding the address and parking, walking up to a door you have never walked up to before, and knocking.  A small door inside the door opens, and an anonymous voice says “password please.”  I am prepared, thanks to the email I recieved mere hours before containing the address in Silverlake and the password: “Blanche.”  The door opens to reveal a delightful man dressed in the  most darling plaid shirt, bow tie, and wingtips.  He checks to make sure my name is on the list, takes my money, and gives me a menu for the evening.  The room is filled with people already munching on the appetizers and brown sugar spiced nuts.  There is a fun, Valentine’s themed get-to-know-you game of cards stuck to the mirror over the fireplace.  The bathtub is filled with waterbottles and root beer, and inside the medicine cabinet, (covered by a mirror that read “eat me” in red lipstick) were homemade, chocolate meringue candies all individually hand wrapped in the cutest paper.  Our chef for the evening is Rachel Humphrey, one of the lovely ladies of On The Lamb Food and Beverage.  First up, tequila chicken and bean flautas with sweet pea guacamole and papadum with radish avocado salad.  The delightful Whitney Adams, our sommelier for the evening, originally from Kentucky I might add, pairs the flautas with a refreshing beer cocktail that she named the Aloha Rubia.  This consisted of Fisher Blonde, fresh pineapple juice, and was garnished with a chili dried pineapple.  Rachel’s next creation was my favorite of the evening, bourbon braised pork and boar sliders with a homemade quick pickles on a brioche bun.  She braised this meat for something like 19 hours and it was so perfect!  Homemade root vegetable chips with parsley and grana padano, a crumbly italian cheese simalar to parmesan were the perfect crunchy companion.  Rachel paired this classic, semi-southern delight with one of the most amazing cocktails I have ever tasted.  She began with reposado tequila and added lapsong souchong tea, and a homemade agave-orange sour mix.  The strong, smoky flavors of the tea tasted like a campfire in my mouth and the sweetness of the sour mix really helped to balance it out and give it a ton of complexity, much like a wine. From sip, to swallow, to the breath directly following; the flavours were indescribable.  Rachel appropriately named this creation the Paco Palmer, a nod to the southern style tea and lemonade drink entitled the Arnold Palmer.  The third pairing of the evening was provided by Joy Wilson, the sweet side of On The Lamb.  She finished the meal off with cherry bourbon ice cream and banana ice cream with homemade hot fudge, topped with candied pecans and whipped cream.  The two flavors of ice cream went together surprisingly well, and the hot fudge was thick and creamy like i should be.  Once again, Rachel came through with the perfect cocktail that tied the entire evening together.  She called this one the “Coco Devereaux”, in honor of the name that allowed me access to this fantastic new expeience, the great and fabulously southern Blanche Devereaux.  Luxardo cherry infused Bulleit bourbon joins chocolate bitters for the perfect final flavor of the night.  We were even given a small bottle of Bulleit bourbon from a memeber of the actual Bulleit family. 

This evening was definatley an L.A. experience.  I met some new people, all total foodies, and stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something new.  There were only a couple of things I would change, but I bet the ladies of On The Lamb are on it, and I am looking forward to the next fabulous event that is spawned from their creative, beautiful brains.  Till next time…eat well 🙂

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Friday

Call unemployment…check.  Hike Runyan…check.  Roast chicken…yeah I said it…check.  Find a scene for triage audition…working on it.  I am watching Hannah and her sisters hoping to find some inspiration.  I roasted my first chicken today.  I rinsed it, dried it, buttered and salted it, layed it on a beautiful bed of onions, carrots, celery, and tricolored potatoes and baked it at 400 degrees for an hour and a half.  It turned out beautifully I must say.  Now I don’t really have much to compare it to, but it tastes damn good so I call it a success.

I took my second class at UCB on Wednesday and it was so much fun…agian.  This time we worked on establishing space.  Where you are and the details of what is around you are very important to the audience, and helps with your scenes.  After class we went to watch the cagematch at UCB.  Class is held somewhere else because there are shows at UCB all the time.  I have to say that the energy was very different from the cagematch I go to on Monday nights at IoWest.  A cagematch is where two improv teams are given 20 minutes to do their thing based off an audience suggestion, and then when they have both gone, the audience votes on who was best.  It’s super fun and I am trying to watch as much improv as I can to help with the learning process.  So far, I feel like I am learning a lot and am so glad I signed up for this class.

Two days till Valentines day…what are your plans?  I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours 🙂

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Alexander McQueen is dead

Since i was younger, practicing my Oscars speech in the mirror over and over again, I dreamed of wearing one of Alexander McQueen’s poetic creations down a red carpet.  Something about him spoke to me, even as a young girl I felt something when I looked at his creations.  I saw a different world that he created.  A world that I sometimes saw in my own dreams.  His style was iconic, filled with anguish, beauty, fantasy, and mystery. It was part fairytale and part reality, and was at times quite aphotic.  His shows weren’t just fashion shows, they were pure theatre.  With his death we lost a great artist, and he will be missed by those who admired him from their poster lined, adolescent bedrooms; to those who were close to him and loved him dearly.

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Well the day didn’t start off that great.  I missed my doctor’s appointment I have been looking forward to for a while.  I was going in to get some orthodics made for my falling arches and pronation.  I even had it on the calendar!  But you know how you can get it in your head that something is happening on a specific day of the week, but then you look at your calendar and it’s actually the day before?  Thats what I did.  I was so sure it was Thursday , but nope it was today, and I missed it, and made the secretary mad.  (I could hear it in her voice)  But on another note…last night was AMAZING!!  All the food turned out great and the concert was by far one of the best I have been to.  If you don’t know Mumford and Sons…get to know them!  They were so charming on stage and some of the most talented musicians I have seen in a while.  This is their first headlining tour in the U.S., so if they come to your town GO! GO! GO!  You will not be disappointed.  Plus it’s only gonna be cheap for so long…

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Free as a Bird

I slept in today.  Well, until 10.  That is late for me.  It is a beautiful overcast day today in Los Angeles, and yes i mean that in all seriousness, and I am going to do nothing.  Well if your definition of nothing is cooking a full meal for a friend’s birthday, having 15 of his friends over to share said meal, and then riding on over to the Troubador to see Mumford and Sons.  I am so EXCITED!!  On the menu tonight: Ground beef vegetable soup, Paula Deen’s Sweet Potato Buttermilk Cornbread, and Dulce de leche sandwich cookies thanks to my new obsession, and hopefully new friend after Valentine’s day, Joy the Baker.  (I am doing the most amazing thing on Valentines Day with complete strangers that i will tell you all about in due time.)  For space sake, i will just give you the recipe for the soup here.  If you want to find the cornbread recipe, just google it and for the Dulce De Leche cookies, just hit up Joy’s website at the link above and search in desserts. 

Vegetable Beef Soup

  • 3/4- 1 lb. of ground grass fed beef
  • 2 cans of organic beef broth or 3 cups homemade
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 med. onions, sliced
  • 1 med. potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can of corn (you can use a small one if you don’t like so much corn)
  • 1 c. frozen or fresh green beans
  • 1 small can or sweet peas, drained
  • 1 c. frozen lima/butterbeans
  • 2 tbsp. fresh tarragon/2 tsp. dried
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

All you do is combine all the above ingredients in a large pot, brown meat in a separate pan and break up to your liking, then add the meat to the pot and bring everything to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the veggies are tender.   So flippin’ easy and it freezes well too!  Also, all the above amounts of veggies are entirely adjustable, whatever you like, just add or take away.  I added the green beans and lima beans 🙂

I cannot wait to cook all day, drink wine, eat cheese, and listen to Andrew Bird in the kitchen.  Stay tuned tomorrow to hear how it all turned out.

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