Archive | October, 2011

A Toast To a Blog Birthday

29 Oct

Happy Birthday Scrumptious Gruel! One year ago you started. I wanted to make you a cake. I did.
But my life has exploded in the happy doing work-that-I-love type of busy, so I made you a drink instead. Please forgive me. But I have to go off and play a ballerina in search of her missing leg, which was ripped from her by an evil doctor. The film is titled “Frankendancer”. Good clean fun. Actually it will be bloody fun.
I need a lot of energy to be playing a vengeance-filled one-legger hoofer.
So I went for an Espresso Martini.
Don’t worry. I drank this at night, at home. Not before heading off to the shoot. I’m thinking showing up drunk on set tipsy would not be a brilliant move on my part.
Actually, I didn’t even finish it myself. Too tired. anyway, happy birthday blog!
Espresso Martini(adapted from The Bar Book by Mittie Hellmich)
1 0z. vodka (enjoying the Sobieski)
1/2 oz. homemade vanilla extract(if it’s not homemade use 1 1/2 oz. vanilla vodka and omit plain vodka)
1/2 oz. strong coffee
1/2 oz. Kahlua
Stir all over ice. Strain into glass and garnish with espresso beans.

Next year, cake.

What is your favorite birthday treat?

Bad-ass mofo food for my Cards!

26 Oct

Last chance for my red birds, so I made some red beets. Go Cards! I believe in you.

Love me some beets. And some eggs. Earlier this year I made eggs pickled with beets so when I saw this recipe for Devilled Eggs with Pickled Beets I could not resist.
Plus making complicated food like this makes me feel like a bad-ass mofo.
Even though it is pink.
Although embracing and reclaiming pink from Barbie also makes me feel like a bad-ass mofo.
In short, that’s what I am.
A bad-ass mofo.
With eggs.
I reduced the number of eggs and kept the same amount of beets. I don’t think I could take down a dozen devilled eggs before they started to turn. I think they are pretty sexy. Actually I think beets are incredibly sexy food. Such a deep, lustful red. Voluptuous both in shape and color. I digress. My rendition:
Devilled Eggs with Pickled Beets(adapted from Bon Appetit)
3 small beets, trimmed
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp. each of sugar and splenda
1 Tbsp. coriander seed
1 Tbsp. mustard seed
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. sea salt, plus more
4 eggs, hard-boiled
1 Tbsp and 1 tsp. vegan mayonaise
3/4 tsp. prepared jarred horseradish
Wrap beets in foil and roast in a 400 degree oven til done, about 45 minutes. Cool enough to handle then peel and cube. Put in wide shallow container.
Bring vinegar, sugar, 1/4 tsp. sea salt, coriander seed, mustard seed, cloves, and bay lead to simmer in small saucepan. Simmer 10 minutes then pour over beets. Cool to room temp then refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally.
Halve eggs and put yolks in a bowl. Mash, mix with mayo then put through stainer. Mix with horseradish, a pinch of salt and 1 tsp. of strained beet pickling juice then divide between egg whites.

What makes you feel like a bamf?

Balls for Birds, Especially Pujols

23 Oct

Oh happy night last night! I’m talking about Pujols’ three homers. Take that Rangers!
And in honor of Cardinals baseball, I give you cookie dough balls.

Oh Katie, you feed my addiction. For dough. You have so many variations on dough on your blog it makes me dizzy. And giddy. And removes my ability to filter my 13-year-old boy sense of humor which is why I giggled(like a school girl, how’s that for irony) when I came to the instruction to “insert lollipop sticks(or any long object, really)” into these. I fell down on inserting things into these Cookie Balls that were supposed to be Cookie Dough Pops. Cause I prefer balls to long objects. When it comes to food! Don’t let your mind slip into the gutter mine occupies. Or do. Sometimes it’s fun.
I enjoyed these balls. They are quite healthy, raw, and for my mom, gluten-free if made with the correct flours. I opted for a mix of oat flour and whole wheat.
They were not so photogenic which is why I put them on this adorable cat plate(a smashing gift from Eleanor, the fwife i.e. best friend I’d marry if I were gay and she was not married) and played around with photoshop…
Oh yikes, just realized Katie lives in Texas. Sorry. Hope you’re not a Rangers fan although since you are awesome, I’ll forgive that if need be.
So go to Katie’s blog, get the recipe and mix em’ up.
Unless you are a Rangers fan. No balls for you!
Sorry. Normally I am not like this. Two games won, two to go!

Menage a deux

19 Oct


I was a bit puzzled why this was “boulangerie” fare. A boulangerie is a French bakery. Then I read my darling Mark Bittman’s blurb for this dish where he says it was traditionally cooked in a baker’s oven for hours. So I guess that’s the connection. Now that today’s lesson in French food words is done we can get on with it. Mais oui. Damn I want a croissant now. Avec beurre. Beurre makes everything better. Stop rambling Ellen. Okay.
French cooking can be remarkably downhome. Downright hippie. A glass of green tea with some of my SSSS ginger water would go well with this. Or some French wine. Take your pick. Eat this and you’ll be ready to go do things like wash your hair with baking soda. Which I do periodically and it rocks. Thanks for that hippie tip, Joy the Baker.
I played around a bit with this one…and it turned out well. I used red beans instead of white(Bittman says its ok, I did not peel my potatoes, and I reduced the recipe to serve deux and baked it in two individual pie plates instead of making a big casserole.
Of course, if you bake in disposable aluminum bakers you realize you cannot reheat these suckers in the microwave. But all can be unloaded onto a plate then zapped:

Now, time to menage a deux. It’s sexy to have a menage of two when it’s dinner.
Boulangerie Bean and Potatoes for deux(adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman, cookbook love o my life):
1 cup of cooked red beans
1/4 + 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
3 small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1/3 cup water
freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. butter
Preheat oven to 325. Put divide beans between two small bakers. Stir in 1/8 a tsp. of thyme into each, then salt and pepper to taste. A goute as the French say. Layer taters over. Pour the H2O over. Dot with butter, sprinkle with remaining thyme, and some more salt and pepper. Cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook 45 more or until the potatoes are looking a bit brown.
Go wash hair with baking soda while its cooking. Your locks will be sqeaky clean.

Got any random beauty tips? What’s your favorite French food?

Butter on French fries

17 Oct

Insane work plus my mom in town lead me not to cook anything new this weekend, and I have some posts ready to go but wanted to share this bit if brilliance that happened last night when the waiter cleared all but fries and butter:
Putting butter in thick cut, not very greasy, salty fries.
Yeah, do it.
In more important news:
Go Cardinals!

a lovely mess

13 Oct

These migas were lovely in taste, messy in appearance. I assure you that I am a lovely person but definitely fit the messy in appearance category at the moment. That’s your photo proof. Of the messy part, anyway. You have to hang out with me and eat the migas and then you can decide about the lovely part. If you have any doubt I will ply you with margaritas until you are sure of the lovely part. Oh yes I will.
The migas? They were friggin’ delicious. I had halved the recipe and ate it all wishing I’d made more.
These migas were a little different than a lot of the recipes I’ve seen. They used tortilla chips instead of tortillas. I altered it a bit more and used popcorn chips. I have of late discovered these chips called Chip’Ins. They are not paying me to say how awesome-ly delicious these chips are but if someone from the company is reading this and wants to send me some free chips…These chips come sprinkled with sea salt. It is a good thing. The chips get soggy with the tomatoes and eggs and cheese and because I am weird I refrigerated it before eating so I had this fused together gloppy, salty mess. But while refrigerating I showered so I was no longer a mess. Just a happy glop-eater. Somewhat more lovely to behold.
The recipe I worked off of came from The Tex-Mex Cookbook by Robb Walsh. I had to do some un-Texafying/healthying-up. I omitted the oil because I hate greasy stuff, and used reduced fat cheese. And I like to think that the sea salt popcorn chips were probably a bit better for me than fried tortilla chips…
In the cookbook there is a quote from the owner of the restaurant the recipe was taken from. Robert Amaya, of Austin’s Taco Village: “We used to eat migas for dinner during Lent”. I say, don’t wait. Eat em’ now. Don’t make me go margarita on your ass.
Amaya’s Migas(ever so slightly adapted from The Tex-Mex Cookbook by Robb Walsh)
1 cup dime-sized Chip Ins
1/4 cup chopped tomatos(I used canned)
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 of a jalapeno, chopped
1 egg, beaten. Beat it good. Devo moment. Oh, wait that was whip. Nevermind.
1/4 cup lowfat cheddar, chopped
Spray a small skillet and heat over medium. Saute chips 1-2 minutes. Add tomato, onion and chile and cook around five minutes longer. Add egg and mix with spatula as egg cooks. When it has set a bit stir in Cheddar and let melt a bit.
If you are me, refrigerate, take a shower, then dine.

PS If you want to see more loveliness, I am performing(dance) this weekend at The LA Art Experience. Saturday. 5pm. Whee!

cookie dough? we shall see.

9 Oct

Anyone who has read much of this blog may have noticed I consider myself an expert on cookie dough. I am the dough whisperer, hear me roar. The Doughminatrix. So I see a recipe on Heather Eats Almond Butter for a cookie dough smoothie and I feel the need to put it to the test. Plus it used nutritional yeast, which I have been playing around with. Plus it had interesting instructions such as not too blend to much because “you don’t want the nooch to get completely obliterated b/c it adds that gritty cookie dough-like texture”.
That’s some pretty tough, sexy writing for an entry on a smoothie. Nooch? Huh? Oh, nutritional yeast. Duh. I am not sure that gritty is the word that comes to mind when I think of dough, but Heather’s use of italics made me think that there must be something kick-ass to the smoothie’s grittiness.
Can’t get shake-y without a dose of kick-ass.
Lastly, this shake used chia seeds. I’d not yet tried these darlings of the health blogosphere. I thought cookie dough would be a good way for them to make their Scrumptious Gruel debut. Put on your long white gloves, little chias, you’ve got a ball to go to.
The verdict?
Oh. My. God.
This does taste like cookie dough. Next time I am going to not add the additional two tablespoons of water I added(they were not in the original recipe) so it is thicker. Also I will use more chocolate and I won’t halve the recipe like I did this time. I did not want to commit to a full big shake until I had judged its doughiness. I have commitment issues. Foodwise, anyway.
Here’s what I did this time around:
Cookie Dough Smoothie(only slightly adapted from Heather Eats Almond Butter)
1/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup + 1/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
1 1/2 teaspoons chia seed
1 1/2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast
1 packet of Equal(Articficial sweeteners!Bad me,I know.Oh well.)
pinch salt
pinch cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons chocolate chips(Ghiradelli Bittersweet)
Mix oatmeal, the first 1/4 cup almond milk and chia seed and put in refrigerator for 6 hours. I added a couple of tablespoons of water halfway through, thinking it would be too thick. I was wrong. After 6 hours, blend with second 1/4 cup of almond milk, cinnamon, salt, vanilla and sweetener. Add nutritional yeast and blend just a bit. Add chips and blend a tad more. There ya go.
I am still the Doughminatrix. Meow.

Question for the readers? What foods are you master/mistress of?

More work for Ellen=less words for gruel

5 Oct

I overbaked these a bit. The result of being really busy and distracted from what’s cooking. Acting and dancing does that to me. As it should. It did not ruin them, however.They turned out a bit crunchy on the outside. Nubbly goodness.
Beany and tasty on the inside. I don’t have much else to say on the topic. Except thanks Mark. I still love ya, Bittman. Even if you don’t like pie crust.
Cheesy Baked Red Bean Cakes(slightly adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman)
1 1/2 cups red beans
1 egg
2 Tbsp. grated low-fat cheddar
olive oil spray
2 Tbsp. minced red onion
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mash beans, mix in egg and cheese. Spray pan with olive oil, heat, then stir in onion and garlic. Sautee until soft and golden. Add to beans with oregano, flour, salt, and pepper, and combine.
Form into four cakes. Bake for about 30 minutes but keep a watchful eye, don’t be distracted like me…

Third Chances

2 Oct

Take some ginger, garlic and cumin seed you’ve sauteed. Ignore instructions from Bittman on amounts. Decide how much you like these flavorings and use accordingly. Enter chickpeas, those cuddly tan orbs. Excuse my bad poetic writing. Blend in rice vinegar for sour and honey for the sweet. Enter the bitter greens, arugula. Omit the red onion if you don’t care for tasting onion in you rmouth the rest of the day.
There you have the perfect adaptation of a Mark Bittman recipe for Warm Chickpea and Arugula Salad from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.
I felt betrayed after my double fail on his Cottage Cheese Patties but I gave him a second chance. Third actually, since I made the patties twice.
This salad was goooooood.
I’m taking him back.
Even though he apparently said he does not like pie crust which I find appalling. Appalling.
Nobody’s perfect.
Oh, if you are making this for a vegan use maple syrup or something else sweet instead of honey…

Do you like pie crust? Or are you a filling person? I won’t judge.