Archive | February, 2012

Get mod: go Mennonite

29 Feb

Ever wonder what Mennonites in Ohio make?
Getting modern with it, they are.
Thanks to a very kind gift from a old friend I learned all about it. They are a sophisticated bunch. At least people hanging out at the Rosedale Mennonite Missions International Center are.

Most community or church cookbooks are full of classic potluck fare: “salads” full of mayonnaise, casseroles galore, and other hearty fare. I LOVE these cookbooks, but this church cookbook was a refreshing change of pace. It has quite a variety of foods from round the world.
Ive never seen Indian food in a community cookbook before.
I switched up quite a few things based on what I had on hand, but hey, that just makes this more international, yah?
It called for curry powder, and seeing as I don’t usually care for curries, I made my own blend accentuating the parts if a curry blend I like most.
Cumin and cinnamon are my most favorites. Though for savory purposes I kept the cinnamon minimal.

I had some potatoes and some turnips so I added the nips in.

I’m all about nips. You gotta be if it go around bra-less.

If the word nom was still acceptable I’d use it here to describe the utter scrumptiousness of this. But I don’t use words like nom. I strongly dislike that shi-stuff. I meant stuff. We are among the holy here.
Indian Potato Salad(adapted from the World at your Table, an RMM cookbook compiled by Susannah Fath
3/4 pound red potatoes
2 turnips
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Your own curry mix-1 1/2 tsp.(my blend included ground cumin, ginger, turmeric, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon and freshly ground black pepper)
Pinch of cayenne
I jarred roasted red bell pepper, chopped
Cilantro to taste(I like lots)
Peel turnips. Cut taters and turnips up. Desired size.
Bring a pot of water to boil, add taters and neeps(potatoes and turnips)
Boil til tender then transfer to a bowl. Meanwhile, toast cumin seeds for a couple of seconds.
Add all spices to taters and neeps with remaining ingredients and toss.
Then toss in yo’ tum.

Do as Mark says(which will also be as I do): we all win

25 Feb

This was a slightly daunting recipe for me. It has a few steps. First you have to make yer beans. Dont buy canned.

Cause Mark says so. And I do whatever Mark Bittman tells me. I am the submissive type in relationships.

Next you make refried beans with your freshly cooked beans.
Then you used those beans to make the dip.

A day long process. But a day with my cookbook writer lover Bittman and my sexy sexy true love the red Kitchen Aid food processor so it’s alllll good. It’s all fruits and vegetables. As my friend Eliza and I(who have a friendship old enough to drink now) used to say.

Ya. I haven’t much else to say except that shallots are better than onions. For the win. I wish I’d had shallots for this dip.

Onions vs. shallots vs. leeks cage match. Who do you think wins? Please vote with a comment. Voting is important. Let’s practice for November.

Refried Bean Dip(adapted slightly from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
Start with dry black beans. Soak them at least 8 hours. Drain, put in a pot with lots of water, bring to a boil then simmer til tender. This will totally depend on your beans so plan on an hour, give or take. Drain, reserving some of the liquid.
For your refried beans:
1 1/2 cups of your cooked beans
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, possibly more
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/8 or more tsp. of cayenne because some like it hot. Others do not.
Add some olive oil to a large skillet and heat. Stir the onion over medium til it’s good n brown then brown it up more with the cumin for a minute. Add the beans and stir an smash em’. I used a potato masher for this. I don’t really care for mashed potatoes. Smashed though, that’s good. Good and chunky. I’m getting off topic. When your beans are chunky and broken up add salt, pepper, cayenne and more cumin if that’s your bag, baby. It is mine.
For the dip:
The refried beans you just made
1/4 c. Minced onion you have soaked briefly in water and drained-if like me you aren’t into lingering onion taste (shallots are a delectable alternative)
1/4 c. Minced jarred roasted bell pepper
Dash or two of your hot sauce of choice(I like the brand Bufalo in Chipotle)
1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper.
Blend up about 1/2 of the beans with some of the cooking fluid to make a lovely purée. If it ain’t lovely throw in the towel, your efforts have been in vain. Kidding. Puréed black beans are not too lovely to behold.
Stir the purée into the other beans with remaining ingredients. Taste and add more seasonings if you like. Add cooking fluid(if you want) til too the consistency you like.

I’m a joiner

23 Feb

Usually I’m not.

I think I moved to LA because I hate sun and everyone told me I was such a New York person.

“You’ll fit in so well there!” they said.

I’m not used to fitting in.

But when it comes to the food blog world, I really just wanna be loved.

Next thing you know I’ll be using mason jars.

But for now I’ll stick with the used vons brand salsa jars I have oodles of.

Also, I needed a quick recipe cause acting is being busy. I was awoken with a text for a goth-y audition and the day started with a black eye-liner bang as I slapped this look together:

I have now seen the microwave muffin a lot of places. It was created by Deb of Smoothie Girl Eats Too and has been made by loads of other food bloggies who I wish were my friends. Fo’ rizzle. Cause they make tasty stuff and are witty and funny and everything I aspire to be if not as a person at least as a food blogger. Hmm.

So I joined in the fun and made some microwave muffins too. And I liked em.
A Lot.

And I asked Deb if I could print my renditions on her recipe and she took the time to write back and say ok and so I love her. Hope that doesn’t creep you out Deb. But you rock. As do your muffins of which I made a chocolate-peanut butter version using Fitnutz which is awsome powdered peanut butter I initially bought to add PB flava to ma smoothies. Ya.
And I made a plain version.
Both I used my free NuNaturals liquid stevia to sweeten because I won both the vanilla and the cocoa flavors and this seemed like a good application for them.
What I’m saying is this recipe is highly adaptable.
Play, cook and do what you like but make sure you give maddddddd props to Deb.

And much like Deb I felt the need to make a couple of versions of this.

Macro because they are big. Micro because you make them with waves of the micro variety.

Protein Micro-Macro Muffin(adapted from Deb’s recipe on Smoothie Girl Eats Too)
2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour(for version 2 use 1 Tbsp. whole wheat flour, 1 Tbsp. FitNutz-its a powdered peanut butter, and one Tbsp. cocoa powder)
3 heaping Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites(normally I’m all about eating yolks cause they are good for you but the whites will give your muffin epic volume)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
A few drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia(version 2 use NuNaturals cocoa bean extract)
A spoonful of sweetener to your taste(I used Splenda for both varieties)
Spray a large ramekin. In small bowl beat all ingredients like you a a mean kid. Beat em’ up. Add to greased ramekin and microwave on high 2 1/2 to 4 minutes. Know your microwave kids.

Curiouser and curiouser

18 Feb

This recipe made me hella curious as to whether it would be any good:

I really love reading Eden.
She doesn’t always post recipes but she almost always makes me laugh.
Like actually LOL.
I was going to wait until I’d tried a few more variations in this recipe to post it. But I decided to post it today because although I don’t know her personally, I’ve been keeping up with reading her blog and she’s dealing with an illness in her family and could probably use all the good thoughts she can get sent in her direction.
I’m a big believer in the power of positive thought, so check out her blog and send some love to Eden.

Now to those curious beans.

Cranberry Chili Fries? Say what? I love beans, ketchup is good, and cranberries are cool but I was not sure sure if these kids could get along.

Eden made this with pinto beans put it over sweet potato fries. I only had garbanzos, and I hate sweet potatoes(unless they are this kind which are totally different). I had butternut squash though so I cut it into logs, roasted at about Fahrenheit 425 for about a half hour, flipping once. Oh, yeah. Spray your roasting pan first. Add salt if you are so inclined. And these re “fries” so I say do it).
Top with the chili you created using this recipe and eat it up. Be happy. Do a little dance. Make a little love. Or at least tell someone you love them. Tell yourself you love you.

Wow, maybe I should have published this on Valentine’s day, but hopefully all that love stuff happened then too…

Bittman time

16 Feb

In honor of Valentine’s Day I had to visit the cookbook of my true author-love, Mark Bittman:

It’s another simple dish.

Can I bore you with another acting tale? Cause acting is the reason I’ve been resorting to the quick and simple.

I am busy this week trying to find a shot from my last headshot shoot in which I have “ice in my eyes”. My agent’s words.
Ummmm, yeah.

Here is what my agent picked out of the options I gave him:

Am I icy? I dunno.

In between actual jobs, auditions, mailings and class, finding an appopriate photo out of the hundreds taken that day took the rest of my time. My eyes are rarely icy, apparently.

Woe is me, having to look at myself all day. That’s enough of that.

On to food.

Again with the dishes with nationalities. This one is “Swiss-style”, according to my love, Mark Bittman. At least, the original recipe made with potatoes and other vegetables was. I made the variation on this bake.

Bake means casserole. But sounds fancier.

This is so simple it seems silly to post it, almost. It’s basically a mound of cheese and some peppers on bread.
In the future I want to make a version with cheddar and pimientos.
That would no longer Swiss.
More Southern like pimiento cheese?
Pimiento cheese is the shiz-nit, incidentally.

What are your favorite cheese/veggie combos? I want to know!

Swiss-style Bake(based on Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)
Several slices of whole wheat bread
Freshly ground pepper
Freshly ground sea salt
2 cups reduced-fat mozzarella, shredded(but really I’d use full-fat in the future as this was a bit dry)
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
I cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers
Preheat oven to 375.
Layer bread, salt and pepper, then cheese, then peppers in an 8×8 pan. So hard. Cover with foil and bake around 15 minutes, then uncover and bake til cheese is browned n bubbly. Kind of how you want your champagne to be minus the brown part.

Busy actress=great recipe, less description

12 Feb

I haven’t too too much fascinating to say on these corn cakes. I have been a busy busy actress.

I’m all about the repeated words with no comma separating them today. My my.

Why was I busy?

For one, putting together a new set of acting reels!
One funny:

One dramatic:

For seconds, I had a part in a short! Any weekend acting is a good one, particularly with these goombas:


And now your regularly scheduled gruel. It was worth wading through all the nonsense about my career to get to the recipe, no?

This is one of the few recipes I have made multiple times.
If you love the sweet corn cakes you get at Mexican restaurant you will love this healthier take on them.

That’s all she wrote, folks.
As I type this I am between shots on set so I better get back to set!

Sweet Corn Cakes from just barely adapted from More Healthy Home Cooking by Evelyn Tribole
5 Tbsp. Smart Balance(I used the light variety that is vegan)
1/3 c. Masa harina(or as auto correct says, mass hate)
1/3 c. applesauce
2 c. corn(I used frozen)
1/3 cup splenda(bad me)
2 Tbsp. buttermilk
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat yer oven to 350. Spray and 8×8 pan. Beat that balance good. Slowly pour in masa harina and applesauce whilst you beat.
Chop that corn a bit in your lover. I mean in your candy-red Kitchen Aid food processor. My bad. Add that to the other bowl and mix in along with the remaining ingredients. Spread in you pan and bake around 40 minutes. I know, I know, its a thick pasty mix, how could it need 40 minutes? It just does. It should be getting a bit golden on top when you take it out.
This would have been great with the EZ recipe I posted last.


8 Feb

If it’s purposely misspelled with a Z it has I be good yah? Like anything cheezy, or Eazy?
Vegan recipes for cheezy things have been abounding.

Why is that cheez made with such eaze?

Cause it’s nutritional yeast. You don’t have to even grate that shiz-nit.
I have to confess I’ve been enjoying stuff made with the ‘nooch. You know you’re in the club when you call it nooch, baby. So I leapt with great excitement into the recipe by Averie Sunshine of the Love Veggies and Yoga blog.

Holy chili bat-people! This tastes like a fantastic vegan chili. I love the spice. I wish I had saltines to crumble into it…

Turnips were one major change I made to this recipe. If you think you don’t like turnips give them a whirl in a recipe with potatoes. The taste is seriously similar.

I did not really register the nutritional yeast taste-I think I’d up the quantity in the future. Though I added more agua than the original recipe called for so perhaps it got diluted.

Anywho. Get your nooch and get eeeeezy. Nooch and easy. Sounds dirty.

EZ Cheezy(adapted from Love Veggies and Yoga)
4 oz. potatoes, diced
1 turnip, diced
Handful of spinach
3/4 c. Black beans(already cooked, at home or open a can)
2 T. + 2 tsp. nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Freshly ground pepper
Sea salt
Dash Bufalo Chipotle Sauce
1/2 c. Salsa
1 c. H2O
Layer ingredients in 2 qt. baking dish in order listed. Bake at 425 for about 45 minutes. Stir n chow. Ezzzzzz!

Neuroscience, be thy food stylist

5 Feb

Warning: major science and literature nerd post:
Did you know that a great deal of what we “taste” has to do with how the food looks and smells? Tis true. That’s why in blind taste tests people cannot tell the difference between red and white wine. That’s why parmesan cheese and vomit, which contain the same odor compounds are confused in blind smell tests.
Maybe I shouldn’t mention vomit on a food blog.

I really like to push the envelope though.

What we taste has as much to do with the context we experience it in as it does the actual make-up of the food.
In “Proust Was a Neuroscientist” author Jonah Lehrer discusses how Escoffier knew this long before brain research confirmed it, that’s why he insisted his food be served in very exacting ways.

All this doesn’t bode well for the fact that I say my food often is “gruel-ish”, i.e. not attractive.

So I tried to make something pretty.

A parfait.

And I need to try again because as you can see from the main photo I was not so successful in creating the perfect stripes of chocolate oats and cherry soft-serve. On it’s own the cherry soft serve was a gorgeous color though:


This delicious dish came from Oh She Glows- a chocolate-cherry-oat parfait. Or a chocolate cherry bomb, as Angela, mistress of the site calls it.

I only made two minor adjustments which were to use chocolate almond milk instead of regular, and MRM Veggie Protein in chocolate rather than the Amazing Grass Amazing Meal Chocolate Protein Powder she recommends. Cause two amazings in one powder is too amazing for me.

I like to stick with wicked awesome.

And I love the MRM stuff. They’re not sponsoring me to say that though if they want to send me some free veggie protein as a thank you for hyping them…geez I’m a shameless actor in search of free food.

This is a half-recipe. I didn’t know if I’d like it so…commitment issues.

Chocolate Cherry Oat Parfait(barely adapted from Oh She Glows
1/4 c. Oats
1/2 c. Chocolate Almond milk
1Tbsp. Chocolate protein powder
1/4 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. chia seeds
Mix these together and put in the fridge, at least an hour.
In food processor blend:
1/2 frozen banana
1/4 c. Frozen dark sweet cherries
Splash almond milk
Blend, a lot. For a long time. It’ll be worth it. I thought I might not like it but I lurrrrved it.
Layer with oat mixture. Ooh and ahhh. Gobble.