Archive | June, 2012

Addicted to love

30 Jun

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I’m actually not addicted to love, but I do become addicted to stuff I love. And when it comes to rehab I say No. No. No.

I am addicted to cooking from kinky-or-not(?)Chocolate Covered Katie’s eponymous blog.
I’ve made more things from her site than any other blog. I’ll give a little rundown at the end of this post.

An actual substance I legitimately love with addictive qualities happens to be cookie dough. So Katie’s Cookie Dough Dip had been on the to-make list for far too long.

I love her, I love dough. What else am I currently in love with? The cast of my play. My trifecta is complete. Crap, I thought trifecta just described a union of three great things but looked it up and found that it is a bet where you bet on the first three winners in exact order. I stand corrected.

Katie, cookie dough and the cast are not a trifecta. They are a triumvirate. That IS correct. A set of three. Specificly they are a triumphal triumvirate. The hat trick of addictive loves.

Katie’s recipe was naturally gluten-free, as are many of my castmates. Geez, these loves were meant to be. And the Midsummer(tickets here!) cast most certainly would need feeding for our sold out Sunday matinee, oui? That is where I served this up.

We are a sordid group, us thespians.
Here’s the green room evidence:

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I think I’m in love with them. Oh yes. Meow.
Perhaps I have kinky-ness to rival that which potentially resides in Katie my chocolate covered vegan blog-writer-love? I do make use of a whip in the play. You make the call.

First make Katie’s Cookie Dough Dip.

I served these with sea salt dusted crackers for the salty-sweet goodness and made mine with peanut butter as the nut butter, brown sugar as the sweetener, and added just a pinch of love. That was cheesy. But it’s the truth.

The Katie round-up. Not obsessed, just in love:

Pumpkin Bread in a Bowl
Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal(boatmeal)
Cookie Dough Balls
Vegan Crustless Quiche
Pumpkin Bars
Singleton Muffin and Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
Cake Batter Ice Cream
Beautiful Blueberry Concoction aka soy-free love potion
Healthy Ranch Dressing

I can please them all

30 Jun

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How smashing that something on my to-make list was already gluten-free.
As I mentioned here a great deal of my fellow thespians in a Midsummer Night’s Dream(next Saturday the 7th is the last show-get your ticket and come see it!!!) are gluten-intolerant. So I made the chocolate cookie bars in a gluten-free manner and they were killed.

By the actors. In the green room. With their mouths.

Except for Demetrius, poor Demetrius, couldeth not been truer foul fortune for him. He eateth gluten, but is lactose-intolerantenty and thusly could not indulge in ye cookies.

This recipe was already on my to-make list and already gluten-free. I had to use almond milk and vinegar instead of buttermilk but it all worked out.

Normally I am a “northern” cornbread person. I prefer sweet and buttery to drier and cornier. This cornbread strikes a pretty good balance. The bean purée helps maintain a slightly softer texture, but it is not terribly sweet and the corn flavor stands out. I don’t think a piece should be eaten naked(you or the bread) but t’would hold up covered in butter and honey or dunked in spicy chili.
Then again, pretty much everything works well with butter.

Eateth up.

Corn and Bean Bread(adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman)
1 c. Almond milk mixed with
1 Tbsp. Of vinegar and allowed to sit while you get everything else ready OR 1 c. Buttermilk
1 1/2 c. Cooked white Beans(drained, puréed, then strained)
1 1/2 c. Cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Sugar
2 eggs
Heat your oven to 375. Spray an 8×8 pan with nonstick spray. Mix beans, milk and eggs. Mix cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir together. Put in your pan and bake until top is starting to brown a just a bit, 30-ish minutes. The clean toothpick test applies as well. Feed a starving actor.

And for the Los Angeles set

27 Jun

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I did it. I purposefully made a dessert gluten-free.

I have no personal reason to do this.

I’ve done it not-terribly-successfully for me mum.

And now I’ve done it successfully for my castmates(of the ever-fabulous hard-core A Midsummer Night’s Dream tickets here! Ok I’m done). Being diet-aware as we Los Angelenos, especially those of us in the entertainment industry are, quite a few of my castmates had discovered a lack of digestive patience with good ol’ gluten. Fortunately none of them did it in the misled belief that gluten-free food is automatically healthy. They all actually had health problems caused by wheat.

But if any of them had started talking Paleo I’d have had to bite my tongue. That would hurt.

Despite the gluten-free challenge, the mom in me still wanted to feed the cast of Midsummer. Acting makes us hungry.

Plus, there was a bit of competition. First day of rehearsal and one of our actresses announced she baked. So of course I piped up. And then she dropped that g-free bomb and a good chunk of the cast bonded about being gluten-free so I realized if there was to be a bake-off I’d have to step up.

I was loathe to go buy a bunch of flours I generally have no use for but one of the g-f’s said she’d being me some brown rice flour.

I did done real good. The cast loooved these bars, original recipe courtesy of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

All that remained from rehearsal was this sad tiny brownie which I shall now gobble.

So here ya go. My would-be cookbook bf’s recipe, adapted for the g-f’s.

Gluten-free Chocolate Bars adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
8 Tbsp. melted butter
1/4 c. Applesauce
6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
3/4 c. Sugar(I subbed in Splenda for a 1/4 cup of it)
1 egg
Pinch salt
3/4 c. Brown rice flour
1/8 tsp. xanthum gum
1 c. Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips
Spray a 9×9 square baking pan. Preheat oven to 350.
Use beaters to blend up the cocoa, applesauce, and butter then beat in sugar until smooth. Then ye ol’ egg. Which hopefully actually isn’t old. Blend in salt. Switch to a spoon and add remaining ingredients. Bake around 20-30 minutes. Better underbaked than over. Feed starving thespians.

Cosmania Day Six

23 Jun

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Ok, the week has finished and I have learned what makes a Cosmopolitan work.

Yet my work is nevah evah done.

I found that the citron vodka is so very worth it. Pay the price, if an excellant Cosmo is what you desire. A bit more than half fresh lime juice to vodka works. Vodka and Cointreau in a 3:2 ratio. Provided you are using cranberry juice cocktail use equal parts of that and lime juice. And garnish with lime, not lemon.

But I was not satisfied. In my quest to perfect the Cosmo and give it the winning edge, I wanted to give it some brawn. Some might. The Cosmo has brains, but they are stifled by the insistance of society that Cosmos be relegated to woman.

So I added in a factor with a bit of machismo: Campari.

It is bitter. The stuff of Negronis. Now, it is also the stuff of not-just-a-drink-for-females.

The Mo-ellen.

I’d call it Moen but people would expect a hot and cold dial.

As a bonus I am throwing in a variation created by the lovely Alice.

Make it and love it. Know that you are no longer sipping a girl drink, you are drinking a universal elixir.

Oh yes.

The Mo-ellen(created by Ellen Clifford, for a little mo’ ellen in your life)
1/2 oz. Campari
1/2 oz. Cointreau
1 1/2 oz. citron vodka
1 oz. lime
1 1/2 oz. cranberry juice cocktail(your results will be even less sweet if you use regular juice)
Lime slice to garnish.
Shake up. Strain. Garnish. Sip.

For an Mo-Alicell top off with champagne. You lose a bit of macho but gain a bit of class.

Cosmania Day Five

22 Jun

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Shameless plug of the day for Midsummer: we got a great review.
So click on that sucker and if it sounds like a good show, get a ticket here.
Thou wilt have a smashing time if thou goeth.

Now on to the last of the experimental Cosmos. It stood out for it’s non-partisan blend of vodka, Cointreau and cranberry. Did this provide a perfect balance? Almost. Not quite.

I have examined this recipe, sipped, scribbled and contemplated all data from this and the previous four Cosmo recipes to create an Ellen Original. The Cosmo with the Edge. Because I’m edgy. Yah. T’will be unveiled tomorrow.

In the meantime, consider this:

Cosmopolitan #3 from the Drink Pro Lite App
1 oz. vodka
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. cranberry juice cocktail(sweeter than juice!)
1/2 oz. Lime juice
Lime wedge
Shake all but the wedge and strain. Garnish with wedge.
ANALYSIS
Color: just a hair less pink than the pinkest. Barbie’s kid sister
Refreshing factor: Quite, but bracing
Sweetness: moderate
Balance: a bit strong of an alcohol finish
Cran-factor: decent
Rating: A-
Really quite decent. But I missed that citron vodka.

Cosmania Day Four

21 Jun

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First my plug, with a hot picture:

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Tickets for A Midsummer Night’s Dream here:
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/243225or call 323-601-5310

And now an apology:
Dear Hello Giggles,
I know I professed a distinct dislike, bordering on hatred towards the word giggle. I am sorry if I offended you and your site’s name. You do in fact make me laugh. We can agree to disagree on the worthiness of the word “giggle”.
Plus you could have named your blog titter(yes I mean titter not twitter).
That would be worse.
Love,
Ellen
P.S. This drink is on me
cosmopolitan #2 from the Drinks Free App
1 1/4 oz. citron vodka
1/4 oz. lime juice
1/4 oz. Cointreau
1/4 c.(2 oz.) cranberry juice cocktail(cocktail being sweeter than regular old juice)
Shake it with ice, strain, garnish with lime twist.
ANALYSIS
Color: the prettiest yet, neon pink and the line garnish serves as a nice contrast
Refreshing factor: medium-low, the low amount of lime shows
Sweetness: high, probably the cranberry cocktail
Cranfactor: high
Rating: B+

In keeping with the girliness of Hello Giggles, this drink excels in that category. It is sweet and superbly pink.

Cosmania Day Three

20 Jun

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No entertaining videos for you today, but if you missed yesterday’s Girl Drink Drunk bit from Kids in the Hall, or Monday’s trailer for my play, well then, click those links and get giggling.
No nevermind, please don’t giggle.
I don’t like the word giggle. No that’s not right. The word is fine, but I would hate my laugh to be described as “giggling”, it just seems so…obnoxious. Like laughing in a bratty way.
C’est tout.
Booze:
Cranberry-esque Cosmopolitan from The Bar Book by Mittie Hellmich
2 oz. citron vodka
3/4 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. cranberry juice cocktail(I reiterate that I used the cocktail, t’would probably be less sweet without)
1 oz. fresh lime juice
Lemon twist
Shake all but lemon twist with ice, garnish with lemon twist.
ANALYSIS
Color-Snapple-esque?
Refreshing factor-not terribly
Sweetness-syrup-y finish
Balance-despite having more vodka, not terribly alcohol-y
Cran-factor- moderate
Rating B+

Probably the larger proportion of cranberry juice cocktail made it sweeter. Or perhaps having less Cointreau makes it less sweet since it lacks the bitter orange bite? I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve actually tasted it straight up. Hmm. Things to do.