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Best hits and what may come for the Gruel: Opinions wanted

31 Dec

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Happy happy! It is a new year. Yayza. In this delightful little post I am going to recap part of vacay, make a proposal, and then recap a few favorites on this lil’ blog of mine.

I went to St. Louis for Christmas. Whilst there, with my lovely fwife Eleanor I went to the MOST awesome of places, Blood and Sand. The MOST friendly of people work there. They can deduce exactly what you MOST want to drink, even if you do not know.

I drank the two MOST fantastical drinks, along with eating some MOST delightful truffled tater tots. One of the drinks had the MOST awesome of names: “Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives”. It was so much the MOST of the most-ousitous of times. The drink consisted of Rittenhouse rye, brown sugar simple, Punt e Mes, lemon juice, allspice dram and rosé sparkling. If rye and apple pie had an alcoholic child, this would be it. I am contemplating if the different elements of the name stand for different ingredients of the drink, and if so, which. I intend to recreate this come heck or high water. Clearly high standards I have for 2014.

I want to get y’all’s opinion on something. What if I did little restaurant/bar/food reviews from time to time? I do like to get out of the house to dine, shockingly enough. Between trying new recipes for the Gruel and also for my Hello Giggles column The Book Cook, I am getting a bit stressed. And much as I love writing and food-oriented opportunities I want to keep my mind on the acting game and not get too distracted. I still would still do mostly recipes, and I have some exciting theme weeks like a “Carrot Caked” week planned, but I’d like to have the options. I’d like to try new things, maybe even recommend a wine or two from time to time. Could be fun. Why am I nervous about this? I feel like I am asking you to go on a date or something.

It’s my blog and I can do what I want, obviously, but I want to know if there are any major objections out there to the review thing. Ooh, I may not be asking you on a date but maybe I could even go on some blogger dates and tell you about them. There are some LA bloggers I’d like to meet. That would be fun for all. I think.

Okay, now a little bit of year end wrap-up. Because I can. I am going to link you up with some of your most favorite-est recipes. I’m basing popularity, or at least reader interest, on the stats of what was clicked on the most. I’d also like to round up some of MY favorite things, especially from the early days of the blog when my photography sucked even more and not many folks were reading. I could revisit the less viewed recipes and get some better shots of them. Maybe next week. The blog may be a bit more sporadic in January and February, so don’t freak out or anything. I’m still here.

Oddly enough, the recipe that got THE MOST hits this year was this one for a clear chocolate martini. Quite frankly I am a wee bit distressed by y’all’s standards. Is a clear chocolate martini really what you want? With a photo like this?:
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I am disturbed. But my hope was renewed when I saw the second most clicked upon recipe was for Mark Bittman’s Creamed Bulgur and entitled Bulgur Not Vulgar which of course means it was NOT a chaste entry. But delicious:
20131009-210958.jpgNext up was a Pumpkin Polenta Pizza I would deem to be worthy, taste-wise if not aesthetically, of a few more clicks:
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Next-most clicked upon this year, and the most clicked upon of all time is this pumpkin soup:
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It helps that the photo was pretty, I imagine. But I was proud of my recipe too.
The least popular recipe, at least as I write this, was from the long-ago waffle week. I waffled a bran cracker. Enough said.
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This is a process

19 Dec

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Life is a process. And it is worth it.

As is this cocktail.

And other deep thoughts.

Let us infuse some shit.

But first a shameless plug for my positively adorable in every way improv group:
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This is our sexy face.
Improv is a process. It takes a long long long time to not suck all the time. I have recently been trying to really FOCUS and put the time into doing what I do. I am aiming for quality of activities over quantity.

And that was my segue into saying that this cocktail is a process. I saw it posted on The Table Set podcast and I knew I wanted it. It takes about a week of patience. The creator, Nathan Hazard (great name), calls it the December Dilemma and I am calling my minor adaptation December Do. As in “just do it”. Do. DO.

Normally the minute I see a cocktail that requires an infusion, or making a big batch of some alcohol I can only fathom using in one or two instances, I eschew the idea of making it. But I could not run away from this. It was too perfect for the season.

I adore wine. I adore cranberries. And bourbon. And I am madly, madly in love with Campari. You can run off down darkened alleys with Aperol and claim it is preferable all you want, but Aperol will take your money and run.

Campari will be there. Ready to amuse you with it’s bitter wit and dazzle you with it’s colorful personality.

So even though this recipe involves handmade wine-sugar-infused cranberries in lieu of my adored Luxardo cherries, and cranberry-infused-Campari, I could not resist because I began to imagine the many delights I could make with what I decided to call Lux-erries and Cran-pari.

I had to adapt a bit. I wanted to get cracking the night I saw this and it felt too late to be running to the store so I did not use the Manischewitz wine. Instead I used a lovely Ravenswood Zin. I also did not feel like laying out the funds for the Punt e Mes so I used a slightly smaller amount of Martini and Rossi Rosso vermouth plus a bit of regular Campari.

Heaven can be yours if you wait.

December Do barely adapted from this recipe on The Table Set
Starting a week ahead make your:
Cran-pari:
1 cup cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. water
3 cups Campari
Heat the cranberries, sugar, and water over medium until the berries start to pop. Let them cool then add to a jar with the Campari. Store in a cool and dark dungeon like your refrigerator and shake daily for a week. Then strain two times. I strained from the jar into a wide-mouthed glass measuring cup with a spout, then placed the strainer over a funnel and funneled into the original Campari bottle.
Also make:
Lux-erries
1 cup cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups red wine, I used Zinfandel
Heat the red wine until it is reduced by half. Add sugar and heat and stir until it is well dissolved and you have a lovely syrup-y wine. Add cranberries and allow to cool. Allow about a week in a cool dark place, shaking occasionally if the cranberries are rising way over the wine.
For The Drink:
1 1/2 oz. Bulleit Rye
1 oz. Cran-Pari
3/4 oz. Martini & Rossi Rosso
1/4 oz. Campari
Lux-erries
orange zest
Stir the rye, cran-pari, vermouth, and campari in a chilled mixing glass with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add a Lux-erry or so. Run the orange peel around the rim, squeeze it over the drink and discard. Or don’t. Do what ya feel.

Gratitude

29 Nov

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This week’s picture and recipe both courtesy of my deep need to pimp my latest column for Hello Giggles. You can get the recipe for Death by Chocolate Until You’re Blue-berry in the Face, and my musings on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory here. So to kick off this week’s list of giving thanks in honor of Thanksgiving, I’ll say thank you Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer and Sophia Rossi for founding a stellar website and letting me spew silly stuff about books and food on it. And now because I am sitting here biding my time on a bus back from LAX to home, I shall regale you with all that I am thankful for.
1) first and foremost my family. They are the best. Everyone should have such great parents. I really don’t have enough room to tell you how wonderful they are.
2) acting work. In this last year I’ve gotten to work with an awful lot of talented people. I’ve been in a movie on the Chiller Network. I’ve met some great casting directors and finally gotten into some casting offices I’d dreamed of getting a shot at. I finally felt like a part of pilot season. Now to keep it up!
3) improv/comedy: I am on an improv team I LOVE. We get the opportunity to perform every single week (Every Sunday unless there are 5 in a month-then we don’t do the 5th- 7pm! The Neon Venus). I also have a practice group from UCB classes I adore who hopefully will start doing shows soon. And I’ve done some scaryscaryscary stand- up.
4) auditions-still going out all the dang time and have a buddy who is always there to help me prep, and who I help get ready too. It’s good having an acting teammate.
5) writing. Up to episode ten on the episodic I’ve been writing. Blackboard Eats still sends me to some snazzy places, and I got the gig to write for Hello Giggles-so now I can claim that all my reading and cooking is in the name of my work writing The Book Cook.
6) You guys! Thank you for reading this. I’m sending y’all love, love love. Cause love is all you need.
7) friends. Hot dang I have some good ones, near and far. Now is a good time to thank Skype for keeping me closer with the far ones. As for the near ones, hot dang they’ve got my back. And they are into having pie parties. What more does a girl need?
8) baseball. A girl needs baseball. Finally got to a game. Granted I’d be even more grateful if the Cardinals had won the World Series but I’m proud of my hometown team all the same.
9) Patti Smith and Trent Reznor. My two biggest musical idols and I got to see them both.
10) Los Angeles. City I love you.

It hasn’t been ALL amazing, sure. There have been arm surgeries and jobs I didn’t get and traffic jams and foiled plans but all in all, I’m awfully happy.
I’m going to go hug the world now. Lies. I’m going to go home and do work worky work work just as soon as I get there.
Love,
Ellen

Birds! St. Louis! Go go go! And a Mess

24 Oct

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I wished for something red to make for you guys, as I am cheering on my Redbirds in the World Series. I wished for something to use up meringues from the column I was writing for Hello Giggles. I wanted something easily gobble-able whilst on my couch screaming for Beltran.

I am running between the aforementioned Giggles, auditions, my third short film to shoot this month, improv shows, improv practice, a new scene study class, and a new assignment from Blackboard Eats.

This is good. I have no brainpower left.

And I apologize or rattling off my to do lists here. I’ll get back to the food.

I made food representative of my mind-state which is A MESS!

Voila, mofos. The Eton Mess.

This meringue recipe was intended for shells to make pavlovas, but I imagine you could just dollop it out for cookies too.

ps yes, I used reddi-whip. I am pretty sure real whipped cream would make this superlative.

Messy Bird Food adapted from a pavlova recipe by America’s Test Kitchen’s Baking Illustrated
For meringues:
• two egg whites
• 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
• ½ cup sugar
• ¼ tsp. almond extract
• ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
For the rest of dessert:
*whipped cream to your liking
*strawberries, also to your liking
*sugar, if you find it necessary but the meringues and whipped cream will probably do it.
Heat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you have a whisk attachment for your mixer, now’s the time to use it. If you are beating these egg whites by hand, I’m sorry. Your arm is going to be sore when you are done. Beat the egg whites at medium-low speed until they are foamy. Add the cream of tartar and increase speed to medium-high. Beat until thick and billow-y like newly lathered shaving cream. Slowly sprinkle in ¼ cup sugar, vanilla and almond extracts. Beat just until incorporated. Turn off mixer. Use whisk to fold in the rest of the sugar. Scoop it out in ¼ cup amounts onto the parchment (you should get six) and use a big spoon to create hollows that you will be putting filling in. I had to do a bit of cheating, spooning extra around the edges to create a basin in the middle. Do what you gotta do. Bake about 1 ½ hours, or until dry and sturdy exteriors. Turn the oven off but leave the shells in for several hours to get dried. If you store these in an airtight container they will keep for about two weeks.
Mash about half the berries. If you think they need sweetening do it now. Some recipes I found for Eton Mess called for layering the elements, others called for folding them all together. I layered. Then I could fold together bite by fluffy bite.

Go Cardinals!

Thymes Two

1 Aug

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Thank you Suilma, for the beautiful blackberry photography.
We now pause for this week’s disgustingly self-promotional blurb:
My latest Blackboard Eats review, of Locanda Positano, just came out. You can read about it here.
No thrilling acting news beyond auditions and callbacks galore and the usual bi-monthly improv madness-next date for that is August 9th, so, um, yeah…file that away in your noggin’ somewhere secure, because we are going to be doing a bit of drinkin’ this week on the Gruel.

I massive life lists. Things to do. Places to go. Recipes to make. Things to write. I cross-list too. With friends who also have lists. And half the time we laugh that we will be lucky if we accomplish one thing. My friend Alice and I are notoriously making plans: to host pie parties (we do do this!), go hiking (happens sometimes), to visit the Jet Propulsion Lab (not yet), to read books in coffee houses and art museum courtyards (we’ve yet accomplish these Public Displays of Literacy yet), to choreograph to various songs, to see the dinos at the Natural History Museum (not yet), and finally there are a gajillon different speakeasies we’d love to explore.

But most of all, WE WANT TO SEE OWLS.

With prominent ears.

It is a long story.

So when I heard there was an art show featuring owl works in Culver City, Alice and I started plotting. WE SHOULD DO THIS. WE COULD DO THIS.

And then maybe we could hike after art. Then we could visit a wine bar, because we had leftover cash on cards to do tasting at Ugo. Then get grilled cheese at Blind Barber , because who doesn’t want to consume melted cheese near where men are being shaved?

So we made these plans then laughed that maybe we would accomplish two of these things. Well we did beyond.

We saw the owl show. Then happened to walk into another gallery with MORE OWLS?!!! WTF where have these strigiformes been all my life?!!

We then did an “urban hike” meaning powerwalking around Culver for a bit. Then tasted about two ounces of wine at Ugo. Then on the the barber. Lemme tell you. You walk through a brightly lit shop into a magical speakeasy where bartenders will muddle tomatoes-make that “heirloom” tomatoes said my charming mixologist, with rye and such, to please your buds. And the grilled cheese was buttery madness. We split the drink, sammich, and soup.

BUT THEN! We did not stop there because we are not quitters, and we had still consumed less than one drink each, so felt the night could cautiously go on. Alice had never seen Oldfield’s, one of my favorite old-timey craft cocktail places, so we dropped by to split another drink and say hello to the effervescent “BC from DC!” who never fails to charm. Or mix a good drink.

That was a good day. One in which I actually was doing the fun things I claimed I’d make time for. Exploring. With a friend. Life doesn’t get much better.

So now that you are thinking cocktails, and friends, I give you two. Because you are going to get thyme to make one, then wonder what to do with all the thyme you have leftover so you will make the other one too. Two. Two times. The first I made with brilliant Suilma, the second I made alone for dessert another night. Less decent photo, but skulls make it all better:

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But first things first. Blackberries:

Blackberry-Thyme Margaritas adapted from the July 07 issue of Bon Appetit
16 blackberries
Several thyme sprigs
3 Tbsp. sugar dissolved in 1/4 c. H2O
6 Tbsp. tequila (I used Sauza blanco)
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. Cointreau
2 cups of ice cubes
1/4 c. Sparkling wine
Put 14 berries and 2 thyme sprigs in a bowl and muddle. Mix in sugar-water (aka simple syrup), tequila, lime juice, Cointreau, and 1 cup ice. Stir to blend. Strain into another bowl. Mix in sparkly.
Divide ice in two cups and then our mixture over. Garnish with remaining blackberries and thyme. Toast with a friend and watch “Girls” while talking about boys.

Now the raspberries. Dessert.

Raspberry-Campari Float adapted from Bon Appetit July 2013

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
Thyme sprig
1/4 cup Campari
1 1/3 cups raspberries
1 pint vanilla ice cream (mine had maple flavoring)
2 12 oz. bottles of club soda
Bring water, sugar and thyme to boil. Take off heat and cover for 15 minutes. Remove thyme. Let cool stir in Campari. Divide between four glasses. Add raspberries and muddle. Add ice cream then pour in club soda, and more Campari to taste.
Eat alone and relish your grand success.

Ballet russe

1 May

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This gorgeous concoction’s name means Russian Ballet. More on that in a moment.
First I must bore you with my actor life. I will summarize the reading I acted in last night for the WGA Writer’s Access Project finalist scripts with this word: fan-friggin’-tastic. I felt extremely honored to be working with such awesome writers, actors, and directors. And there was a girl acting in another scene who is recurring on The Mindy Project which is a show I so need to be on so I was in awe.
And now, here is what I originally wrote for today’s post:

Us actors will sell you a load of fantasies if you let us.

Particularly about how we look. Why, I wake up with smashing black rock n roll eyeliner. That has only dripped halfway down my face in a badass way.
It did not take a hair dryer and flat iron to create this look. Oh no no, I am a wicked version of Patti Smith effortlessly:

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Hollywood especially likes to lie to us about people’s bodies and what they eat. That’s why the Sex in the City ladies can down Cosmos and the calories don’t count.

And Russian ballerinas drink these and then put on those pointe shoes.

I cannot really do pointe anymore. There comes a time in a dancer’s life when she gains just enough sanity to realize that keeping all her toenails might be nice.

But ja, ya, yes I can make a killer drink called the Ballet Russe. Perhaps drink it with this Russian Mushroom-Egg dish?!

Make it, drink it. It will make you lovely and graceful…in your head. Sometimes that is all you need anyway.

Ballet Russe (From The Ultimate Bar Book by Mittie Hellmich
1 oz. vodka
3/4 oz. creme de framboise
1 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. simple syrup (or if you live in reality and would like to pretend this is lo-cal 2 Tbsp. Splenda dissolved in 2 Tbsp. H2O.
Shake over ice, strain and sip. You go, twinkle toes.

A loaf! A seasonal drink! Being a guest post-er! And some striped tights in your face (see pic) just because

27 Feb

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Popularity should not matter.
And yet.
I get hung up on how many people are clicking on my IMDB page. Shameless actress behavior.
I get hung up on how many readers my lil’ blog has. And how popular other bloggers are. Like my girl Kelly over at Foodie Fiasco.
Owing to the fact that she made use of the most fantastic mot “fiasco” I think the food-loving powers that be can get over her use of the word “foodie”.

Really, word snobs, get off yer high horse. It’s not like she used the word “moist”. Or like I used the word “cunt”.

Yeah I went there.

And it’s not actually a bad word. Read the book “Cunt” by Inga Muscio, author and feminist.

OMG the f-word! I’m on fire. Fuck.

Anyway read “Cunt”. You may learn something.

I’m gonna get back on track. We were talking about way-kool Kelly!

This popular gal let me write a guest post!

I made a bulgur loaf you can read about here.

And now because I love you even more, and because Kelly is only fifteen so she couldn’t take my cocktail recipe and put it on her blog, I give you some seasonal goodness in the form of a blood orange cocktail.

Blood oranges are all over the interwebs this week, but me posting this recipe has less to do with me being a joiner and more to do with the fact that blood orange season really is ridiculously brief and I want you to make this whilst you can.

No, you cannot substitute regular orange juice.

This is so easy and elegant. You can relish the fact that you have the prettiest drink. Oh yes you do. And yet it is also slightly manly in its deep red hue.

It’s a drink for all people. But not for all seasons. Boo-yah!

Blood Orange Champagne Cocktail from this recipe in Bon Appetit)
1 1/2 tsp. creme de cassis
3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed blood orange juice
Champagne
Slice of blood orange
Add creme de cassis and orange juice. Top with champagne. Garnish with slice.

A guest!

13 Feb

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How fantastic are the photos when I’m not in charge of taking them?

The universe just knows, y’all. Right after I posted my last pizza week entry saying I needed to take off to go act and write, I got another one of those awesome auditions requiring that I go on the lot. An audition for something people actually would see.
With less than 24 hours to prep. That’s pretty typical. Whee!
Who needs roller coasters? I’ve got life.

I also received an email out of the blue from Kendra Thorton asking if I wanted a guest post. Perfect timing. Kendra’s had quite the life. She is a travel expert who has been to 28 countries and 6 continents. The former director of communications for Orbitz, she has been featured all over the place as a travel expert. Nice. The closest thing to travel expertise I have to offer is to try Fountain or Olympic in rush hour.
Kendra is now a wife the proud mama of three who likes to bring her experience in travel into the kitchen at home. If you want more Kendra in your life she can be found on your friendly internets:

Twitter: @KendraThornton – https://twitter.com/KendraThornton
Website: http://www.thorntonpr.com/

Thanks for writing, Kendra!

The Lanikai Juice Smoothie: A DIY Taste of Waikiki
“Exploring the Secrets of Different Foodie Cultures and Bringing the Taste Back to your Own Home”

After a wonderful stay at the Halekulani Hotel , ranked as one of the top hotels in Honolulu, it wasn’t easy to leave the beautiful islands of Hawaii behind. However, I managed to bring back a little piece of the islands for my friends and family to enjoy – my new signature smoothie!

I have always been one to worry about staying fit, especially after the birth of my three children and during my stay in Hawaii; I dropped in on the Lanikai Juice Company, just four miles from my hotel on Waikiki Beach.

There I learned the secrets of this refreshing concoction, and I’ve played around with the recipe just enough to make it my own. After a few weeks of alterations, I think I’ve come across the perfect method of making it.
To make it for yourself, you’ll need:

- One organic banana
- Half a small glass of orange juice
- Two handfuls of frozen mixed berries (sold in the freezer section of your local grocery store)

To start, combine the banana and orange juice in a blender until smooth. Next, add the berries and blend once more. Once the berries have been reduced to create a smooth liquid, your smoothie is finished!

My favorite part about this refreshing taste of the Hawaiian Islands is the frozen berries, which are not only used to establish an element of flavor, but to thicken the smoothie. If you don’t have any frozen berries on hand, you can always use three to four ice cubes in their stead. However, I highly recommend using frozen berries.

I’m not the only one who loves this healthy snack, either – my kids adore it. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have them beg me for a healthy treat for once in their lives.

Whenever I want to relax and bring to mind the relaxation I felt in Hawaii, I whip up this easy, delicious smoothie. I love it so much that I’m never without the ingredients to make it! I hope you enjoy the flavor of Hawaii just as much as my family and I have!

Mad Man’s Brilliance

20 Dec

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I introduced you to the culinary stylings of my brother’s mad scientist compadre (whom we are calling MM) with this purple pie.

Twas’ unfair, really, as I should have started with his AMAZING cranberry concoctions. He made both sweet and savory cranberry sauces, the former saving my not-sweet-enough-and-underspiced-because-my-brother-doesn’t-properly-stock-his-kitchen pumpkin pie when I got the brilliant idea to use it as a pie topping, the latter receiving raves from all carnivores on hand.

I’m thinking a New Year’s resolution will be to not use so many run-on sentences.

And to not resort to terse monosyllabic sarcasm instead.

Elegantly crafted sentences of the proper coherent length!

Someday.

The sauces! MM gave me his estimation of what he did. A mad scientist never make notes while cooking, they just maniacally stir cauldrons and cackle. Or so I like to imagine MM doing in chilly Chicago where the cold seeps into the brains of its residents and leads them to such kitchen shenanigans.

Back in LA I made scaled down renditions of the sauces, even the bacon one! Litelife makes surprisingly tasty smoky tempeh strips called Fakin’ Bacon. MM is a renegade chef so I figured I should follow in his spirit and not be tied down to what he had done.
Here be my tempeh-bacon version:

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Sip a Sazerac while making these.
I did.

Actually I made two different Sazerac recipes, from which I plan to concoct my ideal Saz and post it later. But you see the first two versions hanging out behind the bacon sauce.

Never thought “bacon sauce” would be words blogged here.

And good golly!

Apparently I like not only absinthe, but bourbon. Trouble’s a brewing!

Bourbon, berries, and bacon, baby.

MM’s Orange-Whiskey Cranberries, my adaptations (because I didn’t have enough cranberries and booze) in parenthesis

1 1/2 bags of cranberries (I had only two cups)
Juice of two oranges (I used one)
Zest of one orange (1/2 an orange)
About 4 shots of bourbon (4 Tbsp. of Jameson)
1 1/2 c. Brown sugar (1/2 c. Brown, 1/4 of white)
1 tsp. cinnamon (1/2 tsp. cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg)
Put everything in a pan, add H2O to a bit below the cranberry line. Bring to boil then reduce and thicken to taste. Add salt to taste. Gets thicker as it cools so leave it a wee bit soupy, says me. If you made a pumpkin pie that wasn’t sweet enough too, use this as a topping!

MM’s Bacon Cranberries

8 slices of bacon (3 slices “Fakin’ Bacon-LiteLife’s smoky tempeh bacon strips)
1 Vidalia onion, chopped (1/3 c. Chopped yellow onion)
Garlic (I used 1/2 tsp. chopped)
1 chopped Granny Smith apple (1/3 c. Chopped Fuji apple)
1.5 bags cranberries (2 c.)
Water to come up 1 inch below cranberries
1 1/2 c. Sugar (1/2 cup)
Chili powder (1 tsp.)
Sriracha (2 tsp.)
A bouquet garni of black peppercorn, rosemary and bay leaf (A grind or so of black pepper, a pinch of dried rosemary, bay leaf)
Salt to taste
If using bacon, render the fat, chop bacon and set bacon aside. Use the fat to cook onion, garlic and apple. If not using bacon, chop the Fakin’ and set it aside. Spray pot with a nonstick spray before sautéing onion, garlic and apple. Add cranberries, water, sugar, Sriracha, chili powder, bouquet garni or black pepper, rosemary, and bay leaf (and if you are using the Fakin’ add it now) and reduce. If using regular bacon add once it cools, add salt if you like. Don’t forget to take out the bouquet garni, or bay leaf if using the dried herbs.

Pomegranates. Limes. Bran. Little Things.

14 Nov

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I don’t know that I have a graceful segue from from my random musings into the recipe today.
Metaphor? Not really.

Simile? This cake is like a golf cart.
No.

How’s about an analogy? Little things are to actors as pretty pink fruit is to a cake. Both bring stupid amounts of joy.

I will settle for that.

Because it is the little things. Case in point: I had an audition on the lot at Fox studios. Which is wicked awesome because it means I was auditioning for something a large amount of people watch.
No offense at all to all the smaller projects I generally work on AT ALL. But I wouldn’t mind whoring my acting capabilities around on network tv too.
Anyway, going on the lot is always a treat, even if auditioning actors are now made to park in a lot across across a major intersection from the studios that is a loooong twisty hike just to the studio gate from which you will blaze a decent sized trail to find the casting director’s office. I needed two maps to find my way from my car to my audition. But I made it. I auditioned. I think it went well.

I left the office and looked around the lot hoping to see a bathroom near me. Stopped a guy cruising around in one of those carts to get directions. He only knew where the men’s room was (right around the corner, naturally) and stopped a woman to ask her if she could direct us to the ladies room and it sounded like it was going to be another hike. So he said “hop in”.

Nothing to make you feel like a real actor like cruising round a studio in one of those carts.

That guy made my day.

This cake, super-sweet, quite pretty thanks to the pomegranate seeds, tasty, and thanks to my adaptations decently healthy, will hopefully bring a little happy happy joy joy to you too. Woot!

Dig it.

Pomegranate and Lime Cake adapted from Bon Appetit

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1 egg
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. pomegranate juice
2 tsp. grated lime zest, divided
1/4 c. Greek yogurt
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 c. pomegranate seeds
Heat oven to 350. Line an 8×8 pan with nonstick foil and spray with nonstick spray.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Whisk in bran.
Whisk sugar and applesauce together. Whisk in 1/4 cup juice and one tsp. lime peel. Beat in flour mix. Stir in yogurt. Spread it in the pan. Bake until done. Use your senses. Allow to cool 15 minutes.
Sift powdered sugar, then whisk in juice, vanilla and 1/2 tsp. line peel.
Poke holes in cake with a fork an inch apart. Pour on the glaze and spread. Once cool, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and lime peel. Purty!

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