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It ain’t LA if…insert podcast reference here

21 Jul

 

I promise a finale to the cru Beaujolais series very soon.

It ain’t LA if you aren’t selfie-ing up a storm and self-promoting like crazy so I take this self-indulgent moment to say if you haven’t yet, please take a listen to The Whine Situation! We pair funny people’s whines with wines. No it is not for a wine professional. Just people who want to laugh and possibly learn a little about wine.

We are on iTunes, Stitcher, Youtube, and you can stream anytime from Libsyn! YAY.

This week we tackle the whine of why people have to hate on LA. So this post is meta or something.

Please listen. Subscribe. Rate etc the whole shebang. Get in.

 

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Braised tempeh

4 Apr

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My mistress, my lover, my one and only, i.e. my career, has kept me busy running about this year. Class! Audition! Improv! Stand-up! Writing! Screening!

This weekend she had a little soirée to attend where I praised her work in a little movie we watched that will be in the Chiller Network in May. She did ok. And I’m her worst critic. But I will be asking y’all to watch “Listen, My Children” in a couple of months.

I realized after doing stand-up last Monday (and after agreeing to do it again on the 15th!) that my mistress, Mz. Work, was tired. And hungry.

She came along when I ate at Caffe Roma to write this Blackboard Eats review, published today, but my official meat taster out-ate the both of us, as he usually does.

So I said ok, I’ll cook just for you.

I made her tempeh. And tonight I’m making her cinnamon rolls. Stay tuned!

Braised Tempeh for Your One and Only adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cool Everything Vegetarian

Olive oil spray
2 oz. tempeh, crumbled
3/4 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 tsp. ginger purée (I used jarred, feel free to use fresh)
Freshly ground pepper
Sea salt
1 cup diced tomato (I used canned)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
Big handful of baby spinach
2 chopped green onions
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
Spray a pan with olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add tempeh. Cook and stir, and when it gets a bit of color add garlic, ginger, and a sprinkle salt and pepper. Sauté a bit longer, until the tempeh is deeper colored. Add tomatoes and soy sauce, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer until thickened. Stir in spinach, parsley and onions. Stir and cook just until the spinach wilts. Watch your lover melt in your arms after they taste it. Whee!

Saz me

1 Jan

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Says me. Saz me. I could not resist.

I like that I like bourbon. Is that weird? It’s like an ego thing. Now at least the people that doubt my taste in booze when I say I hate alllll beer can be comforted by the fact that I like bourbon.

I found out I like Bourbon because I enjoy absinthe (in a cocktail, anyway) and ordered up a Sazerac one day. Holy moly, that was a stiff drink. After sending it back because I tasted zero absinthe (it supposedly had been “misted” with absinthe but I think the bartender’s interpretation of “mist” was to hold the bottle near the drink and maybe hope the scent would transmit somehow), I really enjoyed it and was surprised to find out it was mostly bourbon.

But there is more-oh yes!

I liked the aesthetic.

How I like a Saz is half-taste, half the-whole-thing. The glass. The name. The lore. The experience. Priceless? Not really but who cares.

I tried a few different iterations of Sazeracs at home to concoct the perfect one. Perfect for me, anyway. My first attempts were seen on the Gruel here. Unlike my perfect Camparied up Cosmo I came up with, the Mo-ellen, my Saz recipe is not just for the beverage, but for the whole process.

First let’s break down the elements of this liquid refreshment.

Base alcohol: bourbon, rye, or (in The Ultimate Bar Book’s version for the original sazerac), cognac. Cognac? Apparently when the drink started in France that was the beverage of choice. No, no, and no. I do like cognac but bourbon makes it better. Rye is ok, but I think bourbon makes the smoother blend.

Sugar type: simple syrup, sugar cube or sugar. I say cube. Aesthetics, people. If you even think “agave” you need another drink.

Absinthe method: shake, swirl in glass and discard extra, or stir. I say swirl but don’t dump! What a waste of pricy liqueur. And I like a little stronger taste of it. At least sip the excess straight. Straight up absinthe-youcan do it! After all you are a badass who likes bourbon now.

Bitters: peychaud, angostura or both.
I like mostly peychaud with a dash or so of angostura.

Mixing/serving: stirred, shaken, rocks, or up. I don’t like drinks on the rocks usually, but I liked a cooling element so now is time for the fancy giant cube. I actually molded mine by lining an espresso cup with plastic then filling and freezing. Ran under hot water to get out and voila!
Giant cube:

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So bespoke.
Extras: water, lemon juice, lemon twist
I favored just a touch of fresh-squeezed lemon juice for brightness, as well as a twist.

Now I give you my recipe for

The Sazerac Experience
Giant ice cube
Sugar cube
Peychaud bitters to saturate sugar
A couple dashes Angostura bitters
Scant tsp. absinthe
2 oz. good bourbon
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
A lemon peel twist
Have that big cube ready in the freezer. Select your glass. I’m still on a hunt for the perfect old-fashioned glass for me. I’d like one slightly more slender than the standard with a good weight to it. You want a glass that says bad-ass mixed with elegance. Until I find mine, the one that feels best in my hand, I’m enjoying my glass with a skull on it.
Add absinthe and swirl to coat sides. If you don’t love absinthe you can get rid of any excess after this. I say keep it. Add sugar cube. Saturate the cube with the bitters. The extra absinthe comes in handy to get the sugar dissolving. Shake the bourbon and lemon juice with ice then strain into the glass. Add giant ice cube and really swirl. The sugar cube should really be dissolving. Now run the lemon twist around the top of the glass and drop it in. Ahhh. Savor that sucker. Now the real reason for the sugar cube. When you get to the bottom of the glass some of it will be left and you can dip your pinkie in and taste the sugar-y, bitters-y goodness. The drink’s dessert. Maybe it’s uncouth but absinthe is the drink for creative sorts who don’t play it safe. Who refuse to conform. Saz me.

Some like it hot

17 Sep

Not me. I like many things cold. Especially coffee. Not only is cold-brewed delicious but it saves energy too. No plugging in the coffee maker or boiling H2O for a French press. And it sounds sort of sexy to say “Ah yes, well I only cold-brew”. If I were a superhipster I’d brew beer but I hate beer, so I will be a subversive hipster, and cold-brew coffee. Which really makes me an ultra-non-hip-hipster. Sorry, I’ve had hipsters on the brain ever since acting in this
Just to prove how un-hip hip I am, here is the view from my balcony:

See? I don’t live in Eagle Rock. Not a hipster. And surely hipsters don’t drink their coffee from glasses like that, garnished with a cinnamon stick.
Ok, I’ll shut up about the hipsters and tell you about the coffee. What I do is the result of reading and experimenting with recipes from several different sources including Food and Wine Magazine, Pioneer Woman, and Cook’s Illustrated, then adding my own touch of cinnamon. To make what I did, grind up a couple of cups of coffee beans(I used a french roast), add two to four times the number of cups of coffee you ground in water, depending on how strong you like your coffee. So two cups of grounds would be 4-8 cups of water. Stir it up. Add a cinnamon stick. Cover and let sit about 16 hours. Strain through several layers of cheesecloth set in a colander into a container. I strained into my coffee pot. Rinse grounds off cinnamon stick and add to the strained coffee. As the days go by the cinnamon flavor will intensify. Refrigerate. If you brew it stronger, cold-brew makes a terrific Vietnamese iced coffee treat when you add some condensed sweetened milk and almond milk. Ahhhh.
Sip whenever you like. Feel really cool. But not as cool as your cold coffee. Ice cold, baby. Ice, ice baby. Vanilla-oh god stop me now.