Tag Archives: cinnamon

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Daughter

2 Mar


This week I wanted to make something that would pay homage to teachers. So I thought of apples. But WHO THE FUCK EVER LIKED and apple martini? Grody. But Apple Martin?

Why not?

I do love Coldplay.

So Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter it was. With APPLETON Estate Rum and Calvados (an APPLE brandy). Most people probably don’t have this sitting around home but who lives like Gwyneth? You gotta make the effort. Fast forward to about 5 minutes 20 seconds in for the drinks portion, should you not want to hear our musings on art and exes.

Gyneth Paltrow’s Daughter, an original by Ellen Clifford
1 oz. Appleton rum
1 oz. calvados
1 oz. Averna
1 tsp. cinnamon simple syrup (see recipe)
2 dashes Fee Bros. Aztec Chocolate bitters
1 orange twist
Shake with ice and strain then garnish with orange twist.
Cinnamon syrup: Bring equal parts sugar and water to a boil until sugar dissolves. Toss in a couple cinnamon sticks. Allow to sit overnight then strain. Keep refrigerated.

Advertisements

Chocolate Pecan Tart

24 Jun

20140226-134131.jpg

Seeing as the next of my epic pie parties is scheduled for next month and I still haven’t given you the tart recipe from the last one (although I more than repaid you in giving the horchata cocktail, methinks) I thought it was high time to post this.

Acting is getting busy AGAIN! Just look at my star ranking, haha. Super.

Exciting Moment in Improv

Exciting Moment in Improv

Between acting and improv (which as you see from above frequently ends with me splayed out on the floor) and this lil’ column I’ve got my hands full. You should click all those links. Because the other thing keeping me so busy is self-promotion. Haha, again. Sort of. I jest. Or do I? Even I do not know.

So let us discuss the edibles. This pie is like a giant hunk of candy. It looks pretty, it tastes like dark sunshine (the kind with antioxidants) and is much easier than you would surmise. It is one of those things I made on a whim first when I was probably not even a teen yet. If I recall correctly we bought just enough cream to make it. My dad was helping me and the two of us burnt the cream. We had to wait until we could go back to the store the next day and get more cream to finish it.

But it was so blimey good I’ve held on to and repeated the recipe many a time since the Great Cream Incident of Nine-ty Something-or-Another.

Do make this. Don’t be me and get behind on your pie. It’s important.

Chocolate Pecan Tart adapted from Bon Appetit (from their RSVP section so they got it from a restaurant I know not any longer which one though because I wrote it down and tossed the magazine long ago)
2 cups pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. butter, room temp
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick
8 oz. Bittersweet chocolate
4 oz. Semisweet chocolate
Heat oven to 325. In a food processor blend nuts, sugar and cinnamon until finely ground. Add butter and blend until mixed. Press into a 9-inch tart pan with a re moveable bottom or follow my lead and line a 9-inch pan with foil so you can lift out and unmold your tart later. Bake until lightly browned, around 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Chop chocolate. Bring cream and cinnamon stick to a simmer. Stir in chocolate until melted. Pour into tart crust, removing cinnamon stick. Put in fridge to chill. Unmold before serving.

Pie parties, horchata cocktails, and what the hell am I doing?

8 Apr

Goth-chata

Goth-chata

Firstly, I devised the horchata cocktail. Me. Moi. Then literally a few weeks after I came up with it the recipe I’m going to share, a new trendy restaurant called Gracias Madre opened and everyone is talking about their horchata cocktail. But mine is better. And…goth-er. Which is to say I made my own horchata OUT OF BLACK RICE.

I devised the horchata cocktail for a pie party. Details to follow the following brain hemorrhage:

In between planning amazing pie parties like the one I shall regale you with tales of, I am pretty busy as an actor. I’ve been having a boatload of improv shows every
week, but in between all the performing I see the rest of the world, the people with real jobs wondering what the heck I do all day. And when asked on the spot I stammer and can’t quite remember it all because it’s a lot and so I come off as…I dunno. A not-busy person. God forbid. So I’m gonna tell you today’s activities (which now was a week ago). First off, I open up my laptop and email like a madwoman. Then I check the breakdowns to submit myself for roles that if I’m lucky I get called in to audition for. After fielding my email the breakdowns are my first stop. I go back to email and breakdowns a dozen times a day. Then I had an audition. This one was not too far, and it was in the golden hour when traffic is less horrible, so it didn’t take long. But between traffic and depending on how behind the casting office is running, an audition will bite several hours out of your day. Not counting all the prep time for it. After my audition I worked on scripts for another couple of upcoming auditions. What’s my motivation? No, really. What is it? Then I researched agents (I’m trying to find a new one) and wrote the perfect cover letter to send to one particular agent. This took a while. More work on scripts. What are my obstacles? Then I worked on the column I write for Hello Giggles. Then I updated my website with info on upcoming shows I’m doing and who my manager is because it just changed. Then I got in touch with a headshot photographer because I need new shots. Next I need to put the finishing touches on a pilot script I want to enter in a contest. And then I get to have late night coffee or who-am-I-kidding wine with a friend I want to collaborate with on a project. Because in LA your friends and the people you work are often one and the same. Which is both good and bad. Many evenings I’d be headed off to a class or a workshop or a practice or to do a show (after which there may or may not be wine) but tonight I get to skip to the wine.
And that, folks, is how I have “no job”.

And of course, there are the pie parties.

The last one was “Dark Side of the Pie” and took place right after Valentine’s Day as a palate cleanser. I made horchata with black rice, and designed a cocktail using it. I made a dark chocolate tart (recipe to come at a later date). Because I am still trying to perfect a southwest potato pie I made that but used purple potatoes to add some darkness. Guests were instructed to try to where black and red. Not all my friends came through on the attire, but many did bring red wines with delightfully goth labels.

It was pretty swell. Really, I am not sure where I’d be without my friends. Either slightly crazier or saner?

This cocktail had two variations for the party, but my friend Joel brought me a bottle of cinnamon liqueur that I later plan to use to create a third variation. Cinnamon liqueur was probably invented for the purpose of boozifying horchata.

Cocktails from the Dark Side: Amaretto and Chocolate
For horchata (adapted from David Lebovitz’s recipe here)
2/3 cups black rice, ground in the blender
3 cups warm water
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups almond milk (chocolate almond milk for the Kahlua version)
Soak the rice and cinnamon in water for a minimum of eight hours in the fridge. Remove cinnamon. Stick an immersion blender in there and blend more. Strain through a sieve lined with cheesecloth twice. Add sugar and milk. Refrigerate.
For cocktail:
1 oz. black rice horchata
1 oz. rum (light or spiced, take your pick)
3/4 oz. amaretto (or 1/2 oz. Kahlua if you made the horchata with chocolate almond milk)
a few dashes of chocolate chili bitters
cinnamon to garnish
Shake all except the cinnamon up. Strain over one giant cube. Garnish with cinnamon. Sigh in delight. Then sigh with great melodramatic tones. Nowwwwwww you’re doing goth right.

Third Annual Pumpkin Week in Spring Day Five: Black and White Pumpkin Cookies

24 May

20130323-171420.jpg

It ain’t a good meal if there isn’t dessert at some point. Seriously. I HAVE to have dessert every day. Just like I have to have a bedtime snack. I need a bedtime snack. I’ve practically broken up with a guy because he never had food at home. Sometimes I like my bedtime snack to be followed by it’s own special dessert. Considered breaking up with someone over that too.

Get yer mind out of the gutter Cliffy!

I am en route soon to do my second show with my improv group, Commonwealth at the Neon Venus Theatre, so I best be getting out of the gutter and into the game.

Then when the night is over I shall have rum, and maybe, just maybe, a cookie.

Incidentally, these cookies are not really black and white. They are black and beige (from the cinnamon) and orange. The world ain’t just black and white and has much more than just variants on the color grey.

Crud, I was headed back into the gutter there.

Black and White Pumpkin Cookies adapted oh so slightly from the Joy the Baker Cookbook by Joy Wilson
Cookies:
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
White Frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Up to 1 tsp. water
Chocolate Frosting:
2 oz. (about 6 Tbsp.) oz. bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli)
1 heaping Tbsp. butter
Pinch salt
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
FOR COOKIES:
Heat the oven to 325 F, line a baking sheet or two with nonstick foil.
Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl whisk your eggs and sugar. Put some muscle into it, you want it to get jut slightly lighter in hue. Then whisk in pumpkin, applesauce and vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture until totally incorporated. Dollop by heating tablespoons onto the sheet and spread to a 2-inch circle. Bake, start checking around ten minutes doing the clean toothpick test. When you stick it in the middle and it comes out clean, take them out if the oven and put pan on a wire rack for ten minutes, then grab a spatula and move cookies to the wire rack to cool.
FOR GLAZES:
Whisk powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and cinnamon, adding water drop by drop if necessary until it is spreadable.
Melt the chocolate and butter. I put my chocolate in the microwave for 2 minutes at 50 percent power, then add butter and stir. Continue to zap at 50% for shorter periods of time, stirring when you stop, until it is melted. Add the salt and corn syrup.
Turn the cookies over so you are putting the frosting on the flat side. Spread on, half and half, then give them some time for the frosting to get firm. Teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony. Then eat.

One is not enough

4 Jan


Neither one muffin, nor one recipe.
Katie, you did it again. This single-serving muffin was fan-friggin’-tastic.
So go get this recipe and make it-and um, you may want to double the recipe. Then tell Katie she rocks. A lot of blog readers do these days but that is because she does. Like, totally! Sorry, valley girl moment.
So maybe the point of this recipe is that it only makes one. But when it comes to bread products, I eat for two: me and…you. That’s right. I eat a second just to MAKE SURE its good enough to share the recipe with you. Except I couldn’t with this muffin since it only made one. I’m talking in circles. I’ll stop.
So a week later I decided to tackle another single serve Katie recipe, this one for a Cinnamon Roll Baked Oatmeal.

I feared wanting more but this recipe was bigger and have the option of cooking it as one big portion or two smaller so I stuck with it. I figured that the extra large portion would cancel out my need for seconds: I cooked it as one.

Yeah, duuuude. This hit the spot. It was after midnight and I wasn’t up to making frosting so I slathered with smart balance. Mmmmmm, slathering. It’s like lathering without the bubbles. Hopefully sans soapy taste too.
This Boatmeal is good stuff! I would add a touch more cinnamon in the future, but I’m a cinna-holic, take that as you will.

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.

how peculiar

10 Sep

chocolate shakes are delicious in the mouth and not so much on the page:

for some reason i started writing this post with very few capital letters. please exuse this. won’t happen again.
so…a shake with a BOATLOAD of cinnamon, and brown sugar as ingredients? interesting. veryvery interesting. no there is not supposed to be a space between very and very, just in case you are further patrolling this post for grammar errors. i started with no caps and i’m going all the way with the bad grammar thang. yeah, that’s thang with an a. most reviewers on the allrecipes app, where I found this recipe said they cut down on the cinnamon, but i happen to be capable of eating massive amounts of cinnamon and loving it. just ask my cottage cheese, the usual vessel for my cinnamon-y tendencies. so i said whatthehell, (again with the spacing!) and threw together the shake, published on allrecipes by ladysu. of course, i felt compelled to make a few changes-almond milk instead of regular, chocolate “ice cream” was this wacky stuff i got at whole foods called zero ice which is not the best plain but works exceptionally well blended with other things(thangs?), and splenda instead of plain sugar. because two whole tablespoons of sugar in a single shake seemed…excessive i guess. i suppose that goes along the lines of the person who orders a heart attack on a plate and a then insists on diet coke, but oh well.
chocolate mug milkshake(my spin on a recipe from the allrecipes app. yea, iphone!)
1 cup chocolate zero ice
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. splenda
blend. yum.
next time, grammar. promise.
question o’ the day: proper grammar lover or no? also, thoughts on emoticons? i love ’em and think they are a new evolving way to enhance written language but i’ll listen to other arguments.