Thursday, October 28, 2010

Proof That I Am Insane; Mushroom Dal

I booked another student film! I'm so excited! The only downside is that it's filming on Halloween so I'll have to scale back my partying and change my costume. I was going to be Machete but now I can't do the requisite fake tattoos so now I don't know what to be.

I've had a very busy week. I had an audition on Monday, two on Tuesday, and one yesterday. I have another tomorrow and one Saturday but I didn't have any today so I did a mailing to casting directors, ran some errands, and finally did some cooking!

I bought this new type of coffee the other day because it was cheap.

It's good, basic dark coffee. But I've been trying to figure out whether you get more for your money if you buy whole bean or pre-ground coffee. Does anyone know??

And now... the proof that I am insane.

My favorite garlic and onion seasoning was on sale for a DOLLAR (it's usually more than $2.50) so I bought out the shelf.

And I went to Target today to buy some gum and off-brand Crystal Light. I like the Target brand best and the strawberry lemonade flavor is my favorite. So I bought a bunch.

You get more for your money with less packaging if you buy the tubs rather than the to-go packets. I just spoon it out and mix it in the glass because I don't have a big pitcher.

Also, a tip -- if you're small enough and you buy your underwear in a bag (and of course you should, undies in a bag is the best), buy them in the girls' section! So much cheaper and you can get some cute prints. =)

For dinner I used up old veggies to make this strange, yet ultimately delicious recipe.

Mushroom Dal

1 cup mushrooms
1/3 cup yellow split peas
1 tsp garlic
1 cup fresh peas, pods sliced up
1/4 cup corn
1/4 cup artichoke hearts
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 cups water

Mix ingredients in a small pot and cook at least an hour until split peas break down and become mushy. Adjust water level for desired texture. Season to taste.

You can use any vegetable, seriously - I added some artichoke hearts in just for fun. And it tastes really good kinda burnt!

Do you buy a lot of a staple if you find it on sale?

What are you dressing up as for Halloween? Any good plans?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Busy Weekend and HLB Blogger Meetup!

Wow I had a busy weekend! I actually had a really busy week overall - eight auditions! Also, I booked that student film I had the callback for last week. Yay!!

On Friday I went to see a free screener of "Unstoppable" with some of my friends on the Fox Lot. Unstoppable is the Chris Pine/Denzel Washington train movie and it is awesome and full of adrenaline. I recommend it when it comes out in November!

Friday night I went out partying for a friend's birthday and I considered leaving early to go to sleep but I decided I would just get four hours and then speed through the next day on leftover adrenaline. Worked perfectly. On Saturday I had an audition (in sign language, no less!) at USC at 9, then more filming for the webseries It Casting at 10:30 in Tarzana, then a blogger meetup lunch in Santa Monica at 1, then another audition in Hollywood at 3:30. If you know LA, then you'll know that none of those things are close to each other! But everything went great and I love being busy. But back to that HLB meetup -- ten local bloggers listed on Healthy Living Blogs met up at Real Food Daily in Santa Monica to talk and take pictures of our food without feeling judged.

I got the Real Food Meal:

Steamed veggies, brown rice, black-eyed peas, "pressed salad," seaweed salad, and kale with a side of BBQ dressing. It was simple but good, just what I was looking for.

In the background you can see Monica's salad, which was very pretty.

Please check out everybody's blogs:

I had to duck out a little early to get to my next audition but I had a great time and look forward to another meetup, maybe with a circular table next time!

On Saturday night I ate my leftovers, to which I added my leftover Tomato Basil Soup.

After this picture I added some roasted curry brussels sprouts.

Then I watched High Fidelity and went to bed pretty early.

I was planning on catching up on sleep but my best friend from middle/high school called me at 8 AM and I ended up spending an hour talking to her... and then I went back to sleep for another four hours. I had another audition yesterday and then I was asleep by about 10! I woke up at 8:30 this morning so hopefully I'm all caught up on sleep.

Links: The video of Chris Brown's "Deuces." I just think the dancing is awesome and I keep trying to imitate it. But I'm not attempting the backflip, I don't have a death wish. Just look at this for a sec and dispel your fantasies of small farms.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tomato Basil Soup

Pretty chill day today. I watched the first disc of Mad Men season 1 and I'm glad to finally be in on the hype surrounding that show. It is really good!

I made a couple really easy dishes today.

Tomato Basil Soup

1 can plum tomatoes
1 tsp garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup frozen peas
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp 21 Seasoning Powder
1 cup veggie broth
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp black pepper

Cut tomatoes and add to a pot along with the tomato juice. Add remaining ingredients, tweak seasonings to taste, and heat through.

I also roasted up a tomato, an Asian eggplant, and two onions. I seasoned with 21 Seasoning Powder and balsamic vinegar. I roasted them at 425 for 30 minutes and thought (what I usually think) - "Couldn't these be more burnt?" So I turned it up to 500 for 15 more minutes. Ahhh slightly burnt onions are so freakin' good.

Do you like burnt food? I'm such a weirdo but I like my roasted veggies extremely roasty and my roommate thinks I'm gross for eating the burnt parts of my food. Heheh I just like it, can't help myself.

Monday, October 18, 2010

New Shoes, Odds and Ends

My Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies were a huge hit! One of my friends actually said they were the best cookies she had ever eaten. Not kidding.

My weekend was fun! I had a callback on Saturday morning - I'm one of two girls still in the running, so we'll see. Then I partied hardy for about 12 hours. And then I felt like crap on Sunday! That's when you repeat, "You're only young once" over and over. But I did end up with these sweet-ass 2 AM Sharpie tats.

That's a tiger fighting a dragon one on arm and a pegleg pirate on the other.

I had an audition on Sunday and then napped a lot and today I had another audition and then I went to Target.

I haven't cooked any meals lately so I'm just going to share random things I've bought!

First up, TJ's was selling entire branches of brussels sprouts. Sooo I had to buy one.


Oh yeah, and look how well my plants are doing (they're a month old now)! They're growing great and I added a basil plant to the family.

I went to Target under the auspices of buying more Target-brand Crystal Light (yums) and I bought a few other things, as well.

I finally found the Key Lime Pie gum! I don't know if it tastes like the pie because I've never tried it, but it does taste exactly like the key lime pie yogurt I ate as a kid.

I needed some more eyeliner so I bought this from elf. The best part of elf is that they're super cheap (1-3 bucks) and they're very upfront about not testing on animals.

My aunt sent me a little fun money in the mail and I haven't bought anything I didn't need in a really long time so I got a few things just for fun!!

In this picture you can see my new headband, sunglasses, and blue sequin shoes. All man-made materials, yo! And did I mention blue sequins!? =)

Have you bought anything fun recently?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I did it. I created the most delicious cookies this world has ever seen.

I'm invited to a birthday party on Saturday but I don't know the birthday girl that well so I figured I don't need to bring a present. I want to bring something, though, so I decided to bake some cookies. And I'm not even joking, I think I came up with these in a dream last night.

If you read other food blogs, you may have heard of peanut flour. I've seen it at Trader Joe's but never had a need to buy it. But then (in my dream) I had the fantastic idea to make peanut butter cookies using peanut flour instead of peanut butter! And I'm happy to say, you can use peanut flour instead of white or wheat flour in cookie with no adverse effects and extra delicious taste. Peanut flour is just made of peanuts, with most of the fat removed so it'll be a flour and not a butter.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c peanut flour
1 c oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2-1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1 flax egg
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients - flour, oats, and baking soda - in a mixing bowl.
In another, larger bowl, cream together Earth Balance and sugar.
Make flax egg by mixing 1 tbsp ground flax seed with 3 tbsp water. Add to EB and sugar.
Add dry to wet and mix well to form a stiff dough.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes.

Let cookies cool on the sheet so they won't fall apart. They might seem too soft but they'll get harder, so don't overbake and don't be impatient.

If I had been making these for me, I would have used applesauce instead of Earth Balance.

These measurements are not exact. I know baking is supposed to be a strict science or something but I just mix until I get the right texture. You want a thick dough - you may have to smoosh in the chocolate chips with your hands.

To make the dough more liquidy, add a splash of almond milk. To thicken it, add more flour.

These cookies are gluten free if you use GF oats!

Before baking:

Out of the oven:

One of them broke so I had to eat it. It was delicious.

I managed to use up my Earth Balance, sugar, oats, and chocolate chips. The last batch is very chocolaty so I could use them up.


Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

Leave out some of the EB and replace with jelly. Don't add chocolate chips.

Hopefully everyone will totally dig these cookies. They are really incredible!!

Link: A slideshow of naked athletes. I was surprised at how normal they look!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dehydrated Sweet and Spicy Indian Cauliflower

First, happy National Coming Out Day! I am coming out as a straight ally and I hope there will come a day when people don't have to hide who they are. And if you're stuck in high school or a conservative area and you're miserable, it will get better. Being an adult is the cat's pajamas and you can live your life and surround yourself with supportive, loving people.

I felt like using my dehydrator today so I adapted this samosa recipe I blogged about here. If you recently got a dehydrator and are a little intimidated, this recipe is perfect because it's really easy and you can't mess it up. Dehydrators are definitely not a necessity, even if you eat 100% Raw, but they are fun and they create some lovely textures you can't get with traditional oven baking.

Dehydrated Sweet and Spicy Indian Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, separated into tiny florets
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup snap peas, sliced
1 tbsp tamarind paste or fruit jam
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp Braggs or tamari

I love how the mushrooms and snap peas get a little shriveled. And about the tamarind - the original samosa recipe used tamarind paste, but I didn't have any. I did have some "forest fruit" jelly and I used that instead and it was perfect.

I am so impatient. I just had an audition a few hours ago and filming two days ago but I have an insatiable, voracious appetite for acting and I can never have enough!

Links The best- and worst-dressed TV characters. It's funny.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Grind-Your-Own Chocolate Peanut Butter!?

On Thursday I had coffee with a friend at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and brought my mug to get ten cents off. I think it should be MORE. And I want FREE REFILLS. But that's the Hoosier in me talking...

I had some peas with barbecue sauce and nutritional yeast. It sounds kinda gross and I'm still not totally sold on peas that aren't in Indian food or soup but it's a good seasoning combo.

Friday I had an audition and then I drove all the way to Whitter (aahhh it's farrrr) to shoot a student film. I had a so much fun! The script was well-written and everyone I worked with was great.

Today we shot another scene at Park La Brea in the sweltering 90 degree heat and then I went to the Whole Foods by the Grove. OMG! This is my new favorite Whole Foods!

1) It is big
2) They had lots of free samples
3) HUGE bulk section
4) Lots of stuff

OK so those reasons may be repetitive. But I dislike that some of the other big WF's don't even have a bulk section or it is puny. Check this out:

That's not even the whole thing - I was trying to be sly. Those huge things in the middle house oats and lentils.

They also had grind-your-own chocolate peanut and almond butter. VEGAN. How cool is that?

I was also really excited to see some bulk veggie bouillon. I hadn't really looked at it before because it says "chicken-flavored," but it turns out it's 100% vegan. Of course, read the ingredients if you see this in the store, I wouldn't want to lead you astray. I haven't tried it yet but it seems pretty standard and it was way cheaper than buying it by the jar.

I also bought this tea that was on sale.

Tomorrow I have an audition and then I'm going to coffee with another actress who's about my age and also moved here by herself. Plus, she's vegan and has a vegan blog! I'll see if I can get a picture of her to put up here. =)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cheap Brussels Sprouts, Raw Corn Salad, and Religion on "Glee"

It's blustery out there, folks. I've been wearing my hat and scarf inside all day. But I have a bucket full of good news!
1) I booked a job! I'll be shooting a student film on Friday and Saturday.
2) I got a cool audition on Friday and I get to use a Southern accent. Fun.
3) CSI is filming right outside my apartment tomorrow and we got warned that there will be fake gunfire. I plan on trying to spy.
4) Ralphs had brussels sprouts on sale for $1.50/pound. I bought all of these

for about five bucks. I hadn't even planned on buying brussels - I just made a quick Ralphs stop for some Granny Smith apples last night (apples are my favorite part of fall, hands down) but I couldn't pass up that price. I put my keys next to the bag so you could tell just how big it really is.

I roasted them with some 21 Seasoning Salute, garlic and onion powder, and garam masala at 450 for 20 minutes and then 500 for 10 minutes.

So good. Add a little BBQ and nooch if you want a true flavor explosion.

I also made this delicious raw dish that I will share with you now.

Raw Corn Salad
1 ear fresh raw corn
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into ribbons
1 daikon radish, sliced into matchsticks
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Cut the corn off the cob and add remaining ingredients.

This salad is so simple but delicious and really celebrates the flavor of raw corn. It makes me never want to eat cooked corn ever again, it's just so much better and sweeter raw.

I didn't finish it all so I might doctor up a different version tomorrow.

Did anybody watch Glee last night? I watched it on Hulu this morning and I have some thoughts. The primary theme of the evening was religion and spirituality. Finn sees Jesus in his grilled cheese and experiences an extremely selfish religious conversion (praying for football victories and touching Rachel's boobs) and Kurt's dad has a heart attack, most likely brought on by his diet of Slim Jims. I, of course, saw a dietary message -- eat healthy so you won't die of a heart attack and leave your kids without a father -- but nobody mentioned that. Most people focused on the religious messages, and some religious followers and atheists alike were offended.

One of my more religious Facebook friends said she was glad Glee was brave enough to do last night's episode so I knew it was going to deal with Jesus. I am a little annoyed by the perception that religious people are persecuted in America and not allowed to express their beliefs. That's simply not true. The separation of church and state protects both religious and non-religious people and Christians are certainly free to express their beliefs. For example, many Americans falsely believe that the Bible can't be taught in schools. Not true. The Bible can be taught as a piece of literature and historical import. And students can feel free to pray at school, but the school can't impose any set of beliefs upon the students. Not being allowed to push your beliefs on others is not the same as not being allowed to express your beliefs. And while the episode did fall prey to many stereotypes, including the crazed atheists who can't stand any mention of religion around them, I mostly liked the way they presented Kurt's beliefs. He isn't religious and while he appreciates others praying for his dad, it doesn't mean anything to him and he isn't going to experience some sort of conversion in a moment of crisis. And it does get really freakin' old to have people tell you over and over that you're missing something and you may find it someday. Mercedes says in the episode that you have to believe in "something," even if it isn't a particular religion. Well, no, Mercedes, you don't. Personally, I'm very happy for other people who believe and I will never try to take that away from them. But we don't all need it and I don't appreciate being told that I am deficient in some way because I don't believe in a "higher power." That's not the way my brain works and I'm not going to change.

Did you watch last night's Glee? What did you think?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Southwestern Vegetable Soup

I have a good recipe for you today. I plan on being slightly interesting this week, because I have a few fun recipe ideas.

I had a fun weekend and went out to bars and stayed out very late. I was never 21 in college so I have to enjoy it now. =) On Sunday I went to the Farmers' Market and bought some fun things. I also listened to the songs "All Summer" and "Erase Me" by Kid Cudi on repeat. I'm always like that - I get obsessed with a song and then I can listen to it a hundred times in a row. Yesterday was busy with Power Group and then the LA Actors Tweetup at Busby's East. I feel silly using that word but it is pretty self-explanatory - Twitter + meetup. It was fun and I met a lot of new people! It did get really loud at one point, though, and I went and sat down and texted for about five minutes just because I couldn't handle trying to hear people anymore. I don't have a great sense of hearing and trying to talk to people in a loud environment can be a little stressful. We then moved to a quieter room, though, and it was much more enjoyable.

The weather has also taken a 50 degree swing downward. Last week it was 113 and right now it's 64! We even had a thunderstorm and a pink sky last week. If it were 2012 yet I would assume the apocalypse was nigh.

One fun vegetable I bought on Sunday is this:

It's an Eight Ball Squash.

That plus a big can of tomatoes I bought at TJ's inspired me to create a freakin' delicious soup that I shall now share with you.

Southwestern Vegetable Soup

1 onion
1 cup mushrooms
1 can tomatoes and juice
1/4 c frozen corn
1/4 c frozen peas
1 stalk celery
1 cup kale stalks
1 carrot
1 small summer squash or zucchini (I used an eight-ball squash)
1-2 cups water
1 sprig fresh basil
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp bay leaves

Dice vegetables.

Brown onions, add mushrooms and brown.

Add remaining vegetables and water. Cook until veggies are desired texture. I cooked for about 45 minutes so the kale would be nice and soft and the tomatoes reduce and thicken. Season to taste.

Makes about four 1-cup servings, depending on how much water you use.

To make the soup more substantial, you could add some brown rice and black or adzuki beans.

Nutrition Facts

It's like a mix of tomato basil soup and tortilla soup. Yum.

Links: Squash Glossary. Did you buy a squash but you don't know what kind it is? Look here.

And thank you very, very much to Queer Vegan Runner!!! I won her $35 CSN store giveaway and I can't wait to spend it on some new sheets. =)

Do you use Twitter? Have you ever been to a Tweetup or a Meetup? Do you enjoy meeting strangers, or do you find it stressful?