Friday, September 23, 2011

Birthday Birthday Birthday

I went to Bloomington for my brother's 21st birthday last week, and I'm really glad I went. There was a bad part, though. He got in a motorcycle accident on the morning of his birthday and hurt his ankle, so he had to spend some time at the doctor and then use crutches. He's OK, and more concerned about his motorcycle than his own health. Thank God he always wears a helmet.

We went to an IU football game -- and IU won! Here's a picture of the tailgate:

I had a black bean burger and grilled onions. I ate grilled onions with a fork. Don't judge me.

Then we came home for dinner and presents. My mom made a vegan quiche!

I don't have the exact recipe, but she said she just searched for a quiche recipe using silken tofu, because that's all she had on hand. She used pre-made pie crust and sprinkled bread crumbs on top.

The bottom layer had TVP crumbles and vegan sausage, veggie layer had spinach and onions, and top layer had tofu mixture of silken tofu, Parm, sunflower seeds, and a little soy milk pureed in the blender. The recipe also called for some agave that we all agreed should be omitted next time. But it tasted great and I would definitely make this for company.

After dinner the birthday boy opened presents -- I got him the game Apples to Apples.

Mom made vegan chocolate cake! (Sorry this picture is messed up but I don't feel like figuring out how to fix it) Chocolate cake mix made with applesauce and Ener-G egg replacer and my mom made the frosting out of powdered sugar, Tofutti cream cheese, and Earth Balance. It was AMAZING.

And we went out drinking! I am holding a shot in this picture but I didn't actually drink it. I was the designated driver.

Lovely birthday that I'm glad I got to spend with my lovely brother.

Today I celebrated a whole NEW birthday -- my baby sister was born today! She doesn't have a name yet, but she's a baby and she's healthy. And my baby brother is turning two tomorrow. Happy birthday to all of my siblings!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bye Bye, Bloomington :(

I'm home! I had a great trip to Bloomington and I'll write more about it tomorrow and include pictures. To break it up I figured I'd just post about my travel food today.

Before I left, Mom and I had lunch at Bloomingfoods. I got a big salad with spinach, mixed greens, mushrooms, carrots, onions, tofu, crazy delicious slaw (on the left) and sun-dried tomato hummus (on the right). Tasty.

Mom packed me a bunch of food for the trip. What a sweetie she is!

Fresh CSA watermelon.

Brussels sprouts from Bloomingfoods. I missed these! Bloomingfoods makes the best brussels sprouts.

Magic tofu!

A big delicious salad. Greens, carrots, celery, cucumbers, and a Boca spicy chik patty.

And a cookie!

I haven't had a cookie in a long time, and there definitely is a good thing about keeping cookies special treats, as God intended -- I was so freaking excited about eating this cookie. And it was delicious.

And just so that this entire post doesn't only feature pictures of food, here's a picture of me wearing my friend's glasses!

I think I look cute in glasses but I don't need them. Oh darn.

In other news, fall TV is back! I watched the pilot episode of The New Girl. It was cute, and I'll see where it goes. Are there any shows you're excited to watch?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Indiana and the Owlery

Lovely day in Bloomington today. But it was cold -- I had to wear three shirts! I walked to and around campus, went to my mom's class, and then a panel with the 9/11 Commission for the 10-year anniversary, where they talked about how America is different now and how many of their recommendations have been heeded. It was remarkable to see a bipartisan commission work together so well, and I only wish we had more of that type of bipartisanship in Washington.

Mom and I walked around downtown and Kirkwood and then to a new vegan restaurant in Bloomington called the Owlery. It was great! Can you believe that Bloomington has a vegan restaurant? They do offer the option of dairy cheese on some items, so they aren't 100% vegan, though all menu items are vegan by default.

I got the seitan skewers with a side of collard greens. It was delicious, with a great teriyaki flavor.

My step-dad enjoyed his "fried chicken," my mom really liked her dill tempeh, and my friend loved the pierogies. I tried a bite and I would definitely recommend them. We got plantains as an appetizer, and they were delicious. Prices are definitely cheaper than in LA, but the food was just as good. If you're in Bloomington, check out the Owlery! They make a great addition to Bloomington's other favorite vegan options, Roots on the square and the hot bar at Bloomingfoods.

After dinner we went and saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes! I haven't seen a movie in forever, so I was very excited. I really liked the movie, and it will definitely make you think twice about supporting animal testing. I would love to see video of Andy Serkis' performance pre-CGI transformation into Caesar the ape -- I find the idea of a human playing a primate character extremely fascinating.

I'm catching up on HBO (Entourage and Game of Thrones). It feels great to have cable!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Korean Food Adventures

I have really wanted to blog this last week but I have been so insanely busy. I got a couple new jobs -- an acting job and a producing job -- that I can't really talk about yet, but they are occupying my time and brain.

Last week I went to a Korean grocery store in Koreatown. It was a fun cultural experience! I was the only white person in there and all of the signs were in Korean, with some English translations. I got fifty sheets of nori for cheap ($5 maybe?). So good on a salad --

and some other fun things:


Seaweed and sesame seed sprinkles. Also so good on a salad:

And gojuchang, delicious chili paste.

I flew to Indiana today, and I made a stir-fry to bring with me in the airport.

Cabbage, spinach, potatoes, mushrooms, Braggs, rice wine vinegar, and gojuchang.

My seat-mate may not have been thrilled with my choice of airplane breakfast, but it served me just dandy.

Now I'm here visiting my family through the weekend -- it's my brother's 21st birthday!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Book is on Amazon!!!!

My book is on Amazon!!!

Here's the description:

A travelogue and how-to guide for the first-time European traveler.

Whether you're planning a trip or just dreaming, travel with Erika and experience Europe while you learn how to plan your own trip of a lifetime. You'll get to know small-town Germany, historic Rome, Gaelic-speaking Irish islands, and more while you learn how to set your itinerary, navigate the Eurail system, and get the most for your money everywhere you go. If you're a first-time traveler, there's no better way to feel truly prepared for your trip.

(By the way, this is not the description currently on Amazon... they're a little slow updating).

I wrote about my book a few months ago, but I've been working on it for years. I am so thrilled that it's finally available and out there in the world and I'm really proud of it.

If you're interested in European travel, I hope that you buy a copy and leave me a nice review!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Zippity Doo Dah

Here's a quick rundown of what I've been doing. To sum it all up -- acting and improv and some socializing, too.

I do have some news -- I booked a movie! It's a low-budget comedy, and I have a fun, snarky role. Yaaayyyy =)

Wednesday: Skype with Mom, practice a scene with an actor friend, The Actors Network, Room 101 (indie improv show)

Thursday: Workshop, improv show

Friday: Table read for my new movie (yay!!!), standup open mic, a free dramatic improv show at the studio where I used to take acting classes, audition prep

Saturday: Two auditions, improv class, then a I went to a friend's show in Hollywood and afterwards my car would not start. Dead battery, couldn't even jump it, had to call roadside assistance through my USAA insurance. That one sucked.

Sunday: Taped a friend's audition, Hollywood Shorts Filmmaker Happy Hour, went to another friend's standup show (and I got onstage when they needed a volunteer for one segment!), then a Michael Jackson tribute concert at the W

Monday: Errands and UCB shows

Tuesday: I helped a friend move -- I had to get up at 8 AM! I am a great friend! Then in the evening was the LA Actors Tweetup.

Wednesday: Practice with my indie improv team, The Reacharounds (yep) and Room 101.

Thursday: Lots of errands, including getting a new car battery and chopping a lot of salad. I'm so responsible!

And now, some pictures from the LA Actors Tweetup to prove that I cannot take serious pictures. I probably should have put on some makeup and done my hair but it was really hot and I was busy and I tend to think I look pretty damn good so I wasn't too worried.

Getting very close to boobie-grabbing action. I understand the temptation.

Maybe I should go practice making normal faces.