Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bitchin' Kitchen Thursday

This week I will be sharing my favorite fondue recipe. I'm still on a travel job in Hawaii and have no kitchen right now, but I've made this dozens of times and know it well enough to make when I'm blackout drunk and have. It's surprisingly simple. My friends beg me to make it all the time and everyone loves it. Pictures will have to be added when I return to the mainland and have a kitchen again, but a visual aid isn't really necessary. Enjoy!

Classic Cheese Fondue

1 lb Gruyere, grated
3/4 lb Emmental (sometimes spelled Emmentaler), grated
6 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved 
2 1/4 c. (18 oz) Sauvignon Blanc
1-2 crusty baguettes, cut into pieces for dipping

1) In a large bowl, toss the grated cheese with the cornstarch and dry mustard.

2) Rub the bottom and sides of a pot or fondue-maker with the garlic.

3) Add the wine to the pot and heat to a strong simmer (bubbling, but not boiling).

4) Stir in the cheese one handful at a time, waiting for each handful to completely melt before adding more.

5) Reduce heat and serve with bread.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

5 Things I'm Not Proud Of

Thing 1: I am from an upperclass white suburb of Boston, but I developed an accent growing up because I wanted to sound cool like my cousins from Southie and it still comes out occasionally.

Thing 2: In 8th grade I wore too much eyeliner and pretended to like the band Slipknot because of this boy I had a crush on. It worked. He asked me out and we dated for half a summer until I went to Europe for 3 weeks and dumped him for a boy with an accent. The first boy and I are now friends on Facebook and he has an important job in the government. The second boy was a Brit named Craig. Craig wanted to have a long-distance relationship and write letters to each other, but I didn't give him my correct address or phone number and threw his out immediately because I was a heart-breaker who listened to nu-metal and wore baggy pants.  

Thing 3: My mom forced me to do ballet and gymnastics when I was little. I really really hated them. Some of my recital costumes included: a sea horse (Little Mermaid), a bright pink elephant (I was a toy in Peter Pan I think), a French townie/lynch mob member (Beauty and the Beast) and a normal/mean duckling (Ugly Duckling).

(There were no pink elephants in any other productions of Peter Pan that I know of, but there was this humorous and politically incorrect song about "red men" in the 1953 Disney version)


Thing 4: My movie tastes are sort of tomboyish. I love action and westerns and anything directed by Scorsese or the Coens, but the movies Ella Enchanted, Pride & Prejudice and Practical Magic are a few guilty pleasures of mine.

Thing 5: Two boyfriends have privileged me with breakfast in bed. Both occasions were marred because I spilled a beverage on their sheets.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bitchin' Kitchen Thursday: Blue Hawaii's and Loco Moco

This post comes to you later than I intended, but I challenge ANYONE to cook ANYTHING after 4 of these:

Oh, good times!

As promised, I went with a Hawaiian theme this week to prepare for my travel-job to Oahu. I was going to make Pina Coladas, but Blue Hawaii's (see above picture) were much more fitting. I also made Loco Moco. Frankly, the Spanish translation of that name makes me seriously lose my appetite, so I will refer to it simply as L.M.

L.M., despite its un-Hawaiian name, is one of the few truly Hawaiian dishes out there. Most "Hawaiian" cuisine is more Asian, Polynesian, Mediterranean or even American than specifically Hawaiian. L.M. came out of a grill in Hilo around the mid-twentieth century.

L.M. is very simple to make and the result is very gross-looking in this writer's opinion:

As far as taste, though, I admit I found it delectable.

All you need is:

Cooked rice
A cooked burger patty
A fried egg
Gravy (optional) 

It is put together with the rice on bottom, followed by the burger and the egg. Pour some brown gravy over it all and enjoy. I used whole grain rice instead of the traditional white and added bacon bits and ate it with a biscuit and hashbrowns. Another option could be to substitute gravy with chili. Regardless, this would make a great protein dish for athletes. 

If you need some liquid courage before expanding your culinary horizons, try this Blue Hawaii recipe courtesy of the original King of Tiki, Trader Vic:

1 part Blue Caracao
2 parts light rum
2 parts cream of coconut
6 parts unsweetened pineapple juice

Mix with ice in your preferred method (shaken/stirred/blended) and drink. Fuck the garnish.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shit My Bosses Say, #2

1. "Throw rocks in the pond and make ripples. Are you stupid? Not like that!"

2. "The director wants those cows in the shot. We only have a permit to shoot over here. Inconspicuously stampede the herd toward camera left."

3. "My car needs... be washed." oil change."
   ...more bio-diesel."

4. "That actor over there? Everyone hates him. You get to run lines with him."

5. "Oh my God. I want you to feel how heavy this is. Feel that...They need it on the roof."

6. "Make snow angels for the next shot."
   The snow was made of soap flakes.

7. "Get low-carb donuts that taste like Krispy Kreme."

8. "We don't have the layout board guys today."
   Translation: "Welcome to Hell!" 
9. Several times/day:
   "Damn it, [my name], what did you do?"

10. Yelling:
    "Nobody yells at you!"

11. "You are the worst PA ever! Can you work the first three weeks next month and hold the fourth for us?"

12. A certain person's Starbucks order: 
    "Vanilla latte, non-fat milk, 360 degrees, 2 Splendas, 3 shakes of cinnamon, upside down with room."    

13. Anonymous professional athlete at 7am: 
    "Can you get me a case of bottled Heineken in a styrofoam cooler with ice and a bottle opener?"

14. Giggling:
    "The mens' toilet is clogged. Can you take care of it?"

15. "Drive around downtown and look for the missing scissor lift."
    It wasn't really missing.

Gotta love hazing!

And now, a formal complaint to the Los Angeles Police Department for today's parking ticket:

Listen LAPD, stop tricking us out of our hard earned dollars with your confusing and sparse parking signs. Do not give me a ticket if there's nothing on the curb and your half-hidden sign at the opposite end of the street fails to mention that it covers 6 blocks. I'm the one who gets sent on runs to places without parking lots and has to carry 50 lbs of takeout and production supplies back to my car. Lay off!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Soooo I have to go to Hawaii. Key phrase: have to. It's for work. Sometimes you can't fake everything in a studio (or in Malibu), so this crew is headed to the Hawaiian Islands. This means I'm ridiculously busy and tired and mostly working in the LA office this week (did I mention I was supposed to have this week off?!) to get everything ready. We leave early Saturday. Everything is suuuper stressful here. Lots of material for the next "Shit My Bosses Say." Might do one tomorrow WHILE I'm at work if I feel like a bored renegade. Work travel sounds all fun, but I'm tired of it. In the last two months alone I've had long jobs in Vancouver, Memphis, Dallas and Baton Rouge. My hours have been too long for any real enjoyment, but Hawaii should be different, I'm told. We're all looking forward to some extra on-location downtime and actually packing our swimsuits for this one. Drop by Thursday for some kind of experimental Hawaiian dish attempted while drunk on pina coladas in honor of my upcoming trip. I promise to post a picture of whatever the result is, small kitchen fires included.

A very fitting: Mahalo.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Thoughts on "Boardwalk Empire"

It's no "Deadwood." Not yet. Looks like it could be pretty good, though. The first episode's plot lagged in the middle. They felt it necessary to familiarize the audience with Prohibition politics, which was a bit too much explaining and not trusting the viewers to figure it out. Whenever anything is explained too much in movies or television, I feel like my intelligence has been insulted. B.E. finished strong enough for me to get over that, despite the predictability. Scorsese is not *quite* comfortable with episodic style, but the cinematography was spot on. Everything was beautiful. Even the more gruesome shots. Overall, I'm a little worried. I was really looking forward to this series and I hope it picks up.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bitchin' Kitchen Thursday

A word on the title: Bitchin' is a relatively archaic term nowadays, but I can dig it. Kind of takes me back to a time of awesome. A time of John Hughes, Dazed and Confused and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. While I'm on the subject, I think gangbusters, P.U.! and hootenanny should be brought back into common usage, too. Plus the alternate title "Bitch in the Kitchen Thursday" sounded too chauvinistic.

This post is a little late for dinnertime, but I'm on a travel job at the moment in Louisiana. I cooked this in the production MoHome, which is impressive if I do say so myself.

This week's dish is a variation on the traditional shepherd's pie. I named it after the royal House of Hanover because the Hanovers were in power around the time that meat and shepherd's pies became popular in Britain. And because this souped-up version is tasty enough to grace the table of a monarch. If you're a vegetarian, you will need to modify the recipe with Boca or another meat substitute.


The Hanover pie has three layers and a crust on both the bottom and top. Sometimes I make homemade crusts for desserts, but for this a regular store-bought crust will do. The pie is assembled like so:

-Bottom crust
-Meat (ground beef + pork churizo)
-Potatoes (garlic and Romano mashed)
-Top crust

1) Make the potatoes first.

Garlic and Romano Mashed Potatoes

3 medium potatoes, washed, but not peeled
2-4 garlic cloves (depending on how much you like garlic) with the papery skin removed
2 green onions, thinly sliced (1/4 c.)
2 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 c. grated Romano (4 oz)
1-1 1/2 c. Half & Half
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tbs coarse salt
2 c. water

In a pot, stir the salt into the water and bring to boil. Quarter the potatoes and cook in the salted water for 25 minutes, covered. After the first 10 minutes, add the garlic. In a second small pot or skillet, cook the green onion in the butter until tender, but not brown. Drain the potatoes and garlic and beat with an electric mixer on low. Add the green onion mixture, Romano and pepper. Gradually beat in enough Half & Half to make potatoes light and fluffy.

Set aside to be used as the third layer.

2) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and press the bottom crust into a 9" ungreased (that's what she said) pie dish. Follow instructions according to the package it came in.

3) Layer one: meat

Ground beef
Pork churizo

In a large skillet, mix the churizo into the beef (the amount of churizo you use will depend on how much beef you cook and desired spiciness). Juuust brown the meat and add it to the pie.

4) Layer two: veggies

Canned veggies, drained

Traditionally, corn or peas are used, but you can pretty much use any veggie you like. Get creative. Today, I used a mix of corn and green beans. Add this layer to the pie, on top of the meat.

5) Add the potatoes, on top of the veggies, followed by the top layer of the pie crust. Pinch the edges of the crust and cut ventilation slits into the center.

6) Ovens vary, bake for 28-30 minutes (or follow the instructions that came with the pie crust). Check it frequently and cover with aluminum foil if the crust starts to over-brown along the edges.

7) Cool and enjoy!

Rando pic: (I've been filming in a swamp for the past 3 days)


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mahalo, Apollo Ale

Last night, in narcissism and curiosity, I googled "Mahalo Apollo." Turns out there is a beer called Mahalo, Apollo ("Welcome, Sun God," as they translate it on their website). A summer ale, clearly.

I love beer, and I thought they should sponsor me and send me free booze, at the very least.

Last night, I informed them of this in the comment section of their beer blog. Not only was there no reply, but my thoughtfully articulated message was deleted this morning.

Game on, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant.

Mahalo, you misinformed simpletons, is the Hawaiian word for "thank you." NOT "welcome." You're probably thinking of aloha, which actually means "hello" and "love." Idiots.

Also, if you illiterate baboons had bothered to read some Homer before naming your beverage, you would know that Apollo = God of music. Helios = God of Sun.  You'd also know about the repercussions of hubris.

In effect, your ale is really named "Thank you, Greek deity of music and manly beauty."

Mahalo Apollo is a fun rhyme. Nothing more. No need to pervert it into something it is not for the sake of sounding clever. If you wanted to do that, you should have named it: Hey, Soleil! or Bienvenidos, Helios (slightly ungrammatical).

I am the true Mahalo Apollo, you punks!

End rant.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shit My Bosses Say, #1

1. "What's your twenty?"  
   Translation: "Where the fuck are you?"
   Usually I'm hiding, with help from the grip and electric departments.

2. After buying a million office supplies from Office Depot: 
   "I like the containers Staples sells these in better. Run to Staples."

3. On walkie: 
   "[My name], MoHome." 
   Translation: "Get the fuck in here!"

4. "Deliver this present to my four-year-old nephew, but pretend to be a delivery person. Can you sing?"

5. "You wanna go on a run?"
   Translation: "Get your car."

6. "You ask too many questions. Don't bother me with details. Just get it done."
   Less than an hour later: 
   "This isn't right. Why didn't you call and ask me?"

7. "Stand by."
   Translation: "Stay wherever you are for two plus hours until I remember why I sent you there or make you come back."

8. "What are you doing right now?"
   Translation: "Help art department." 

9. "Help catering."
   Translation: "Set up the tables, chairs and pop-up's for lunch while the caterers have a smoke break."

10. "[My name], we love your enthusiasm, but [insult that makes me cry once I'm alone in my car]." 

11. "We need you to pick up an iPad."
    Translation: "Drive 33 miles down the 101 and 405. Pick up this exact model at this exact store on the day the new iPhone comes out. Drive back."

12. "Bring the ape to set."

13. "We have something fun for you."
    Translation: "You're going to be an unpaid extra."

14. "If you're on time, you're late. If you're early, you're on time. If you're late, you're fired." 

15. "You get to leave early tonight."
    Translation: "Run the film to Burbank."

16. On the phone: 
    "I'm in the bathroom. Bring me a tampon."

17. "You're on lock-up."
    Translation: "Illegally hold traffic on Main Street."

18. "Research interesting primates at the zoo and take pictures with your phone."

19. "Hurry up! Run! No, really, RUN! Why do you always sound like you're underwater when you talk on your headset?" 
    I'm always running at the same time.

20. Super fast before I can dig a pen or my phone out: 
    "We need a non-fat chai latte, a made-up-drink, two double-caps, two other-made-up-drinks, one venti vanilla latte, a tall something-in-German and a mocha-no-specification-on-mocha-what."
    Then they spin around and take off in the opposite direction, yelling on their cell phone.  

So, that's my job. Excuse me while I make a noose out of my headset.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

How to Have a Productive Hangover

I'm 25 and a 1/2. I still party like an undergrad the rest of the weekend, but Sundays are dedicated to learning how to be an adult. Two years ago, I graduated college, packed up my car, grabbed my dog and drove 3,000 miles to make a big-kid home for myself out here.

I may dedicate a whole post to that road trip and the reasons behind it, but today, kids, we'll focus on the topic I've chosen.

17% Productivity Boost: What Could Be Greater Than Hikes With A Hangover?

My canine child is an avid wilderness explorer.

41% Productivity Boost: Household Chores

1) Re-Fill Bird Feeders and Fountains

A friend bought me this after they noted an abundance of the cute suckers zipping around my backyard. She filled it up with red stuff, they drank it all and then I ignored it. Three months later I saw one land and fly away sadly, and I felt like an asshole. I use a 1/4 c. sugar, 1 c. water solution (no red dye needed) and they empty the thing in two weeks.

2) Spray Plants

To the insects destroying my lime tree: Not cool, fuckers. Those are for evening cocktails. Eat this!

3) Fix Kitchen Sink

I grew up in an old house with a septic system, so the rules of the garbage disposal weren't ingrained in me at a young age. Now that I have one, every meal clean-up is an adventure!

Meet Handy-Dandy Sink Auger:

Note to readers: whole celery in the garbage disposal = big no-no...

4) Buy More Ridiculously Expensive Food for the Ridiculously Spoiled Animals

9% Productivity Boost: Watch TV

This is counter-productive for most people, but I work in entertainment. If I don't keep up on movies and non-reality television, I'm subjected to the derision of my coworkers. This weekend I found time for Eureka, Leverage, The Glades, Haven, Rizzoli & Isles and even some old school X-Files. I'll round it off with tonight's True Blood.

79% Productivity Boost: Ladies' Brunch

Football isn't just for guys, but on some Sundays, let the menfolk watch their games in a sports bar with skanky-dressed waitresses and discuss breasts, Sienna Miller, etc. without fear of disgusting us, because, honestly, lots of things boys find humorous, girls just find gross. Soooo, when I don't have to fix my kitchen sink, I have my girl friends over for catch-up gossip, waffles, pancakes, fondue and mimosas. What? I'm a foodie. My friends and I have a fun tradition. We play a variation of croquet which requires an alcoholic beverage be held in one hand at all times. It's quite tricky! I realize that in execution our brunches may not be so adult, but we don't live in Stepford. We also grill, and the football and baseball games are usually on in the background. If the guys ask, we say we watched Lifetime and Sex and the City and conversed on menstruation all day. Otherwise they may realize how much fun they're missing!


Friday, September 10, 2010


Enjoy the weekend everyone. I'm off to get faded like paint on a Grecian urn circa 518 B.C.


Welcome Back To Pimp My Blog!

I've been reading some awesome blogs. I still don't really know what I'm doing, but I'll get better. Most of us live round lives with diverse interests and hobbies, and one fun blogging idea I came across was the weekly theme which dedicates days of the week to particular interests of blogger. The Far Too Important Blog has Book Blogger Hop Friday's, Diary Of A Fair Weather Diver has Would You Rather Wednesday, Dancing on the Bar of Life has Fuck Yeah Friday and SUNDAY PIC and Inside The Mind Of Booya has Website Wednesday. So, I'm going to dedicate Thursdays to cooking. I haven't decided on a catchy name for these culinary themed Thursdays (Or Fridays, it's late) yet, but I'm starving right now and my creativity is as low as my blood sugar.

I haven't shared much about myself. Opening up issues. I'm a PA (Production Assistant): a glamorized gofer in the entertainment industry. 16-hour work days are not uncommon. You get used to it. Plus you usually get a week or two off/month. Sometimes a whole month. Anyway! I usually run around all day and forget to eat. Working that hard builds up an appetite for something satisfying, and, if I don't have an early calltime the next day, cooking is a great way to unwind after 16 hours of going-going-going and babying the inflated egos of this one-industry town. I participate in more than one extreme sport, I named my dog after my baseball team's stadium, I party a lot and I'm not someone most would expect to have a "domestic" hobby like cooking, but most wouldn't expect me to have a blog either. However, I'm sure my fellow bloggers can relate. We're complex. Like that layer thing Shrek said. This disclosure has dragged on long enough, hasn't it? Onto the food!

Tonight, I made a fancy grilled cheese and homemade tomato soup with a swirl of my own basil pesto.


Sourdough bread
Extra virgin olive oil

Brush olive oil on bread. Grill until cheese melts without burning the bread. About 5 min/side on medium heat.


1 cup chicken/ vegetable stock/broth
1 (15 oz) can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil
Basil pesto, for garnish

Strain tomatoes (keep juice for soup!) and roast them drizzled in extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cook broth and tomatoes in a saucepan over medium heat. When soup bubbles, stir in heavy cream and reduce heat to low and simmer gently 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Puree (immersion blenders simplify things). Season with a little salt and pepper to taste. Serve soup with a small spoon of basil pesto swirled in the middle.

Optional additives: celery, carrot, onion (first cook for 10 minutes in 3/4 cup of olive oil, then add soup indgredients directly to this)


3 tbs pine nuts (lightly roasted in the oven or a dry skillet)
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated parmesan
3 cups of fresh basil leaves (unpacked and de-stemmed)
1/4 tsp sea salt

Chop pine nuts and garlic in a blender. Blend in olive oil, sea salt and basil until a paste forms. Stir in parmesan.

For dessert...


Tune in next time for God knows what.

Today's Rando Pic:

One foot took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oh was I supposed to be coherent?

Most of what follows should be  disregarded as an out-of-practice writer's literary run-off.

First, an important announcement for rhyme and meter poets: there IS a word that rhymes with orange. 

Blorenge (Blorens in Welsh) is a mountain and/or hill in Blaenavon, Wales. The area is featured in Alexander Cordell's novel Rape of the Fair Country, and it is home to some talented traditional Morris dancers.

What is Morris dancing?


Next up, three new activities to try with your friends!

Uno) Tejo: a Columbian sport that combines backyard fun with alcohol and explosives.

Today, most players drink beer, but real diehards drink the customary beverage chicha.
Digression: Chicha is to Latin America what sangria is to Spain. Want to win a Latin man's heart? Make good chicha.  This one takes 2-5 days.

        8 c. water
        1 c. dark brown sugar, packed
        4 sticks of cinnamon
        4 cloves (spice)
        4 allspice berries
        6 oz. maiz jora (available in Latin American, Peruvian and Ecuadorian groceries)
        3 orange leaves, fresh or dried (dried are available in Mexican groceries)
        Peel of 1 pineapple, 1/2 inch thick, scrubbed clean
        1 tsp. vanilla extract
        Sugar, to taste

        1 large pot
        Something to stir with
        1 large plastic or glass jar or container 
        1 clean kitchen towel
        1 strainer
        1 cheesecloth
        1 pitcher or punch bowl

        1) In a large pot, over medium heat, boil the water, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
        2) Add the maiz jora and simmer on low for 30 min. 
        3) Remove from heat, add orange leaves, cover and allow to cool to lukewarm.
        4) Transfer to large plastic or glass container.
        5) Twist the pineapple peel over the container to extract the juices (some cooks add the whole peel to aid fermentation).
        6) Cover with towel and store someplace dark and warm for 2-5 days, until a thick layer of foam appears on the surface (Remember! The longer it ferments, the more drunk you'll get).
        7) Line a strainer with cheesecloth and pour the chica through it into a serving container (You can use the leftover maiz jora from the strainer to make a 2nd batch).
        8) Stir in vanilla and sugar to taste. 
        9) Serve chilled. 

a dó) Shillelaghs


A shillelagh (pronounced shi-lay-lee, or, if you have an Irish accent, sha-LAY-ley) is a bad ass Irish war club made of blackthorn. They typically have a large knob at one end (to inflict blunt force trauma) and a leather wrist loop at the other (for a better grip while inflicting blunt force trauma). Famous shillelagh carriers include the Celtics' mascot and Monk from Gangs of New York.  

Buy shillelaghs on the internet! 

3) Learn how to fold a fitted sheet

I know. This one really sucks, but I've been still too long and I feel an ADHD temper tantrum lurking in the wings like an eager understudy. 

From now on I'll close each entry with a random and unexplained photo from my everyday life.  


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Haha I don't know what I'm doing!

It has come to this. A blog.

I'm over it. I suppose we* all have to overcome the general stigma of this "art form." As if simply bringing words to the page doesn't bring enough trepidation.

*(note my swift progress in affiliating myself with fellow internet wordsmiths)

Some would start by sharing a bit about themselves. I won't. Nor will I commit to a purpose or theme. I can swear in this thing, right? Hope so. I love swearing. My guess is I'll mostly bitch with extreme prejudice and share stupid shit I find on the internet.

Today's Cyber Point & Giggle:

"Untrodden Fields of Anthropology" are a collection of 1898 publications by a French Army-Surgeon. They are an unintentionally hilarious and sometimes horrifying record of Dr. Jacobus X's (pseudonym, clearly) thirty years spent observing the sexual practices of isolated cultures around the world. I have no fucking clue what lead to this unprecedented discovery on google books, but here's an excerpt chosen at random:

The Kanaka "Break Wood." As might be expected, the Kanaka does not show much consideration, or affection, for his common wife, --the more so, perhaps, because she is ugly enough to frighten a man. Sexual connection is performed without any preliminary preparation. The Kanaka when he is "in rut," lays his wife on a bundle of brushwood, or grass, which serves as litter (the word exactly expresses my idea) and "trusses" her in the classical position common to all mankind. This is called "to break wood." Perhaps the name is derived from the fact that the Kanakas often perform the "act of love" in the brush, amongst the bushes. After a hard day's work it often happens to the unfortunate Popinee, that she is obliged to support the amorous assaults of her squad of husbands all night (Page 254).

And there it is. I hope you found that enlightening because I had to type it all up myself. If there's a way to copy and paste on google books, I'm too technologically challenged to uncover it.

Oddly, I'm hungry after that, so this will conclude my first post.