Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Holiday House Divided

34 days until baby is due!

A Holiday House Divided



As social media grows and we become more open with our opinions, I have observed a house divided.  But who is dividing our house?  I'm afraid it's the media.  On our own we don't seem to have a problem with each other, but post a scandalous article or opinion, tweet something disgusting to your 300 followers, and if the right person sees it, the entire world can be up in arms.  We take the time to blame those not even involved, hold prejudices and spew hate to the world when we could just acknowledge the stupidity of another and carry on with our own light and happiness and turn a blind eye to the ignorance of those that we know exist around us.  Granted, some actions do merit personal consequence, but to hurt those uninvolved and begin a discussion of ill intention is a waste  of our collective consciousness.  

The first case of disruption of social media was the Phil Robertson case.  I didn't know who Robertson was before the surge of anger, defense and very public discourse of an opinion held by a man who looks to me, like he crawled out of a swamp and started speaking duck.  It's Christmas, it's the time of year when we celebrate the birth of Christ, the birth of the idea of love, acceptance, humble humility and greater understanding of humanity.  It's a time for unity, whether you are pagan, Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Hindu.  It's the winter solstice, a time to unite and energize.  It is a time to hold each other up and find the positive in each other. 

The other big media blitz that recently happened was, is Santa white?  This led to another division on a subject that many of us really don't care about on a daily basis.  If you're white, Santa can be white, if you are of another ethnic persuasion, Santa can be whatever you want.  Why worry?  You are the casting director to the stories you tell your children and in this day and age there is enough choice to decorate your home in the color of Santa or Jesus you prefer.  There doesn't need to be a public discussion on Fox and John Stewart to ruffle the feathers of the American public.  Ignore that.  It's all hate coming from different sides of the sphere of human understanding and the mass general public would be better off if we just lived and let each other live as opposed to allowing ourselves and our emotions to be scorched and controlled by the media.  I see both sides.  I see the need for more representation, but until those under represented are willing to take the risk and push for reform of your vision, then we will continue to worship the white idols we are all presented.  It will change though, as our world evolves into more varied peoples, we will eventually see our sexism and racism fade away and we will hopefully unite as opposed to continually divide.  

I took a photo of the Roman Catholic Jesus and Virgin Mary at The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles yesterday.  I went with the intention of not getting photo snapping happy but rather to see what piece of art speaks to me and write about it in my blog.  This is the one I chose.

I found them in the martyr section. 

As I sit here with this photo, I understand it is a Roman Catholic depiction of what the artist created out of what the artist knew.  We know more now than we did before.  We know people look different from different parts of the world.  We will someday all be able to see the beauty of these differences and it is my hope that the pendulum that has swung in the direction of hate and division will one day swing to the other side of unity, understanding and appreciation of the difference of opinion as we learn to tolerate each other and teach each other why we are the way we are instead of hating what we think is different.  When we step away from money, capitalism and the generation of public anger for profit, we can possibly enjoy each other.  There is so much discontent in the world, would it kill us to quiet it for the next week?

Merry Christmas to you because that is what I celebrate, but if you have another holiday greeting for me... I will embrace it and love you and appreciate your view as well.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

How to Make Simple Syrup plus Holiday Drink Recipes from Josh Curtis

51 days until baby is due!

How to Make Simple Syrup plus Holiday Drink Recipes from Josh Curtis


Often times when learning drinks from the bartender, we rattle off our recipes and take for granted that not everything is common knowledge.  Case in point, simple syrup!  As you will see in the video at the end of this blog, the newscaster asks my friend where he can find simple syrup.  It's actually in your kitchen and I'm going to teach you step by step how to make it as well as teach you a flavored version!  I love making the flavored kinds and this is my first of many that I will show you. 

So, what is simple syrup?  It's sugar and water.  That's all.  Nothing more, it's the sweetener that we bartenders add to your drink to give it that sweet flavor.  For example, want to make a perfect margarita but don't have any agave nectar or triple sec?  Try this recipe

2 oz tequila of choice
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
Shake with ice
Strain and pour over ice
Easy recipe and you didn't even have to buy sweet and sour mix

Now for the simple syrup recipe:

1.  Take a glass  jar and fill it up a little less than halfway with sugar
2.  Add boiling water
3.  Stir
4.  You're done


Now, here's a fun trick for your leftover orange peels.  I had a few cuties yesterday so I saved the peels and made candy out of them but first I made simple syrup.

1.  Preheat oven to 350
2.  Quarter the cuties
3.  Peel them
4.  Throw them in a pot with enough water to cover and boil for 15 minutes
5.  Strain out the peels and pour the hot water over sugar
6.  Stir the sugar water for simple syrup
7.  Line a pan with foil and place cutie peels on pan
8.  Coat peels with sugar
9.  Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes
10. Remove, cool and garnish your drink with it!

 Quartered Cuties

 Peeled Cuties

 Add enough water to cover the rinds

 Bring to boil and cover for 15 minutes

Prep jar with sugar

Strain out cutie peels and pour hot water over sugar

Stir and now it's ready to serve!  Goes great in tea, also good in margaritas for that orange flavor!

Lay peels on baking sheet and coat with sugar.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven

Use as a garnish that you can also eat!  

Now, for the holiday recipes I promised.  Watch as master mixologist, Josh Curtis explains how to make these delicious cocktails!

Just to introduce Josh, he's a Shawnee, OK boy tearing up the mixology scene here in Los Angeles.  There is nothing more fun than flipping through tv channels while on maternity leave and seeing your awesome friend on a news segment doing what he does best!  To learn more recipes from him and see delicious photos you can connect with him online using the links below!  Watch the segment  and get your holiday drink ideas!
Follow Josh on Instagram and Twitter 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Oven Roasted Carrots. 100% Vegan

52 days until baby is due!

Oven Roasted Carrots

100% Vegan

Sometimes I take for granted that just because I know how to do something, then everyone else must know how to do it too!  My husband ate oven roasted carrots for the first time last night, and realizing he had never had them, and he loved them, I thought I would make it today's blog.  Here are step by step instructions with photos on how to cook this very easy and delicious treat!

1.  Preheat oven to 425
2.  Pull out as many carrots as you want to eat.  I used 4 large carrots.

3.  Cut the ends and peel your carrots. Remember to save the tops and peels for veggie broth later.

4.  Quarter the carrots.  I found the easiest way is to cut them in half while they are long then cut the smaller portions in half exposing the inside of the carrot. 

5.  Put the carrots in a bowl and coat them with olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.

6.  Put carrots on baking pan lined with foil and cover them with foil.  Make sure the edges are closed tight because this is the steaming process.

7.  Bake for 15 minutes.
8.  Remove from oven and take the top layer of foil off.
9.  Place tray back in oven for 12 minutes. The carrots have been steamed, now we brown them!

 10.  Remove tray and flip all of the carrots. 
11.  Place tray back in oven for another 12 minutes. 
12.  Remove tray and carrots are ready to eat!

This vegan recipe is such a treat and I hope you enjoy it!  It goes great with holiday foods and is a good dish all winter long.  In addition to being a naturally sweet side dish, this is also a great place to cut fat off your holiday meal.  Most recipes call to make this with butter but I have always made mine with olive oil!  Enjoy!!!

Also, here is a photo of the veggie broth I made yesterday.

You really should never pay for veggie broth again.  I take scraps from my old veggies, store them in the freezer, and when I have enough to fill a pot, I make broth.  I use it in rice, risotto, beans and soup!  Here is the link to my original post explaining how to make it!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Maternity Leave

53 days until baby is due

Maternity Leave



It's official.  I am on maternity leave.  What does that mean for an out of work actor?  Basically, I guess it means I can now do the things that need to get done in my life that I somehow felt guilty 
doing since I wasn't working or able to find work.  So now, instead of scrolling opinionated facebook posts and weird craigslist ads, going to interviews for temp jobs where I am over qualified yet unemployable because of the bump in my belly, I am now free to blog at my heart's content, maybe write that novella I had started but not finished, and shoot a short film about...what else, maternity leave!

I looked up maternity leave on Urban Dictionary.  That was a mistake.  It seems men have a confused idea as to what maternity leave actually is.  They think it's a paid vacation, a chance for our vagina to heal from childbirth.  Admittedly, I had always assumed the latter, until yesterday when my midwife told me I should scale down my work activities and switch to part-time or begin looking into taking my leave early.  I'm 37, so apparently I'm a complicated case.  Men think it's a paid vacation.  I suppose if you have a job it is.  A wonderful vacation filled with insomnia, a small human living inside of me kicking my ribs HARD, and gas, heartburn, unquenchable thirst and the inability to exercise full tilt while you watch the scale creep up higher and higher.  Seriously, the guys that think that maternity leave is a vacation may need to review their idea of a good time.  I do not want to party with them when this is over.  

My placenta previa migrated, which is great, but before migration, it put me out of work my second trimester.  I was working to support myself as a bartender, then when I could work again, I was entering my third trimester, and pregnant Hollywood bartender just isn't a thing.  If we were going on boobs and skill I would be fine, but now I get tired a lot and apparently the belly terrifies the average Hollywood drinker just looking to keep their childhood alive a few years past 40.  My bump makes the average drinker rethink their consumption as my appearance could be viewed as a cautionary tale if they aren't careful.  Personally, I think this is a good thing, but your average bar manager just isn't into it.  

So for extra money during the previa days, I worked as background on some television shows as a pregnant lady.  As an actor, working background can be really tough, especially after you just played a lead character in a feature, a low budget feature, but it's still hard to take that demotion, no matter who you are.  Now even those "roles" have dried up as the fall television season comes to a close and I'm really left with nothing to do and no money coming in.  

My husband and I on The Mindy Project.  He's a petroleum engineer.  I like that he plays along sometimes.  

I suppose in a way, this is where I learn to get humble.  In my entire adult life I have been able to work and I have worked.  I have hustled a buffet of odd jobs and always stayed afloat.   Sure, it has gotten tight at times, but I could usually throw on a pushup bra and get out and find a job slinging drinks or working as a promo model.  Someone posted on facebook a derogatory remark about beautiful women being stuck when they have to use their brains after their looks fade.  I guess I am in the boat right now.  I have been able to slide on my looks for awhile, but what happens when your brains and your beauty are pushed aside and you are told you just can't work? Then what do you do?  I'm almost finished watching both seasons of Don't Trust the Bitch in Apt 23, almost through both seasons of Extreme Couponing, and I don't have much on my agenda past that, outside of my creative endeavors I listed above.  

I will miss you Chloe!

You too, stockpiling hoarders!

So, here we go.  Maternity leave.  I will blog about whatever is in my head.  Coupons, daytime talk shows, baby products and more will be rolling through my fingers as I type about unfamiliar feelings and unusual happenings.  Yesterday I had a breakdown.  Gone are the days of living without a care.  I'm happy for that, but I'm also a little nostalgic for the vapid days that stacked one on top of the other in LA, where everyday is the same.