my shakes co just recently held auditions for an all female version of Julius Caesar which we will mount in Feb. (the 18 - 28th to be exact!). i am thrilled to be working on this project. when going into the audition, i was unsure of what the outcome, i only knew i wanted to be in the show.
i realized i was geeking out over shakespeare the night before when i was preparing all the sides for the audition w. my lexicon out and two different versions of the text. i love shakespeare. he feels so much more powerful than a lot of the shows i see or read now. i dont know if its that the language is so much more elevated or the context and content seems so much more heavy then what we discuss today. i mean, people die in shakespeare, come on people. i've loved the classics since college. i took a restoration comedy class in college and it was one of my favorite courses, reading all those texts and learning all that history. i have always been blow away by the language and the precision with which the authors of the time wrote. the fact that the word "china" has multiple meanings depending on the context and the fact that you can skew the meaning by how you use it and where you use it is so fascinating. maybe i should've been a linguist instead of an actress.
i'm playing cassius amongst a cast of 7 other talented women and our director and a.d. are fabulous....i am excited for this challenge. i know its going to be a lot of hard work, but well worth it... !
this may sound lame, but we just got a microwave at work and that warrants soup for the rest of the week. so, its exactly what i set out to do. i love soup. i don't make soup all too often but its something i seem to crave a lot, especially in the winter. perhaps thats just part of what winter does for all of us...nothing beats a warm bowl of soup with some really great crusty bread.
i found this recipe on sprouted kitchen, i really like the simplicity of the site, and their photos are AHmazing. what was exciting about making this soup was the development of the layers of flavors. i had no idea what was going to happen when i put the kale and lemon in, but it totally changed the texture and weight of the soup along with giving it a really fresh kick. i can imagine with the black lentils theres a totally different flavor, but i like what i came out with. its defiantly not as pretty, but, i its just as good! enjoy!
LENTIL SOUP WITH CHIPOTLE YOGURT
Serves 6 this was adapted from here
2 Cups Lentils (French or Black Beluga)...i used plain old lentils
1 Yellow Onion, Diced
1 Fennel Bulb, Diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Cup Brown Rice, Cooked (any whole grain will work)
6 Cups Organic, Low Sodium Vegetable Stock
1 tsp. Cumin
1 Large Bunch of Kale, Chard or Combo of Leafy Greens
1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Chipotle Chile in Adobo, Chopped (no more than 2 tsp.)
1. Cook your rice or desired grain and set aside. Boil about four cups water, and boil the lentils for 20 minutes until cooked. Add water as needed. Drain.
2. In a large soup pot, saute the yellow onion and the fennel in the olive oil for about 8 minutes, or until just starting to turn light brown. Add the stock and cumin. Bring the heat back up to a gentle boil, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the lentils and the brown rice and simmer about 10 minutes. While you are waiting, stem your greens and slice them into thin strips. Taste the soup for salt and pepper, add seasoning as desired.
4. Turn off the heat and add in the greens, stir. The greens will wilt in the hot soup, and avoid overcooking this way. Stir in the juice of half the lemon, add more to taste.
5. Mix the greek yogurt with the chipotle chile and stir. Serve the soup with the dollop of the chipotle yogurt. Warning, chipotles are pretty spicy, so start with a small amount of sauce and you can add if you like it hot. If too spicy, add more yogurt.
my sister always says she tries a recipe first then experiments with it...not this girl...this girl does stuff! (lame, i know, but i couldnt resist). i was bored. its been one of those "off" days and i was avoiding writing down my goals for 2010 - which i have to do, b.c. if i dont, i may forever do nothing. i also wanted to eat something that felt somewhat healthy, so i decided to make stuffed peppers. i'd say i did a pretty good job, the green peppers were a little al dente, but still good. please also note, i didnt really follow quantity, i just played around, i encourage you to do the same. its liberating, especially when the meal comes out well.
3 green bell peppers, two w. tops removed and seeded, one diced and seeded (save for later)
3 red peppers, two w. tops removed and seeded, one diced and seeded (save for later)
a glug or two of olive oil
1 half of a white onion, diced
1 generous handful sliced mushrooms
as much freshly chopped garlic as you’d like
some cayenne pepper
a dash of red pepper flakes
1 zucchini, diced
2 cups cooked white (wild, may have been better – more texture) rice
1 (14-ounce can) tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 can drained black beans
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 handful (or a few, depends on how much you like) fresh spinach
some (again, as much as you like) shredded cheddar cheese, to finish
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Wrap the halved peppers in aluminum foil, and bake in the oven until tender, but not falling apart, about 15 minutes – I did mine for about 11 minutes and they were still hard, so I say at least 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, mushrooms, garlic, cayenne pepper and pepper flakes (the amount of hot peppers depends on your palette), and saute until the mushrooms are golden brown. Add in the zucchini, rice, tomatoes, red peppers, green peppers and black beans and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir in the tomato paste. Remove from the heat and fold in the fresh spinach.
4. Spoon the vegetable mixture into the cooled peppers. Transfer the peppers to a heat-proof serving dish and top with a generous helping of cheddar cheese. Bake until the peppers are heated through, about 15 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and serve.
Cook's Note: This can be served on a bed of fresh tomato sauce or on its own. Enjoy. I had a lot of leftover insides, which I will probably eat tomorrow... also, this is a lot of food. I’d say you could feel 8, if everyone just took on half of a pepper – or 4 with two halves.
i took my breather and now it is time to truly embark on this adventure. i'm going to keep this up. i realized today that i think about food all the time. i wake up and i wonder 'will i just drink coffee this morning, or perhaps i'll make some oatmeal.' i get to work and then i start to daydream about lunch and sometimes even dinner! i wish we had a microwave at the office because then i would be able to bring leftovers, but we make due with what we have. i'm sure it doesn't help (this whole food brain thing) that i read food blogs for about 50% of my day.
i just can't help it. i'm not apologizing for it, its just crazy that it really consumes my brain...its like my tastebuds control what i think about. thats why i started this blog. blog. ha. i know they've been around forever and i am just now joining the band wagon. and maybe i missed it and everyone is doing the next cool thing, but this pace, its good for me. its whatever i make it and i like that. its a little more safe and secure.
i have realized that i have to get better at taking in process pictures. thats what i like most about the other blogs that i read are all the pictures of the process and the process itself, which is also why i love cooking. i'm a process person. i like taking steps, multiple if necessary, to achieve a goal. ! yay process.
okay. this is what i tried tonight! Garlic Butter Noodles This was adapted from here
7 oz dry thin spaghetti (or egg noodles)
3 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of basil, chopped (or mint)
a huge handful of spinach
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce (or Maggi Sauce) i just realized this said 1 teaspoon! i read it as tablespoon
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1. in a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook noodles according to the package instructions. drain noodles and wipe pot clean. return pot to medium-high heat and add the butter. once butter sizzles, add garlic. fry for about 1 minute or until fragrant. dont let the garlic burn! (this all happens very fast, so it might be easier to have all of your ingredients preset.)
2. add brown sugar, soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir well. add noodles and toss evenly with sauce. stir in the spinach until it begins to wilt.
3. remove from pan and plate in a large bowl and toss with fresh basil. (i do think this would have been better with mint!)
i've been thinking about this a lot lately. i don't want this space to have just been another idea. so. promise to myself is (after this crazy week at work) that i am going to post once a week. something i make.
i has been awhile since i last did or wrote anything...but i will have you know, i am going to buy a bigger memory card today so i can take more pictures and hopefully someday i'll be able to buy a nice SLR to take more pictures. for the time being, me and my canon powershot are gonna become buddies. and, i'm really looking forward to it.
also. its so interesting to "follow" blogs; let alone food blogs. i think those of us that read them, read the same 7 and jump around to other suggestions from time to time. i say this b.c i've noticed that theres a trend in what someone ifsattempting to cook, there's always similarities. it makes you really feel like you're involved in a community!
stuff done: i had a friend move to manhattan literally yesterday. he crashed on my couch the night before moving to what i am sure is a kick ass apt on the uws. i would love to someday live on amsterdam or columbus between 69 and 80. its such a cool neighborhood, albeit expensive as all get out but very nice nonetheless.
anyway - i've been having an itch for something sweet. even at work i said, out loud, i want cookies or brownies but the idea of buying them makes my stomach turn. i want to bake something sweet and eat it. so...i decided to bake a house warming gift (which i'm not even going to eat, unless tomorrow he wants to share them) i'm baking thumbprint cookies. with black raspberry jam.
i got the recipe from one of the blogs i read: eat make read. i dig kelly's blog a lot. she has a lot of good recipes and ideas. i want to read the book she posted today, especially if i'm getting into this cooking/stuff blog. the only thing missing is a camera.
i made these cookies for kyle after we talked at length last night about how, when he cooks he googles what he's in the mood for and the filters it through blogs. he browses a bunch of the blogs i frequent, so i thought using a blog i love would do perfect justice to these little guys!
and here's the recipe:
based on this recipe from everyday food
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract OR 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 jar of jam
1. in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy.
2. add egg yolks, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. reserve egg whites. add vanilla and lemon extract or zest.
3. with mixer on low, add flour; mix just until combined. wrap in plastic; chill until firm, about 1 hour. to make ahead: refrigerate up to 2 weeks, or freeze up to 3 months.
4. preheat oven to 350°. remove chilled dough from refrigerator. using a small scoop, place round of dough on cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart.
5. using the bowl of a 1/4 teaspoon, make an indentation into each cookie.
6. whisk the egg white with 1 teaspoon water and brush each cookie with the wash. (i forgot this step so i did it after i had put the jam in the cookies.)
7. spoon 1/2 teaspoon of your chosen jam into each cookie.
8. bake for 13-15 minutes.
for me, this yeilded 20 LARGE cookies and b.c they were so big, i cooked them for about 20 minutes or so. (they smell, divine! the whole house smells of buttery goodness.)
stuff done: i took a really fabulous yoga class last night. it was a really specific class and i decided to give myself a solid intention for the practice for the evening so everything matched up brilliantly. we ended the class with a 3 minute seated meditation, which is not normally how they end a beginner level class and i wept. tears flowed from my eyes for those full three minutes. it was a lovely release.
i then had a hankering for mussels... so i bought a bag at whole foods and tossed in a big glug of white table wine, a whole roughly chopped shallot, 5 chopped cloves of garlic, a bunch of herbs chopped up, a pinch of saffron and a whole tomato chopped. steamed them for about 15 (if that, i wasnt really watching) it was so yummy. i ate all of them. BY MYSELF. for some reason, i could eat mussels all the time, whenever. they are so good and so easy! (this picture is not what my mussels looked like...i borrowed it from this guy, thanks guy. :) )
on that note, i think i am going to dig out my old canon 35mm and start shooting!
This sounds fabulous. Super fabulous. I would love to be able to afford and have the time to do something like this w. my boyfriend and/or a few friends. It seems like it would be such an amazing experience. As the author says, it does sort of feel like a cop-out...but what if it inspires you to grow veggies out on your fire escape? Or want to move to Vermont and start working on a farm.
Sheesh. I love it.
Stuff done: So it's over. As you like it has closed. The withdrawal that happens when you finish a project that you've been working on for 3 months is ridiculous. It’s a lot of hard work, you're exhausted and at moments you can't wait until it’s over. Then it is and there's this wash of loss and sadness.
I'm pretty impressed by what we accomplished though. We've heard nothing but positive feedback. We had packed houses 90% of the time. That is an amazing feeling. As an actor, looking out onto a packed house is so wonderful. It kicks up your adrenaline and makes you work harder. At least that’s what it does for me. This show was such a challenge and adventure to say the least. And as such a young company, I'm proud of what we did.
On to a more heady topic. I've been thinking about mortality and its effects on us/me/u/people/an individual... This is probably because my boyfriend's grandfather passed away earlier this week. It was an unexpected/expected thing. He's been growing older faster over the last few months but he was in for a routine surgery and then suddenly, he's gone. There are so many things I am feeling. I am overwhelmed with sadness for his family. Their grandfather was their beacon. Their stalwart. And, instantly, all that remains is the bond of a relationship. Every time I think about it, I get choked up. To what end? Is it that the lack of a physical body is so overwhelming that the relationship and the feelings and the memories and the ideas and the encouragement that a person provided during their physical life are now remiss? No. It can't be, right? We are all affected by people. By things. By words. By actions. And these "things" remain. We're like chalkboards that have been written on for years and there's still bits of chalk that will never vanish, no matter how hard you try to wash them off. (Not sure that’s the right analogy, but it was what popped into my head and seems to make sense.) I guess its just hard, in the moment, to recognize all the ways a person has affected you.
It has also made me think about the people close to me and their mortality; even my own. How quickly it can go. How one moment you can be laughing with someone and the next instant some terrible tragedy befalls you. I have no control over what will happen or won't happen. I can just keep living and doing and existing in the moment. To be wrapped in the possibility of loss or departure of someone you love only hinders you and makes you wallow. I don’t want to wallow. I want to breathe and enjoy my friends and family to the fullest that I can so that when, sadly, the moment does come when I have to say goodbye I have so much still there.
Time passes. Things change. We have to move with the change. We have to take the life we've lived and mix it with the one we're living. Be influenced by our past experiences, learn from them, grow from them, fail from them...allow them to wash over us and inspire us and never forget that it’s all something that shapes how we take that next step forward. I guess this sort of is related to my post on Buddhism. Life means suffering. Suffering is caused by attachment. The cessation of suffering is possible. There is a path to the end of suffering. ... It’s just a long journey. Keep your eyes open and exist from moment to moment.
I am saddened by this loss. I know the pain my boyfriend is suffering from is great. I want nothing more than to hold his hand and cry with him. I also know that his grandfather loved him so much and was so proud of him that this relationship with shape him for the rest of his life. None of this is ever easy. The journey of life is a hard one, I'm glad to share it with people I love dearly. To you...I will always be here for you to lean on.
The first week of the show was so great. It was a long week with a lot of hard work, some construction site snooping to find bits and pieces of our set, some neighborhood tramping to get our posters hung in local businesses and a morning full of bagels, coffee and doughnuts for a photo shoot before our Sunday matinee. All in all, we had really great audiences, good solid shows and an awesome time hanging out as a cast and crew post show. We've even gotten some great comments on Time Out New York's listing of our show! (Check it: here)
I'm looking forward to discovering new things and motivations for my character and as a cast as a whole. I imagine we'll all come back refreshed and recharged for some more hard/creative work.
Stuff done: Not only did I work at the yoga studio the other night, I also took a yoga class with an amazing teacher. I showed up about 20 minutes early; I wanted to settle into the room, the class, and stretch a little. When I first took to my mat I realized my hips and the back of my legs were super tight. I knew class was going to be a challenge, especially since I hadn’t taken an hour and a half class in quite a while. But - this is the point - challenge myself to DO things.
Anyway, Sarah (our teacher) started the class by talking about Buddhism. I studied Buddhism a little in college and really enjoyed it. I was drawn to it. To the idea of awareness. To the idea of nature and simplicity. She started talking about how yogic philosophy and Buddhist philosophy were very much akin and how the main principles of Buddhism - the four noble truths - align with yogic practices as well.
Which are: 1. Life means suffering.
2. The origin of suffering is attachment.
3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
4. The path to the cessation of suffering.
(Found this cool website that I pulled these from!)
The overall idea is that life involves suffering - the point is not to wallow in it, the point is to use it and figure out how to get past it. She was linking this back to yoga in the sense of recognizing your bodies limitations but also knowing that it’s part of the journey to exist a little in your suffering (a pose that may be painful or feel weird to you). You can and will figure out how to work through it. How to overcome it. Also, something that always hits home for me when I think about Buddhism is that we all have a “path” - no two paths are the same. We each must walk down our road...once you're on that road; it’s not going away. You can try to jump off, but it will always follow you. There will always be this voice in the back of your head saying, "hey, dummy. I'm still here, we're still working!" and you don’t have to suffer all the time. You just get beyond it and keep moving.
So, tha’ts my mini rant on yoga and Buddhism. I, myself, am going to work harder to incorporate both into my life!
After yoga I went here. Sort of counter productive but it’s such an awesome place and their burgers are great.
Stuff done: I worked at a yoga studio tonight for 2 hours. I don't know why but being in a yoga studio, literally just being there, sets me at ease and fills me with this unbridled compassion towards everylivingthing.
Does that sound cheesy? I'm a big cheese head, but I'm serious. All I want to do right now is go hang out with people and smile and giggle. And, do yoga, duh. I would spend hours doing yoga. That’s what I like. That’s what gets me going.
So. I think everyone should do yoga. Now I'm going to go geek out and meditate and go to bed.
Stuff done: Friday, my theatre company had a fundraiser and I must say, I was pretty impressed. We had a great party, awesome performers, yummy food, cold pbr and an amazing raffle. I was so proud of the way we all came together to make it happen.
(Shout out to unscene.com who posted our event. They have a pretty cool flier they put out on a regular basis and we were able to contact tons of folks for donations through the unscene: brooklyn. You should totally check it out; grab one if you see one. Shop and eat local!)
Also - I did a workshop with the NY neo-futurists; eff-ing amazing. I fell in love with the neo-futurists when I saw the Chicago crew perform too much light makes the baby go blind back in 2007 at the DC Fringe Festival. It literally almost blew my mind. They did this piece that was focused on our "War on Terrorism" and how we don't hear about those that have been wounded and have suffered. They simply had 4 people onstage with a bunch of papers with names on them. The names were of those wounded in battle but not talked about. They just kept flipping through hundreds of names, in silence; while one woman read a monologue and when she was done she left. But they kept flipping until they were done and then they left the stage. The papers with the names stayed on stage the entire rest of the show so we would remember.
Talk about working in a workshop. We did some exercises, then we wrote and created a piece and performed it and combined our work with someone else's before the class was done. It was so invigorating. It was fun. It was challenging. It was inspiring. Cannot wait until Saturday! Yee-haw.
Stuff done: I went to a wedding this past weekend for a very dear friend of mine and it was unbelievable. It was the most beautiful ceremony I think I have ever been to. The reception was amazing. The utter support and love for the newlyweds was so clear.
It made me realize how wonderful good friends are. You may have certain friends come in and out of your life - when their time passes, it’s gone. This doesn't make any of those friends less important, it's just part of life, it's part of some grander process. You can reconnect with people and it's as if you never missed a step, were never uninformed of something in their lives. If some new piece of information pops into the conversation it's like "oh, wait, did I know that?" and you're off on a new topic.
A quote from the hand blessing: these are the hands that will express passion, gentleness, and strength for you.
Le sigh. Love it. Maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic...
Oh, ps. other stuff done: I started this blog. Let's see if I can keep doing stuff.