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Immovably fascinated by the world; it's properties, people, conditions, sensations, irony,
and all the amazing moments which, whether by enlightenment or scarring, bring about permanent change.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chocolate Cake 2

I'm improving!

This cake ROSE in the oven,
which is quite difficult for a vegan cake.
I made a few adjustments to the recipe,
and it's a better cake!
I'm so proud of myself, it's silly!

The frosting came out like frosting this time,
instead of having the previous glaze-consistency,
but it's got grains of sugar in it.?
Which isn't to big of a deal, but...
Hm... I'll have to tinker around with the instructions...
I've got a few ideas I'm excited to try.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Julia Child

(Child's kitchen... my current desktop)

After having viewed the movie half a dozen times,
I'm now reading the book Julie and Julia by Julie Powell.
which is better than the film (as per usual),
because the directing/editing is pretty cheesy,
but, mostly, because Julie is portrayed by Amy Adams,
who is incapable of NOT being bubblely and adorable,
even when she's being sad.
That doesn't give much complexity for the role of Julie,
which is a shame, because Julie's writing deserves a deeper performance.
Reading the book, her disgruntled wit is making me laugh out loud in unexpected bursts
which is a tad awkward while on the bus or sitting at a bar...
Anyway, it's inspiring me to cook more, write more,
and to be more constructive in general (more so than I already am!).

I got a bunch of Child documentaries, biographies, and cook books from the Seattle Public Library.
Pretty interesting stuff.
She's a fanscinating person.
A tall glass of water overfloweth with life.

“Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”

“I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.”

“Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment;
but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet.”

"You must have discipline to have fun."

"Everything in moderation, including moderation."

"It took architects years to get established,
to show that they weren't just artisans,
and that's what I hope will happen with gastronomy.
For some reason people don't consider cooking a serious business,
but it's like any discipline,
and it's a passionate and fascinating one."

"Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening,
or build a boat in the basement.
Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen,
because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity
as drawing, or wood carving, or music."

"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces -
just good food from fresh ingredients."

"This is my invariable advice to people:
Learn how to cook -- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless,
and above all have fun!"

"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure.
In cooking you've got to have a 'What the hell?' attitude."

"The best way to execute French cooking
is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken."

"I would far prefer to have things happen as they naturally do,
such as the mousse refusing to leave the mold,
the potatoes sticking to the skillet,
the apple charlotte slowly collapsing.
One of the secrets of cooking is to learn to correct something if you can,
and bear with it if you cannot."

"I enjoy cooking with wine,
sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking."

"The measure of achievement is not winning awards.
It's doing something that you appreciate,
something you believe is worthwhile.
I think of my strawberry souffle.
I did that at least twenty-eight times before I finally conquered it."

"Moderation. Small helpings.
Sample a little bit of everything.
These are the secrets of happiness and good health."

"In spite of food fads, fitness programs, and health concerns,
we must never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal."

"You can have some butter, you can have some olive oil.
It all comes down to moderation, variety, exercise and use your head."

I LOVE these two photos especially, which her husband, Paul, took of her;

What a great example of a good relationship.
I'll bet they laughed all the time.

"The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person.
You know they're right if you love to be with them all of the time."

"Cooking is like love;
it should be entered into with abandon or not at all."

"Dining with one's friends and beloved family
is certainly one of life's primal and most innocent delights,
one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal."

"It's fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day.
That's what human life is all about -- enjoying things."

"You find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people.
Why not make an honest effort to confer that pleasure on others?
Half the battle is gained if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy."

Monday, September 27, 2010


I know it looks a little weird,
but it was TASTY!!!

I sliced a potato and boiled it.
Heated up canola oil and olive oil
to sauté' onion, red pepper,
and a dime-sized bit of green jalapeno.
Turned up the heat,
strained the potatoes, and threw em on top,
salt/peppered it,
broke the potatoes apart in the pan with the spatula,
a splash of soy milk,
added cilantro,
tossed in some spinach,
squeezed lemon(!) on it
sprinkled on cheddar and mozzarella (vegan, of course),
and lobbed it onto a plate.

And filling.
Thick like meatloaf or something...
Next time i make it,
I'm going to prepare it the same way,
but add some crumpled soft tofu,
throw everything into a pie tin,
and then I'll have Breakfast Pie!

Friday, September 24, 2010

mad men yourself

heh, that was fun!

...and yesm, I'm in my nightie at work...
...I had a long night......

Monday, September 20, 2010

my first cake

Even though Julie & Julia is a pretty darn cheesy (get it?) movie
(same director as You've Got Mail... you get the idea; yikes.).

And even though Amy Adams is irritating in this
(quite disappointing, since I've just started to love her,
and she's the reason I rented this goshdarn movie!).

Even though!

I STILL viewed it about five times this weekend.

Several reasons;

-Meryl Streep is hilarious (I've long stressed her underrated comedienne talents),
and moving (she always delivers, and we've come to expect that from her).
-I especially enjoyed the subtle parallels in these two woman's lives
(stress the word "subtle". the obvious ones are... well... too obvious).
-I appreciate non-fiction more than fiction.
-It's inspiring to see people do what they love (especially when they're being repressed)
-Fit your passion into your life. Even if it seems impossible, or you don't have time.
Otherwise, you're not living life (" Decide what to be and go be it " -The Avett Brothers).
-This movie is yummy. It has made me want to cook more.
SO, that brings me to;

I've been vegan for ten years now.
I deserve a vegan cake.
Not having much of a sweet-tooth hasn't stopped me from enjoying life's little rewards.
Also, I'm 28 and have never made a cake by myself from scratch before.

Vegan cake is easier to make than one might think.
What's difficult it trying to get it to rise.
It wants to stay in a thick, brownie consistency.
Which is desirable... but still, I'm trying to create a fluffy cake...
Ah well, still tasty at any rate.

Splurged on some ingredients.
Redeemable since they will no doubt be thrown into a multitude of future recipes.
Vinegars, shortenings, etc.
Had to buy a required few tools.
Mixing bowl, whisk, spatula, cake pan...

Got a little worried when I first started mixing.
Didn't seem like it would ever smooth out...

But then it did.

And, boy, was it delicious!
I felt like a kid licking the bowl.
No one was around, so I went for it.
Maybe grown-ups aren't supposed to do this after the age of seven,
but, I didn't realize how I miss getting chocolate on my face!
Being a salt-person, and vegan, I hardly ever get this kind of treat.

I baked it...
Whipped up some frosting...

And Ta-Da!

It was a perfect compliment after a spicy dinner,
and divinely paired (I'm so smart) by "Cupcake Chardonnay"
(a completely underrated, under-priced, original, kind of sweet wine,
with a mellow, light, lemony tart finish).

Only better was a small refridgerated slice the next morning with fresh, hot cup of joe.
Oh lord.
One of my favorite combinations ever.
Why haven't I done this before?
I cannot wait to discover more.

(four pieces gone. by ashley and friend)

Friday, September 17, 2010


I adore all his movies, so I rented Alfred Hitchcock presents.
So many good episodes...
Mostly Hitch is cracking me up!
He's so morbidly funny, I love it.

Here are some of his words...

"Always make the audience suffer as much as possible."

"Give them pleasure -
the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare."

"I am scared easily, here is a list of my adrenaline - production:
1: small children,
2: policemen,
3: high places,
4: that my next movie will not be as good as the last one."

"If it's a good movie, the sound could go off
and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on."

"In films murders are always very clean.
I show how difficult it is and what a messy thing it is to kill a man."

"My good luck in life was to be a really frightened person.
I'm fortunate to be a coward, to have a low threshold of fear,
because a hero couldn't make a good suspense film."

"Television is like the American toaster,
you push the button and the same thing pops up everytime."

"The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture."

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them."

"There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it."

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Ann-Margret Olsson
April 28, 1941 (age 69)

She has won five Golden Globe Awards, and one Emmy.
Nominated for: two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards,
a Screen Actors Guild Award, and six Emmy Awards,
and a three-time winner of the "Female Star of the Year" award
given by the United Motion Picture Association.

With Jack Nicholson in Carnal Knowledge. Great film. And she's excellent in it!
What an explosive couple they'd make... although, I think she's too smart to be with a cat like Jack.
They were cute together in Tommy, too.

Shy and reserved off stage,
but wildly exuberant and sensuous on stage.

Ann-Margret's mother was a funeral parlor receptionist.

She had a chance encounter with Marilyn Monroe,
who was on location for The Misfits.
Monroe noticed the striking girl in a crowd of onlookers,
then chatted privately with her, offering her encouragement.

She was asked to sing "Baby, Won't You Please Come Home"
at President John F. Kennedy's private birthday party at the Waldorf-Astoria,
one year after Marilyn Monroe's famous "Happy Birthday".

Blonde here, instead of her trademark strawberry-blonde.

Her redhead hair color (she is a "natural brunette") was the idea of Sydney Guilaroff,
a hairdresser who changed the hair color of other famous actresses such as Lucille Ball.

In 1972, in, Nevada, she fell 42 feet from an elevated platform to the stage
and suffered injuries including a broken left arm, cheekbone and jawbone.
Smith flew a stolen plane from Burbank, California, to Lake Tahoe
and back to get his wife to surgeons at UCLA for treatment,
which included meticulous facial reconstructive surgery
that required wiring her mouth shut and putting her on a liquid diet.
Unable to work for ten weeks,
she ultimately returned to the stage almost back to normal.

In 1995, she was ranked 10th place by Empire magazine
as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history.

She has been married to Roger Smith since May 8, 1967.

She rode a 500cc Triumph T100C Tiger motorcycle in The Swinger (1966)
and the same model fitted with a non-standard electric starter in her stage show.
A keen motorcyclist, she was featured in Triumph Motorcycles' official advertisements in the '60s.
She suffered three broken ribs and a fractured shoulder
when she was thrown off a motorcycle she was driving in rural Minnesota in 2000.

On August 29, 2010, she won the Emmy for her guest performance on Law & Order: SVU.
It was the first Emmy win of her career, and she received a standing ovation.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Princess Mary of Denmark

(I can't believe this photo is real and contemporary.)

and the impeccable photo that started this whole thing;

what a great photo.
she looks timeless and amazing.
like a photo from vogue,
but she's actually just walking up steps.
i love that kind of real-life glamour.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Hash browns, hash browns, you know I can't be late."

I'm trying to continue my new habit of rising early in the morning,
after having spent the majority of my life waking up late in a mad rush.

I'm on a breakfast kick.
A vegan breakfast can be tricky, but I enjoy it immensely.

I can't decide whether hash browns are better in the morning or late at night.

Hash browns or hashed browns are a simple potato preparation
in which potato pieces are pan-fried after being shredded, julienned, diced, or riced.
Often they are pressed with a potato ricer to remove moisture for a crispier texture.

Home fries -

AKA country style or cottage fries, made by pan or skillet frying
diced, chunked, wedged or sliced potatoes (sometimes unpeeled) that have been par-cooked
(boiling, baking, steaming, or microwaving the potatoes before frying,
so they have a crisp exterior and fluffy interior).
Without par-cooking the potatoes, these are technically raw fries.

Potatoes O'Brien -

adding chopped onions and green/red bell peppers.
claimed to originate from a Boston restaurant known as Jerome's
and a Manhattan restaurant known as Jack's in the early 1900s.

Lyonnaise potatoes -

sliced potatoes and sliced onions sautéed together with seasonings.
"Lyonnaise" means "from Lyon", or "Lyon-style", after the French city of Lyon.

(thank you wikipedia)

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