Wookie Cooking

I invented a new recipe today that I positively love. If you know me, or have seen my previous cooking posts, you know that cooking isn’t my thing. I prefer baking. I don’t know why, maybe because it involves mixing things (like chemistry!), popping it in the oven and back to sitting. I’m very slowly maturing my food choices from frozen and boxed to fresh and hearty. So in the event that I’m out my beloved microwave and go foods, I am forced to get creative.

20120408-163746.jpg
•hamburger patty
•1 slice of rye bread, buttered on 1 side
•cream cheese
•sliced onions and green bell peppers
•avocado
•cilantro
•shredded cheese
Put bread in pan, add cream cheese and hamburger patty (already cooked). Sauté peppers and onions while cream cheese melts on bread. Put everything on top and enjoy.

I don’t put measurements because I don’t use them. I wing it.

San Pedro Art Walk

My favorite show right now: The Real L Word. That Whitney is addicting.

Last movie I watched: It might have been I.O.U.S.A., but I didn’t get to finish before Netflix had to be canceled.

Recent project to take on: learning Virtual DJ.

But on to more important things! Even though I was technically in Pheonix during my beloved First Friday, I missed it in lieu of hanging out with friends in Tempe for my birthday. Which was awesome, to say the least. So last night I resumed my art opening adventures in San Pedro, which is 30 miles south of Westwood, where I’m staying. So a hop, skip, and a 405 trip later I arrive in a lovely little downtown block of a suburb. This First Thursday (I think it was called) was small and intimate, reminded me of the Phoenix art scene a bit, with smaller more independent galleries. The first gallery I went in had a twist on Southwestern art though, *sigh*. I can never escape those damn Kokopellis. If you don’t know what those are, then you are not from the Southwest.

They would be more enjoyable if they weren't so overdone in the Southwest!

The gallery did, however, have this awesome hanging lamp sculpture. The thing about this art walk, was that the galleries didn’t have cards or anything really that I could take so I could remember the artists or even the name of the galleries. That was kind of diminishing. There was in one gallery/arcade/dub-step clothing shop (?) these really creative window panes with photo prints in them. Again, I wish they had been labeled, because I have no idea who the artist was. Onward ho, I shuffled through some other galleries and a few open studios with a few things catching my eye, an abstract artist that had a style that resembled street art. Another one had a cool print making style, unfortunately I didn’t write down his name, since I think his art was actually labeled. Oh how I love it when they have cards to put out.

Also a feature of this art walk was food trucks. I finally got to eat at my first food truck in California; I was so excited. We picked the Nom Nom truck because my roomie had heard great things.

Delicious!

And finally, the actual reason we drove 30 miles for an art walk that didn’t offer much in my preferred scene, was because my roomie met an artist on the bus ride to San Francisco last weekend and he had a painting in one of the galleries. And arguably, his was better than the rest of what I saw. Also this new gallery, slightly off to the side of the mini row of galleries, had a showing of art that I felt had more to offer in the realm of creativity. Maybe it was hipster art, but I like hipsters. HUDSON|LINC also, unlike the place that served warm white wine (bitter beer face), served cold PBR. Hipster-tastic. So the name of this show was “Social Being” and involved art that worked itself around the social media and online presence that has taken over our society; it included a portrait of Tom from Myspace done in those circular beads that we used to iron one side of in the 90’s to make craft art projects as children. The painting by Steven Wolkoffwas actually a new concept to me. I hadn’t ever seen anything that involved the paint squiggles like he uses. And despite that abstract art doesn’t tickle my fancy like it used to, this one had me. Maybe it’s because the title is “The Names of all My Facebook Friends (Blue Squiggles #12)” which automatically forces you to start searching out names. There are quite a few so it makes it hard to find any. Most fascinating is the amount of time it must take to let each layer dry; more patient than I.

Little paint squiggles all over. Layers of them.

I think that concludes this edition of my Los Angeles art adventure, or I should say San Pedro. Hopefully I will get to attend some more fun things this weekend. Enjoy!

LA has sucked me dry. I have no more money left. (With 2 flat tires in a month, 2 parking tickets, and the cost of a 60 mile daily commute, I’d say this has been some shitty luck.) I caved and applied for more student loans. Further perpetuating the American dream and culture of spending money we don’t have, but I’m not one to let lower middle class-ness get in the way of my education. I would love nothing better right now then to have an income, or at least make pocket change selling prints on Etsy. But alas.

So this week I have had Ramen noodles, rice, easy mac, microwave popcorn, and Chef Boyardee. Oh and egg in the hole. This may seem like the typical lazy junk diet (and it kind of is) but I am broke, and these are the cheapest foods possible. Even bananas cost more here ($0.25 a piece, What?!) It’s kind of funny when I think about where I should be at nearly 25. I probably never thought I would be eating ramen out of necessity and not pleasure HA! Also didn’t expect to be in college still, but everyone has a different way of doing things. So without the beloved spice collection back home in Tempe, I have to be rather creative about flavoring things so I’m not eating the same thing every day. So I present to you the vital 3 seasonings: ranch (good ranch, like Hidden Valley), garlic powder or garlic salt, and hot sauce (any will do). And butter is good too.

Baked potato: butter, ranch, garlic powder, and hot sauce. Yum!

Ramen: Garlic powder, included seasoning packet, hot sauce, frozen veggies.

Egg in the hole: Garlic powder sprinkling, ranch, hot sauce.

Chef Boyardee mini ravioli: Garlic powder, hot sauce.

See? These are just a few ideas. Who says cheap food has to taste cheap? Oh, that’s right, normal people. And those with money… and cooking skills. What I lack in skills I make up for in creativity.

While I wrote this I watched a seriously emotional episode of Without a Trace. So time to move on to something that brings me joy: new cameras that I can’t have! I have discovered lomography, analogue film cameras. While it was something I had wanted to go back and try again, I have now discovered a camera that takes such beautiful images with random uncontrollable effects that I have been creating with photoshop and other editing software. The whole reason I left film was that I had a whole roll of film come back from Wal-Mart with only like 5 photos coming out, and they couldn’t tell me what happened to the rest. So i decided I wanted digital, so I could be in charge of the images. And it pretty much became the only way to shoot, 21st century and all. The digital age has it drawbacks though. My newly inspired photography hobby has spawned me looking at other types of cameras, and this is one I LOVE.

I wantz.

Someone buy me?;)

I think that’s all for now. Tomorrow I drive back to AZ for my birthday weekend, my dreaded return to work (assuming I still have a job), and general business to take care of. I can’t wait to see my boy and my baby (Otherwise known as boyfriend and puppy), hang out with friends and see family. And have a place to park. The 117 degree heat? Not really happy about that part. Here’s to still not being ready to go after I said I was going to get ready and go to bed early.

Peace.

In true Wookie fashion, here's a pic to leave you with. Walking to Venice Beach.

Getting Acquainted with Los Angeles Art Scene

First stop:

Gallery 825- Out There Exhibition: June 10th-17th, 2011. Juried by Francisco George and William Escalera. The show was celebrating the LGBT Experience during the West Hollywood Pride Month festivities.

This show was very diversified, sculpture, photography, paintings. The only downside, I was surrounded by yuppies I couldn’t possibly relate to! Maybe next time I’ll feel less like a sore thumb.

Most notable piece for me:

Cosmic, by Barbara Kolo

Next up: 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica. They had an art night extravaganza, featuring crochet bombing (something that involves crochet things everywhere!), performance art, and a few social comment projects like the gentrification of neighborhoods. That’s something I need to google, because I don’t fully understand what it’s all about. We contributed to some of the project by writing on the door.

Guess which tag is mine

After this it was off to Known Gallery for the opening of “Assorted Flavor.” A little more my scene, this one was. Featuring Augustine Kofie:

Triangle assemblages No. 15

And an installation piece by Kevin Ancell: “It’s Ok.” It’s a giant bomb with corporate logos all over it. I wish I had taken a better picture of it, one of the whole thing, because it was really good.

Me with the Kevin Ancell "It's Ok" Bomb installation

Also at the Assorted Flavor show:

After the art it was off to the famous Pink’s Hot Dogs for some grub. There is a line outside wrapping around the building because it is so popular. And oh holy swiss cheese, Batman, it was AMAZING. I had the Ozzy Dog, with is a spicy polish dog (it’s actually spicy, not a wimpy version) with guac, onions, and nacho cheese! I love hot dogs, and this was the best I’ve ever had I dare say.

Pink's, need I say more?

The Ozzy Dog, omg is all I could say.

Well that concludes the first Los Angeles art adventure of the summer. I hope there are many, many more.

Brownies=happiness

This is a generic recipe for brownies. I however made mine a little special. I added some crushed up peppermint pieces and white chocolate chips. I also like to sprinkle powdered sugar and green sugar sprinkles on the top. Oh, also I used Ghiradelli sweetened cocoa powder instead of unsweetened. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.

    Brownies!!!

Spring Break Day 1, 2, & 3

Well my vacation is off to an amazing start! The best feeling in the world is not having to work for 1 week! I kicked off spring break and vacation with a little dinner party and get together with the girls at Erin’s place in Phoenix. We (and by we, I mean she) made fish tacos with rice and beans. And dare I say it was delicious beyond reason. We drank wine and ate tacos and dished on all our recent scandals. Girls night doesn’t happen nearly enough.

The Girls

Mmm.. Cod and Tilapia

The first of 4 bottles of wine to be consumed that night, and the best.

Holy crap these were good tacos

I forgot to take pictures of the amazing organic chocolate chip cookies she baked afterward. Whoa, I ate like 4… 0r 9, who’s counting?

After sleeping for 2 and 1/2 hours I was up and packing for California in a flurry. I headed off with a cooler filled with Smucker’s Uncrustables and Sugar Free Red Bulls. After about 2 hours I was already completely sick of hearing myself sing, but I carried on belting out my jams nonetheless. 5 and 1/2 hours later I arrived in Long Beach where my friends live. We quickly readied ourselves in our fabulous cocktail attire and drove off to LA. We made a stop at the X Repertory Theatre where Logan is taking conservatory classes and I will be interning this summer. We said hi to everyone and we were off to the pilot taping for Tyger’s Aunt. We creeped along the Hollywood 101 and drove down Sunset looking for our destination. Finally we found wine bar Vintage Enoteca, now the challenge of finding parking. We didn’t partake in any of the wine but the food was amazing. I had a spicy tuna panini and Tyger had Ox-tail pasta. We were riding high on food. Not to mention the amazing variety of people to watch and all the people who showed up to help out with the pilot to mingle with. Everyone was super nice and we made friends to hang out with in the future. After hanging out for awhile it was time for the taping to start. Lisa (the star) is a hand analyst and she really knows her stuff. She started out analyzing everyone’s hands to find “love matches” to show her setting up. Mine didn’t match up with anyone’s but Tyger’s matched up with Willough’s. Their pairing wasn’t needed for the taping, however. But as were prepped to leave she did one last hand analyst of the four of us standing outside (Tyger, Will, Willough, and me.) Turns out that the curved lines on my hands mean that I like to enjoy the journey to the fullest. Couldn’t be more true.

Half way there!

On Tuesday, after catching up on my zzz’s and Tyger’s audition for a student film, we hit Huntington Beach. Stopping for amazing fish tacos at Wahoo’s, of course. So much good food so far! We hung out at the beach for awhile, the breeze picked up and made us cold so we hit the road back to Long Beach and stopped for frozen yogurt at Yogurtland in the Belmont Shore area. So far this has been an amazing trip and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store for me! It’s so amazing not having a plan and being here to just chillax.

Pier at Huntington Beach

Watching the surfers on a gorgeous day with awesome waves.

Cooking with Wookie

As you might have guessed, I am a broke-ass college student. Sometimes food options can be scarce, but as an awesome teacher once said, “Scarcity breeds creativity.” And it does… Tacos!!!

So I’ll start out by telling you, that I practically live off stealing food from my roommate. I’ve had three different roommates in the last 4 years, and each one gets different food. The downside to roommates, they steal food right back.

This cooking project started with a thawed out beef product found in the freezer, pretty sure it came from my roommate’s mom donating all of the oldest contents of her freezer to us. Hey, free is free.

Step 1: Cut beef product into small pieces.

Small pieces for taco filling

Step 2: Spices. Spices are an excellent thing to have, you can get them as cheap as 99 cents, as I recently discovered at the 99 Cent Only Store. They are a a great way to add flavor to anything and everything. Make your Easy Mac gourmet!

Included here are:

Cilantro

Italian Seasoning

Garlic Powder

Chili Lime Mrs. Dash

Onion Powder

Black Pepper

Various spices collected by my roommate and I

Olive oil is another necessity

Pour a tablespoon or so into a bowl and add spices generously. You might have to repeat depending on how much meat you have to season.

Mix it up all nice

Step 3: Add meat. Get the meat nice and covered in the seasoning/oil mix.

Step 4: Put seasoned meat into wok, cover and cook over medium low heat until well done (approx 10-15 minutes), or however you like your beef.

You don’t actually need to use a wok; I just used it because my roommate used the skillet and didn’t wash it yet. 

As you can we are classy folk.
My skillet is somewhere in that pile.
Step 5: Remove cooked beef from wok, and make room for frozen corn that was leftover from something or another.

Yumm!

Cook in the leftover seasoning and meat juice mixture and add canned tomatoes.

Step 6: Add all the taco ingredients.
Lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and a blood orange on the side.

Enjoy!


I dug in before I could take a pic of the finished product. Whoops.

Nanook wants some of that action.

Finish it off with a beer, because you deserve it after a long day at school!

I wanted to make this all into an iMovie, but as it turns out, that is harder then it looks and I have midterm projects to do. So enjoy!