gluten-free maple-oatmeal waffles

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pilot Season is here. It's nuts. (Read this if you have no idea what I'm talking about.) And even if Pilot Season has no affect on you personally, mercury is in retrograde so can we all agree that life is its own brand of crazybananas right now? Here's my solution: let's hide out inside a waffle. It might not make it *all* better but it will most certainly distract us enough to take the edge off.

My sweet little waffle iron was super dusty when I climbed up on a chair to retrieve her in my uppermost kitchen cabinet the other day. It made me think: why does she have to be a special-occasion appliance? I guess it mentally feels like a hassle to get out a special apparatus that's only good for one thing but in reality it's so easy. She's a pretty low maintenance gal--you just plug her in, do your thing and you don't even have to clean her--just wipe her off with a paper towel. Ok, this analogy is getting weird.

These waffles took a few times to get right but that didn't stop me from eating the tests along the way. Because I was doing it for YOU GUYS! (See how committed I am to Joeycake?:)) They're gluten-free by way of whizzing some oats til they become their own flour, and then mixing it with maple syrup and eggs and butter and all other yummy components that  make waffles delicious. They are a special occasion all in themselves! Even on a random weekday morning when pilot season (or mercury) is making you her bitch.

Let's curl up in here, shall we?:

Gluten-Free Maple-Oatmeal Waffles
makes about 5  4"x 4" waffles (serves 2-3)

2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (or regular rolled oats if you're not concerned about the GF factor)
1 T baking powder
1/2 t ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk (I used almond but any will do. And buttermilk would also be awesome here.)
2 T maple syrup
1 generous t vanilla extract
1/2 t salt
4 T melted butter (or coconut oil)

Melt the butter or coconut oil and set aside to cool.

In a food processor, pulse the oats until they become a coarse flour. Add the baking powder and cinnamon and pulse until combined.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, syrup, vanilla, and salt. Add the dry ingredient mixture and the melted butter/oil and stir until just incorporated. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes to thicken while the iron heats up.

Pour into a hot waffle iron and cook 4-5 minutes or until desired crispness. You can also keep warm and/or crisp these even further in a 200 degree oven on a baking sheet if you're not serving them right away. Serve with maple syrup, honey, fruit or whatever your heart desires.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy Sunday, Lovelies.

Debbie Ford, best-selling self-help author, lost her long battle with cancer and made her transition last week. This quote from her facebook page touched me deeply and seems apropos of so many conversations I've been having lately: on Joeycake, with my acting classes and my friends...

"If you're going to be courageous, an example for all those who are ready to step into their power, then you must be willing to show the world all of who you are. You must have the guts to throw off the chains of modesty and mediocrity in order to be the light that the world needs."

Hope it means something to you too.
Thinking of you.

feta guacamole/a day in the life of pilot season

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pilot season is here again. It's that time of year when the TV networks are casting all the potential new shows for fall. This makes for a potentially stressful/harrowing time in an actor's life, as auditions abound (if you're lucky) and the pressure is on to book the needle-in-a-haystack. It's not uncommon to have a blitz of appointments all at once that (of course) cannot be rescheduled. I thought I'd give you a window in, so you get the picture. This happened Friday:

A Day in the Life of My Pilot Season (in numbers)

auditions: 3
audition-prep rehearsals: 2
number of Pandora radio stations required for getting-ready inspiration: 4
terrifying encounters with a curling iron spewing sparks/fire: 2 (!!!)
fuses blown: 1
trips to electrical panel outside: 2
bugs on electrical panel: 14
curling iron funerals: 1
backup curling irons employed: 2
hair products needed to complete look: 8
makeup applications: 1
makeup touch-ups throughout day: 147
wardrobe changes: 2
wardrobe changes in car: 1
lucky passersby who most likely caught a glimpse of side-boob while car-changing: 1-3
hair-thwarting wind tunnels between parking lots and waiting rooms: 1
waiting rooms: 3
minutes waiting in waiting rooms: 165
hugs in waiting rooms from actresses who thought I was someone else: 1
girls in waiting rooms preparing to use live pugs as props: 1
pages of sides prepared: 24
actual pages of sides read in auditions: 14
other auditions heard through paper-thin walls: 6
number of producers/writers/casting directors seen: 15
number of courtesy laughs received: 7
number of auditions for which I expected a callback: 1-2
number of callbacks received: 0
total miles driven: 70.3
glasses of wine consumed before 6:30pm: 2-3
entire batches of feta guacamole snarfed: 1

Feta Guacamole
serves 4ish

This will make it all better. And also, it is like crack. (I'm sure for some people crack makes it all better?) Serve it with tortilla chips, toasted pita triangles, on a burger, atop scrambled eggs or my favorite: while toasting/mourning a very decent curling iron.

1 large ripe avocado, cut in half
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 T finely chopped red onion
1 small serrano chile, seeded and minced
3/4 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
2 T fresh lemon juice or to taste
2 T chopped cilantro
several cracks freshly ground pepper
sea salt to taste

Cross-hatch the flesh of your halved avocado and scoop the cubes into a bowl. They'll smoosh a little (depending on their firmness) and that's okay. You just want to retain some texture. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently. Taste as you go and add more lemon juice/salt/pepper. Note: the feta is salty so you'll probably need less salt than you think.


marry me

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Love Day, dear readers:)

Years ago I was given a kit of Philosophy beauty products that included a sweet little inspiring certificate. For years I kept it and loved it and somehow it got lost in the shuffle of life. I woke up today trying to remember it and after a bit of online sleuthing, found it! I think it's so perfect to share on Valentine's Day. Here it goes:


Dear God, I stand before thee as I join in marriage with the most important person in my life: me. I ask for your blessing so I may be totally conscious of my special needs always. I ask this so that I may be strong enough to love myself as I love others. I vow that from this day forward, I will care for myself by getting the proper rest. I will consume foods that nourish my body and soul. I will internally cleanse my body with a large daily intake of pure drinking water. I will exercise, not to burn calories, but to rid my body of toxins. I promise to take care of my skin, the largest organ of my body. I will nurture my soul with little gifts of pampering. I will celebrate my spirit with creative activities I love. I will romance my heart, by allowing intimacy into every moment of my life, but mostly, I vow to put my arms around me everyday and to recite the words, "I will never leave me no matter what".

Isn't that the sweetest?
Here's to some self-love today.................


P.S. Some other lovely things:

* I Me Wed by Rob Brezsny
* A Conversation Heart love story from last Valentine's on Joeycake
* The cutest tiny heart earrings!
* A whole page of heart sweaters!

and three of my favorite chocolate recipes:)
* Flourless Chocolate Cake
* Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
* Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

collective pep talk

Friday, February 8, 2013

I think nearly everyone I'm close to is going through some serious stuff right now (including myself). It's in the air. So here is a collective pep talk for all of them and you and me. Take what works for you and pass it on. We need it right now..................xo

You are awesome. I know you're having a hard time seeing that now, but you trust me, don't you? So then, listen up: YOU ARE AWESOME. Step into knowing that.

You're gonna be fine. Remember the last time you were in that pickle and got yourself out of it? You are STRONG and remarkably CAPABLE and Unseen Universal Forces are moving to support you and line things up for you that will THRILL you. Your job in all of this? Get in a appreciative, happy space. Look for things that you want to see. Like attracts like.

Why on earth would you quit drinking coffee at a time like this? Just bless it and enjoy it.

Quit comparing yourself to others. Everyone is on a different path and we all have different gifts to share with the world. To that end, quit judging others. You have no idea what their life is like and what they're going through.

Quit being so hard on yourself. From where I stand? You're a freaking CHAMP. Try owning that. It's a shame that we believe it's polite to be self-effacing. It's time to unapologetically stand in your Greatness.

Have the courage to let life look differently than you thought it should. So what if you're not ___________ by the age of___________ ?! Or that you don't have a ___________ before ___________ . You are a million other fantastic things. And you have a million other gifts. Get over it.

Count your blessings. This sounds so cliche but really do it. Sit down and write some things down that are truly lovely and beautiful in your life. Even if it's a roof over your head. And coffee. Seriously.

Go find your mojo. Make YOU the most important thing. I know you have responsibilities but find (make!) time to nurture yourself, even in the smallest way. You will have loads more to give others by doing so. Plus, your "selfishness" will inspire your kids and friends and everyone around you to nurture themselves and that is one of the biggest gifts you can give them.

If you are stuck between two sides of a decision, remember: there is no right or wrong answer. All that matters is that you line up with your heart and take the leap. There is tremendous power in expectation. If you expect to thrive, you will seek it and create it. And guess what? You can always make a different decision later.

It's okay to lean on your friends. That's why they/we exist. Ask for help.

Turn off your phone. Have the courage to do nothing in public. Look around. See the sky and the trees and strike up conversations with nice strangers. Connect. We need each other.

It takes a bit of effort to feel good. It's so much easier to just react to all the things going on around us but if you spend a little bit of time focusing your thought on good things, more will follow. I promise.

Life is supposed to be a fun ride! (SEE PHOTO ABOVE.)

Love Love Love,

P.S.  You look amazing. I love what you're doing with your hair.

browned butter pumpkin chocolate muffins

Monday, February 4, 2013

I just returned home from the first of two Atlanta trips (where I'm guest-starring on a TV show) and the very first scene I shot required facial prosthetics for my character. Yep, you heard me correctly: facial prosthetics. People assume that being an actress is all glamour and beauty and maybe (probably) for some it is. But for me? I am the actress who constantly winds up looking like a freak. On various TV shows/movies, my afflictions have included:

-going blind due to lizard venom

-bleeding from the eyes

-being overtaken by a flesh-eating virus

-a gut-stab by pocketknife in an alley

-a gut-stab by butcher knife in a living room

-getting my throat-slit in a drive-in movie while wearing a prosthetic cleft lip 

-being pecked to death by a parrot (BTW, this was a comedy)

Some less serious afflictions (mostly just painful infringements on vanity) have included:

-bad "temporary" hair color (it's NEVER temporary)

-creepy wigs

-really bad hair styling

-zero hair styling

-horrifying clothes

-not enough clothes

Glamourous, huh?

Anyway. Back to last week: I arrived to work and reported straight to the makeup chair where the nice people began affixing latex pieces to various regions of my face (using super fume-y solvents and glues and then applying makeup on top) to make me look horribly swollen from a severe allergic reaction. This took nearly three hours. After which, I could not do any of the following:




-open my eyes fully

-talk comfortably

-stop taking pictures of myself

This was physically a small nightmare. Also important to note: It wasn't just uncomfortable for me--I looked FREAKY. Like something was really wrong with my face. When people looked at me they couldn't suppress an involuntary flinch and what followed was a blurted "Oh, wow!" or "Holy mother of God!" Even the makeup experts who had ADMINISTERED the horror were averting their gazes. And did I mention it was my first day? I hadn't met the director or any of the other actors yet. When the time was right I was transported to set with my giant face and had multiple awkward introductions. I tried to make jokes and make people feel comfortable but this promptly failed. (Try making jokes and inspiring comfort in others with one droopy eye and a swollen mouth incapable of mirth.) The show's creator came up to me to say hello and I said, "Thank you so much for having me here!" But imagine the lockjaw, emotionless, creepy-eyed, freaky-person version. I gave up after that. It was a nice serving of discomfort for all involved.

Thankfully, the scene went off without a hitch and after the sweet relief of the latex removal, I made it back to the hotel. It had been 8 hours since I could eat and I was ravenous. I made a beeline for the lobby lounge and ordered a giant glass of wine and a pepperoni pizza. Over the next hour the waitress kept coming over and asking me if I wanted a box. "Nope," I said. "I plan on eating the entire thing." And I did. Sometimes Comfort Eating is imperative. And it's always important to celebrate your normal face. Even if you're rocking a little post-latex chemical burn.

If I'd have been home, I probably would've whipped up a batch of these muffins too. They are kinda perfect for the comfort-eat sweet:

Browned Butter Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins
yields 12

If you like pumpkin and chocolate you will exponentially love these. I can't think of a better accompaniment to a cup of coffee. Plus, you deserve one (or three), facial prosthesis or no.

1 stick unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups flour
7 T packed brown sugar
1 T pumpkin pie spice
1 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t kosher salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I had mini ones on hand)
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350.

Brown the butter by melting it in a skillet over medium heat. Shortly after it melts, it will foam and then the milk solids will begin to brown. This will happen pretty quickly (and it can burn easily) so keep an eye out and swirl/whisk often.  When the butter is nuttily fragrant and brown, set aside.*

Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, pp spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the chocolate chips and toss to coat. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin and slightly cooled browned butter. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Divide between 12 paper-lined (or greased) muffin tins (I use a mini ice-cream scoop for this) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

*here's a great step-by-step to browning butter (with photos!)


P.S. I should've kept the prosthetics on and tried to find this guy in the lobby bar again.
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