Okay, first order of business. Is anyone out there a Biggest Loser fan? I don’t know how you couldn’t be. It is by far the most fascinating and emotionally charged social experiment of our time. Kirby Von Scrumptious and I like the show so much that last year I made some phone calls (in which I may or may not have acted like my own personal assistant so as to seem like an important Hollywood player) to get us tickets to the live taping of the Season 5 season finale. I continue to watch the show even though I often suffer from post-show depression from tearing up and/or sob an average of five times per episode (although at least one of those times is because I am so disgusted by the absurd abundance of product placement.)
The episode that aired tonight was particularly killer. I cannot believe those knuckleheads voted off Jerry!!! I know there has only been two episodes this season but I’ve already fallen in love with that white-haired teddy bear and to see him go so soon was like taking a swift kick to the head. Which is what I will give to those contestants who voted for Jerry to leave should I ever encounter them out there in the real world!
On to some food…
This winter I finally got in on the cupcake craze with the rest of the vegan blogosphere. It all started when I made a batch for a coworker to bring to the set of the new show he works on. They turned out great and then I had all the ingredients in the cupboard so I just kept making more. The most popular turned out to be the Cookies ‘N’ Cream cupcake from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Maaaaan oh man are they good. If you want to woo a cute boy or girl, I highly recommend making a batch of these babies.
I also made VCTOTW’s Mucho Margarita Cupcakes. With real tequila in the mix, what’s not to love?
Here is The Food Monster getting ready to cram a Jelly Donut cupcake from Veganomicon into his face. These were also delish although they were almost more breakfast-y than dessert like. Also, the book says that the jelly is supposed to submerge itself while baking, which did not happen with mine. I’ve seen other bloggers had their jelly sink successfully (like Vegan Dad’s) so I don’t know what’s up with mine.
My favorite cupcake flavor turned out to be a concoction I whipped up myself after being inspired by a lunch at Hugo’s: horchata. I am going to save the recipe for a little creative venture I’m working on (no, no, not a cookbook), but I will post the recipe at a later date because everyone should be able to experience the exquisite joy that is an horchata cupcake.
You may notice that the frosting in all of these pictures looks rather thin and flat. These photos were taken in my earliest cupcakes before I figured out that lessening, or in some cases, completely omitting milk from the frosting recipe creates a more normal, thick frosting. Also, I want to point out that I have learned to cut the frosting recipes from VCTOTW by a third because they recipes make an INSANE amount. I was sick of having an entire mixing bowl of frosting left over.
Ok, I need to stop looking at this cupcake porn now–a detoxing lady can only take so much temptation!
This picture is not really appetizing, but I assure you, this Spicy Black Bean soup of the day from Meltdown Etc. was outstanding. I was expecting your typical pureed fare, but what I got was a peppery mix of veggies and beans which makes this the twentieth or so amazingly tasty soup I’ve had from Meltdown. I am dying for them to publish a soup cookbook. I would buy it in an instant and open up my own little stand in my kitchen where friends could come over and try everything from chowders to bisques. Meltdown really is like the Soup Nazi outpost of the west coast, although they are insanely nice there so they are more like the Soup Teddy Bear.
Perhaps the more interesting part of my day, however, was when this dude totally trespassed on stage. I was the only one down there as almost everyone was on set when I saw this guy and girl walk up to the stage. I assumed they were just passing by, but then they turned and walked right through the elephant door. They proceeded to walk right past me and into a dressing room. I just kinda sat there stupefied for a second and then followed them and asked what the hell they were doing busting on to our stage without asking! Wellllllll truth be told I just said, “hello?”
The guy then proceeds to remove his sunglasses, revealing himself to be the one and only Fred Savage a.k.a. Kevin Arnold.
It turns out, The Wonder Years was filmed on our stages and Fred was showing his girlfriend his old dressing room. Later, Stage Manager Dave showed me where the powerbox still has Fred’s name on it:
Fred/Kevin was very nice–apparently he is a director on the show that shoots at the stage across from us–and said he is a big fan of our show.
So basically, Kevin Arnold gave me a compliment. Between that and my awesome lunch, Friday was a pretty sweet little day! Also, when I was looking for that pic of Kevbo, I came across this fun blog by a chick who “stalks” movie locations, and she has a picture of her in front of the Wonder Years house which is just over the hill in Burbank!
One question remains: What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me?
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Did anyone catch Top Chef this week? I love the show but this week was a tad annoying. They kicked off Antonia which is totally whack. TC needs to take a cue from Project Runway and keep in the likable contestants regardless of their work. Lisa is staying and she is unbearable–mostly because of her eyebrow ring. I mean, can you think of a bigger crime against humanity than an eyebrow ring?! It is so painfully white trash circa 1996.
But perhaps the bigger problem I had with Wednesday’s show was the pig situation. The elimination challenge was to butcher a whole pig and make a meal out of it. As if it’s not bad enough that in its four seasons, TC has NEVER had a vegan/vegetarian challenge of any sort, they had to show the chefs whacking away at a pig that was basically Wilbur without eyeballs. As it is, I have to watch the show with a willing suspension of disbelief to ignore that every dish is a major violation of animal rights, but it was pretty much impossible to do that when Babe was lying lifeless on a counter.
Meanwhile, my lovely Art Department Coordinator, Canada, attended Taste of the Nation this past weekend and had the chance to sample Antonia’s food and meet her and her daughter. Here is the two of them:
Canada said her food was outstanding (she mad a linguine with clam sauce and a spicy chocolate shot with cream and saffron.) If you are in the L.A. area you can check her food out for yourself at Foxtail, that is, if you are sexy enough to get in. Word on the street is that this latest addition to the SBE empire is particularly hard to get into. Bonne chance!