Sunday Mornings

Good Sunday to you!

First, I must report that the chocolate cake decision was the best decision of 2017 yet. This cake+frosting was easy to make and richly delicious. We ate cake for days (and it just so happened that when I went to the grocery store for a few ingredients, the girl scouts were out in full force. How could I not buy a couple of boxes of thin mints and samoas?) Our house has been fully stocked on the dessert front the last two weeks.

There have been a few extreme highs and lows since my last Sunday post. I’m grateful for supportive friends and family. They are spread far and wide across this world. Thank god for Facetime. And brisket tacos. We’ve been to Home State a few too many times in the last ten days… (photo credit Homestate’s instagram, because I inhale my tacos too quickly).

Here are a few things that have been on my mind lately:

  • Tater tots. Napoleon, give me some of your tots!
  • An intriguing read on Broad Green Pictures (a distributor) and clearly there’s more going on than reported here. Lucy’s latest film was one I had been pursuing for the last two months until a few weeks ago when I got a generic “we’re not playing festivals” reply. Films rarely pull themselves out of Sundance…Something is up for sure.
  • If You Care About Food, You Need to Care About Immigration Policy.
  • Revisiting an article from a few years ago about Norma McCovery, the “Roe” of Roe v. Wade upon her death this week. Pairs well with Radiolab’s More Perfect podcast episode: The Imperfect Plaintiffs.
  • Classic rom-coms rewritten for the Trump era.
  • Gross. Come on. Things are getting out of hand.
  • Oscar carpet is expensive and a particular shade of red. (And how American of them to throw it away after one use…) I’m so ready for awards season to be over.
  • All this rain has made for some beautiful views in Yosemite. Follow along here.
  • I have fond memories of Popeyes chicken: from picking it up with my grandparents in Louisiana as a kid to taste-testing our wedding wines with a to-go box last spring. Something about those biscuits too…
  • Tuesday is Mardi Gras! If you can’t go to a parade, then wear some beads around the house and cook up something yummy. I always miss Louisiana this time of year. Because I didn’t order a king cake in time, we’ll be having purple/green/yellow sprinkled cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!


Sunday Mornings

Good morning dear reader! I hope your weekend has been filled with fresh air and a little sunshine. I can feel spring coming. Can you? Hang in there.

The photo above is a picture of bacon-and-chocolate -covered -strawberry-roses. Remember how on Thursday I mentioned I once did one fun Valentine gift for E? That was it. It was during my first year in Los Angeles and I decided to get crafty. Needless to say the roses (and how I delivered them) were a big hit. Now the bar has been set too high. (Also, I apparently had sushi that week?? I dunno.)

As for this week, I want to bake a chocolate cake. Not for Valentine’s Day per say, but mostly because I know it will be a rough work week. I feel like it will be good therapy/self-care: baking (and eating) a chocolate cake. Options one, two and three. (Feel free to add your vote or share a favorite in the comments!)

Besides looking at several dozen chocolate cake recipes, I found a few other tidbits on the ‘net this week.

Enjoy the day! Chocolate cake for everyone!



Movie & Menu: Clueless (1995)

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day. It’s a holiday I’ve often overlooked because, this time of year, I’m trying to stay alive and in one piece. In the past I typically had no one to “celebrate” the day with so I focused on my work and ate some chocolate like any other night. My mind is going in all these other places during February and it’s all I can do to stay focused on my work and all the decisions I need to make. This “holiday was made by greeting cards” and “love should be shared every day” mentality..that was me.

Then a few years ago I fell in love (yes, crazy gooey love that I didn’t think was actually possible) and Valentine’s Day became just another day, but now I felt like I needed to “do” something. Equal parts fun and exhausting (again, lots of work happening!). I’ve only gone out of my way once with a fun Valentine’s gift (check back later for details). Other than that, E usually gets a small treat and extra flirting from me that day. We don’t do a gift exchange. Maybe we get each other a card. Maybe. I’m a romantic deep down, but I don’t like a spotlight on my love. Certainly not just for ONE day. I love big and love hard. There’s a lot of emotion wrapped up in it. It has to be spread out.

All that to say, I’m not a huge Valentine’s Day fan, but I am a Galentine’s Day fan.

Parks and Rec

My gals have been there for a lot of ups and downs. We don’t always talk regularly, but I know I can text or call them at any time and they’ll be there for me to cry on the phone or lift me up with encouragement. That’s something worth celebrating.

In the spirit of Galentine’s Day, I’m highlighting a film that’s truly close to my heart. A film I can watch over and over and over again with my girls, quoting all the lines we know by heart.

Of course, I’m talking about Clueless.

Judge if you like, but this story of friendship and love is one of my favorite films ever. (I’m sure it will appear on this blog again in the future.) Cher may seem superficial on the surface, but you have to dig a little deeper with her. She’s a true friend, genuine and thoughtful.

Clueless (1995)

Make a date with your best gal, whip up some Chocolate Cake Mix Waffles and spend an evening with Cher and her friends. Sounds like a perfect Galentine’s Day to me!

Are you a big Valentine’s Day fan? If so, what are your plans? If not, what’s your pick for a Galentine’s movie night? Curious to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Chocolate Cake Mix Waffles

Yields 4 waffles

1 1/4 cup dry chocolate cake mix
1 large egg
2 tablespoon neutral oil (like grapeseed)
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
ice cream, for serving

Blackberry sauce:
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons crème de cassis (black currant liquor), optional

  1. Preheat a waffle iron to the highest setting.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cake mix, egg, oil, water and chocolate chips.
  3. Scoop batter into waffle iron (i have a Belgium waffle iron that holds 1/2 cup batter per waffle; I made 4 waffles from this recipe).
  4. Cook the waffles until done.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, combine the blackberries with the sugar and a splash of water. Simmer until the blackberries collapse into a sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in the crème de cassis, if using.
  6. Scoop ice cream over each waffle and top with blackberry sauce.

Watch the films mentioned in this post:
Clueless on iTunes, Netflix or Amazon.

Sunday Mornings

Happy Sunday! E and I recently saw Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. It was the third time this new 70mm print was screened and my first time to see it on the big screen. It was beautiful – and as strange as I remember. I was about 12 years-old when I watched 2001 for the first time thanks to my mom. It left an impression to say the least.

This new print was gorgeous. The colors vibrant and the darks deep. The second half of the film is always the best and most trippy. What was NOT enjoyable was the 30-something hipster gal in front of me instagramming most of the final 60 minutes (both photos and video). She “tried” to make it not conspicuous, but anytime a phone is out it’s a distraction. It glows. Especially in a film set in SPACE. By instagramming every two minutes, she was literally watching a 70mm print through her phone.

The absurdity of this was beyond me.

Besides the ‘gramming addict – and apparently Tom Hanks who was there that night and had his phone out too – a phone fell from the balcony above during one of the more climatic moments of the second half and landed (hard) on a man’s head in front of us. Startled, he yelled out, “Jesus Christ!”.

So, when the intro’er or programmer says to silence and put away your phones to enjoy the show… s/he is not doing it for their own health, but yours.haldonut

Another highlight of that night: HAL-9000 donuts!

And now, internet highlights for the last Sunday Mornings post of 2016:

  • I enjoyed this thoughtful article on the continued rise of streaming films, in particular focusing on Film Struck. “Streaming makes viewers pay forever, and regularly, in order to maintain access to movies that they might otherwise have had at hand—if they were near their home-video collections and if the equipment to play their disks continued to exist.” 
    What do you think?
  • Who wants to make Chocolate-Peppermint Fudge with me?
  • Or Caramel Rum Banana Bread?
  • 24-hours working at Franklin’s. I know, I know. I posted about Franklin’s last time, but this is a great piece to show you how much work goes into really amazing BBQ. There’s a reason why he’s the best.
  • A nice reminder for those of you hosting any holiday parties this month: always treat your non-drinker guests equally. I’ve cut out most alcohol the past six months for health reasons and navigating the social drinking side of this industry alone can be tough.
  • More “my generation is screwed” news.
  • If you’re a fan of reading screenplays or an aspiring screenwriter, then be sure to grab Moonlight by Barry Jenkins (courtesy of A24).
  • I’m weirdly fascinated with transportation logistics. The LA Times reflects on the future of FedEx. Check out Door to Door for further reading.
  • The transcript from the final hours aboard the bridge of the El Faro cargo ship were released. I read parts of the 510 page-transcript and could see where someone like Paul Greengrass could create a script if approached.
  • Kodak now has a website and app where you can search a location to find a movie that was shot or is being projected on film (as opposed to digital).
  • A long, good read: My President Was Black.
  • All I want for Christmas is breakfast tacos.

I hope you’re able to take a break from the holiday rush and enjoy a little sunshine today. Thanks for stopping by!