Thursday, March 27, 2008

One last Public Enemies post

We couldn't help ourselves, we kept going back to the set! It seemed somehow wrong not to go every night. When will we have something like this so close to home?! We never did get a picture of Johnny Depp. Every time we showed up, we would hear that just a half hour before he had been out. The worst, though, was Tuesday. I thought we should wait until after dinner so Bill could go with but then I asked Kay when she got home from school and she wanted to go right away. It was looking promising for awhile. His car pulled around to the front of the jail so everyone was sure he was about to leave but then after about 30 minutes some unknown woman got in the car.

Kay's cold was really bad and she wanted to leave but then changed her mind and wanted ice cream instead. I was pretty sure the ice cream shop on the corner closed early but we headed down there anyway. Of course we had to detour several blocks away. When we were almost back to the street but on the other side of the barriers, we heard screaming. Kay took off running. He was apparently on the porch but I couldn't distinguish him from any of the other people standing up there.

We stood there for a few minutes until I took a false step, tripped on the curb, and went flying to the ground. I'm really graceful like that! We decided that was a good time to continue to the ice cream shop which was, of course, closed. So we headed home, Kay very grouchy and me, in more and more pain by the second. After dinner Bill asked if we wanted to go back but I could barely walk by this point and Kay was a grouchy mess so we said no. To add insult to injury (literally) the next morning the paper said that shortly after we left, he had walked up and down the line giving autographs and taking pictures.

Still we had to go back! Last night we waited until after dinner. They had more of the roads closed off than usual so they must have been doing some of the street scenes earlier in the day. We stood around for awhile then we heard people screaming down towards the back of the building. Again Kay takes off running but I took my time because I was scared to death of falling again! Apparently he had just walked out of the back door and into his trailer. There were too many people down at this end so Kay couldn't see anything but I kept my eye on the light in the trailer window. Finally he came out and went back into the building but it was too dark to really see anything. So we left.

Even though we didn't get a picture, we had fun (except for the part where I collapsed!) and it was interesting to see how they do things. Here are a few of our pictures from the past two days.

First from Tuesday:

Here are some of the old cars they used.

Here's one of the extras in an old police officer uniform. Obviously he wasn't filming at the time since he is carrying a cell phone!

Here you can see the passenger side door of Johnny's car which we stared at for about half an hour!

And finally, here we are, moments before I fell. He is apparently up there on the porch among all these people. Do you see him? Me neither!

Now for Wednesday:

Here are those big lights turned on.

Here is Kayleigh IM'ing her aunt on my phone.

Eventually, my cell phone started to die so she had to resort to...

stretching. Yes, she is actually doing her soccer stretches while we waited on the side of the street! Very glamorous, don't you think?!

But now the picture we waited days to get. Johnny Depp.

I guess you will just have to trust me that he is there!

We've been fitting in all of this stalking around our normal work, school, soccer practice, homework, and orthodontist appointments. We are exhausted so I plan to pass out in front of the tv for the rest of the night! I'm just not cut out for all this excitement!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fennel and Spinach Soup

Soups never take very nice pictures but this tasted so good. I loved it. Bill wouldn't even try it but Kay said it was "ok" and then ate it so I'm counting it as a success!

This recipe comes from Eating for Diabetes which is a cookbook my mom loaned me. She wanted me to try some of the recipes and then let her know which ones were worth making. My other favorite recipes were the Black Bean Burgers and Tofu Fajitas but there were actually several that were good.

Fennel and Spinach Soup

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 cups vegetable stock
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fennel tops
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lemon, juiced

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and gently saute the onion, celery, and fennel until soft but not brown. Add the stock, bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the spinach, bring to a boil again, then remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Blend with immersion blender or cool slightly and put in a blender or food processor. Return to heat and add salt, pepper, and fennel tops. Heat through and serve immediately with a sprinkling of lemon juice on each serving.

Kay: This tasted ok. I usually don't like cooked spinach but it was ok in a soup like this.

Mom (Dana): Next time I think I'll blend the fennel tops too. I didn't like getting pieces of that in an otherwise smooth soup. Don't forget the lemon. It really bumps this up from being a good soup to a delicious soup.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Chocolate Chip Oat Bars

The movie is filming here through Wednesday but I don't know if we'll be back there since Kay and I both woke up with terrible colds this morning and it was snowing on my way to work! We might bundle ourselves up one more time though.

In the meantime, we are posting a recipe!! I happened to stumble across a show called "Zonya's Healthy Bites" last weekend and she made these cookies. They already had half the sugar and most of the fat removed so I didn't even have to adjust the recipe for once!

Chocolate Chip Oat Bars

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 4-serving pack of instant vanilla pudding mix

4 egg whites

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup oats

1 cup chocolate chips

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pudding mix in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites, applesauce, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.

Spread into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Allow to cool and cut in squares.

Kay: I really liked this. We were watching a movie and I waited for mine to cool because then it tastes better. I had about three already.

Mom (Dana): These tasted best after sitting for a day, probably because the oats begin to soften. We made them a few days ago and they are holding up well.

Monday, March 24, 2008

More from the Public Enemy movie set

I was going to post the recipe for our chocolate chip and oat cookie bars but Kay is at soccer practice so she isn't here to add her comments. So instead I am going to give you all more amazing news about Johnny Depp's movie that is filming here. Kay's soccer practice is half way between our house and the old jail where they are shooting the movie so we ate dinner ridiculously early and ridiculously fast so that we could go stalk Johnny Depp before her practice. Unfortunately we missed him by mere minutes. We were standing by a woman who said he had just come out and waved to everyone but then went back in the jail. (It is still really cold here.)

We did get to watch a scene being shot though. We are assuming it was a press conference after Dillinger escaped. Here are some pictures.

This is where we were standing first but Kay couldn't see over everyone. The building on the right (partially blocked by the semi) is the jail and the building on the left is where the speakeasy is and where they are doing the cast's make up.

We moved to the side and got a much better view. I don't know why more people didn't move over here. Here you can see the reporters and the old fashioned cameras.

This one is a little blurry but you can see the sound guy and the cameraman.

Here are some more actors. I'm thinking they are detectives or politicians.

It was really cool and Kay wants to go back again tomorrow. We'll see. It is supposed to rain. The cold was bad enough!

We also saw a snow making machine behind where we were standing. That makes us laugh because just this weekend, we had real snow!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Another non-food post

I know this seems to be a habit lately but we did something very unusual today so we had to post about it. There is a new movie being filmed about Dillinger right now and since the jail he escaped from is still in its original state, they are doing some of the filming in the actual building. And where is this building? 10 minutes from our house. And who is the star of this movie? JOHNNY DEPP!! Rumor has it that they start shooting tomorrow morning at 6 AM. Kay really wants to go down there before school. We'll see.

In the meantime, we went to the site today and looked around. You can't get into the actual jail but they do let you in to the speakeasy next door. Here are some pictures (unfortunately none with Johnny Depp!)

Many of the stores around the square have displays in their windows. This is in our favorite corner ice cream and sandwich shop. You can kind of see Kay's reflexion.

This is the window of the antique store.

This is the old jail. The cells are on the second floor.

This is the building next to the jail that they are using for staging and also the speakeasy set is in the basement.

This is in the speakeasy. That's the "Lady in Red" to the right.

Here is Kay checking out the jukebox.

And here we are pretending to have a drink. (We were actually just happy to get out of the cold for a few minutes!)

Here is a prop we spotted in the hallway.

And here are the lights next to the jail all set up for tomorrow's shoot.

Actually we did make some really good cookies that we are going to post either later today or tomorrow - promise!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sweet and Spicy Vegetable Stir Fry

Poor, poor Kay. She has really bad teeth and today she started the whole orthodontist experience. They put in a PSA which is a spreader thing that is cemented into the top of her mouth. She is having a lot of trouble figuring out how to chew and swallow tonight. She just spent over an hour eating a small portion of plain noodles. So until she gets past this, she isn't going to have much to say about food. I've decided to take advantage of the situation and post the meals that Bill and I like and Kay gets the benefit of not having to try everything!

I usually go grocery shopping on the weekend so around this time in the week I have produce that is on it's last leg and really needs to be used immediately. We've all been busy this week so I've been making fast simple meals over the ones I had originally planned. Therefore, I have a lot of produce that needed to be used in one meal. Stir fry!

Sweet and Spicy Vegetable Stir Fry

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup vegetable broth and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Add one block of firm tofu, cut into strips.

In bowl number 2 combine the following:
1 cup shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups sugar snap peas

Bowl number 3:
2 cups bean sprouts
3-4 green onions, chopped

Bowl number 4:
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon red curry paste

With your wok on high, heat 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or peanut oil). When hot, add only the tofu to the wok (retain the broth for later). Spread the tofu into a single layer on the bottom of the wok and leave for 5 minutes. Do not stir! After 5 minutes, add 2-3 tablespoons of the broth and stir.

Add in bowl number two and stir fry for 2-3 minutes, until the onion is transparent.

Add in bowl number 3 and stir fry for and additional 2 minutes.

Add in bowl number 4 and the remaining broth. Stir fry until the sauce thickens.

Serve over noodles or rice.

Kay: I wish I could talk and eat normal!

Dana: I love hoisin sauce! This would work with just about any vegetables you have on hand. Put the firmer vegetables in bowl 2 and the softer ones into bowl 3.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thai Fried Rice

Now that I look at my excuses for not posting, they don't sound quite as good as I thought they did. Today we finally had some decent weather. Up until last weekend we were still getting tons of snow but today it is up into the 50s. It was so nice out that we had to get outside as soon as we got home. Immediately after dinner Kay and I went for a walk and it seemed that everyone was outside. Finally we were able to talk to our neighbors after not seeing anyone for months. So why is it with this nice weather, I'm finding time to post but for the past month when we've been snowed in, I couldn't be bothered? I have no idea!

Here is the recipe that I mentioned that we all loved. This is not what we had tonight. Tonight's meal was really good too, in my opinion. Kay wasn't too thrilled with it. I might take a picture of it and sneak it on here anyway because it was really good and. even though she said she didn't like it, she didn't complain too much. That always makes me think that she just doesn't want to admit that it was good! So you may be seeing that in the next few days.

Anyway, back to this recipe. It takes some pre-planning because you need cold cooked rice. But as long as you have that in the fridge, you can pull this together really quickly. Also, I feel I need to point out that this is not a vegetarian recipe because it has fish sauce in it. I know that this will get me shunned out of the vegetarian community but I just can't find anything that gives that same flavor. So kill me.

Thai Fried Rice

4 cups cook rice, chilled

1/2 brick tofu, cut into 8 strips and dusted in flour

1 cup broccoli flowerettes, fresh or frozen

8 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/8 cup soy sauce

1 T brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced onion

3 egg whites

2 T canola oil

1/4 cup chopped green onions

Spray a small skillet with oil. Cook the tofu dusted with flour for a few minutes on each side until browned.

Remove the tofu from the pan. Spray it again and cook the broccoli until brown.

Chop the garlic in a small processor (or just put it through a press) and then blend in the cilantro.

Combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and ground pepper in a small bowl.

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Swirl to cover the wok surface. Add the carrots, onion, and cilantro/garlic mixture. Stir fry 2-3 minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add the tofu and cook 2-3 minutes.

Make a well in the bottom of the wok. Add the egg whites and scramble them. Once they start to set, stir them into the vegetables.

Add the rice. Stir well then press down into the pan. Let set 1-2 minutes. Stir, press down, and let sit for a few minutes more.

Pour the marinade into the wok and mix.

Stir in the broccoli and green onions and heat through.

To each serving, add a spritz of lime juice. (Don't skip this. It really adds a lot.)

Kay: This was pretty good. I like tofu, rice and broccoli so I liked this. There was a taste in there that reminds me of 5 Star (a local Thai restaurant my grandparent's friends own).

Mom (Dana): I know the recipe looks a little overwhelming but it really isn't very hard. It takes longer to explain it than it does to actually make it!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bunch of excuses and Paper Chef

We've been cooking like crazy lately, really! The problem has been that:

1. Everything has been from the same few books, from which I've already posted several fantastic dishes,

2. It has been so good that we devoured it all before even thinking to take a picture, or

3. While I thought it was delicious, Kay didn't so it therefore didn't fit into the blog.

I think those are very good excuses!

The one item that we ate too fast to take a picture of was truly fantastic and I promise to make it again very soon and take a picture.

Our biggest disaster in a long time though, was for the Paper Chef challenge this month. The ingredients were pistachios, green chilies, and polenta. I love love love pistachios and chilies but the sight of polenta made me groan. Yuck - I hate it. When I told Kay the ingredients, I received a huge "eww" when I got to the polenta. From Bill, same reaction. From my mom, same. You get the picture. We don't like polenta! Still I wanted to try to make something so I went and bought some polenta. Big mistake. It was disgusting! Bill and I managed to eat a little bit of it. Kay wouldn't even try it and we certainly weren't going to make her. So if you like polenta, then I strongly urge you to keep and eye on for the round up because I'm sure everyone is coming up with great dishes.

So we are still alive and cooking and plan to have something to post very soon!