The Friday Chef

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Monday, December 13, 2004
Spotlight On

Ophelia, who spent the last year and a half writing a screenplay. Oh, and, she likes cake.

Name: Gennifer, or as I said for years growing up "Genny with a G"

Age: 27

Location:  Hollywood, CA

Where were you born? Massachusetts, but my father was military, so when asked "where are you from", I usually answer, "everywhere... um... nowhere really... uh... kinda all over" and then flush bright red and run away.

When did you move to Hollywood? I moved here a little over five years ago after exhausting the entertainment job possibilities of the Bay Area (and not getting that job at Pixar).  I also really wanted to escape my boyfriend, and moving hundreds of miles away is just easier really.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  After seeing "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" at the age of 10 or so, I was dead set on being a cetacean biologist.  This somewhat overly specific dream lasted a frighteningly long time.  Then, at the age of 14, I saw "Regarding Henry" and wanted to be a physical therapist for about 5 months.  Then it was back to whales.  Then I decided on "actress".  Yeah, I know.  Then, finally, realizing that every career choice of my youth was inspired by movies, I decided that I really ought to MAKE movies.  So I decided to be a director.  Now I want to be a writer, which was my "backup dream" all through childhood. (If I'd had  it together before going to college, I probably would have settled on "documentary

So, what've you been up to lately?   You mean... unemployment?  It's mostly about sleeping until 1pm, eating too many cookies, and having nothing to say when people ask you, "So, what've you been up to lately?"

What were mealtimes like for you as a child? Up until the last year or so of high school, we always sat at the kitchen table to eat.  As an only child, I alone set and cleared the table, as well as washed the dishes EVERY SINGLE NIGHT from the age of 8 to the age of 16 (see... only children are not always spoiled).  My mother usually made a meat, a veggie, and a starch.  It was a lot of chicken breasts, side of carrots, side of rice.  We also had "fend for yourself night" when my mother did not want to cook.  I usually ate leftovers on these nights. I think my mom only made about five different meals.   I don't remember much variety, though she was a good cook.   The only cooking my father did involved the barbecue grill.  Very Tim "the Toolman" Taylor.

Does your family have any holiday traditions? We open one gift on Christmas Eve.  We also have to listen to "A Canadian Brass Christmas" while opening our gifts.  (And, at the ripe age of 27, I am the one who forces my family to keep with this tradition.)  The unofficial tradition we have is to spend the day watching the dvds we received as gifts.

Did you ever like any of your school photos? Not at all.  Bad hair, bad braces, bad clothing choices.  My mother still has the 8th grade picture from hell on the fridge.  My bangs were feathered, people... and without the benefit of Aquanet for superior hold.

What was your first date like?  I guess my proper first date was Homecoming 10th grade with my first boyfriend David.  He had actually just broken up with one of my closest friends,
and I had been charged with getting him to take her back.  Instead I flirted with him on the phone every night until he asked me to homecoming.  I was a terrible friend, but luckily Jenny forgave me.  He brought me a single rose, which -- rather than take inside and put in water -- I took with me to the dance and clutched all night long.  I had this ruffled skirt/jacket combo that was green and navy and purple... and sparkly silver.  I thought I looked H-O-T, hot.  Later, we danced to Extreme's "More Than Words", which was, of course, every high school couple's song that year.  It was actually a nice date, but I remember this bully Patrick teasing me when David convinced me to "dirty dance".  I'm still a little ashamed.  David did not kiss me for another two months... but I don't think these two things are related.  (David now works in a porno shop... also probably not related.)

Any embarrassing stories you can share about your current boyfriend? He sings... a lot.  And not just songs he hears on the radio.  He sings phrases ("Helloooo... How are youuuuuu?") and occasionally who sentences.  It was nearly a deal breaker, but unfortunately (or is it fortunately?), he's rather charming otherwise.

What is in your vegetable bin? 10 pounds of potatoes.  Hey, they were 99 cents a bag at Ralph's.  The other one contains garlic.  To keep the vampires away from the potatoes, naturally.

What color is your car? A dark sparkly green.  It's a Jetta.  I love it.

Are you having a good hair day? Yes I am.  Now that my hair is layered, I have discovered the joy of not having to wash it every day. I always thought the stylist was lying, but now I realize that the day after I shampoo, my hair does style really well.

What is your favorite perfume?  Gap "Dream", Aquolina "Pink Sugar" (everyone always asks "who's baking cookies?" when I wear this), Paul and Joe "Blue" (not in that order)

Where is your favorite place to shop? Besides Ralph's, that is;) This is a hard one.  I think I probably hit the Target the most. There's also this fantastic stationary and gift shop called "Pulp" on La Brea that stocks amazing, overpriced journals and cards.  I could buy basically everything in the entire store, but then I'd have to get into sex work to pay the bills, and I'm just a little too old for that.

What is your middle name? Nicole

What type of books do you like to read? Right now I'm on Clive Barker's "Abarat" series.  I read a lot of contemporary fiction, although I dislike quite a bit of it (Bite me, Dave Eggars).  I also like science fiction in the William Gibson, Jack Womack, dystopic future vein.  Classics like Jane Austen and Franz Kafka.  I read quite a bit of Stephen King, but mostly his older stuff.  I also read young adult fiction because it's awesome.

What is your favorite type of cookie?  Chocolate Chip for home made. Girl Scout's Samoas for overly priced, not home made.

What might make other people envious to know about you? Jerri Manthey used to live in my building, I'm a really good cook, and I have seen Debra Messing buying maxipads at the supermarket.

Thanks for a great interview, Genny.  Good luck with your screenplay!!

Posted at 12:11 am by ChefGrace
(5) Shout Outs  

Friday, December 10, 2004
Food Friday

It's the season for giving, and who doesn't love homemade treats?!  Today's Food Friday  is all about yummy bits of goodness that you can take to share with your co-irkers, wrap as presents, or keep on hand for seasonal visitors.  Each recipe here is simple and easy. 
Oh, and yes, they're fattening.  That's why you're giving them away

The Big Easy Snack Mix

3 tbsp. butter
1/4 c. Durkee Red Hot cayenne pepper sauce
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 (1 1/2 oz.) cans Durkee potato sticks
2 (2.8 oz.) cans Durkee French fried onions
2 c. corn chex cereal
1 c. mini pretzels

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In oven, melt butter in 9 x 13 pan. Stir in Durkee pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan cheese. Add remaining ingredients, one at a time, stirring after each addition. Bake uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Makes about 2 quarts.

Brazilian Christmas Candies

3 T. baking cocoa
1 can (14 oz) sweetened, condensed milk
2 T. butter
Finely chopped pistachios

In a small heavy saucepan, bring the cocoa, milk and butter to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low: cook and stir until thickened.  Transfer to a small bowl.  cover and refrigerate until chilled.  Roll into 1 inch balls;  roll in pistachios.  Store in the fridge.  Makes about 2 dozen candies.

Spiced Pecans

1/3 C. butter, melted
2 tsp.  ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 lb. pecan halves  (whole almonds work well, too)

In a bowl, combine the butter, cinnamon, salt and cayenne.  Stir in pecans until evenly coated.  Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet, and spread nuts in a single layer.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes, or until pecans are toasted, stirring every 5 minutes.

Fudge Crunchies

1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. butterscotch chips
1/2 C. plus 2 T. granola cereal
1/2 C. chopped pecans

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and butterscotch chips;  stir until smooth.  Stir in granola and pecans.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper-lined baking sheets.  Refregerated until firm.  Store in an airtight container.  Makes 2 dozen candies.

Cherry Divinity

1 small box  white frosting mix (powder-type)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound box confectioners sugar
1/2 C. candied or dried cherries, chopped

Boil water. Mix in dry frosting mix, corn syrup and vanilla in water. Beat mixture on highest mixer speed for about 5 minutes. (When ready, the mixture forms stiff peaks.) Gradually stir in sugar while mixing on low speed. Blend in pecans. Spoon the mixture by teaspoon onto a cookie tin lined with waxed paper. Allow to sit uncovered. Once the mixture feels firm to touch, turn over, cover tin and allow to stand overnight.

Fast Fudge

1 can of vanilla frosting (chocolate works too)
1 small jar of peanut butter (smooth or crunchy is fine)

Stir ingredients together until well blended then spread in a pan. Refrigerate about 30 minutes.

Savory Snack Mix

4 C. bite-sized cheese crackers
5 C. wheat stick crackers
3 C. pretzels twists
2 C. mixed nuts
1/2 C. butter or margerine, melted
1  0.7 oz pkg.  dry salad dressing mix (any flavor)

Preheat oven to 300 degree F. Place cheese crackers and wheat crackers in a large roasting pan. Bake about 5 minutes or until warm. Add pretzel twists and nuts to crackers. Pour melted butter or margarine over mixture. Sprinkle with salad dressing mix; stir well to coat. Bake for 20 minutes more, stirring once. Spread mixture on foil to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Makes 13 cups (fifty-two 1/4-cup servings).

Posted at 10:34 am by ChefGrace
(1) Shout Outs  

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Keli  is getting married today!!! 

Congrats Keli and Mick!  Best wishes to you both!

Posted at 11:05 am by ChefGrace
Care to Comment?  

A Small Mircacle

In Sunday school in October, my friend Beth asked us to keep her neighbor in our prayers.  Her neighbor's son had recently been struck and killed by a vehicle in a hit and run accident.  The only lead they had was that there were two witnesses who described the vehicle as being a white truck or van, and some automotive testing from crime scene debris which determined the make or the vehicle.  Here is the story that ran a couple of days before Beth brought her request to us.  She was really worried about her neighbor, who seemed to be having great difficulty coping with her son's death, and Beth was worried that if she didn't get help in some way, that she probably wouldn't pull through the situation.

In church this Sunday, Beth approached me with a big smile, asked me if I'd seen any local news concerning her neighbor.  I hadn't.  She proceeded to tell me that the case had been solved, and that I wouldn't believe what had happened.  As I stood there listening to the story, I had goosebumps all over my arms, as she recounted how the killer had been found.  She said that she saw her neighbor the previous afternoon, and seemed to be doing just fine now.  It only took a small miracle.

Posted at 10:03 am by ChefGrace
(3) Shout Outs  

Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Mini Meme

I was going to post a meme earlier today, but got caught up reading a bunch of them that are posted on other sites around the web, then I lost focus and couldn't pick one to paste here, so I gave up trying to blog at that moment, and ended up trimming the Christmas tree, (white lights, gold and silver trim, with touches of pearl and crystal).  Fa la la la la la la la la...

I came back to blog while I eat my dinner, (barbeque chicken and bacon pizza), but decided to read through a few favorite blogs first, and voila!  I stumbled across some inspiration.  A couple of them touched on subjects that I had considered as meme material earlier, so I decided just to create my own mini-meme, based on their themes.  You can copy the questions on your blog, if you'd like, or you can leave answers as comments below. 

Over at People Are Strange, Mensch talks about working in a Really Big Toy Store during "season", and the hell that ensued. 

Question #1~   Have you ever had a seasonal job?  Was it a good or bad experience?
My only experience with that was years ago, during the holidays,  when I worked for Sears Portrait Studio.  Take one part cheesy retail nightmare, one part bratty children, one part coupon-toting parents, and mix well.  As I recall I had to color my hair to cover the gray for the first time after I quit that job.  Never a-fucking-gain. 

Another bit of inspiration came from Ophelia's blog,Unsweet.  Ophelia is in love with a certain nail kit, which doesn't sound the least bit unreasonable to me. 

Question #2~  If your house was burning to the ground, what one thing would you chose to save? (I am excluding pets and children from this list, because if you wouldn't save them first, I don't want to know.) 
The answer I came up with almost immediately was my computer.  I'd probably live to regret that decision, though, because it will probably be obsolete any day now, anyway.  Maybe I should change the answer to my jewelry box.  Or, perhaps I should just change the question, so I can select three things.

On the blog,I Wear Black,  Cindy has made some resolutions.  It is that time of year, after all. 

Question #3~ Make one resolution that is do-able, and could make a big difference in your life.
I've resolved to stop eating pizza while I blog.  Or, stop blogging while I eat pizza.  That's such a good idea, in fact,  that I'm going to start right now.

Posted at 06:05 pm by ChefGrace
(1) Shout Outs  

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