Monthly Archive: May 2015

Nutella Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies

Every now and then we come across a recipe that we say “ehh it’s ok.”  I really had high hopes for the Nutella Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies I’ve been wanting to try for forever. I brought them to a party and got really great feedback from friends, but they just didn’t do it for me.

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First off, I didn’t read the whole recipe, which I’m terrible at! I started making these around 10pm and didn’t realize I would have to freeze the dough at one point. Then, they were really time consuming! I had trouble forming balls of dough around the nutella, which kept sticking to the dough. My fingers were a mess, hence the lack of photos. When I pre-rolled the little balls of dough first, that helped make it go faster. Also, you only need to put a tiny bit of Nutella inside the balls of dough. Otherwise, the nutella seeps out and is a mess, mixing with the dough. You can see that on some of the cookies in the photo.

As a cookie though, these are delicious! Definitely melt in your mouth out of the oven, great with a tall glass of milk. However, I found they dried out in a day (which is typical for peanut butter cookies). Due to the small amount of nutella I put in the balls of dough, I found it wasn’t as much of a punch when you bit in. Also, I do think the chocolate chips are over-kill, do you really need peanut butter AND nutella AND chocolate chips? I found my cookies didn’t flatten out very well either, maybe it was too much ingredients?

Maybe someday, when I have more energy, I’ll try a variation of the recipe from Handle the Heat. Maybe her version, sans chocolate chips and with pre-frozen nutella will make for better cookies!

Quinoa Fried Rice

I’ve never really been into quinoa, in fact, it slightly scared me. Is it a grain, a seed? What do you cook it with? Recently, a friend of mine had a bunch of people over for dinner and made a quinoa pilaf, which wasn’t bad. Since I’m trying to eat more healthy, I looked up a few recipes on Pinterest. I found this Quinoa Fried Rice recipe that looked pretty good, thought to give it a shot sometime.

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Flash forward to moving. My old roommate left a bunch of frozen food for me to have. I noticed there was some Trader Joe’s quinoa and one of those frozen vegetable medley things (peas, carrots, corn, etc.). This was all perfect for my quinoa fried rice!

IMG_5248If you want to do the easy route like me, the recipe was easily adaptable. I heated up one packet of Trader Joe’s frozen quinoa and half a bag of Trader Joe’s “Organic Foursome” frozen vegetables. Basically, I started from Step 5 and went from there. I didn’t have scallions or the peas separated, so I winged it with the vegetables. I think it turned out really good! My only criticism is that the sauce is a little overpowering, maybe less soy sauce would be better flavoring, it’s a little salty for my taste.

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My favorite part, which is usually my favorite part of making fried rice, is scrambling the egg. So much fun! :)

This recipe was a winner, super fast and easy. Perfect for my lunch at work tomorrow!

Weekly Pins & Tweets

Took a short hiatus because I’ve been in the midst of moving and had no internet! Now I’m all set up in my new place, so excited to be back online :)

IMG_5223A quiet Sunday morning catching up on reading with healthy pancakes :)

1. Some brilliant life lessons from Anthony Bordain

2. This looks like the perfect sweet dip for a party!

3. Love the inspirational story behind one of Portland’s famous food carts

4. Looking forward to trying many of these LA vintage restaurants!

5. Tips from a hostage negotiator about negotiating a raise

Watching: Still marveling at the beautiful imagery in A Single Man — a movie that’s been in my Netflix queue for ages!

Reading: Hotel at the Corner of Bitter & Sweet – surprisingly one of my fitness instructors told me about this book, can’t wait to dive in!

Listening: “Want to Want Me” by Jason Derulo – I can’t listen to this on the radio without singing along!

 

Streaming Netflix Documentaries You Must Check Out!

Ok so one or two people may know me as a person who watches lots of random Netflix documentaries. And that’s ok! I’m paying for the service, so might as well learn something along the way right? Whether you like documentaries or not, here are some that I enjoyed and I recommend checking out:

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1. Jiro Dreams of Sushi – So I love sushi, but I didn’t realize how much time and effort it takes to make some of the best in the world! This documentary follows 85 year old sushi master Jiro Ono and his quest to make the perfect sushi at his legendary restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo. People think I’m crazy for wanting to try this $400/plate restaurant, but if I ever go to Japan, I’m there!

2. Dear Zachary – I’ve heard about this one for so long and knew it was a crucial Netflix documentary to watch. I won’t give much away, but it’s about the filmmaker exploring the murder of his friend and the events that unfold around it. I never get emotional at movies and this one had me in tears!

3. Unhung Hero – One day I was looking for something a little lighter and decided to check out Unhung Hero. I’ve been raving about it ever since! After getting dumped by his girlfriend because of the size his manhood, Patrick decides to travel the world and find out: does size really matter? I found this one incredibly interesting and light-hearted.

4. Tabloid – Ok so this crazy lady once called my office when I was working as a publicist’s assistant years ago. She claimed the Mormons took her husband and all this crazy stuff. Naturally, I hung up. Later, I heard that she called some other assistants as well. Someone mentioned that there was a documentary about her called Tabloid, and obviously I was intrigued to check it out. While you don’t ever find out if her story is true, seeing her tell it is entertaining nonetheless!

5. Forks Over Knives, Food Inc. and Fed Up – I think you can have a triple feature with these food-related documentaries. Forks Over Knives explores the benefits of a plant-based diets. Food Inc. examines the agriculture industry and where food comes from. Fed Up studies the obesity epidemic and the the way food effects it. All these definitely made me rethink my diet and how the food I eat effects my health.

6. Craigslist Joe – One guy decides to leave everything behind and live off of the goodwill of strangers through Craigslist. This is an inspiring documentary that made me think how untrusting we are today and that we should try to help each other out more.

7. A Brony Tale – This documentary explores the world of Bronies, fanboys of My Little Pony. Need I say more? The premise was intriguing enough for me!

8. Bowling for Columbine – Michael Moore’s documentary on violence and guns in America is a must! For a developed nation with no civil war, why are the deaths by firearms so high? Interesting food for thought!

9. First Position – Every wonder what it takes to be a ballerina? This documentary follows dancers as they prepare for one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world.

10. The Imposter – Would you recognize your own son after years apart? This documentary centers on a Frenchman who claims to be a Texas family’s missing son. It’s interesting to see how grief sometimes masks our intuition.

Also, some streaming documentaries on my radar: Stories We Tell, Supermensch, Burt’s Buzz, and Miss Representation

**Bonus: If you’re interested in other social issues, I recommend the Inside Man series by Morgan Spurlock as well!

Easy Snickerdoodle Cake Mix Cookies

I love making cookies from cake mix. They’re just so easy and it only makes about 2 dozen, which is more than enough for me! When I saw this snickerdoodle recipe here, I knew I had to try it!

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Please forgive my grimy pans! I seriously need new bakeware. These cookies came from the box yellow cake mix (I think it was Duncan Hines), in fact, the recipe was right on the side of the box. It was really simple, just mix everything together, roll in cinnamon sugar, and put in the oven.

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The cookies turned out very soft and I had trouble not eating them all! I took the remainders to work and got fabulous feedback as well. Definitely a winner!

Weekly Pins & Tweets

IMG_5209Happy to be home celebrating Mother’s Day with my Mom! 

1. Great tips for things you should never ask of employees

2. Can’t wait to make these sometime. Super easy to make too!

3. Some great things to love about California

4. I think this habit would cut out A LOT of stress in the mornings

5. When someone tried to eat what The Rock eats in a day!

Watching: Some classic Hollywood leading men like Richard Gere in American Gigolo and Robert Redford in The Way We Were

Reading: “The Mountain Between Us” by Charles Martin – I heard this was being made into a movie and thought it would be a good read. Reminds me of a hybrid Nicholas Sparks novel. I can’t wait to see what happens!

Listening: “Nobody Love” by Tori Kelly – Been humming this one ever since it was played in my SoulCycle class!

Try Something New – Being Photographed

A few years back, I had a friend that was going through a break-up. It’s always so hard moving on and sometimes your self-esteem can take a blow. She ended up running into a friend who was a photographer. “Let me shoot you,” the friend said. “You’ll feel beautiful.” So she did and didn’t regret a thing! Plus, she now had some beautiful photographs of herself to treasure.

Recently, I met a friend of a friend who was a photographer. He asked if he could shoot me sometime, trying to build his portfolio. I was hesitant, I’m no model! I’ve been trying to be more open to trying something new, so I thought, why not? We’ve now done several sessions over the years and have become friends.

IMG_0074Why not be photographed? Sure, it’s intimidating, but it’s so amazing to see yourself through another person’s lens. You can say “Hey, that’s me and I look great!” I honestly don’t see any harm in doing something positive for yourself. Plus, I now have great professional photos to use for places liked LinkedIn and this site (like the photo at the right).

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While I’m still shy being photographed and posing, it has gotten better over time. I’m still always trying to say “yes” to more experiences. You never know what you will get out of it and you might end up making a friend!

Tips for Interviewing at an LA Movie Studio Lot

Over the past several years of both internships and jobs in the entertainment industry, I’ve had my fair share of interviews at movie studios. Through trial and error, I’ve come up with a few tips for navigating interviews at the major studio lots.

1. Arrive early – Let’s face it, you don’t know where you are going. Some studios provide maps and directions, some don’t. Make sure you arrive early enough to allow yourself to reach your destination and not stress out about being late. You might park close to your interview, you might be across the studio lot. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for directions if you can’t find the building. People are usually nice!

2. Don’t arrive TOO early – Many of the studios have a gate pass system that will email your hosting party that you have arrived. Don’t arrive over 15 mins early. Your interviewer might get suspicious as to why you are on the lot so early. Also, some studios only have a window of time that you are allowed on the lot, you don’t want to be turned away. If I was super early due to lack of traffic, I would usually find a coffee shop nearby and go over interview questions.

3. Bring flats – As I said before, you might have to do some heavy walking to your interview. I remember wearing heels at my first studio interview and regretting it as I trekked across the studio (visitor parking is usually farther). After that, I always would wear some compact flats and carry my heels. As I approached the building, I would switch to my heels and store my flats in my bag.

4. Dress appropriate for the weather – My nightmare interview was in the midst of summer, I wore a pant suit, button up, and heels. The recruiter met me at the parking lot and walked with me across the black top studio lot to the interview. It must’ve been over 100 degrees that day. I was sweating profusely when I met the hiring manager. It took me forever to come down to a normal temperature and left me flustered. Looking back, I would’ve done slacks, heels, and light long sleeve blouse. Ditch the blazer and button-up during the hot summer months.

5. Phone a friend – Do you know anyone at the studio you are interviewing? Use that opportunity to say hi or grab a coffee before you leave. It’s good to have colleagues that work there put in a good word. I once grabbed coffee with a friend after an interview and ran into other people I knew. They all said they were going to put in a good word. It never hurts!

Bonus – While it’s hard to stand out in the vast LA entertainment industry (trust me, I’ve been to cattle call interviews), I’ve always gotten good feedback from having a portfolio. It never hurts to have examples to show people. I feel like that has sometimes set me apart from others. Also, I always try to wear something I feel confident in and a fun statement necklace to show some personality.

At the end of the day, you spend a lot of time with your colleagues, so people just want to work with someone they don’t mind seeing everyday. And you want to work with someone who wants to work with you. Be yourself and the right opportunity will come along!

Weekly Pins & Tweets

IMG_5168I couldn’t get over the beautiful sunset this week!

1. Some great life advice

2. Stealing some clean eating meal tips from this post

3. I get this, but wonder if I could actually ever do it (read Noelle’s book years ago)

4. These easy mashed potatoes look amazing

5. Loved Kristin Wiig’s Khaleesi appearance and Emilia Clarke’s reaction to it!

Watching: Rudderless – Been wanting to see this Sundance gem for a bit and was super excited to finally watch it. Great music and a touching story.

Reading: Room – Just finished this one and found it incredibly empowering. So interesting to see the perspective of a boy who has never left one room his whole life!

Listening: “The Weekend” by Eden xo – This keeps coming on the radio and I can’t get it out of my head!