A Fresh Dille

hello 25.

Posted in FAMILY, FOOD, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on March 20, 2011

On Friday, I turned 25 years old. I couldn’t believe it myself really. Everyone around me reminded me that I have lived a quarter century. The designer I am currently working for, said jokingly, “You are 25, and what have you done?” Of course I took the comment with all the humor it was meant to bring, but at the same time I felt myself reflecting on what I’ve made of myself in my lifetime. As a true pisces, I am a dreamer, who may need a little push to be brought down to reality. Although I tend to dislike the realities of certain life’s musts (finances, big purchases, not so lovely jobs or people), I have recently learned how to deal with them, making my day-to-day life happier. Instead of putting the big decisions and problems to the way-side, I have tried to work with them so that I can bring more even-ness to my emotional and rational sides. So, in my 25 years, I feel as though I am still learning and always evolving to try to be the best version of myself. This doesn’t mean that I will continue to try to be perfect version I once aimed to be, but to be accepting of my ways so that I can know how to approach situations in the best way I possibly can.

For my birthday dinner, I had no set plans. I usually would come up in my mind with a scenario of how I hoped the occasion to pan out, but on Friday, I decided to just be. When I was exhausted from the hard week and days work, I drove home, with no set agenda of what was to come. My brother called, saying he was open for dinner and was in the mood for indian food. I didn’t care where I went, instead I wanted to be with some of the people who mean the most to me. Two of the three most important men in my life, my boyfriend and my brother, were there with me to celebrate my 25th year at a not-so stellar (service-wise) indian restaurant. We shared samosas, naan, and I ate a delicious green coconut vegetable curry. I came home with a full belly and full heart.

The next day, V and I were lounging around, when I brought up the idea of heading to my new favorite veggie spot, Cafe Gratitude. Like last time, I went with a cooked dish, instead of the tasty sounding (and looking) raw dishes. This time I had the “I AM FORTIFIED” with sautéed seasonal vegetables,kale, quinoa or local brown rice topped with a choice of sesame-ginger, garlic-tahini or thai- almond sauce. The waitress suggested ordering two of the sauces, the garlic-tahini and the sesame-ginger. I wish both sauces were served on the side, but the garlic-tahini was already poured all over the dish when it arrived at the table. However, I was very pleased with the warm bowl filled with quinoa, kale, and veggies like butternut squash and mushrooms. Instead of taking out the camera, I decided to focus on the moment, without the visuality that a camera brings. V went with the “I AM WARM-HEARTED,” -Grilled organic polenta with fresh puttanesca sauce, topped with cashew ricotta and brazil nut parmesan. Polenta is one of the dishes that remind V of his childhood, and he seemed very pleased with his meal as he finished every last bite. Since my last visit to Cafe Gratitude, I have been desiring another one of their amazing desserts. Always one to order a chocolate based finish to my meal, I went with the “I AM BLISS”  when my waitress said she had finished one in a mere 3 seconds the night before (not so sure if that is possible). It was a CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT CREAM TORTE with Chocolate hazelnut mousse topped with whipped cream on a pecan, choc-chip crust.

It was the best birthday dessert I could have hoped for with a lovely nutty crust and not overly sweet creamy chocolatey center. Next time I will have to grab one of their sweets, a truffle or rawmond joy, for the road.

And I am grateful for a happy and healthy 25 years of life. I am grateful for all the people in my life who have made an impact on me. And what have I done? I think the more important question is, what will I continue to do in my life? How will I try to affect those around me in the way they have positively affected my life?

Now, I am off to a rainy sunday lunch with my best friend from college and all I can think about are the sweet potato fries ahead. Hope you had a lovely weekend. Happy almost spring!

-What are you grateful for?

-What have you done, and hope to do? Do you think that is a loaded question (of course it is!)?

 

 

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me, a-z.

Posted in ANIMALS, FOOD, RUNNING, WORK by clairedille on March 4, 2011

Oh, the life of a freelancer. These last few days have been full of surprises, but it looks like I will be getting a new car and starting a new job on Monday. Since I haven’t had much time for cooking (minus the few bowls of oats, salads, and brown rice and veggies) around here, I decided to fill out the A-Z questionnaire that’s been making its way around the blog world. I hope you enjoy.

A-Z Survey

A. Age: 24…but almost 25…

B. Bed size: Queen. I hardly move when I sleep so it is perfect for two.

C. Chore you dislike: Taking out the trash. Cleaning the bathroom. I really want to hire someone to do it when I am more financially sound.

D. Dogs: The dog I had since 8th grade, Bessie, died this summer. I was heartbroken when I heard since they were away at our summer home on Martha’s Vineyard. At least I know she had a wonderful last few weeks playing on the beach. I can’t wait til I can get my own puppy, but my work schedule is much too intense.

E. Essential start to your day: When I have enough time, I try to always sip warm lemon water. Oatmeal makes my morning most complete though.

F. Favorite color: Green. I love almost all shades.

G. Gold or silver: Both, depending on the outfit I am wearing.

H. Height: 5’3. Can you believe I am the tallest in my whole extended family. I was the shortest growing up, and didn’t grow until late in high school/college.

I. Instruments you play(ed): Doesn’t everyone play the recorder for one year of elementary? I then played Clarinet (because my name is Claire…I had to!) until I moved from NY to Laguna Beach.

J. Job title: Costume /Stylist Assistant and wanna-be part-time blogger.

K. Kids: Not for some years, but yes please.

L. Live: Los Angeles since October.

M. Mom’s name: Jane

my aunt joy, aunt ann, and mom.

N. Nicknames: Dille (pronounced “Dilly”-my middle name and mother’s maiden name), Claire bear, love (from my brit father), Pear (best friend Mandy calls me this), Claireness, Clairezy…more I can’t think of.

O. Overnight hospital stays: None yet…*knocks on wood*

P. Pet peeves: People who litter! I find it so repulsive. When farmer’s don’t tell you whether their food is organic or covered in pesticides at the farmer’s market. When people don’t use turn signals, and lots of honking on the freeway. People in LA tend to have serious road rage, even during stopped traffic.

Q. Quote from a movie“This song explains why I’m leaving home to become a stewardess.” (Any guesses?)

R. Righty or lefty: Righty.

S. Siblings: Sister -Lily (two years younger), Half Brother- Sean (nine years older)

little lils on the left, me on the right.

T. Time you wake up: Hmmm…toughest question considering I work on all different projects where I may have a 5 am call time, or 2 p.m. call time, etc. I tend to wake up around 8 when I am not working though.

U. Underwear: Not the biggest fan.

V. Vegetables you don’t like: I really like all vegetables when they are prepared right. I may have claimed to not like potatoes and carrots growing up, but that is no longer true.

W. What makes you run late: Los Angeles traffic mostly

X. X-rays you’ve had: Teeth, shins (had so many running related stress fractures), foot (broken foot from running as well), bone scan to see how many years behind I was in development growing up. I was two years behind most my age.

Y. Yummy food you make: Oats, Pancakes, Sesame Soba Noodles, Kale Chips, Muffins, and more.

Z. Zoo animal favorites: I am not such a fan but would prefer to see animals in their natural habitat. I was a fan of the Ocelot, when I studied the rain forest growing up. I loved that it was the littlest cat in the “big cat family.”

Questions for you:

– Is there a food you claimed to dislike growing up but actually like now? Pretty unusual, but I claimed to never like pizza. I wouldn’t eat it at birthday parties, etc. but preferred pasta or flat breads. I realize now it was because I wasn’t a fan of the goop-y cheese, and really love cheese-less pizza done right.

– Do you have a schedule that requires all different wake up times? How do you make it work? I still need to figure this one out. My crazy schedules mean that I am constantly trying to ground myself by eating regular meals and snacks throughout the day to keep my energy. Even the days where I wake up at 4, I need to eat breakfast somewhat early and find myself hungry for my dinner-like meal super early. The 14-16 hour days are the worst, so sleep is obviously a high priority, especially on the weekends.

pancakes for one. oats for two.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on February 20, 2011

Ever since starting a commercial at the beginning of last week, I’ve been craving bowls of warm steel-cut oats. Waking up at 5 a.m. just doesn’t give me adequate time to prepare a quality bowl. Instead I’ve been eating packed overnight oats made with rolled oats, almond or coconut milk, chia seeds, banana, vanilla, cinnamon, and all the berries I can find in my fridge. After the initial craziness that takes place as soon as I arrive on set, I take a few minutes to eat my cold breakfast while the steamer heats up to prep the wardrobe for the day. Eating breakfast before 7 a.m. always makes me hungry  for lunch very early, as it should. I grab fruit, nuts, and all the bars in my snack drawer for days like these. By the time lunch rolls around (1-2 p.m.), I feel like I’ve eaten quite a lot for the day already. Of course that doesn’t stop me from making the caterer’s scratch their heads when I ask for anything vegan from the three entrée options of fish, poultry, and red meat. Usually this means I receive a plate full of the rice (or other grain) and whatever  side veggies they can find prepared without butter. I’m difficult, but that is their job. Commercials, with a much smaller crew, have less choice, but the quality is usually better than when they are feeding an entire film crew. This week I had a delicious meal of brown rice and beans topped with grilled asparagus, and a spinach, beet, and walnut salad on the side. It was one of the best catered meals I have had to date. There are also the days where I am off doing errands (returning wardrobe, picking up alterations, etc.) where I miss lunch entirely. These are the days I actually prefer, because I get to go off and find my own lunch from places I enjoy in LA. The best meals I’ve had while working were Native Foods and M Cafe. These are easily two of my favorite veggie places in Los Angeles. I can’t get enough.

As soon as the weekend hit, I knew oats would be on the menu. I still wanted to make pancakes for V since he prefers them over oats, but my sister chimed in that she also craved a bowl of oats after being without them all week. For the pancakes, I used my go-to recipe from Angela, the spelt pancakes. V has a pretty hearty appetite on the weekend mornings, so I doubled the recipe. He ate every last bite.

They were filled with bananas and walnuts and he poured delicious maple syrup on top.

Lily and I ate comforting steel-cut banana oats with almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, and vanilla in my new small Anthropologie Lotus bowls.

We poured California organic berries on top and I sliced up some raw walnuts from the farmer’s market for satiety. I really shouldn’t go that long between warm oats consumption, it was a little bit of torture.

For the long weekend I am going to relax and enjoy the California sunshine by hitting up the flea market and reading in a nearby park today. There may be some vegan baking involved too.

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend.

– Do you ever feel deprived of warm oats, even when the weather isn’t chilly?

-What is your favorite long weekend activity?

a new chapter.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on December 1, 2010

Although I’ve been out in Los Angeles for about a month, I haven’t quite gotten into the groove of things. Today we finally signed our new lease and I can’t wait to get comfortable in our own place. In just three weeks, we will be sending out all the rest of our belongings.

Work has taken over the last two weeks and my stress levels are incredibly high. Realizing that we have to pay three rents for the month of December (as well as a security deposit and shipping everything) is not relaxing, at all. That is just an example of the freelance life, making you move before your lease is up. Ironically, I have decreased the yoga over these last few weeks when I probably should have done the opposite. However, December is a month I adore and I hope the second half will be less about work, finances, and all those big kid things, and more about family and fun. Due to missing my favorite Holiday with my family, I am over-eager to get reunited with all of the Dille’s (my mothers maiden name, my middle name, my blog name)  in just a few weeks. Another thing I am most happy about is my friend Emma’s visit to LA. Timing-wise, I am the most busy I’ve been since August, but I still can’t wait to catch up over the weekend (the few hours I won’t be prepping). She is one of those people who I love most and it doesn’t hurt that we both live to travel, keep active, (she owns a bike shop in Guatemala!), and eat delicious food.

When November began, I had planned on upping the amount of blog posts about tasty vegan eats for Vegan MoFo. Subsequently, I failed miserably. Instead of beating myself about it, I’ve accepted the fact that cooking creative vegan recipes and eating out weren’t too realistic this last month. Yes, I will still be very frugal for December, but I will also be with family (and friends!) in New York for at least the last week of the month. There is no way I will be missing an opportunity to eat at some of my favorite vegan places.

I have a whole year (and possibly longer) to explore LA’s vegan fare.

Tomorrow, we will no longer be staying at our friends place and the thing I will miss most are the abundance of pomegranates. Right next to his little guest house is a pomegranate tree. Needless to say, I’ve had my fair share of pomegranate topped oats. Today and tomorrow might be my last bowl of insanely local pomegranates for a while. Today’s bowl were scottish oats cooked in the usual fashion, with coconut milk, chia seeds, half a banana, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and stevia. I mixed in some organic pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice in the last few minutes. On top of the pomegranate, I piled on some peanut butter. I loved this not so typical combo.

So tomorrow begins a new chapter, in a new home, for at least two or three weeks. The upcoming hiatus will be much appreciated, and then I will be back to LA living. Am I in love with this city? Not yet, but I am getting there. I may even pretend like its getting chillier by adding scarves, beanies, and other winter accessories. I just can’t help myself. I do work in wardrobe after all. As a New Yorker in LA, the hardest two things so far are the lack of seasons and the aggravating traffic (subways…where are you…?).

Other things:

– Do you like layering or prefer warmer climates with less clothing? Fall is definitely my season of choice, so layers are what I love. I do gravitate towards simplicity a lot too, but I like the option of putting on more. Winter though, is not a season I love. I like the snow for its beauty and seasonal eats and cheer, but I am pretty miserable when it gets below, say twenty degrees. Thank god I bought that down coat last winter…it saved me when working in cold Michigan and the time I was in NY for the holidays.

– Are you interested in an apartment wish list post? I read home and fashion blogs just as much as food blogs, so I have many ideas about our new apartment. The space is very different. We lived in a large two-story industrial loft previously, and now we will be in a much smaller art deco apartment. Instead of a kitchen island, we now have a dining nook, and I can’t wait to find a cool table and chairs to fill it.

west-bound.

Posted in FITNESS, FOOD, WORK by clairedille on October 21, 2010

As mentioned in the last few posts, I have had to make a big life decision rather quickly and here it is: I am moving to Los Angeles. There is no real rush because I am not yet signed on my next project, (hello freelance life) so I have decided to drive west. V had to leave abruptly for a series, but we’ve been talking about possibly moving to LA for the winter, since the Detroit film industry definitely dies down in the winter months. Last year we were out west for just a month or so, but this year we will probably stay longer. Who knows, maybe we will stay out there since our lease runs out right after the new year. He is a California boy and I am most definitely a New Yorker, but I do love the state of California after spending my middle school years there. Another perk is that I will be able to run outdoors all through the winter. Yes, that is a real reason I am excited. The hiking, biking, year-long farmer’s markets…it is all so appealing. LA is also home to many of my favorite vegetarian and veggie friendly restaurants. I can’t wait for some delicious M Cafe and visiting more restaurants that I have yet to eat at. Although I miss all my friends and family in New York dearly, there are a few of my college friends in LA, and my brother, who I haven’t lived close to in 10 years.

I’ve never driven that far solo, and am lucky enough to have persuaded my mother to travel halfway with me. In preparation, I have spent the last few days at the parents, organizing plans and routes. This morning, I was happy to find some irish steel-cut oats in their pantry and many honeycrisp apples in the fridge. On the stove top, I mixed in some organic light coconut milk (another parent’s pantry find), half a banana, chia seeds, and ground flaxseed (I came with the chia but they already had flax).  When I couldn’t find any vanilla, I searched the spice rack and sure enough, found vanilla beans. I scraped half a bean into the oats while still cooking and heated up half an apple sprinkled with cinnamon on another burner. I’ve mentioned before, but I love cooking at my parents because they have an amazing old AGA stove.

They also have my favorite latte bowls (I have the little ones for prepping) in every color imaginable. My mother and I both have an affinity for kitchen goods, and she made sure to show me her recent finds and gifts (thanks to my lovely Aunt for picking up an olive tree cutting board while in Italy).


Since I’m currently working on emptying out my fridge, I brought over leftover roasted veggies. The parents always have veggie burgers in the freezer in case I come for a visit, which I used to round out a lunch.

While the car was getting a check up for the road trip ahead, I stopped in the local gourmet market for a snack. This Pure NRG bar is made just a few miles from my parents home. Usually I am not a fan of carob, and opt for pure dark chocolate, but this bar really surprised me. Maybe it was the coconut flour and flakes, but I didn’t find the carob overwhelming at all and actually enjoyed it.

When dinner rolled around, I centered it around the dumpling squash I also had picked up while out. Oh, and there were GT’s Kombucha too! That needs to be mentioned since there have been months of an unplanned Kombucha famine.

Isn’t she beautiful? She is local and organic too.

The other component I wanted to use was the lacinato (or  dinasour) kale my father picked up at the farmer’s market on Sunday from my favorite organic farmer.

The kale was sautéed with this stoneground Inglehoffer mustard and I loved it. Wanting to eat with my parents, I threw together this local and tasty dinner for one in a hurry. I roasted the squash in the highest oven of the AGA to cut down the cooking time and used Michigan’s eden baked beans (organic and bpa free) to fill the squash.

Other things going on in my kitchen:

The two pie pumpkins on my counter needed to be roasted before I leave. I sliced and deseeded them, and then baked them for about an hour at 350 degrees. All I wanted was some simple pumpkin puree for morning oats.

I see some pumpkin oats taking over my morning meals these last four days I am in the midwest.

Other things:

Considering I had taken off most of the summer from running, I started slow and with low mileage. Unfortunately it might not have been little enough, because instead of aggravating my consistent left shin or foot problems, I have a new-to-me pain. Although I’ve heard the words “IT Band Syndrome” before, this is a first for me. The pain has appeared on the outer side of my right knee on each run. Even just running 3-4 days a week, totaling 10-15 miles, I feel pain. Honestly, I’ve been doing most of my runs on a treadmill because Detroit isn’t necessarily the safest city to run alone in. I’m hoping that running outdoors on dirt and grass will help it heal.

Other strategies to let it heal:

– Cross training to keep building my endurance

IT Band stretching

Walking breaks during runs

Ice Massage

If you have any advice, I’d really appreciate it.

Thanks for all the brownie advice on my last post. I am thinking I might have to wait a little before baking some fudgy brownies, but I can’t wait.

How do you keep your attitude positive when sidelined by an injury early into training? There were a few half and full marathons I’ve really been intrigued by and I don’t want to write them off yet. At the same time, it is pretty discouraging to be caught off guard by this new injury so early in my training. Of course I am not a doctor, and am not sure that it is ITBS, but the pain does nag in that general area. I even feel pain going down the stairs.

What is your favorite road trip food? Do you pack sandwiches, fruit, bars, etc? Do you stop places? So far, I am stopping in Des Moines, IA, Denver, CO (to see a best friend and get my mom on a flight home), and Richfield or St. George, UT (anyone know which is better?).

Have a grand week!

getting back to it all

Posted in FOOD, MAGAZINES, SHOPPING, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on September 30, 2010

It seems like there is a lot of catching up to do these days. I don’t just mean within the blog world, but also getting back to things I love. I have a pile of unread magazine issues that I am beginning to tackle. It is quite overwhelming.

This morning, I made scottish oats (always make these over steel-cut oats when I want to eat sooner rather than later) my usual way. Miss Mandiee asked me about my cooking method and it is really similar to the method of preparing my steel-cut oats.

First, I add one cup water  and a sprinkling of salt to a small saucepan and cover it to boil on medium high heat. Once boiling, I add 1/4 cup scottish oats and lower the heat to very very low. Then I add in 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or another plant milk like coconut) and cover it for five minutes. Scottish oats take 20 minutes to cook compared to the thirty minutes it takes to prepare steel-cut. I add in thin slices of banana, chia seeds (1 Tablespoon), cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon), and a splash of vanilla extract throughout the twenty minutes. If I feel the oats thicken too much, I add up to 1/4 cup more of water. In the last five minutes of cooking on low heat, I chop the fruit of choice. Today I added 1/4 cup of pumpkin instead of water to my scottish oats and then added some stevia in the last few minutes of cooking. I then poured it into my bowl and topped it with strawberries, a chopped fig, and some raw almond butter. Honestly, oats really are the breakfast that keep me satisfied all morning. On days I go without for fun meals like pancakes and waffles, I become hungry much sooner. At least we can have a little excitement with all the add-ins to our morning bowl (cup, plate, mug) of oats.

I promise I don’t only eat bowls of oatmeal.

Falafel is one of my favorite foods, and I used an epicurious recipe earlier in the week to prepare a lot of mini falafel.

Although they may have baked a little too long, they were still delicious. In the last few days, I have eaten them both in wraps and topped on salads.

The shot above may give you a (big) hint to the movie that took over my man’s life all summer.

I made stuffed peppers utilizing a few leftovers, particularly butternut squash and whole wheat couscous.

One of my favorite blog ladies, miss Ashley at edible perspective has a great looking recipe here for stuffed peppers. I followed her method for the peppers and then stuffed them with cumin, coriander, cayenne spiced scallion couscous, red onion, butternut squash, and tomato paste.

Surprisingly, V doesn’t love peppers and I ate these alone. Even garnishing them with avocado, his favorite food, couldn’t get him to eat one. He did eat these though.

Kale chips are quite addicting and he has been known to eat a whole bunch himself with little to no help from myself. Notice the charming item in the background of that photo? Yes, that is movie “blood”  on our table. We eat on a kitchen island in our apartment but the only place with light after 7 p.m. (other than the roof deck) is the table against the window that has been covered with all our work items.

Rather charming, eh? Really, “blood” is one of the main reasons I say our jobs are far from glamorous. Although I love working with clothing, covering them with blood is one of my least favorite parts. I just did three days as an additional costumer on a horror film and there was a little too much time spent in an incinerator room around “bloody body part” props for my liking.

Getting back to some savory eats…

Last night I made Kathy’s Smoky, Sticky, Sweet BBQ Sauce. This stuff was good, finger-lickin’ good. Although the sun had gone by the time we ate, I managed to shoot one photo of the covered tempeh.

On the side, we had Kathy’s Quick Sweet Potato Mash, switching in our chives for the onion. The cayenne added a lovely kick we both enjoyed. There was a simple salad consumed as well.

Since this is such a photo heavy post, I will show one last meal. Today I made a spinach salad topped with bbq tempeh, our tomatoes, avocado, mung sprouts, leftover butternut squash, and radishes from our neighbors garden.

This is a perfect example of a meal featuring local greens and veggies that will make me miss summer produce so much.

Oh, and one last shot of something I am getting back to…

My fashionable self has definitely gone to the wayside and a few new purchases have been made to make up for the lack of shopping for myself in the last few months. Shoes are definitely one of my fetishes and I apologize if you are not into feet. Wedges are ideal for days I want the height but don’t want the discomfort from wearing heels. I am limited to flat closed toe shoes when on set, so I tend to stray from my flat boots and vans when not working. Yesterday I hit up the mall in these and was felt 100% myself. I got a nice new blazer (by one of my favorite simple lines, T by Alexander Wang) to dress up jeans and my favorite skinny cargos.

Tomorrow I hope to be back after some baking therapy, now that I got in some good ole’ retail therapy.

so long summer

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on September 22, 2010

This blogging hiatus was never meant to last quite this long but instead of going on about the working days of my summer, instead I want to celebrate the new season. Autumn has always been my season of choice. The cross-country seasons of my life took over most of my Fall in high school and college, and I spent hours each week crunching the leaves as I ran miles on pavement, grass, woodchips, etc. Since my 16 hour day shooting days have come to an end (at least for the time being), I was surprised to realize summer had passed me by yet again. Previous summers have been like this, working in the extreme heat with no time to enjoy the sunshine by the beach. Yes, I am envious of my family and friends who got to do so, but now I am excited for a little life break right as autumn begins.

The perfect start to the season.

Pumpkin baked goods really do it for me. I am sure they do it for you too.

Instead of searching for a recipe I hadn’t previously tried, I stuck with a PPK recipe for cinnamon raisin quick bread I once made into muffins before. The only switches I made to the tasty recipe was swapping the applesauce with organic canned pumpkin and the apple juice with hot water. The hot water plumps up the raisins before mixing them into the thick bread batter. They turned out wonderfully.

Today I realized that the end of summer also means the end of peach season. I can’t tell you how much this saddens me. Peaches have made my painfully early mornings a little more enjoyable each day.

Yesterday I made scottish oats with almond milk, banana, cinnamon, and vanilla that I then topped with almond butter, peaches, and figs.

Todays oats were steel-cut cooked with almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and banana topped with peaches, blueberries, and almond butter. I have four more farmer’s market peaches I picked up on the way to my last filming day on Saturday. I might cry when I finish the last one.

What fruit or vegetable are you sad to see diminishing with the end of the summer season?

What fruit or vegetable are you most excited about for fall?

I promise I won’t be gone so long this time.

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banana bread & bbq’s…

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on July 23, 2010

Oh blogging, how I’ve missed thee. This week has been anything but dull. The first week of filming always brings surprises and I’ve been running around all day (and night for the last two days) for 12 + hours. Food-wise, I have been pretty disappointed with the catering because the vegan options are limited to vegetables and bread only for the most part. When call times have been as early as 6 a.m., oatmeal is not prepared, who am I kidding? Yesterday however, our call was a little past 2 p.m. (calls are in 6 minute increments) so I made some steel cut oats to travel to set with. Since I only awoke a few hours before because of a late night/early morning, I knew I’d want breakfast to be my first meal considering it was my favorite. When arriving to the new location, our wardrobe trailer was M.I.A,. which meant I sat in a parking lot with piles of freshly altered clothes while eating my warm oatmeal in the 85 degree weather. That wasn’t so lovely but at least I had something delicious to eat. The catering truck only had turkey burgers and hot dogs and although it was past lunch in real-life schedules, it was only breakfast for us. “Lunch” was six hours later as usual and I was out picking up lots of petty cash for the entire wardrobe department. Let’s just say I didn’t feel entirely safe walking around with thousands of dollars of petty cash in downtown Detroit past sunset. But when I made my way back to set, I grabbed a plate of the veggie options on hand. After letting catering know the day before that I don’t do meat or dairy, they told me the options would be better last night and they were. I should be better at packing snacks by now though after learning that the only vegan options on Wednesday were corn (off the cob, probably canned, and white bread). Thursday’s meal had the first vegetarian protein yet, vegetarian baked beans. They also had a salad without mounds of parmesan poured on like previously, and fresh corn on the cob. I was much happier but still am worried about my lack of protein this week. I’ve only been packing raw food bars, such as Larabars and Pure bars, and been munching on all the fruit and veggies I can find at craft services near set (and bringing my own since ideally, organic would be best). I hope I didn’t overwhelm you with all the cons of eating in the film industry. Although some think it is glamorous, it really can be anything but. I was on a dock in the pouring rain until 4 a.m. this morning and when I came home, I crashed…hard. Today is the first time I’ve had a chance to come onto the computer to post and I miss blog reading like crazy.

So let’s talk a little about the good food I had last weekend.

Both nights of the weekend, we have made use of our new weber grill. Since V slept until dinner time on Saturday because of working until the a.m., I made sure to prepare a few things I know he loves. Ironically, he prefers kale chips over sweet potato fries. That is fine with me considering sweet potatoes are pretty much the ideal food in my mind.

Kale is one of the leafy greens I have in my possession most often. Spinach is the other. When our new neighbors told us they had a small garden in the city where they grow Kale, we confessed our love of the veg. We’ve been given two bunches already and used one for Kale chips Saturday night. The other simple components were sweet potato fries, chips and guac (a staple from a local mexican market nearby close to V’s heart), veggie and bison burgers, corn, and veggie kebabs. The last two were saved for the following night since we were already rather full by the time we had munched our way through the rest.

(please excuse my dirty Vans, I was running work errands all day)

The simplicity of this meal is pretty ridiculous, but sometimes it doesn’t take much to make your taste buds happy. Just give me a few of my favorite veggies, and I will usually be happy. Avocado, being a fruit, is definitely one I can eat daily. My daily apple and banana are others.

The weekend mornings involved stove-top oat making, since finding out our call times would me much too early for me to prepare oats for this week.

The plum I had bought was probably too firm, because it didn’t compare to my recent favorite peach topped oats. The blueberries were up to par, as always, as was the Naturally Nutty Cinnamon Vanilla Sunflower Butter. Into the pot went steel cut oats, coconut milk, half a banana, cinnamon, vanilla, chia seeds, and a pinch of salt.

Later, while V was still sleeping, I made banana bread with the bananas that were on their last leg.

the black hole in the center, caused by my impatience while testing its done-ness. oops.

This wasn’t just any banana bread, but Amanda’s Blissful Banana Bread. When V finally woke up from his slumber, he ate two pieces on the spot. We are both completely in love with this bread. I can’t believe the tiny amount of sweetener used either. Instead of picking up maple syrup the other day, I bought sorghum syrup by mistake. After searching my way around the internet to reassure myself it wouldn’t completely destroy Amanda’s recipe, I found it was similar to molasses. Since molasses are more potent that than maple, agave, honey, etc., I halved the amount of sweetener needed. It still was adequately sweet, dense, and tasty. Into the mix went sliced almonds and raisins. They added great flavor to the already wonderful bread that I need to make again soon. It has been eaten many nights (or early morning) after work by both of us and the loaf is long gone.

Another meal involved pizza on the grill. I’m still extremely interested in making my own dough, but the night before the first day of work, I was getting pre-shoot jitters and opted for the already prepared dough. V had two/thirds with all the same veggie toppings as myself, with extra cheese on top. I then cut off a third for myself and added the mozzarella daiya to try. It was much better than the cheddar I’ve tried previously, but I still think I prefer cheese-less pizza. Growing up, I wasn’t ever a pizza person, and would prefer focaccia, flatbreads, and even pasta when having italian carbs.

The dough was pre-cooked and then topped with Eden pizza-pasta sauce, the local company that is non-BPA and GMO free. Of course I made use of Angela’s Garlic Scape Pesto that I saved for the pizza topping and all the herbs in our little roof top garden. We had basil, rosemary, and chives that I added to the sauce  mixture. The kebab veggies from the previous night were chopped up and placed on top. There was red pepper, mushrooms (for me only), red pepper, and yellow and green squash.

The corn that was grilled the night before wasn’t the best and this is probably because we couldn’t find any local farmer’s market corn. Although organic, it was from far away and that is  not the best when it comes to corn, is it? The pizza though, was great. We both loved that the crust was chewy and crusty and the flavor of the fresh herbs and garlic scape pesto really brought it to the next level. On the side, we had a spinach salad with cucumber, carrots, avocado, and sesame seeds. On top, I later poured on Angela’s better than bottled balsamic, a favorite of both of ours.

Hopefully I can get in the kitchen more this weekend. My camera is being used by one of my coworkers so I can’t even post a few measly oats pictures today.

In the meantime, I would love to hear about some of your favorite made from scratch pizza dough recipes. If you have any recipes online, send them my way!

Oh, and I’d love to hear some of your favorite simple meals as well!

ciao for now.

getting through it.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on July 14, 2010

It certainly can be challenging getting through these pre-production days. The uncertainty of each day’s tasks tends to be unsettling to my psyche. There are a few little things I have been as of late to make sure that I handle my days better. To be more efficient, we all know that morning workouts and packing snacks keeps on our toes, but that does not mean we always take part. After the massive Whole Foods shop, I am more prepared for these next few weeks. Things are still a work-in-progress until the crazy days of shooting and this explains why I am able to post around 12 p.m. on a Wednesday. While V is sleeping until his 6 p.m. call time (after getting home at 5 a.m.), I am up planning meals ahead and snacks I know will keep me energized. Instead of stowing my yoga mat in my car, where it has been stored while hoping to attend a nearby class, I am now leaving it rolled up below my bed. When I come up the spiral stairs I am more aware of its need to be rolled out and put to use. This is obviously for my own well-being, not just because of feeling bad about its neglected state.

Instead of sipping on multiple mugs of coffee (don’t you hate how one mug is really 2 + cups of coffee?), I’ve been drinking more of these.

V (if you watch True Blood you may get why I call him V since he used to work on the show)  is to blame for my shot addiction. While working on his last film, the caterer brought many of these Sencha and Oolong shot teas. We are constantly in search of filling our fridge with more, since they are the perfect size for traveling and offer an abundance of antioxidants. Of course they are quite pricey when you drink multiples a day (not me…), but we have found where they are cheapest in the area, and I try to limit to 1-2 per day. Maybe brewing my own tea and storing them in to-go cups would be more ideal, but I don’t always have time for those practicalities.

However, there are some things I do make time for.

Stovetop oat making is a process I truly enjoy most mornings. Like many other bloggers, I too prefer to wake up earlier to eat a more tasty breakfast. I am making the most of these prep days because I know that it is very rare I manage to make oats mornings before reaching set when I had only been off set for 8-10 hours (and sleep reigns supreme). Still fitting in 7-8 hours of sleep, I woke up yesterday to prepare steel-cut oats cooked with half a banana, cinnamon, vanilla, unsweetened almond milk, and a pinch of vivagave. When I told V to get a few peaches and avocados while at Whole Foods on Saturday, I realized a few meant 5 or more. This means there will be many days ahead of peach covered plated oats and I can’t say I mind it too much. The blueberry and peach combo is one I am such a fan of and the cinnamon vanilla frosting sunflower butter brought this breakfast to a whole new level. Bliss.

Have I told you that we don’t have cable? I don’t even miss TV watching when working, simply because time doesn’t allow moments for it. But…I have been needing a TV show fix recently, which has resulted in online watching. I know that one hour every few days is nothing crazy, but watching some mindless TV is another way of unwinding I have forgotten about these last few months. Often, when I am  not working, I get completely sick of TV/movies, but when I am working, I cherish the moments I can sit and watch. The last thing I watched was a new episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. I pretty much love that vegan-hater…and I am one.

It has been much too long since I’ve allowed myself adequate baking time, but I did finally get around to making some of Angela’s delicious Garlic Scape Pesto.

This lemon had more seeds than I thought possible, but the pesto didn’t disappoint.

My mini food processor didn’t do such a wonderful job with the large quantity of vegan parmesan, or the scapes and spinach actually, but the flavor was there. It will be great on the pizza crust we bought when time allows V and I to eat a meal together.

In the meantime, I’ve had it on many dishes made in a jiffy (may be the first time I’ve said that, but I have jiffy steamers on my mind thanks to work).

Last nights kale, mushroom, quinoa, and garlic scape pesto dinner was eaten at 10 p.m. I don’t believe in the “don’t eat past 8 p.m.” rule and quite frankly, it would never work with my work schedule. In October, I worked from 7 p.m. to around 8 a.m. for two weeks. That means “lunch” is at 1 a.m. It may not sound like much fun, but working without fuel is even less fun.

This mornings steel-cut oats were the same as yesterdays, with coconut butter substituting sunflower butter.

These oats are perched on top of the tank I preceded to put on after taking this photo.

Packing lunch for a hectic afternoon in the production office with tasks I have yet to know of is one way I am getting through today.

The brown rice tortilla is topped with red pepper hummus, spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, sprouts, avocado, and sea salt. On the side I packed a new larabar and some broccoli, beets, and chickpeas. I never know what the veggie options will be when working, so why not bring my own while I still can, right?

Other things:

-How do you make it through your crazy days? Yoga, packing snacks and meals, allowing minutes to watch TV and unwind, drinking my antioxidants, and sometimes running seem to be helping calm my nerves these days. I do hope to add in more strength training because I have realized that I am somewhat weak recently while picking up boxes of racks, steamers, clothing, etc.

-When was the last time you had a pasta night? Any favorite mix ins? This pasta night post by Kathy has me craving some. Good thing I have much too much vegan parmesan these days. She also wrote about pizza after we just bought some crust…now I am even more excited to make some.

-Do you add any sweetener to your oats? What is your sweetener of choice? Have you read Gena’s post about Agave? I am usually a stevia girl (NuNaturals is preferred), but I have been known to also use maple or agave on occasion.

-Do you try to limit your coffee consumption? Do you drink lower caffeinated beverages or cut all caffeine? I skip coffee very rarely, but it is even more rare that I drink more than 1 or 2 cups a day. When filming all night though, I have had to use it to keep awake. I still think it is better than those who are gulping down the red bulls…but I could do better. Gena wrote another great post about coffee worth checking out.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week! I can’t believe there is less than a month until the Healthy Living Summit. Are you going?

a loaf & lots of oats.

Posted in FOOD, VEGAN, WORK by clairedille on June 24, 2010

Things have been a little wild around here. Thank you so much for all the support given about my (maybe) limited blogging in the next few months, which I mentioned last week. When I spoke of freelancing, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to discuss what I do, but I figure some of you may be a little interested. My job is within the wardrobe/costume department of feature films. The film production tax incentives in Michigan started in the last few years and the industry seems to be doing very well. Who knows if the film industry will continue to film here for years to come, but Detroit needs some help and I am willing to stick around for a little bit if there is still a reason (work) for me to be here. I left NY where I was freelancing at a fashion showroom (after a few internships) to assist on my first film last summer and have learned the in’s and out’s of costuming in this last year. There have been times where I have been unsure if this was where I wanted to be, but I still enjoyed every day on set, as well as most of the prep days. There have also been times where films were limited, such as the cold winter months. Starting next week, I help the designer shop and organize to fully prepare for the upcoming film. Now, I am reading the script and getting ready for the new adventure. V is working on a different film right now, a famous sequel of sorts, that I love hearing stories about. Dating someone within the same industry is the only thing I can imagine right now. We both understand that their may be weeks of night shoots and sleeping days. Unfortunately, I have a limited social life for most 24 year olds, but I try to have as much fun each day as possible with those I work with and admire.

There has been lots of script reading in bed this week.

A massive amount of organic strawberries and raspberries took over our fridge after finding them on sale early this week. Most breakfasts have been the easy Scottish oats I love dearly. Toppings include raw almond  butter, banana mash, berries, and coconut butter.

Yesterday, I made some coconut butter when I realized I had such an abundance of large flakes. For an easy tutorial, check out Ashley’s post. It took only 5 minutes in my food processor to make the butter and tasted delicious topped on oats and sweet potatoes.

Lunches have been of the salad variety on the 90 degree days. This one featured some overly salted Whole Foods Falafel and many veggies from my farmer’s market bounty.

There may have been some lunches eaten while watching the World Cup and map observing. Yesterday, I found myself watching my two teams (England & the U.S.A.) go through to the next round. Alone, I was jumping up and down when Landon Donovan scored the only U.S. goal in overtime. Who knew I liked sports so much? Surely not me…

The Kind Diet, Alicia Silverstone’s book I adore for so many reasons (emphasis on plant-based lifestyle over “diet”) has a granola recipe called “Mom’s Granola” that my sister made and shared with me. It was wonderful but not as good as my favorite Early Bird Granola.

Still loving the slighty sour flavor of Original Coconut Milk Kefir.

But I prefer it covered in fruit, cereal, and/or granola…

Due to V’s late schedule, dinner tends to be eaten between 8 and 10 p.m., which usually means I am limited to taking leftover photos.

Jenna’s Channa Masala was made in a hurry late last night to satisfy my craving for more Indian after such a delicious Father’s Day Indian feast.

On the side, we had roasted sweet potato fries with coconut butter and roasted broccoli.

Another evening, I made another one of Jenna’s recipes, her Vegan Lentil Walnut Loaf.

Which was not necessarily the most beautiful, but very tasty. The walnuts really add a great nutty flavor to each bite and the tomato, balsamic, maple glaze makes the best topping.

Well, it is back to reality for me.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week filled with delicious eats.

Other things:

-Do you pack leftovers for lunch even though you know others will be eating a “set meal” or take-out for lunch? During prep, I hope to bring some leftovers, such as channa masala, lentil loaf, wraps, and salads. However, once filming starts I know I will probably be too busy to pack lunches since the only time I am not working, I am sleeping. Usually catering and craft services has one veg option, but often it isn’t vegan, which means I find myself eating lots of apples, bananas, oranges, and larabars (or nuts). I wish that I had more energy post work to pack something for the next day but so far it hasn’t been the case on previous shoots.

-Are you still eating warm oats or going with other options like Overnight Oats? V likes to keep the air on most of the time so it is cold enough to eat stovetop oats. I am sure that overnight oats will make their way back in my life soon though.