A Cooking Show Episode 10: Breakfast Cookies!

Episode 10 is here!

I can’t believe we are in the double digits.

Way to go me for sticking with something.

This week’s special guest is Mindy Raf! She is a comedian and recent author of her debut young adult novel, The Symptoms of My Insanity. 

She is incredibly funny, smart, and was an absolute blast to have on the show!

This episode we made Breakfast Cookies. These are a healthy and delicious way to get all the necessary fuel in your morning breakfast in a convenient, ready-to-go cookie.

Not only are they good, they are really easy to make! Enjoy!

Breakfast Cookies

3 ripe bananas

1/3 cup apple sauce

2 cups instant oats

1/4 cup skim milk

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

2 tbsp maple syrup (or sugar)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mash bananas and mix with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes for the oats to soak everything in.

4. Make small balls of the mixture onto a greased/aluminum foil or parchment paper covered baking sheet. I used parchment paper to avoid adding more grease.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

6. Let cool and eat!

ENJOY!

Top Five Ways To Stay Slim!

Nothing tastes better than being skinny feels. Yet you keep trying to prove that theory wrong by eating just one more donut.

Well. Set that maple bar down (mmmmm….maple bar…..) and pick up your pencil….

What? Oh. It’s that little, yellow, wooden stick that people use when taking tests. You know, the thing with the pink rubber on the other end that deletes your words?

Yeah. That’s a pencil.

Anyway chubbers. Here are a few tips you can use to help keep you slim and socially acceptable.

5. Find a New Hobby!

Don't eat a burger. Knit one.

Don’t eat a burger. Knit one.

Contrary to popular belief, eating is not a necessity. It is not even a luxury. A luxury would imply enjoyment and enjoying your food is a huge ass mistake. Literally. So, instead of spending your precious time shoveling food down your gullet, pick up a new hobby. Scrapbook! Macrame! Decoupage! Anorexia! Find something that expands your mind and not your waistline.

4. Got Some Free Time? Exercise!

Starving? Good.

Starving? Good.

Fitting exercise into a busy schedule can be really difficult. But fitting your fat ass into a single digit sized pair of jeans will be impossible if you don’t run, jump up and down, lift heavy things, and pretend like you are sitting on an invisible chair once in a while.  So, if you find that you have an hour break from your soul sucking cubicle job, instead of using that lunch break to escape the monotony that is your life by eating more, go sweat. When you feel an emptiness in your stomach and your soul, you’re doing it right.

3. Eat Less!

Pure gluttony.

Pure gluttony.

Look. You only live once. So why live fat? Everyone knows that all of the incredible things about life are made that much better by being thin. And if you believe in an afterlife, I am sure it is even worse to be fat in Heaven. Imagine all of the dry weddings you have to attend up there! And you will be hanging out with all of those skinny and ethereal angels. The only fat angels are those fat baby cupids and they are allowed to be fat, they’re babies.

2. Stop Eating Out!

You too could be thin enough to fit in this box.

You too could be thin enough to fit in this box.

Of course I mean “stop going out to restaurants,” you pervert.

That’s right! One sure fire way to lose that last 10 – 40 lbs is to stop going out to eat. You can never be sure how many calories are in a dish when you are not meticulously measuring each ingredient yourself. So why risk it? Instead, stay inside. By yourself. Alone. And watch the pounds and your life melt away.

1. Just Stop Enjoying Your Food!

Look how much fun she is having not eating her ice cream!

Look how much fun she is having not eating her ice cream!

This is just plain common sense. If you insist on eating delicious food, you will continue to want to eat that food.
“But Rebecca, enjoying delicious food makes life worth living.”
No. The only life worth living is a thin one. Look at movie stars. They have the life that we all should be striving for and they were only allowed to have that life if because they are slender. True. There are some fat movie stars but they either got fat after they were famous (failures) or they use their fat to entertain us. Like clowns. And you aren’t a clown. You are a living, breathing, skinny human being. Actually, breathing makes your stomach bigger so you should probably stop that too.

EAT HERE NEW YORK! The Smith across from Lincoln Center

It’s that special time of year again.

In New York, there is a brief window of time where the weather is so incredibly beautiful it feels like you are breaking the law by eating indoors.

Luckily, on a day where I would be trudging through the city all day with meetings, a performance, and even a trip to the DMV, I had found myself in that brief window of time.

But I couldn’t sit any ol’ damn where. I needed to scope out the perfect eating outside on a bustling, Friday late afternoon in Manhattan spot.

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Guidelines For Optimal Outdoor Dining:

1. A great view of the street for people watching. 

Manhattan has some of the country’s most unique residents and they are all living on an island that is only two and a half miles wide.  If you sit in a great spot long enough, the parade of the misfits and tourists can be one hell of a show.

2. Not too close to the street.

Though it is fun to sit in front of a great restaurant to leisurely dine and record your observations, sitting too close to the passersby can make it feel like you are sitting on a bench in the middle of a busy street.  Some restaurants attempt to turn the extremely small plot of “land” (read: concrete) in front of their establishments into a patio when all they are doing is putting minuscule patio furniture on a highway. People walk in Manhattan like they drive everywhere else.

3. Not too much sun. But not too little either.

One of the best parts of dining outside in New York is the sunshine. There is so rarely a pleasant sunshine in the city. Sunshine tends to be either attempting (and most times failing) to provide some relief from the freezing temperatures, shining during a random down pour, baking you in the humidity, or magnifying the stench of garbage and urine. But when you catch a good sunshine, a pleasantly warm sunshine packaged with a delightfully subtle and temperate breeze, you must not stay inside.

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So, I started walking from Herald Square (34th street and Broadway). I decided I would just walk up Broadway because it runs diagonally through the city and I had to eventually end my adventure at 72nd street and Broadway.

It was such a gorgeous day that the streets were swarming with people.  Especially in the high traffic, highly annoying tourist areas like Herald Square and Times Square. These places give squares a bad name.

But once I emerged from the late 40’s/early fifties, hands and head aching from clutching my bags and furrowing my brows, the streets began to get a little less congested. Tourists tend not to realize that New York is more than Broadway shows, I ❤ NY t-shirt vendors, giant department stores, and Olive Garden.

I passed a few restaurants with outdoor seating. Too much sun. Too close to the people. Too much shade.

And finally I found one that was juuuuuuust right…..

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The Smith. Right across from Lincoln Center.

It met all of the requirements.

The Smith was in a row of other restaurants with similar patio set ups but the other restaurants were taking their Lincoln Center adjacent location a little too seriously. I just wanted a simple, light dinner. Not a filet mignon.

Who am I kidding? If I could afford a filet mignon, I would order one.

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I ordered a glass of wine to start off my people watching party of 1.

I will say the portion size left muuuuch to be desired but this Vina Vintisquero “Reserva” 2010 Carmenere from Colchagua, Chili was a very good wine. ($9)

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Then I ordered the Mediterranean salad ($21). Or “Greek” salad. Cucumber, feta, red onion, chickpeas, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, Romaine lettuce, and a lemon dressing made it an incredibly ordinary Greek salad recipe that was anything but. I added some chicken for the extra boost of protein.

And, honestly, no exaggeration, it was the best Greek salad I have ever had. And it sure as hell better have been considering how much I paid for the thing.

There were just the right amounts of each ingredient to make each bite a “perfect bite.” The chicken lay through out the salad in perfectly tender, silky shreds. And there was just the right amount of lemon dressing to make it so the salad wasn’t dripping in dressing but was radiating it.

After I posted pictures of my Smith escapade, I received a text message from a friend saying, “Please tell me you got the blue cheese chips.”

“I didn’t…. :(,” I replied. “I was alone.”

“No excuse. I’ll go with you next time.”

So, I can say that I will absolutely be back to The Smith. After all, I have to. 

A Cooking Show Episode 10 Outtakes!

Episode 10 is almost here.

In the meantime, here are some outtakes from our really fun shoot with comedian and author of The Symptoms of My Insanity, Ms. Mindy Raf!

Keep your eyes banana peeled for Episode 10 this week!

Run Porn: 33rd – 41st of 2013

Des Moines, Iowa Edition!

Sorry it has been a while since I indulged your Run Porn fix.

I was out on another tour with my improvised Broadway musical these past weeks.

This tour brought me to Des Moines, Iowa.

And Des Moines, Iowa brought me some really shitty weather.

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This is the view from my hotel room.

It snowed, it rained, it was windy, and I was pissed.

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This meant I was in the Marriott Hotel gym more than I would have liked.

Generally, I limit my indoor gym to a few days a week to get my resistance training in. But, in this case, it was really my only option.

Though there were some perks.

Generally, I would be the only one in the gym. Which is great. My workout time is my time.

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I also got to go for a swim.

It was pretty great going for a swim in the perfectly temperate pool while the rain rat-a-tat-tatted on
the  skylight glass overhead.

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Out of my 10 day stint in Dez Moy Nez, I did get a few days of run fun.

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And there were some great views.

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I love running over bridges. It makes me feel like I am in a sports montage.

I even punch the air. Sometimes…..

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And where there are bridges….

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….you are sure to find water.

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I find being around water is absolutely necessary for me.

I don’t know how long I can keep living by bodies of water. But I will fight tooth and nail to keep water-side living a staple in my life.

run33-41#6

The air is better when skimming the water’s edge.

The sound of water lapping up against the shore is extremely soothing.

When I am near water, I feel like I can find my center.

This is just one more reason on the list of Why I Don’t Think I Can Live In New York Forever.

run33-41#8

There was even a tiny baby pier that jutted out into the water.

I was a total, sit cross legged, close my eyes, breathe deep, meditate-y nerd.

It was wonderful!

HAPPY RUNNING!

Cooking Adventures: Spaghetti Squash “Alfredo”

BEHOLD!

The greatest gift I will ever give humanity.

This is will probably remain one of my favorite things I will ever cook.

AND I made it up!

Now, I tend to cook in the healthy vain because I learned to love food when I was vegan for 3 minutes.

So anything that uses healthy ingredients but imitates something that is horrible for you.

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If you are a health conscious person, you must become familiar with spaghetti squash.

It is a vegetable that you can manipulate into tasting like pasta!

That is like finding out that you can cook cucumbers in such a way that they can taste like a Snickers!

I’m still working on that recipe…..

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And it is not SUPER difficult to do either. In some ways, it is a little therapeutic.

Not only do you get to stab the crap out of the yellow, head shaped vegetable (DAMN YOU FOR BEING GOOD FOR ME!) but you get to dig out the nasty seeds and strings. It is a murderous clean freak’s dream vegetable.

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When you are prepping your faux spaghetti you may start to doubt it’s delectibility from it’s firm consistancy.

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Now don’t get me wrong. It is not going to taste like Mario Batali just fished a fresh, hanmade piece of pasta out of his salty boiling water for you eat off of his fork to assure him it is ready or not. That would be a dream come true.

No. This is still a vegetable. But it is such an exciting substitute for the pasta you want to be shoving in your face every day.

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But you have will power. You make better choices the majority of the week so that you can indulge in a ridiculous lasagna and bottle of red wine on a night out.

And if you don’t, who cares? It’s your life.

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I can also warn you not to judge the consistency of the spaghetti squash as soon as you scrape it out of it’s squash exoskeleton.

Once you place it in the pan with some onions….

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…..and garlic, salt, and pepper…..

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….and a tahini sauce….it will give the “noodles” a much softer texture and the tahini sauce will make an incredibly creamy, savory, and tangy coating. The spaghetti squash itself peppers that combination of flavors with a hint of sweetness to make it an easy yet complex side dish. That is good for you!

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Spaghetti Squash “Alfredo”

1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Poke holes all around your spaghetti squash to help release the pressure from the steam.

3. Place spaghetti squash in a shallow baking dish and in the oven for 1 hour or until it is soft when you squeeze it. You may want to check on it after 30 minutes and turn it on it’s other side for even roasting.

4. When it is done, cut it in half, and extract the seeds. Be careful! It will be very hot and steamy when it comes out of the oven. You may want to let it cool a little before doing this.

5. Take your fork and scrape the insides of the spaghetti squash, creating the pasta like strands.

6. Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan on medium/high heat.

7. Add chopped onions and saute until soft (2-3 min).

8. Add garlic, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of pepper, and saute until soft (1-2 min).

9. Add two cups of spaghetti squash.

10. Add 3/4 of a cup of tahini sauce.

11. Mix until evenly covered.

ENJOY!

A Cooking Show Episode 9: Root Beer Oatmeal

Episode 9 of A Cooking Show is here!

It was such a joy to film another episode with the “Head Writer” on A Cooking Show, Josh Hurley!

As I have said before, Josh is a talented improviser and audible book reader in New York City.

If you live in the New York area, see him perform live every weekend at the National Comedy Theatre.

If you aren’t in the New York area, follow him on Twitter @joshuwhaaat.

Josh’s Root Beer Oatmeal recipe is a family tradition and quite an easy oatmeal recipe! Great to make with kids even!

It turned out delicious.

ENJOY!

And if you like A Cooking Show, SHARE IT! LIKE us on Facebook! Follow me (@rebecca_vigil) and A Cooking Show (A_Cooking_Show) on Twitter!