life, love, a recipe & the rest.

Wowzers… been a while right?

What can I say? Just around the time of my last post, I booked a project which rolled into another project… and then another and another and before I knew it I was 5 months in & 13 jobs deep. It was a roller-coaster of a summer to say the least. After months of work, sleepless nights and a few tears I came away with new friends, a great sense of accomplishment and a store of new experience. I actually feel a tinge of confidence in my work now. I don’t come in to a new office with an unsettling fear that I will fail and disappoint the people who hired me (along with those who recommended me). It’s kind of great.

So now where am I?

Professionally, I’m working on a new project with a new PM and new Producer and entirely new crew. It’s a bit strange to come on to a set and not immediately recognize 50+ faces but… that’s the name of the game in commercial production (I was just spoiled by my golden summer).

Personally, I’m spending most of my free time playing video games on a couch I’ve grown extremely comfortable laying on, reading cooking blogs (smittenkitchen.com, amateurgourmet.com & thekitchn.com are my current favorites), and missing my family. All of the siblings are now spread out across the country with the singer and I still in LA, the actor in Davis, the photographer in Chicago and the baller (and littlest of all of us) studying her brain out in Tennessee. What’s worse than us all being spread out? It will be the first Christmas that we can’t all be together. In the past, there were times when some of us were in the Philippines for the holidays but this is truly the first time we don’t really have a choice in the matter. I love this time of year but this really will be a bittersweet Christmas.

“]

my amazing family (mia: photographer, baller & gopher)

Ok, enough sap for one evening.

The real reason I thought about posting is because of a picture of huevos rancheros I posted on facebook this past weekend. Backstory: On Sunday, I was whipping up the boyfriend’s favorites for breakfast (french toast, corned beef & hash + fried eggs) when I was at a loss as to what to make for myself. We’ve really been into Chopped lately so he decided to throw a “secret ingredient” at me which I had to use in my meal (though I really think he was just trying to get rid of something he bought by mistake). It was a can of El Pato’s salsa de chile fresco which translates to “roasted fresh chile salsa”.

After I popped open the can & tasted its contents [pretty much tastes like tomato sauce with a very large kick], all I wanted was to bring back memories of my mini-trip to Mexico and have huevos rancheros for breakfast. Not to toot my own horn, but they turned out pretty good. And apparently other people thought so too! Ever since I posted this picture, I keep getting messages about the recipe. So here goes…

Typically huevos rancheros is made with fried corn tortillas, fried eggs & tomato-chili sauce. Mine? I made it with whatever I currently had in the kitchen. This is a super simple recipe that involves cooking 4-separate parts which is then combined together on a plate.

Ingredients:
1 can of salsa de chile fresco
2 eggs
1 large flour tortilla
1 can of refried black beans
shredded monterey jack & cheddar cheeses
1/2 medium yellow onion (chopped)
butter
vegetable oil

Pre-heat the oven to 500ºF. Or if you’re not fussy like me, just set it to a high-broil. You’re just toasting tortilla’s after all.

Sauce:
I started by melting about a teaspoon of butter in a 3qt sauce pan. Once the butter had fully coated the bottom, I added the chopped onions and sautéed until tender then added the can of salsa de chile fresco. Bring sauce to a simmer and leave uncovered to reduce the sauce and thicken it. Alt: If you don’t care for onions, pour that bad boy into a microwave safe bowl and heat till warm.

Tortillas:
Cut up the tortilla into triangular bite-sized pieces. Toss them on to a baking sheet and pop ’em in your pre-heated oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until they crisp and brown. Alt: For extra crispy tortillas, sprinkle them with a bit of olive oil & salt to taste then mix with hands before toasting in oven.

Beans:
In a small skillet, coat the bottom with a bit of vegetable oil (I use stainless steel this is necessary but for you teflon folks, a teeny bit of PAM spray should do it) then add your can of refried beans (I prefer the black variety). Once it begins to soften, add a small handful of the shredded cheese. Continue heating until cheese melts, stir in & set aside.

Eggs:
This already a super heavy meal… so I used a non-stick pan with the teeniest bit of oil (I poured some on a paper towel and spread it on the fry pan), cracked two eggs in, added some salt & covered on medium-low heat until the whites were fully set. Alt: Poach em’, fry em’, boil em’—do it your favorite way… whatever’s clever loveys!

Plate:
Start with the tortillas — put them on the plate so that they sort of cover the bottom. Cover with the heated refried beans and then lay on those eggs. Pour the sauce over everything then sprinkle on a handful of shredded cheese.

ena's not-so-typical huevos rancheros

¡Provecho!

Bad Mamajama

Considering the shenanigans I pulled last night in combination with my early call time on location in far away Downey, the day was surprisingly smooth and painless. Granted I did stay on set until 9:30pm (oh my, do I do enjoy these back to back 16 hour days) and I still haven’t had the energy to go to the gym but at least I’m home and for the first time since last Thursday, sleeping in my own bed.

Oh bed, how I’ve missed you. ♥

Another early call time tomorrow and the same the day after that. AND THEN a day off (I think… I hope). I’m totally going to hike Runyon like a bad mamajama on Sunday. Who wants to come?

To all of those who partook in the green festivities today I hope you had mucho fun. SAFE fun. May you all have lovely, intoxicated dreams.

Kinda Sad Nic

Hectic day, but that’s not why I’m sad.

My lovely and dear friend Anna is leaving in a few hours to go back to NY and because of my and HER crazy work schedule I barely had any time to hang with her. So tonight we drank and were merry until 1AM.

And even though I have a 6AM call time in Downey—which really means I have to leave my house at 5AM [ugh]—the exhaustion I’ll feel on set will be totally worth it.

At least I MAY have a place to stay in the area so I won’t have to drive back and forth since the shoot days are Thursday through Saturday… here’s hoping.

And now I am to bed. Goodnight loveys. Hopefully in a few days I’ll have some time to write about something that’s actually interesting and not just fodder.

Umm…

My body is beat. And so is my brain.

I honestly don’t think I’m processing anything very well at the moment. Perfect night for an hour of couch potato-dom.

Seriously, no talking until tomorrow. At least not to another human being.

Nighty night blogosphere.

Lady Sunday

I had a completely girly day. It’s rare that this happens so I more than welcomed the day’s activities.

First brunch, then lounging at home with the cousin and German bestie, then sushi and sake, then shopping (with the two girls giving me crap for spending an iPad’s worth on clothes and shoes… but me not caring) and also Abs harassing a poor salesman with questions on whether he had restocked 5 minutes after he said he hadn’t and then again and again and again… What about now? And now? How about now?

Then we ended the night with dinner, drinks and a scary movie at home which also included Abs accusing me of being a druggie in front of my parents. Awesome. Funniest part… they didn’t give a rat’s ass besides asking Abs, What’s wrong with you? Lol…We watched the Deadgirl which was awful and might as well have been necrophiliac porn but at least we got to paint our nails while watching it, haha.

And now we’re watching an awful web series on Netflix and the wifey is here too. Kind of in love with this day.

Who needs a boy when I have ladies in my life that are this wonderful? ♥

Lightsaber Phone

Such a random day yesterday.

First I got stung by a bee. I’ve never been stung before and if I hadn’t seen the bee actually fall off my shoulder, I wouldn’t have known what it was. Everyone who’s ever told me it hurts like a mother wasn’t lying. It’s actually still throbbing now. I’m just glad I’m not allergic. I’ve always been terrified of bees mainly because I’m pretty allergic to mosquitoes and I never knew how I’d react to a sting from the black & yellow terror.

Kinda hard to see, but it looks like a bee gave me a hickey on my shoulder.

I was also abandoned at a production facility last night. I couldn’t figure out how to close the stupid huge garage sliding door thing, so for a majority of the 2-hours I was there by myself I was completely on edge—so much so, that while moving around some of the inventory I jumped at the sight of my own reflection. Honestly, I was such a little baby, it was kind of hilarious.

Creepy, right?!

And THEN my night started. First dinner at Midori, then drinks at The Local Peasant in Sherman Oaks, then more drinks at the Victorian in Santa Monica, then random after party at a friend of friend’s house whose name I never remember, though I do recall renaming him Clarence at some point. We kept it going until 5 in the morning at which point I absolutely had to call it a night… or a good morning. Whichever.

At one point during the evening I did happen to drop my phone and this morning I woke up to a lightsaber-like line going straight through the screen. I think it maybe time to buy a new phone? What do you guys think: should I try my hand at the iPhone 4 again (last time I shattered it a week after I got it) or get the Nexus S? Decisions, decisions.

One positive thing about last night was the bit of a boost my ego got. I’ve been feeling pretty crappy all week and admittedly a bit insecure which isn’t very like me, but the male attention I got throughout the night’s shenanigans definitely helped a bit. Not to say that I ever need the attention to feel good about myself… but every now and then when I’ve been feeling self-conscious and unattractive it’s nice to know I can still rock a room with my freakum dress, high heels and quick wit. Rawr.

Seeing the German playmate tonight! More drinking??? Body, can you take it?

Filleting Fishies & Monday Rock Outs

I filleted my first trout on Monday night. It’s probably something I should have known how to do long ago, but since I’m Filipino and we usually cook our fishies whole (head and all)—

Mmm... tilapia.

…I just never learned how to do it.

For my first time deboning an uncooked fish (it’s easy enough when it’s already cooked), I think I did a pretty swell job of it. I’m only writing about this because I absolutely need to share this recipe which I got from the Abs Diet for Women. It’s yummy, easy to make and most of all, it’s good for you! If you don’t want to fillet your own trout I’m sure you can ask the butcher at the market to do it for you (I was too shy/too impatient to wait so I grabbed a whole one instead).

What you need:

  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Cornmeal
  • Parsley
  • Trout fillet
  • Green beans
  • Sliced almonds
  • A frying pan
  • A steamer

Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Cover the flesh side of the trout fillet with cornmeal and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the trout flesh side down in skillet and cook on one side for 4 minutes, flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Plate and garnish with chopped parsley.

In a steamer, cook a cup of green beans (trimmed and cut into bite size pieces) for about 5 minutes. Toss with a teaspoon of olive oil, about 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds, and salt and pepper to taste.

And voilà… Delicioso dinner in under 10 minutes.

For you calorie counters: Calories 372, Protein 20g, Carbs 17g, Total Fat 26g, Saturated Fat 4g, Sodium 48mg, Fiber 5g.

I enjoyed it, my mom enjoyed it and so did my cousin, the self-professed “fat kid,” Abs. So if you like cooking, try it. I promise you won’t be disappointed (unless you hate fish… then sucks for you).

After we scarfed down our dinner we met up with Blue and his cousin to see Steel Panther at the House of Blues. I kept trying to figure out all night why they seemed so familiar until Blue pointed out that they used to be called Metal Skool. DUR. I used to go and see them all the time at Typhoon Saloon in San Diego. Oh the memories… only yesterday did I stand in that crowd of white chicks, short skirts and beer guts as the band spouted vulgarities and insults toward the crowd who loved every second of it. Not much has changed except they may have stepped up their antics just a bit. Or maybe I’m just shocked more now than I was back then. In any case, mucho fun and tomfoolery was had by all.

I'm obviously the blond one.

Now I have to prep my room for the arrival of my lovely and amazing German cohort who lands from NY tomorrow. Also keeping my fingers crossed that Missouri can make it into town as well. ♥

And then… GYM. I really need to find a consistent workout buddy *cough* Wifey *cough* to push me on days such as this when I feel sluggish and not at all in the mood for lifting weights and running my butt off. Gym, gym, gym. Do it, do it, do it.

K. ReadySetGo.

Side Note: I’m totally failing this month at the whole Post a Day thing. Kinda mad at myself, but life distracts (as always). I guess I’ll just have to try harder from now on. :)

Nic Stuff

Sorry for the disappearing act, World Wide Web. I needed a couple of days to get my head screwed back on. It’s not quite there yet, but it’ll have to do.

So updates: I totally failed on counting calories. The last 2 weeks working as a director’s assistant often left me way under my needed caloric intake which just left me feeling stressed out and defeated. On top of it, I didn’t feel very healthy and became rather OCD about my food journal and jotting down every single piece of food or drink that entered my mouth. I think I even gained weight. No bueno.

Instead, I’ve put myself on a balanced and healthy 6-meals a day plan which so far has been working much better. It’s high in protein, fiber, has a good amount of carbs for energy and just enough fats to help promote muscle growth. I’m almost through the Abs Diet for Women book and what I like most about it is that it really explains why carbs and fat are both good and bad for you depending on what types you eat. Most importantly, it contradicts all the dumb diet fads I’ve always been against for years: the low-fat, low-carb diets that actually end up making you gain weight in the end. There are many reasons why this happens but to put it simply, our bodies rebel against us when we aren’t giving them the nutrients that we need. When we put ourselves on low-fat diets or completely take out carbohydrates from out lives, our bodies adjust in order to store more fat so that we’re getting the energy we need for our day to day lives.

I totally cheated on the healthy diet this weekend using my friends in town as an excuse but I think it was worth it. Wilmar and Sarah, two of my closest friends from university (and also the most adorable couple on the planet) were in town to see the Tritones (my old a cappella group) compete at ICCA. I went with them and though the Tritones didn’t place, they seriously rocked the crowd. I’m so proud of them. Their sound now compared to how we sounded back then is rounder, cleaner and much stronger. Wanna hear me back when I was a little 21-year-old? Check, check, check it out:

Addicted – UCSD Tritones 2006-2007

After ICCA, we attempted to go to Mad Bulls but it was far too crowded. While I waited for them there I did have a run in with a Shakespeare looking fellow who asked me if I’ve ever acted and if I wanted to be in his movie. I couldn’t help but be snarky and ask him what kind of movie it was. He surprised me by saying it was a documentary about the dangers of obesity and that I would be used as one of the “beautiful” girls, lol. But let’s be real… he totally wants me to be in a nudie pic. I really wish I had kept his business card because the picture on it was hilarity at it’s finest.

Since Mad Bulls was a bust, we headed back to my place with frozen pizzas, gin, and whiskey where Black Dynamite was waiting for us on Netflix. If you haven’t seen the movie I highly recommend it. It’s one of those films that is made bad on purpose and it does SUCH a great job of it. I’m definitely going to watch it again.

I’d write more but I’m rather tired and I still need to head to the gym for a quick run before bedtime. Work tomorrow on a new commercial though I’ve yet to find out what the commercial is for. Schwing!

And That’s a Wrap

The shoot finished up yesterday. I spent the entire day in and out of sleep, answering a few work emails but mainly reading and decompressing. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the last 2-weeks of craziness so no real post today. No real anything today. I think this is the least productive I’ve been in a very long while, but it was absolutely necessary.

Gym time then sleep time.

Until mañana!