Monday, January 31, 2011

Appearing on "First Dollar Gross"

You know what I love about this? I started the show by saying I hated the trend toward vulgar rom-coms and ended it by singing Dave Chappelle's R.Kelly spoof, "P--s on You" with Damon Houx. Hey, I didn't say I oppose vulgarity, just bad movies that stab at vulgar humor and miss.

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Oscar Snubs, Surprises and Smaller Must-Sees

If you notice a hiccup in the piece, it's because they had to edit the part where I said, "The Town blew their wad by coming out too early in the year." It means to spend all your money too quickly or soon, not something dirty as some viewers apparently wanted to misconstrue it. Get your minds out of the gutter, people!

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Hungry for Love: "You Kissed a Pirate?" Edition, with Jalebi to Celebrate

This week, I kissed a guy wearing a choker. It wasn’t a long kiss or even a tongue kiss, but it was a kiss. And the choker was made of dark leather with a small ivory circle at the center. Yeah, not exactly, my proudest moment.

I started 2011 with the New Year’s resolution to kiss more cute boys and, up until Wednesday night, I’d failed miserably to uphold my pledge. While I still haven’t decided if this brief encounter fits the bill or not—like I said, homeboy was wearing a choker and the kiss was a milquetoast peck—at least it was some action and, considering my love life has been like a Haley’s Comet sighting recently, that’s a good thing.

With the exception of an old friend who got a little handsy at the after party for The People’s Choice Awards, the only male attention of note I’ve received dates all the way back to late-2010, when I ended up singing “Fat Bottomed Girls” and “November Rain” with a super tropical broad-shouldered, dirty blonde actor boy in a $2000 Hugo Boss suit, replete with cufflinks and tie clip, who was in town from New York to shoot an episode of CSI. We shared a PBR, a little over the shirt lovin’ and some tonsil hockey before going our separate ways, but not before I slipped him my number on the ever klassy damp paper bar napkin. I still think of him fondly whenever I hear Slash’s guitar solo.

Several months later, the time was nigh to make a new memory and what better way to ensure that'll happen than to find yourself in a bar on a weeknight where there’s a special on good beer?

In preparation for a photo shoot I have this week, I decided the best way to look good would be to eat as little as possible. That plan failed miserably. By 8:30pm on the first day, after twelve hours of trying to recreate Natalie Portman’s Black Swan diet of almonds, carrots and skim milk, I was ready to devour a hipster’s skinny jeans when I rolled into Bigfoot Lodge for their weekly trivia night. I’m a lightweight to begin with, but with nothing but ballerina shrapnel in my stomach to greet it, after one of their $4 Newcastles, guess who was buzzed like a 7th grader chugging Boones Strawberry Hill behind the gym? With no will power and a gurgling belly, what did I do? Sprint down the boulevard in my miniskirt and 5-inch platform granny-gone-tranny heels to India’s Sweets and Spices so I could buy a pound of Jalebi (to share with the group, I’m not that much of a heifer) in between trivia rounds.

If you’ve never have Jalebi, which is an Arabian sweet that’s served as a celebratory snack in India, think of it as Indian funnel cake. Swirled dough is fried and then soaked in rose water syrup, which makes them crispy, chewy and intensely sweet. A few of those, another pint of beer, and I was working a very nice sugar/barley high. I’m not tryin’ to say I was easy pickin’s…But, let’s be honest, I was easy pickin’s.

Perhaps that’s why, when one young feller, who happened to be sporting silver hoops in both ears (“Like a pirate?” a friend asked when I admitted my shame the next day), the aforementioned leather choker (which really isn’t okay unless you’re Jordan Catalano)...

...and a pair of very wide legged, light washed, possibly Carhartt-brand jeans (the kind on might wear to a Nickelback concert), asked for my number and went in for a kiss on the lips for a second time after I swerved and gave cheek on his first attempt, I acquiesced.

Sigh. I blame my extended drought, the cheap Newcastle and one too many Jalebi.

The next time I get a fever for the flavor, I think I’d better make them at home.

Jalebi Recipe

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
pinch saffron
1/4 cup plain yogurt
approximately 2 tablespoons-1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
a few drops orange food coloring

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons rose water

Vegetable oil for frying

To make the batter, mix flour, saffron and yogurt into a paste. Cover and let mixture sit and ferment overnight on the counter.

The next day, add just enough water to make the batter resemble slightly loose pancake batter. Stir in baking soda, cardamom powder and food coloring. Let sit while you prepare the syrup.

In a heavy bottom pan, combine sugar, water and rose water. Heat to a boil over medium high heat, reduce to medium and continue cooking another 20 minutes, stirring as necessary, until you have a thick sugar syrup.

Heat oil in a small deep fryer or heat bottomed skillet over medium high heat until it reaches 375 degrees. Stir batter and pour it into a squeeze bottle (an old ketchup bottle works great), ziplock or pastry bag and cut a small 1/2 inch opening.

Swirl the batter into the hot oil in a circular motion until you have a 2 to 3 inch round. Repeat and cook each Jalebi until lightly golden brown on each side, about 90 seconds-two minutes per side. Remove Jalebi from the fryer and dip in warm syrup before placing on serving platter or cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

Enjoy warm or cold.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The 2011 Tasty Awards

On the red carpet of the 2011 Tasty Awards, just before Private Chefs of Beverly Hills lost "Best New Show" to The Great Food Truck Race.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Golden Globes Recap on NBC's 11 O'Clock News

My post-Golden Globes rundown with Colleen Williams and Chuck Henry on KNBC's 11 o'clock news.

My insanely amazing hair and makeup? Done by the oh-so-genius Jose Cantu.

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TRON: Legacy Premiere Coverage

Very belated, here is a little tag-team "TRON: Legacy" premiere blue carpet action I did with the lovely Roth Jennings of ScreenRant. Identity Disc Battle!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ryan Gosling Talks "Blue Valentine" on Today in LA

Happy 2011! With three and a half hours sleep (as evidenced by my seriously busted 'do), I kicked off 2011 with an early morning appearance on NBC's Today in LA and a little chat with Ryan Gosling about his new film, Blue Valentine, a role I can almost guarantee with earn him another Oscar nomination.

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