New Episode Tomorrow!

I’m super excited to announce that I’m releasing a second episode of the Starving Artist tomorrow on Youtube! If you still haven’t seen my first show, check it out here! The new recipe is a clever and indulgent treat that you can throw together in no time and your friends will adore. I’ll be linking the video here with the recipe. Tune in!

Berry Salsa and Chips

A bonus recipe for Friday! Yay! Here’s the last creation I want to share from Labor Day. This time of year berries are wildly cheap and abundant. If you recall my trip to the farmer’s market, I bought a whole lot of strawberries for $5. The problem is that they don’t keep very long, so I wanted to come up with a recipe that would use a bunch of them all at once. The idea of a salsa came to me. I had some blueberries in the fridge, so I decided to dice two pints of the strawberries very fine along with about the same amount of blueberries. I tossed them with a bit of agave syrup, about two teaspoons of chopped fresh mint (careful, it’s potent stuff), a pinch of salt, and a dash of vanilla. I served it in a bowl topped with some sweetened ricotta cheese (just mix it with some powdered sugar). The combination of fruit and the soft cheese is really incredible. I actually wanted to use marscapone cheese, but Trader Joe’s was apparently out that day. It’s an ingredient that is available at pretty much every market nowadays, but it can be a bit expensive. Trader Joe’s has by far the best prices for all dairy products and since I’m the starving artist and didn’t feel like going on a crusade for some friggin cheese, I decided to go with Trader Joe’s fresh ricotta. It actually worked quite well.

Now this recipe is quite simple as I was sticking to what I had on hand, but you could easily modify this with any fruit, citrus, zest, and even spices you like. But whatever you do, you’re going to need chips. The chips I made for this was phenomenal, in fact I ate many without the dip. Here’s what you do. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Melt a half stick of butter in a bowl in the microwave. Cut 6 taco-sized flour tortillas into 8 triangles each (just like a pizza). In a separate bowl combine 2 tablespoons of sugar with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Take one of the tortilla slices, brush each side with a bit of butter, then toss into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place your chips in a single layer on a half-sheet pan that’s been greased with a bit of non-stick spray. You’ll likely need two pans for this many tortillas. Bake in the oven until deeply brown and crispy, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool for a bit before eating to allow them to crisp fully. These chips are delicious with all kinds of dessert applications. We were spreading them with nutella and then topping them with the ricotta and fruit. Ridiculous.

Happy Friday!

A-Bowling I Go

Hello, friends! I hope you haven’t given up on me. I’m devastated that is has been OVER a week since I’ve posted last. The truth is I have been utterly entrenched in composing for a very well done indie feature featuring Danny Glover – I know, super cool, right? Today at 12noon I finally finished all my editing and delivered it to my mixer Zach, who will spend the weekend making it sound fantastic before delivering the final product to the dub stage on Tuesday. Needless to say, I’m feeling quite freed and relieved.

And what better way to celebrate than to go bowling. And I don’t mean bowling with pins and a large black ball – no no. When the starving artist goes bowling, he goes to the Hollywood Bowl to see a concert. And in fact this weekend’s show is very special: it’s the annual John Williams concert. John is one of my heros and as such I have made it a point to see him at the bowl every year since moving here. This year is my fourth… really hard to believe.

One of the best parts about going to the bowl is not only can you get really cheap seats, it’s a completely open outdoor venue, which means you picnic with as much wine and food as you want. Since I’m going with a large group I elected to bake a chocolate pound cake, my very first pound cake, in fact. I was watching food network yesterday and I swear like three different shows were making some version of pound cake. So I thought, well sh*t, I should make a pound cake. I actually had ulterior motives since I also wanted something to eat with the blueberries sitting in my fridge… more on that later.

In any case, this was a Paula Deen recipe that turned out quite well. I added in about two cups of chocolate chips just to bring it completely over the top. There is SO much one can do with a pound cake – I’ll be sharing more recipes in the coming days. But for now, off to the bowl to relax and hear some of the music that has inspired me to do what I do.

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! More coming your way soon!

Grilled PB & J

So I was feeling in the mood for something a bit indulgent, but I was not in the mood to buy anything that would inevitably cause me to overindulge. I wanted to indulge while maintaining my self respect – always important. The local gourmet has grilled cheeses on Wednesday nights, but one of those were not in the budget for me this week (despite how gooey and delicious they are). At home I had a loaf of bread in the fridge… but I was in the mood for something sweet. And besides I had no cheese. Further perusing of the fridge revealed a jar of organic peanut butter as well as a jar of blackberry preserves. Grilled PB & J? I think so. The only thing different from making a regular grilled cheese (that is, in a cast iron skillet with plenty of butter) is that once each side was sufficiently browned and buttery, I sprinkled on some cinnamon and sugar, flipped it over, and cooked it for an additional minute just to caramelize the sugar a bit and blend in the flavor. Not gonna lie, it was absolutely outstanding – a true starving artist treat. I could do an entire week of posts on creative grilled sandwiches… but for the good of my health and well being I’m going to stop here… for now.

Maple Butter Pecan Milkshake

When the weather is really hot like this, there is nothing more satisfying than ice cream. Admittedly I come from a long line of ice cream lovers, so whether it’s 100 degrees or 10 degrees, I want ice cream. Everywhere.

At the grocery store today I was, naturally, gawking at the ice cream freezer and noticed that Breyer’s half gallons were on sale. Dangerous. I was in the mood for a milkshake, but I am over the traditional choices of vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. I was fixated on Rocky Road until I saw the Butter Pecan. Honestly I don’t even remember when I last purchased butter pecan ice cream. On its own it’s kind of a wimpy flavor. But pecans always make me think of maple (I don’t know why) and upon thinking that I immediately realized the milkshake potential of this flavor.

So here is what I did:

  • 2 Scoops of ice cream
  • 1 1/2 cups of vanilla almond milk (always in my fridge)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 scoop of almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of allspice

Blend this together for an amazingly cool, rewarding summer treat. Yay!