Wednesday, December 16, 2009

rolling with it

Do you have a life philosophy?  I'm not sure that I do, but if I did, it would probably be to allow myself to be swept along by any and all opportunities that cross my path.   This...shall we say...'pattern' has led me into some unusual situations over the years.  At age 8, I found myself taking African drumming lessons.  At age 12, I found myself enrolled in an experimental community-based junior high (where I met Kylie!).  At age 20, I found myself living with a family in Leon, Spain.  Last month, I found myself writing a cookbook for a local chef (whom I greatly admire).  And last Saturday, I found myself acting in a commercial for a bowling alley.

Yes, this post it about just rolling with it.

Perhaps I should explain.  A couple of weeks ago, I started a part-time job as a copy writer for an advertising/marketing agency.  It's been a totally awesome opportunity to write professionally and get into a whole new field, while still pursuing my culinary goals.  Last Friday evening, I got a call from my colleague asking that I come in half an hour early the next day and wear a suit.  Because my reception wasn't great, I couldn't quite hear the reason for the change in routine, but figured that we likely just had a meeting and I needed to look respectable.  Wrong.  Oh, how very wrong.

When I arrived at work the next day, I was informed that we were picking up and heading to a commercial shoot down at a local bowling alley.  It wasn't until I was asked to come take my place between two of the actors that I realized I was actually to be in this commercial.  For those of you who know me, this is hilarious for three reasons: 1) I absolutely cannot act, 2) I absolutely cannot bowl, and 3) I avoid being in the spotlight as much as humanly possible.  So, between the three, I was virtually perfect for the part.  Looking back on the 6 hours of shooting, I'd have to say my favorite scenes are the one where I'm wolfing down a hot-wing and high-fiving my colleague, and the one where I bowl a strike and then jump up in the air giving a thumbs up.  If you guys really promise not to tell anyone, I may even post the link to the commercial on this blog.  But really, it'd have to be our little secret.  Will you promise to keep this between you and me?

In other news, I decided to make something totally new for dinner tonight.

Have you ever had a nut-based sauce?  I'm sure you have, as they're pretty common in Indian and Central/South American cuisine.  Somehow, North America seems to be a bit behind the curve in the area of creating delicious, rich, savory nut sauces.  Anyhow, after whipping up a batch of Deborah Madison's Walnut Sauce, I am 100% hooked.  It literally took all of 5 minutes to make.  Best of all, you control exactly how much to thin it out, so it can serve as a dip, drizzle or anywhere in between, depending on how much water you add.  I tried slathering it on some sauteed chicken and drizzling it over roasted vegetables, both of which were whoa-ho delicious.  I'm not playing around here folks.  Go get yourself a bag of walnuts.  Go on, I'll wait.

Now that I'm officially addicted to the rich, round flavors of nut based sauces, I want to hear from YOU.  Have you come across any awesome nut-based sauce recipes to share?  Well, come on now, I'd love to hear 'em!

Walnut Sauce
from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

3/4 cup walnuts
1 small garlic clove
salt and white pepper
2-3 T extra virgin olive oil

Step one:  Using a mortar and pestal or a food processor, process the nuts and garlic into a thick paste.
Step two:  Slowly work in the olive oil.
Step three:  Season with salt and freshly-cracked pepper to taste.
Step four:  Thin with boiling water until you reach the desired consistency (I used about 1/4 cup).

Easy as that.


  1. I just recently rediscovered the wonder of adding nuts to savory dishes. As a vegetarian, I am always looking for interesting ways to add fat, protein and flavor (besides cheese. a person can really only eat so much cheese!). My mom makes a peanut based sauce with soy sauce and other stuff that she puts over soba or whole wheat spaghetti noodles. It was a neighborhood favorite growing up. Can't wait to try this sauce!

  2. That sounds delicious! Could you send me the recipe? Pretty please?



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Adriana Willsie and Kylie Springman ©2009