Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Behind the scenes

Check out this behind the scenes video from the Dallas Indie film The Playroom. It's 1975, do you know where your parents are?

Friday, December 24, 2010

In the spirit 2010

As I sit beside the fire with the Christmas aglow I am feeling warm and in the spirit as it were. I have been spending Christmas in Hot Springs, AR for about a decade now and every year I have begun to feel more and more a part of the Veteto/Neff holiday triditons. This year especially I feel as if I am a real partof the ritual. Over the years I have added to the traditions by bringing in a Praline cookie from Caroline Ellick, a homemade eggnog for Christmas eve, and a Cookie Tree that becomes the center piece for the table decor.

The sugar cookie recipe comes from Betty Crocker and while I do use all organic ingredients it's not really a healthy cookie, although it's sweet and delicious.

1-1/2c powder sugar
1c softened butter
1 egg
1tsp vanilla
1/2tsp almond flavor
2-1/2c all purpose flour
1tsp baking soda
1tsp cream of tartar

Cream together sugar and butter. Add egg and flavorings. Mix dry ingredients together and add to the rest. Refrigerate 2 hours.

Divide dough in half and roll out to 1/4 inch and cut into stars of varying sizes. I have a set of star cutters that dcerease in size just for this. Bake for 8-10 minutes until barely golden.
I used powdered sugar, a little milk, melted butter and food coloring to make a green icing. The icing served as a bonding agent to hold the stars together. So I just drizzled the icing between each layer and stacked them up.
After I stacked all the cookies up I then drizzled the reast of the icing over the top and allowed it to drip down and cover the cookies. Then I used colored sprinkles and non-parils to decorate the tree.

The top star I coated in yellow sugar (because I was too lazy to make more icing in yellow) and since Ian wanted snow I lined the base with marshmallows. Viola a holiday center piece that it nice to look at and serves as dessert.

Although I didn't do it, I'm sure you can make this tree with gluten free, dairy free, egg free cookies and toppings.

I just want to end today by sending warm wishes to everyone's hearth. As we move through the winter, having just past the solstice, may you all be warm and well nourished. May the deep winter spirits seep into you and help you gether energy for the coming spring. Happy Holidays!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What's up with drivers?

Recently I have added a lot of driving into my life. It's to be expected with my son working on a movie being shot in Dallas which is 40 miles away. He's loving being a part of the film and I feel good about that.

Unfortunately all of this driving has done nothing to quell the irritation I already felt about people who drive with reckless abandon. I just don't understand their thought process or rather lack of thought process.

For me, driving my car on the interstate is probably the most dangerous thing I do in my daily life. It's the one activity where one wrong move could end in the untimely death of both my child and myself as well any other motorist.

I do not think it's unreasonable to ask others to recognize the true facts that come with being a driver/commuter. To me the main factor with is driving is that once you enter onto the roadway your actions cannot be considered autonomous anymore. You are now part of a pack as it were. What you do in your vehicle no longer is just of concern to you, your actions can ultimately affect my life and that of others.

So as I maneuver through the aggressive tailgating drivers, the young texting drivers, the "I think I'm a racecar driver weave in and out to cross the finish line" drivers, the "don't you know that HOV means 'drive as fast as you want' lane" drivers, I often find myself bracing for the worst.

Now, I am by no means a perfect driver, and I realize that from time to time we all lose focus for a moment. We may unintentionally hit the gas a little hard, change lanes and not see the car in the blind spot, or just have a brain freeze. But I can't help wish more people would drive safely.

Luckily for me, folks here don't seem to favor the HOV lane (a huge truck for each Texan?) and so I can often cruise on down without too much trouble.

Well, I'm off again to brave the storm of the interstate...peace be with you as you cruise this holiday season and good driving to y'all.

Friday, December 10, 2010

the Playroom Movie

Check out my sweet boy's head shot. He's about to begin work on a new indie film in production called the Playroom. You can see more about the movie if you go to . The cast includes Molly Parker and John Hawkes and is introducing Olivia Harris.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Best Vegan Mac and Cheese Ever

I tried this recently at a potluck and it was awesome. So today I made it and it is still awesome. It's not my recipe but I found it online and I wanted to share it with all of you!!! Enjoy.

Best Vegan Mac and Cheese in the entire world...seriouslyIngredients (use vegan versions):

1 1/2 pounds pasta of your choice, preferably macaroni

"Cheese" Sauce: 1
1/2 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 cup water
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 (12-ounce) block of firm (not silken) tofu
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon vegesal or in lack of fancy product, just use salt
1 dollop mustard, optional

Directions:1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Boil water in a big pot and cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Add all of the "cheese" sauce ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Once pasta is cooked, drain and put it in the baking pan (about the size of a brownie pan). Pour the "cheese" sauce over the pasta.
3. Bake until the top of the pasta looks slightly browned and crispy, about 15 minutes, but not too crispy because that is gross. This is very simple and tastes amazing!I honestly do not know the serving information or nutritional content I can tell you it feeds a heck of a lot of people and if you are cooking for yourself it will last about 5 days if you eat it for all three meals of the day.Serves: a lot;

Preparation time: about 8 minutes; Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Friday, December 3, 2010


So, one of my goals this fall was to have continual frementation going on. I started about a monh ago or so and have been alternating between batched os kimchi and sauerkraut. I have been using the book Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz as my guide. He is a true genius when it comes to fermented foods and I hope you will check out his website at .

I started with a head of green cabbage from the local store and a few collard and mustard leaves from the garden.

I had about a T of salt. I have sort of taken Sandy's lead and try to just salt by feel.

In the fridge I had saved some finely sliced cauliflower stem and decided to add them to the mix.

After chopping up the cabbage into fine slices, I alternated handfuls of my brassicas with pinches of salt and, using my hands, massaged the salt into greens. Then I tightly packed it into my ceramic fermenting crock.
I just happen to have a small plate that fits perfectly into the crock and so I used that to weight the cabbage down and cause enough pressure to help the salt draw the moisture out of the cabbage.

Finally I coverd the crock and allowed it to set in a nice corner of my kitchen to ferment and turn delicious.