Archive | September, 2012

cooking school — day 6 — MEAAAAAT

19 Sep

God. Cooking meat, real meat meat, not the chickens THAT I LOVE but just aren’t…I dunno…meat…you know what I’m saying….I don’t even know what I’m saying, is just so….coooooool. It’s a feeling of intense pride that I just don’t get from roasting a chicken, ok??? Perhaps because it’s kind of foreign to me in my little home kitchen. Something I am just used to ordering at fawn-cy restaurants, done by real chefs. Now, when I’m sitting around, brainstorming dinner, my thoughts won’t just automatically go to another way to season chicken or marinate a steak. It goes to porkchops, crusted lamb, steak au poivre. And whatever else these people are willing to teach me. And not just because I want to “challenge” myself (I do that sometimes with difficult, tedious cookbooks…the ones where every ingredient is a recipe from a different page and makes you want to shoot yourself in the face). Truth is, NONE of these were a challenge at all.

So awesome.

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17 Sep

What’s that you say? You brought fake eyelashes to Kuwait? You fucking bet I did.

Thank you to my love Nicole for these pictures. @NicoleFasolino on twitter and marvel at her beautiful blog here:


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cooking school — week 1

17 Sep

Just thought I’d take some pictures each day and show you what we’ve been up to! No recipes to post, but if you want to ask any questions, lemme know — these tasks and meals are all about technique! Obviously we had a lot of fun with chicken. I can now break down a chicken (never hitting the bone, ahem) like nobody’s business. Whatever that means.

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Fried Chickennnnnnnnnn

16 Sep

I have 3 favorite dishes.

Scalloped potatoes. Preferably my mom’s.

Chicken pot pie. Preferably Ina’s orrrr who am I kidding, Marie Callender’s.

Fried chicken. Preferably John’s.

One of the hardest and best things about school is that they’re trying to teach me to be inventive and more creative. Basically it’s obvious I love cooking, and love cooking other people’s recipes. But it’s time for that to change. Time to create and have recipes that people post and credit (maybe) to meeeee!? The idea seems insane to me but it’s actually a really fun process. Recipe writing seems scary and stressful and is notttt exactly something I am excited about. But the team I have is absolutely wonderful and I learn every. Single. Day.

The other day, we came up with the idea to jazz up fried chicken. Also, since I try to be low carb, maybe a flourless option? Kinda pointless, as fried chicken really isn’t too high in carbs — it’ll just shut your heart down and clog your arteries — but hey, why not explore different ways and have fun just for the hell of it?

Out came the pork rinds. We tossed a couple bags of them into the food processor and seasoned with salt, pepper, and some random spicy seasonings we tossed in without too much thought. Thennnn we popped the buttermilk and hot sauce marinated chicken into the ground pork rind mixture to coat.

Then straight into the fryer.

Aw fuck. As you can see from that naked ass wing tip, nothing stuck. But what was fried up, crumbly and salty and left behind, was totally deliciouso.

Upon tasting it, we knew this failed experiment would have to go somewhere. So we tried again, this time rubbing the pork rind mixture onto the marinated chicken and tossing it in the oven. The result, drizzled with a little sweet chili sauce, was AWEEEEEEEEESOME.


Anyhoo. No recipe yet but an interesting idea that I want to continue to toy with. Maybe throw some cooked bacon in with the pork rinds in the food processor? Cheese? Maple syrup? Bourbon? Bacon with bourbon? Wrap the entire chicken in prosciutto then coat? AHHH the possibilities are endless.

LET’S TALK FRIED CHICKEN. Your best tips, marinades, restaurants. Any ideas you want me to test out? This….these are the tasks I can stick with 🙂



Grilled Green Onion Chicken Teriyaki Skewers? Clearly I made that up.

16 Sep

I am really bad at recipe / blog post titles. I always wanna get extra detailed so you know what you’re in for, but then I end up sounding like a used car salesman.

Anyhow, I was gettin my nails did and came across this lovely Paula Deen recipe in People magazine. This was post-diabetes scandal, hence the seemingly healthiness of this recipe. And PS. I have an important shoot in October. One that will make cooking school ABSOLUTELY PAINFUL. Seriously. All day long, people just bring you shit to try and give your feedback on. “Chrissy, what do you think about this shrimp slider? Is the bread too soft?”. “Chrissy, is this Korean nacho platter too sweet?”. GET AWAY FROM ME, DELICIOUS MONSTERS!

Never trust a skinny chef. I don’t want to be sending food away with the wave of my hand — that’s just not me. I try EVERYTHING. But something I DO have to believe in, for the next few months at least, is a fit, happy person. So I’m working on it. The balance of food happiness, fulfilling all your cravings while remaining sexy and healthy. Recipes like this don’t hurt….this is yummy, I swear. The  prep is quick, the chicken is moist and flavorful and the grilled green onion provides a nice little bite. And let’s face it. Sriracha hot sauce makes everything better.

I made a ton and kept em in the fridge to snack on before bedtime. With my nuts and dried berries. God dieting turns you into a fucking rabbit / squirrel. Basically the lamest animals at the zoo.

Ridiculously easy recipe here!




16 Sep

I don’t know what to say.

Last post was July 13th. Now, this blog has been randomly deserted a few times, for…at the most….a couple weeks. But this is unacceptable! To be honest, I’ve come here sooooo many times, with every intention of posting what I’ve been making or just plain telling you what I’ve been up to. But I wouldn’t have the right photos, or just realized I was posting just to post. Rushed, hurried, thrown together. I don’t want it to be like that…

Anyhow. I’m here. And I am so, so happy. I read the comments and see that a lot of you resorted to going back into the archives to read some of the earlier posts. Very cool, seriously.

My dream for this blog is to just have it be something you guys enjoy, and something I enjoy doing. I never want ads, don’t want to get paid to push products. I want this to be a cool little community where we can all talk about what we love, share stories, and ideas. And thank you for sticking with this. I know it is SO poorly organized — mostly just links to other recipes, no tags, no sections. As someone who is such a blog snob, I can’t believe I run with this. But I am glad you’re here and I promise, promise it will get better!

So, man….since July, a lot has been happening. I landed my first big TV job, hosting Model Employee on VH1. 8 models competing to be the face / spokesmodel for Mandalay Bay in Vegas. I suppose I am like the Tyra, if Tyra wasn’t a judge? Anyhow it was a freaking awesome experience. I think I got the news 2 or 3 days before I had to pick up and move to Las Vegas. John was taping the finale of Duets (a season finale that turned into the series finale, god dammit), and I got a phone call from my wonderful agent, Sharon. I ran into the makeup room, genuinely shocked. I think Kelly Clarkson looked at me like I was some kind of workplace shooter, about to lose my shit. I said, “I got it!! I got it. I got it.” and fell into ugly tear face mode.

I know it seems stupid to cry over that but I dunno, your first job, your first realization that you can move on from being a silent mannequin, that people like you and want you and gasp, want you to speak. That was pretty cool. Most of this industry is being told no. No because of the tone of your voice, the shape of your body. No because you don’t know the right people, have the right experience. You don’t go to school because you have your body and face to depend on for a bit, then you use that up and realize you probably should have gone to school. You just wait around for someone to take a chance on you. So it’s really cool when someone does. I am very lucky.

We had our wrap party for Model Employee at Mandalay Beach. John came, to both celebrate and drive me, the doggies, and my boxes home to Los Angeles, in the morning. “You deserve to party! I’ll come and take care of you in the AM!”. Here’s a fun fact about John. If you have a special night of any sort, JOHN WILL GET HAMMERED BEYOND BELIEF.

He will take your drink and raise you 5 of them. My birthday? I went to the bathroom, after jokingly requesting that John please not be at Jessica Alba’s table telling her how much I love her when I got back. I leave the bathroom? Oh. Where’s John? High fiving up a storm with Jessica Alba, and later giving me a birthday shout out from the DJ booth, saying “my girlfriend wants to bone Jessica Albaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!”. At the wrap party, let’s just say I had to drive 4.5 hours with 2 bulldogs on my lap with John slouched dead in the passengers seat. Now, this does not at all happen at John’s big life events. Just yours. It’s very odd.

We (I) drove right into LA from Vegas, dropped off my boxes and the pups, and went to LAX to pick up my parents for my sister’s wedding. She had a small wedding in Laguna Beach at the Montage resort…….and it was just amazing.

And I’m sure you all feel like you know my parents if you follow my twitter feed. They are awesome.

We stayed in LA for a couple weeks, then I brought them to NYC because I needed to start cooking school. That’s right. I am in cooking school.

The first week of school happened to be New York Fashion Week. So I’d butcher chickens by day, go straight to the salon and get ready to giggle and smile and nod at questions about people I know nothing about. It’s interesting.

And then…I went to Kuwait for a USO tour with my dear Brooklyn. It was eye-opening, life changing, wonderful, sad, amazing. An experience I am lucky to have had.

Came back yesterday, now celebrating my anniversary here at the Glenmere Mansion in Chester, NY. Absolutely gorgeous. Excited to be even in the vicinity of home. Which, by the way, will only be my home for a few more weeks. Soon we will be moving into a hotel (NO KITCHEN??) and waiting to move into our new apartment. Just typing it exhausts me. Oh, and it’s our 6 year anniversary. He still amazes me, loves me, frustrates me as much as he did years ago.

So coming up? More school. Every day.

Wedding planning. Swimsuit shoots (fuck, seriously??) and fingers crossed on a few more shows. More blogging, of course. I want to share what I am doing in school. Although, school mostly consists of technical things. Chopping, terms, basics — we aren’t too focused on recipes yet. For now, all the recipes I’ll be posting will be from the past few months. Simple and delicious, as usual. I will try to post as many photos from school as possible but don’t be mad that there aren’t any recipes. Eek!

My goal is to do a daily post of what I did in class, and the best thing I learned all day. Is that okay? Ah I hope it is.

All I know is that it’s nice to be home. I missed you guys. I really did.