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(Attempted) Blog Reboot #4296.

Oh internet, where has the time gone?

Do we all remember that time where I wanted to say things about what life was like for an actor just starting (or a postgrad, or a student studying abroad)? Good times. That’s going really well. I literally have a draft sitting here from November of 2014. Way to go, Walker. Way to go. I always get about three posts in and get busy. Then I forget about this promise that I made to myself. The original goal was to be more creative by putting pen to paper, albeit in electronic form.

No one’s perfect. Forgetting to write and drowning in binge-watching things is just one of those things that I’m going to have to learn how to forgive myself for.

Maybe this time it will be about how I’m winning at adulting. Maybe it will still be a food blog sometimes. Maybe it will be random videos of my pets. Maybe I’ll write about my day job(s). Maybe I’ll just ramble nonsensically for 100 or so words a week. Who’s to say?

I’m also just proud of my redone website, and I might have recent performance videos.

Hugs and love, chat soon!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Since I’m terrible about actually updating this blog, and I’ve been really into cooking for the past few weeks, I’ve decided to throw my adventures in cooking up here.

Now in my last update (almost a year ago, way to go Walker) I talked about last year’s new year’s resolution to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle. Sure there have been pitfalls, and I definitely stopped paying attention over the holidays.  But by and large, I’ve done pretty well.  Even with falling off the wagon from September-December, I’m a solid 24% lighter than I was last year. I finished my first 5k in mid-November, and then did two over Thanksgiving weekend with an average finishing time of 32 minutes.

Part of what’s made sticking with this easier is that I have found more healthful ways to enjoy things that I like.  Toward that end, I give you, cauliflower crust pizza.  It’s pretty tasty!  Flavor wise, it’s still cauliflowery but it’s also cheesy, and very filling. It’s a great low-carb, grain free pizza crust alternative.  You can still put whatever healthy or unhealthy toppings you like on the crust.  I use the recipe from the food network website  with a few little tweaks and it’s turned out quite well the two times I’ve tried it.

 

It was way more filling than a normal slice of pizza and it turned out really well!  The key is being patient and pressing as much water as possible out of the riced cauliflower.  I don’t have a steamer basket with holes small enough for the riced cauliflower not to fall through, so I lined the bottom of a colander (that fits really tightly on top of one of my pots) with two paper towels and that worked beautifully.  It’s not pizza that you can pick up, fork definitely required, but it’s a pretty reasonable semi-healthy alternative!  This recipe, in theory, only yields one crust, but today I got two out of mine.  I pressed the dough pretty thin and into rectangles.  This recipe is just seven ingredients and is pretty foolproof.

Finished Pizzas

1 head cauliflower, stalk removed
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Cauliflower+ Food Processor
It’s pretty awesome.  Yay Santa!

Parchment Paper
Cookie Sheets (or pizza stone)
Food Processor
Oven (preheated to 400 Degrees F)
Cooking time (including ingredients) about 40 minutes.

I found this idea forever ago but hadn’t made it because I didn’t own a food processor, but for Christmas I got a Ninja.  Thanks, Santa! Start by breaking the florets off the stalk of the cauliflower and putting it into your food processor.  Pulse the florets until the cauliflower is thoroughly riced.

image3
Works like a charm

Now you need to steam the cauliflower in a steamer basket.  Don’t have one of those?  Me neither.  However I do have a colander that I can put on top of a pot with a lid that fits pretty tightly.  To keep the riced cauliflower from slipping though, I lined it with paper towels. Let it steam for 5-7 minutes.

After that’s done, you need to drain all the liquid from the cauliflower.  Press as much water out as possible!  Line a bowl with a clean dish towel (or with more paper towels) and pour the cauliflower into the bowl.

Then set it aside to cool.  Or if you’re an impatient person like me, you can put the bowl into the freezer for a bit. While the cauliflower is cooling, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

After it’s cooled, combine the cauliflower with the beaten eggs, cheese, and spices.

Transfer the dough to a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and press it into a pizza shape.  Pop it in the over for 20 minutes.

Then top with your favorite stuff, and bake for an additional 15-25 minutes.

Done.  Super easy.  All told, this will probably take you two hours, including cooling and cooking time.

Here are the nutritional facts for this crust recipe, using skim, low-fat mozzarella, and cutting it into 12 pieces.

Nutrition Facts
Servings 12.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 42
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2 g 3 %
Saturated Fat 1 g 4 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 38 mg 13 %
Sodium 119 mg 5 %
Potassium 228 mg 7 %
Total Carbohydrate 4 g 1 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g 7 %
Sugars 2 g
Protein 4 g 7 %
Vitamin A 1 %
Vitamin C 54 %
Calcium 5 %
Iron 3 %

Thanks for reading!

Maggie Leigh

I’ve got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire

Well obviously my resolution to write more is going REALLY well.  And if I’m being honest here, I’ve written about 20 versions of this post since Christmas and nothing has come out quite right.  So here goes:

I sent 2013 out and run 2014 in with a whisper.  At the stroke of midnight, I’d been sound asleep for a solid half hour having gone to bed early with a migraine.  After the way the year went, it seemed like a fitting way to send it out.

2013 was the year of Church Basement Ladies 2, one of the cheesiest and strangest shows I’ve ever been a part of with the best group of people.  Sitting around the kitchen table in the white house running lines or having discussions about the most random topics, spying on the world through the back window, laughing until we cried on a regular basis, broadway walks, shopping trips, and the random hijinks we got into onstage.  2013 was the year more jobs than I like to count fell through and I spent the summer feeling lower than I’ve felt in a long, long, time.  It was the year I learned to play the ukulele.  It was the year I got a big-girl day job with actual vacation time.  Every time something good happened, I waited for the other shoe to drop.  And it always did, because I was waiting for it to.  It was the year I spent the end of summer and fall vacillating between incandescent happiness and sheer terror.  It was the year I opened up again for the first time in a long time.  It was the year I questioned everything and changed nothing.  It was the year of 10 year friendiversaries.  I met friends I hope to keep for the rest of my life.  I met some people who I wish the best of luck in the world, but if I never see them again it will be too soon.  It wasn’t the hardest year I’ve ever had, but it SURE AS SHIT wasn’t easy either.

With the smell of baked cookies hanging in the air, and small missed pieces of torn up wrapping paper still littering the floor of my family room in the days after Christmas, I found myself very pensive.  I started thinking about where I am in my life, what I wanted to do in the next year, and what my new years resolutions would be. Feeling particularly bored and unimaginative, I stuck to the old stand by resolutions.  I’m going to write more!  I’m going to sing every day, no excuses!  I’m going to get back into dance class!  I’m finally going to lose weight!  This is an ongoing theme for me.  Every year, I privately make these resolutions, because in my heart of hearts I know I won’t stick to them.

…Except for the part, where this year, one of them stuck.

Today I sit here exactly 25 pounds lighter than I was when I last wrote, and 29 pounds lighter than I was weighing in on a regular basis last fall.  For the first time, probably ever, I’ve (knock on wood) actually stuck to my new year’s resolution for two whole months.

Just after Christmas, I bought myself a Fitbit and an Aria scale.  Seemed logical at the time.  I am so involved with my phone.  Why not try an app, or rather things that sync with an app?  This way, I could hold myself accountable for how active, or inactive I was being.  I just wanted to pay attention.  A few people I know had them and had sung it’s praises.  It is small and unobtrusive, I can hook mine onto my bra and no one is ever the wiser; I usually forget I’m wearing it.

I committed to using everything about the support that Fitbit provides.  The food, activity, and sleep trackers, etc.  I wasn’t going to do a crash/fad diet, or some crazy workout plan designed to make me miserable.  I wasn’t going to set some unrealistic timeline for this to happen in.  All I wanted to do was pay attention, and hold myself accountable.  I started a couch to 5k program to get in my daily “active minutes.”  I was all about anything that felt like a manageable change.  Something that I could maintain even if I was in a show and crazy busy.

Now, fitbit does make you set a number for a weight loss goal.  I picked some esoteric number that put me in the “healthy BMI range.”  Something that will make a doctor stop looking at me and saying “have you thought about your weight?”  To which my mental reply is always “BITCH, OF COURSE I’VE THOUGHT ABOUT IT, I JUST GOT DONE CHATTING WITH YOU ABOUT MY ACTING CAREER.” And yes, I do yell it, mentally.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my coworkers/friends asked me why I wanted to lose weight.  Why now?  And I didn’t have a good answer for her.  I replied that it was just time.  But it made me think about what’s really held me back from doing this before and why I’ve stuck with it this time.  Being an actor, more specifically, a musical theatre actor, we are constantly told about “type.”  Are you a character or an ingenue?  Are you quirky? Are you sexy or innocent?  Are you a mom or a kid?  Are you a diva role?  Good or evil?  Where do you “fit?”  What roles would you be good for?  For my entire life I’ve been the chubby, quirky, character girl or, as I call it, the fat sassy broad type.  Often the “bad guy,” a mom (or grandmother), or diva roles.  I can belt my face and land jokes with the best of them.  I’m a great mover and I’ve got the acting training to round it all out.  That’s my package.  I’m comfortable with it.  Changing body type would mean changing character type and being in a whole different set of competition that I wasn’t sure I could hack.  It’s the same reason I dyed my hair for so long, I was afraid of what I’d find out if I stopped.  And for some reason, I’m not afraid anymore.  I keep coming back to this quote that one of my Church Basement Ladies turned me on to:

“My dear,
In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.

Truly yours,
Albert Camus”

And that’s what I’ll leave you with today, friends.  Thanks for reading!
Maggie Leigh

Let’s Start at the Very Beginning…

Hey there internet friends!  (Is that too much?  Are we friends? You seem like a nice person, let’s be friends. There, sorted.)

As you may, or may not know, I recently moved my internet home over to a kindergentler, simpler webhosting platform; and the fact that it came with a blog was a big motivating factor in the move. Writing is one of those tasks that always seems to be on my “I’ll get to that! …eventually…someday….” list; but it is something I genuinely enjoy when I get into the swing of it.  These days, time always seems to get away from me, and taking the few minutes every day (or even every week) just doesn’t seem to happen.  This is something that I hope to be better about in the coming year.  To help myself get into the habit, I’m going to be relying on some prompts to help me out.  To kick everything off, I’m going to start with the 10 questions that James Lipton asks his guests on Inside the Actor’s Studio.  I figured it would be appropriate. 

  1. What is your favorite word?
    Flibertijibbet.  YEAH. COME AT ME.  It makes me smile.  I am a big. giant. nerd. Close second, collywobbles, because it makes me snicker every single time.
  2. What is your least favorite word?
    Wait.  Patience is one of those virtues that I’m really not good at yet, I’m going to figure it out someday when I grow up.
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
    Creatively: Honesty.  Nothing enraptures me more as an artist than experiencing a truth through art as both an audience member and performer.  It can be as simple as a character in a play reminding you of someone.Spiritually: Love.  New or old.  Feeling love for a friend or family member.  Getting butterflies about a crush.  Ending up truly, madly, deeply…ass over teakettle for someone for reasons I can’t quite explain.  Falling in love with new material.  Needing love when I’m feeling lost.  God is Love. Unconditional Love.

    Emotionally:  Kindness and laughter.  They’re a good person AND they can make me laugh?   I’m done.  I want to be their best friend, we’re in love, it’s fine.

  4. What turns you off?
    Creatively:  Discourtesy.  Now, don’t get me wrong here.  I can take my lumps and I have a healthy respect for people in positions of authority.  I’m talking about when people deliberately mislead you.  When someone puts you down behind your back or in front of other people in such a way that you know their “criticisms” are meant as insults.  You have to give respect to get respect.Spiritually: Intolerance or hate.  There’s no place for it in my spirituality.  All I want is the love.

    Emotionally:  Avoidance.  I’m sorry bro, doesn’t matter what kind of relationship we have.  Please respect my feelings enough to come out with it already.

  5. What is your favorite curse word?
    Fuck.  That fricative combined with the hard k? Mmm, perfection.  Honorable mentions: twatwaffle and tool.  Those aren’t really curse words, per se.  But I like them a lot.
  6. What sound or noise do you love?
    The ocean waves breaking against the shore.
  7. What sound or noise do you hate?
    Slamming doors.  It sets my teeth on edge.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
    Developmental Psychologist.  That was the only other thing that I was ever really fascinated by.
  9. What profession would you not like to do?
    Waiting tables turns me into a stressed out shell of a person.  Cocktail waiting, I’m good.  But full service waiting tables?  I’m just miserable night after night.
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
    “A for effort!  Come on in.  Gang’s all here.”

Thank you for reading!
Maggie Leigh

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