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New Blog Website! Renew Your Email Subscription!

30 Dec

Hi Awesome Followers!

In case you haven’t heard I’ve switched to a NEW website! You can now find me at my own domain: www.actinglikeachef.com Head that way and be sure to renew your email subscription so you don’t miss any exciting updates in 2015!!! It’s going to be a great year!!!!! Happy New Year!!!

Love,

Sarah Allyn Bauer

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Comic Con and Hall H

29 Jul

Comic Con 2014 was my first Comic-Con. I was there networking for a film I’m producing Wraith of Love. Not that I haven’t followed it in previous years or never been to another convention, but San Diego Comic-Con is something special. And in the last 6 or 8 years it has become a pop culture phenomenon, causing so much fan frenzy that convention goers stand in line for hours, many even sleeping outside of the convention hall the night before to get into Hall H the following morning. Keep in mind that Hall H holds about 6,500 people, but at some point in the Comic Con rise to fame, fans were so worried about not getting up early enough to stand in line that they started sleeping outside.

Hall H Hobbit Panel 2014

Inside Hall H during the Hobbit panel 2014.

You heard me right, people sleep outside of a convention hall of their own free will to sit with 6,500 other fans to see a sneak peek of a movie. This is one part of the fan experience that I have never understood. And while sleeping outside for a movie isn’t exclusive to Comic Con, I feel like it’s the ultimate showing of this “commitment” and there was a particular incident on Friday night that just rubbed me the wrong way.

Hall H line at Comic Con 2014

The line outside at night for Hall H at Comic Con 2014.

It was a little after 8pm on Friday night and my friend Susan and I were walking past the convention center to attend an art show and network event. As we walked by the grassy knoll where the line for Hall H is during the day we saw it filled with fans spreading out their sleeping bags and staking their claim of a small piece of land to sleep on. I asked my friend if this was indeed the infamous Hall H sleeping line and she said YUP!  I proceeded to have a small rant about how I couldn’t understand any movie being so important that people feel the need to sleep outside to be the first to see the trailer. My friend was very nice and let me rant. But this wasn’t the worst part.

After the art show we came back towards the convention center to meet friends for drinks at one of the hotels. The line for Hall H had grown and my rant came back. As we continued to walk there was also a line of fans setting up outside the exhibit hall doors on the concrete sidewalk. We asked if they were also waiting for Hall H and this young woman said quite indignantly, “No, we just want to get into the convention tomorrow for panels in Ballroom 20 and autograph signings. There’s more than just Hall H you know.” We couldn’t believe it. But seeing this display of “fandom” got me really upset. Every single person who had chosen to sleep outside that night had made the choice willingly, while there were just as many people (if not more) in the downtown San Diego area that were sleeping outside that night out of necessity. They didn’t have a home or a hotel room with a bed lying empty. And they were lucky if they even had a sleeping bag, let alone a pillow and an extra blanket. And for the fans who had paid for a hotel room that night all I could think was that money could have gone to a charity to help the homeless.

Homeless in San Diego

Homeless in San Diego

Many times we take for granted the simple comforts we have, like pillows and blankets. We’ve all been guilty of it. Hell I sleep with 3 pillows myself! But I would like to see something change in regards to the thousands of fans who sleep outside during Comic Con. I propose two ideas:

1)      If fans want to sleep outside they should have to donate to a local charity that works with the homeless.

2)      The convention company, or production company(s) that are “causing” the fans to sleep outside, set up hotel rooms or a shelter for the homeless so they can have a hot shower, a warm bed to sleep in and a hot breakfast in the morning.

I firmly believe these are both viable options and not too much to ask for. If 6500 fans each gave $10 to sleep outside that would be $65,000 raised in one night alone. We as a society must help take care of those who don’t have the same advantages we have. If we let part of our society fall into ruin, the rest of us aren’t far behind. Fans and makers of these comic book movies shouldn’t have a problem with this considering that superheroes are created to defend the weak. Let’s use our own superpower of “fandom” to make change in the world. Heck, JJ Abrams and Disney are doing it with the new Star Wars: Force For Change, why can’t Marvel and DC Comics come together and create Hall For The Homeless? Just a thought ladies and gentlemen, but every big change starts somewhere with one person. Who’s with me? I hope you’ll share and maybe at next year’s Comic Con a real difference can be made.

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Ice Water Challenge 2014

13 Jul Mineral King Swimming Hole

I’ve blogged before about the importance of charity in my life. One of the biggest influences in my life was the California Rainbow For Girls. People have asked me where I became a well-adjusted (well that can be debated, lol) young woman, and I always point to Rainbow. One of the values they instill in their members is charity and community service. Each year a California charity is chosen as the state service project. When I was a state officer in 2002-2003, we raised just over $108,000 for Camp Sunshine Dreams, a summer camp for kids with cancer that started through the Valley Children’s Hospital in the Central Valley. This year money is being raised for the Scottish Rite Clinic for Childhood Language Disorders.

This year a challenge was put forth via Facebook, the Ice/Cold Water Challenge. This social media campaign has been used around the world by now for various charities. Early last week I started seeing videos pop up in my Facebook news feed from my fellow Rainbow friends dumping ice-cold water on themselves and each other and donating $10 to the Grand Service Project. After watching the third or fourth video I knew my dry days were numbered. Well on Thursday evening I received a Facebook notification that I had been tagged in a video by my friend Lauren Pinnella, who served as the same office as I had in 2009. I now had 48 hours to complete the challenge or pay $100 towards the Grand Service Project. As a poor, starving artist I knew I had to figure out a way to get dumped in cold water. With my trip to my hometown of Three Rivers the following evening I decided to do the challenge “country style” and jump in the cold Kaweah river!

Kaweah River Bridge 1923, Mineral King

Quick photo at the Historic Kaweah River Bridge 1923 in Mineral King.

I enlisted my sister and her boyfriend to help me and we went up into Mineral King and walked along the flume to a secluded spot that had a deep pool we could jump into. Because when you’re going to swim in snow melt water you don’t dip a foot in, you jump all the way.

Mineral King Flume

Liz and I on the flume on our way to a secluded swimming spot!

Mineral King Valley

Looking up the Mineral King Valley

Liz and I counted to three and made the leap. It was cold water indeed!!!

ice water play button

But it also felt amazing! Especially with the 100 degree weather that afternoon. We ended up doing a couple more jumps before leaving it felt so good!

Mineral King Swimming Hole

The secluded swimming spot. Ready to jump!

Post Snow Melt Water Jump! It feels good!

Post Snow Melt Water Jump! It feels good!

On our way home we even stopped at the infamous Reimer’s Candies and Gifts for homemade ice cream. Chocolate chip! Yummm!

Reimer's Candies and Gifts

Reimer’s Candies and Gifts, a local candy and ice cream store.

Part of the challenge is calling out your friends to do the challenge and continue the fundraising. I called out my Rainbow friends Jill Brown, Shannyn Allan, Erin Dunlap, Laura Gephart, and the Hopper family: Richard and Judi Hopper and Jana Ferguson. But because I want to spread acts of kindness everywhere, I challenge everyone reading this to the Ice Water Challenge. Pick the charity of your choice and get dunked with ice or cold water and give them $10 or stay dry and donate $100! This challenge is all on you and I obviously can’t track you down. But if you do the challenge by the end of July 2014 and either upload the video online (and be sure to tag me or send me the link!) or send to me to upload for you, I will donate an additional $2 to the Scottish Rite Clinic! I want to see the Unforgettable Unicorns raise boat loads of money this year! You have 19 days and I hope you’ll join me and the rest of California Rainbow on this challenge and spread a little kindness. Happy Dunking!

Help Sarah Find Her Signature Dish!

12 Feb

HELP!!! I’ve been asked recently what my “signature dish” is by a few people and I was at a loss for words. (Don’t laugh mom!) I love to cook and to bake, but one dish that defines me? Or one category that defines me? That’s a tough question. When you turn on Food Network or the Cooking Channel every program is built around the chef’s specialty. Every professional chef is known for something. And even most amateur ones have something that they go back to again and again. But what about me? Hmmmm…..

signature-dish-logo

So I’m asking you, my loyal followers, friends and family to tell me what you think of when you think of me cooking. Feel free to add your own dish to the poll. What is Chef Sarah most known for? What do you think is my best dish? Who better to help me choose my signature dish than those who I cook for? And you can vote more than once so if you’re debating between two, come back and vote again! And if you have more to say than a simple poll answer, please leave a comment below. Thank you in advance for your help 🙂

Belgian Dubbel-Part 2

16 Jan Belgian Dubbel

This is a continuation of a guest post by Timothy Sprague.

About 5 to 7 days later, it’s time to move the fermenting wort from the “primary” fermenter to the “secondary”, which is a 5-gallon glass carboy. You can see the sludge at the top from where it was gurgling and fermenting for the past week. One of the main reasons for moving it to the other container is to filter out this unpleasant leftover goo. Some of it always remains as sediment, which will be filtered out again in the bottling process. Once it’s all in the glass carboy it will continue to ferment a few more days.

beer sludge, beer fermentation

You can see the sludge that is created during the first week of fermentation

Transferring the beer from the primary fermenter to the secondary one, the carboy.

Transferring the beer from the primary fermenter to the secondary one, the carboy.

When the brewer feels it is ready, the prep for bottling begins. Learning when it is ready develops the more you brew. Technically, you are supposed to do a “gravity reading” and bottle when the gravity is at the right level.  Gravity is a measurement of the amount of solids vs. liquid in the beer.  I don’t do it because every time I have in the past, my beer never gets to the right gravity level. I instead wait 10 to 14 days, usually closer to 14. The nice thing with beer is it will continue to get better the longer you wait before you drink it.

The bottles get sanitized before being filled (use a tub or sink of VERY hot water) and in addition I use a 5-liter keg. On this occasion, I was using a new stopper and had a hard time getting it to stay in the top of the keg. My solution was to use a mallet, but that was after having to empty the keg back into the carboy a couple of times. This factored into the final product, in my opinion, which I’ll talk about later. The sugar (3/4 Cup Brewers Sugar)  is boiled with a few tablespoons of water in a saucepan on the stove, which is then poured into the carboy. Then it’s time to fill the keg and bottles.

Adding the boiled brewer's sugar to the beer in the carboy.

Adding the boiled brewer’s sugar to the beer in the carboy.

Bottling the beer in a small keg.

Bottling the beer in a small keg.

The caps get squeezed on to the bottles one at a time. But I primarily use the large hinge-top bottles these days.

bottling beer

Using a handy bottling tool to get the caps on the bottles.

Belgian Dubbel

The finished product in bottles and a small keg.

The photo below was taken about 17 days after bottling. At least 2 weeks is required for carbonation, but it’s best to give it a bit longer. The end result has a nice color and carbonation, but also a strong banana odor that should not be present. At this point, it also had a “diacetyl” flavor, which is a technical term for a mildly unpleasant after-taste. This usually indicates that the beer needs more time in the bottle. My guess is that my somewhat sloppy efforts when bottling may have affected the flavor. Especially since I had to make a couple of attempts at filling the keg and had a bit of an overflow when I added the Brewer’s Sugar. But that’s one of the great things about brewing. If it doesn’t taste right after a few weeks, give it longer and it will most likely improve with age.

Belgian Dubbel

First taste after a couple of weeks.

The taste had improved somewhat by New Year’s Eve, when Sarah and I sampled it after The One Day Play, but still didn’t seem quite ready. Sarah, who is not a beer fan, did like the taste and said it wasn’t as bitter as other beers she’s tried. I am going to let the keg and remaining bottles sit tight until next month’s Poker Tournament fundraiser at The Eclectic Company Theatre in Valley Village-hope you can join us for a drink!

Sarah and Tim enjoying a glass of Belgian Dubbel on New Year's Eve

Sarah and Tim enjoying a glass of Belgian Dubbel on New Year’s Eve

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