TV Co-Star: MURDER IN THE FIRST

8 Jul Sarah Allyn Bauer as Tara on Murder In The First

I shot my second TV co-star back in March for the new TNT show “Murder In The First”, and it aired last night (look for a rerun on Sunday!), episode 5, “Pants On Fire”.

Sarah Allyn Bauer as Tara on Murder In The First

Sarah Allyn Bauer as Tara on Murder In The First

I auditioned on a Saturday in March. Yes, you heard me right, I auditioned on a Saturday. It was the day before the Oscars when it was pouring in Los Angeles. My dad was in town to help with my Oscar party and he came along and waited in the car while I went in for my audition. (He brought along a book and even took a short nap!) And while we waited for about an hour, it was a fun hour because all of us waiting on the porch had a good time. We laughed about auditioning on a Saturday and how crazy Angelenos get when it rains. By the time I went into the audition room I was pretty relaxed and was able to just have fun in the room.

I enjoyed the rest of the weekend and then on Monday night I got the news that I was the producers’ choice for the role of Tara and was pinned with the official offer to come on Tuesday afternoon. I was completely stoked and my roommate even said that she figured that either I had been asked out by a really cute guy or I had booked a job. I told her I booked a job 🙂 Until the official offer came through the next afternoon though I didn’t tell anyone else.

The big thing that came out of this job though, was that I joined SAG-AFTRA, the actors union. I had set aside money in a savings account back in 2009 after I moved to Los Angeles so that I would be able to join when the time was right. I had been anxious to become a union member for awhile. I told myself that with the next TV or film booking, no matter what, I would join the union. So on that Monday night I paid off my credit card, printed out all the forms and signed on the dotted line. On Tuesday afternoon I drove down to the Los Angeles headquarters on Wilshire Blvd and turned everything in. For some reason I was expecting it to take a while but it was the simplest thing I’d ever done and I left there with a big smile on my face.

SAG-AFTRA headquarters on Wilshire Blvd

SAG-AFTRA headquarters on Wilshire Blvd

The following Monday afternoon I drove to the set in Glendale and had my wardrobe fitting. They had pulled a number of items for me to try on. Dresses, skirts and blouses, and various cardigans and shoes. The first dress I put on was my favorite and was hoping I would find it hanging in my trailer the next morning.

Murder In The First wardrobe

The dress I was hoping to wear! Yay!

Murder In The First wardrobe

My shoes. Super comfy!

My alarm went off at just after 4:30am Tuesday morning. I had a 5:30am call time and lucky for me the studio was about a 12 minute drive away. I’m glad I didn’t have to do my hair or make-up, as I was barely awake when I left my apartment just after 5am. I arrived on set and after some wrong directions by a security guard, I called the AD and he directed me back to where I was supposed to park. (Always make sure you have your AD’s cell phone with you on your way to set!) A couple of lovely PAs (who I have great empathy for since they had to be there at 5am) showed me to my trailer and there hanging inside was the dress I was so hoping for! Yay!

Sarah Allyn Bauer as Tara on Murder In The First

That’s me!

Murder In The First wardrobe

It’s the little details that matter. I loved my broach!

I asked where I could get a cup of coffee and some breakfast and they pointed me in the direction of the catering truck, however they said I had to go directly to hair and make-up, but they would bring me whatever I wanted. I must admit, I felt a little silly having someone bring me breakfast, but I was very excited when they handed me a large cup of coffee and a delicious omelette as I sat getting my hair done.

murder in the first

Getting my hair done and feeling like a star

I’ve never been good at doing my own hair, as it never seems to listen to me, but the pros have always made it look so effortless. I loved my hair with all the curls and they stayed until I woke up the next morning! I loved my make-up too! I felt like I needed to go out for the night after I wrapped, lol.

Sarah Allyn Bauer

My hair is all done and I’m ready for my make-up!

The sky was just starting to turn a light grey when I walked back to my trailer to change and get a second cup of coffee. At about 7am, me and the three other actors in the scene (including Richard Schiff from “The West Wing”!) were loaded into a van and driven to the restaurant that we were shooting at. We met the director, Allison Anders, who was absolutely lovely and great to work with. We ran through the blocking of the scene and then they started shooting. They shot from multiple angles, and one of my lines was cut to help the scene move smoothly.

Sarah Allyn Bauer as Tara on Murder In The First

I’m ready for my close-up!

On location in Glendale shooting "Murder In The First".

On location in Glendale shooting “Murder In The First”.

Allison was really kind after we wrapped and came up to me and wanted to make sure I knew that we didn’t cut the line because of me, but because of how the scene was now flowing with the way the restaurant was set up. I thought that was very sweet of her and it made me feel very much a part of the show, even for just the 30 seconds you’ll see me.

Murder In The First Co-Stars

Me and my co-stars waiting for the next take!

Sarah Allyn Bauer as TaraSarah Allyn Bauer as Tara on Murder In The First

I’m all wrapped on “Murder In The First”!

I was wrapped and leaving the set at about 9:30am, just four short hours after I had arrived. Everyone I worked with that day were absolute pros and lovely to work with. The prop guys even said I could take the food with me if I wanted to, LOL! (I didn’t.) All in all it was a fabulous morning, and I slept so well that night. As I write this I just hope I didn’t get cut! hahaha! Hope you enjoyed the episode nonetheless! Until next time!

Sarah Allyn Bauer as Tara on Murder In The First selfie

A post shoot selfie and ready for a night on the town!

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Oscar Party: Shrimp Plus Quinoa and Rice Salad

12 Jun Black forbidden rice and quinoa

In addition to the buffalo wings we also made a shrimp dish and a quinoa and black rice salad for the vegetarians. I love shrimp so in my searchings I found a yummy sounding shrimp recipe and then I stumbled upon a recipe with quinoa and black forbidden rice, which I happened to have just enough of in my cupboards from previous recipes. (Remember the Giada dish that used black rice?)

Spicy Garlic Shrimp Ingredients L-R: Shrimp, Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes, Brandy, Parsley, Olive Oil

Spicy Garlic Shrimp Ingredients L-R: Shrimp, Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes, Brandy, Parsley, Olive Oil

SPICY GARLIC SHRIMP (serves about 8)

  • 2 lbs Large Shrimp (Shelled and Deveined)
  • 10 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Dried Red Chilis (or 2 Tsps red chili flakes)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tsp Brandy
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Parsley

This recipe I found on Epicurious.com and turned out absolutely delicious! Rather than buy dried red chilis though we used red chili flakes that I already had in my cupboard. Most shrimp recipes are super easy and this one is too! If you’re not into spicy, feel free to add less (or no) chili flakes, or if you love spice, add more!

Slice your garlic into thin slivers then sautee in olive oil with the red pepper flakes.

Slice your garlic into thin slivers then saute in olive oil with the red pepper flakes.

Heat oil in a medium sauté pan over high heat. Sauté garlic until browned, about 2 minutes. Add shrimp and chiles and sauté until shrimp are cooked through, about 4 minutes. They should turn a nice pink color.

Add in your shrimp and stir occasionally until they turn pink.

Add in your shrimp and stir occasionally until they turn pink.

Add your brandy and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and either serve in a platter or in a bowl. Sprinkle with the fresh parsley and enjoy! Great to make for a dinner one night too!

Spicy Garlic Shrimp

Spicy Garlic Shrimp ready to serve!

Now on to the vegetarian dish (or even a yummy healthy side dish!).

Quinoa and Black Rice Salad Ingredients L-R: Cumin Seed, Cilantro, Black Rice, Garlic, Avocado, Lemon, Yellow Onion, Quinoa, Parsley, Bay Leaves

Quinoa and Black Rice Salad Ingredients L-R: Cumin Seed, Cilantro, Black Rice, Garlic, Avocado, Lemon, Yellow Onion, Quinoa, Parsley, Bay Leaves

CUMIN SCENTED QUINOA AND BLACK RICE SALAD (serves about 8)

  • 1/2 Cup Black Rice
  • 1 Cup Red Quinoa (we used regular)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/4 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Flat-leaf Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

This was another recipe I found on Epicurious.com, however that recipe called for avocado and lemon wedges for garnishing on top. And while we did buy the avocado and had a lemon, in the hustle and bustle of the party they were sadly forgotten. C’est la vie. It was still delicious!

Black forbidden rice and quinoa

Black forbidden rice and quinoa

You want to start your rice and quinoa cooking and then you can move on to some mise en place. Finely chop your onion, mince your garlic and chop your cilantro and parsley.

Chopped Parsley & Cilantro

Chopped Parsley & Cilantro

Diced onions and minced garlic sauteed with cumin seed.

Diced onions and minced garlic sautéed with cumin seed.

Click here for the full recipe. Epicurious has great recipes and everything is very clear in this one. Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Finished black rice and quinoa gets mixed together.

Finished black rice and quinoa gets mixed together.

Black Rice and Quinoa Salad ready for serving

Black Rice and Quinoa Salad ready for serving

Oscar Party 2014: Buffalo Wings

3 Jun Alton Brown's Buffalo Wings with Bleu Cheese Dipping Sauce

For my birthday this year I decided to have another Oscar party. Two years ago my birthday landed on the Oscars so I threw a party and my dad came down and cooked and helped me make a great spread for my friends. It was a great day and one of my favorite birthdays to date. Last year I threw a mini-party as I ended up having rehearsal in the morning so only a few people made it over to the apartment and it was a much smaller spread (but remember the beignets? and Jennifer Lawrence tripping?). This year I made the decision early in the year to throw a big party again. I made a Pinterest board with recipes that intrigued me. My dad even came down to LA again to help cook. So much was made that I’m splitting this into multiple parts, so keep your eyes peeled for more posts soon!

Shopping for the Oscar Party!

Shopping for the Oscar Party!

This post will be about buffalo wings, and it’s my dad’s favorite way of making them. At the first party I threw in 2012 my dad made these buffalo wings and everyone really liked them so that was an easy add to the list this year. The buffalo wings are by the infamous Alton Brown. In addition, we made our own blue cheese dipping sauce for it.

ALTON BROWN’S BUFFALO WINGS (serves about 10)

  • 3 Pounds Whole Chicken Wings
  • 6 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Small Garlic Clove
  • 1/4 Cup Hot Sauce
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Alton has you use whole chicken wings and breaks them apart by hand. At my first party in 2012 I had my dad explain it to me. Watch the video here. The tips can be used to make chicken stock, which is the biggest advantage to using whole chicken wings. To remove the tips, use kitchen shears or a knife to separate the wings at the joint.

A close-up of the separation of the tip from the wing.

A close-up of the separation of the tip from the wing.

Once you’ve separated all of your tips from your wings fill a large saucepan with about an inch of water and place a steamer basket on the bottom. (You can buy one for less than $10 at your local grocery store or home goods or cooking supply store.) Turn the heat to high and lay your chicken wings (aka drumettes) in the steamer. Pack them as tightly as possible. Steam for about 10 minutes.

Drumettes in the steamer basket

Pack as many drumettes into the steamer basket as possible.

While waiting for the first batch to steam (you’ll probably steam 2 or 3 batches), pull out a rimmed cookie sheet and cover with paper towels and place a cooling rack on top. Find the rest of the recipe here. It’s a pretty straight forward recipe and pretty easy once you get the hang of separating the tips from the wings.

Counterclockwise: Drumettes fresh from the fridge; chicken wings after 20 minutes of cooking and turning; cooking in the oven; drumettes fresh from the oven

Counterclockwise: Drumettes fresh from the fridge; chicken wings after 20 minutes of cooking and turning; cooking in the oven; drumettes fresh from the oven

Tossing the wings with hot sauce and melted butter

Tossing the wings with hot sauce and melted butter

Alton Brown's Buffalo Wings with Bleu Cheese Dipping Sauce

Alton Brown’s Buffalo Wings with Bleu Cheese Dipping Sauce

While your wings are cooking you can make your dipping sauce. We made bleu cheese dressing. Very simple. 16 oz of sour cream (1 cup), 8 oz of bleu cheese, 1/4 cup chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and dip away!

Bleu Cheese Dressing Ingredients L-R: Bleu Cheese, Parsley, Sour Cream

Bleu Cheese Dressing Ingredients L-R: Bleu Cheese, Parsley, Sour Cream

Chop your parsley and mix well with your sour cream and bleu cheese.

Chop your parsley and mix well with your sour cream and bleu cheese.

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Burrito

27 May Smoked Salmon Breakfast Burrito and Coffee. Great breakfast!

I love breakfast. I also love to sleep. So having time to make more than just a couple of eggs or oatmeal in the morning is rare. But one Saturday morning I wanted to change-up my breakfast so I looked in my fridge to see what I had. I had some tortillas left over from my Oscar party (that post is still being written, sorry) so I decided to make a breakfast burrito. There were a few other leftovers from the party that I could throw into the eggs. It was super easy and threw some variety into my daily egg eating habit. The nice thing about breakfast burritos is they’re like omelets, you can add just about anything you want in them. What do you like putting in your burritos?

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Burrito Ingredients L-R: Goat Cheese, Eggs, Tortilla, Fresh Rosemary, Fresh Spinach (not pictured: smoked salmon, salt & pepper)

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Burrito Ingredients L-R: Goat Cheese, Eggs, Tortilla, Fresh Rosemary, Fresh Spinach (not pictured: smoked salmon, salt & pepper)

SMOKED SALMON BREAKFAST BURRITO (serves 1)

  • 2 Eggs
  • About 1 Tbsp of Milk
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 Tortilla
  • Goat Cheese
  • Fresh Spinach
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste

In a small omelet pan, coat with cooking spray over medium heat. Crack your eggs directly into the pan and add your milk. Scramble with a whisk or spatula.

Scramble the eggs directly in the pan.

Scramble the eggs directly in the pan.

Sprinkle in your goat cheese, smoked salmon pieces and fresh rosemary. Continue to scramble so all is mixed together.

Scrambling the eggs with goat cheese, smoked salmon and rosemary

Scrambling the eggs with goat cheese, smoked salmon and rosemary

When eggs are almost done add in your fresh spinach and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to scramble until finished cooking. They should remain nice and fluffy.

scrambled eggs, spinach, smoked salmon, goat cheese, rosemary

Adding in the spinach. Cook just long enough to wilt.

Lay out a tortilla on a plate and lay your eggs in the middle of the tortilla. Wrap it up and place it back in your pan with the open edges down first. Let cook for about a minute, then flip over and cook for another minute, just until it browns.

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Burrito

Warming the burrito all wrapped up so it stays together.

When finished return to plate and enjoy with a nice cup of coffee! Have a lovely breakfast!

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Burrito and Coffee. Great breakfast!

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Burrito and Coffee. Great breakfast!

French Waffles for Mother’s Day

15 May Fresh French Waffles, a Chef Sarah original!

Mother’s Day was last Sunday and I was lucky enough to get to spend it with my mom back home. I didn’t make plans of what to cook, so on Sunday morning I asked my mom what she wanted and she said, “You’re not suppose to ask, just do.” So I said I would make French Toast. Except they had run out of bread. WHAT?! I was a little perplexed that my parents were out of bread. But my dad said there were waffles in the freezer. So I said I would make French Waffles. (It made perfect sense in my head.) My mom looked at me like I was a little crazy and then tried hard not to laugh. She was utterly confused, but I now had a great breakfast idea and nothing was going to stop me. The secret to great French Toast is really good bread. Brioche is the best, so I figured using waffles would be an interesting substitute. And it was. We gobbled them up! Happy Mother’s Day Momma!

Helen Bauer, Mother's Day, amazing moms

My AMAZING mom, aka Mama Bauer

FRENCH WAFFLES (serves 3)

  • 6 Waffles
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • About 3 Tbsp Milk
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Allspice
  • Butter
  • Toppings of Your Choice

In a baking dish crack your eggs, add in your milk and whisk together. Add in your cinnamon and allspice and whisk again. Soak three waffles in the mixture. Make sure you coat both sides. Let them sit for about a minute or so. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick pan and add about a tablespoon of butter. My mom had lemon butter she had made so I used that. (We also used it on the finished product-yum!)

Once the pan is hot add in your soaked waffles. Let cook for a few minutes then flip over and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. Repeat for each waffle you have. If you have extra egg mixture then cook it up to serve with the rest of your breakfast. (Trust me, they’re really good!)

Serve hot with your choice of toppings. We used more of the lemon butter and topped with what my mom called Baklava Honey. Honey that has been infused with cinnamon, cloves and allspice that she uses when she makes baklava (a Greek dessert). What do you like on your French Toast (or waffles)?

Fresh French Waffles, a Chef Sarah original!

Fresh French Waffles with Lemon Butter and Baklava Honey, a Chef Sarah original!

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