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Ant Warz!

6 May

So it’s been a while…….long story of chasing real estate in the LA market.Yeash, that’s a whole other blog or book.

But here I am in a 125 year old house in ‘da hood’ that has been severely abused for at least, the last, um, 30? I’ve decided the ants must have a nest under this house the size of Rome cuz no matter what I do or how many ‘hills’ in the yard I destroy. They’re baaaaack!  In massive numbers.

So I try new methods. The herbal methods did not get rid of the fleas. Resorted to pesticides. Ugh, if you know me, you know how I hate pesticides on so many levels! I won’t go into my hate of pesticides now. That’s a later rant.

Step 1) of new ant removal experiment.

1 part Borax 20 Mule Team All Natural detergent booster

3 parts sugar

Couple tablespoons of peanut butter

Mix to a soupy texture

Step 2)

Place in old plastic container (yogurt, butter, whatever)

Punch nail holes into it and replace lid

Step 3)

Put container near ant trail. Careful to put it our of reach of children, dogs, etc ( I think my dog ate half, but just had bad diarrhea)

Step 4) Wait and hope it gets taken to the Queen which is the only way to kill the colony.

UPDATE! OK so it’s day 3 and the ants quit going to the bait station. They are gone inside but still huge troupes moving outside. I know I need to get to none or they will just come inside again. They are smart I see. So I’m going to figure out what food they cannot resist and bait the Borax with that. Perhaps chicken fat. I’ll let you know.

ants in my kitchen

ants in my kitchen

Week 2

The ants didn’t really go for the peanut butter mixture. Did more investigation on some University research links. Forget Orkin sites and the like. They just give you the basics to lure you into buying their service. I told you, I’m serious about this shit. I declared ANT WARz! I mean it.  I think I identified the little F–#er’s. Tetra-something or other in Latin. But really that doesn’t matter. All you do is figure out their loves. In what food they love, dumb-dumb not their mating habits. Then, I’m reading you have to think long term, and, gasp, you’ll never get em all?! They don’t know who they’re dealing with here. But I am thinking long term now. I can be patient. Plan my attacks.

So I did an experiment with ground up chicken. Bammo! That seems to be their crack. Mixed it up like the recipe above and entertained them like treasured house guests in my kitchen. Took em about 5 days, then they seemed to loose interest or maybe I killed a few billion. But they still hover around.

Next I went outside and tried to feed em where they were marching. That same place I’ve hunted and killed ’em for 6 solid months!? Where I thot I was winning the war cuz I killed so many. Not!

Did more research.

I have noticed them climbing my citrus trees in marching droves. A link to their food habits? And why do they eat inside but not outside? Bammo! Cuz (duh?) they’re well fed outside. Little bast**tards are feeding off either aphids on my fruit trees or the fruit or the sap. Again, no matter. Must first take care of availability/accessibility to #1 food source. NO MORE PESTICIDES. That’s short term thinking.

Lime rings around the citrus trees are next. Block their path. Then offer em up some food again…… (insert evil Janet laugh) I’ll get em more interested in my Kool-Aid. I’ll keep you posted! The Ant Warz have just begun!

Mint deters ants!

Mint deters ants!

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Artichoke Crop 2013

19 May

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Been busy gardening and putting content on my new website – indiestarstyle.com

http://www.indiestarstyle.com is an homage to my favorite indie things in LA so have been neglecting this blog.

My 2013 artichoke crop is doing spectacular! The horse-shit amendments compliments of the LA Equestrian Center are key. I put a thick layer around the base of all the plants. The result is a taste explosion in the arties with an aroma when cooking, that is like no store bought specimen- commercially grown organic or not. You can smell and taste thistle with a sweet and vaguely smokey flavour.

This is all done in my front yard. I ripped out the lawn years before it was fashionable to grow fruits and vegetables.  My garden is usually in the West Side Garden Show. Artichoke plants are super cool looking too, as you can see.  My Artichoke cropI will let the last shoots bloom forth as a purple flower which then evolves into a giant dinosaur looking dandelion/seedpod. Because every stage of an artichoke’s life is beautiful they are such fun to grow.  I try to give away the seeds. Have left little envelopes for people walking by, but no one ever takes them in my neighborhood. I need to post a notice and mail them to people who are into it. As long as you have good augmented soil ( LA  indigenous soil is nasty clay) and water – they are easy to grow!! The same plant comes back every year here in So Cal.

I have absolutely nothing to say….

8 Aug

Because my dog Kelsey died.

And it sucks worse than I ever thot it could or would. 16 years – she was like, no she was my child. I didn’t realize just how integrated she was in my life. She went everywhere with me. That’s important for a Jack Russel. So many people knew her. She was in a couple movies. I e-mailed Extended Stay Hotels corporate offices for the copies of the photo shoot she did for them. I never did get prints of their brochures.Image

I have to leave town just to get some peace on this. I will try and post pictures of where I go.

A Tomboy’s Idea of ‘Manicure’.

25 Jun

I just finished filming  “Nursery Rhyme”, playing the lead, Mary Hubbard. The crew were spectacular as were the director, the writer & the rest of the cast. This isn’t a plug for the movie, tho I think it’s going to be a really cool film. This is about how to recover from 14 hr a day shoots, a grueling, non-stop schedule, add a few stunts thrown into my usual trip and fall routine and I came out bloody &  bruised with wide open, bloodshot, eyes. Blue plus red makes purple? My theme color at the end. Boy do I need some beauty treatments.

Heres my secret to keeping mechanic’s hands looking soft and supple while doing all things ‘boy’ without looking like or having mechanic’s hands.

Ever since the olden days, back when I was showing horses and my dad raided my hunter jumper first aid kit for his hockey team – I have always looked for industrial strength remedies for my own’ hunting & jumping’.

This stuff rocks!!!!!!!!!!

Way better than any hi end ‘spa treatments’ , bag balm, pedicure lotions, lanolin or petroleum based cremes. Put this stuff on your hands,  feet, elbows, lips – whatever. Preferably before bedtime or on your hands before your rubber gloves and working on the truck du jour. You’ll be amazed.

Now if I could just figure out how to slather it on my face with a plastic bag over me while I sleep and still be able to breathe….I’ll have discovered the cure for wrinkles and emerge like a baby from the womb!

There is only one horse supply place I’ve found in Los Angeles that has it. The feed store at Topanga Canyon & PCH  in Malibu.

Couple Hoof Alive with 7mil Western Safety Heavy Duty rubber gloves to do your mechanic, fix-it or gardening.  Your hands will be ready for their close up or at least your mate won’t wince when you touchy feely in those baby soft places.

corseracing.com/APPAREL/Gloves/Disposable/Western-Safety-100-Pack-of-Disposable-Nitrile-Gloves-p4771.html

A new boy in the hood!!!

29 Dec

He’s a little rough around the edges. OK- he’s downright rusted threw on one side.

First day home. Got towed from Oly’s mechanic to mine.

So I found this great guy at Golden Eagle Auto Body and Paint who has the love and is showing.

Sam at Golden Eagle Auto Body

It’s a 1965 Mustang Coupe I bought off SEO major expert Oliver Bodnar of OneArmSEO just before he bailed on the good ol’ U S of A to Mexico.

Yes I’ve been busy working on my new car. The Carburetor was not giving me a smooth ride initially so I had to clean it out and found it was not bolted down completely.

Thank you to my brother for telling me to check the simple things first. WOW what an easy car to work on. It’s a straight six. Yes, they made them for ‘stangs back then. No one believes me. It will be good on gas.

And he still has the deep rumble like a bad boy.

Original colour is pretty cool! A greenish blue.

The original colour is in there. Yellow primer at one time?

I’ve also been trying to clean out the veggie fuel lines on the Benz so it’s good to go. I have to sell her. Just don’t have the room for so many cars.

Sam working hard on the car over Xmas even tho I told him to take his time. Really great guy!

Coolest Cactus Flower ever!

30 Oct

It been blooming all month!

These blooms are the size of an outstretched mans hand.

And the flies love them! But they do not stink?!

Even the buds are cool lookin!

Anyone know what kind of Cactus or succulent this is?

Cooking for your dog – made easy!

19 Sep

A number of years ago my dog had some bladder issues, so I took her to the vet.

Calcium Oxalate crystals in her urine – precursor to kidney stones. Not good.

Vet knew I cooked and was into healthy eating, saw how well I took care of my girl, so she gave me a recipe to keep her alkalinity in check. Translation: stop the formation of Oxalate crystals.

Of course, I quickly made this recipe my own and added a bunch more nutritional elements to it. To which I notice a substantial improvement in her energy and playfulness.

Since Kelsey can’t talk; actions speak louder than words. Now if I would only remember that while dealing with people.

I posted a quickie video today ‘Cooking for Kelsey‘ if you want to watch how easy it is to cook, where/what I use. And where to shop the ingredients.

The link to Youtube –Cooking for Kelsey

Not that it’s rocket science at all. Remember? Broke Actress? Being frugal is good.

The basics to this recipe are:

A couple large scoops ( I use those old dime store scoopers, so the translation would be a medium sized coffee mug or just pour from the bag for 2 seconds;

Dry Black Eyed Peas (just encase you were thinking to to use canned – NO-NO – too much salt!!!) especially for a dog with kidney issues.

Brown Rice. A scoop, a coffee cup or pile of. I use Red Rice. Hu? You say? I say, watch the video! http://youtu.be/wJ9er5jPef8

A Soup Bone, Ox Tail, A Turkey Leg OR a couple Chicken LegsYour choice – knowing your dogs favorite foods.

A bunch of Dried Seaweed. Just grab a handful and throw it in.

Optional: garlic clove, couple whole carrots, squash chunks (skin and all), yam chunks or whole (it cooks for so long it will be mush to stir in). glucosamine tablets, a vitamin e tablet. These are all things I put in from time to time.

Get out your biggest soup pot in the kitchen. Put the ingredients in, in that order. Do not stir. Leave the beans at the bottom. Pour in water to the top of the pot, making sure there’s a good 6 inches of water submerging the ingredients. Beans and rice absorb a lot of water. Cover and bring to a boil, then turn to your lowest setting. Let simmer for oh, 2, 3, 4, 5 hrs. Or more. I’ve been known to forget about it. Or put in a crock pot for the day.

THATS IT!!!

Freeze half into individual freezer baggies or in one big container to be thawed for meals later. The other half keeps in the fridge for about 7 days.

Opening the mail. R there any treats in here?

WARNING: TAKE THE CHICKEN BONES/TURKEY BONES OUT AFTER COOKING. TOSS THEM – DO NOT FEED TO YOUR DOG. ANY BIG BEEF BONES ARE ‘Kinda’ OK. BUT ONLY WHILE BEING SUPERVISED.

DO NOT LEAVE THEM ALONE WITH ANY KIND OF BONE THAT HAS SHARP EDGES. THEY WILL SWALLOW IT OR TRY TO.  And really, unless you are watching and know your child is not splintering the bone – it’s best to just refrain from giving your dog any kind of bone.

Muffin top the healthy way!

11 Sep Molasses Muffins

My cousin & I baked these muffins for a family gathering last month.

Here’s my version.

Oatmeal Molasses Muffins. I’ve had about 5 so far today.

Molasses Muffins

Mix the liquids up in one bowl =

2 cups low fat buttermilk, 1 egg beaten, 1/3 cup unsulphured molasses, 3 tbsps hemp oil, 3 tbsps finely grated fresh ginger.

Next throw in the raisins and oatmeal and mix up good into the liquid=

1 cup raisins, 1 cup oatmeal

Now stir together the dry ingredients=

1/2 cup wheat germ, 1 – 1/2 cups whole wheat flour ( I used white whole wheat flour)

1-1/4 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, dash of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp salt

Take the wet and p0ur over the dry. Mix enough to wet everything – no more or you make the dough less fluffy. And these babies are granola enough.

Bake at 350 F for approx 25 min. or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Couple Tricks Here;

Put the dough in as high as you want them to ultimately be. They do not rise. Too dense probably.

Soak the raisins overnight in water or pour hot water over them & let stand to plump them up.

Use unsulphured molasses. That sulphur shit is bad 4 U. **You can get it at Whole Foods or any health food store.

Use hemp oil. It has a nutty flavor &  is very good 4 U. It has more omega’s than fish oil or flax oil.

The original recipe called for 2 cups plain yogurt (& butter which I substituted nicely with hemp oil). Make sure it’s non fat yogurt. It seemed to make the muffins heavier which is still really good. Mine where a little fluffier. Either way is yummy.

The funky blue silicone muffin tins U C me use in the pic are great I’ve decided – minimal greasing needed & easy to pop out with a twist!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fried Butternut Squash is to die for!!!!

7 Aug

LEARN TO LOVE YOUR SQUASH!! Squash is in growing season now. Butternut, Acorn & spaghetti squash R my favorite. Besides being easy to grow, the reasons to love squash are long.

Winter squash provides, Vitamin C, Potassium, dietary fiber, Manganese, Folate, Vitamin B complex, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Copper and Tryptophan. Squash is one of the more perfect foods.

The inner sweet fiber of the winter squash has seeds in the center, but peel off the outside layer to get to lots of buttery sweetness. This fiber was once normal to our food groups but  for the most part has been driven out by processing and modern tastes. AKA, fast food; salt, fat and sugar. It has essentials for good digestion and has been found to be a preventive for various forms of cancer, lung disease and all around good health. Beta Carotene anyone or R U asleep now.

I won’t bore you any longer with health facts. Just I peel it, cube it &  fry it in Olive Oil with garlic & a dash of season salt.  It’s easy. Did I mention how healthy it is?

I fry it up with shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, frozen raw, wild, Trader Joes shrimp (add those about half way through the cook/fry time) & garlic.  Then toss it in the pan with whole wheat pasta & parmesan cheese. Cover for 5 minutes on low to melt the cheese in. Add more crushed garlic if you’re like me.

I swear, it’s maybe 20 minutes of cooking. However long the pasta takes. How long does it take for drive-threw fast food?

BARBECUE LOVER?

If you’re a barbecue freak its real simple. Slam-chop it in half with a good knife or Axe. Gut it, pour real maple syrup in the center, a little butter (if you really must; I’ll soapbox that sarcasm into a later blog). Throw it on the grill for  a lot less time than a baked potato. Foil it or don’t foil it. Doesn’t really matter cause you don’t eat the skin. But if you foil it, feed the skin to the dog. DOGS LOVE SQUASH & it’s good for them too!!!

Invasive Species Recipe

26 Jul

I went out to harvest some tomatoes the other day and look what greeted me.

Grrrrrrrrrr.

So I did some research for my little problem.

A while back, a genius article was written in the New York Times about how we should be eating invasive species, titled, A Diet for an Invaded Planet, authored by James Gorman.

After all, our beloved tomatoes are really just a weed we figured out how to make lots of delicious things with. Why not weed-like animal species that do-no-good and over run native species of, say, the indigenous red squirrel? It’s called an eco-culinary frisson. Vegans, freegans, locavores – meet the invasivores.

What do squirrels do that is beneficial?  They’re just rats with fluffy tailmuffs keeping that scaly tail cute. They used to feed the coyote and mountain lions before we took over this area.

So I found a recipe. It sounds good and I’d like to encourage the cooking of.  Plus, I like the humor of the author.

  • 2 hindquarters per person.
  • Wrap in bacon with a sprig of rosemary or sage inside each.
  • Place on a bed of onions, bell peppers and mushrooms.
  • Pour chicken stock in bottom of pan with a splash of sherry and sliced chestnuts (just for the irony).
  • Cover and bake in a low oven for about four hours or so.

I’m always adding to recipes – even before I test/taste them. So I would take it a step further and braise the drumsticks in a nice, honey-nut, peanut sauce (pay-backs a bitch!) and skip the chicken sherry cooking stock.

It’s said to taste like lean, firm rabbit. Tho there are many interesting comments by readers at the blog, squirrel stew. Just type those key words into ask.com if you’re feeling frustrated by the squirrels eating all the fruits of your garden love. And next time you see a squirrel in your garden, you’ll smile.

Happy Cooking!