Happy Holidays Sandra! Thank you so much for talking with Battered and Brewed!
Same to you guys—thanks so much for chatting with me!
What was a typical dinner or family meal like for you growing up in Chino, CA?
My mom loved to cook when I was growing up, and usually had something on the dinner table like chicken divan, lasagna, or mexican stuffed shells. On Friday nights when my dad would get home from work, we would all make homemade pizzas together—that was always one of my favorites!
Do you prefer to cook at home or go out to eat?
It’s fun to do both, but I typically prefer to cook at home. In the last few years, I’ve gotten really into cooking and enjoy finding recipes I think my husband and I will like, and then adding my own twist to it.
Do you have a playlist you like to listen to while you cook?
I change it up all the time. Some nights we’ll listen to standards by Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble, other nights it’ll be the Hot Country playlist on Spotify, and sometimes it might be Jason Mraz or Maroon Five.
What are three things you can always find in your refrigerator?
Almond milk, water, and butter.
One food everyone tells you to try, but you just can’t get up the nerve.
I’m not a big cheese person—I’ve never really loved the consistency or taste, so I’ve never tried a cheeseburger. I’ll eat a hamburger, but you can’t get me to eat a cheeseburger.
What can’t you control yourself around food wise?
Anything salty (minus cheese)
Your first acting job as a child was in a Burger King commercial. Where is your favorite place for fast food?
Yes it was! While I love me some BK, I’m not a big fast food person in general. However, if I’m going to splurge on it, I like Wendy’s chicken nuggets, french fries, and a chocolate frosty.
We know you travel a ton between California and Tennessee. Who do you think has the better music and food scene?
Wow, that’s a tough one. Both have great music and food! I think my favorite place to see live music is in Nashville because there’s a lot of rocking music that’s pretty centralized, and easy to get to, or ‘barhop’ to. In Los Angeles, everything is a little more spread out so you have to plan ahead a bit instead of popping into a bar or club to hear some great music, like it’s easier to do in Nashville. However, while Nashville has some fantastic restaurants that I love, I think Los Angeles takes the cake on the food scene. That’s the vice versa to Los Angeles being a bit bigger than Nashville, and so spread out—you get many more options in the food department and so many that are delicious!
Now that you have been around Nashville awhile, if you designed your own food tour, which restaurants/bars would be on your list of places to visit?
If I was setting up a Nashville food tour for the day, for breakfast, I would start out at Pinewood Social, and get the fried chicken and biscuits followed by a game or two of bowling. Then for lunch, I would head over to Tavern, and depending on my mood, either order the kale salad with chicken kabobs or the Loco Moco. My husband would get the burger—he says it’s the best one in town! For a pre-dinner drink, I’d head over to the rooftop bar at the Thompson Hotel, and try a glass of Malbec or a Moscow Mule. Then for dinner, I’d head to Kayne Prime. For their steaks yes, but more so for their delicious sides. They remind me of traditional steakhouse sides with a unique, Southern twist. For dessert and a nightcap, I’d head over to The Patterson House and get a “Do Right Women” cocktail and the sugar donut holes.
Is there anywhere you have not been and are dying to go?
Yes! I’m a huge fan of the show “Chef’s Table” on Netflix, and I loved the episode that featured chef Ana Ros from Slovenia. My grandpa was Slovenian so I’d love to see roots of where some of my family was from, as well as try Ana Ros’ food!
We obviously love your songs “After Party” and “Bar Hoppin.” What is your go to drink when going out?
Thank you!!! Well, it depends on what I’m in the mood for at the time, but I’ll usually go for a glass of red wine. Before I perform, you can usually find me with a glass of whiskey on the rocks in my hand.
Tell us about your newest single, “Hey California,” off of your forthcoming full-length project.
When I first sat down with my producer and co-writer on the song, I told him I wanted to write a tune that not only gave a nod to my Southern California roots, but that also had a little bit of a Beach Boys’ vibe to it. I remember one of the first records my parents playing when I was a child was the Beach Boys’ “Endless Summer” album, and I wanted to write something that drew inspiration from that album.
When can fans expect the new album to be released?
Early 2018–I can’t WAIT to share this new music!!!
Who are the top three artists/bands that influenced your music?
I’ve always loved listening to all different types of music growing up, but I mainly gravitated to, and have always loved country music. Sara Evans, Trisha Yearwood, and the Dixie Chicks are a few of my top favs that I draw inspiration from when making my own music.
Besides the new music what else are you looking forward to in 2018?
I took a cooking class in Los Angeles with my girlfriends earlier this Spring, and again just this Fall, and I’m really looking forward to mastering some of the new recipes I learned from the class, at home. One of my favorites from the class I’ve made is a homemade basil and herb pappardelle topped of with a poached egg.
Finally for Battered and Brewed, If you could eat or have a drink with one person dead or alive, who would it be and what would you have?
I would love to have a Manhattan with Ella Fitzgerald because she’s always been my favorite queen of soul, and I would love to have one more silver dollar pancake breakfast with my grandmother before Alzheimer’s took her from us. Every summer when my brother and I were kids, we’d stay with my grandparents for a few days down in San Diego, CA, and my grandma Lorna would always cook us silver dollar pancakes for breakfast! She too loved performing, and always encouraged me at it.
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