Not only is it possible to construct a dessert using peas and carrots, it’s a downright good idea, and the result will go beautifully with a few cucumber sandwiches and petit fours for an elegant afternoon tea.
We are about to get sauced. Cranberry sauced, that is.
Making cranberry sauce is a quick-and-easy way to impress the multitudes, plus you get to add booze. I see no downside here.
My actual downsides are roughly the size of a barn this weekend, as the car repair place disassembled my vehicle before realizing that its computer had been mistaken about the most important widget being in stock. Apparently whatever-it-is cannot be replaced by wadding up large quantities of dollar bills and stuffing them into the engine. So I’m without a car for the entire weekend, which means no flea market or unusual music-venue adventures.
But thanks to the magic of the interwebs, you and I are going to visit somebody else’s unusual music venue. We’re about to encounter the Rabbit’s Foot Ramble, which is filmed at Barber’s Shop Automotive in Sacramento, California. All of the words in that sentence, no matter how seemingly incongruous, are there on purpose. Trust me. More to the point, trust Macro Contrarian, who introduced me to the Ramble and to Mike Blanchard and the Californios (Facebook). Read the rest of this entry »
Parsnip flan brought tears to my eyes.
The context was not joy, but frustration. Since much of the native cooking of the Pacific Northwest involves fish that would cost a fin and a tentacle here in Phoenix, I’d decided to go with the “emulate a fine restaurant” theory of cooking, choosing Crush (official site) for its parsnip flan, though my model recipe comes from a chef in Colorado via the Mother Earth News.
Accompanying this excitement requires exploring yet another of Paste‘s attempts to empty my wallet directly into the bank accounts of indie bands (12 Washington bands). As always, I will restrain my enthusiasm to three of the bands on the list, starting with the revelation that Seattle has a long-time, active soul scene, and that’s not a misprint for “sole scene,” no matter how often you’ve been to the Pike’s Place Fish Market and had flatfish flung at you. We’re going to check out Pickwick (Bandcamp), which is less Dickensian than OtisReddingsian. Read the rest of this entry »
Since working out left me feeling flat as a pancake, I thought I’d address Run Hundred‘s top workout songs for July by making some pancakes.
These are wild pancakes: wild rice pancakes, to be precise. They’re also pretty wild. I started with a recipe from Taste of Home and ended up having to substitute for a major ingredient that I thought had no substitutes. (No, not the wild rice!)
Equally wild is Matchbox 20′s latest single, “She’s So Mean,” which I think demands explanation, if not outright exegesis, so since it’s on the top 10 list, this is the time, not to mention the place and the moment. Let’s make pancakes! Read the rest of this entry »
Eight is the average number of gigs played by a North Dakota band before it either splits up or moves to Minneapolis.
Hip hop is the dominant local music form, according to Reverbnation. The style is presumably dubbed Frozen North.
Consistent with my new theme of reducing the cuisine of great regional restaurants to home cooking, I took my inspiration from the Hotel Donaldson (menu). The entrée most amenable to simplification is the spring chicken, largely for the appeal of making bright green edamame hummus.
The rapper most amenable to my ear turned out to be Mylez (Reverbnation), for the orchestral good time that he builds into his mixes. Preheat the oven to 350 and let’s get down and dakotan. Read the rest of this entry »
North Carolina is a top producer of yams. It yam what it yam.
The further I get into the 50 states project, the tougher it becomes to find a new dish to tackle. Since I’d hoisted myself on my own poblano pepper trying to copy a favorite restaurant offering for New Mexico, I figured I’d do the same for North Carolina. This left me with a choice of:
1. Slow-roasting pulled pork while running the air conditioner due to outside temperatures being eleventy-one, thus destroying all my eco-friendly credentials; or
2. Eyeing the menu of Raleigh’s Bloomsbury Bistro (here).
Prolonged gazing led to the realization that some food is meant to be restaurant food, due to the number of ingredients, reductions, stuffings, ravioli in flavors not marketed by Buitoni, and items that I can neither identify nor pronounce. Nonetheless, I decided to be inspired by the last item on the list: some sort of pale protein with “smashed potatoes,” haricot verts, a sauce, and maybe a fish theme. To go along with this, Paste helpfully provides 12 North Carolina Bands You Should Listen To Now, though we will limit ourselves to three. First up: Wood Ear (Bandcamp). Is it a mushroom or a musical pun? Read the rest of this entry »
It’s rare that I read a recipe and have no idea what the outcome will be. The Keene Pumpkin Festival’s recipe for pumpkin casserole (here) stumped me. Is it a cake? A pudding?
New Hampshire’s The Conniption Fits (official site) raises similar questions. Is this an original rock band or a cover band (its Youtube site is mostly covers)? Is its sound basic wall-of-guitars rock, electronic club music, or something in between with an early 1990s feel?
After listening to its self-titled 2011 EP, I still don’t know. I’m also not sure about the pumpkin casserole. Come, let us visit Schrödinger’s kitchen. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s so perverse that the natural response to really cute food is to want to eat more of it.
For Mississippi, my heart was set on making hushpuppies. Now that I own a candy thermometer, which can also be used for deep-frying, I even considered cracking out the peanut oil and giving it a shot. Then I had a good think about the dubious merits of applying hot oil first to my kitchen and then to my hips, which led to Googling whether it’s possible to oven-bake a hushpuppy. Answer: yes (Food Network recipe).
Googling also led me to The Mount Rushmores (Bandcamp), a Hattiesburg, Mississippi, band that compares itself to They Might Be Giants, R.E.M., and Death Cab for Cutie. The Mount Rushmores have an EP, Who You Hope To Be, so let’s listen to it (which you can do at Bandcamp, and buy it, too).
Read the rest of this entry »
Minnesota can only mean wild rice.
Minnesota can also mean snowy lonesome highways through the pine woods into the Iron Range, and for such occasions, we have Jamestown Story (official site), an acoustic band from Duluth.
In honor of Jamestown Story’s 2011 album, A Walk Through Time (buy from iTunes), let’s make a nice chicken-with-wild-rice that an indie band can afford, plus some bonus wild rice-blueberry-rye muffins. Read the rest of this entry »
This is a rutabaga. It is purportedly very, very good for you.
Exercise is also very, very good for you. So it’s time for a pick from the monthly Run Hundred Top 10 workout songs (voting is here), and I’m thinking Madonna.
Madonna is nothing like a rutabaga. Heck, she’s my mom’s generation and looks younger than I do, as well as achieving a much higher kick. I cannot promise that eschewing potato chips in favor of oven-baked rutabaga chips will help the rest of us achieve Madonna’s youthful glow and vigor, but it seems worth a try. Haul out your root veg, preheat your oven to 425, and let’s slice and spice!
If all my investments did as well as the rough-cost-of-an-upscale-burger-and-beer that I threw in the kitty for Green River Ordinance’s Kickstarter fund to make its new album Under Fire (buy at iTunes), I could develop half the vacant lots in downtown Phoenix.
As it is, I’ll have to settle for good cookies and good music. This round of cookies is savory: one variety is bacon-cheddar (recipe from Evil Shenanigans) and the other, inspired by bo08mo‘s adventures at Trader Joe’s, is cheddar-chocolate-chip. Read the rest of this entry »
That, sir or ma’am, is a vegetable.
It’s not just any vegetable. It is a pickled green bean. Iowa, the next stop on the 50 states / 50 dishes / 50 bands project, also has German and Dutch immigrants, and these are people who felt that vegetables are happiest when soaked in vinegar and allowed to putrefy. Since I regard Vlasic ultra-hot Polish dill pickles as an entire food group comparable to chocolate in importance, pickling a green bean struck me as a splendid idea.
Also a splendid idea is Ames, Iowa’s Peace, Love, and Stuff (Reverbnation), the band that introduced me to the term “psychobilly.” Shall we be full of spit and vinegar? (Well, vinegar, anyway. Spit would be gross, in context.) Read the rest of this entry »
Look at the grain on that bread. Just look at it.
Breaking my bread-won’t-rise curse is the result of following this recipe from @sylvanaire. Though it’s difficult to enthuse enough to do it justice, I’m going to try.
Having done my official Valentine’s Day cooking with Broken Heart Shortbread (here, along with extravagantly romantic music, whether you’re besotted or cynical), I’m still also in the mood to enthuse about romantic music. So it’s time for a potpourri of songs that amuse me, starting (as amusing me so often does) with a cover. Read the rest of this entry »
If it’s Idaho, it must be time for potatoes.
The perfect hibernation food is, of course, au gratin potatoes, a magic substance that I grew up believing came in a box. But the Pioneer Woman promises it’s possible make perfect potatoes au gratin from scratch (recipe), so that’s the current agenda. Read the rest of this entry »
At top left are the key limes.
Below them are the auxiliary back-up limes.
It’s time to tackle Florida in the 50 states / 50 dishes / 50 bands project.
Florida started off as a problem child, not due to any difficulties with the Boston Phoenix’s state pick, as runner-up Emily Reo (Bandcamp) is soothingly moody, with implied yanking of chains and rattling of bones.
No, the problem with Florida was that the iconic state dish is key lime pie, and the holidays had already involved more than their fair share of dessert, including the (unblogged) cinnamon cheesecake with a brownie crust.
My Plan B was alligator, even though alligator should properly be Plan A, and bison should be Plan B, working our way gradually toward Plan W for wildebeest. However, frozen alligator filet at stalwart butcher shop Hobe is $19 per pound.
“But I only pay that much for fresh gator!” would be the proper cry of the foodie. All the alligator recipes I could find were identical to chicken, anyway, so we can guess what alligator tastes like.
Back to limes. And that’s when everything went sour. Read the rest of this entry »
If we’re in Delaware, it must be time for crab puffs, right?
I’d girded my loins to tackle deep-frying… and then I priced crab. If one’s going to try a new and scary cooking technique, one doesn’t start with the most expensive available ingredient other than maybe foie gras, caviar, or pistachios. Meanwhile, frozen crab puffs were on sale at Kroger for $5.99 a four-pack.
So I went looking for another traditional Delaware dish and found corn pudding (Taste of Home recipe). My band pick to match is New Sweden (official site), whose sound is Americana, complete with mandolin, pump organ, viola, and banjo). The easiest way to get into New Sweden’s music is to go to its Reverbnation page (here) and press Play All. So please do. Read the rest of this entry »
Want to get sweaty?
Shortly after I wrote about seeing Incubus with Young the Giant, I received a charming email from the proprietor of Run Hundred, telling me that the Young the Giant song I’d featured (“My Body”) was on his monthly list of the top 10 workout songs (voting page is here), and would I like to see the rest of the list? Yes, I would.
It’s a nifty project, as songs are classified by beats per minute, in case you have a target tempo in mind. It also sucked me down the rabbit hole that is remixing. Ordinarily, I don’t follow dance/club music — the club scene out here runs heavily to astroturf mini-skirts with suggestively placed divots — so I hadn’t fully appreciated the multifarious remixes of Stockholm DJ Avicii, which we are about to explore. To give us energy for this adventure, we’ll need some granola. Ready… set… and one-and-two and one-and-two… Read the rest of this entry »
These tomatoes are about to go salsa dancing!
For music, I was in a random mood, and I’d read an interview on Concert Scene which David Cook had named his dream band (living or dead). A professional musician’s notions of a “great” band line-up are usually interesting for insight into what he or she considers to be great music, so we’re going to dig a little here and see what we find.
Spoiler: well-rounded hard rockers with an eclectic edge. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s proof that “nuts to you” is a compliment.
My first mission with the Secret Recipe Club was to choose a recipe from The Gonzo Gourmet. Since she handily lists the recipes every girl should have in her repertoire, I started there and found… lo! Spiced Nuts. No store-bought flavored nuts have ever measured up to the ones my grandmother made at home… and this recipe has no blanching of almonds to make me blench.
Since The Gonzo Gourmet writes about San Diego farmers’ markets, a San Diego band was a natural match. One of the big local indie bands, Echo Revolution, turns out to have a Beatles- and Depeche Mode-influenced alt-rock indie vibe that works for me to the tune of buying its most recent album, Counterfeit Sunshine. For a taste of the sound, let’s pull up the band’s MySpace page and get nutty.
Jay Nemor is a Texan who moved to Iceland to play professional basketball, rediscovered his love of the saxophone, and now writes and performs classic R&B in Norway. He is… The Most Interesting Man in the World.
He’s certainly the person whose music immediately inspired me to think “I must invent Norwegian-soul food fusion!” So I did. The results are a barbecue-style catfish (fish is very Scandihoovian) with yam chips.
For Nemor, inspiration comes in the form of a partnership with singer Kenya Emil. As Kenya and Nemor (official site), they have an EP, This Is Real, with an album threatened in the future. We’re going to explore the three main tracks of the EP while we make barbecue sauce. Read the rest of this entry »