Thursday, February 27, 2014

Albums I Will Always Love: Neko Case, Middle Cyclone


Neko Case
Middle Cyclone

Neko Case seems to release albums during pivotal moments in my life - her most recent was right after I made the move to Chicago and 2009's Middle Cyclone came out during a tumultuous freshman year at college. I had long been a fan of her music, but it wasn't until this album that I became somewhat obsessed. Middle Cyclone was the first step into a more aggressive sound. Per usual she has her folk-rock moments as well as her Spaghetti Western ones, but as the album cover portrays, she is a woman who provokes and promotes girl power. 
Tornados have always been symbolic for me. They often appear in my nightmares, because they are spontaneous and you never have enough time to prepare for one. I'm sure that speaks loads about who I am, so I am glad someone finally sang about the darn things. 

Mockingbird sings in the middle of the night,
All his songs are stolen so he hides,
He stole them out from whiporwills,
And screaming car alarms,
He sings them for you special,
He knows you're afraid of the dark
 - Magpie to the Morning

But I'm a man man man man man man man eater 
But still you're surprised-prised-prised when I eat ya 
 - People Got A Lot Of Nerve

Check out: "This Tornado Loves You" my most played song on the album and most vivid, "I'm An Animal" such true lyrics, and "The Pharoahs" belongs in a new-wave Western.

Buy: Amazon | iTunes

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mixtape Mondays: Inspired by the 80's, Part Trois

I apologize for my absence - between performances and my parents being in town, there has been very little down time. But now, back to regular blogging...

I've got a new slew of 80's inspired songs that I want to share with you!

1. Fashion of His Love - Lady Gaga
2. Still Love Me - Jessie Ware
3. Call Me Up - St. Lucia
4. Bloom - Gypsy & The Cat
5. Sparrow Songs - Acrylic
6. Can't Stop the Aching - The Mary Onettes
7. Parade of Youth - Ponychase
8. Diamond - Lightning Dust
9. The Way It Was - The Killers
10. Willows and Pines - Azure Blue
11. Don't Forget (To Forget About Me) - The Mary Onettes
12. You Caught the Light - CHVRCHES
13. After the Curtain - Elliot White

hear 'em:


See also: Inspired by the 80's Part Un & Deux

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Guinness Pretzel Truffles

Guinness Pretzel Truffles Guinness Pretzel Truffles
I'm giving these homemade Guinness Pretzel Truffles away to all the loves of my life - friends and family. Since my oven has proved time after time that it cannot bake anything properly (I'm suspecting it's gluten-free), I've resorted to over-the-stove treats. 
Compared to Sprinkle Bakes' truffles, I went a little overboard with the crushed pretzels, as in I was lazy and didn't have a food processor to pulverize them like she said, so mine are a but chunkier. 
I am very pleased with the way these little morsels of salty-sweet came out, and I want to say it's the first time I've ever made truffles!
Bonus - I have extra Guinness and pretzels leftover! 
Guinness Pretzel Truffles

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mixtape Monday: Love Is A Losing Game

{paintings by Jarek Puczel}

These songs are all about love, from the uninhibited to the unrequited: 

1. Love Is A Losing Game - Amy Winehouse
2. Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken - Camera Obscura
3. Sadness Is A Blessing - Lykke Li ("Sadness is my boyfriend"...)
4. Does He Love You? - Rilo Kiley (Perhaps my all-time favorite RK song? Sung by the P.O.V. of the "other woman.")
5. Pictures - Sia
6. A Man / Me / Then Jim - Rilo Kiley
7. Shadow of Love - She & Him
8. Unrequited Love - Lykke Li
9. New Lover - Josh Ritter (about moving on)
10. The Book of Love - The Magnetic Fields
11. I Don't Want Love - The Antlers
12. Addicted to Love - Florence + The Machine
13. Love Lost - Temper Trap (I've been meaning to feature this one for so long!)
14. No One's Gonna Love You - Band of Horses
15. I Was A Fool - Tegan and Sara

listen:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup Lasagna Soup
Omg, y'all. This decadent soup...which barely gets away with being soup....
This is the second time I've made this Lasagna Soup and it's become a comfort food to go back to. I made this during the Polar Vortex days and it was just what the weatherman ordered.

Lasagna Soup
(adapted from this recipe)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage, removed from casings
3 red onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp Greek seasoning
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1-6oz. can tomato paste
1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
8 oz fusilli whole wheat pasta
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 oz. part-skim ricotta
1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, Greek seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.
2. Add diced tomatoes and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. 
3. While the pasta is cooking, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, salt, and pepper.
4. To serve, ladle soup and dollop with ricotta mixture. 
Lasagna Soup

Thursday, February 6, 2014

fountain by iamamiwhoami


This video is stunning. Entrancing. 
I won't even admit the amount of times I've watched it this week. 
How are the Swedes both masters of composing cool electronic music... and making inexpensive, assemble-yourself sofas?

Also, I think this video was shot in Iceland? But I could be mistaken....

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Date & Pecan Baked Oatmeal

Date & Pecan Baked Oatmeal
Operation quick-hot-breakfast: this baked oatmeal, which can be re-heated for many days after making. It's a good for you, stick to your ribs sort of breakfast.  

Date & Pecan Baked Oatmeal
(inspired by this)
1½ cups plain non-fat yogurt
2 large eggs
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp salt 
1½ cups almond milk
1 cup chopped dried dates
1 cup pecans, chopped
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and milk until smooth.
2. Add the pecans, dates, and rolled oats to the milk mixture. Stir until well combined.
3. Pour the oat mixture into a 9×9 casserole dish coated with non-stick spray. Bake at 375° for about 45 minutes, or until the center is no longer wet.
Date & Pecan Baked Oatmeal
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