Saturday, April 5, 2014

Raise High and Pecan Biscuits

I've had a cold, and my computer has had a virus, but I think we're both almost entirely recovered. Until we're back on a completely regular schedule, here are a few updates:

Book: I saw Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters on a list of recommended books, and since I knew and loved several other books on the list, I decided to read it. It is a novella by J.D. Salinger and it was not great. It was in the same volume as Seymour: An Introduction (also by Salinger), which was only slightly better. 

Music: We went back to the rodeo this year, and it was just as wonderful. We held the baby goats, pet the deer, ate the barbecue, and cheered loudly for Josh Turner. His voice is deep, his music is catchy, and the entire experience was very country. He played along with his own music videos, and if there wasn't already a video, his production team had developed other graphics to accompany the music, so it was a unique, and sometimes ridiculous, show experience, but it was all very endearing. 

Food: Joy the Baker's Buttered Pecan Biscuits are absolutely amazing. Definitely one of my favorite things I've made recently.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

South by Southwest Review

I thought I would post a delightfully comprehensive South by Southwest review, but I was going to do that on Sunday and it's already Tuesday.

I thought it would be thoughtful and helpful and informative, but I don't have the vocabulary for explaining music.

Instead, here are some acts that I particularly enjoyed, and names of songs that I'd recommend looking up. The songs (if I knew of one to recommend) are personal favorites or ones that might exemplify the general style. Enjoy!

Old Favorite: Eric Hutchinson (pictured), song: Rock and Roll

Vaguely Familiar: Kishi Bashi, song: Bright Whites

The Magic Numbers (pictured) was a close second, but their first set that I saw was acoustic and somewhat disappointing. One of my favorite things about them is the upbeat music behind sad lyrics, and in the acoustic set, it just all sounded sad. Watching the second set was like watching a completely different band, in the best way possible. Song: Love Me Like You

New Discoveries: 
Wild Child & Slow Magic were two were local acts that we stumbled upon and they were both lovely. I'd definitely see them again.

Kane Place Record Club just happened to be playing in front of a food truck that we passed. They have a LOT of instruments and their performance had more energy than I had seen in one place in quite some time; they looked like they were having the time of their lives, and their enthusiasm was contagious.

I saw Jamestown Revival (song: California (Cast Iron Soul)) and Vance Joy (pictured; song: Riptide) perform only briefly because it was part of a recording, but both were magnificent. Jamestown Revival was very impressive, and even if they hadn't been it would have been worth hearing them just to pick up the phrase "cast iron soul," which is exceptionally beautiful.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Banana Ice Cream

Book:  NW by Zadie Smith was the last book club book. It tells the story of four people connected by the same area of London. The style is really interesting, including a middle section that is an extended list, and one section where the character's thoughts are inserted in italics in the midst of the action. Although I appreciate the style and found the writing to be really beautiful, it made it hard for me to connect with the characters and follow the story. 

Music: Jorge Regula by The Moldy Peaches

Food: Homemade banana ice cream is one of the easiest and best things that I have ever made. Blend frozen bananas with a little milk and cinnamon until they reach the consistency of ice cream. You could probably leave out the milk if you have a really good blender, or use almond milk to make it dairy free. 

Monday, March 3, 2014


Book: Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls is David Sedaris' new book. The stories are amazing and his voice is incredible. It reminds me a lot of Augusten Burroughs, who is one of my favorites. 

Music: Sugar Town by Nancy Sinatra

Food: My mom sent me one of her friend's salad dressing recipes that calls for one avocado, the juice of one lime, one clove of garlic, fresh basil, and salt and pepper, blended with 1/4 - 1/2 cup of olive oil. It's amazing. 

It's even more amazing when you make your salads in an enormous bowl. I want to eat all of my salads out of such enormous bowls so I have plenty of room to mix everything up. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Quick Dinner

Book: Saturday Night Live FAQ is the second history of Saturday Night Live that I have read. The book is fairly dry, but I'm fascinated by the show's history, so I loved it. Live From New York was better and had a few more stories and less data, so that would be a better place to start if you are curious. 

Music: There's a Beast and We All Feed It by Jake Bugg 

Food: I had a lot of leftover ingredients one night, but they turned into an amazing dinner. I cut up some tomatoes, garlic, and onion and put them on the stove in a little olive oil. Once it had cooked down a little, I spread it on toast and topped with queso fresco and parsley. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Super Salsa

Book: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett is a beautiful novel that has great things to say about music, language, and humanity.

Food: I made mango salsa for the Super Bowl, and it was such a big hit that we almost licked the bowl. I started making it to go with blackened fish in Spain, but it turns out that it is just as good on chips. I left out the red onion to accommodate food allergies, so this is just diced tomato, cucumber, and mango with lime juice and cilantro. Red pepper would also be phenomenal. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Book: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood had been on my list for a long time, and it is absolutely worth the read.

Music: House of Gold has been on the radio a lot lately and it gets catchier every time.

Food: I grew carrots!
And on another note, to clarify a potential misconception that trying not to waste food always yields the recently mentioned wheat berry salads and coffee cake, I should also point out that in the week after hosting book club, the leftovers yielded two dinners of previously toasted bread and butter, end-of-the-bag crushed chips stirred into end-of-the-jar salsa, and ice cream. It was delicious. And, although the food was weird, I did eat it at a table, from a bowl, with a spoon. Dinners over the sink are convenient, but I usually end up needing two or three of them to feel like I've eaten.