Thursday, December 20, 2012

what? a food blog?

Yup, I started a vegetarian food blog. I have a lot of friends who are either already excellent cooks or want to learn more about cooing vegetarian, and this blog is dedicated to them. I'm excited to continue to add recipes (many are original) and become better at handling my new camera and photographing food and people in the kitchen. I think it'll be a fun project! Check it out HERE.

Monday, December 17, 2012

the night is a disco

This is a piece I wrote covering Shiny Around the Edges' new album, film, and release show at Macaroni Island last month. It was an awesome show. The original article is posted on Austere Magazine's blog HERE.

Sempiternal Denton Band Shiny Around the Edges Rocks the House Releasing The Night is a Disco
 Shiny Around the Edges, still one of Denton’s favorite experimental bands, continues to evolve and define themselves after over a decade of music making. The band played to an enthusiastic crowd in the packed garage of Macaroni Island last Friday, excited to release their newest and most vibrant album to date, The Night Is a Disco. If there’s one thing Shiny knows how to do best, it’s rock a house show. 

The electronic duo Forever Home kicked off the evening with some experimental grooves. Shiny performed a slightly longer set, showcasing a good deal of their diversely musical new album. Featuring, as always, a delightful mashup of both Jenny and Mike’s dynamic vocals, guitar, sax, and heavy drum beats, over the course of the evening the band also introduced keyboard solos, a clarinet, and even a trombone. Local noise-rock group, Eccotone, finished up the night with a rowdy set. Macraroni Island was a new experience for me, a great venue overall, but the acoustics are probably less ideal for very loud acts.

The album itself kicks off with several melodic pieces featuring Jenny Seman’s hauntingly beautiful vocals accompanied by sparse piano and bass. As the album progresses, new elements are added, instruments and vocals alike. Eerie chanting, explosive guitar riffs, jazzy saxophone solos, auxiliary percussion, room sounds, innovative beats, and bird calls all make this album sensationally unique. True to their experimental and atmospheric background, the dynamics of these songs rise and fall expertly, but no one could argue that intensity of this album ever falters.

Along with the new album, Shiny has also taken on a film project, shot just last month in an abandoned house owned by local Council member, Kevin Roden. What started as a photo-shoot in the old house this summer turned into a concept for a music video that evolved into the short film “Seven Knots.” The film was made possible with the help of many Denton locals, from the production assistance of Amandus Studios to costuming by Lisa Townsend of Time Bandits Vintage Clothing- not to mention the many friends and fans of the band appearing in the film itself. Seven Knots was directed by Chad Withers. Shiny is excited to finish up post-production and start submitting the film to festivals before its wide release digitally or on DVD. Shiny’s own Mike Seman also mentioned the possible release of a “Seven Knots” soundtrack.

After all these years, Shiny Around the Edges is still going strong- they plan to take on new projects while continuing to write music and rock the local scene. They express a desire to incorporate more local music talent, much like they have with their current saxophonist, Mike Forbes, who often plays with the group live and has started collaborating with Mike and Jenny write music “from scratch.” To quote Mike directly when asked where he sees the band going in the future:

“We will most likely continue playing shows in the DFW region with occasional jaunts outside of the state here and there…we’ll support a bigger act on tour again as our schedules are fairly flexible. We’re always writing songs, so more recordings will undoubtedly happen. We really enjoyed the entire process of shooting a film and will most likely do so again in the future.”

Monday, December 3, 2012

cream of jalapeño soup

THIS IS THE BEST cream of jalapeno soup on the internet. ASK GOOGLE. Ask Yahoo. Ask your mom. This is it. No one else was brave enough to try this. But two of my best friends and I took on this challenge tonight and it turned out FANTASTIC. This is an ORIGINAL recipe we're going to share with you. It's WORTH IT. Everything we found online wanted to call "cream of jalapeno soup" some weak nonsense with 2-6 jalapenos. PLEASE. We used THIRTY, and I'm tempted to use more next time. What started as a simple experiment turned out to be an incredible flavor experience. This recipe is huge- it'll easily feed eight hungry people or you can eat some of it and freeze the rest for a quick, delicious, spicy meal. Try it and enjoy**!

Here's what you need:

30 jalapeno peppers
2 green bell peppers
1 yellow onion
1 head of garlic
6 red potatoes
8 oz. cream cheese
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 c. vegetable broth
1 c. fresh spinach
3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
      1 tbsp. parsley
1/2 tbsp. sweet paprika
salt & black pepper to taste

for garnish:
2 pieces of toast per person
olive oil, garlic salt, paprika, parsley
pomegranate seeds (very optional)

For the peppers, cut the tops off and de-seed (keep some seeds for extra heat, if you so desire!), place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping them over halfway through cooking. Meanwhile, dice your onion, mince the garlic, shred the potatoes, chop the fresh spinach.

Saute the onion in the olive oil in a large pot. Once the onion is soft, add the garlic and saute until everything is golden brown and deliciously aromatic. Add the broth and potatoes and cover for about fifteen minutes on a medium heat. Let the peppers cool enough to handle and chop them roughly, setting about 7-8 chopped jalapenos to the side. Add the rest to the pot, along with the spices and fresh spinach, and cook about five to ten minutes more.

Using a blender or food processor, process the all of the soup in batches until smooth and creamy. Put the creamy soup back into the pot and add the remaining chopped jalapenos. Add the whipping cream and all of the cream cheese in 1 oz. chunks and stir until melted smooth. Add salt and pepper as needed.

We garnished our soup with simple garlic toast. Using a hearty whole-wheat bread, we cut the bread into inch-wide strips, placed it on a baking sheet, drizzled it with olive oil and sprinkled it with garlic salt, paprika, and parsley. We discovered on accident that a small garnish of pomegranate seeds added on top of the soup contributed this PERFECT sweet, cooling effect. SO GOOD. Don't hate it until you try it!


writing buddy

this is my writing buddy. 
sitting in front of the computer is what we did for a whole month. 
good thing it's nice outside right now.