Poo Cloud Whoopie Pies (inspired by Owen Pallett/Final Fantasy)

http://listen.grooveshark.com/songWidget.swf

THE DISH
Coconut whoopie pies! (Yep, they are good enough to warrant an exclamation point. Recipe after the cut.)

THE INSPIRATION
A few months ago my friend Amanda and I made cupcakes with mini pumpkin pies in them (inspired by a recipe on Bake It In A Cake). I had a ton of pumpkin pie filling left over, so later that week my friend Lauren and I decided to use it to make pumpkin whoopie pies. Figuring out the recipe required some serious math skills since we were working with pie filling, not just pumpkin puree … Anyway, by some miracle they came out perfectly — when we peeled the cakelike cookies off the wax paper, they were like perfect, fluffy, pillowy clouds.

However, this was before I had my amazing batter scoops, so some of them didn’t look so pretty. In fact, Lauren and I decided that a few of them sort of resembled dog poo. See where I’m going with this? Dog poo … fluffy clouds … poo clouds … Owen Pallett’s record He Poos Clouds… Get it?! And — so this whole post isn’t about my having the maturity of a 13-year-old (just most of it) — they really are a great match for the delicacy of Pallett’s music. A little more on that below.

So here are our whoopie pies, Take Two, except this time they’re pretty, they’re lighter, and they do not look like poo. Let me tell you, these are heavenly, and despite how insanely sweet they are, I promise you won’t be able to eat just one.

ABOUT THE ARTIST
If we’ve ever talked about music, there’s a good chance I’ve mentioned my love for Owen Pallett (until about a year ago, he performed as Final Fantasy). He’s a Canadian singer/songwriter/composer who has arranged music for and/or played with a bazillion artists (including Grizzly Bear, Beirut, the Pet Shop Boys, Mika, he’s written string arrangements for and played with Arcade Fire…), and his most recent record Heartland, his first under his own name instead of FF, was my favorite of 2010. A lot of his earlier music is rooted in delicately looped violin parts and vocals, with other orchestration on and off; Heartland has plenty of that, but it’s bigger and more produced, with more electronic elements and layers of vocals.
Owen Pallett on MySpace

Read More »

Advertisements

Hippie hash and an ode to a summer in East Lansing, Michigan

THE DISH
Hippie hash — my take on the signature dish at Lansing, Michigan’s Fleetwood Diner

THE INSPIRATION
When I think of Fleetwood Diner, I think of summer 2009, my last three months before I moved to Brooklyn, during which I had two classes to finish, but few other responsibilities aside from a couple shifts a week at the newspaper, some freelance work, and planning my big move. That summer consisted of plenty of group trips to breakfast after late nights out at house parties or at our favorite bars — most of which ended in friends sleeping on my couch or floor, occasionally with Taco Bell wrappers on the floor next to them. By the time we’d meet up at Fleetwood in the morning, some of us were usually hungover, and all of us were always hungry.

Aside from post-party breakfasts, the whole summer was filled with great food. My friends and I started a restaurant club — a last chance at places we needed to try before leaving East Lansing (more great breakfast at Golden Harvest, Ethiopian at Altu’s, Mexican at Mango’s); we squeezed as many as six of us into my Oldsmobile grandpa car and drove 20 minutes to the most amazing produce market/grocery store, Horrocks; we took over the huge kitchen at my co-op house to cook big meals and have potlucks.

That summer, as well as the two years I lived in that house (with 13 other students) played a huge part in my love of cooking. There were so many times when at least five of us would be in the kitchen making dinner at the same time — we’d share cooking tips, try each other’s food, and eat together. In New York, the nights I’m usually happiest are when my closest friends in the city come over for what we call our “family dinners.” We pick a theme (sushi, dumplings, holiday cookies, soup), pitch in ingredients, maybe drink a little wine, and make a meal together. It’s the best.

I should also note that I made this for brunch with my friend Missy, one of my best friends and creative partners in crime, who made the move to New York just a few months after I did. (She definitely was not the one sleeping on my floor next to the Taco Bell wrappers. And that definitely did not happen two nights in a row.)

Anyway, this playlist is a bunch of songs my friends and I spent a lot of time with that summer — there’s nothing groundbreaking here, and any music nerds listening will not be impressed, but that’s not the point. Summer ’09 = great food + these songs. You can even listen as you make this dish. Enjoy!

THE PLAYLIST

http://listen.grooveshark.com/widget.swf

Read More »

Bur Oak Winter Soup (Inspired by Bowerbirds)

“And he asked us what we had done for our souls lately”
— “Bur Oak” by Bowerbirds (from 2007’s Hymns for a Dark Horse)

http://listen.grooveshark.com/songWidget.swf

THE DISH
Butternut and acorn squash soup

THE INSPIRATION
Bowerbirds’ music is perfect for fall and winter: It’s peaceful and emotional, and the different moods in their songs are usually expressed through references to nature. All of their music feels warm to me, but in “Bur Oak,” the line “And he asked us what we had done for our souls lately” in particular makes me think of comfort food. On a cold fall or winter day, what’s better than coming home to a warm bowl of soup? I think taking care of our souls is very much related to what we put into our bodies and how we take care of our bodies — so a soul-satisfying dish should be hearty and filling, but also healthy. Also, the inclusion of acorn squash is a play on the title, with the oak tree. Then in the song “In Our Talons,” Phil Moore and Beth Tacular sing, “It takes a lot of nerve to destroy this wondrous earth,” which made me decide the dish should be vegan, so it’s as earth-friendly as possible (and the squash was bought locally, from the Union Square Greenmarket). Lastly, I served it with cornbread (I used this recipe; it’s not vegan, but I have seen vegan cornbread recipes!) because it’s one of the first foods that come to mind when I think of soul food, and it’s great with soup.

“It takes a lot of nerve to destroy this wondrous earth”
— “In Our Talons” (also from Hymns for a Dark Horse)

http://listen.grooveshark.com/songWidget.swf

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Bowerbirds are a folk group from North Carolina, led by multi-instrumentalists Phil Moore and Beth Tacular, though they usually have at least one other musician with them. They’re one of my favorite live bands — everyone switches instruments after nearly every song: acoustic guitar, a marching band-style bass drum, various other percussion instruments, strings … They’re so lovely and have so much positive energy.

Read More »

Indie Rock Deli: King of the Beach Sandwwich (Inspired by Wavves)

You’re never gonna stop me/ King of the beach
— “King of the Beach” by Wavves (from 2010’s King of the Beach)

http://listen.grooveshark.com/songWidget.swf

THE DISH
A veggie-filled sandwich with a crunchy and spicy twist (recipe at bottom of post)

THE INSPIRATION
Nathan Williams of the Los Angeles-based band Wavves is known as much for his on- and offstage antics as his music: The music itself is fun and refreshing fuzzy pop, and Williams’s lyrics are often bratty and self-deprecating — about being hated by his friends (and himself), being insane, and being the “king of the beach.” The avocado and fresh veggies represent Wavves’ California beach vibe, while the spicy mustard (and hot sauce, if you want) gives it a kick, and the chips are there because, well, he’s kind of a stoner. *Shoutout to Alex Naidus for coining the term “sandwwich.”
Wavves on MySpace

ABOUT INDIE ROCK DELI
It all started here, with a normal day at work that turned into an hours-long giggle fit. Indie Rock Deli dishes are inspired by punny takes on band names and song titles. Leave your own suggestions in the comments and they might be used in a future post! (No, they definitely don’t have to actually be indie rock.)

Read More »

Cabin Fever Cupcakes (Inspired by Casey Dienel/White Hinterland)

(Photo by Dominick Mastrangelo)

“As soon as you’re used to one season it moves/
And that’s all that you can count on.”
— “Cabin Fever” by Casey Dienel (from 2006’s Wind-Up Canary)

http://listen.grooveshark.com/songWidget.swf

THE DISH
Pumpkin-apple-champagne cupcakes with champagne buttercream frosting (recipe at bottom of post)

THE INSPIRATION
You know the awkward time between between fall and winter, usually in November-ish, when you’ve had two weeks of scarves and winter coats, then all of a sudden there are a few days when it’s 50 degrees and sunny and you can get away with just a sweatshirt? Or between winter and spring, when you think the snow has finally disappeared for the year and then BAM! Another snowstorm hits and, despite the fact that it’s mid-March, you’re suddenly convinced that winter won’t end for another six weeks? Casey Dienel’s song “Cabin Fever” sums that up perfectly, as she personifies autumn as an old man with tattered clothes, and sings about Indian summers, wearing sweaters, and getting out of town.

“And we’ll toast this death of summer months, and summer warmth, and summer love.”

The cupcakes were inspired by changing seasons and new beginnings: The pumpkin and apple are obvious fall flavors, the champagne is a nod to Dienel’s lyric about toasting the end of a season, and I wanted the frosting to look at least a little bit like snow. Since I made these for a New Year’s Eve party, the champagne was even more fitting to represent new beginnings. And hey, it’s also the first post on here, so cheers to that, too!

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Before she started performing as White Hinterland, Casey Dienel released Wind-Up Canary, a quirky piano-pop record that I bought on a whim about four years ago. Her first album as White Hinterland, 2008’s Phylactery Factory, was still rooted in piano, but WH’s 2010 LP, Kairos, took more cues from R&B than Regina Spektor. It should also be noted that Casey has a really wonderful food blog, Hungry Oyster — maybe I can convince her to come over and cook with me next time she’s in town?
White Hinterland on MySpace

Read More »

It’s alive!

Hello! I’m Laura, a Midwestern 20-something living in Brooklyn, and I have a mostly-healthy obsession with both music and food. By day I’m an editor for the digital music store eMusic, and by night I’m either out at a concert, or in my kitchen testing out new recipes and creating my own (and/or watching The Food Network).

I’ve realized that the associations I make in relation to music — moods, emotions, seasons, places, and people — can often be made with food, too, and this blog will explore the intersection of these two worlds. Most of the time (about twice a week), it’ll be through music-inspired recipes, some that are very literal or punny and others that are a bit more interpretive. I’ll also post themed cooking playlists and occasional features on people or places that are finding creative ways to combine what we hear with what we eat.

I’m not a chef and I have no formal culinary training — most of what I know comes from a mix of hands-on experience, other people, and, of course, the Internet. That also means most of the dishes you find here won’t be insanely complicated, or anything you can’t do in an average kitchen.

Since this is just the beginning, I expect that Eating the Beats will evolve quite a bit throughout the next few months, so I’d love to hear from you if you have any feedback or recipe ideas. Feel free to contact me at laura [at] eatingthebeats [dot] com, or just leave your thoughts in the comments. You can follow me on Twitter at @eatingthebeats for updates on new posts, or follow my personal Twitter feed, @leebovel, for other food- and music-related musings.

Enjoy!

xo,

Laura