Caffeinated Coffee-Chocolate Cookies (Inspired by TV on the Radio)

Coffee/chocolate chip cookie sandwiches with chocolate-coffee filling (Recipe here)

There are two parts to this (both super literal — sorry dudes, more-creative things coming soon!): TV on the Radio have a new record out, Nine Types of Light; I admit I haven’t spent a ton of time with it yet, but the album closer is called “Caffeinated Consciousness”; that combined with the band’s excellent 2006 album Return to Cookie Mountain? These cookies shouldn’t come as much of a surprise! And yes, they are in a mountain on the plate.

For the past decade, TV on the Radio have been making electro-rock music that makes me think of college dance parties and the sea of fist-pumpers that flooded half of Grant Park when I saw the band at Lollapalooza a few years ago. Their 2008 LP Dear Science won that year’s Pazz & Jop critics’ poll, and they’re simply an all-around awesome band. (On an incredibly upsetting note, bassist Gerard Smith passed away from lung cancer about a week ago … I had this post planned before then but still wanted to share it; my heart goes out to the band and Smith’s family and friends.)
TV on the Radio on MySpace

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Buy Nothing Day: Tips For Using What You’ve Got (Inspired by The Go! Team)

We don’t plan it all/ ‘Cause making it up is so natural”
— “Buy Nothing Day,” by the Go! Team, from 2011’s Rolling Blackouts

In the past couple weeks, I’ve been making more of an effort to use up what I already have around my apartment instead of picking up a few extra groceries: I begrudgingly opened a box of cereal instead of buying missing ingredients to make more granola, I dug out a can of black beans that had been hiding on my shelf; finished up a box of quinoa; and used up random chunks of cheese scattered in my fridge. It’s definitely saved me a few bucks this month, not to mention I’m not letting anything go to waste. Below is a quick guide to using up some common foods you probably have sitting on your shelves and in your fridges — veggies, beans, herbs, nuts, and grains.

Of course there’s the literalness of a song called “Buy Nothing Day” — the goal is to not have to purchase any extra ingredients for these dishes — but the lyric about not planning is relevant, too (even if that’s a little creative interpretation on my part…). When you’re left with just a few things in the pantry, making dinner is not a matter of following rigid instructions or recipes — it’s about making do with what you have. Also, the peppy, cheerleader-esque qualities of the Go! Team’s music is sorta how I feel when I pull together a full meal from what seemed like nothing on my shelf in the fridge.
The Go! Team on MySpace

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High-Energy Apple Muffins (Inspired by The Apples In Stereo)

“And the world is made of energy
and the world is possibility
and the world is made of energy
and there’s a light inside of you
and there’s a light inside of me.”
— “Energy” by the Apples in Stereo, from their 2007 LP New Magnetic Wonder

Apple-nut-quinoa muffins

The Apples in Stereo’s perfect spring anthem “Energy” is guaranteed to make you feel great, and these muffins might make you feel even better. They are delicious (I wanted to eat spoonfuls of the batter), but you don’t have to feel bad about eating them because they’re packed with high-energy, high-protein ingredients like quinoa and walnuts, and the sweetness comes mostly from shredded apples, plus raisins, coconut, cinnamon and just a little bit of raw sugar. (Yep, they are vegan.)
The Apples in Stereo on MySpace

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Sunny-Side-Up Egg Breakfast (Inspired by a classic folk song)

“Keep on the sunny side,
Always on the sunny side,
Keep on the sunny side of life.
It will help us every day,
It will brighten all the way,
If we keep on the sunny side of life”

— “Keep On The Sunny Side,” originally by Ada Blenkhorn and J. Howard Entwisle in1899, made famous by the Carter Family in 1928, and performed here by The Low Anthem on their 2007 album What The Crow Brings

Spinach, onions and quinoa topped with a sunny-side-up egg (recipe here)

I never skip breakfast. Ever. My everyday morning meal isn’t usually super elaborate, but I always need something to wake me up and get my day going. More often than not, I eat homemade granola with Greek yogurt and berries, but in a recent effort to use up what’s on my shelf and in my fridge (more on that later this week), I’ve been changing it up this week. This classic song (performed above by The Low Anthem, though it dates back to 1899) is about keeping on “the sunny side of life” — which made my sunny-side-up egg an obvious pick, but living every day on the sunny side, to me, also means having energy and feeling great. Quinoa is known as a superfood because it’s a complete protein, a good source of fiber, gluten free, and easy to digest — not to mention it’s tasty, it cooks quickly (in about 15 minutes), and can be used in a bajillion different dishes. You really can’t go wrong with spinach (tons of vitamins, iron, and calcium), and topped off with a runny egg, sunny side up? Yeah, that’ll keep me on the sunny side for the rest of the day.

The Low Anthem are an indie-folk group from Providence, Rhode Island, made up of musicians who switch instruments with nearly every song — guitar, string bass, organ, bells, clarinet, strings … One of my favorite live folk bands.
The Low Anthem on MySpace

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Teatime Scones with Rosewater Icing (Inspired by Betty & the Werewolves)

Buttery scones with rosewater icing (Recipe + photos here)

The British group Betty and the Werewolves are a band my coworker Jayson discovered last summer while browsing the Freshly Ripped page on eMusic, and they are awesome! They make bouncy, fuzzy indie pop with lines like “I don’t want dinner and a movie/ I just someone that’ll move me” and “My bedroom’s covered in photos of David/ I have 5,000 if I’m estimating” (in reference to David Cassidy). For fans of Allo Darlin’, Ida Maria, The Raincoats and The Breeders.

Their LP is called Teatime Favourites, so I made scones — a perfect treat for a cup of tea — with rosewater icing, which I thought would be a pretty and dainty complement to the scones, but it actually tasted more like a mix of bubblegum and soap (the scones were great, though!). Turns out I am not a fan of rosewater!
Betty & the Werewolves on MySpace
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A Decadent Post-Show Brunch (Stuffed French Toast) + Lazy Sunday Songs

Champagne-dipped Challah French toast stuffed with mascarpone, chocolate and banana (Recipe and photos here)

There’s nothing I love more than waking up after a big night out and cooking up a huge brunch with the people I was out with. It was the morning after the final LCD Soundsystem show at Madison Square Garden, and my friends and I decided to spend the morning/afternoon cooking and eating entirely too much food. Tony and Paul made a huge batch of biscuits and sausage gravy, we ate a bunch of cheese Tony bought at Murray’s Cheese Shop, and I took on the most amazing, decadent breakfast dish I have ever made. I never order this stuff when I’m at a restaurant — I always stick to the egg dishes — but my roomie Petra sparked the mascarpone idea and I went with it. I should also give props to James, who had the brilliant idea to add champagne to the egg mixture, which makes it a bit lighter and fluffier than normal French toast. This stuff was so amazing that Missy told me it ruined French toast for her — because now any time she eats it, she will only be thinking of this. (Photos: Thank you Joe and James, although I’m not sure who took what!)


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Follow This Foodie: Carlye Wisel of Big Ugly Yellow Couch

(Photos by Donald Rasmussen)

When Carlye Wisel and Donald Rasmussen moved to New York from Chicago, they brought with them a seven-foot-long yellow couch, and it eventually became a place where bands came to play acoustic sets in their Brooklyn apartment, which are then filmed for their blog, Big Ugly Yellow Couch. Since then, the couch has gone through a horrendous building fire and a couple of apartments, but the site is still up and running, with videos of up-and-coming bands like Phantogram, Oh Land, and one of my faves, Yellow Ostrich.

It might not be obvious from looking at the site, but food actually plays a significant role in BUYC: When setting up the sessions, Carlye asks the bands for their favorite snacks, and does her best to have them ready when they get there. She’s also constantly blogging/Tweeting about food, and I’m constantly impressed by her eating abilities (and all of my friends’ eating abilities, for that matter!).

Big Ugly Yellow Couch
Awkward City, Population 1

Carlye chatted with me about cooking music, kitchen design, and gluten-free snacking.

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Black & White Cookies + Saying Goodbye to LCD Soundsystem

And to tell the truth
Oh, this could be the last time
So here we go
Like a sail’s force into the night

And if I made a fool, if I made a fool, if I made a fool
On the road, there’s always this
And if I’m sewn into submission
I can still come home to this
— LCD Soundsystem, “All My Friends”

On Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, James Murphy and the rest of LCD Soundsystem got that song out of the way early — near the end of the first of three hour-long sets that made up their last hurrah. I could feel the tears swelling up in my eyes, but my jumping up and down and singing along kept them from actually falling. If I had stood still, though, I would’ve lost it — just like I almost did the last time I saw them, last year with some of my best friends. That band means a lot to me, and while I’m sad it’s over, the night was one hell of a celebration with some of the people closest to me, made even more exciting by the really awesome folks we met throughout the night. I won’t recap the whole thing, but I’ll at least say that the show was equal parts phenomenal and exhausting. By the end of it, I was so worn out that I didn’t have much energy to even be sad anymore — which perhaps was the plan. Some random thoughts: I flipped out when Win, Regine and Will from Arcade Fire joined the band on stage for “North American Scum” (fun fact: I tried to get that song’s title engraved on the back of my iPod, but Apple decided it was inappropriate); “45:33” didn’t feel as long as I expected it to; and I sorta wished James was a little closer in drunkenness to LCD’s show at Music Hall of Williamsburg last year. Anyway, even though we nearly froze waiting three hours in 15-degree weather to buy the tickets, and then got in line way earlier than we needed to, it was all totally worth it. Very excited to see what James Murphy does next.

(Me with my ticket; photo by my buddy Dominick Mastrangelo, on Brooklyn Vegan)

Classic black and white cookies (recipe link + photos from the show)

I made classic New York black and white cookies for a classic New York band, and a nod to James Murphy’s request that everyone at the last show wear all black and white. A lot of people followed it but, to the girl in the teal jacket, and the other in the floral dress: WTF? The silver behind the main photo is because of LCD’s amazing 2007 album Sound of Silver. “I was there” is from the band’s first single, “Losing My Edge” (got this idea from Evie, who joked about people selling T-shirts with that on it), and the lightning bolt is the logo of Murphy’s record label, DFA.

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