Kale Salad with Orange-Honey Poppyseed Dressing (Inspired by Sea of Bees)

Kale salad with oranges, radishes, avocados and honey-orange poppyseed dressing

Sea of BeesSea of Bees is Julie Ann Bee (pictured right), a disarming singer-songwriter from Sacramento, California, who completely blew my mind when I saw her in New York playing with The Loom last week (I was legitimately almost in tears). Sometime after she released her excellent first album Songs for the Ravens in 2009, she came out as a lesbian and began her first relationship with a woman. Thanks to that album’s success, constant touring and presumably just normal relationship things, that particular journey ended, and it makes up a lot of her new record Orangefarben, which was released on Team Love a few weeks ago. “Orangefarben” really just means orange-colored in German, and it’s the nickname Julie called her girlfriend, so the salad I made obviously has oranges in it (and carrots for more orange color); as well as honey in the dressing because of Sea of “Bees.” The kale and radishes are bitter, like the end of many relationships, and the dressing and oranges are quite sweet, to represent the sweetness in the beginning, and the satisfaction from how much we can learn from any relationship, especially a first one. And the avocados are there for Julie’s California roots. Unrelated (but not really because it also has to do with fully expressing yourself!), but, shoutout to my buddy Caroline, whose birthday shindig I took this to — she runs an awesome and inspiring personal style blog called Broadist, and if you’re a body-positive lady, you should probably check it out.

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Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce + songs for new beginnings

Vietnamese-style spring rolls with peanut sauce (recipe here)

New York has been feeling like spring, well, throughout most of where winter normally would have been. But this week we finally had the first real day of spring, and to celebrate the beginning of a new season, I made these spring rolls — tasty, refreshing, and uh, springy. Make a few and go eat them in a park (that’s what I did the evening of the spring solstice, and it was lovely). And, since spring is a time for starting over — a new season, new life outside, spring cleaning, etc. — below are a few songs/albums about new beginnings.

Bowerbirds, “Tuck the Darkness In”
The Clearing is a fitting name for Phil Moore and Beth Tacular’s third LP as Bowerbirds: A clearing is a clean slate to start over again, and these songs came out of Beth battling an extreme illness, the couple breaking up and getting back together, rescuing a stray dog, and beginning to build a cabin together in the woods. [Recipe: Acorn squash soup, inspired by Bowerbirds]

Edwyn Collins, “Losing Sleep”
On the title track of Edwyn Collins‘s 2011 album, the former Orange Juice frontman sings, “I must believe, I must retrieve/ The things I know, the things I trust.” In 2005, a brain hemorrhage left him at the beginning of a long road to recovery. That he regained the ability not only to speak and walk again but to make an entire new album (and he also finished one he’d started before the hospitalization) is astounding.

We Are Augustines, “Book of James”
We Are Augustines are made up of former members of the band Pela; that band was dissolving, frontman Billy McCarthy’s brother James committed suicide, and We Are Augustines rose from their ashes. This song from their debut, Rise Ye Sunken Ships, is a tribute to James, with McCarthy singing, “Just know we tried/ You’re forgiven.” [Recipe: Peach-blackberry-ginger popsicles, inspired by We Are Augustines]

Kathleen Edwards, “Sidecar”
Canadian singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards‘s recent album Voyageur is, in part, a post-divorce recovery. But the end of that brought on the beginning of a new relationship, this time with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, who helped produce the record. Voyageur was also sort of a musical rebirth for Edwards, who traded a bit of her older (and amazing) music’s Americana twang for a little more pop polish. This is a perfect song about a new romance — sharing each other’s favorite places, eating breakfast in bed, getting over monsters from the past and “chasing down the hard stuff” as we go.

Mikal Cronin, “Apathy”
Graduating from college is a monumental time to snap into start-over mode, and that in-between is what fueled California garage-rocker Mikal Cronin‘s 2011 self-titled album. In “Apathy,” he sings about being older and “getting along with my future.”

Great Lake Swimmers, “New Wild Everywhere”
On the title track from Great Lake Swimmers‘ upcoming album, Tony Dekker sings about new life outside: plants rooting, “blooming sounds,” and the sky exploding. Also, this band will always make me think of new beginnings, thanks to my cousin and his wife, who played their song “Your Rocky Spine” at their wedding last summer.

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Citrus sushi

Crunchy Citrus Sushi (Inspired by Asobi Seksu)

Homemade sushi with crunchy clementine tempura

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Making homemade sushi makes for a great date. It’s hands-on, you’re teaching someone how to do something new, and, well, can you really go wrong with sushi? Not so much. (Admittedly, this is probably best for a date with someone you are super comfortable with — we all know there is no graceful way to eat sushi!) In this case, I knew it was going to be a great evening when the fella emailed me a few days beforehand with an excellent musical twist to add to our planned sushi-making adventure: a roll inspired by Asobi Seksu‘s album Citrus. In his words: “SO, we’re talking about a roll with salmon (either fresh or smoked), a vertical section of orange (naval, clementine, both?), cucumber, and some essence of crunch, for the loud + discordant factor.” We ended up with fresh salmon, avocado and cucumber, plus clementine fried in tempura batter for the crunch factor. It was certainly a bit different than any other sushi I’ve had, but the citrus worked surprisingly well and I loved it. Also in the spirit of this kinda-silly holiday, it’s perhaps worth noting that the loose translation of the Japanese phrase “asobi seksu” is “casual sex.” Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

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Indie Rock Deli: We Jam Avocado (3 Avocado Dishes inspired by The Minutemen)

Avocado tacos, guacamole, and avocado fries

When Laura asked for guest posts for Eating The Beats, I was all in — until I realized that I am much better at making puns than I am at cooking. So I went to my talented friend David Anthony and asked for inspiration. He responded with 23 recipe ideas playing with band names, album titles and song titles, some of which were so funny that our lack of cooking skills or experience could not stop them. The clear frontrunner was We Jam Avocado, avocado-based recipes inspired by The Minutemen documentary We Jam Econo. And since a joke doesn’t start to get good until it reaches the ground, we decided to do a trio (GET IT?! LIKE THE BAND!) of avocado recipes with a California twist (‘CAUSE THAT’S WHERE THEY’RE FROM). A twist that, to us, means adding limes to everything, and to David means twists of lime and another pun. We stumbled through most of these recipes, by adding things we liked — Bacon! Cheese! Frying! — as we went, but the tacos especially are open to experimentation. We also included very few procedural photographs, because no one needs to know about our knife skills.

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Follow These Foodies: Liz and Zeph Courtney from Snap Food Truck and Brooklyn Band Diehard

Liz and Zeph Courtney are the guitarist/vocalist and drummer, respectively, of Brooklyn rock outfit Diehard (download a free track from their upcoming LP here), and now the recently hitched couple has another creative endeavor: a bio-fueled food truck called Snap, through which they’ll sell Chicago-style hot dogs, along with burgers and fries. The truck itself still needs a bit of work, but they made their official dog-vending debut at the Bell House in Gowanus just a couple weeks ago, and they hope to be hitting the streets by next year. Avocado fries with chipotle aoili? Yes, please!

Liz and Zeph chatted about the B-52s, Liz’s lack of microwave skills, and the tunes you’ll be hearing from the truck when it’s out on the road (it won’t be Frank Zappa).

Diehard on Facebook
Home Sweet Homewrecker

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Beet-Avocado “Tartare” and a California playlist

Beet-avocado “tartare”

At the end of February I took my first trip to Los Angeles, to visit my cousins for a week. I did lots of yoga, went hiking, saw a not-so-hilarious improv show, played with puppies, and wandered around Santa Monica. I also ate lots of awesome food, like spinach and corn tamales from Hugo’s Tacos, a lemon bar from Big Sugar Bakeshop, an insanely fresh egg salad sandwich with avocado at The Trails in Griffith Park, and a huge veggie plate at Border Grill.

My most memorable meal, though, came from Madeleine Bistro, a fancy vegan place in Tarzana (run by Chef Dave Anderson) where I ate with my cousin, my yoga teacher and her daughters. I didn’t actually have a choice in what I was ordering — the girls just told me, “OK, you’re getting the beet tartare and the bigger mac.” The bigger mac is like a vegan version of a McDonald’s Big Mac, and it was awesome, but the beet tartare was gorgeous and something totally different (beats over a tofu “cheese crouton” with cucumbers, some kind of sauce and a balsamic).

This dish is inspired by that (a photo of the real thing at the bottom of the post — mine pales in comparison, but I am not a chef so I guess that’s OK! I also wasn’t trying to recreate exactly the same thing…), and also the other foods I ate on my trip: perfectly-ripe avocado, alfalfa sprouts, tangelos, and blood orange balsamic vinegar (the latter two I brought back to Brooklyn with me). And it’s vegan because hoooly smokes were there a lot of veggie/vegan restaurants there! (Not a complaint.) Anyway, I need to make this again and make it better because it’s not totally amazing, but it was yummy.

I spent a lot of time driving around with my cousin, which meant plenty of time to share music. These are some songs that were significant to my trip for various reasons — some are obvious/cliché California jams, some are songs my cousin and I both love, and others just found themselves running around my head while I was there.


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Indie Rock Deli: Super-simple !!!pea salad (Inspired by !!!/chk chk chk)


Super-simple chickpea salad

This recipe has absolutely nothing to do with the band (the oh-so-un-Googleable !!!, pronounced “chk chk chk”); it was just what I ate for lunch most of this week and I wanted to use the name!
!!! on MySpace

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.)

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