Indie Rock Deli: I Love You But I’ve Chosen Dark Chocolate (Inspired by I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness)

(All photos except main by Erik Erikson)

THE DISH
Dark chocolate caramel cups, with homemade caramel (recipe here; and here is a video of me making these — though not all in chronological order — and chatting about this site)

THE INSPIRATION
No connection to the band (I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness), just a play on the name! I’ll admit that there definitely are some people I’d choose dark chocolate over, though …

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.)

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Spiked Orange-Chocolate-Oatmeal Bars (Inspired by Modest Mouse)

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“I drove around for hours, I drove around for days/ I drove around for months and years and never went no place” — Modest Mouse’s “Interstate 8,” from the Interstate 8 EP

THE DISH
Orange oatmeal bars with nuts, chocolate chips and vodka-soaked raisins (recipe here)

THE INSPIRATION
Modest Mouse’s music was made to be blasted in a car with the windows down. It can be spastic, a perfect soundtrack for reckless driving or speeding on the freeway, but it’s also a perfect companion for a cathartic solo drive late at night. Especially in their first two albums, 1996’s This Is A Long Drive For Someone with Nothing to Think About and 1997’s The Lonesome Crowded West, frontman Isaac Brock drops plenty of references to escaping, sitting in parking lots, and driving — although in many cases it leads nowhere.

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“Out of gas/ Out of road/ Out of car/ I don’t know how I’m going to go and/ I had a drink the other day/ Opinions were like kittens/ I was giving them away” — “Out of Gas,” from The Lonesome Crowded West

I first heard of Modest Mouse when I was away at camp and my friend Jason mentioned in a letter that he and his friends were driving to Ohio from Michigan for one of their shows. I think it was that same summer, when I was 15 and in driver’s ed, and there were at least a couple times that he dropped me off at class. It was right after he had gotten his license, and I remember him accidentally turning the wrong way onto a one-way street… It was good times. It was the following school year that I first actually heard Modest Mouse; Jason performed the song “Bankrupt on Selling” at our talent show (it’s still probably my favorite MM song), and I immediately downloaded everything I could get my hands on. Isaac Brock’s lyrics, especially earlier in their career, are rough and dark, about destruction, sometimes substance abuse and as mentioned earlier, a lot of going in circles and getting nowhere. Maybe it’s not a surprise that my friend had connected so closely with Brock’s songs; Jason took his life a few years ago, and even though we had drifted apart a few years before, this band will always make me think of him. He would’ve been 25 today; kind of a weird coincidence because I’d already had this post planned for this day … but I guess life is funny like that sometimes.

Anyway, about the food, which isn’t all that deep: Between references to being on the road and drinking/general self-destruction, I wanted to make a roadtrip-ready snack with booze in it — that obviously does not involved drinking and driving, in any way. The heat takes out some of the alcohol but leaves a little bit of the taste, although to be honest, I’m not sure if I can actually taste the alcohol or if it’s just the orange flavor. Either way, it works and these are good.

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Indie Rock Deli: We Were Promised Snackpacks (Inspired by We Were Promised Jetpacks)

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THE DISH
Chocolate pudding with caramel sauce and shortbread cookie crumbles (recipes here)

THE INSPIRATION
The food’s not totally related to Scottish indie-rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks (as with most Indie Rock Deli posts), but I wanted to do a play on the classic Snack Packs pudding cups with a connection to the band’s roots, so I used flavors that make up this tasty-looking treat.
We Were Promised Jetpacks 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.)

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

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

THE INSPIRATION
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.

ABOUT THE BAND
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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A Decadent Post-Show Brunch (Stuffed French Toast) + Lazy Sunday Songs

THE DISH
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!)

A LAZY SUNDAY PLAYLIST
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Pop Rock CAKE BALLS (Inspired by Matt & Kim)


(All the good photos by Paul Dadowski)

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THE DISH
Cake balls dipped in chocolate, sprinkles and Pop Rocks (Recipe at bottom)

THE INSPIRATION
If you’re familiar with the electro-pop duo Matt & Kim, this one doesn’t need much of an explanation. This inseparable Brooklyn-based couple — Matt Johnson (keyboards and vocals) and Kim Schifino (drums) — is an explosion of smiley faces, rainbows and energy. These cake balls also explode (hello, Pop Rocks!), they’re guaranteed to cause smiley faces, they have rainbow colors, and they will give you energy — maybe even too much. This was my first time making cake balls (or eating them, for that matter), and they were as much fun to make as they were to eat. I highly recommend taking on this project with someone who has never eaten Pop Rocks before, like my friend Jill, because it will be a hoot. Also, how can you not giggle every time you say cake balls? CAKE BALLS!
Matt & Kim on MySpace


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Indie Rock Deli: Danger Mousse (Inspired by Danger Mouse)

THE DISH
Spiced chocolate mousse (recipe at bottom of post)

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THE INSPIRATION/ABOUT THE ARTIST
Danger Mouse is a rapper/songwriter/producer best known as one half of Gnarls Barkley (with Cee-Lo Green), one half of Broken Bells (with the Shins’ James Mercer), and also for The Grey Album, his mash-up of music from the Beatles’ White Album with vocals from Jay-Z’s The Black Album. This mousse doesn’t really have anything to do with him (as most Indie Rock Deli posts don’t…), but the spices — specifically the cayenne — are what make it a bit “dangerous.”
Danger Mouse’s website

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 »