Music To Cook (Jam) To: Rock and Roll

Music to cook to rock and roll

Well, hello June!

I was talking to a new friend at the market recently about how we never make new years resolutions.  Or if we do, we never keep them.  What a terrible time of year to start over!  It’s the middle of the winter, we are exhausted from holiday madness, and you kind of just want to hibernate and enjoy the cold weather. Doesn’t it seem like a funny tradition, resolving to become better, fitter, healthier people in the middle of sweatpants and hot cocoa weather?

Well apparently for me, springtime feels more natural.  The season of rebirth.  The season of growth.  The season of flowers and plants coming back to life…

The season before bikini season?

music to cook to: Rock and roll

Last year on May 6, I wrote down some serious goals for my music career.  I was going to give being a full time musician one last giant push.  And I’m happy to say that I accomplished so many of those goals.  I was really proud of myself and the way I threw myself into my passion just to see if it still fit.

music to cook to: Rock and roll

Turned out, I learned an incredible amount about myself in those months.  And after all was said and done, I ended up right where I belonged.  Which leads me to this spring, when I happened to also set some lofty goals for myself.  I have already accomplished some of them (redesign my blog! i think it looks better than ever!), and I have some big projects in the works that I can’t wait to get really moving so I can tell you all about them!

music to cook to: Rock and roll

Another “goal” I wanted to set for myself this year was to keep music as an important part of my life even if it was no longer my full-time focus.  I still write songs when they come to me.  I still pick up the guitar every now and then.  And I’m always looking out for new artists and new albums to soundtrack my life.

music to cook to: Rock and roll

Which brings me to today, when I wanted to share another list of music to cook to with you.  Because this little “Music to Cook To” series that I’ve started makes me so happy.  It combines two of my favorite things (no, mom, not schnitzels and noodles…), and it gives me an excuse to keep searching for new, fun music to share with you.

music to cook to: Rock and roll music to cook to: Rock and roll

Except today’s list started with some old favorites instead of new acts.  Mostly when Brad and I are cooking, we turn to songs we know all of the words to.  We turn to music that makes us feel good.  We turn to the bands and artists that we grew up listening to, who taught us about guitar solos and soul and the way a song was supposed to make you feel.  I turn to music that makes me move.

We turn to Rock and Roll.

music to cook to: Rock and roll

 (these are pictures of a delicious peach jam i made this week! i thought jam sounded like a musical term so… it works, right?)

Let’s get rocking…

Music To Cook To: Rock and Roll

The Rolling Stones – Brown Sugar
Gotta start with the Rolling Stones.  Not that I knew anything about Mick Jagger or Keith Richards before I met Brad.  I just knew the hits.  But a lot has changed since 2007, and now I get up and dance to their tunes just as much as a teenage girl in 1970.  Just a lot less screaming..

The Velvet Underground – Rock & Roll
Another band that Brad got me into.  I didn’t used to appreciate singers unless they had trained, musical voices.  There’s just something about this song’s happy beat and Lou Reed’s talk/singing, that just makes me smile.  You just can’t help but start shaking to this fine, fine Velvet Underground music.

David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust
Listen, I still don’t really “get” David Bowie, but I think the man is crazy awesome.  This is one that’s on all the time while dinner’s getting ready.

T. Rex – Mambo Sun
Oh, T. Rex.  Yes, he’s known for Bang A Gong (Get it On), but no, we never have that one on rotation.  T.Rex provides all kinds of fun rock to cook to.

The Black Keys – Gold On The Ceiling
And now, of course on to something more modern.  We love The Black Keys.  I think this song was used for NBA finals commercials a few years ago.  If it doesn’t get you pumped up and dancing, there’s just no gold for you.  (i also like that there is a doubling on the chorus in my vocal range. i can actually sing along! nerdy musician moment…)

Dan Auerbach – My Last Mistake
Dan (half of the Black Keys) and his solo album are maybe even more soulful and blues-rock than his TBK stuff.  This is one of my favorite, fun, simple rock n roll songs.  Might be the “and you can be my queen, mama” part.

Hanni El Khatib – You Rascal You
I’m not going to lie.  This one was produced by Dan Auerbach.  Apparently I have a crush on anything the man touches.  But this is just such a dirty, gritty song full of crunchy guitar.  Any Hanni El Khatib song could fit in here, I just like this one the best.

Arctic Monkeys – R U Mine?
I liked the Arctic Monkey from their first few albums, but their release last year – AM – hooked me for sure.  I guess this is more indie-rock than rock and roll, but the guys have a song called Why You Only Call Me When You’re High?  Talk about a booty call.

Jack White – Sixteen Saltines
Can’t leave out Mr. Jack White.  This song is rock all the way.  When we saw him live, people were jumping all over the place during this song.  It’s perfect to get you moving in front of the stove, right?

So have fun rocking and jamming and cooking and doing whatever else you want to do to these tunes.  Mondays will now officially be dedicated to combining my love of music with my love of cooking, so look out for another Music To Cook To next Monday!

(you can check out the whole Music To Cook To playlist here on Spotify!)

xoxo

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Blood Orange Sorbet (without an icecream maker!)

Blood Orange SorbetWhen it gets too hot for turning on the oven, you have to resort to your Pinterest board dedicated to frozen treats.

For me, this lemon sorbet looked tantalizing.  It was just what I needed to cool down.  I could even maybe pour some bubbly over it and make myself a refreshing little cocktail!

But then I realized that, in the heat, my lemons had become fuzzy with mold.

Gross.

Never to fear!  There was other citrus that would be equally as delicious when frozen and covered with champagne!  Blood oranges!

squeeze juice squeeze juice squeeze juice squeeze juicePlus, that color! squeeze juice squeeze juice

I loved the juicy flavor that was barely tart and simply sweet.

homemade by thekeyofkels! DSC_0040 homemade by thekeyofkels! homemade by thekeyofkels!

I have an ice-cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid, but this was way easier.

homemade by thekeyofkels! DSC_0055 homemade by thekeyofkels!

And it looks so cute in those tiny bowls… I might have eaten the whole bowl before thinking about how I wanted to pour champagne on it…

homemade by thekeyofkels!

Don’t make the same mistake.  Put yours in a coupe glass and have it for happy hour.  The heat makes me do crazy things – like forget about champagne.

It’s unacceptable, really.

xoxo

Blood Orange Sorbet

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
1 tbsp grated blood orange zest

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water and simmer until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Once cooled, stir in the juice and zest.  Pour the mixture into a metal baking pan and freeze until firm (2-3 hours), stirring with a fork every hour.  Transfer to an airtight container to store.

Bring Your Produce Back To Life!

Brad has all kinds of fun kitchen tricks.

Maybe one of my favorites is when there is a bunch of basil – or a bag of spinach, or some carrots or herbs or whatever – that looks limp and sad.  Maybe it wasn’t in the crisper in the refrigerator.  Maybe we went to lunch after the market and left them in the car a little too long.  Maybe I took something out of a bag that it would have been better off left in…

Whatever happened, the produce looks withered and faded.

(hopefully this is not how you feel after that glorious memorial day weekend.  if it is, then use this same trick on yourself.  plus maybe a pastry or two.  i guarantee the holiday weekend hangover will be over in no time.  and – cheer up!  it’s “officially” summer!)

Just looking at those sad, limp, green leaves, you think you should probably just throw them away.

limp kale key of kels

Like this kale, for example.  I have no excuse, I just didn’t get to it fast enough and it sat in the bottom of the crisper out of a bag just a little too long.

But wait!!

I tried Brad’s magic trick.

limp kale key of kels I stuck the kale in a jar with a good amount of water.  I set it in a sunny spot, but not one that got direct sunlight.

And I – once again – forgot about it.
limp kale key of kelslimp kale key of kelslimp kale key of kels

Seems this week I’m just really not good at kale.

limp kale key of kels

But a few hours later, I happened to walk by the arrangement, and I noticed that the leaves were no longer touching the tabletop I’d set them on.

kind of limp kale key of kels kind of limp kale key of kelsThe leaves felt a little stronger to the touch.  A little more rigid and tough. kind of limp kale key of kels kind of limp kale key of kelsSo I left them a little while longer.  Just to see what would happen.kind of limp kale key of kels

24 hours later, the kale was pretty much 100% back to it’s natural kale-like state.

back to life kale with the key of kels back to life kale with the key of kels back to life kale with the key of kels

I was really amazed at how it had transformed from being limp, soft, and inedible right back to being tough, thick, crunchy kale.back to life kale with the key of kels back to life kale with the key of kels back to life kale with the key of kels

I will admit, it looked so pretty in the jar that I kept it on my desk for a day next to the gorgeous protea flowers I picked up at the farmer’s market.

Kale arrangement with protea

Now I’ve had both kale and artichokes as floral arrangements.  This is either multitasking or a giant waste of food.

Kale arrangement with proteaAnd I just keep thinking of what I can do with all this kale…

So, I’m off to make lunch.

xoxo

What A Week

Is it really Friday already?

I’m facing my weekly “opposite schedule of the world” sadness this afternoon.  Especially today.  Everyone is gearing up for a fun, long weekend, and my “work week” is just beginning.  My long weekend is drawing to a close.

But wait!  What a wonderful weekend it was!  There was the market, there were hundreds of cookies and other goodies made with Sydney from Curating My Cooking, there were peonies, there was chocolate strawberry banana bread

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And there was Brad’s 30th birthday!!  So there were nutella bacon pop tarts (yes, they were amazing…), car washes, prescription sunglasses and a meaty dinner at Animal with some really amazing friends…
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I hope all of your fun, long weekends at the beach are nearly as fun and delicious as mine was.  Plus, I am so lucky that my mom and sister are flying out from Maryland tomorrow, and I have a good amount of time away from work to spend with them!

Hooray for visitors!  And hooray for weekends – no matter which days they fall on!

xoxo

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Brad Turns 30!!

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I’ll tell you what.  The crazy kids wearing brown in that picture never ever thought they’d be living the life we live today.

They never thought they’d be living in Los Angeles.  They never thought they would be making a career in the food industry.  They never thought they’d have the plans and dreams in mind that we have today.  They never thought they’d be wearing such skinny jeans or such fancy sunglasses.  They never thought they’d live in such a fancy apartment.  They never thought that they would think 85 degrees at the beach was way too hot.

And they never never thought they’d be married.  They actually discussed how neither believed in marriage or ever wanted to get married.

Um…things change?

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Those two probably also thought 30 was insanely far away.  Or old.  Yea, they probably thought 30 was old.

But here we are.  Brad joins me at 30 today, and as he drives off to go into work to do inventory I’m about to embark on a crazy baking afternoon so he gets home to as many baked goods as a newly 30 year old can possibly handle.

And then we will celebrate all day tomorrow.  Because we have so much to celebrate.

I was reminded yesterday in a conversation with my mom how truly lucky I am to be in such a balanced, healthy, strong and loving relationship.  Brad is my rock.  He is my best friend.  I see how much love he deals out into the world, through his interactions with people and through the passion he puts into his food and his work, and I just feel lucky that I get such a big part of that love.

Happy, happy, happy birthday to my wonderful Brad.  Can’t wait until you’ve counted all the things and we can really start partying like a couple of 30 somethings.

xoxo

(these photos were taken in 2008 by a regular i thought was a little nuts at the restaurant where brad and i first met and worked together.  larry gave me these prints the day before we left orlando for new york, and i just loved them so i held onto them… i found them last spring at my parents’ house, and brought them home with me because they still make me so very happy to look at.  our journey has taken us all over the country and to so many different restaurants, but we were so young and so carefree in orlando.  the crew at citrus was a really special group of people, and that restaurant brought some of our favorite people into the world.  plus, it brought my very favorite person into my world :) )

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A Monday Mashup Vlog

Guys, pineapples are totally cool right now.

Plus, so are vlogs… so I made another one.  There was just a lot happening and the music was right (Music To Cook To happening in real life!!) and I just thought you’d find my situation pretty silly.

So… Happy Monday!

xoxo

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