Friday, October 22, 2010

show review: the walkmen, louisville, ky 10/21/10

i made a semi-last-minute decision to drive up to louisville last night (by myself) to see the walkmen. i justified it this way: 1) no nashville show's been announced yet 2) it's only 3 hrs away 3) they've officially knocked r.e.m. and radiohead out of my "favorite band" spot.  when i arrived (after getting lost, stopping for help 2x and finally calling my friend brandon for help...), the 2nd band was about to start (japandroids) - they reminded me a little of mission of burma.  zanzabar is SMALL. like, the basement small. i realize that my own enjoyment of shows partially comes from seeing the band up close (what's the point if you're in the back and all you can hear are drunk people chattering?) so when japandroids finished up i pushed (uh, politely of course) my way up front right in front of the piano.

i am really bad at expressing why certain things move me and others do not (guess that's why i am an amateur blogger and not a big-time music writer...) so i don't think this is going to turn you into a walkmen fan. they're definitely one of those bands that hit you or not; you love them or you don't.  i saw them for the first time at the slow bar - and every time i've seen them since then, i walk away with a greater love and appreciation.  so anyway - this show was fantastic.  kinda like the basement experience, except i wasn't drunk and rollum & co. didn't get up on stage and play with hamilton (i remember turning to courtney and alexis saying "is this really happening?!?")  they played several songs off 'lisbon' (juveniles, angela, while i shovel the snow, victory) and threw in plenty of other stuff too (we've been had, all hands on the cook, canadian girl, in the new year).  it was great to hear the title track from 'everyone who pretended...' and i will never grow tired of 'on the water.'  i asked pete for his set list - it's harder to decipher than features' set lists and i'm still trying to figure out what 'puppies' is (i think it was 'woe is me').   here's hoping they'll come to nashville again soon.

favorite song:

one of my favorites from 'lisbon':

Thursday, October 21, 2010

aloo gobi (with sweet potatoes)

i was flipping through the channels one night and caught "the spice goddess" show on the cooking channel. she was making cauliflower with sweet potatoes - seemed easy enough so i found the recipe and made it a few days later.  this is a good thing to try if you've never fixed indian at home - no weird spices required, so you won't have to make a run to the international market just to make this.  the recipe doesn't note this, but on the tv show she ended up adding some water to the mixture (which i did). it ended up a bit mushy (due to the water & way longer cooking time) but i like it that way.  i also added some cayenne pepper.  not the most photogenic dish, but it IS tasty:
turmeric sure does make things super yellow

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

caramel apple cheesecake

the mister isn't into (traditional) birthday cake, so to celebrate his 31st, i made annie's eats' caramel apple cheesecake pie.  it's pretty time-consuming, so i recommend only making this for people whom you love dearly (or people who are paying you).

followed the recipe as-is, except for the following:
1) for the crust, i used half graham cracker crumbs and half gingersnap cookie crumbs
2) i did NOT make the topping (whipped cream + more caramel). i figured there was already enough fat & sugar in the rest of the cake.

next time, i'll probably use less sugar for the apples. and the parchment paper circle helped a whole lot.
it's pac man!  no, it's caramel apple cheesecake! 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

the mister's favorite cookie is oatmeal chocolate chip, so i've tried about 10 different recipes over the years. the gold standard has been set by great harvest bakery's offering, so we seem to compare everything i make to those cookies. while these don't really taste like the great harvest cookies, i feel like i've found THE recipe and can stop looking. (i found it on a mexican food blog, no less...guess you can end up in unexpected places when searching for recipes...)

Friday, October 15, 2010

new subway tile in the kitchen!

backsplash: BEFORE

one of my least favorite things about our house was the half-assed backsplash behind the sink, which was made out of those sticky floor tile squares. i hated it. yet, it took us almost 6 years to do something about it.   my dad & i both came to the conclusion that we loved the look of white subway tiles & hired his neighbor's brother-in-law (who used to build log cabins in colorado) to install them for us.  we both wavered back and forth on the grout color - settled on gray at first, but after talking to carolyn, i realized i really wanted white.  so i changed my mind. and then my dad did too.  i am super happy with the results.

new backsplash: AFTER! 

behind the stove before & after: