Tag Archives: experiment

My Latest Food Endeavors

29 Mar

I don’t want to hear any of that nonsense about not actually using Pinterest. I use it all the time! And my most recent party was no exception. I made 4-ish new recipes and 1 old favorite. Unfortunately, a couple of the recipes didn’t do a very good job at describing how to use the recipe, so I had to wing it. In the end, they came out fine, but I still would’ve liked a little more direction.

That’s where I come in. You know I absolutely love sharing things with my friends and readers, so these are the recipes I tried:

Egg Roll Wrap Mozzarella Sticks

Bacon-wrapped Jalapeno Chicken Bites

Bubbly Cheese Garlic Bread

Strawberry-Mango Lemonade

Now, while you are perusing those recipes, here are some helpful tips I found:

Egg Roll Wrap Mozz Sticks

Cut string cheese into thirds, then use wonton wraps instead of egg roll wraps – the cheese sticks will be more bite size

Bacon-wrapped Jalapeno Chicken bites

1. Smaller cuts of chicken take less time to cook, and yield better results
2. If you like your bacon crispy, you only need 1/3 of a strip of bacon to wrap around the chicken piece. Wrapping the entire piece of bacon means the bacon on the inside doesn’t get crispy.
3. If you choose to do this on the stove instead of the grill, put a lid on your skillet to keep in the heat for faster cooking (nothing really happened when I didn’t have a lid).
4. The toothpicks make it hard to get the bacon to touch the skillet on all sides (the lid helps), so if you can think of a better method – use it!

Bubbly Cheese Garlic Bread

Not the best garlic bread I’ve had, but be careful about how much creamy Italian dressing you use. If you like creamy things, definitely use the whole cup. If you don’t like that creamy texture, use 1/2 cup, or even less. I would say more butter, less dressing if you don’t like creamy – it adds good taste, but butter crisps up and the dressing didn’t.

Strawberry-Mango Lemonade

This one was delicious, but the recipe doesn’t tell you how to make a whole pitcher, which is just silly! I did the math for you, so here’s the recipe to make a pitchers worth:

1 can lemonade concentrate (yields 64 oz when prepared)
2 cans Mango Nectar Juice
1 container of strawberries (the standard plastic container), tops removed
1 Tbs sugar (optional)
1/2 C. water (optional)

First, prepare the lemonade concentrate per package directions. I always skimp on the water because I like my lemonade more tart, but either way is fine! Next, just pour in both cans of Mango Juice. Finally, you are going to puree the strawberries. I added 1/2 C of water and 1 Tbs sugar to the blender with my whole package of strawberries, but you don’t have to do this. For me, it made my blender happier.

So yes, blend your strawberries into a puree, and then add that to your lemonade (I added 3/4 of what I made and made the rest into ice cubes, but you can add the whole amount, too). It’s really pretty, so you can leave it like that, or stir it how you’d like. And there you go – a whole pitcher!

Tried any new recipes lately? What’s your biggest pet peeve about finding recipes online? 

My Journey Through Music: Ska

8 Aug

 

Here are the 10 artists I listened to for ska:

First wave ska:
Skatalites
Toots and Maytals

Second wave ska:
The Specials
Madness

Third wave ska:
Operation Ivy
Aquabats
Mighty, Mighty Bosstones
Mustard Plug
Streetlight Manifesto
Hepcat

So far, this has been the most difficult genre to pick songs for. Thanks to @Thebraziliandude and my good friend Tori, I had way more than 10-15 artists to choose from. I also knew several of the bands previously (not well, mind you) such as Aquabats, Mighty, Mighty Bosstones, Streetlight Manifesto, and some others that didn’t get chosen. I couldn’t decide whether I should explore the bands that I knew more, or if I should find new bands all together. Ultimately, I ended up cutting up pieces of paper and drawing all the third wave artists (I only had a few first and second wave, so they were in by default). I was very excited at the outcome.

Once again, a genre has supported the idea that I’m not a huge fan of the pioneers in that genre. I’ve yet to figure out why. It might be that when I listen to “oldies”, I listen for a very specific sound. It might also be that I like a more well-defined, polished sound that comes later after a genre has gotten its footing. Either way, first and second wave ska wasn’t my cup of tea. I listened to Freedom Sounds and Latin Goes Ska by the Skatalites back to back, which are both instrumentals, and it was too much only seconds in to Latin Goes Ska. I can appreciate instrumentals as a musician, but I wouldn’t be able to listen to that for any extended period of time. I didn’t really like the Toots and the Maytals at all, probably because it was more reggae in my ska than I’d like, and Bam Bam was the only song I could really get into at all.

Up next on the playlist were the Specials. They were definitely a step in the right direction. Four of their seven songs I listened to, I liked. Too Much, Too Young, Concrete Jungle, Blank Expression, and Little Bitch all had qualities that I liked, whether it was the upbeat music of Too Much, Too Young (my favorite) or the lyrics of Blank Expression. They only had one song I didn’t like, which I had to fight myself not to change: Gangsters. As for Madness, I was really unimpressed. Their sound as a whole reminded me of your stereotypical 80’s band. When I finally recognized My House, I was even more turned off. Its obviously a catchy song, because every commercial about houses everywhere uses it in their promotions, but that was the end of what I thought about it.

I liked second wave more than first, and the pattern continued because I likelove third wave. The first song I listened to by Operation Ivy was Sound System, and I instantly knew that third wave was for me. Although I didn’t like Bombshell at all, everything else was felt on a positive note. Their songs were extremely short, which almost left something to be desired, but overall I have no major complaints. I was kind of indifferent about the Aquabats. I didn’t feel really great or really terrible after listening to any of their songs, but because of that I feel a little let down. I’ve heard people rave about them. Next, I got to listen to my much loved Mighty, Mighty Bosstones.

They were Amazing.

I loved all of their songs. If I had to pick a favorite of the ones I listened to, it would probably be Noise Brigade, but I liked them all so much I couldn’t truly say that one was my favorite.

Mustard Plug was also pretty good. I wasn’t a huge fan of Skankin’ By Numbers, but it was alright. I especially liked Lolita, and Everyday Girl even moreso (its a personal favorite of all music now). Streetlight Manifesto is on about the same level as Mighty, Mighty Bosstones with me. I knew a few of their songs previously, and I really liked them. I started my Streetlight Manifesto playlist with Better Place, Better Time, and I was instantly in love with them. All of their songs were fantastic. Hepcat didn’t really inspire any great thoughts in me, much like Aquabats. I liked Dance Wid Me a lot, and although No Worries was different, it wasn’t bad by any means.

In my mind, ska was a complete success. I found several new favorite songs, and I feel much more comfortable saying that I like ska. I did find a new website that I believe I will be using for the rest of my musical endeavors. Its called Top 50 Songs and I think it worked well enough.

Do you like ska? What wave do you like best? Have you been listening along?