Saturday, February 27, 2010

Top 5 Songs of The Week (Open That Bottle Night Edition)

It's been quite some time since we posted our Top Five Songs of the Week, and it's a shame because we've been listening to some absurdly good tracks lately. As the snow continues to fall and while Jose's perpetually stuck working long hours in the office, I am listening to the tranquil playlist below and planning a deliciously comforting dinner. Upon Jose's return home, I'm going to open a nice bottle of wine (it is Open That Bottle Night, after all) and have a couple recipes à la Barefoot Contessa cooking. . .he deserves it :)

For now, I hope you all enjoy the songs and stay warm this evening*

5. {Mp3} Dan Black - Symphonies A dynamic balance of smooth and bold beats, the synth chords and choir echoes work exceptionally well. You may or may not have heard the Kid Cudi remix, it's quite good but I prefer the original.

4. {Mp3} Beach House - 10 Mile Stereo The heart pumping drum beats rhythmically playing throughout are simply mesmerizing, the first time I heard this beyond gorgeous track I grew quiet and let myself soak in the intricately woven melodies. [Note: Catch Beach House at The Beachland Ballroom on June 17th!]

3. {Mp3} El Perro Del Mar - Shelter (xx cover) A match made in heaven, not only are El Perro Del Mar and the xx currently on tour together, but covering each other's songs. Pure amazingness.

2. {Mp3} The Bird and the Bee - She's Gone (Hall & Oates cover) Another match made in heaven, yet a very unlikely one. I cannot begin explaining how excited I was when The Bird and the Bee's soon-to-be released album, Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall & John Oates, was announced. Having the opportunity to listen to all the tracks (over and over and over. . .), all I can say is that you are all in for a treat.

1. {Mp3} jj - Let Go Alluring and delicate, calming and provocative. I just adore everything about this song, the video was just posted on youtube and perfectly reflects the music's emotions.


1. {Mp3} Lali Puna - Remember If you need a pick me up, like I have been needing lately, this is the song for you. Complex layers of glitch and bass are highlighted by gentle vocals, which will undoubtedly lure you back for return listens. Lali Puna is one of my all-time favorite bands, and I'm happy to say they're finally coming out with a new album, Our Inventions, in late April.

[Cool lego photo above is compliments of the creative udronotto]

Monday, February 22, 2010

Our Foodie Venture in South Beach

Have you been tempted by or privy to South Beach's thriving food scene? Either way, we're going give you some reasons to be intrigued.

For those that do not know, the Food Network South Beach Food & Wine Festival is taking place this very week down in Miami's oh so vibrant South Beach neighborhood.

It just so happens that we found ourselves in the equally gorgeous and delicious South Beach last month while everyone else in Cleveland were getting dumped on by epic amounts of snow ;) This was our first visit to the crazy euro and foodie savvy area - needless to say, we totally wish that we were heading back down this week for the festivities and the culinary wonders that Miami has to offer.

We thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to recap some of our favorite eats since we had not yet done so:

Our first stop was at the incredible Michael's Genuine Food & Drink where their Crispy Pig Ears were one of the best "snacks" we've ever had - Kelly (as you might know) is not a big meat eater and she was loving and devouring every last morsel. Thankfully, this moment was documented.

The crispy rice cake was awesome, complimented artfully by Florida rock shrimp, chorizo, manchego and a fried organic egg.

For dessert we had the ooh soo yummy Tangerine Creamsicle Pots De Creme with cara cara orange confit and petite hot donuts - perfection.

The next afternoon we decided (upon the much appreciated recommendation by a kindred hipster spirit at Michael's) to hit up The Abbey Brewing Company, the only brewery in South Beach.

This place was an awesome little whole in the wall bar, with some serious beer, where people can bring their own food and the owner is super friendly.

After several beers we craving some comfort food. . .and, that is when we hit up a South Beach institution known as Pizza Rustica. After those beers this pizza was amazing. Those pieces of pizza in front of Jose that cover more than whole table are considered one freaking slice. We would kill someone to have this in Cleveland (well, Jose would at least).

After stuffing our faces at Pizza Rustica, we did not have nearly enough room in our stomachs for the beyond divine food that would be coming our way at SRA Martinez. The drinks here are top notch, it is no VTR but when a place has it's own separate drink menu and it's leather bound, you know they don't mess around when it comes to the art of cocktail.

You can create your own cheese spread, which won us over, and oh my gosh were those white sardines sooo delicious

These eggplant chips were lightly fried and drizzled with a rich, savory molasses. So simplistic and something we have been wanting to replicate ever since sampling.

Although Miami might seem like more bikini ready than foodie friendly, we definitely found ourselves enjoying the the restaurant and bar scene more-so than the beaches :) We'll undoubtedly be back soon*

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What's On Tap Today: Bazaar Bizarre, Bruell, and Believeland!

With Valentine's day being tomorrow and happening to fall on a Sunday, we decided why not observe this "holiday" a day early, today. You may wonder why we wanted to move V-day up a day, well it's simply because there is LOTS of chill shiz going down today worth celebrating :) Before we start getting all mushy on you guys, we'll just leave it at that, for we certainly don't want to be accused of any EDA (aka Electronic Displays of Affection) or anything!

First off, this afternoon we are going to hit up the Valentine's Day Edition of Bazaar Bizaare, which will be held in the the space formerly occupied by the Bang and Clatter Theatre on Euclid Ave. We have had the pleasure of attending the Holiday Edition of Bazaar Bizaare a few times, but this is a 1st for V-day - we are definitely looking fwd to seeing what DIY goodies they are hawking.

After perusing Bazaar Bizarre, we couldn't have plan our location any better than to easily walk on over to Chinato for dinner. We both have been looking forward, in great anticipation to our first opportunity to dine at Zach Bruell's latest, located down on east 4th Street. We will admit that we initially wanted to make reservation at Chinato on V-day, but since they are not open tomorrow we decided to go today instead.

Once dinner we are finished with dinner, and perhaps a tasty cocktail while we're in the neighborhood at The Greenhouse Tavern, then it will be time to swing by our friend Steph's housewarming party in the Detrioit-Shoreway.

Our next highlight of this evening of firsts, is to check out local upstarts Cloud Nothings at Cleveland's newest venue, Believeland. This band, which is lead by 18 year old Dylan Baldi, have been creating quite a stir over the last few months in the world of music blogs everywhere (including a mention from none other than Stereogum). This is their last show in the area for a little bit as they will be bringing the music to the people of our nation and even down to this year's SXSW. You do not want to miss any of the hooks of this fuzz filled lo-fi pop driven band's songs - they are downright ridiculous.

(mp3) The Cloud Nothings - Can't Stay Awake

Hope to cross paths with some of you today - enjoy the weekend*

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

For The Super Bowl this year....

We decided to once again make Michael Symon's awesome lump crap salsa. If you have read our blog in the past you may recall that for the Super Bowl two years ago we first mastered this delicious recipe. It just so happens that this year for Food & Wine's Super Bowl promotion they decided to included the same recipes from Michael Symon's Super Bowl Party feature. Within that feature they had the recipe for the now infamous sriracha wings (just like the ones @Bspot) from Chef Symon. These were expertly executed by Erin (Kelly's sister) and Todd (brother in law/favorite home brewer).

While perusing the Food & Wine site Kelly and Erin determined that we should also drink Bloody Mary's and that is where they found the recipe that is pictured below (which also has sriracha in it). You may also notice Band Hero. Kelly picked up that at Target before the game. The ladies had a great time singing along to No Doubt, Taylor Swift, Corine Bailey Rae, Culture Club, Santogold and many others. Kelly says this game is a must have for any pop music fan.

We just couldn't get enough Michael Symon on Monday, tonight for dinner
we (along with Jose's Mom) made his recipe for Risotto with Bay Scallops from his latest
book as seen in the picture.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Today's Soup Du Jour Is....

With the approaching storm about to the pass thru the mid-west tonight on it's way to hammer the east coast tomorrow. We decided to stay in cook, catch up on the latest & greatest in indie rock and the most recent episode of project runway. This start to our new year has already been so hectic as result, we have not had many chances to stay home and cook some nice comfort food. Tonight Kelly chose a great soup for us to concoct from one of our favorite celebrity Chefs Jamie Oliver. The recipe was: Past e Ceci aka Pasta with Chickpeas from his cookbook Jamie's Italy.

1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 stick of celery, trimmed and finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

Extra virgin olive oil

A sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped

2 14-oz. cans of chickpeas

2 1/4 cups of chicken stock

3 1/2 oz. ditalini or other small Italian "soup" pasta

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Optional: a small handful of fresh basil or parsley, leaves picked and torn

Put the finely chopped onion, celery, and garlic into a saucepan with a little extra virgin olive oil and the rosemary and cook as gently as possible, with the lid on, for about 15-20 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft, without any color.

Drain your chickpeas well and rinse them in cold water, then add them to the pan and cover with the stock. Cook gently for half an hour and then, using a slotted spoon, remove half the chickpeas and put them to one side in a bowl.

Puree the soup in the pan using a handheld immersion blender. If you don't have one, you can whiz it up in a food processor instead, then pour it back into the pan. Add the reserved whole chickpeas and the pasta, season the soup with salt and pepper, and simmer gently until the chickpeas are tender and the pasta is cooked.

At this point, if the soup is a little thick, pour in some boiling water from the kettle to thin it down, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve drizzled with good-quality extra virgin olive oil. Lovely sprinkled with some freshly torn basil or parsley. A real treat.

Buon appetito!


With the thoughts of warmer weather keeping our spirits up, we want to share with you this highly infectious track from:

(mp3) Sleigh Bells - Ring Ring (coming to town April 30th @ The Grog Shop in support of their head ling tour-mates Yeasayer, should be a great show, hopefully *fingers crossed the snow will be gone by then*)

Monday, February 01, 2010

Easy. Delicious. Beer Cheese Dip.

Saturday evening, we attended our latest Dinner/Beer Club gathering at the home of our favorite nano-brewers :) Our task at hand was to start the evening off right with a pub favorite: salty, soft barley pretzels complimented by none other than a beer infused cheese dipping sauce. Which was washed down with a nice dopplebock (aka double bock), Ayinger Celebrator.

1/4 cup of Stout or Porter (we used Great Lakes Brew Co's Edmund Fitzgerald)
1/4 cup of Dijon Mustard (Grey Poupon, but of course)
2 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
1/8 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper (next time we'll definitely put 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon, we like it spicy, like the Neely's)
A bag of shredded Sharp Cheddar (Heinen's brand)

Directions: Combine the beer, mustard, butter, and cayenne pepper in a saucepan on medium heat until well mixed. Gradually add the cheese, whisking until the texture is smooth.


fyi - Those delicious looking pretzels pictured above are from Zoss The Swiss Baker and are making us long for some more. . .