February 17, 2008

Music & Veggies

What do music and veggies have in common? Not a whole lot except that I like to listen to music while making veggies, (or anything for that matter). I’m also hoping that music makes veggies more exciting. Kind of like how I had a Prof that would add random sound effects into his Powerpoint presentations to wake everyone up. I liked that class so I never had trouble staying awake through it, but there were definitely some people who were jolted back to life after hearing church bells go off half way through the lecture. With that in mind I’d like to share some veggie recipes and some music and am asking that after reading this post you leave me a comment and let me know about your favourite cooking music. I have pretty eclectic tastes in music, so whatever you post, I’ll have a listen to. I’ve just pulled random songs from my ipod to suggest for you today and I’m going to start with Akon & Michael Jackson’s Wanna Be Starting Something.

Say what you will about Michael Jackson’s personal issues, (and there are many) he’s still a musical genius who has influenced countless other artists. For MJ’s 25th anniversary of the release of Thriller he’s re-released the disc, complete with remixes featuring artists such as Kanye West, Fergie, Will.i.am and Akon. I’m particularly digging Akon’s remix of Wanna Be Starting Something.

Back to the veggies, February’s issue of Bon Appetit is dubbed The Green Issue and contains tips on how to eat organic, sustainable food that is good for the earth and good for you too. One of those green things that are good for you are Brussels sprouts. Before you turn your nose up at the thought of Brussels sprouts you should know that they’ve come a long way from being hated by children everywhere to a dish worthy of being served at your next dinner party. Brussels sprouts are downright tasty so long as they’re prepared properly and you can count on Bon Appetit to show you how to do it right. Simply click to see how to make Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Pistachios. At some point I think I’ll also have to post about my favourite Brussels sprouts recipe which involves nuts and a maple syrup vinaigrette.

Song selection number two is Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out. When I was in Australia on exchange during University I spent my first month there traveling the East coast. One of the most memorable places that I went was Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island. I signed up to be part of a tour group and was placed in a group with enough other random people from all over the world to fill two 4x4’s. Our 4x4 was equipped with a cd player but we only had one cd so for an entire weekend we listened to Franz Ferdinand’s self titled cd, courtesy of an entertaing Scot himself.

Another veggie dish from February’s BA is Creamy Rice with Parsnip Puree and Root Vegetables. You’d never guess that there’s no actual cream or butter in the recipe. The creaminess comes from the parsnip puree and makes for a nice and healthy side dish. I’d also like to take this opportunity to say I really like parsnips and don’t eat them nearly enough. They’ve got a certain sweetness to them that comes out particularly if they’re roasted.

Wondering what to listen to while eating parsnips? How about Shelter by Bedouin Soundclash? A friend of mine gave me a copy of this album, (Sounding a Mosaic, released 2004) and it took me a while to get around to listening to it. Finally I put it on one day while cooking and since I had sticky hands I was forced to listen to the whole thing as I didn’t want to goo-up my stereo, (goo-up is a technical term…). It turned out I really enjoyed it as background music for cooking, it’s upbeat and puts me in a good chopping mood. As an added bonus, they’re Canadian.

Our next veggie is asparagus. Asparagus used to be one of my most hated vegetables. When I was little I didn’t want to touch the stuff. This was especially bad as we grew asparagus in our garden so when it was in season, it was on the dinner table every night. I’m not sure what it was that made me decide to like asparagus, age and wisdom perhaps? I don’t know, but I like it and one of my favourite ways to prepare it is simply to roast it in a hot oven with salt, pepper and olive oil and then to drizzle it with reduced balsamic vinegar and some parmesan shavings.

Maybe if you listen to Take Me to the Riot by Stars you’ll like asparagus too. I’ve been listening to the radio a lot lately and this means that I hear the same set of songs over and over again. You would think this would encourage me to put together my own playlist but instead I’ve come to really like certain songs from the radio set and loathe others. Here’s one that I’ve been enjoying, (it takes a little while for the video to get to the music, give it time).

And if you’re sick of veggies and want some meat, how about Lamb Sausage Patties? Bon Appetit has been sporting a new look lately and this issue also introduces some new columns, one of which is written by blogger extraordinaire Molly Wizenberg of Orangette and is called Cooking Life. In this month’s issue, Molly explains why she’s not a vegetarian and provides a recipe for delicious looking Lamb Sausage Patties. If you’re a fan of Molly’s blog, you’ll love her column and if you’re not acquainted with Orangette, you’ll want to be.

I’m all for switching things up which is why my final song selection is a Jay Z and Beatles mash up by Danger Mouse. Some people may think it’s sacrilegious to combine Jay Z with the Beatles, I happen to disagree. For those of you who don’t know, DJ Danger Mouse took The Beatles White Album and combined it with Jay Z’s Black Album to create the Grey Album. A video was subsequently made, which I’ve linked to, but unfortunately the sound quality in the video isn’t as good as if you just downloaded the song. Enjoy nonetheless. And don't forget to tell me about some of the music you like to cook to!

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Elly said...

as always, everything looks delicious. it's so funny you post this because I *just* decided to make a blog event called eat to the beat, about music and food :) details are on my blog. also on my blog? a picture of me as a toddler wearing a "beat it" shirt. michael jackson is definitely a musical genius. so obviously i could have written this post myself.

Annemarie said...

Vegetables galore! I'll admit that I'm still not a fan of brusssel sprouts but have a stab at them once a year or so. The Bon Ap recipe actually sounds quite good.

Manggy said...

Excellent photos, brilynn :) I remember when MJ's "Dangerous" came out. I think we wore out the cassette of that one..

Patricia Scarpin said...

Bri, I love the new template!

Michael Jackson is a freak but I agree with you, he was a genius.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Bri, and the food looks delicious, too!! I can't wait to get that issue. :)

ejm said...

I rarely listen to music while I'm cooking. I find myself getting distracted by it - paying more attention to the music than to what I'm cooking.

Having said that, if I do want to listen to music while I'm in the kitchen, I'm very partial to Schumann lieder - "Dichterliebe" is a favourite. I have a wonderful recording with tenor Ian Partridge and sister(?) Jennifer Partridge. No, that's NOT the same Partridge family.... (And yes, Michael Jackson is brilliant but how can anyone listen to him without watching him dance too? I foresee many ruined dishes listening to Michael Jackson while cooking!)


P.S. Those pistachios in your sautéed Brussels sprout leaves look suspiciously like bacon. (I love bacon with Brussels sprouts!)

Tartelette said...

What a great post! Better than reading the Sunday paper! I need to have B. read it and then he might want to eat his veggies!

Cakespy said...

Thanks for the "green" soundtrack! Wonderful idea!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Great fun!! Still doesn't make me a huge fan of Brussels sprouts, but I had more fun thinking about them with the music going.

Madam Chow said...

I take a weekend break from my computer, come back, and what do I find? You've shaken things up and it looks GREAT! I love it. And the photos are wonderful.

Kate / Kajal said...

how i wish i would include more veggies in my diet . My hubby just dont eat any ..and in in turn dont end up making any :(
Love the veggies here. the vibrant green almost makes me want to make some now.

joey said...

I love brussels sprouts!!! :) These ones look great -- lemon and pistachios...yum! Yes, please post about your favorite with nuts and a maple syrup vinaigrette! Sounds heavenly :)

I like Eye of the Tiger for bread-making :)

Dhanggit said...

i agree with you music and food go very well together!! whether veggies or not :-) i love MJ's music too...my all time fave, billy jean :-) i could even do the moon walk while cooking :-) har har