Friday, February 26, 2016

Music Friday: "The Life You Chose" & "Speed Trap Town"

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit performed on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night. They played the uptempo "If It Takes a Lifetime." 

That's a good song, but it is outshone by the quadrivium of songs later in Something More Than Free: "Children of Children," "The Life You Chose," "Something More Than Free," and "Speed Trap Town." 

Here are "The Life You Choose" and "Speed Trap Town." 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Music Friday: "Don't Know What It Means"

The Tedeschi Trucks Band was recently featured on Austin City Limits.

As one would expect, they put on a great performance. 

Here's one of my favorite tunes from the band's new album, Let Me Get By. Damn fine music.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: Ham, Mushroom, and Leek Hand Pies

This recipe is a slight variation on a recipe that is in the current Rachel Ray Every Day magazine. My modest change was adding mushrooms. But I have another idea for this recipe, which I'll share at the end of the post. 

The big deal for me is that I've never had leeks before. I've obviously seen them in the grocery store, but I've never made anything that called for them. I had no idea what they would taste like. I was surprised. They're pretty tasty. Once cooked, they become sweet. 

Anyway, here's the recipe. 

1 package crescent roll dough, unmarked variety
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
3 large leeks, trimmed, halved, and cut thinly ~ just the white and pale green parts
8 oz. of diced ham
1 package of mushrooms, sliced 
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 small dollop of Dijon mustard
4 oz of cream cheese, cut into tiny squares
1 egg

Cut up the leeks, ham, mushrooms, and garlic and sit aside. Set out the cream cheese, so it gets to room temperature. Take the crescent roll dough and cut it into four equal sections. Take a rolling pin, use flour on the board, and roll out the dough so it's roughly a square with six-inch sides. Set the four dough squares in the fridge to cool. 

Melt the butter over medium-low heat until it has melted. Dump in the leeks, stir, and cover the skillet. Add salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes. Add the mushrooms, stir, and cover the skillet. Cook for five more minutes. Cut the heat and add in the ham, garlic, and mustard. Thoroughly mix. 

Lay out each dough square and top with cut-up cream cheese. Then top with the leek-ham-mushroom mixture making sure to leave roughly a one-inch border. Take the corners and fold to the middle. Brush with a beaten egg. 

Place into a 425 degree oven for 12-14 minutes. 

What I'd Do Differently Next Time
When I make this recipe again, instead of using cream cheese, I'd probably use grated sharp cheddar or jack cheese or smoked gouda on top of the leek-ham-mushroom mixture. I think that would be a good contrast to the sweetness of the leeks. 

What I plan to do next is used the same kind of "hand pie" but make it like a half-assed Ronza, which is like a calzone but has sauce inside of it. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Music Friday: "Suburbia"

The other week I got my son Trombone Shorty's book appropriately titled Trombone Shorty

I've featured this artist a few years ago, but here's one of my favorite songs of his and his band, Orleans Avenue. It reminds me Fishbone. 

This is a live performance at Tipitinas, a place I've been before. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

I haven't watched Triumph the Insult Comic Dog's show on Hulu. In fact, I didn't know he had a show. But here's a clip from the show where he tackles political correctness, trigger warnings, and other issues at the University of New Hampshire. If you're interested, check out "Watch Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Slam Politically Correct Youth Voters." It's like he's channeling George Carlin but has taken it up a notch. 

Well, Trump and Sanders won the New Hampshire primaries. It sounds like the GOP establishment is worried because Trump and Cruz are doing well. However, if you take the percentages Kasich, Bush, and Rubio garnered in NH, that number would rival Trump's percentage. I doubt Kasich will do well in South Carolina because he's not nasty enough. SC is used to Lee Atwater style campaigning. And apparently South Carolinians love the Bushes. In that last debate Rubio looked like a stooge. If you're a Republican, you can't have a lot of confidence in Rubio right now. 

As for the Democrats, Sanders kicked Clinton's ass, especially among young people and people of more modest means. People have dismissed Sanders for quite a while, so we'll see what happens in Nevada and South Carolina. The article I was reading last night noted that there hasn't been a poll done in those states for a good while, possibly before the Iowa caucus. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Music Friday: "Silicon Valley" & "The Season/Carry Me"

I am a dedicated viewer of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

His program provides an eclectic array of musicians to close out his shows. 

Of all of the performances so far, the recent one by Anderson .Paak was quite the deal. I don't have any music by this guy, but I may have to get Malibu soon.