Tuesday, October 15, 2013

...to drain the whole sea, get something shiny...

seeing: Gray, gloomy, cold day outside. It's been like this since last Friday. I can't say I honestly mind it. 

smelling: Cinnamon coffee from this morning that I don't want to throw away because it smells so good.

hearing: "Take Me To Church" by Hozier and the new Polica album. Both amazing.

tasting: A homemade almond cookie....why is almond-flavoring so comforting? I think I remember a Dahl short story in which the taste of almond was connected to a poison. Arsenic? 

touching: A sweater! YESSSSSS. Finally. I love wearing Fall/Winter clothing so much more than Summer clothing.

Shannon is getting to come visit Thursday, finally. I haven't seen him in a month, and I have to say that's about as long as I can go without my partner in crime before I start to go a little nutty. I don't even care that it's only for 48 hours.

In other news, we just bought our tickets to head out to Utah for Thanksgiving! I've never been to Utah, and I've never met Shannon's family before; so I'm very excited. I've also been looking at pictures of the Cedar City and Salt Lake City area, and ohmygoodness gorgeous. It's beautiful out there in the winter!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday Album

I've really struggled with coming up with reasons to motivate myself to blog, and yet it's something I've keep coming back to as something I "want to get into". I think that as a way of training myself to write more in this context, I'm going to come up with something (or things) each week that I blog about that aren't THAT difficult to upload/brainstorm/put together. One of these things, will be some sort of music blog. I listen to loads of music. I work a desk job, and when I get stuck with a tedious task that needs to get done in a certain time frame, I always plug one earbud in (I keep the other out so that people can get a hold of me without scaring the bejeezus out of me), and I just zone out.

Every Tuesday, I like to check out some of the new albums that are released. I won't lie, I'm super biased and choosy when it comes to looking into new music. I base my selections for the day on reviews from trusted sites, past enjoyment of the band, size of the album or EP, and yes....I hate to say this, but album cover art. I seriously DO base my initial, gut choices on album art. Sue me.

However, today, I didn't get a chance to plug myself in to any new albums or tune-age. So I'm going to just discuss one of my favorite albums that sort of proves my "album art" point.

Young the Giant is definitely a band that I liked from the get-go. They really only have their first, self-titled album, but it's AMAZING. I was immediately struck by their awesome album cover in the beginning, partially because of my love of color and partially because it was a really basic design.

I hardly ever buy albums, because I'm addicted to Spotify. But when I got into Young the Giant, I became a weirdo-addict, and I needed everything I could have that the band put out. I bought their two vinyl album. Yeah, I'm that kid. It didn't have any open-interior art, which was kind of a bummer for me, but I still adored/adore the album. The records are each two-sided with different colored center stickers on every face (four total). It's a really bright, colorful addition to my super pitiful vinyl collection.

Anyway, back to Young the Giant...last summer, I found out that they, along with a TON of other great musical acts, were going to be playing in Montreal. I decided to go on a vacation to the Osheaga music festival with two of my close friends, and we had a BLAST. Young the Giant was one of the top four acts I was most excited to see, and they ended up being my second favorite group to play. I can't really pinpoint exactly what it is about this band that I love so much. It's probably a combination of Sameer Gadhia's super sexy, crazy-amazing voice and the fact that each tune just has it's own personality in some way to me.

Everyone that loves YtG with me, has their own personal favorite song which tends to be either "Apartment" or "Cough Syrup" (both excellent choices). I have to say, my favorite is still "My Body".

Something about the chorus in this song just absolutely floors me. I just want to jump around with my arms up in the air for the rest of my life. It's one of my all-time favorite "feel good" songs. Listen to this song on full blast in your bedroom with the door closed and TRY not to dance. I dare you.

Let's marinade it

I've been trying for awhile to figure out what sort of marinades I like most. I've never been a huge fan of anything REALLY spicy. Curry and asian spices are also not always my favorite. However, I do love tangy marinades as long as they aren't overdone. I had done red wine marinades in the past, but this has been HANDS DOWN my favorite. The original recipe didn't call for as much olive oil on the steak, and it didn't call for ANY garlic salt with the meat...but it needed it. The caprese salad that goes along with this can go either on top of the steak or on the side. I also heated up some garlic bread, and that went really well with this.

Red Wine Marinated Flank Steak with Caprese Salad

1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 (2 pound) flank steak, about 1 inch thick
1/2 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 small shallot, diced

Caprese Salad
2 fresh mozzarella balls, chopped into pieces (about 1/2 cup) 
10 basil leaves, freshly chopped
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
Whisk olive oil, red wine, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl until combine. Add flank steak to a ziplock bag or baking dish and pour marinade ingredients over top. Marinate (in the fridge!) for at least six hours, flipping steak a few times to coat with marinade. When you're ready to make the steak, heat the broiler in your oven on the highest setting and place an oven rack directly underneath. Broil steak for 6 minutes, flip and broil for 5 minutes more. If your steak is 1-1 1/2 inches thick, this should result in steak that is done medium-well. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then slice thin strips on an angle. 
While the steak is cooking or resting, combine quartered tomatoes, shallot, mozzarella (I always lightly dry my fresh mozzarella with a paper towel before I add it in so everything isn't so watery), basil, garlic salt, and pepper in a bowl. Toss to combine. In a small bowl, stir together olive oil and balsamic, then pour over top and toss to coat.