Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ben Gibbard - Bigger Than Love

Ben Gibbard, the lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie, just released his first solo album on 10/16.  There's a good interview with him on Vulture.

His voice is familiar, although this certainly isn't another Death Cab album.  The songs are ones he wrote over the last decade, and didn't fit on previous albums.  My favorite by far is the duet with Aimee Mann, "Bigger Than Love."

Album cover via.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Style Spotlight: Solange Knowles

While she wears some totally crazy stuff, I have always been inspired by the fearless dressing of Solange Knowles.  She doesn't shy away from bright colors or from mixing patterns and/or colors that might not be an intuitive match.

With that said, I think her look is a lot more approachable in the new Madewell Fall 2012 ad campaign.

{In Madewell for Madewell's Fall 2012 Ad Campaign via RCFA}

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lianne La Havas - Is Your Love Big Enough?

Back to music from Lauri!  The goodness just keeps coming.

Lianne La Havas is a young British singer, and her debut album came out back in August.  She has a bit of a Sade feel to her album.  She's touring in Europe, but she is playing in San Francisco and L.A. in November.  Her duet with Willy Mason, "No Room for Doubt" is also excellent.

Album cover via.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Banana Bread

I'm still not quite up to cooking shape, so I'm sharing the banana bread my lovely sister made over the weekend.  Pumpkin bread to come, as soon as the knee will allow.

It's very good for breakfast, or for an afternoon snack, particularly with butter.  This loaf turned out quite dark because Megan subbed sugar in the raw for the regular sugar in both the batter/dough and the crumble topping.  That cinnamon crumble topping is the best.

Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crumble Topping, from Orangette:

For bread:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar in the raw
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water

For topping:
4 Tbsp. sugar in the raw
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat over to 350 F.  Butter and flour a 9x5 metal loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl, whisk together the banana, eggs, oil, honey, and water.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir well.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

In a small bowl, mix the topping ingredients. Sprinkle over the batter.

Bake the bread until a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Currently Craving: Winter Jackets

The rain has started here in Portland, so it's time to look once more at pulling out the winter jackets.  While I already have quite the collection, here are some of the jackets I've been craving recently.

{Macy's - Nine West Wool-Blend Colorblock Pea Coat}

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mumford & Sons - I Will Wait

This probably isn't news to anyone, but Mumford & Sons came out with their new album, Babel, on September 24th.  I've been listening to it in the car on my commute, and while it isn't surprising or really anything unexpected, it is Mumford and Sons doing what they do well.  They still do that cheap trick of starting songs slow and having them build to a frenzy, but it still works.

I particularly like "Lover of the Light" and "Lovers' Eyes." I'm excited for the vinyl to come in the mail.  It's just good chill out music, passing time in the car or bumping around the house.

Album cover via.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Cooking

As I'm recovering from knee surgery, I haven't been doing much cooking, namely none.  Thank goodness for my sister.  Portland regularly has Indian summers, and the rain just started on Friday, so it finally feels like fall.  Inspired by a recent post on Tea & Cookies, I thought I'd share what I'm looking forward to cooking this fall.

I think fall is the perfect time for big one pot meals or braises.  It's nice to let all the flavors slump together during the low temperature, long cooking times.

My sister made a big pot of chili last week, with lots of vegetables, and then chicken and dumplings last night for our weekly Sunday family dinner.

As previously documented, I think grits go well with everything.  They're great under any kind of vegetable saute and help make a bunch of vegetables into dinner.  I'm excited to eat grits with onions, kale, tomatoes, and fall vegetables.

I love this take on tomato soup from Orangette, Tomato Soup with Red Onion and Cilantro Stems.  It always seems like such a waste to toss cilantro stems, and this soup makes good use of them.  It's also a nice break from creamy tomato soups.

Once brussels sprouts are back in season, I can't wait to make this pasta, also from Orangette, Pasta with Hashed Brussel Sprouts and Pine Nuts.  It's fast and easy, and so so delicious.  Or these brussels sprouts from Smitten Kitchen, Dijon-Braised Brussels Sprouts.

Speaking of ugly, unloved vegetables, this Savoy Cabbage Gratin, is delicious.  I've made it with a bunch of different cheeses depending on what I could find at the store, and every single time it's good.

Finally, this fall I need to make a couple batches of pumpkin bread, recipe to come.  I adapted it from this recipe, and added the cinnamon sugar crust from this banana bread recipe, and it kills every time.  I get asked for this recipe more than any other.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Trend Following: Burgundy

Burgundy or oxblood or whatever you want to call that beautiful dark red/maroon color has been popping up everywhere for this fall.

I just purged a bunch of my wardrobe to fit into my new closet, so I don't know that I'll be indulging, but it's always fun to look.

Below are some of my favorite looks and pieces.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

LP - Into the Wild - new video

I know I already posted this, but she just released her official music video for "Into The Wild" and it's just so good.  She was also on Letterman last week.  And there is news that her debut album is due out in early 2013.

Also, also, you should listen to Tokyo Sunrise, because it is amazing.  My sister and I listened to her live EP over and over again driving back from a wedding in Central Oregon, and while we agreed Tokyo Sunrise would be a fun karaoke song, I'm 100% positive I would butcher it.

EP cover via.  Video available at Rolling Stone.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Turkish Tile

{Top: Equipment; Skirt: J. Crew (old, similar here); Booties: DV by Dolce Vita (old, similar here); Jewelry: Harlow via Fuchsia}

This is what I was expecting after ordering this shirt online.  Needless to say, the color is quite different in person.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sheppard - Let Me Down Easy

I found this song via the local alternative radio station's slice of New Music Heaven.  If you sign up for their 94/7 Nation mailing list you can get a free download.  It's an easy little tune, happy to bop along to despite the less than happy lyrics.

Sheppard is an Australian band, with three siblings in the 6-person band.  They released their first EP in hard copy on August 17th and on iTunes on August 28th.

Band comic via.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Peach Birthday Pie

My sister and I baked three peach pies with the help of our lovely friend Kristi for my dad's birthday celebration last week.  While we made a huge mess of the kitchen in the process and the pie crusts kind of slumped off the edges of the pie pans in the oven, they were pretty tasty.  They got rave reviews at the dinner itself, so much so that my dad's friend Bobby at two more pieces straight from pie plate to hand to mouth while we were cleaning up, and Megan's co-workers went after the leftover third pie the next day.

We used this recipe for simple peach pie (times three), although we followed Smitten Kitchen's instructions to blanch and peel the peaches first.  And Megan made Dorie Greenspan's double pie crust recipe, which can be found here, (times three).  This pie crust is delicious, people.  Like so good Megan said she would eat it in cookie form.  It did kind of slump on us, but I don't think anyone minded.

Instagram picture by Megan.
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