Sunday, July 25, 2010

Plantain and Sausage Heaven

Having just purchased a skillet (named Oscar) I have been looking for stir-fry recipes to try out. I'd been trying not to use pots and pans too often, since I would have to borrow my roommate M's stuff, but now that I have my own, I am freeeeee to experiment!

Tonight, my other roommate L and I tried out a new recipe, courtesy of I am titling it "Plantain and Sausage Heaven," for obvious is the recipe, with some of my own modifications (picture is from the site--ours didn't look this pretty)!

  1. Cut plantains and sausages into optimal-sized (as close to a cube-shape) chunks. Cook in pan.
  2. Chop 3/4 onion, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 green pepper, and ~1/2 cup pineapple (all amounts are approximate). Pour these, as well as a handful of craisins, into the skillet.
  3. Once the veggies are done, add the sausages and plantains back in.
  4. Add ~1/4 cup mustard, a few squirts of lemon juice, cinnamon, black pepper, chili powder, ginger, and salt. Stir until everything is mixed and warm.
  5. Enjoy!

Oh my gosh, SO delicious! L and I managed to have almost all of the requisite ingredients (she provided the amazing sausages and I had everything else lying around). We were missing mango ginger chutney and Greek yogurt, but we didn't really miss it. I used ginger to substitute in for the chutney and added craisins for color. We put in almond milk (as included in the original recipe), but I've omitted it from this version because it seems kind of pointless. Finally, I poured in orange-mango-pineapple juice at random times, since I had it in the fridge and we were missing mango to begin with. I don't know if it did anything, but if nothing else, it added an INCREDIBLE smell.

I highly recommend that you, faithful readers (all 6 of you :-)), try this recipe. Absolute win.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Favorite food in the world = pizza. Hands down. This is probably the thing I miss most of all since going gluten-free, and after more than two years, I'm still not used to it. I constantly crave it, and the torture is particularly acute since people eat it so often. Of course, it's not a big deal at all, but it's certainly nice when I come across a delicious, edible pizza. Even the non-delicious ones are fine.

Hence my excitement when I discovered that the Kroger near my apartment this summer carries gluten/soy free mozzarella cheese pizzas! Yes, they're a bit plain, but they're PIZZA!

Naturally, I glammed it up before baking and consuming it, so there were a few delicious toppings I piled on top of the pizza: chopped bacon, minced garlic, pineapple, and thinly-sliced onions.

So, so yummy. Amen.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


No, not the capital of Lebanon...the band.

This is one of the most difficult bands to categorize--the influences are all over the place. The general sound spans a whole slew of genres, and each album has a slightly different feel to it. But despite its decided strangeness, the songs are very easy to listen to. I first digested their entire discography while working on my take-home final for Biological Techniques. It was a monster final, and I ended up having more than thirty sources over the course of the twelve hours spent sitting on the floor wrapped in a blanket, surrounded by notes and junk food. Tired of the loud, obnoxious music I usually listen to when working on a difficult assignment, I decided to try out the strange new band I'd recently discovered (courtesy of Julian Casablancas, who lists them as a favorite band), and was surprised when I realized I'd listened to all sixty-something songs almost without interruption.

Fluid, lyrical, and thoughtful, Beirut are technically a combination of Balkan folk, Mexican folk, electronica, and "world" (whatever that means), producing an overall sound generally labeled as "indie." This strange combination actually works, in a melodic stream of awesome that you have to hear to understand.

Beirut is the brainchild of New Mexico native Zach Condon, who plays ukelele and flugelhorn in addition to being lead singer. His voice is carefully emotive, reminiscent of Rufus Wainwright and Jeff Buckley. Like his vocals, the albums themselves are subtle and beautiful. Each is different, but they all have an undercurrent of loving, longing, searching, romanticism, and perhaps even nostalgia for a world never experienced. As a superficial example, see the front cover for the first album, Gulag Orkestar:

According to wikipedia, this photo (as well as the back cover) was torn out of a book found in a library in Leipzig, unknown photographer and models, European license plate, vintage clothing, troubled situation, and ambiguous time period--romantic mystery, anyone? It was later found out that the photographs were taken by the equally moody Sergey Chilikov, a Russian photographer who is currently alive and well (see some of his other beautiful, albeit blurry, pieces here, but I don't recommend googling him...), yet the romanticism remains.

Speaking personally, all of Beirut's work is delicious, but I recommend either Gulag Orkestrar or, if in a hurry, the Lon Gisland EP [correct spelling] as a starting point for the neophyte.

Sample songs:

Postcards from Italy


Le Moribond/My Family's Role in the World Revolution

Wikipedia page
Sergey Chilikov--Gallery