Boeuf Bourguignon. New Music From Jonas Carping.


When asked what he would like me to make to serve with his music, Jonas Carping replied that any recipe I chose would be fine, but that he is a sucker for Boeuf Bourguignon.

So Boeuf Bourguignon it is and who better to turn to but the Queen of the bourguignon, Julia Child.

This version is very similar to the recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon in Mastering The Art Of French Cooking. It comes from Julia’s collaborative cookbook with Jacques Pepin and has the same rich flavor redolent of red wine and slow cooked, perfectly seasoned stock. The colorful parsley dipped toasts are a terrific accompaniment.

Boeuf Bourguignon is perfect for entertaining as it makes a lot and can be made ahead of time and reheated just before serving. So pour some wine and put some Jonas Carping on the stereo. It’s a party waiting to happen.


Boeuf Bourguignon


½ pound bacon or salt pork, cut into pieces measuring about ½-inch x one-inch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into small chunks
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1½ cups peeled onions, chopped
1½ cups peeled carrots, chopped
1 head garlic, peeled, with the cloves crushed
1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 – 2 cups beef stock
16 ounces frozen white pearl onions
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and cut into quarters
1 tablespoon butter
Beurre manié: 4 Tbs flour mixed with 4 Tbs softened butter
Chopped parsley, to garnish
Lion’s Tooth Croutons, to serve (recipe follows)
Buttered noodles or mashed potatoes, to serve


1. Preheat oven to 300℉.

2. Simmer bacon in saucepan filled with water for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

3. Heat large skillet on medium heat. Add vegetable oil and, when hot, add the bacon. Sauté for 5 minutes. Remove bacon and put it into a 5 quart Dutch oven or casserole. Set skillet and bacon drippings aside.

4. Pat the beef chunks dry with paper towels then season with salt and pepper.

5. Heat the skillet with the bacon drippings until hot, then cook the beef in batches. Do not crowd because the beef will steam rather than brown. Each batch will take at least 5 minutes. Remove browned beef and place it in the Dutch oven. Continue, adding more oil if necessary, until all the beef chunks are browned.

6. When all of the meat is browned, discard the oil. Add a cup of wine to the skillet and deglaze the pan, scraping the brown crusty bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour into the Dutch oven.

7. Add the rest of the wine, the garlic, tomatoes, thyme, onions and carrots to the Dutch oven. Add just enough beef stock to barely cover the top of the meat. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Cover the Dutch oven and place it in the oven for two hours. The meat is done when a fork can easily pierce it.

8. When the meat is done, remove it from the Dutch oven and set aside.

9. Place a strainer over a large bowl, and pour the contents of the Dutch oven into it. Discard the vegetables.

10. Pour the strained beef stock into the Dutch oven and add the meat.

To make ahead: Allow to cool and refrigerate overnight.

11. Warm the beef stew on low heat.

12. Place pearl onions in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and cook on high for 8 minutes.

13. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and, when it shimmers, add the pearl onions. Sauté until they brown, about 10 minutes. Add the onions to the Dutch oven.

14. Return the skillet to the heat then add 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. When hot, add the mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until browned then add to the Dutch oven.

15. At this point you can thicken the Boeuf Bourguignon with some beurre manié if you like. Add the flour/butter mixture in small amounts and stir until the desired consistency. You may not need to use all of the beurre manié.

16. Ladle servings of Boeuf Bourguignon over buttered noodles. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and arrange 2 croutons on every serving plate.

Serves 8

Lion’s Tooth Croutons


6 slices home-style white bread, crusts removed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


1. Preheat oven to 400℉.

2. Slice each piece of bread on the diagonal into triangular pieces. To shape each crouton, cut a small wedge in the non-pointed side.

3. Spread the butter with your fingers in the center of a cookie sheet. Press each wedge into the butter and rub gently to coat on one side, then turn it over, buttered side up. Arrange all the wedges on the buttered area of the sheet and place in the oven.

4. Toast the croutons for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden and crisp.

5. To serve, pile the fresh parsley in a small mound. Dip the point of the toasted bread into the beef sauce, then press the moistened end into the parsley to coat.

Makes 12 croutons

Recipes from Julia And Jacques Cooking At Home

“The Last Approval” is the first single from Jonas Carping’s second album ‘Cocktails & Gasoline’ due for release this month. Like all of his previous songs, it is a compelling bit of alt-country that seems so much more Austin than Sweden. Jonas’ beautiful, distinctive, smooth voice singing his gorgeous lyrics makes every tune feel like something special.

“Someone buried their lives in here,
all their wrong doings,
their love and their tears
Did you really think we wouldn’t care
the soil it is rotten in here,
You brought with you every single thing we fear”

Check out Jonas Carping on his Website where you can buy the music.


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Short And Sweet. Gingersnap-Mango Icebox Cake.


Q: How do you make a mango shake?
A: Take it to a scary movie.

You’ll be happy to know that this Gingersnap-Mango Icebox Cake is a whole lot less terrifying than that joke.

Spicy gingersnap cookies are sandwiched with coconut flavored whipped cream then covered with more coconut whipped cream. Mangoes and toasted coconut are the crowning touch. It’s like taking a quick trip to the tropics for dessert.

Gingersnap-Mango Icebox Cake


1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1/2 cup cream of coconut
30 gingersnap cookies (about half of a 16-ounce package)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 large mango
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon sugar
Kosher salt


1. Beat the heavy cream in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Fold in the cream of coconut.

2. Spread 1 heaping teaspoon of the coconut whipped cream onto each gingersnap. Press the cookies together on their sides to form a 12-inch-long log on a serving platter.
3. Cover the log with the remaining coconut whipped cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 350℉.

5. Spread the coconut flakes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until just golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool completely.

6. Peel, pit and cube the mango. Toss with the lime juice, sugar and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.

7. Sprinkle the toasted coconut all over the cake, gently pressing to adhere. Top with the mango. Cut on the diagonal to serve.

Serves 8 to 10

Recipe from Food Network Magazine

Here is an awesome short song with an awesome title. (There is a pt. 1, too. It’s longer.)

Aw. This is such a sweet song. I wish someone would write a song like this about me.

Check out Artefracture on Bandcamp where you can buy their music.

Learn more about Sam Heilig on his Website where you can learn of upcoming US shows and link to buy the music.


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General Tso’s Shrimp With Broccolini. New Music From Calan Mai.


Soooo cute. I miss my babies.

What is up with that strait jacket get-up, though?

If you are crazy for the popular Chinese dish General Tso’s Chicken, you will love this shrimp version that can easily be made at home. In just 30 minutes you can whip up the spicy-sweet sauce, extra crispy shrimp and tender broccolini for an insanely good meal.

General Tso’s Shrimp With Broccolini


1 large egg white
3 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine, mirin or dry sherry
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch, plus more for coating (about 3/4 cup)
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup Thai-style sweet chili sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil, plus more for deep-frying
2 bunches broccolini, trimmed
1 bunch green onions, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups cooked white rice, for serving


1. Whisk the egg white with 1 tablespoon each rice wine, soy sauce and cornstarch in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to fry.

2. Whisk the chili sauce, the remaining 2 tablespoons each rice wine and soy sauce, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 cup water in a bowl. Set aside.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the broccolini and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and stir-fry until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate.

4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the green onions, garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir-fry until tender, 2 minutes.

5. Add the chili sauce mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 1 minute. Cover and set aside.

6. Heat 1 inch of oil in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 365℉. Working in batches, toss the shrimp in cornstarch to coat, then fry until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

7. Return the wok to medium heat and reheat the sauce if needed. Add the broccolini and shrimp and cook, stirring, until warmed through, 2 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water. Serve with the rice.

Serves 4

Recipe from Food Network Magazine

Part of the allure of this new song from Calan Mai is its recorded over the telephone feel. ‘Mountain Mountain’, with its tribal beat, pretty back up vocals and jingling guitar, has me merry merry.

Check out Calan Mai on Facebook and follow for updates on where you can buy the music.


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Spiced Carrot Soup With Coconut Cream. Listening To The Autumn Stone.


This made me smile.

Okay, let’s put aside cubs and spitting cobras and talk some soup.

Today’s Spiced Carrot Soup With Coconut Cream is a lovely balance of sweet and savory. The ginger gives it a bright bite, there’s a hint of heat from chili pepper and the sweet, creamy coconut swirl pulls all of the flavors together.
Spiced Carrot Soup With Coconut Cream


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small red chili, seeds removed, chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
500g carrots, peeled, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves (I couldn’t find these so left them out)
4 cups chicken stock
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
200ml coconut cream
150ml heavy cream
Toasted coconut, to serve


1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened.

2. Add garlic, chili, ginger, carrot, sweet potato, lime leaves and stock. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Allow soup to cool slightly, then purée in a blender. Season to taste.

4. Return soup to pan with lime juice, sugar and fish sauce and gently reheat.

5. Whip creams with an electric mixer until thick.

6. Pour soup into serving bowls. Top with coconut cream and a sprinkle of toasted coconut. I also snipped a bit of rosemary on top.

Serves 8

Recipe from Delicious Magazine

‘Vampires’, from Kingston, NY-based duo The Autumn Stone, is a meandering, low-fi affair. It’s good, fuzzy fun.

“May all your dreams come true”

And the Blair Witchesque video for the song.

Check out The Autumn Stone on the band’s Website. You can buy their music on Bandcamp.


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Samoas Cupcakes. Best Songs Of 2015 (So Far).



I love Samoas Girl Scout cookies. Toasted coconut, caramel and chocolate all neatly packaged in cookie form. Yum.

I made Samoas Cupcakes once before and they were divine. Since it has been over 4 years since I made a batch, it seemed like it was high time to make some more.

I cannot give proper credit for today’s recipe since it was from an ancient file I had stored on my computer. It’s a really different version from the Samoas Cupcakes I tried previously. The brown sugar cake is filled with rich caramel, topped with thick chocolate ganache and a gooey, sweet coconut topping. That all gets crowned with a good dose of toasted coconut and some more ganache.

The wow factor is pretty high.

Note: I had enough leftover caramel, coconut topping and ganache for 8 more cupcakes. I made a batch of chocolate chip cupcakes the next day to use everything up.
Samoas Cupcakes


Brown Sugar Butter Cupcakes (recipe follows)
Toasted Coconut Topping (recipe follows)
Caramel (recipe follows)
Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)


1. Using a small paring knife or cupcake corer, make a small well in each cupcake. Fill each cavity with caramel.

2. Spoon a light coating of chocolate ganache on top of each cupcake.

3. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to harden the ganache.

4. Spoon a small mound of coconut topping on each cupcake.

5. Press the plain toasted coconut onto the coconut topping.

6. Drizzle the top of each cupcake with lines of ganache. Rewarm the ganache in a double boiler if necessary to get it to a drizzling consistency.

Makes 12 Samoas Cupcakes

Brown Sugar Butter Cupcakes


3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1-1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.

2. Beat butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

3. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition.

4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

5. Combine milk and vanilla in a measuring cup.

6. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter mixture and beat to combine.

7. Add about one third the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until combined.

8. Repeat, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture.

9. Divide batter among cupcake liners.

10. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a tester comes out clean.

Makes 12 cupcakes

Toasted Coconut Topping


2 eggs
10 ounces evaporated milk
1-1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 cups shredded, sweet coconut


1. Preheat oven to 350℉.

2. Spread the coconut onto a sheet pan. Toast in oven, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the coconut is an even brown color, about 10 minutes.

3. Crack the eggs into a small saucepan and beat lightly.

4. Add milk, sugar, and butter to the eggs. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thick, bubbly, and golden, about 15 minutes.

5. Press milk mixture through a metal sieve and into a bowl to remove any lumps.

6. Add 2 cups of the toasted coconut, reserving the remainder for assembly. Stir to combine and set aside to cool.



1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter


1. Combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup in a deep saucepan and cook over medium heat.

2. Stir sugar mixture with a wooden spoon until the sugar is melted.

3. Cover saucepan and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.

4. Remove lid, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Without stirring continue to cook until the caramel becomes amber in color. Remove from heat and let stand for 30 seconds.

5. Very carefully pour the heavy cream into the caramel mixture. The mixture will bubble up violently.

6. Stir the caramel mixture until smooth. Add the butter and stir until combined. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Note: You will have leftover caramel. Store, refrigerated, in an airtight container for one month.

Chocolate Ganache


8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.

2. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan then pour cream over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.

3. Add vanilla and stir until combined. Let cool to room temperature.
And here are some chocolate cupcakes I made to use up the leftover toppings.

The Contrast Podcast is up and running again. This week’s episode highlights its contributors favorite song of 2015, so far.

My pick is ‘Philomena’ from The Decemberists’ January release “What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World”. I went with the song not so much for its brilliance, but because it makes me laugh. I laugh at the lyrics and I laugh at the hokey doo-wop sound. But, most of all, I laugh that my boys (11, 14 and 16) love the song and spontaneously belt it out. I don’t know if they get the racy meaning, but those lines are hilarious coming out of their young mouths.

Be sure to check out the episode here and consider being a contributor for future Contrast Podcast themes. It’s so much fun.

Check out The Decemberists on their Website, where you can learn of upcoming world tour dates and buy the music. I highly recommend trying to see a show if they come nearby to where you live. I’ve seen them 4 times and every concert was excellent. They are so much fun and give each performance everything they’ve got.


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Buttermilk Pancakes With Crispy Bacon, Avocado and Cilantro-Chile Oil. New Music From The Pacers.


This is awesome.

So are these pancakes.

I’ve made pancakes with bacon before like these and these (with chocolate chips!).

But, this is the first time I’ve seen a recipe for pancakes with bacon and avocado and feta.

All together.

With a good ole drizzle of spicy cilantro oil.

We’re talking one mighty fine plate of pancakes that is just as perfect for dinner as it is for breakfast or brunch.

Buttermilk Pancakes With Crispy Bacon, Avocado and Cilantro-Chile Oil


150g/1-1/4 cups self-raising flour
½ tsp cream of tartar
1 Tbs sugar
2 large eggs, separated
285ml buttermilk
16 smoked streaky bacon rashers
1 Tbs butter
2 avocados, sliced and tossed in a little lime juice
200g feta, crumbled
Cilantro-Chile Oil (recipe follows)


1. Mix the flour, cream of tartar and sugar in a bowl with a large pinch of salt. Make a well in the center, add the egg yolks and mix. Slowly pour in the buttermilk, stirring constantly, to create a smooth, thick batter.

2. Heat oven to 200°C/400°F.

3. Put the bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook, turning once, for 15-20 minutes until crisp.

4. Decrease oven temperature to 65°C/150°F or ‘keep warm’ setting.

5. When the bacon is nearly cooked, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks in a mixing bowl.

6. Gently and gradually fold egg whites into the batter to avoid deflating the mixture.

7. Heat a large non-stick frying pan or griddle over medium heat. Brush some of the butter over the pan. Pour tablespoons of the batter into the pan.

8. Cook pancakes for 1-2 minutes, until bubbles appear on surface and underside is golden. Flip them and cook on the other side for 2 minutes.

9. Place pancakes on a plate and keep warm in the oven while using up the batter.

10. Stack the pancakes on serving plates, then top with the bacon, avocado and feta. Spoon over some cilantro-chile oil and serve.

Serves 6 ( recipe makes about 12 pancakes)

Recipe from Delicious Magazine

Cilantro-Chile Oil


1 red chile pepper, finely chopped
Bunch fresh cilantro, leaves roughly chopped, stalks finely chopped
100ml extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lime


1. Put the chile, cilantro and extra-virgin olive oil in a food processor. Pulse until well combined.

2. Season and add the lime juice. If mixture is too thick to drizzle, add a little water.

Don’t think I am crazy, but this song reminds me of ‘I Dream Of Jeannie’, which is probably my favorite TV show from my childhood. That guitar riff makes me think of harems, magic and genies.

Logically though, “Losing Touch,” the new song from London-based band The Pacers, is a well crafted bit of psychedelia. C’mon, get out of your bottle, don your groovy 60s attire and do a slinky dance.

Check out The Pacers on Facebook where you can keep tuned to learn where to buy their music.


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Salmon In Potato Case. Gorgeous New Music From Rob St. John.



When Rob St. John requested some seafood to go along with his new song, ‘Church Bells’, I knew the recipe had to be something that could match up to its elegance.

I went straight away to my stack of Julia Child cookbooks and came upon this recipe for Salmon In Potato Case. It’s a very simple, but beautifully presented dish.

A thin slice of salmon is sandwiched between some potato and dill. This all gets sautéed until the potato turns golden. The crisp potato and moist salmon are served atop a bed of light, lovely tomato coulis.

To round out the dish I served some green beans cooked in miso butter. Try this really good recipe.
Salmon In Potato Case


One center cut salmon fillet (about 5 oz), about 2 inches wide
1/8 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 large russet potato, peeled
2 tsp chopped dill
2 tsp butter
2 tsp vegetable oil
Tomato Coulis (recipe follows)
Sprigs of fresh dill, to garnish

Serves 1 (recipe doubles or triples, etc, easily)


1. Butterfly the salmon fillet, stopping just short of slicing through entirely. Open the two sides up like a book and flatten the piece out. The butterflied piece should be about 1/2 inch thick. Season both sides of fish with salt and pepper.

2. Use a mandolin, vegetable peeler or a sharp knife to cut thin slices of potato. Lay about 5 or 6 pieces, slightly overlapping, on your work surface and set the salmon on top. You should use just enough potato slices to make a bottom covering for the fish.

3. Heat the butter and oil in a non-stick frying pan. When sizzling, pick up the potato-lined piece of salmon and slide it into the pan. Sprinkle the dill on top and cover the fish with 5 or 6 more slices of potato.

4. Cook salmon over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes, then check to see if the bottom has browned. When well crusted, carefully turn the fish over. Cook the other side, about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are browned.

5. Spoon several tablespoons of the coulis onto a serving plate. Use the back of a spoon to clear a place in the center.

6. Carefully lift the potato-encrusted salmon with a spatula and arrange it in the center of the plate with the coulis surrounding it. Garnish with sprigs of dill.

Tomato Coulis


1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1 large tomato, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Makes about 2 cups


1. Sauté onion and garlic clove in olive oil until soft.

2. Add tomato to the onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 12 to 15 minutes.

3. For a smoother texture, push the thickened tomatoes through the medium plate of a food mill. (I left mine chunky.) Serve warm.

Recipes from Julia And Jacques Cooking At Home

I mentioned that Rob St. John has a new song out. ‘Church Bells’ is the lead track on “Concrete Antenna”, which is described as “a 12” LP vinyl set of music, art prints, essays and tide table created by Tommy Perman, Simon Kirby and Rob St. John, inspired by their sound installation in the new landmark tower at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.”

Sounds pretty cool, right?

Evidently, the installation is interactive with heat and motion sensors that react to the visitors while recorded sounds of the nearby harbor and its environs change based on the tides and the weather.

I want to hop on a plane to Edinburgh right now!

Well, since that isn’t possible, I’m lucky enough to sink my ears into the music. “Concrete Antenna” is a collection of some of the most beautiful instrumental songs I have heard in a long time. They are extremely minimal and, having been to Edinburgh a few times, strangely do elicit a feel for that lovely place.

As the opening track of the album, ‘Church Bells’ sets the tone for the atmospheric journey to come.

And you must have a look at the video for the song. It captures the scenes which inspire the installation in all of their black and white glory. The images change to the music, which is a dramatic touch.

Check out Rob St. John on his Website, Tommy Perman on his Website and Simon Kirby on his Website. You can buy the album on the “Concrete Antenna” Website.


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