Cast Iron Berry Crisp. New Music From Sweetwood.

My friend says to me: “What rhymes with orange” I said: “No it doesn’t”

This is such an easy and delicious dessert. Three types of berries under a crunchy, buttery topping make for a cozy, comforting end to a meal. There is a hint of balsamic in the berry mixture which gives it a perfect flavor boost. Serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream for maximum wow.

Cast Iron Berry Crisp

Ingredients for the berries:

3 cups fresh blueberries
3 cups fresh raspberries
3 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup flour
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

Ingredients for the topping:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
4 oz cold unsalted butter, cubed


1. Preheat the oven to 375℉. Grease a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and set aside.

2. To prepare berries, in a mixing bowl, combine the berries, granulated sugar, flour, lemon zest and balsamic vinegar. Pour into the prepared skillet.

3. To make the topping, in another mixing bowl, mix both sugars, the flour, oats, cinnamon and salt. Mix in the butter until coarse crumbs form.

4. Sprinkle topping mixture evenly over the top of the berries.

5. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown, crisp and bubbling, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit at least 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8

Recipe from Food Network

Let’s dance off the berries with this throw back to the age of polyester. Imagine a glittering disco ball and leisure suited peeps shaking it out on a crowded dance floor.

“One And Only Lover” is the brand new song from Sweetwood, a brand-new project of Amsterdam-based writers/producers collective Voice Calling Radio.

Check out Sweetwood on Facebook. You can buy the music here.


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Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars. New Music From Kat Lee.

These Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars have it all. They’re soft, chewy, crunchy, sweet, salty and gooey…and spiked with some booze.

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars

Ingredients for shortbread crust:

2 cups flour
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for filling:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups toasted pecan halves, chopped coarsely
1 cup dark chocolate chunks, plus some extra chocolate chunks to sprinkle over the top before baking


1. Put a rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350℉.

2. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, line with parchment paper, and grease the parchment paper.

3. For the crust, use an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, butter and salt. Beat until the mixture is combined, but crumbly, about 4 minutes. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish and use your fingers to press the crust evenly across the bottom.

4. Bake until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove pan from the oven.

5. For the filling, in a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, bourbon, and salt until thoroughly combined and glossy. Stir in the pecan pieces and chocolate chunks.

6. Pour the filling mixture over the baked crust, distributing the pecans and chocolate pieces evenly. Sprinkle with the extra chocolate chunks.

7. Bake until set, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the baking dish. Use the parchment paper to lift out of the pan to a cutting board. Slice into bars. The bars will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Makes about 24 bars

Recipe from Joy The Baker

Brooklyn-based artist Kat Lee has a new single from her forthcoming debut solo EP, ‘Catch and Release’.

“Isn’t Up To Me” quietly unfolds a stream of inner conflicting thoughts. I love the soft male vocals which so beautifully complement Kat’s tender voice.

“I will stay inside your memory…”

Check out Kat Lee on her band Tiny Gun’s website. You can buy the music here.


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Chili Lime French Fries With Cotija Cheese. New Music From TR/ST.

If you have ever had Mexican Street Corn you are going to love these fries.

If you haven’t had Mexican Street Corn you are going to love these fries.

Elote (aka Mexican Street Corn) is a common street food in Mexico where lime, chili powder and Cotija cheese coat the corn cobs.

Chili Lime French Fries With Cotija Cheese removes corn from the equation, but all of the fabulous flavors are there. The chili powder gives a hint of spice while the lime really brightens the dish. Don’t omit the mayo sauce…it’s the perfect finishing touch.

Chili Lime French Fries With Cotija Cheese


Frozen French fries
Couple pinches of sea salt
Lime zest
Chili powder
Grated Cotija cheese
Mayonnaise thinned with a little water
Chopped cilantro
Lime wedges, to serve


1. Bake French fries according to package directions.

2. Toss baked fries with salt, chili powder, lime zest and some grated Cotija cheese.

3. Transfer fries to a serving dish. Top with the mayo sauce, cilantro and more cheese. Serve with lime wedges.

Recipe from Food Network

Electro-pop goodness. That’s what ‘Iris’ is.

The new song from TR/ST, “a shapeshifting project with Robert Alfons as the core”, darkly pulsates its goth vibe right into your spine.

Check out TR/ST on Bandcamp where you can learn upcoming world tour dates and buy the music.


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Chocolate Dipped Bear Paws. New Music From Message To Bears.

Even though these cookies are baked in a Madeleine pan, they could not be more different than those treats. These Chocolate Dipped Bear Paws are dense with a strong almond flavor and hint of spice. The bittersweet chocolate is such a nice touch.

Chocolate Dipped Bear Paws


8 oz unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
4 ounces toasted almonds, finely ground
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped and melted


1. In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add flour, spices, salt, and almonds and beat on low speed until dough starts to come together, about 1 minute. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease 2 Madeleine pans.

3. Press 2 tablespoons of dough into each mold (dough should be level with top of mold).

4. Bake until edges are brown, about 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack then turn pans upside down over rack and tap to release cookies from mold. Let cool completely on rack.

5. Dip each cookie on the diagonal into chocolate, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.

Makes 2 dozen

Recipe from Martha Stewart

‘Constants’, the 5th album from Jerome Alexander aka Message To Bears, is a lovely collection of soothing songs. Listening to “Small Light” feels like a mini meditation session.

Check out Message To Bears on Bandcamp where you can buy the music.


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Shrimp With Avocado In Tequila Cream Sauce And Jicama Slaw. New Music From Getaway Dogs.

Succulent shrimp and creamy avocado have never been more divine than when tossed together in a slightly spicy and creamy tequila laced sauce. The crunchy, light slaw is the perfect side.

Shrimp With Avocado In Tequila Cream Sauce


2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound shrimp shelled and deveined
1/3 cup tequila
1 tablespoon butter
1 (1.6-ounce) packet garlic and herb sauce mix
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped
1 1/4 cups milk
1 avocado peeled, pitted, and chopped
Jicama Slaw (recipe follows)


1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté shrimp for 3 to 4 minutes, or until opaque. Remove from skillet and set aside.

2. Add tequila to skillet. Bring to a boil and cook about 1 minute, which will cook off alcohol. Stir in butter then add sauce mix, chipotle chile, and milk. Cook, stirring, until sauce thickens and is heated through.

3. Remove sauce from heat and stir in cooked shrimp and avocado. Serve with Jicama Slaw.

Serves 4

Recipe from Sandra Lee

Jicama Slaw


1 medium jicama
2 cups angel hair cole slaw
1 (11-ounce) can Mandarin orange segments, drained, 1/4 cup juice reserved
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fajita seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped


1. Use a grater to shred 2 cups of jicama into a large bowl. Add cole slaw and Mandarin orange segments and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together reserved Mandarin juice, mayonnaise, vinegar, fajita seasoning, salt, and pepper.

3. Pour dressing over jicama mixture. Mix thoroughly then top with cilantro. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Recipe from Sandra Lee

I was excited when I saw that Getaway Dogs have a new single out. I loved what I heard when I featured them in this post. Plus, I have just seen the movie ‘US’ twice this past week so Santa Cruz, where the band is based, has new meaning for me.

Get ready for this lovely, lilting tune by Getaway Dogs.

“Only in retrospect
can I know if it was worth it
Will I regret
so by that logic
I’ll take my chances”

Check out Getaway Dogs on the band’s Website. You can buy their music on Bandcamp.


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Frozen Sangria. New Music From Loop-Aznavour.

A hot summer day goes hand in hand with a cool refreshing drink. Even better if it is a slushy concoction laced with alcohol like this Frozen Sangria.

Martha Stewart’s version is called Frozen White Sangria. I left out the ‘white’ since my cocktail obviously has more of a purple hue despite the use of white wine. Maybe my plums were extra plummy or my strawberries super red? Not sure, but the drink was plenty yummy.

Frozen Sangria


1/2 peach, chopped and frozen until hardened
1/2 plum, chopped and frozen until hardened
3 strawberries, chopped and frozen until hardened
1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
3 tablespoons superfine sugar
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons brandy
1 1/2 cups small ice cubes


1. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Serves 2 (doubles easily)

Recipe from Martha Stewart

“It Doesn’t Get Much Better Than This”

Indeed! Sip your drink and peace out to this rocking tune by, and I quote, “UK based punk theremin maestro Loop-Aznavour”.

Check out Loop-Aznavour on his Website and Bandcamp where you can buy the music.


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Toasted S’mores Blondies. New Music From Mantra Love.

Poor marshmallow.

Avoid a sticky situation by making this variation on S’mores in the oven.

These Toasted S’mores Blondies are perfect for a cookout dessert. They have all of the terrific flavors of s’mores in bar form with an added bonus that the butter in the blondie layer is browned. Rich and delicious.

Toasted S’mores Blondies


4 (1.55 ounce) Hershey bars
20 large marshmallows, cut in half

Ingredients for Graham Cracker Crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, about 9 whole sheets
2 Tbs light brown sugar
5 Tbs unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for Blondies:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup flour


1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease an 8 x 8-inch disposable aluminum baking pan.

2. To make the graham cracker crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and brown sugar. Mix well then press into prepared pan and set aside.

3. To make the blondies, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until it turns a light brown color. Be careful not to burn. Pour butter into a large bowl with brown sugar and mix until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Stir in flour and thoroughly mix.

4. Spread blondie batter over graham cracker crust. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.

5. Remove from the oven and immediately place Hershey Bars on top in a single layer. Break them apart and arrange as needed. Top with marshmallow halves.

6. Turn on oven broiler. Broil for about 15 to 30 seconds until marshmallows are golden. Watch very carefully so marshmallows don’t burn.

7. Allow pan to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Cut into bars and serve. Toasted S’mores Bars will stay fresh for up to two days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Makes 16 (I cut mine into smaller portions since they are pretty rich)

Recipe from Simply Desserts by Laura Weathers

Here’s a tune for your next cookout.

‘Another One’ is new from Houston-based band Mantra Love. This song about calling out liars rocks with its lo-fi delivery and catchy chorus.

“Don’t bring me down”

Check out Mantra Love on Facebook and the band’s Website where you can link to buy their music.


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