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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Buffalo Chicken Deviled Eggs. New Music From Thin Lear.

These buffalo chicken deviled eggs are a cool variation on the traditional recipe. Full of chicken, spicy hot sauce, and tangy blue cheese crumbles, they are perfect party fare.

Buffalo Chicken Deviled Eggs


12 hard-boiled large eggs, halved lengthwise and removing yolks
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles, divided
2 tablespoons celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup cooked chicken, finely chopped
1 Tbs Buffalo wing sauce, plus more to drizzle


1. Place yolks in a bowl and mash with 1/4 cup of the blue cheese. Stir in celery, mayonnaise, chicken and the wing sauce.

2. Fill the egg white cavities with the chicken mixture.

3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

4. Garnish with remaining blue cheese crumbles and a drizzle of wing sauce.

Makes 2 dozen

Recipe slightly adapted from Baked By Rachel

Breathe this song in. It’s sad and Matt Longo’s vocals are achingly beautiful.

“There’s nothing in this world that I need
There’s nothing in this world that needs me
So I think I’ll take that ride I don’t know when”

Check out Thin Lear on Facebook where you can learn of upcoming shows in the MA, PA and NYC. You can buy their music on Bandcamp.


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Mixed Berry Cobbler. New Music From Dude York.

Summer is coming and all those lovely berries are begging to jump into your desserts. This Mixed Berry Cobbler is so simple to put together and so delicious.

Mixed Berry Cobbler


1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/4 cup strawberry jam, heated
2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1-1/3 cups whole milk
2 cups blackberries
2 cups blueberries
2 tsp lemon zest
Vanilla ice cream, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 350℉.

2. Pour melted butter into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

3. In a small bowl, combine strawberries and jam.

4. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add milk and whisk until smooth.

5. Pour batter over the melted butter in the baking dish. Top with fruit and sprinkle with zest.

6. Bake about 55 minutes until the top is lightly browned and the fruit is bubbling. Serve warm with ice cream.

Serves 8 to 10

Recipe from Paula Deen

It was the smashed cake that caught my eye, but on first listen ‘Box’ caught my ears. It’s new from Seattle-based trio Dude York. Can we talk about how catchy this retro sounding song is?

“I’ll never love again”

Check out Dude York on Facebook where you can learn of upcoming US gigs in October. You can buy their music on Bandcamp.


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Easy Caprese Sliders. New Music From Altered By Mom.

The last few weeks have been relentlessly eventful around here. My daughter graduated from college, my beloved car died, my high school track running senior is having a great season which means lots of 4 hour round trip drives to watch 2 minute races, high school graduation is fast approaching…I’m sure you are feeling your own June stress.

Busy times call for easy recipes which is where these Easy Caprese Sliders come in. Fresh, summery flavors shine in these cheesy little sandwiches.

Easy Caprese Sliders


15 Hawaiian slider rolls, cut in half
2 cups shredded Mozzarella
5 plum tomatoes, sliced
20 fresh basil leaves
Balsamic vinegar


1. Preheat oven to 375℉.

2. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.

3. Place the bottom halves of the rolls into the dish. Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar.

4. Add some shredded mozzarella to each roll then a slice of tomato, and 1-2 basil leaves depending on size. Cover with the roll tops.

5. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and return to oven for 3-5 minutes, or until tops are lightly toasted.

6. Use a spatula to remove the sliders and serve immediately.

Recipe from Six Sisters’ Stuff

“Hear That Sound” is the catchy new song from Toronto-based band Altered By Mom.

The sound in question is someone crying because of you.

Wow. Let that sink in. So many ways this can happen and we should all definitely hate it.

Check out Altered By Mom on the band’s Website where you can keep tuned to buy their music.


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