Archive for May, 2009

Looking Forward to Getting my Pedal Board Up & Running Again

Posted in music on May 22, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

Since I’ve gotten involved in the “Opera MAsh-Up” project https://kingbiscuitpants.wordpress.com/2009/05/21/had-a-blast-at-the-gig-last-night-opera-mash-up-nites/

 I have been feeling creatively rejuvinated & since it’s an experimental music thing I’m using it as an excuse to break out my pedal board.  Being a bass player, 95% of every gig I’ve ever played my rig has consisted mostly of an amp & a cable (compression & EQ notwithstanding) but I’ve amassed and experimented with a mess of mostly “hand me down” effects pedals that my buddy Gregg & I assembled a delightfully clunky pedalboard case thing for that has lived at his house for a few years.  Since he’s coming by today to tutor Logan he’s bringing it along.    Let’s just say I’m looking forward to my kids being the ones begging me to stop making that godawful noise for a change…  (insert mad scientist laughter).   I also am saving up to fix up my somewhat defunkt Kramer Striker 5 string bass which needs new pickups (if anybody has a WIDE spacing soapbar pickup that they are looking forward to unloading email me at kingbiscuitpants@bsdmail.com Yeah, I know it’s begging but you never know who’s reading this so I might get lucky) and string it with a high C instead of the low B;  will probably end up ripping all the frets out as well since fretless is really my thing. This goofy new project has been just what I needed to help me shake off the crippling depression I’ve been dealing with I really hope it’s something Gregg & I can really get to explore for a while.

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Had a Blast at the Gig Last Night–Opera Mash-Up Nites

Posted in music on May 21, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

After a several months of  involuntary absence from performing, I had the delight to play at an event organized by my friend Bunny called “Opera MAsh-Up Nites”, to explain I’ll just copy & paste it from the email I was sent being the lazy bastard that I am:

“9-10 Opera singer comes in and records straight vocals Billy (noise artist/musician) starts augmenting and distorting the recordings with the opera vocals and accompaniment (this is where I would need you to come in) I have a jazz drummer, Scratch plays violin/cello/guitar and she will do that with loop pedal to help out, (and if you come in you would do bass). Billy would tell you guys what areas he would want improv to be added to the tracks he had worked on during the night.Drummer, Scratch (and you if you are interested) woudl do a closing set (improv, doesnt have to be super clean).”  These were my marching orders so to speak.

I brought my good friend Gregg to play guitar for the show & it went shockingly well & we had a ball.  What is funny however, was that during the gig everybody was winging it like you wouldn’t believe, so when we finished to resounding praise & applause we found ourselves wondering if they were listening to the same show that we were.  All & all it was fun, original hipster goofyness and we’ll definately be doing it again next Wednesday the 27th of May at “Area 7” which is located on Powerline in-between the Commercial Blvd exit and Oakland Park exit. If you take Oakland west from I-95, the first traffic light will be “NW 9th Ave” (which is what Powerline turns into south of Commercial Blvd). Area 7 will be on left hand side. If you hit Commercial Blvd, you have gone too far & it will be starting 9pm, should any of my South Floridian readers be interested.  A representitive of “New Times” magazine was there & this is a link to her blog reporting her take on the gig
http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/crossfade/2009/05/opera_mash-up_at_area_77.php 
Just thought I’d share a rare moment of bliss.

Dom’s Mini Baked Rotini

Posted in Food on May 19, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

Break out your muffin pans everybody this is an easy dish that is both a great kid pleaser and a really fun appetizer for parties, in fact I intend to bring a big old platter of these to my friend’s annual Lapna celebration. You should get 2 dozen out of this recipe.

Ingredients:

1 pound cooked rotini pasta

3 ½ cups of your favorite marinara type sauce

1 pound coarsely shredded mozzarella

½ a cup of grated Parmesan/Romano cheese

½ a cup of bread crumbs

non stick cooking spray

The assemblage is significantly easier than pie; take a large bowl and mix the sauce & cheese, add the preferably still hot from the stove, drained rotini and mix thoroughly, adding the breadcrumbs and a shake or 2 extra grated cheese to help the mix firm up a bit. Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees (which does seem to be the porridge that Goldilocks ate when it comes to cooking doesn’t it?) and liberally spray your muffin pans with the non stick spray. Fill the muffin pans, making sure to fill them rather firmly and sprinkle with bread crumbs & more grated cheese, making sure to press it down again. Bake it for 10 minutes then check, turn off the heat in the oven and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes as the residual heat will finish the cooking. After the final 10 minutes is over take out the pans and allow to cool before inverting them on a platter. If they came out correctly they should be firm enough to pick up and eat by hand.

Shu’s Sneaky Faux Smoked Fish Dip

Posted in Food on May 16, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

Inspired by a fellow blogger (Gerkins and Tomatoes check her out in my blogroll) I’m  adding a canned tuna appetizer that fooled even me the first time I had it.  It’s Shu’s recipie and is painfully easy and very very inexpensive.

Ingredients:

1 can of tuna (drained)

2 tablespoons mayonaise

3 drops Liquid Smoke

Salt, Pepper, minced onion & paprika to taste

A liberal amount of parsley, both in the dip & as garnish

Serve with your favorite crackers (or whatever is on sale)

Short bus simple, mix it all togeter, put in a fancy bowl and keep a straight face as the complements pour in.  It is really good and very, very easy.

Dom’s Embarrassingly Easy Collard Greens & Black Eyed Peas

Posted in Food on May 15, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

Any one who reads this blog should know by now that I love all kinds of greens, this one will work equally well with collards, turnip greens, spinach or even callaloo; since I am also inordinately fond of black eyed peas (& they were on sale in the frozen section) it makes sense (& saves time) to put them together.

Ingredients:

1 pound frozen chopped greens

1 pound frozen black eyed peas

1 ½ cups stock (any kind will do)

1 diced onion

1 piece of either bacon, fatback, or a fatty trimming of any kind that you had squirreled away in your freezer (if you have none of these or want a vegan version of this use 3 tablespoons of olive oil)

2 tablespoon garlic powder (I was feeling lazy) or 2 tablespoons diced garlic)

Salt & pepper to taste

Not surprisingly this is far from rocket science. Take a deep frying pan or similar vessel and add the stock and fatback (or equivalent) and bring to high heat. As the mixture in the pan boils dice 1 onion and dump into the mixture & stir vigorously. The next item to toss in is the black eyed peas, stir them in and let them simmer until thawed (yeah, that’s right I tossed them in frozen into the boiling stock, I was in a hurry) once the mixture comes back to a boil toss in the frozen greens and stir until the mixture is boiling again. Now that the ingredients are up to a nice boil add the seasonings & garlic and stir for another 5 minutes or so. That’s it you’re done and it goes great with catfish.

Dom’s Delicious & Easy Pan Fried Catfish

Posted in Food on May 15, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

This is fried catfish the way I like it. For me if you “bread” & fry something you really have to be easy on the coating or it’s all about the breading and the fish gets lost. This is easy and Shu insisted in no uncertain terms that I type this one up immediately.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 pounds catfish fillets (if they were frozen, which is fine, make sure they are COMPLETELY thawed)

2 ½ cups flour (any kind will really do)

3 tablespoons paprika

3 tablespoons Badia complete (or equal parts onion powder, garlic powder, parsley & salt)

2 tablespoons onion powder

several enthusiastic grinds of black pepper

2 tablespoons turmeric

2-3 tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil for frying

This is easy-peasey take a baking dish & throughly mix the dry ingredients as the canola oil heats in the pan. Take the catfish (though just about any fish fillet will work in this, flounder, cod, etc.) and dredge in the flour & seasoning mixture; you want a thin but thorough coating on each fillet & cook at medium-high heat until done. The amount of time it takes to cook each fillet, of course, varies depending upon size & thickness, today’s dinner took roughly 8-9 minutes per side but they were fairly thick fillets. You don’t want to flip them too many times, if humanly possible cook with only one flip, however tonight’s dinner was flipped twice wans was still delicious. If not particularly adept at cooking fish there is no shame in the old hamburger trick where you cut in a bit with the spatula to check doneness; don’t overcook just look for it to be white & flaky all the way through.

Dom’s Shockingly Cheap Lobster Chicken Ramen Soup

Posted in Food on May 12, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

This was a home run I made from some of the leftovers from the Mother’s Day spread I made. We had a surf & turf as Shu requested (we had originally planned for goose but it was unfortunately unavailable; which really was a pity because I came up with a really cool recipe that I was dying to try-I plan on doing a version of it in duck soon so if it turns out to be a success I’ll be posting it here, but I digress) so we had 6 lobster tail shells that I saved with this dish in mind. The ingredients for the stock were all from cooking scraps that I ferret away in freezer bags & the chicken meat in the soup is courtesy of the bag of chicken trimmings that I similarly save when I am preparing food. For those who are interested in hearing me ramble incessantly about stock feel free to click here:

https://kingbiscuitpants.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/to-hell-with-warren-buffet-here-are-some-stock-tips/

 

Ingredients For Broth Portion of Soup (courtesy mostly of copying and pasting from the aforementioned link)

Roughly 1 pound of crustacean shells (lobster of course being best but you can make essentially the same thing with shrimp or crayfish shells, depending of course upon what’s lying around)

1 or 2 nice sized “soup bones”, in this case I had a nice piece of lamb bone from a lamb leg we roasted a couple of months back that was sitting in the freezer waiting for it’s curtain call. Beef or pork would be just as fine, but the combination of both sorts of flavor are key to the taste of this dish.

5 carrots or equivalent

5 stalks of celery or equivalent

3 onions or equivalent

8 cloves of garlic

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 bottle lager beer

3 tablespoons salt or four of soy sauce (preferably soy for this dish)

2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash

2 tablespoons black pepper

a good dash of ginger

a good dash of turmeric (optional)

a dash of cumin

a dash of hot sauce of you r choice

water

whatever else you feel like throwing in.

Standard stock technique; I used my beloved pressure cooker and boiled the hell out it for an hour, figure 2 hours in a standard pot. Take the meat portion and place in the stock pot add the vegetables and spices, add the beer and water until all the bones or whatever are covered. Check and stir & season then when the time has come, strain out all the solids and you have a lovely stock, that if you did properly cost you effectively nothing.

 

Ingredients for the Rest of the soup: To the stock toss in the following

½ pound of chopped spinach (or any other green really)

2 diced onions

1 pound of diced chicken (you can even use leftover roast chicken just toss it in later)

1 package of Ramen noodles (do not even think of using the seasoning packet in this you will ruin it just use the noodles)

Once the chicken is cooked through you’re basically done, for best results toss in the noodles immediately before serving so they aren’t overcooked.  As an optinal  extra I like to slice up a fresh hot chili & add it to my bowl.