Happy St. Patty’s Day from GWG! Erin go bragh!

Devouring lemon scones!I love Ireland for many reasons, but certainly the most recent reason is how much fun I had while I was there in January. I was flying to Scotland and my layover was in Dublin. (And the most permanent piece of evidence for my love of Ireland: I got my tattoo right after St. Patrick’s Day 2010 in Dublin.) But back to my Dublin adventures in January. My math is a little rusty, but I think airport security could take anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 hours, so I wanted to give myself plenty of time to make my flight for Scotland. I decided I had about 4 hours to travel from the airport to Dublin center and back. Knowing my tendency for getting lost, I didn’t want to do any tourist attractions that were too crazy, so I settled on grabbing lunch and walking around Trinity College to check out the Book of Kells.

In addition to my own travels to Ireland, Amanda and I went to the University of Dayton– a campus that, for better or for worse, is known for their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. But there are more ways to enjoy March 17th festivities that don’t involve police in riot gear. Cue up lemon irish scones and subsequent drooling…

The Grooves

Ireland has an amazing music scene, especially for buskers just starting out. (Dublin was ranked the third best city in the world for buskers.) And when you’re walking down the street and you hear the licks of Gabriela y Rodrigo‘s guitars grace your ears, you know the competition for playing space must be stiff. For the playlist, I decided to pick my favorite Irish musician from each decade since the 1970s.

The Grub

I’ve had many scones throughout my days, but I tend to think of them as dry and crumbly. That certainly wasn’t the case with these guys! The traditional mix in for irish scones would be currants or raisins, but I decided to use lemon zest because I love lemon flavored baked goods with the additional bonus that I already had some lemon zest in the pantry.

I followed this recipe from Kerrygold butter, but I added a couple of tweaks of my own.

Ingredients:lemon scone ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups (about 8 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling over tops
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 large egg, plus additional beaten egg for brushing over tops

Directions:
Heat oven to 425° F. Sift together flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt into large bowl. Using fingertips or pastry blender, rub or cut the butter into flour mixture to form coarse crumbs. Add lemons wasting. Whisk together milk and 1 egg. Make a well in the flour mixture; pour in milk mixture. Using fork, stir just until soft, moist dough is formed.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface; gently knead 1 or 2 times to incorporate loose pieces of dough. (Do not over knead.) Pat dough to 1 1/2-inch thickness. Using well-floured 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter or bottom of a glass, cut out about 6 rounds, recombining scraps as necessary. Place rounds on lightly buttered baking sheet. Brush tops with additional beaten egg; sprinkle with additional sugar.

Bake until golden brown, about 17 minutes.

Enjoy!!

lemon scone going into oven lemon scone cutting dough lemon scone coming out of oven

Quick Fix: Veggie Thai Flatbreads with Snarky Puppy

Some days you simply don’t have time to prepare a full-fledged, mostly homemade meal, but don’t necessarily want to go out for food. Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE eating out and enjoying all of the glorious restaurants we have to choose from here in Cleveland. However, it’s usually a little easier on your wallet to eat at home and sometimes you still have that urge to create in your kitchen – even if it has to be quick and simple. On the same token, you may not have time to catch that local show you were planning on checking out or sitting down and researching a new artist. Music you already know and have at your fingertips is usually best suited for those busy days.

Thai Flatbread

Since we tend to experience busy days quite a bit, we figured we’d start a new segment called Quick Fix that will feature fast and easy recipes along with one of our favorite musicians/bands for each post. While we’re all about homemade grub and traditional cooking styles, pre-made sauces and new coTJ's Satay Peanut Sauceoking hacks can be fantastic. There are so many delicious and relatively healthy pre-made products and innovative cooking methods to leverage for these type of recipes. We’re very excited about this new series!

For our first Quick Fix post, I made some delicious Thai Flatbreads and paired them with one of my favorite bands, Snarky Puppy. I used some of my go-to Trader Joe’s fantastic pre-made items (Naan and Peanut Satay Sauce) to keep it quick and super easy to make. Maybe I’ll give homemade naan (sans the tandoor – unfortunately don’t have one of those…yet) and peanut sauce a try in the future, but this TJ’s had me covered. These were absolutely delicious  (and very spicy) and would be great for an appetizer to bring to a party.

The Grooves

Snarky Puppy was definitely love at first sound for me and I listen to them pretty frequently, but they are especially on the brain this weekend because somehow, someway we missed the fact that they were playing two shows (TWO, not one, TWO) up here in Northeastern Ohio – one in Oberlin and one at Severance Hall opening for the CLE Orchestra. Very heartbreaking to say the least, but in all honesty, I probably didn’t have the time or budget to check them out this weekend. Good thing I can groove to them with my beautiful cans and speakers at home.

 

They are so amazingly talented, unique, and provide some of the best ear candy out there today. I must admit:  As much as these flatbreads offer a ton of flavor, satisfaction, and textures after such little prep time, the fact that you can stream Snarky Puppy (for FREE.99!) with a couple clicks of a mouse is a far more beautiful thing. Hopefully they come back to Ohio sooner than later.

The Grub:

I have been on a Thai kick lately so I went that route, but you could easily go with a another sauce and toppings combo for a different theme such as BBQ sauce, black beans, corn with drizzled ranch if you dig SW flavors or olive oil, goat cheese, pears and arugula for a fancier feel.

IngredientsThai Flatbread Ingredients

  • TJ’s Naan Bread
  • TJ’s Satay Peanut Sauce
  • 6-8 Radishes
  • 1-2 Jalapeños
  • 1 Tomato
  • Handful fresh cilantro

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425° . Clean and slice/dice veggies.
  2. Bake naan for 10-12 minutes or until slightly toasted  (You could do this in a toaster oven too!)
  3. Spread on peanut sauce, top with veggies, and serve!

Thai Flatbread

Grooving & Grubbing Locally: The City That Keeps It Weird

I went to Austin in January and it was amazing. I was very fortunate to extend a work trip into a long weekend with some of my close friends from college. Not only did I get to experience Austin’s killer food, music, and warm weather with my fellow Fyers, but I also enjoyed some solid meals during the work week. From tacos to chicken-fried-anything to queso to quail (I could go on for a while), they really know their food. They also know their weird and their music and how to be a lovable city. Check out my foodie pics below and be sure to check out the restaurants too. I ate so many glorious meals, it was a major struggle to limit which ones to include so brace yourself for a lot of food photos and prepare to fight the immediate urge to go there.

Austin - Taken from Graffiti Park at Castle Hills

Austin – Taken from Graffiti Park at Castle Hills

On the music front, I was treated to some great tunes as well. Thanks to my friend, we were able to get tickets to a Bricks in the Wall, a Pink Floyd tribute band hailing from Dallas, show at one of Austin’s famous venues, Emo’s. The venue was simple – in a good way – and the show was stellar. Their music was on point and the light show was absolutely fantastic. The other night, we went out on the wonderful Rainey Street which is similar to West 25th in Ohio City up here in Cleveland. We drank delicious local craft brews and got to catch a few local bands. Since Austin is one of those cities where more aspiring artists go to “make it”, most of these bar acts aren’t your typical bar band. One in particular had a very unique sound and vibe so I chose to feature them: Sam Pace and The Gilded Grit. I snapped some decent pics at both of these shows and also nabbed a handful of videos. Check ‘em out below!

{Local Grub}

Here is a short breakdown of my favorites:

  • Jack Allen’s – Great food and really cool focus on local sourcing
  • Swift’s Attic – Very cool atmosphere with a shared small plates concept. Everything I ate was impressive and beyond satisfying, but the quail, pork cheeks, and Coconut Panna Cota were glorious.
  • Fixe – AWESOME southern fare. I may be biased because friend works there, but it was extremely delicious, the decor was perfect, and THOSE BISCUITS. That Lemon Cake is made by aerating the batter and then freezing it. Innovative and beyond scrumptious.
  • Torchy’s and Taco Deli - Really really really good semi-fast food tacos.

{Local Grooves}

As I mentioned, Bricks in the Wall was awesome, but it was especially cool because I had just seen Wish You Were Here a couple weeks prior. It was pretty neat to compare and contrast two notable Floyd tribute acts that hail from pretty different regions. Oh, and it was also especillay cool because the tickets were FREE.99!

I am also very grateful that we walked into the bar Sam Pace and the Gilded Grit were playing. They’re a talented group with a unique stage presence. Their music is a tight mix of rock and blues that incorporates both old and new school sounds. Sam Pace knows guitar like Fixe knows southern food. They pair together rather nicely too – a lot of soul and talent packed into that combo. Since I only got a short video, I wanted to include some studio tracks from their SoundCloud page as well. Hope you dig:

I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from my taco withdrawal, but that just means I’ll have to come back sooner. It would be nice to see my favorite Texans too. Thanks for an absolutely amazing time and sharing the weird.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Winter Grooves

While time seems to be flying by as usual, winter is not even close to being over (we still got a long way to go!*) and, therefore, our bodies are still craving warm, nutrient-loaded foods. So I thought now would be a great time to post this reBlack Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Chunky Tomato-Jalpeno Saucecipe because sweet potatoes have a ton of health benefits and the other ingredients aren’t too shabby either. Also, many of these ingredients are great for winter because a lot of them are canned and the sweet potatoes store well – perfect for when most of us can’t take a leisurely stroll to our local farmers markets.

*Railroad Earth is playing @ CLE HOB tonight – Check them out if you have yet to do so!

 The Grooves

Since this recipe seems very fitting for a chilly evening, I pulled together a playlist with mellow, warm tones and “winter” songs. If you read my Autumn-inspired post, you are probably catching on that I feel certain songs align very well with particular seasons, whether they mention that time of year or not. We’ll here’s a winter version:

The Grub

This recipe is great for busy nights too because you can prep the sauce and get the tortillas filled ahead of time. That way, you only need to warm the sauce and cover the tortillas with it, along with some cheese. After just a short time of baking, you’ll be enjoying a warm meal and a winter-themed playlist.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1-2 cans black beans
  • 1 small package corn tortillas
  • 1 standard package of shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend)
  • 2-3 cups diced tomatoes  (I used 1 can and 1 fresh because that’s what I had on hand)
  • 4 large Jalapeños
  •  1.5 tbs minced garlic
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper

Sautéing Jalapeños and Garlic     Mashing Chunky Enchilada Sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°, poke sweet potatoes with a fork several times, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until soft.
  2. While sweet potatoes are baking, chop jalapeños and then sauté with minced garlic with cooking oil for 5-10 minutes in medium-sized sauce pan. Season with a small amount of salt and pepper.Filling Tortillas
  3. Stir flour in water until mostly dissolved. Add that mixture, tomatoes, brown sugar, 1 tsp cumin, and 1 tsp chili powder to jalapeños and garlic. While cooking over medium-high heat, stir and mash up ingredients so it’s not so chunky. If you want smoother sauce without any small pieces, you can put through the food processor before heating. I wanted a sauce with more texture…and I also couldn’t find my food processor.
  4. Once sweet potatoes have been baked and have cooled for a 5-10 minutes, peal and stir in remaining spices and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Drain black beans and season with small amount of salt and pepper.
  6. Warm up tortillas in a small skillet (so they are more flexible) and then fill with sweet potato mixture, black beans, and cheese. Roll up and place (fold side down) in lightly greased baking dish. Cover with sauce and cheese.
  7. Bake until cheese is thoroughly melted and garnish with cilantro to serve.

IMG_6819       Enchiladas Ready for Baking      Enchiladas Ready to Enjoy!

Baked Enchiladas - Sideview

WOAH…It’s already been one year!?

We can’t believe it. Tomorrow, it will have already been a year since we officially went live with Garnished With Grooves. While there were some pleasant surprises and some unexpected challenges, overall it was a great first year in the blogosphere. We simply wanted to do a short and sweet post to observe this day in our little blogging history and thank you for sticking along for the ride. We have a lot of very cool posts in the works and a handful of great ideas for the future. As always, if you have questions, suggestions, requests, etc. – please contact us!photo-11

To be honest, this anniversary kind of snuck up and the past couple weeks have been pretty crazy for both of us. As a result, we’re keeping our celebrations simple, convenient….and classy:  The finest light beer served with exquisite dip and crispy, deconstructed baked tortillas, accented with flax seeds. Or as most people know that snack duo by:  2 cold cans of PBR with some chips and salsa from Giant Eagle.

For the grooves, we put together a playlist about time – time passing and times to come:

In all seriousness, we really wanted to do an extravagant cake with some uniquely crafted dessert cocktail, but that’s just not happening this week. So, Happy 1st Birthday GWG! Here’s to many more and a solid rest of 2015 :)

Grooving and Grubbing Locally: Florida Feasting & The BlueFire Band

Lauderdale-By-The-Sea

Over Thanksgiving (I know…this post is a little overdue), I went on a nice and relaxing vacation to Florida with my family. We stayed near two of my favorite Florida fooding spots: Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and Clearwater Beach. While we didn’t have a traditional Thanksgiving meal, we did some proper feasting fit for the Holiday’s reputation of face-stuffing. A borderline unhealthy amount of feasting. But there was so much to try and so little time and that’s what vacation is for….at least in our book.

There weren’t any good shows going on that I was aware of while we were in town. However, we fortunately got to catch a local jazz rock band, The BlueFire Band, in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea one night after dinner. They were very impressive and I’m very grateful we randomly discovered them. I was able to get a few decent videos on my phone – check ‘em out below.

{Local Grub}

As usual, I could ramble on about every meal, but to keep things short and sweet here is a list of my absolute favorites:

  • Keegan’s Seafood Grille – Thanks to Guy, my parents discovered this place on a previous trip. The Char Broiled Octopus had me speechless. SO GOOD.
  • Aruba Beach Cafe – Pretty much everything. Highly recommed the Coconut Shrimp, Mahi Mahi Sandwich, and their drinks too! Great Piña Colada.
  • Maggie Mae’s – Wonderful breakfast/casual brunch spot right on the bay. Down-to-earth atmosphere and amazing food. Cajun Style Fish Po’ Boy and the Hillbilly Taters.
  • Columbia Restaurant – Also right on the bay, but a bit less casual. 1905 Salad, Paella, and their Sangria and Mojitos are the best.

{Local Grooves}

If you’re ever in Florida and have the opportunity to catch the BlueFire Band, do it. They are all really talented and have a contagiously energetic stage presence. You’ll hear a handful of classics that are done with great musicianship and BlueFire’s own unique twist. The violinist is fantastic and I can now say I’ve heard excellent live blues performed on a violin. Check out these short clips I took while digging their tunes:

Pizza and Pop: The Two Ps of the late 1950s & early 1960s in NYC

Finished cheese pizza

It’s not perfectly circular, but that makes it more delicious!

I’m surrounded by East-coasters at work who often complain about Cleveland’s pizza scene. Everyone agrees that the gourmet pies are great (looking at you Dewey’s and Angelo’s) but what about your average, Friday night pizza? These East-coasters claim that this is the pizza arena in which Cleveland falls short, saying it’s a bad mix of Chicago style and New York style. Being a good-Ohioan, I put up a fight, but without knowing much about NY style pizza, my argument didn’t last long. I realized searching for flights to NYC just to try a slice seems a little too crazy, so I decided to make my own pizza. I found this recipe on a great blog called Serious Eats. As the name would suggest, they’re pretty serious about their food. I love that this article compares a few different pizza dough methods and explains what’s happening at a science-y level. (Science-y is the technical term if you were wondering.)

The Grooves

Many a months had passed and I still hadn’t finished the pizza post. For example, it’s currently December 31 and the pictures below are from my family vacation to Michigan in July. You might be asking “Pizza seems like a pretty simple post to write. What’s the hold up?” and that’s a fair enough question to ask because I was constantly asking myself the same thing. And my answer time and again would be “this playlist has become the bane of my existence.” Dramatic? Probably. But just what music truly captures pizza? Besides Macaulay Culkin’s hilariously amazing band Pizza Underground, which transforms different The Velvet Underground songs into beautiful works about pizza. But even though Lou Reed loved a slice of pie, one band mockingly covering another band does not a pizza playlist make. What’s a gal to do? A little more research and I read that America’s favorite food is pizza, so I needed some mainstream grooves that appealed to a lot of my fellow countrymen. Then, I found this article in New York Eater that describes the various pizza scenes in New York. Dom DeMarco runs a quintessential New York Style Pizza Eatery called Di Fara and he started slinging pies in 1961. So I decided to make a playlist capturing the mainstream music scene in NYC in the late 1950s & early 1960s. This also seemed to be a little challenging until someone told me about the Brill Building Sound. I strongly recommend reading this Paste Magazine explanation of Brill Building music, but here’s a little snip it, “Such music (British Invasion) is seen as eternally rebellious. But it’s an immature rebellion, pure arrested development—Peter Pan’s cry of “I don’t want to grow up.” The Brill Building Sound creators were interested in growing beyond that, musically, emotionally and intellectually.” Bold claim, I know. So this playlist attempts to give you just a taste of the writers and musicians from this Better-than-the-Beatles era.

For added topping: To honor this by-gone era, The New Pornographers played their new hit, Brill Bruisers, in the Brill Building.

The Grub

This recipe makes 3 pies!!!! And it’s fantastic, but it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. Everything has to be measured using a kitchen scale. You can certainly attempt to make the dough without a scale, but I felt I should warn you. As for the toppings, classic NY style is just mozzarella cheese, but I made both a margarita and a pepperoni pizza that turned out quite well. I haven’t tried this, but according to the internet (and when would the internet lie?) you can bake just the crust and freeze for later. That way, instead of cutting back on the recipe to make just one pie, you can make all three and have some on hand for future use.

dough ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 22 1/2 ounces (about 4 1/2 cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 tbs sugar
  • .35 ounces kosher salt (about 3 teaspoons)
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 15 oz lukewarm water
  • Toppings of choice

Directions:

  1. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in bowl of food processor. Pulse 3 to 4 times until incorporated. Add olive oil and water. Run food processor until mixture forms ball that rides around the bowl above the blade, about 15 seconds. Continue processing 15 seconds longer.
  2. Transfer dough ball to lightly floured surface and knead once or twice by hand until smooth ball is formed. It should pass the windowpane test (also, see picture below). Divide dough into three even parts and place each in a covered quart-sized deli container or in a zipper-lock freezer bag. Place in refrigerator and allow to rise at least one day, and up to 5.
  3. At least two hours before baking, remove dough from refrigerator and shape into balls by gathering dough towards bottom and pinching shut. Flour well and place each one in a separate medium mixing bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise at warm room temperature until roughly doubled in volume.
  4. 1 hour before baking, adjust oven rack with pizza stone to middle position and preheat oven to 500°F. Turn single dough ball out onto lightly flour surface. Gently press out dough into rough 8-inch circle, leaving outer 1-inch higher than the rest. Gently stretch dough by draping over knuckles into a 12 to 14-inch circle about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to pizza peel.
  5. Add toppings of choice.
  6. Slide pizza onto baking stone and bake until cheese is melted with some browned spots and crust is golden brown and puffed, 12 to 15 minutes total. Transfer to cutting board, slice, and serve immediately. Repeat with remaining two dough balls, remaining sauce, and remaining cheese.

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