New Music Monday: September 2015 Playlist

New Music Monday: September 2015 Playlist

September marked the release of a handful of albums from some of my favorite artists. Disclosure’s Caracal was indisputably one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year. Similar to their groundbreaking debut album, Caracal is packed with a star-studded roster, including Sam Smith, Miguel, Lorde, and The Weeknd. “Magnets,” featuring the always lovely lyricist, Lorde, is a clear cut above the rest of the album, but the remaining tracks are repetitive and far too similar in sound. Metric returned with their sixth album, Pagans in Vegas. My long lasting fanship of the band developed during my teenage years of female angst and has managed to continue as the group maintains their consistent appeal. Perhaps my favorite album from September came in the form of Kurt Vile’s dreamy and mellow b’lieve i’m goin down. While the lyrics of this album explore darker territories of loneliness and isolation, Vile continues to create an alternative, dreamlike state of mind with his folksy riffs. Unique in both his sound and conversational delivery, Vile’s b’lieve i’m goin down is one smooth flowing ride. 1) Shining Like a Diamond- The Outer Vibe 2) New Americana- Halsey 3) Light (feat. Little Dragon)- ODESZA, Little Dragon 4) Lights And Camera- Yuna, Gerald Earl Gillum 5) Return to the Moon- EL VY 6) Till Sunrise (feat. Mammals)- Goldroom 7) Purple Yellow Red and Blue- Passion Pit Remix- Portugal. The Man 8) This Love Is Here To Stay- Thomas Dybdahl 9) Lights On- Big Grams 10) Magnets- Disclosure, Lorde 11) No No No- Beirut 12) Cream on Chrome- Ratatat 13) Dust Bunnies- Kurt Vile 14) Lie Lie Lie-... read more
Blistered Shishito Peppers with Sriracha Aioli

Blistered Shishito Peppers with Sriracha Aioli

This is one of those recipes that was a result of inspiration from a dozen different places! Disappointed that my food blogging had taken a back seat to the craziness of everyday life, I was looking for the perfect recipe and aesthetic to get me excited about the process again. That inspiration managed to come in the form of a beautiful gift from Japan- a porcelain bowl, ornately adorned with delicate flowers.     In allowing the aesthetic to guide the recipe, I decided on a typical Japanese mainstay- shishito peppers. These mild, green peppers are often served as a simple appetizer or as tempura and have crowded their way onto the menus of local, trendy restaurants. Best of all, these slender, slighty sweet peppers are incredibly simple to prepare and maintain a fresh and delicious crunch after preparation!     This will certainly not be the last time I make this confession, but I LOVE condiments! If they are artisanal and homemade, all the better. Shishito peppers are truly delicious enough to hold their own with just a sprinkle of sea salt and olive oil, but the creamy garlic aioli with an added spicy kick of Sriracha takes these tasty little peppers to a whole new level! This particular recipe is incredibly easy to throw together, involving four basic ingredients that are likely already in your kitchen- mayonnaise, fresh garlic, sea salt, and Sriracha.     My Sriracha aioli revelation came in the form of late-night eats at a wedding I recently attended. While the aioli was served with crisp, thin-cut fries at the event, I much prefer... read more
New Music Monday: August 2015 Playlist

New Music Monday: August 2015 Playlist

The diversity of this month’s playlist has made it one of my favorites to date! Everything from Tame Impala’s psychedelic rock to Chance the Rapper’s side project, Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment, came together to create a playlist built around a unique collection of songs from a wide range of artists. Without a single album release dominating this collection, these tracks are a true showcase of the experimental, genre-melding sounds produced as of late. As any music lover will attest, one of the greatest experiences is when a live performance turns a casual listener into a fan. I had the pleasure of such an experience following Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s set at FYF Fest in Downtown Los Angeles this month. I already considered Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s latest album, Multi-Love to be a pop success filled with dance tracks and catchy one-line choruses. Their live performance was an incredible display of the group’s highly infectious energy. As the afternoon sun beat down, the rock trio had the crowd singing along and swaying to their catchy beats in no time at all!     1) Hella- Cayucas 2) Them Changes (feat. Flying Lotus & Kamasi Washington)- Thundercat 3) Fingertips- Leo Kalyan 4) Open Up- Gallant 5) Girl- The Internet 6) The Moment- Tame Impala 7) Can’t Keep Checking My Phone- Unknown Mortal Orchestra 8) Dream- Autograf 9) Wanna Be Cool- Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment 10) Ocean Drive- Duke Dumont 11) After Dark- Eliot Sumner 12) Impossible- LION BABE 13) Psycadelik Thoughtz- B.o.B 14) Gypsy- Gardens & Villa   Follow me on... read more
Greek Yogurt Granola Bowl with Fresh Berries

Greek Yogurt Granola Bowl with Fresh Berries

This recipe came out of a necessity to recreate. I found myself splurging on the seven dollar granola bowl at Gjelina Takeaway far too often. The sheer simplicity of ingredients, highlighted by their quality is what makes the food at Gjelina spectacular. The fruit is fresh from a local farmer’s market, the honey is of a raw and pure form, and their granola is full of texture and variety.   The recipe for this granolia bowl is incredibly simple but mandates a trip to the farmer’s market for the absolute tastiest berries. Quality granola, honey, and coconut flakes can easily be found at Whole Foods. The choice of fresh berries is a complete variable but I personally love the combination of fresh sliced strawberries, with juicy, in-season blackberries!   The best part of this recipe is that there is a ton of room for improvisation. You can top with chopped walnuts, sprinkle with chia seeds, or even drizzle on flax seed oil for an omega-3 boost and additional protein and fiber.   Prep Time: 5 minutes Ingredients: 1 cup, low-fat plain Greek yogurt 1/3 cup, granola 1 tablespoon, honey 1/4 cup, sliced strawberries 1/4 cup, blackberries 1/4 cup, coconut flakes Preparation Top Greek yogurt with granola. Add fresh berries and drizzle with honey. Top with coconut... read more
New Music Monday: June 2015 Playlist

New Music Monday: June 2015 Playlist

There could be no better indication that summer has arrived then a June playlist post in mid-July! Thankfully a frenzy of summer activity was to blame and not a shortage of fantastic new music. This past month in music was quite remarkable. Jamie xx’s In Colour was indisputably the most anticipated and well-received release in June. His solo-debut album is a brilliant showcase of his minimalist musical aesthetic. The texture and variety of his tracks shine throughout the entire album. Leon Bridges’ Coming Home marked another highly anticipated debut album. His beautifully nostalgic, American soulful sound has made him a viral sensation. Perhaps my favorite, if not my most replayed album was Wolf Alice’s My Love Is Cool. I first heard of this London-based indie rock group through KCRW’s Jason Bentley. Their debut album did not fail to disappoint. It’s a complex, moody, and fascinating listen from start to finish. The lead female vocalist’s voice is nothing short of captivating. I could not recommend an album more highly- go take a listen!     1) Obvs- Jamie xx 2) Bros- Wolf Alice 3) Devil’s Whisper- Raury 4) Smooth Sailin’- Leon Bridges 5) Wolves Without Teeth- Of Monsters and Men 6) Higher Ground- Argonaut & Wasp 7) High- Zella Day 8) Anxious in Venice- Superhumanoids 9) Turn To Dust- Wolf Alice 10) Brown Skin Girl- Leon Bridges 11) Gold Dust Woman- Fleetwood Mac Follow me on... read more
Desert Dreaming in Joshua Tree

Desert Dreaming in Joshua Tree

A weekend jaunt to Joshua Tree has quickly become one of my favorite getaways. Dozens of highly affordable, spaciously modern homes are available to rent if you prefer your star gazing from a hot tub rather than a tent. Most of the better rentals I have found are ideal for a large group or a set of couples. Given the desolation of this beautiful, arid town the company of a group is most welcome. Check out the Ocotillo Verde and Roca Vista, available for rent on Airbnb. I could not recommend these rentals more highly!     Joshua Tree is not a place for doing a whole lot. It’s where time slows down, practically coming to a halt under the blazing mid-day sun. Yet it can hardly be described as a sleepy town. There is a creative energy that radiates from every inch of this wide-open expanse. With quirky, outdoor thrift yards, rustic handmade wares, and among one of the best craft beer selections at the local liquor mart, Joshua Tree is a bohemian dreamscape.     There is a ton of great boutique and thrift shopping to be done in Joshua Tree and neighboring city, Yucca Valley. With most of the weekend spent relaxing, I prefer to make this strip of shops along Twentynine Palms Highway my final pit stop on the way out of town. Hoof & the Horn is my favorite boutique store, selling an eclectic mix of bohemian labels, decorative succulents, and candles from PF. Candle Co.!     No trip to Joshua Tree is quite the same. Spontaneity results from the unpredictable fury of the desert heat and the eclectic energy of... read more
New Music Monday: May 2015 Playlist

New Music Monday: May 2015 Playlist

A number of familiar names in music dropped albums this month. Hot Chip, Tanlines, and Mumford & Sons were just a few of the hotly anticipated releases in time for summer. Each of the albums have a couple of major gems, with Tanline’s “Pieces” and Hot Chip’s “Need You Now.” Mumford & Sons’ long-awaited sophomoric release is a mixed bag. With “The Wolf” and “Wilder Mind” they manage to beautifully embrace their new sound with booming vocals and powerful instrumentals. Noticeably absent are their banjos and original folksy beat. However, the rest of the album strays a bit too far into commercial rock territory, robbing them of their distinguishable sound. By far, my favorite album to drop this past month is A$AP Rocky’s AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP. With a well-curated list of collaborators, each track is unique in it’s own right. Filled with masterfully crafted lyrics and catchy beats, this album is terrific in its entirety! 1) River- Leon Bridges 2) Under Lie- Klo 3) Pieces- Tanlines 4) The World Ender- Lord Huron 5) Make A Scene- Shamir 6) Fine Whine- A$AP Rocky, Joe Fox, Future, M.I.A. 7) Need You Now- Hot Chip 8) ‘Cause I’m A Man- Tame Impala 9) Save Me- LISTENBEE, Naz Tokio 10) The Wolf- Mumford & Sons 11) Slipping Away- Tanlines 12) Canal St.- A$AP Rocky, Bones 13) Electric Body- A$AP Rocky, Schoolboy Q 14) Wilder Mind- Mumford & Sons Follow me on... read more
New Music Monday: April 2015 Playlist

New Music Monday: April 2015 Playlist

With summer nearly upon us, this playlist couldn’t be a better reflection of the infectious energy that comes along with the gloriously long, summer days. Janelle Monáe released an incredibly catchy single, “Yoga” that flows just as smoothly as a vinyasa and showcases her brilliant vocal range. Best Coast, the indie darlings of Los Angeles, released their third album, California Nights. The duo continues to wax poetic over the loveliness that is California but with a far more moody, expansive and atmospheric tone this time around. One of the best EP’s released this month came in the form of Tei Shi’s Verde. The Colombian born singer based in Brooklyn, debuted a chillingly beautiful EP with a dreamy, ethereal vibe. Get listening- summer is coming!     1) Yoga- Janelle Monáe, Jidenna 2) California Nights- Best Coast 3) Real Life- Tanlines 4) Wish I Was- Spada Remix 5) The Gin One- Nadine Shah 6) How To Be A Heartbreaker- Marina and The Diamonds 7) Sunshine on My Back- The National 8) 400 Blows- Zero 7, Danny Pratt 9) Crystals- Of Monsters and Men 10) Woman (Oh Mama)- Joy Williams 11) The Chase- Future Islands 12) Go Slow- Tei Shi   Follow me on... read more
Pineapple Jalapeño Infused Tequila

Pineapple Jalapeño Infused Tequila

Infusing alcohol is one of the easiest ways to serve up a killer cocktail! After constantly ordering the Spicy Margarita at Brick + Mortar in Santa Monica, I decided it was time to get to work creating my own. Vodka is one of the most common spirits to infuse since it’s relatively flavorless, but light spirits like silver tequila work just as well. Pick bold flavors when coming up with your infusion of choice! Pineapple and jalepeño are the perfect complement to a smoky tequila. The spiciness of the jalepeño cuts through the alcohol while the pineapple adds a natural sweetness. The best part of the infusion process is that the alcohol is basically cocktail-ready! Freshly squeezed limes, a splash of pineapple juice, and a bit of triple sec are combined with the infused tequila in a cocktail shaker. No muddling necessary! Prep Time: 45 mins  – 3/4 days for infusion Ingredients: Infused Tequila Serves: 750 ml 750 ml bottle of blanco (silver) tequila 1 small pineapple, sliced 3 jalepeños, sliced and seeded Pineapple-Jalepeño Tequila Cocktail Serves: 1 1 1/2 ounces pineapple-jalepeño infused tequila 1 ounce pineapple juice 1/2 ounce triple sec 1 lime, fresh squeezed juice 2 cubes, ice Lime wedge and sea salt to garnish Preparation:  Place the sliced pineapple and jalepeños in a large, quart-sized jar. Pour in the bottle of tequila, mix the contents, then seal the jar. Refrigerate for 2 or 3 days depending on your desired level of spiciness. After 2-3 days, remove the jalepeños from the jar, leaving in the pineapple for another day or two. After the additional day or two, remove the pineapple... read more
New Music Monday: March 2015 Playlist

New Music Monday: March 2015 Playlist

This month’s playlist is comprised of recent releases by some major acts in hip-hop as well as a handful of fresh tracks from a bad-ass crew of women leading the rock revolution! The diversity of artists is a testament to the type of quality, genre-bending music that is gaining traction. Drake’s latest mixtape is an instant hook with his weightless verses and free-flowing rhythm, while Kendrick Lamar comes through with one of the catchiest tracks of the year, his funkadelic “King Kunta.” Courtney Barnett’s new EP was one of the best releases this month. As a breakthrough artist, her eccentric, grunge-rock persona is brilliantly captured by her delightfully simple, yet quirky poetic lyrics about the everyday mundane. This EP is a must listen from start to finish!     1) Giant Peach- Wolf Alice 2) Untitled- feat. Scar- Killer Mike 3) Feel Right- Mark Ronson, Mystikal 4) Stoic Resemblance- Helio Sequence 5) No Way Out (Redux)- Warpaint 6) Hard Time- Seinabo Sey 7) Santa Fe- Beirut 8) Chess- Petite Noir 9) Electric Love- BORNS 10) 10 Bands- Drake 11) Elevator Operator- Courtney Barnett 12) Pedestrian at Best- Courtney Barnett 13) King Kunta- Kendrick Lamar 14) Sleep Sound- Jamie xx   Follow me on... read more