A Great Carrot Gratin

Posted 02 Mar 2011 — by chefshirle
Category Gardening, Organic Produce, Vegan, Vegetarian

I’ll admit it…I’m a Veg-aholic. I love all vegetables, even the lowly beet. I’m constantly on the look out for new ways of preparing old versions of veggie side dishes. So, after a day of cooking potato gratin for my clients and drooling over the decadence that IS all things “gratin,” I came home to a fridge full of carrots. The urge I had to make a gratin that night forced me to eye up those sweet, orange roots in a new way. I thought, “why not carrots instead of potatoes?”…and was pleasantly surprised at the creamy deliciousness that I had created.

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Sage Sizzle…No Shizzle!

Posted 25 Feb 2011 — by chefshirle
Category Gardening, Herbs, Organic Gardening, Organic Produce, Vegan, Vegetarian

I had a bumper crop of Sage last fall. It seemed such a waste to just let it die off as winter approached and, as you might know, I have an issue with “wasting” herbs. (see my “Herb Preserve” post to see how far I’ve gone to save some herbage)

Anyway, I noticed the trend of frying herbs about 2 years ago and hadn’t yet experimented with this idea until last fall.

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Arcade Fire Hipster Attack

Posted 17 Feb 2011 — by David Koslowski
Category Music

With all the controversy about The Arcade Fire winning Record of the Year at the Grammys, the fine folks at Funemployed Chicago put together this hilarious hipster attack skit.

You can check them out here: Funemployed Chicago

Stop Monsanto’s Genetically Modified (GMO) Alfalfa-NOW!

Posted 01 Feb 2011 — by chefshirle
Category Gardening, Organic Gardening, Organic Produce, Vegan, Vegetarian

HOLY HELL! Monsanto is at it again… Read this:

We just found out that “after years of bureaucratic wrangling, Secretary Vilsack and the Obama administration are only days away from approving Monsanto’s genetically modified (GMO) alfalfa. If approved, GMO alfalfa will fundamentally undermine the entire organic industry overnight. In addition, the USDA says American consumers don’t care about the contamination of organics.

Please join us in calling on Secretary Vilsack and President Obama to stand up for organic family farmers by rejecting the approval of Monsanto’s GMO alfalfa. Tell them to protect organic integrity and seed biodiversity over corporate profits.”

Go here and make your voice heard. It will only take a short second to save generations of Organic Farmers crops and livelihoods. DO IT!

The Art of Making Seitan – 101

Posted 31 Jan 2011 — by chefshirle
Category Megafaun, Seitan, Vegan, Vegetarian

I remember the very first time I tried Seitan, it was while I was attending Berklee College of Music in Boston and a friend of mine took me to this health food store on Newbury Street. She picked up a nondescript plastic container and opened the lid. Inside was what looked like chunks of brown meat. I asked her what we were looking at and she simply said “Seitan.” Of course, I thought she said “Satan” and replied back with a “Wha?” and a strange look. She then explained how the word was spelled, that it was a ‘wheat-meat’ made from gluten with a high protein percentage and she also explained that the store made their own from scratch. We took it back to her apartment where we made a stir fry. That first bite was wonderful. It tasted like, and had the texture of, meat. But it wasn’t meat. I was hooked.

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Tastemaker: Tamaryn – “The Waves” & “Sandstone”

Posted 30 Dec 2010 — by David Koslowski
Category Music, Tastemaker

I just discovered the beauty of Tamaryn the other day while driving home from work. I was tuned into one of the three college radio stations in my area when the DJ threw on a song called “Sandstone” which immediately caught my attention. I thought, I have to remember to look this band up. The next day to my pleasant surprise I had found them and they had a recently released record on Mexican Summer called The Waves.

This San Francisco duo consists of New Zealand born Tamaryn on vocals and producer Rex John Shelverton (ex-Vue/The Audience/Portraits of Past) on everything else. They create dark minimalist guitar-driven atmospheres that consumes the body in a seductive way with vocals reminiscent of Patti Smith, Siouxsie Sioux and maybe even Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins). The lead off title track “The Waves” just floors me. Check it out.

Tamaryn – “The Waves”

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Tamaryn – “Sandstone”

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Radical Riffs: From Produce Sack to Pot Scrubber.

Posted 16 Dec 2010 — by chefshirle
Category Kitchen Tips, Kitchen Tricks, Organic Produce, Recycled Merchandise

It began innocently enough, I had bought a couple netted bags of brussel sprouts, then came the net bag of small red potatoes. Next thing I knew it was clementine season and those little citrus gems came in a little net bag as well. And I couldn’t or wouldn’t throw the colorful bags away. They had to be good for some reuse, right?

Well, right on I was, one night at my kitchen sink…you see, I have a metal scrubby that I happily use on my stainless steel pots and pans, but I had nothing similar to scrub up my more delicate cookware. Until I started to look at that metal puff sitting there on my soap dish. Its construction seemed simple…layers of netted metal all rolled into a neat donut. Read More

Katrina Ford of Celebration – Recording, Touring & Cooking on the Road

Posted 12 Dec 2010 — by David Koslowski
Category Music, Travel, Vegan, Vegetarian

Rockin’ The Stove has been enormous fans of the Baltimore band Celebration since the release of their 2005 self-titled debut on 4AD Records. The band creates mystical soul stirring music that in a live setting can put you into a trance, making you feel like you are attending a secret ritual. After releasing their fantastic 2nd full-length, The Modern Tribe and touring the hell out of it, Celebration has been keeping quiet for the past couple of years. They’ve been sneaking out a song or two here and there via their website as part of their Electric Tarot project. We caught up with vocalist/percussionist, Katrina Ford, to talk about the band’s upcoming LP Hello Paradise on Friends Records (December 22nd) and how she rocks the stove when they are on the road.

RTS: Hello Paradise will be your first album in three years, you’re no longer with 4AD and now on Friends Records. Can you tell us a little about this transition and how the new record differs from your previous work?

Katrina Ford: With 4AD, we had had a few years of touring and making records with our friends which was awesome, but because of their size and prestige, we had to do things we didn’t like so much. We come from the old school you know, ridin’ around in a dirty van, playin’ some kid’s mom’s basement selling 7″s and homemade patches. So, we were like the Beverly Hillbillies when it came to the business. We’d show up to these fancy places get fed and talk to lawyers, negotiate budgets with the behemoth, get our picture taken, go on press tours, it was all part of the package. We did that and we were given some great opportunities and had some fun.

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Deerhunter perform “Helicopter” on Conon

Posted 09 Dec 2010 — by David Koslowski
Category Music, Video

One of our favorite bands, over here at RTS, made their National Television debut last week on Conan with a beautiful rendition of “Helicopter” the lead off track from their glorious album Halcyon Digest on 4AD Records.

Birth Of A Baker

Posted 04 Dec 2010 — by chefshirle
Category Baking, Vegan, Vegetarian

I’ll admit it from the get-go. I am NOT a baker. Never have been, and most likely never will be. For me, baking is way too exact, something you cant muss with during the assembling of ingredients. I’ve made loaves of Challah bread that you could have used as a baseball bat to knock one out of the park. I’ve made muffins that the Philadelphia Flyers would have loved as hockey pucks. Not good to eat, mind you. With baking you have to know what you are doing and be as exact as possible. This is why I cook as opposed to bake. I can add or subtract anything while I cook, taste testing as I go and adjusting to my hearts content. But not so in baking. This, my husband David finds interesting. While we have “tried” cooking together he, unlike myself, sticks to a recipe as if the world depended on it, whereas I don’t. Call it experience, call it rebelliousness, but I always see another way to prepare a dish. This frustrates him to no end.

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