Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Show Review: Phosphorescent and Shakey Graves–House of Blues Dallas 2013

I stumbled upon Phosphorescent after hearing a recording of “Song for Zula” on NPR back in April. There are times when my heart ached and I would find myself listening to this song. Often, I’d go for a run and my cool down was to this song, watching a glorious sunset. Matthew Houck’s voice, so vulnerable and raw, and how the rest of the instruments meshed together, well, it was beautiful music to me. When tickets went on sale in August, I bought a pair through the presale, anxiously looking forward to what was  to come! I’m a big fan of the Americana/alt-country/electronic thing he has going on.

We had a lovely date down in the Bishop Arts District just before the show. It was nice to feel relaxed and in the mood to absorb some good music for the evening.

We were afforded a media pass and I poked my head backstage (cozy and busy hallways, filled with people going to and fro, which had me nostalgic of my old theater days). They put on a great show, especially for die hard fans. I spent the better part of the opening performance* sharing time with a local surgeon who works miracles! It was so inspiring to meet and talk with a real-life hero there on the little couch in the corner. It had me almost as excited as being at the show.

Unfortunately, the sound was a bit off in the Cambridge Room at the House of Blues. It is a smaller venue, so I guess it could be tricky trying to get it right. But it was quite noticeable moving from one side of the room to the other (I tested every corner several times to see if there would be a sweet spot), with an overwhelming amount of unintentional distortion. However, all that to say, in spite of that, his voice, the instruments, the energy was all wonderful and moving. Everyone in the crowd swayed as he crooned “Song for Zula” and all were clapping along to “Ride on/Right On.” There was such a dynamic group of people there from all walks of life, it was nice to be a part of a very different crowd. If you like indie music, then you next time they are in town, you need to do yourself a solid, learn the lyrics, go to the show, and sing along at the top of your lungs.

(As an added bonus, when I went to the bathroom, I was treated with sounds from the Mowgli/Walk the Moon show happening in the lower level.)

 

*Opening for them was Shakey Graves, a one man man show who’d rigged up a drum/bass triggered with his feet. Impressive!

**While we were afforded a media pass, in no way did that sway my review. The photos were all captured by my darling and talented husband. I purchased my own tickets for the show and the opinions are my own.**

Monday, October 21, 2013

Gluten Free Bread Machine Bread

DRY GOODS

2 cups almond flour

1 cup all purpose gluten free flour

2 tsp xanthan gum

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons active dry yeast (I used Fleischmann’s dry active yeast for breadmachines)

WET GOODS

1 1/2 cups  warm  milk*

2 teaspoons vinegar

1/4 cup  olive oil

2 extra large eggs, room temperature

extra olive oil and tapioca flour for the pan

PROCESS

  1. Take your extra virgin olive oil and tapioca flour and oil and flour your bread machine pan.
  2. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, then carefully pour into your breadmachine.
    *I realized I didn’t have regular milk in the house. We seldom do these days because both girls seem to have a negative reaction to drinking cows milk. If I have some, it is because I know I’ll be baking or making paneer. I just happened to make paneer that morning, thus using all of my milk. Oops, so anyway I took 3/4 of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of water to make “milk”
  3. Pour (or crack) all of your wet ingredients on top of the dry mix directly into the machine.
  4. Close the lid and set your machine to process for regular white sandwich bread. This will take about an hour and a half or so, depending on your machine and altitude.
  5. When done, take out immediately from the machine so it doesn’t stick to the sides.
  6. Enjoy!

I adapted my recipe from this one here found at the Art of Gluten Free Baking. I also referred to Gluten Free Goddess’ tips for bread machines.

Notes: Xantham gum is expensive. I was lucky to find it in the bulk goods section. I knew I only needed 2 teaspoons, so I took the smallest container and filled it only halfway. This was quite a bit of savings. Also, my all purpose gluten free flour comes from Trader Joe’s. Don has enjoyed everything that I’ve made with it so far, so it seems to be a quality substitute. He prefers it over the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten free. Speaking of Bob’s Red Mill, that is who I used for the almond flour. Going forward, I will use 1 cup of almond flour and 2 cups of the all-purpose flour. This bread tasted nuttier and earthier than I wanted, but it was still good!

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