Free Download and Artist Spotlight: Katie Herzig

TWO POSTS, ONE DAY! Things are getting crazy.

We all know Hannah is really the music expert here, but I wanted to share this song today because the FREE download ends tonight!

I work for some people who work on a little show called Cougar Town and my boss (among other things) is the Music Supervisor for the show. I think she found a real gem with this one. It was featured on last night’s season finale. Enjoy!!

Download the song for FREE here: Katie Herzig- Lost & Found

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Guacamole Time!

And we are BACK! After a week or so of little to no activity on our blog- I finally have some time to sit down and share some new finds with all (3) of you readers!

This past weekend was Memorial Day and that usually means BBQ, friends, sunshine and more BBQ!

I decided to make some guacamole for everyone, and I have to say I think it was one of my best attempts. So in honor of summer officially being upon us, here is my recipe!

Ingredients:

2-3 Avocados (Depending on size. I use the ratio of 2 avocados to 1 tomato and that seems to work)

1 tomato

Half of 1 lime

1 tsp. crushed garlic

Diced red onion

Cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

Slice avocados in half and scoop out the pit

Cut little slices while still in the skin and scoop avocado out with a spoon into a large bowl

Using a fork, stir and slightly mash the avocados until slightly creamy. Don’t completely annihilate them- you don’t want liquidy/mushy guac.

Dice your tomato into little cubes (above)

Mix in the tomatoes- I try to avoid smashing them at all

OH HELLO HERB SCISSORS! YOU’RE BACK!

What’s that you say? You’re only $4.95?!! IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY- GO BUY THEM HERE!

Cut (go scissors, go) or chop (boring) the cilantro. Use however much you want here, but be careful not to add a huge bunch. This stuff doesn’t mess around with flavor.

Dice the red onion into small cubes

Squeeze the lime and stir in your garlic, salt and pepper!

If you’re like me and you like an extra kick – add some sliced jalapeños or a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.

There you have it! Happy summertime to us all!

Tunes On The Tube: May 13-19

This week the music supes at GG, HART OF DIXIE and GREY’S assaulted our ears with good music, as usual.  It’s all available below, as usual.  And that’s all I’m going to say about the music this week.

Now, can we please discuss the HOD and GREY’S season finales?  First off, a huge thank you to the writers at HOD for finally, finally allowing Zoe and Wade to seal the deal.  After 22 episodes of insane sexual tension, I would have thrown something at the television had they failed to get those two together!  Fortunately their bedded bliss finally happened (it was everything I’d hoped it would be!), and my TV is still intact.  Unfortunately, their bliss didn’t last long, as stupid George came busting in, declaring his feelings and kissing Zoe and confusing the poor girl to no end.  I mean, really, George?  Really?!?!!  Just let the girl get with Wade, already!  He’s been pining for her since the beginning while you’ve been off with Lemon!  I loved Jason Street, but I just cannot get behind George Tucker.  Team Wade all the way!!

Now on to GREY’S… which gets another REALLY?!?!?!?!!!! from yours truly.  I hated the writers for putting me through the shooting a few seasons back, and I hate them again for putting me through that plane crash aftermath.  For killing Lexi.  For leaving Mark alone after he’d only just realized he still loved her.  For hinting that Jackson and April won’t be together come next season.  But mostly I hate them for blatantly emotionally manipulating me over and over and over again.  And keeping me coming back for more.

On that note, here are this week’s songs!

Monday, May 14th

GOSSIP GIRL: “Bombs” by Golden State

GOSSIP GIRL: “In Your Nature” by Zola Jesus (David Lynch Remix)

GOSSIP GIRL: “Misery Train” by Conduits (from the album Conduits)

GOSSIP GIRL: “Hurricane” by MS MR

HART OF DIXIE: “Run” by Matt Nathanson feat. Sugarland (from the album Modern Love)

HART OF DIXIE: “Wild At Heart” by Gloriana

HART OF DIXIE: “This Love” by FM Radio (from the album Out of the Blue) – available for listening on Spotify

Thursday, May 17th

GREY’S ANATOMY: “Featherstone” by The Paper Kites (from their EP Woodland)

Shazam’d! Sunday – May 20th

This week I Shazam’d A LOT of amazing songs.  I mean, I’ve got new music from Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Animal Kingdom, and Ben Howard.  Not to mention an awesome song by oldie but goodie BoDeans, brand new band The Neighbourhood, and one of my favorites, Clock Opera.  If you’re bummed about going back to work tomorrow, just check out the awesomeness below and you’ll be pumped up for Monday morning in no time!

“Strange Attractor” by Animal Kingdom (from the album The Looking Away)

“Belongings” by Clock Opera (from the album Ways To Forget)

“Small Hands” by Keaton Henson (from his debut album Dear)

“Promise” by Ben Howard (from his debut album Every Kingdom)

“Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood (from their debut EP I’m Sorry…)

“Never Go Back” by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (from forthcoming album The Lion The Beast The Beat, out June 12th)

“Good Things” by BoDeans (from the album Black & White)

Happy almost Monday!

– Hannah

New Music Alert: Leaders of Men

Happy Friday, everyone!!

As you’re getting ready for the weekend, check out Irish indie rockers Leaders of Men.  Their debut EP came out in August 2011, and they have quite the fan base in Ireland.  They’ve got a new EP set for release this June, along with a new music video.  Personally, I can’t wait!

Their music is the kind of swelling, anthemic, melodic rock that sucks you in and doesn’t let go (at least it has that effect on me).  Enjoy!

– Hannah

Tunes On The Tube: May 6-12

I apologize for my absence in the blogosphere last week; things got a bit busy here in LA, and I’m afraid my blogging suffered as a result.  But I’m back now and ready to blog it up with tunes on the tube!

The standout bit of TV for me this week was the last scene of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES’ season finale, in which (spoiler alert!!) Elena makes Stefan save Matt instead of her, and she drowns to the tune of Sigur Ros while we simultaneously see her parents drown in the same lake a few years back.  Was I the only one blubbering for a good 10 minutes on Friday night as I caught up on DVR?  And I mean that awful, ugly kind of blubbering cry where you yell at the TV “what the bleep?!?!?!?!?!” as Elena’s drowning and her parents are drowning and then she’s motioning for Stefan to save Matt and then more crying because how can she be so brave and selfless? and oh my gosh how is the show going to go on without Elena?! and then “what do you mean you SAVED her????” and then more yelling at the TV as Elena wakes up and oh my gosh the producers weren’t lying when they said this finale changed EVERYTHING and WTF ELENA IS NOW A VAMPIRE.  Oh, you mean to say you didn’t have that reaction?  Well then you must not have feelings, because that final scene sucked out all of my feelings and tossed them around like a washing machine.

So, yeah, check out the Sigur Ros song below and, if you watch THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, relive that moment over and over again with every listen.  I just did.

GOSSIP GIRL also had some great stuff last Monday, including one of my favorite new bands, Imagine Dragons.  And HART OF DIXIE can always be counted on for a few nuggets of country/bluegrass gold (speaking of HOD, I watched the season finale last night and have many thoughts that I will share with you next Tuesday.  Just you wait… you’ll probably get another stream of consciousness thought bubble similar to the one above).

Monday, May 7th

GOSSIP GIRL: “Halfway Home” by Tribes (from the album Baby)

GOSSIP GIRL: “Love Is A Fire” by Courrier

GOSSIP GIRL: “Round and Round” by Imagine Dragons (from their Continued Silence EP)

HART OF DIXIE: “Anyhow…” by Tyler Lyle (from The Golden Age & The Silver Girl)

HART OF DIXIE: “The Dregs of Birch” by The Duhks (from their self-titled album) – awesome bluegrass, available for listening at Spotify

Thursday, May 10th

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: “Dauoalogn” by Sigur Ros (from their forthcoming album Valtari, out May 29th)

Ode to Moms

In honor of Mother’s Day, Hannah and I would like to dedicate a few posts to our dear moms. We both are blessed with mothers who encourage, support and love us unconditionally. I, for one, was not always an easy child. I MAY have had a deep love for sarcasm and professional arguing. Lovely combo when you’re a teenager. Thankfully, she stuck around through those years and I am all the better for it.

Here is a recent photo of my Mom and I:

I think it describes our relationship pretty well.

I want to start with my FAVORITE recipe of hers- the coconut cream pie. It’s the BEST dessert and I absolutely request it every time I go home to Texas for a visit. I don’t have any photos unfortunately- but just picture a flaky warm crust, sweet filling and mountain-high meringue lightly toasted, sprinkled with coconut flakes. Hungry? Thought so.

Below is the recipe! I have made this before on my own and it took me a couple of tries to get it just right. I prefer mine a little “primed” (refrigerated for a day or so) as opposed to right out of the oven.

PIE CRUST

 For one single-crust pie

1 ½      cups sifted all-purpose flour

½         teaspoon salt

½ c      up of shortening

4 to 5   tablespoons cold water

Sift flour and salt together; cut in shortening with pastry blender till pieces are the size of small peas.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over part of the mixture.  Gently toss with fork; push to side of bowl.  Repeat till all is moistened.  Form into a ball.  Flatten on lightly floured surface by pressing with edge of hand 3 times across in both directions.  Roll from center to edge till 1/8 inch think.

 Fit pastry into pie plate; trim ½ to 1 inch beyond edge; fold under and flute edge by pressing dough with forefinger against wedge made of finger and thumb of other hand.  Prick bottom and sides well with fork.  (If filling and crust are baked together, do not prick.)  Bake at 450⁰ for 10 to 12 minutes or till golden.

 


MERINGUE

 For one 9-inch pie:

3          egg whites

½         teaspoon vanilla

¼         teaspoon cream of tartar

6          tablespoons sugar

Beat egg white with vanilla and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sugar, beating till stiff and glossy peaks form and all sugar is dissolved.  Spread meringue over hot filling, sealing to edge of pastry.  (For coconut pie, sprinkle coconut over meringue.)  Bake at 350⁰ for 12 to 15 minutes or till meringue is golden.  Cool.

 

VANILLA CREAM PIE

¾         cup sugar

1/3       cup all-purpose flour or

            3 tablespoons cornstarch

¼         teaspoon salt

2          cups milk

3          slightly beaten egg yolks

2          tablespoons butter

1          teaspoon vanilla

Coconut

1          9-inch baked pastry shell

In saucepan, combine sugar, flour and salt; gradually stir in milk.  Cook and stir over medium heat till bubbly.  Cook and stir 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Stir small amount hot mixture into yolks, immediately return to hot mixture; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Add butter and vanilla and coconut.  Pour into cooled baked pastry shell.  Spread meringue atop pie and bake at 350⁰ for 12 to 15 minutes.  Cool.

ENJOY!!

I also asked my Mom what her favorite memory was of us together. This is what she sent me. You can truly hear her tone in this story, so I am not going to paraphrase.

“From the time you were three years old you talked about being an ice skater.  If ice skating was on TV you were spell bound and could not be moved – even with candy!  (Another one of your favorite things!)  You begged for ice skating lessons and begged your brother to learn to ice skate so you could be partners.  He was, of course, appalled at the idea, and you cried for days.

Finally some friends of our friends heard about your love for ice skating.  They had a son who was an Olympic skater and decided to take the two of us on a “surprise”.  We headed to Dallas for an ice skating show with all of your favorite stars.  We had no idea where we were going until we actually got there.  You were glued to the edge of your seat and could not take your eyes off of all of the skaters, especially Nancy Kerrigan – your favorite.  After the show the folks suggested that we make a stop at the restroom before we headed home and you reluctantly left your seat still spellbound by the night.  To our surprise they were not taking us by the bathroom, but backstage to meet all of the ice skaters.  They thought you would love having your picture made with everyone.  As Nancy Kerrigan approached, you ran behind me and would not come out.  She was standing there waiting for a picture with you and you would not BUDGE!  You stayed behind me the whole time with me trying to pry you from around my legs.  You said your “hair” didn’t look good (you were eight!), you weren’t dressed right…you name it.  You would not show your face.  Then, as soon as we got in the car to go home you started crying and cried ALL night over the chance you had missed!  Really Ashley,…your hair????”

I also vividly remember this occasion and it was truly upsetting. Mainly the part about me asking my 13-year-old brother if he wanted to be my skating partner followed by his swift rejection.

WE COULD HAVE WON THE GOLD AT THE OLYMPICS, CHRIS! I AM SURE OF IT!

When I think about my Mom, I think of her very quick wit and dry sense of humor. I am so very grateful I was exposed to this at a young age. She is an AMAZING host and advice-giver. As my Dad says, “She is the wisest person I know.” I also think of “I Love Lucy” and large Diet Cokes from Sonic as she is the HUGEST fan of both.

We are very different in a lot of ways- but as I get older, we seem to grow closer. I hope that when I have kids (NOT ANY TIME SOON) that I can be as loving and patient as she was with my brother and I.

Thank you, Mom and Happy Mother’s Day!!


Tunes on the Tube: April 29 – May 5

We’re almost to summer, which means my Tunes On The Tube lists will soon fade away into nothingness until fall brings back all of my favorite music-heavy shows.  So get your fill of Tuesday’s Tunes now, while you still can!

This week wasn’t my favorite as far as music was concerned, but there were a few good songs worth mentioning.  GOSSIP GIRL brought it like it always does with a stellar track from Tribes.  REVENGE, also a consistent source of great music, used Warpaint to great effect in the closing montage.  And THE VAMPIRE DIARIES gave us “Reno” by The Gods of Macho – harder rock than I usually like, but the opening is so catchy that I couldn’t resist sharing it.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, April 30th

GOSSIP GIRL: “Alone Or With Friends” by Tribes (from the album Baby)

Wednesday, May 2nd

REVENGE: “Stars” by Warpaint (from the EP Exquisite Corpse)

Thursday, May 3rd

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: “Reno” by The Gods of Macho (from their forthcoming EP Play 5 Songs)

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: “Act On Impulse” by We Were Promised Jetpacks (from the album In The Pit Of The Stomach)

Shazam’d! Sunday – May 6th

Keeping it short and sweet for y’all this week with 4 yummy songs for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!

“Restless Fugitive” by Willy Mason (from his forthcoming album/also available on his EP So Long Baby Shoes)

“Hannah” by Freelance Whales (from their album Weathervanes)

“Youth Without Youth” by Metric (from their forthcoming album Synthetica, available June 12th)

“Invisible Sun” by The Police


Cause for Good: Sister Effect

Hey there blog readers-

I would like to introduce you to my good friend Lizi:

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(Here we are at my wedding this summer.)

Not only is she a wonderful friend, a fantastic Mom and an INCREDIBLE musician (check out her and her husband’s music here), she is also working with some super awesome folks on an exciting new project. Together, they have created “Sister Effect”, a non-profit organization aimed at improving the lives of women in the Sudan. You can read about their mission, team and ways that you can be involved here:

Sister Effect

They are aiming to provide education, clean water, shelter and more to these amazing women who have lived through more than we could ever comprehend.

Now, I know there are a lot of organizations out there that CLAIM to help people in Africa or other impoverished nations, only to steal, lie and manipulate people into giving their hard-earned money or the like. Not here!

I can vouch for this team and say whole-heartedly their goal is to enrich the lives of these women in a war-torn country, and partner with them to provide hope. Please, please, please check them out and feel free to share their information with others.

I know this is a bit of a digression from our usual posts- but I think this group is worth mentioning. I am not trying to push any political agendas here- just trying to help improve the world we live in! Thanks in advance for taking a look!

Happy Thursday!

-ashley