In concert with JC Cassis this Friday in Williamsburg

Shameless self-promotion alert:

I’m playing keyboard in singer-songwriter JC Cassis’ band this Friday night in Williamsburg (only 1 stop out of Manhattan on the L for those of you afraid of Brooklyn).  It’s our live debut as a band.  And for those of you familiar with my Hepnova and solo work, JC’s band is a totally different (read: GUILTY PLEASURE POP) musical direction for me .

More info about the gig and about JC’s music below.

January 30, 2009
Public Assembly (Front Room)
70 North 6th Street, Brooklyn
L Train to Bedford Ave
JC Cassis & guests
$7

New and Fabulous with:
Emily Stern, The Spanish Channel, JC Cassis.
At 7pm, the evening begins with Emily Stern’s playful lyrics and mystical melodies. Chris Conly’s magnetic guitar musings are supported by David Andrew Moore’s ecstatic beats, creating a world that Nick Noir describes as having “a beatnick meets kabbalistic magic to it.” At 7:50, turn on The Spanish Channel for music that sounds like Weezer + Foo Fighters + Ben Folds – piano. At 8:30, JC Cassis will blow you away with her powerful voice and beloved songs in genres from pop to country to blues to comedy, appearing with a full band for the first time. Don’t miss it!

Monktopus Octokey

Monktopus Octokey

Our first assignment in Animals, People, and Those in Between with Marina Zurkow was to do a portrait of ourselves with our spirit animal.  I couldn’t choose between a monkey or an octopus, so I decided to hybridize the two and came up with the monktopus octokey. First, I sketched it out on the chalkboard wall in my kitchen, then I took a photo of myself in front of it.  Then I “painted” over the photo in Photoshop to produce the final portrait.

I like monkeys because of their agility and seemingly erratic behaviors, and because it is my Chinese/Japanese zodiac sign.  As for the octopus, I guess I kind of have a mild tentacle obsession, but not necessarily in the über-hentai way.  I created tentacled creatures for my presentation in Red Burns’ Applications class last semester.  Also, I like octopus because it tastes good.

[PDF]

Costa Rica

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Monkey!

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A carreta (traditional Costa Rican oxcart)

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Flor de Vida restaurant in Monteverde served up the best casado I had in Costa Rica.  A casado is a typical Costa Rican meal consisting of rice, black beans, a choice of protein, and other accoutrements like fried plantains and salad.  In this case, the protein was tender chicken breast stewed in a garlicky tomato sauce.

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Gratuitous photo of me relaxing in the sun in Monteverde


Video of me and Kris on a Sky Trek zip line.

More Costa Rica pics on Flickr.

Thai Green Curry from scratch

Day 3 of 4-in-4Cook something I’ve never made before

Thai Green Curry

I love Thai food, and especially Thai curry.  I’ve made Thai green curry plenty of times before, but I have always used store-bought curry paste, so for today’s project, I decided to make my own green curry paste from scratch.  There are some (slightly) obscure ingredients involved, so besides Whole Foods, I also had to hit up the Thai Grocery in Chinatown to get supplies like shrimp paste, Thai basil, lime leaves, and palm sugar.

Thai Green Curry

I don’t have exact measurements for you to follow along at home, but there are plenty of exact recipes for Thai green curry paste on the Internets, so just do the Google.  I made my curry paste based on ingredient lists I found online and just improvised my own version.

Thai Green Curry

First, roast some cumin, coriander, and black pepper in a dry frying pan until fragrant, then grind in a large mortar and pestle.

Thai Green Curry

Next, cut up the curry paste ingredients (below) and then bash them all up in a mortar and pestle.

  • Green chilies
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Lemongrass
  • Galangal and/or ginger
  • Lime zest, juice, and leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Shrimp paste

The paste will be a lot chunkier and more fibrous than the stuff you buy in the store, so put a few tablespoons of the paste in a blender with a can of coconut milk and blended it, then strained the mixture through a strainer before cooking.  Heat the curry and coconut milk in a pot until bubbly and fragrant, then add vegetables and proteins and simmer until done.  You might also want to add half a can to a can worth of water to dilute the curry to your liking at this point..  Season to taste with fish sauce, palm sugar, and/or sliced fresh green chilies.  Add a handful of Thai basil leaves and cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice in the last couple minutes of cooking.  Serve with jasmine rice.

I made two variations of green curry.  The shrimp and scallops cooked up very quickly, but the cod-potato-eggplant version took a bit longer for the vegetables to get tender, then I added the cod towards the end of cooking.

Green Curry with Shrimp and Scallops
Thai Green Curry

Green Curry with Cod, Tofu, Eggplant and Potatoes
Thai Green Curry

Kris & Sophia meet the head(banger)phones

Here are some photos of Sophia and Kris trying out my head(banger)phones the other day:

Sophia meets head(banger)phones

Kris meets head(banger)phones

I’m finding more blog posts about the head(banger)phones from across the international Internets.

Here are posts from Australia, Brazil, and France.