Friday, December 30, 2011

The Year in Popular Music: The Best Albums of 2011 (Runner-Ups)

Tom Waits . Bad As Me | Frank Fairfield . Out On The Open West | Cass McCombs . Wit's End | King Creosote & John Hopkins . Diamond Mine | Wooden Shjips . West | Ty Segall . Goodbye Bread | Tim Hecker . Ravedeath, 1972 | tUnE-yArDs . WHOKILL | Spectrals . Bad Penny | Panda Bear . Tomboy | Pure X . Pleasure | Radiohead . King of Limbs | Cults . Cults | Seapony . Go With Me | M83. Hurry Up, We're Dreaming | Jonathan Wilson . Gentle Spirit | Wye Oak . Civilian 

In case you missed it... The Best of 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vegetarian Chili

Whenever your fresh produce is starting to dwindle/wilt/moan and your pantry's canned goods collection is overflowing, it's time to make chili.  The process involves little foresight, no desperate sprints to the nearest market, and very little effort on my part.  Every time I make chili, the recipe slightly changes according to what is available in the fridge. 

The base is always the same:  Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan.  Add a chopped green and red pepper, along with a few cloves of minced garlic.  If you're so inclined, onions can be thrown into the mix as well.  Cook these fine vegetables for several minutes or until slightly browned.  Once cooked, add to a pot with two cans of crushed peeled tomatoes, a cup of vegetable broth and desired spices.  I use dried basil, cumin, paprika and a little more than a tablespoon of chili powder.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Next add whatever you have around the house.  I make sure to add two cans of rinsed beans, usually kidney or black beans.  A can of corn usually makes it in along with some remaining purple cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli.  Small chunks of sweet potato, tempeh or zucchini would also taste terrific.

Serve with homemade tortillas, over rice, or with Yorkshire dumplings (these have been a recent hit in our household).  Top with cheese, plain yogurt, and fresh cilantro.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day in Saigon

 Breakfast at home.

 Afternoon hors d'oeuvres with pals.

 A communal effort leads to a homemade feast of immense proportions.

Another victim of Saigon's unforgiving traffic.