Pump up Mix: Volume 2

Although this is another pump-up mix, it is also a pseudo weekly music wrap-up because most of these jams are new tunes that have been circulating DJ sets around the world.  Up first is the 8-minute epic tune produced by Armin Van Buuren called Intense.  If you ever wanted to jam out to violins this is the song.  As a bonus you can click HERE to watch him play the song along with the a classical orchestra in front of the new Dutch Royal Family.  That was a weird sentence to say but yea check out the clip, it’s interesting.  The next 6 songs are by Avicii.  I know that’s a lot, but he just dropped his debut album and it is filled with jams.  Each song has its own unique feel and diverse style which are what make the album so awesome.  The last 3 are tunes that have been churned out by every DJ in their most recently festival sets.  They are fun, in your face loud, and have awesome drops.  You can’t help but dance along to their beats.  There was one more song on the mix, but grooveshark didn’t have it so I added it to the end of the post.  It is a Remix of the extremely popular Wanted jam, We Own the Night.  Dannic masterfully adds a great beat to bring this song to the next level.  Now turn up your speakers and jam out to the mix!

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Curry Concoction

spicy_chicken_masala_recipe

Curry isn’t for everyone, but it is certainly one of my favorite concoctions to make.  I’m a big fan of sauces in general, so a dish where the sauce is the main player is right up my alley.  I’m also a fan of curry because it brings together so many of my favorite qualities about food that usually don’t blend.  It is light, flavorful, tasty, filling, healthy, and aromatic.  The last one is important because if you don’t like smelling like your food, I suggest you bring some gum and cologne to cleanse yourself of the smell post-meal.  Smell being the only downside, curry is pure awesomesauce.  One night I was making dinner for my interesting vegetarian friend and stumbled upon the curry recipe below.  It is an amazing dish in that it is tingles your taste buds and is healthy at the same time.  I only have two suggestions with this recipe.  First of all, Halibut is an expensive fish.  If you don’t want to break your budget I suggest using tilapia instead.  Second, use more coconut milk and red curry paste then the recipe calls for.  It makes for more sauce which is why I love this dish so much.  Now go cook some curry concoctions and enjoy!

Thai Shrimp Halibut Curry

Taco Tuesday: Carnitas

Carnita

I’m back with another round of taco awesomeness.  Carnitas are up there with my favorite style of taco because it is basically the Mexican relative of the pulled pork sandwich.  I’m a big fan of everything pork related and especially a fan of slow cooked, easy to pull apart, melt in your mouth meat.  Carnitas were my first venture from the safe world of ground beef and fish tacos.  I found this cool infographic/recipe somewhere along my internet travels and wanted to try it out.

Carnitas

My first issue was figuring out that when a recipe calls for pork butt, it means shoulder.  I spent a good 10 minutes intensely searching through the meat section for some butt, only to ask for help and realize that I needed shoulder.  (That sentence felt dirty…also that one about meat melting in the mouth, I’m on a roll)  After being embarrassed by my looking like a pork novice, I was able to quickly find everything else and get out of the store.  The rest of the recipe is pretty self explanatory and the large amount of pictures helps you to easily follow along.  A couple things to keep in mind was whipping up this tastiness: it takes lots of time and you need lots of ventilation.  While the meat absorbs most of the flavor from the sauce, a lot of it escapes as vapor.  Your kitchen will become super hot and overpowered with the smell of cooking carnitas.  Although I love the smell, having a window open and the fan running is definitely the move.  If you want to try a different method and have more time, you can always dust off the old crockpot and toss all the ingredients into there for 8 hours.

Taco Tasting Tunes

Ok I know I’m being really lazy here and I missed last week’s music wrap-up, but I’m not gonna customize a playlist for these carnitas.  Instead, I’m going to throw you the the links for two album streams.  Since you have to wait 3 hours for these tasty treats to cook, you’ll have plenty of time to kick back and give these both a thorough listening.  I’m certainly going to listen to these both in the next couple days and write a brief review, so here is a chance to get the jump on me and already know the albums back and front.

Drake-Nothing Was the Same

Lorde-Pure Heroine

¿ Taco Tuesday ¿

I have absolutely no idea when to use inverted question marks or exclamation points because I never took spanish, but I think they are awesome and add some festive flair to my blog so yea….Anyway here is the second installment of Taco Tuesdays¡  I thought I would veer a little off the course this week and not even share a recipe for a delectable protein.  Instead, I’m going to teach you the art of making taco bowls.  After a couple Taco Tuesdays, I got bored of only switching up the meat so I decided to venture off into creating different taco carrying vessels.  One of my favorites is the taco bowl.  It is simply a flour tortilla molded into the shape of a bowl and baked to crispiness.  You can load up your taco goodness into the bowl and crack off pieces of the bowl to use as chips while you dig in.  What more can you ask for?  Enough describing, time to make these bad boys.  The way you make the bowls depends on what type of tortilla you are working with.  If you bought the smaller ones (about 6″), you are going to need a cupcake pan, pam cooking spray, and an oven.  Make sure you preheat at 375°F.  While that happens, take the cupcake pan and turn it upside down.  Take a tortilla and mold it to the shape of a bowl using the pan to help.  Check out this image for some guidance:Image

After you got them sitting like this, spray them up with some pam and let them cook in the oven for about 15 minutes.

If you bought the bigger, burrito style, tortillas it will be hard for them to keep the shape with the cupcake pan.  Instead, go to your cupboard and grab a glass cup.  Flip that guy upside down and mold the tortilla into a bowl around it.  Here is another pic for some visual guidance:

Image

Pam it up and bake that bowl for the same amount of time with the same temp.  Your bowl will be done when it looks a little brown and is hard to the touch.  Now, throw a bunch of delectable goodness in your bowl and devour!

Taco Bowl Makin Music

This is the new single released from Avicii’s debut album, True.  It is a combination of Niles Rodgers on guitar, Adam Lambert on vocals, and Avicii on everything else.  Niles has become the new guru of electronic music and is coming off the massive success of his funky guitar riffs on Daft Punk’s Get Lucky.  You may remember Adam Lambert from American Idle, he was the dude with the crazy get ups that “shocked middle America”.  He is currently trying to be the new Freddie Mercury by taking the frontman spot and touring with Queen.  And if you don’t know Avicii then you have been living underground for the past couple years.  He has departed from his signature sound that was heard on his massive hit Levels.  He displays his ability to funk out on this new jam so throw it on, make some taco bowl, and have enjoy Taco Tuesdays.

Weekly Music Wrap-up

I’m starting a new segment because work is a little slow on Fridays and because this blog needs regular segments so I can put myself on a schedule of posting.  Each week I’m going to look through my recent music downloads and try to pick out the gems for you guys to listen to.  I can’t promise that each week will have stellar selections, but I’ll try my best to provide you with the best new jams.

This song hit hard and I love it.  Oddly enough, the combination of dubstep and Pusha T works quite well for this track.  I’m looking forward to further collabs between hip hop artists and electronic artists

Cardo’s Groove III

This is a 4 minute piece of G-funk dopeness.  It is just a beat, but it takes you on a journey back to the era of Dre and Snoop in the early 90s.  Throw it on and funk out as hard as you can.

World Peace-Dizzy Wright

A feel good jam about….you guessed it, World Peace!  Solid instrumental with smooth flow.  Nothing revolutionary, just a fun tune to listen to.

A poppy tune produced by the electronic master, Diplo.  Really fun tune to listen to and it definitely puts you in the right mood for the start of the weekend.

Stay the Night- Zedd ft. Hayley Williams

Zedd dropped one of the best electronic albums this year with a crossover hit with the same name (Clarity).  Now that Clarity is played on every radio station and has even topped the charts, Zedd is coming back at us with a brand new production featuring the vocals of the talented Hayley Williams.  This is sure to be another chart topper with an uptempo beat and pop vocals.  To be honest, it is not my favorite jam but it will definitely be a hit.

So there you go, the first weekly music wrap-up.  Go throw on some of these tenacious tunes and start enjoying the beginning of your weekend.  Live it up, Tacos and Tunes style.

¡Taco Tuesday¡

It’s kinda sad that I write a blog titled Tacos and Tunes and I haven’t even mentioned tacos once.  Tons of tunes, tons of other food, no tacos.  That’s messed up.  If I had readers, they probably would have complained about this a lot earlier.  But anyway, it’s Tuesday so that means one thing….Taco Time.  Tacos are one of my favorite dishes to prepare because there is so much room for variety and creativity.  There is no “right” taco, so I let my imagination run wild with some weird ingredients.  When it comes to Taco Night, I like to have a do it yourself type set up.  I’ll get funky and create a tasty meat, and everything else is up to you.  I like to lay out many bowls with salsa, guac, spanish rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, and anything else you like to stuff your soft shell with.taco-bar

The meat (or fish) portion of the taco is the most important and where you have room to maneuver.  Until a couple years ago, I was a strictly ground beef guy.  Then I discovered the greatness in variety and haven’t looked back.  For my first Taco Tuesday I’m going to share my favorite fish taco recipe.  I know I’m risking my reputation by linking to a food blog called skinny taste, but I don’t care.  That’s how tasty these bad boys are, and they are simple to make.  So go get your taco on!

Cilantro Lime Tilapia Tacos

Taco Makin Music

What would a taco post be without some music to make them to.  The playlist below is comprised of songs by a traditional Portuguese folk band called Dead Combo.  I know this is a complete departure from the music I have previously posted, but these guys get me in a taco mood so I thought I would share.  The band consists of just two dudes with guitars and the occasional help from a percussion instrument.  Let them strum away while you whip up a mean batch of tacos.  Hope you enjoy.

Best Summer Mix

Every DJ and Producer who has access to the internet puts out some sort of summer mix to help people enjoy the essentials of summer: beaches, booze, and blazing hot sun.  Out of the hundreds of mixes produced, the one that stood out the most for me was a set put together by a little known French duo with the moniker Klingande.  

This is one of those mixes that you can put on and get lost in for an hour.  The smooth beats blend together in such a head bobbing manner that your neck will hurt by the time the music comes to an end.  The mix was full of blues songs set to up tempo beats.  The marriage of velvety guitar riffs and raspy vocals with uptempo beats is something that needs to be furthered explored in electronic music.  Besides the blues, the mix also includes a couple well known tracks that you can sing along to.  The second song is a remake of the classic summer jam American Boy by Estelle.  If you make it about 30 minutes in you will also be treated to an indie cover of the most played song of this summer, Get Lucky.  After this, the mix takes a turn for the European with an extremely German tune.  If you get weirded out by this and turn off the music, I understand, but I highly recommend listening to the end.  If you do, Klingande will send you on your way with some smooth saxophone, and who doesn’t love the sax.  If you got an hour to kill I highly recommend you download this mix and jam out.