Thursday, January 10, 2013

music x fashion x mixape

my love of lipstick  x  my love of fashion  x  my love of gesaffelstein.

[ gesaffelstein - viol ]

by the way, the music video for this song is one of my favorites. dark and twisted just like the song contrasted against the gorgeous streets of paris.

blackbird blackbird [ all - hotwax remix ]

pure bliss. my favorite for late night drives.

pure pop perfection. at first, i wasn't that into this song but after giving it a couple listens, i was hooked. it has that signature calvin sound and makes you just wanna dance.

wonda [ xx angels xx ]

this song. ugh. this song. i just can't even explain it - it's so freaking amazing. lyrical rap over the xx's song.

earl sweatshirt [ chum ]

earl sweatshirt is a rapper that also a part of the la based hip hop collective ofwgkta, which also is the home of the likes of frank ocean, tyler the creator, hodgy beats and syd the kid. so... you know he's gotta be good. this song is my jam.

destiny's child [ say my name - cyril hahn remix ]

this guy is my new favorite remixer. his remix of destiny's child changed my world. i'm not exaggerating, he is nothing short of a genius.

this remix keeps the integrity of the song while giving it a bit more of an upbeat tempo. i love bon iver but i can't listen to it's pure form all of the time, unless it's a rainy fall day.

you guys know me. you know i love my rap vocals laid upon beautiful slow tempo music. this is a gem.

high highs [ open season ]

currently one of my most favorite songs. that's all.

just an electro song i love with a melody i love.

the original song, not remixed, is utterly gorgeous. the lyrics just stay with you. but someone says remix, i say where? i just love how songs can be transported to a different place. with that said, i've been a long time fan of sound remedy, so it was natural that i love this song.

youngblood hawke [ we come running - tiesto remix ]

tiesto is a veteran. fun song, great house remix.

one of my favorite summer songs, given a harder edge.

azealia banks [ no problems ]

azealia is my chickkkkk. she's so badass and this song is just that. 

so i guess angel haze and azealia had a beef but it's funny cause they're so alike. both some badass chicks. they both spit like crazy and this song's beat is insane.

avicii & nicky romero [ you could be the one ]

always will be an avicii fan. one of my favorite melodies from him & nicky romero given some gorgeous vocals. always emotional and meaningful.

grimes [ genesis ]

grimes gives a whole lot of individuality to the music industry. watch the music video, and you'll see... it's different on a whole other level and sort of refreshing.

the smiths [ asleep ]

an oldie i fell back in love with when i watched the perks of being a wallflower, which by the way... you MUST watch. it's heartbreaking, beautiful, romantic and just perfect.

robot orchestra [ beauty & the beat ]

i love robot orchestra's name because it's just so literal and so applicable to their music. insane beats, gorgeous arrangements.

* Links are to where songs can be streamed, watched, or downloaded at.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Julia Child's Chicken Liver Mousse with Gruyere Crostini

Liver is not something that is often loved. Truth be told, when I first encountered it as a child I was terrified of it. But even then, I was always known to always try something at least once before dismissing it. I'm glad I still have that quality because I would have missed out on a lot of things if I didn't have the courage to just overlook their 'scariness factor' and get on with it. 

What's lovely about the Vietnamese heritage is that it's heavily influenced by the French, and who doesn't want to be mixed up in all that loveliness? My dad actually learned French as his first language before he even learned Vietnamese or English and I'm still dreaming of the day when I get to visit myself. Anyway, one thing I thank the French for is pâté, which taught me how to love liver. We Vietnamese spread it all over our sandwiches every chance we get. I decided to try to make it myself using Julia Child's recipe and it was quite possibly the easiest, quickest appetizer I've ever made. Oh yes, and very, very delicious. I couldn't believe how good it was, especially with the super flavorful and crispy Gruyere crostini! I served mine alongside some cornichons for an added tangy contrast.

Julia Child's Chicken Liver Mousse
Yields: about 2 cups
Original recipe here.

2 cups chicken livers
2 tbsn. minced shallots (I used one whole shallot)
2 tbsn. butter
1/3 cup cognac
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. pepper
pinch of thyme
1/2 cup melted butter
kosher salt and pepper

Remove any greenish or blackish spots from the livers, as well as any sinew. Cut the livers into 1/2" pieces. Melt the butter over medium heat in a sauté pan until the foam has subsided. Saute the livers with the shallots in butter for 2 - 3 minutes or until the livers are just stiffened, but still rosy inside. Scrape into a blender jar. Pour the cognac into the pan and boil it down rapidly until it has reduced to 3 tbsn. Scrape into the blender. Add the cream and seasonings into the blender, cover, and blend at top speed for several seconds until the liver is a smooth paste. Add the melted butter and blend several seconds more. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Pack into a bowl or jar and chill for 2 - 3 hours before eating.

Gruyere Crostini
Yields: 20 - 25 crostini
Original recipe here.

1 loaf of crusty rustic bread or sourdough
4 tbsn. butter
1 tsp. smooth Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsn. finely minced parsley (optional)
1 1/2 oz. finely grated Gruyere (about 1/3 cup)
2 tbsn. finely grated Parmigiano or Romano cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Using a bread knife, slice the loaf into thin crostini (about 1/2 - 3/4 cm thick) In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and mustard and whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use a pastry brush to brush this mixture lightly on each side of the crostini. Lay the crostini on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet side by side. In a small bowl combine the two cheeses and parsley. Sprinkle the cheese over the tops of all of the crostini. Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown or even a little darker if you prefer it a bit crunchier. These are best eaten right away or the same day.