joyeux cuisine

a blog about good food, family, friends, and life.

now playing. (2)

You know what. I’m declaring Spring. It’s just here and everyone can deal with it. That’s how I feel right now.

This week I’m going to share some awesome music that reminds me that Spring is here (even if we can’t tell yet).

This first piece is Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland. He’s one of the most recognized American composers of the 20th century and I adore his music. I even wrote a research paper about him for one of my music history classes (super nerdy…I know). Appalachian Spring was written as a ballet and tells the story of a pioneers living on the prairie and making their lives. This piece is 29 minutes long, so I don’t blame you if you don’t listen to the whole thing, but it is definitely worth it. This piece is gorgeous. Love it.

The song that I’m sharing with you is called What I Wouldn’t Do by A Fine Frenzy. I discovered A Fine Frenzy awhile ago when they had a song free on iTunes to download. I have two of their albums and haven’t listened to them for awhile but this song is in a movie that I recently saw and got super excited to listen to them again. This is off their second album, Bomb in a Birdcage, and it’s adorable and great. This version is live and acoustic, and I almost like it better than the original. I get really happy whenever I listen to this song and I hope you enjoy it.

Happy listening!

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now playing. (1)

I had a Now Playing page up there, but I decided that it would be way easier to just do a post every couple weeks about musical happenings in my life. If you haven’t seen the Now Playing page this is how it started out:
In addition to being a lover of baking I am also a musician. I am an oboist and am currently working on a bachelor of arts degree in music. That means this year I’ll be performing a recital which sounds super scary to me. In this page I’ll be sharing some of the pieces I’ll be learning for this year. As well as some that I have learned and just like playing. And maybe some that I’ve learned and just want to complain about.
As much as I love playing music I also love listening to it. So in addition to sharing different oboe pieces I will also tell you about music I’ve discovered or that I’ve fallen in love with. Pretty much anything is up for grabs in the category from pop to folk to classical to alternative (has anyone decided what that is yet?) and you can follow me through all of it. These will often be the soundtracks of my baking and recipe searching.

So. All that to say, I’ll be posting a new page with a couple of pieces or songs (hopefully!) every week. I’ll also talk about oboe pieces I’m working on and other exciting things like that. I know. You’re excited.

I’ll start with a ‘classical’ piece today. In one of my classes, Instrumental Literature and Conducting, we’re assigned to listen to pieces for every class. Last week we listened to Shostakovitch’s Festive Overture. I love this piece and I’ve played the band version but not the orchestral version. And this version is awesome. Love it. Shostakovitch is awesome.

And for the other song of the day: My love for Paramore goes way back. (And just to clarify: old Paramore, not new Paramore.) It takes me back to freshmen year in my dorm room. Ah, the good ol’days. Or not. This song, The Only Exception, is off the album Brand New Eyes and is one of my favorite songs ever. I listened to it today while writing a paper and it made me so much happier. (Don’t listen to the Glee version though. That one just makes me sad. Ugh.) Enjoy this one. Hug a friend. Be well.

Happy listening!

P.S. I finally got my stand mixer out of the box in my apartment today. So: Baking. Soon.

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vegan mango banana bread.

I’ve been wanting to make something vegan for a long time. Not because I am vegan (I love meat and eggs way too much for that) but because one of my professors is allergic to dairy and eggs and so is his family. He makes jokes all the time about people not making him dairy and egg free things and I always tell him that I’ll make him and his family something. He directs the orchestra at my college and I was late everyday last semester. In my defense, I had to work until orchestra started. At least I had a good reason and wasn’t involved in any shenanigans of any kind. Something always came up when I was leaving that I had to help with, so it just happened that way.

Anyway…I totally forgot where that was going…

Mango! I haven’t worked with mangoes. Ever. I’m doing two new things right now. Wait. No. Three new things. I’ve never made banana bread either. That’s pretty intense for me. This recipe is from Joy the Baker. Shocking, I know. Someday I’ll learn to make my own recipes. Until then I’ll just share awesome ones with you.

I got really worried when making this because the batter was really thick. I’m used to cookie dough and cake batter. This was way different. But after baking and growing a little bit it turned out really well. I’m pretty proud of it and I’m really glad to share it with great people.

Make some banana bread, have some friends over, and watch a movie about young love. And maybe cry a little at the end. It’s totally acceptable.

P.S. Is the only way you remember how to spell bananas because of that really inappropriate Gwen Stefani song? Yeah, I figured that was just me.

Vegan Mango Banana Bread

from Joy the Baker

makes one 9×5 loaf pan

3 medium bananas

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 fresh mango, sliced into chunks

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan. In a large bowl mash the bananas. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Sift in the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir everything until the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated. Fold in the mango chunks. The batter will be pretty thick. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with granulated sugar if you would like to. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a knife interested into the top comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes and then remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on a cooling rack. Serve at room temperature. If gifting, wrap the cooled bread in plastic wrap and tie with a ribbon or string.

The bread will last well wrapped for up to five days.

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