Archive | January, 2010

I <3 Mondays: Cassius a Falling Star

31 Jan

Catching a falling star is a) really hard and b) not possible (because technically, they are meteorites!). But every now and then, with the power of a lot of hope, determination, luck, and work, our most difficult of goals, using the falling star as a metaphor here of course, can be achieved, “caught” at the most unlikely of times as they seem to fall far out of range. I recall saying in an early Oldies But Goodies post (with 1999 as the theme) that I had an amazing mix from French duo Cassius on my ipod with no name, meaning there was little hope of finding it. And considering I don’t direct host files on this site as of yet, I thought there would be no way of sharing it with the readers if I ever were to find it.

Alas, I have great news!

1. I found the mix. As I mentioned before, it’s a live DJ set by Cassius recorded at the 1999 Winter Music Conference in Miami. It’s a smattering of house, funk, dub, dancehall, soul, and quite a few other genres. I will never forget the day I downloaded it from the Astralwerks site, with a smile on my face and a sparkle in my eye, as I knew I was getting my hands on a piece of audio gold.

2. At the (quite helpful) suggestion of Ezrakh (man of many talents who will be profiled on this site very soon), I created a Soundcloud page for Retail DJ, so sharing great music with you will be more easily accomplished.

With that, I give you one amazingly funk-i-fied mix to start off your week. Please note that this mix will only be available for a little time for download, so be sure to play and download fast! Time is already running out 🙂

01 wmc mix by retaildjdropbox

Have a great week, everyone.

– Retail DJ

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Retail DJ Is Now on Soundcloud!

31 Jan

Retail DJ is now on Soundcloud, an amazing music site where you can upload your tracks and link to thousands of others. Feel free to check out the Retail DJ page and it’s rotating special mixes!

Retail DJ on Soundcloud

www.soundcloud.com/retaildj

Saturday Site Love: Blue Jean Gourmet

30 Jan

Nishta, AKA the Blue Jean Gourmet

I went to all-girls’ school in the South with a ton of amazingly talented (now) women. While some of them kept it old school and went the family route (which I give them major credit for. . . babies scare me), others went to law school or med school or became designers or wrote books, or all the above. One of the amazing ones of note, though there are so many it’s hard to choose, is Nishta, now known as the Blue Jean Gourmet.

While her site is all about food (and simplifying some of those recipes that may seem impossible for some of us), I wanted to give her a shoutout here because of its amazing writing and beautiful photography (done by an artist named Sonya Cuellar). It’s rare that I see something so yummy on the web that I want to jump through the screen, but Nishta’s site does the trick. The site also has a resident sommelier, making the posts on wine some of the best on the web! Check it out!!!!!

Blue Jean Gourmet

Here’s a post from The Blue Jean Gourmet:

FOCACCIA

Yeast doughs don’t have to be scary, I promise.  They can actually be rather friendly, spongy and springy and smelling of earth.  You mix some humble and frankly unimpressive ingredients together (flour, water, sugar, salt, & oil), contribute a little sweat in the form of kneading, then leave it all in a bowl and walk away, only to come back in a few hours to find this:

Well, okay, the focaccia won’t actually make itself, but that would take the fun out of it anyway.  Then you’d miss out on the authentic, even sexy experience of standing at a floured counter, working through the contents of your mind via a big hunk of dough.  Not to mention the satisfaction of your teeth meeting the firm crust and pillowy crumb of bread you made BY YOURSELF.

You can top your foccacia with any combination of flavors you like; I will only recommend that you use good quality stuff.  Pair the fresh bread with a big, green salad and bottle of wine.  Finish with a cheese course if you’re feeling decadent.

This week, I asked my students to write Six-Word Memoirs and their examples were so fascinating, so varied, so revealing of who-they-are that I posed the question to my Facebook friends, too.  Some of my favorite results:

cheer for many, fan of few.
outgoing is fine, I try outrageous.
drop-out, divorced, drug-addict, better now, thanks.
I shouldn’t have told you that.

As for mine, I wrote half-a-dozen, felt like I couldn’t settle on one, but in writing this post, I am sure of it now: In the kitchen, I am free.

What’s yours?

FOCCACIA
original recipe from Saveur.com

I can’t rightly call this recipe “adapted,” since all I’ve really done is alter the method & play with the toppings.  Though the original recipe calls for you to top the dough with olives and tomatoes before baking, I found that this resulted in charred and chewy toppings—unappetizing, to say the least.

My strategy to combat this is two-fold: mix heartier toppings (such as caramelized onions, olives, or chopped rosemary) into the dough, save more delicate toppings (flat-leaf parsley, sundried tomatoes, or Parmesan) for topping, either towards the end of baking time or once the foccacia’s already been removed from the oven.

Basic dough:

1 ÂĽ tsp. active dry yeast

2 tsp. sugar

3 ½ cups flour, more for kneading*

1 T + 1 tsp. kosher salt

extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse sea salt

Possible add-ins/toppings:

Caramelized or raw onions
Black or green olives
Parmesan or feta cheese
Fresh or sun-dried tomatoes
Fresh or dried herbs: rosemary, parsley, oregano

oven: 475Ëš
pan: cast-iron skillet, deep-dish pizza pan, or a shallow, enamel-glazed pot

Combine yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar, & ¼ cup warm-but-not-hot water.  The official temperature requirements are between 110-115 degrees, and I recommend you use an instant-read thermometer if you haven’t made a lot of bread before.  After a few batches, though, you’ll get a feel for the right heat on your fingertips.

Let the yeast mixture sit about 10 minutes—it should be foamy.  If it’s not, toss it out and start again.  Whisk together the flour, remaining 1 tsp. sugar, & salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture, 1 T olive oil, & 1 cup warm water.  Mix with your hands until it holds together.

On a floured counter or work surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  Curve the dough into a ball & place it in the bottom of a well-olive-oiled bowl.  Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel & let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, ~90 minutes to 2 hours.

After the first rise, preheat the oven to 475˚.  If mixing in ingredients, now is the time to do it, working any additions into the dough.  Liberally rub the pan you’re using with (still more!) olive oil, then transfer the dough to the pan, flipping it over once so both sides are coated in oil.  Gently stretch the dough to fit to it to the bottom of the pan.  Cover the whole thing with a kitchen towel and let it rise another hour.

Use your fingertips to dimple the surface of the dough, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake until golden brown and cooked through, approximately 30 minutes.  If the surface of the foccacia becomes too dark, cover with aluminum foil for the remainder of baking time.  Top as you wish, either during the last few minutes of baking or once the foccacia’s come out of the oven.  Cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.

*You can make your foccacia whole-wheat by swapping out one cup of the all-purpose flour for the whole-wheat variety.  It’s pretty good!…though I prefer the more sinful regular all-white-flour version.

– Retail DJ

Friday Fashion Fail: Off the Fringe

29 Jan

No.

Unless you are planning on attending a cowboy convention, dressing as a carwash machine for Halloween, or trying out for the new cast of Fraggle Rock, you might want to ditch the fringe. I feel like I can hardly turn around without seeing it all over the web as some sort of fashion phenomenon; meanwhile, I (fortunately) rarely see it in person. Let’s do our best to keep it that way.

Have people forgotten about this?

If bordello trash chic didn’t work for Kate Hudson, how do you think it will look on the rest of us, Fashion Industry!??! Stupid, that’s what.

This shirt, which looks like something my cousin could have made in her preschool art class, is $200. Not.Even.Kidding. though I wish I were.

I am sure there are some people out there who, by golly, can pull it off, but then again, those people could probably pull off a paper sack and a goblin mask too. Let’s leave it to them, shall we?

Fraggle Rock-ready

Anyway, this is my plea for this God-awful trend to die. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Yup, still looks dumb.

– Retail DJ

Mix on Tap: Winter Getaway

29 Jan

Yesterday, it snowed in NYC. And though the snow didn’t stick, it was a reminder to all of us who schlep around in the freezing cold to get from point A to point B that it is indeed still winter. While my tone may sound a bit negative here, I promise it’s not. I actually love the winter. I am one of those rare breeds of human being who thrives in the cold. I like frigid temperatures, snow, coats, the whole nine. But again, I am a special case.

The majority of people are not wishing for a year-round freeze fest like I am. Most people are shaking their fists to the heavens in anger. They want sun. They want warmth. They want all the things I could do without. Of course, the easiest way to get what they want is, if they have the means, to vacation in a place that’s far down, close to or south of the equator, and a long way from winter. But that’s not an option for everyone. Due to the recession, workloads, etc, most of us are stuck having the so-called “Staycation.” I thought I’d help you out a little bit with today’s Mix on Tap.

First, the Mix.

DJ Mike B – European Slaycation Mix (Nov. ’09) (DL)

Check out DJ Mike B’s blog too! He has some other great mixes up there. Tracklist can be found in the Music Archive.

Now the artificial warmth (that won’t give you cancer!):

Yellow Submarine

ingredients: 2 parts Malibu coconut rum, 1 part pineapple juice, 1 part butterscotch Schnappps, caramel syrup

1. drizzle caramel syrup/sauce inside a martini glass

2. add all ingredients to a martini shaker

3. shake!

4. pour into caramel-lined glass

5. vaycay in your livingroom

– Retail DJ

My Sentiments Exactly . . .

29 Jan

Happy Friday!


sampling: Sly and the Family Stone’s “Family Affair” and Debbie Deb’s “Look Out Weekend

– Retail DJ

Get Dressed to This: Sometimes, You’ve Got to Be a Little Badd

28 Jan

Inspired by old biker pics of James Dean, I thought I’d make today’s Get Dressed to This post all about looking tough and dancing tougher. But when I say tough, I don’t mean knock ’em down, drag ’em out, fighting-style tough, I mean the tough that makes people stop in their tracks and go “Dayyyyumn, you’s a sexy b*tch!” or something along those lines 🙂

Going out and looking good doesn’t always mean wearing little. This lesson rings particularly true in the winter, when wearing little just makes people shake their heads and think you’re stupid. You can cover yourself up entirely and still make traffic stop. With that said, I give you Retail DJ’s take on rebellion with legendary DJ, promoter, and all-around awesome person Larry’s Tee’s Club Badd Mix from 2008 as the soundtrack.

Larry TeeClub Badd Mix (DL)

From tracks like “My P*ssy” “Let’s Make Nasty,” and “Licky,” this mix is sure to put you in a naughty mood, or at the very least make you dance like you’re in one. As per usual, the tracklist is available in the Music Archive.

1. Silence & Noise Satellite Moto Jacket, $100 USD, Urban Outfitters

2. Maisy Denim Skinny Jeans in Black, $45 USD, French Connection

3. Sexy Basic V-Neck Tee – Striped, $27 USD, Express

4. Vera Wang Lavender Label ‘Falicita’ Platform Pump in Black & Gold Brushed Leather, $295 USD, Nordstrom

 

5. Pleather Rose Earrings, $5, Forever 21

6. Angular Ring, $20, Urban Outfitters

 

– Retail DJ

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