Welcome to Garnished with Grooves!

We’re pretty excited that our food & music blogging dreams have finally come to fruition! We got to a point when too much talking and not enough real action was taking place, so we decided to just dive in head first. You can check out the “About” section for a little overview of what we’ll be posting.

We want the FUNK, Gotta have that Funk..

After much deliberation over what genre would appropriately catapult us into the blogosphere, we ultimately decided that FUNK was the most fitting. We wanted to choose something energized and connected to many other genres. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t feel the need to bust a move when those grooves greet their ears.

How we pair the recipes and playlists will differ from post to post, but since funk plays to the senses, we chose recipes that aligned with that aspect. Imagine you’re at a funk show, circa 1976. The rhythmic sounds lure you to get down and feel the groove along with the rest of the crowd. And then there’s that on stage spectacle of wild costumes, colorful hair and outrageous theatrics…a sight that words can’t do justice.

FUN(K) FACT:  The term funk comes from “lu-fuki” – a Kikongo word for bad body odor. Fellow musicians used it as a compliment because it meant the artist worked (heart, soul and sweat) for the music.

Inspired by this unique concert scene, we chose two recipes with funky twists in the way they look and smell. Without question, the beats, textures and tastes will also bring on da funk to cover the other senses.  So as Starchild so eloquently said:

“Put a glide in your stride and a dip in your hip – And come on up to the Mothership. “

The Grooves:

Before we get into the fooding portion, let’s properly introduce the playlist so you can start groovin’. Our jams for this post feature:

  • A good sampling of the classic funkineers
  • New  and upcoming funk bands
  • Songs with funk influences and inspirations
  • Bands from other genres dabbling in the funk

We hope you enjoy and explore any favorites further. Maybe one of these artists will be heading to a town near you and get down with the funk.

The Grub:

Now that we’re grooving, we can get down with the recipes.

SIGHT:  Purple Peruvian Mashed Potatoes…ya dig?

Final Mashed

Peruvian potatoes are beautiful in color, have a deliciously earthy taste and are packed with nutrients. They are more available than you would think. We picked ours up at the West Side Market, but spotted them at Giant Eagle the week after. We loved the idea of taking such a classic dish and funkifying it by merely using a different potato.

Ingredients – Serves 4:          

  • 2 sticks of butter (soft)
  • 2 lbs. purple potatoes
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 2.5 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Wash potatoes and place into a pot. Fill pot with cold water so potatoes are just barely covered.  You can peel them before placing them into the pot, but we kept the skin on for some added texture.  It’s a matter of preference.
  2. Put burner on high until water comes to a boil. Add 2 tsp salt and turn down to medium heat. You want to boil potatoes for about 15-20 minutes or until they are tender (test with fork).
  3. Turn off burner, strain potatoes as much as possible and let cool until they can be comfortably handled. While you are waiting, warm cream and milk in separate pans/bowls. Once potatoes are cooled, cut up into small chunks and place back in pot.
  4. Add rest of  salt and mash your heart away while adding milk, cream and butter.  Don’t dump in the lovely dairy ingredients all at once.  Add them all in little portions until you reach your desired level of creaminess and shade of purple.  (We ended up having leftover cream and milk.)
  5. Lastly, feel free too add any other seasonings/ingredients to enhance the flavor.  We only used salt the first time to see just how earthy they tasted, but will definitely be adding garlic next time.  We topped ours with scallions for some added color, texture and taste.

Potatoes Raw          Potatoes Cooked

SCENT:  Funky Blue Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

photo 5

The first food that came to mind with a funky smell was blue cheese.  Although it’s relatively common  and used in a multitude of dishes, its distinct smell makes it a funky food…at least in our book. We chose to whip up some stuffed mushroom caps since mushrooms themselves are also slightly funky by nature with their unique texture. While we wanted blue cheese to be the main event, we invited a little lemon, chive and bacon to the party for some added flavor.

Funky Blue Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms Ingredients

Ingredients – Serves 4:

  • 12-18 Mushrooms (we used the White variety)
  • 3/4 c blue cheese
  • 1 lemon
  • 2-4 strips bacon (along with resulting grease)
  • 1/8 c chopped chives
  • 1/8 c breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Bake/Fry 2-4 strips of bacon (we cooked a whole package to enjoy with some eggs before getting to the other steps and we HIGHLY recommend it).  Set aside bacon grease and once bacon strips cool, cut up into small strips.
  2. Preheat oven to 425° F.  Wash mushrooms and remove stems.  (We also removed gills to make a little extra room for filling.)  Brush inside and outside of caps with bacon grease and place on pan (we used a Pyrex dish). Once oven is preheated, bake greased caps for 10 minutes.
  3. While the caps bake, mix together blue cheese, bread crumbs, bacon slices and chives.  Squeeze in and stir the juice from one half of the lemon into mix and cut up other half to use once mushrooms are served.
  4. Take caps out of oven and bring oven temperature down to 375° F. Once caps are cool enough to handle (note:  they will be a bit slippery from bacon grease), delicately fill with stuffing mixture.  Pack in as much of mixture as possible and place larger pieces of blue cheese on top.
  5. Place stuffed mushrooms back in oven for another 15-20 minutes or until blue cheese  appears slightly melted with small patches of light brown. At that point, these funky stuffed shrooms should be ready to enjoy with or without a couple spritzes of lemon.

NOTE:  Depending on how much you are able to stuff and the size of your mushrooms, you may have a little extra mix (like we did).  You can always use a couple more mushrooms OR stuff another vegetable such as a small pepper or tomato (like we did) with the leftover mix.

photo 4          photo

So now you have two funky dishes garnished with a groovy playlist to enjoy a la carte, bring to a party or add to a main course that needs some energy. We hope you’ll try one (or both) of these recipes and enjoy the funky sounds along the way. When you need a proper dose of the funk for those eardrums, feel free to visit our Sound Cloud for this playlist. If anything, we hope you improved your “Interplanetary Funksmanship”.

That just about wraps up our first post. Thanks for stopping by —  please visit us again! Any thoughts on our post or funky food/music suggestions are welcome! Lay ’em on us and be sure to check out “The After Party” tracks on your way out.

The After Party
  1. Lettuce
  2. The Ohio Players
  3. Johnny Guitar Watson
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2 thoughts on “Welcome to Garnished with Grooves!

  1. What a fantastic idea! This first post was very impressive and your website looks amazing. I’m excited to follow your blog daily! Nice work!

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