#OzMoMuFest Day 3 Wrap-Up

handmade momentsFayetteville band, Handmade Moments, finished off the festival in the Ozark Room. They were so cheerful and pleasant, I had planned to pop out in between their show for another obligation, but I pushed it back because I just couldn’t leave! They can both beatbox, you guys. It was crazy fun!

The bar had set up a build your own bloody mary station:Bloody Mary

The whole festival made me feel like I was on a cruise ship! The hotel is like this big encapsulated place that has everything you need from good food, to good music, to drinks – not to mention great rooms for when you finally have to sleep! If you didn’t make it this year, plan on attending in January 2015, because it really was so much fun. I left the festival with this happy vibe that has stuck with me all week. It’s just what I needed between my summer festivals.

#OzMoMuFest Saturday Morning Wrap-Up

After a great show on the balcony by what may as well be the Basin Park Hotel’s house band, the Hogscalders, the Ozark Room started cranking out the jams. Chuck Onofrio, the fiddle player for the Hogscalders, spent the whole festival hopping up on stage with bands to accompany them. It was really amazing to see him learn a song in 10 seconds flat and round out a band’s sound in a totally new way, all right in front of the audience.

Pearl BrickStarting the “morning” off in the Ozark room was Pearl Brick, a local singer/songwriter. She was a great start to the day with cheerful stories and sad songs. Talk about #locallove, Pearl Brick is from Eureka Springs and she’s not afraid to tell you all about it.

Tyrannosaurus ChickenFollowing Pearl was the dynamic duo Tyrannosaurus Chicken. They had the Ozark Room filled to capacity and made SO much noise for just two people. The purposefully tinny sound of the vintage mic gave them an old-timey rock and roll sound. They are incredibly talented and have a kickstand with tamourines on it, so basically they just win life. If you didn’t get to see them at the Ozark Mountain Music Festival, go seek them out because they just plain rock.

I received a free pass to the festival to blog and social-media-ize the event this weekend. However, all opinions are my own. A big thanks to the Eureka Springs Downtown Network and The Basin Park Hotel for letting me be a part of the next big thing!

#OzMoMuFest Saturday Evening Wrap-Up

Saturday evening at the Ozark Mountain Music Festival had us migrating to the top floor of the hotel where 3 big bands played the Barefoot Ballroom stage.

SX-RexLocal band SX REX started Saturday night off right. They rocked out while hula hoopers danced up front and the crowd filled in back. They have the best song names (eg: “Whiskey Waffles”), and can play everything from bluegrass to reggae.

Ben Miller BandFollowing SX REX was Joplin band; Ben Miller Band who drew a huge crowd. As we mentioned before the festival, they are the coolest because of their bass player. I got to chat with him a bit after the show because, as I explained before, the bands are just everywhere!

National Park RadioAnd lastly but mostly, National Park Radio who won my heart by playing the Avett Brothers’ January Wedding. This sweet sounding band of suprisingly design concious fellows (just check out their merch or website) were by far my favorite of the evening. We chatted with them a bit after the show too, and they were as nice as their sound suggests.

I received a free pass to the festival to blog and social-media-ize the event this weekend. However, all opinions are my own. A big thanks to the Eureka Springs Downtown Network and The Basin Park Hotel for letting me be a part of the next big thing!

church of tarot: four of pentacles

four of pentaclesThe Four of Pentacles represents the surety of possessions, cleaving to that which one has, gifts, legacy, and inheritance.

Some questions to consider in regard to the Four of Pentacles might be: What does “having enough” mean to you? Are you taking what isn’t yours? What security are you clinging to?

Let us know in the comments, how does this card relate to your life right now? If you share, we will too!

#OzMoMuFest Day 1 Wrap-Up

Friday night was such a blast with only three bands, I feel like today is going to be overwhelming with more than I can count!

Here’s a few of my thoughts on the bands from last night. For more photos, videos, and commentary check out the Ozark Mountain Music Festival facebook page – where I’ve been posting throughout the festival and my twitter account where I’ll be live-tweeting all weekend.

Three Penny AcreThree Penny Acre started the festival off in the Ballroom. This adorable window-laden stage sits on the 6th floor of the hotel and was just enough space for the plethora of instruments the band brought in. Three Penny Acre is a story-telling kind of a band with a good little tale to go along with almost every one of their songs. They warmed up the stage for Honky Suckle to follow them and were a great start to a really fun night!

winkWink was a band I hadn’t heard before, but I sure am glad I did! The first band on the Ozark Room stage brought a big crowd down to the 1st floor. They have an old fashioned sound, like a deep-south honky tonk that you want to bring home to your living room for lively entertainment every night of the week. I should have told them, “I don’t want your CD, I want you!” Oh, that’s another thing. The Basin Park Hotel is not particularly enormous and if you’re meandering about between shows you will see all of the bands. You might even get caught in the little elevator with one of them! There’s no back-stage pass because the whole festival is back-stage-y. Such a neat thing! The crowd really got to dancing with this band and the room was filled to the brim. I’d suggest getting to the Ozark Room early on Saturday because it’s much smaller than the Ballroom.Honky SuckleHonky Suckle is a long-time favorite of ours, so I knew they would be a lot of fun last night. They got the whole ballroom up on their feet and dancing. The guitarist from Mountain Sprout joined them last night, and so it was double excellent to me (I’m a big fan). Things just got more and more wild from there on. If you’re not reading this from your room at the Basin Park Hotel, make plans to attend next year because it’s too much fun to miss out on!

After Honky Suckle was a midnight jam session. There’s another tonight, so if you missed last night’s, come see the bands get down together tonight!

I received a free pass to the festival to blog and social-media-ize the event this weekend. However, all opinions are my own. A big thanks to the Eureka Springs Downtown Network and The Basin Park Hotel for letting me be a part of the next big thing!

gluten-free chocolate sandwich cookies

As you probably know, we’re hosting a pie bake-along on twitter this Sunday. You can bake this month’s pie, chocolate cream, right along with us using the hashtag #piealong. The crust of a chocolate cream pie is made with oreos, so it’s not gluten free. I’m on a mission to figure out how to make a gluten free chocolate pie crust so, today I’m going to talk a little bit about the pie crust for a chocolate cream pie and homemade oreos.

The last time I made a successful chocolate cream pie was probably pretty close to exactly a year ago. I stopped eating gluten in February of last year and the chocolate pie I had made was the last exception I made to eating gluten. (It’s oreo crust makes it glutenous.) I attempted (some time between that pie and now) to make a gluten-free one using Glutino gluten-free oreos. But the crust became a kind of hardened candy or toffee like thing. We think it was because the recipe requires single stuff oreos and the Glutino oreos seem to fall somewhere between the single and double stuffed icing level.

So my thought for attempt #2 at a gluten free chocolate cookie crust is, why can’t it be like a graham cracker crust that uses crackers (or cookies) and butter. Forget the icing, which I think is what causing so many problems with our last crust. Strangely, my America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book has a recipe for “Chocolate Sandwich Cookies,” meant to replicate Oreos. The cookies are a chocolate icebox cookie; the kind you shape into a roll, refrigerate, and cut off to bake. We made a batch and I want to share it with you in case you want to give this method a try too.

oreo

We won’t be making these cookies as a part of the #piealong, so if you want to use them for your crust you’ll want to make them ahead of time. They take a few hours because the dough has to chill, so you’ll want to make them Sunday morning at the latest. Keep in mind, we haven’t tested them as a crust yet, so you’ll be experimenting right along with us on that portion.

I’m also going to share the icing filling part of these in case you’re making them for just plain eating. We made a half-batch of the filling and put half of the chocolate cookies aside for our crust. We’ve since eaten most of the other half that have icing in them.

Ok, enough of the longest preface ever, totally one of my recipe blog post pet peeves, but I just had a lot to say today! Sorry! On to the recipe:

oreo

Ingredients:Cookies:
2  1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup black cocoa powder (if you can’t find this you can use regular cocoa powder, as we did)
1/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso or instant coffee (we just ground some regular coffee up really fine)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2  1/4 cups flour (we used our gluten free flour blend, any all-purpose flour will do whether gluten free or not)
Filling:
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
pinch salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2  1/2 tablespoons water

For the Cookies:    Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter, then combine with the cocoa and espresso powders in a small bowl to form a smooth paste. Set aside to cool, about 15 minutes. Look, I took pictures of this step:

oreo

oreoIn a large bowl, beat the cooled cocoa mixture, remaining 16 tablespoons butter, granulated sugar, and salt together using an electric mixer on medium-high speed until well combined and fluffy, about 1 minute (or much longer with a fork if you don’t have an electric mixer like us). Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla until coombined, about 30 seconds. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour in 3 batches, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat until the dough forms a cohesive ball, about 10 seconds.

Transfer the dough to a clean counter and divide into 2 equal pieces. Following the photos, roll each piece of dough into a 6-inch log, about 2 inches thick. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

Adjust the oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Slice the dough into 1/8-inch-thick cookies. Lay the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 3/4 inch apart. Bake the cookies until the edges begin to brown and firm, 10 to 12 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway trhough baking.Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough using freshly lined baking sheets.

oreo

For the Filling:    Again, we halved the filling just to try it out on half of the cookies. But this is the full recipe, so you’ll have to do some math if you want to do the same, but I promise it’s easy.
In a large bowl, beat the confectioners’ sugar and salt together with an electric mixer on low speed, slowly adding the vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the water until the filling is uniform and malleable, about 1 minute. If the filling is dry and crumbly, like ours was, beat in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of water. Transfer the filling to a clean counter and roll into a log slightly smaller than the cookie dough (about 1  2/3 inches wide). Wrap the filling in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
Slice the filling about 1/8 inch thick. Pinch each slice of filling between your fingertips to soften it, then sandwich it firmly between 2 cookies and serve.

If you’d like to join us in our pie baking adventure this Sunday, just take a glance at the recipe so you can be sure to have all of the ingredients you’ll need.

church of tarot: four of wands

four of wandsIt’s Sunday again, and a new month is upon us, but we haven’t run out of tarot cards to share with you yet! This week’s card is the Four of Wands.

This card shows four wands planted in the foreground with a garland suspended. Two female figures lift flowers with an old manorial house in the background. The card represents country life, repose, concord, harmony, prosperity, peace, and the perfected work of these.

Some questions to consider in regard to the four of wands might be: Are you feeling like an outsider? Are you feeling inspired to put down roots and be more stable? Are you breaking with tradition or family to honor your own needs?

We’d love to hear how this card is relevent to you today, or this week in general. We never share our personal relationship to the card in our posts, because it feels too convoluted. However, we are always willing to share more personally about the week’s card in the comments! So we hope that you will too!

January Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe #piealong

Welcome to Paige Lorrabeth’s Pie of the Month Club Bake-Along! We’ll be baking our first pie on Sunday January 26th at 2:00pm, so mark your calendars with #piealong and be ready to bake right along with us, via twitter and instagram of course! Here’s the recipe, as promised so you’ll have time to get your ingredients and supplies together.

Chocolate Cream Pie:

Crust:
16 Oreo cookies, broken into rough pieces (must be single stuffed, glutino brand do not fit the bill – I’ve tried)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Gluten-free folks, I’m going to be experimenting on this one. I’m going to make my own chocolate cookie, and go from there. If you want to play along – or have some other grand plan, let me know in the comments and we’ll figure this out together. I’m bound and determined to make it work!

Filling:
2  1/2 cups half and half
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
6 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:
1  1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Crust:
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Process the cookies in a food processor until coarsely ground, about 15 pulses, then continue to process to fine, even crumbs about 15 seconds longer. Sprinkle the butter over the crumbs and pulse to incorporate.
Sprinkle the mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Bake until the crust is fragrant and looks set, 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

For the Filling:
Bring the half and half, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, stirring occasionally.
As the half and half mixture begins to simmer, whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining sugar together in a medium bowl until smooth. Slowly whisk about 1 cup of the simmering half and half mixture into the yolk mixture to temper, then slowly whisk the tempered yolks back into the simmering saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, whisking vigorously until the mixture is thickened and a few bubbles burst on the surface, about 30 seconds.
Off the heat, whisk in the butter and chocolates until completely smooth and melted. Stir in the vanilla. our the warm filling into the baked and cooled pie crust. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling and refrigerate the pie until the filling is chilled and set, about 4 hours.

For the Topping:
Before serving, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla together with an electric mixer on medim low speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to high and continue to whip until the cream forms soft peaks, 1 to 3 minutes. Spread the whipped cream attractively over the top of the pie.

The framework for this recipe comes from: The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

waka winter classic: george’s majestic lounge

waka winter classicBrooke and I are giving each of these up-and-comers a listen tonight and we’ll share our comments and pick the band(s) we like best so you can be a somewhat more informed attendee of the Fayetteville, AR Waka Winter Classic. The band I picked out as her favorite from the Tulsa show ended up winning, so we’re probably totally worth listening to. Here’s the run-down of the Fayetteville Waka Winter Classic:

Cadillac Jackson: The upbeat funk band is comprised of: Jake Souza- Keys/Vox, Logan Cruce- Lead Guitar, Josh Souza- Bass, Brian Hickman- Drums, Jared Souza- Guitar/Vox, and Stephen Tucker- MC/Percussion. They claim to be influenced by “anything that makes ya booty shake!”
These guys have performed at Wakarusa in recent years and know what the scene’s all about. The band sounds like a more funky version of Afroman.

Don’t Stop Please: Their interests include, “Organizing Tackle Boxes, Mountains, and Skinny-dipping” so you have to at least think they’re fun! Their hometown is Conway, AR – where we met.
This hipsterly crew has a relaxed, but full sound. Their vocals sound like something tastefully vintage. Brooke’s official pick is Don’t Stop Please.

Foley’s Van: “It’s bluegrass…but not your Ma and Pa’s.”Their bluegrass is too heavy for our taste. Last time we saw Foley’s Van live we did a quick write up, and giving them another listen has reminded us that they are definitely talented.

Randall Shreve and the Sideshow: “Randall Shreve & the Sideshow brings their own wine-soaked flavor of indie rock to audiences around the country. Their music, which has been described as “Vaudeville Rock,” transports the listener back in time to an earlier era.”
Brooke and I split down the middle on this one. I have a certain affection for vintage circus imagery and this would be the soundtrack to go along with that. Paige’s official pick, is Randall Shreve and the Sideshow, but Brooke isn’t feeling the sound.

Revolution Butterfly: “The revolutionary soldiers of rhyme, from the deep woods and the back-country streets bring a psychedelic sound-scape mixed with funk and reggae experimentalism.”
The genre of this band is unclear. We aren’t sure what else to say, except no.

Space Camp: Representing the electronic genre, Space Camp consists of John Hysell on bass, Taylor Smith on synth and keys, Tim Yarbrough on guitar, and Clatyon Stuttle on drums.
Definitely expect a laser light show for this one and would be Brooke’s second pick if second picks were allowed.

Don’t Stop Please is Brooke’s favorite and Randall Shreve and the Sideshow is Paige’s. Which band is your fav? See you at the show!