About a year ago, I was surfing the Craigslist photo ads here in Dallas and up came an ad for a free 8x10 view camera. I quickly emailed the person and within 15 minutes I received a message back. A gentlemen was moving out of town who had an old Burke & James Grover 8x10 that he had been meaning to restore & use but had never got around to it.
2012 ended with a bang and things haven’t slowed down yet since my final recipe posted on Lyndsey Parker’s Reality Rocks blog last May. Things definitely look different since I made my appearance on American Idol back in Season 10. New judges, new talent and of course, new recipes!
To commemorate my return to cooking (yes I know…I have seriously been slacking on my food posts) I thought I would post my top 5 favorite snacks from last season’s Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers. So get your taste buds ready for a new season of tasty nosh!
What kind of snacks do you want me to recreate for the Season 12 American Idol season?
Merry Merry Christmas!!! It’s hard to believe another year is almost over and the holiday season is quickly passing us by. It’s been a whirlwind year and I couldn’t feel more blessed with the wonderful things 2012 brought my way. I’m looking forward to an exciting food and music filled 2013.
I’m back in my hometown of Oklahoma City for the holidays, stuffing my face with every casserole and pie under the sun. So in my brief moment of relaxation I wanted to take a few minutes to update you guys on a really cool event I was recently a part of.
Back in July I was hired to review a “secret” show in Denton by GoodBAMMSho for Sofar Sounds. It was hands down one of the coolest things I’ve experienced musically. I instantly fell in love with the idea and had to be a part of it. After months of staying in contact with the local Sofar coordinator she reached out to me to participate in their Christmas show in Dallas and of course, I was happy to oblige!
The host of the event was a wonderful lover of music who was one of the first supporters and people to open their home to Sofar Dallas. She had a beautiful home in Lakewood that was packed with eager music fans ready to discover new talent.
My producer Josh Goode and I performed 3 original tunes along with a special Christmas rendition of Jingle Bells (see below). Scroll to the bottom of the post for a video of our original song No Mistake, along with a link to the entire show, including all 5 acts, courtesy of livestream.
WFAA Channel 8 was also on hand to cover the show and I was fortunate enough to sit down with David Schechter for a brief interview and preview of my original song Go and Get Gone. Check out the full story here!
Check out this great organization and sign up on their email list to see a Sofar event in your city!
Last but not least I’m excited to announce I’ll be releasing my first single, produced and co-written with Josh Goode and Bradley Prakope of Goode Vibes Music, in January. I’ll be posting a special preview on my YouTube channel so make sure you subscribe to hear it first! I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!
In the spirit of the holidays I recorded a newly revamped version of Jingle Bells! Check it out!
No Mistake – Music & Lyrics by Sarah Sellers & Josh Goode
Photo Credits: Giovanni Gallucci & John Perry
Just when you think it’s getting cold in Texas you get shocked with a jolt of 90 degree heat. BUT that won’t stop me from getting in the Fall/Holiday spirit. I love making a big pot of soup when the weather starts to cool. It’s simple, comforting, and you can eat it all week.
I decided to hold off on posting yesterday’s Song of the Day so I could make it a joint food and music post. So dig into this delicious Beef and Veggie Noodle Soup recipe and enjoy this track off Tristan Prettyman’s latest release, Cedar + Gold. Thanks to one of my girlfriends for introducing me to Miss Prettyman. Her chill vocals and lyrical style is a cross between Colbie Caillat and Sara Bareilles. Check out My Oh My!
Beef Veggie Noodle Soup
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1.5 pounds lean ground sirloin
- 1 tbsp Nature’s Seasoning*
- 2 tsp celery seed*
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- cracked black pepper
- 2 extra large beef bouillon cubes
- 2 cans beef consomme (Campbell’s)
- 2 cans water
- 32oz container beef broth
- 1 can tomato soup (Campbell’s)
- 1 can sweet corn – do not drain
- 1 small bag mini carrots
- 3/4 head green cabbage, chopped
- 6oz bag green peas
- 1 bag shell pasta
**The seasonings are not exact measurements. Make sure you are tasting and adjusting along the way!
Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Saute the onions until slightly transparent. Add the ground beef, Nature’s Seasoning, celery seed, salt and pepper.
Saute until no longer pink.
Add the bouillon cubes, beef consomme, water and beef broth. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium low for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring periodically. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
Stir in the tomato soup, corn and carrots. Bring to a slow boil and cook until the carrots are slightly tender.
Add the cabbage and cook for 5-10 minutes.
Add the peas and pasta and cook until the pasta is al dente. If the soup is too thick add more water and adjust seasoning.
Tristan Prettyman Photo Source: Speakers in Code
For all of my lovely foodies I owe you guys some food posts…and you will get them, soon. I made a delicious batch of Beef Veggie Soup last week that I must share with everyone and of course, my State Fair of Texas adventure was thoroughly documented.
In the meantime, I recorded a new video this weekend so check it out and let me know what you think in the comment box below.
The last few weeks have been a beautiful whirlwind of amazing experiences that I wanted to share with my blog family. Last Saturday myself and 5 amazing musicians opened for Grammy Award winner and R&B singer Monica at the House of Blues Dallas. I still can’t believe how everything worked out and my biggest lesson to share is PROMOTE PROMOTE PROMOTE!
Whether you’re an aspiring musician, chef, writer, etc put yourself out there because you never know who’s paying attention. Thanks to social media I attracted the attention of Ascential Events who produced the Monica show. Great night, great crowd…I can’t wait to do it again!
Check out some pics from the show and read the review HERE!
To top off the week I found out I was nominated for a Dallas Observer Music Award in the Best Female Vocalist category. Just to be nominated is such an amazing feeling, especially when my name is listed below one of my favorite artists, Sarah Jaffe.
So I’m asking you, my dear blog friends, to help me out and vote for me for this year’s awards! I’ll be bringing the band back together on November 10th to perform during the local showcase here in Dallas. If you’re in the area stay tuned for more details.
You can vote once a day up until the awards ceremony at the House of Blues Dallas on November 13th. You don’t have to fill out the entire ballot (but feel free to check out all of the amazing artist that are nominated), just scroll down to 30 and place your vote! Thank you guys so much for your amazing support!! The adventure is just beginning.
House of Blues Photo Credits: Ascential Events & Jon Draper Productions for GoodBAMMSho
For most of my life I’ve loved summer. What’s not to like? Long days, ice cream, warm nights on the lake, fresh fruit, swimming pools….then I moved to Texas. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Lone Star State, but damn it’s hot. Thank god this summer hasn’t been remotely as excruciating as the last, in fact, it’s reminded me of all the reasons I love summer.
Basil is one of my favorite herbs to grow. It’s super easy and produces an abundance of fresh basil the entire spring and summer season. So when the heat started to pick up I wanted to put some of the beautiful leaves to use before the sun burned them all up. Oh and lets not forgot all of the amazing fresh fruit on hand!
I made two versions of the tarts, one with yogurt and one without, but for the sake of this post I’m sticking with the yogurt tarts…delish!
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp fresh lime juice
- 1 sprig basil (5-6 leaves)
- 8 tart shells
- 1/2 cup light n’ fit vanilla yogurt
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup kiwi, quartered
- 1/2 cup strawberries, quartered
- 16 small basil leaves for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small saucepan heat the water and sugar over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice and basil. Let the simple syrup rest until cooled and the basil has infused into the liquid. Strain into a small bowl and set aside.
Pierce the tart shells with a fork on the bottom and sides of the tart shells to prevent puckering. Bake until lightly golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
Remove the shells from the tins and spoon one tablespoon of yogurt into each shell. Fill with the fruit and drizzle with the simple syrup. Top with two sprigs of basil.
**Side note: you could also mix all of the fruit together in a large bowl with the simple syrup then fill the tart shells.
Somehow I managed to get through my entire twenties without going to Las Vegas. Of course in my youthful arrogance I didn’t see the point of rushing away to the desert to throw my money away. Never the gambling type I swore to spend my time attending shows and feasting on the local culinary fare if I ever went. But here in lies the problem with the last sentence…Never is a powerful and generally useless word. This brings us to lesson number 1:
1. Never Say Never
Never the gambling type I say - but Never will end you up at a craps table for 6 hours giving high-fives to your new best friend while throwing out lingo like you’re an old veteran. “There’s something in the air they pump into the casinos” people say, but I say there’s something about free drinks and the roll of a dice.
Lesson learned – I have completely eaten my own words. Over a brief 3 day span I grew quite fond of the desert air and local games, but one thing I won’t become too fond of is my instant love for Craps. No weekend drives to Louisiana here – I need to spend all that money on more important things…like good wine, more fun adventures, and amazing food!
2. Caesar Doesn’t Live Here
One thing will never change, my amusement for the simple things in life. At the beginning of the trip we spent most of our time at Harrah’s. What’s not to like, cheap tables, karaoke, and the hustle and bustle of loud party goers gambling all their money away. Once we were finished with the smokey haze of the casino we headed down the strip to the illustrious Caesars Palace.
One too many Hangover jokes later and a lengthily stroll through the extravagant digs, Caesars quickly became one of our favorite hangouts. We didn’t do much gambling – just a lot of noshing on some of the amazing cuisine.
First Stop: Walking around in the heat gave us a huge craving for something cool and refreshing. Lucky for us a quaint little stand next to the main bar outside made the best Mojito I’ve ever had. Another perk to Vegas – walking around with a nice, big, alcoholic drink to beat the summer heat.
A Sweet Treat: Payard Patisserie & Bistro for some delicious truffles and macarons. In my opinion nothing compares to the Parisian classic, Ladurée, but Payard definitely is a close runner-up. The staff was amazing, letting us sample a few treats to make up our minds, and the atmosphere was perfect for people watching.
The Highlight: Bobby Flay is one of my favorite chefs. I’m quite the southwestern cuisine fanatic so Mesa Grill was an obvious choice for our splurge meal of the trip. For more on this lets move on to Life Lesson Number 3.
3. Bobby Flay Could Make me Eat Anything
Tucked amongst the noise of the slot machines and haze of the jumbo screens is Bobby Flay’s Vegas nod to southwestern cuisine, Mesa Grill. Small and intimate, this colorful restaurant backs a punch that only Bobby Flay could create. Perfectly spiced pork tenderloin and sweet and savory tamales had my mouth watering with every bite. The menu:
[Pics in the Gallery above]
Drink of Choice: Of course I can’t remember what it was called but it was a Peach Margarita that was to die for!!
Appetizers (including an amazing assortment of breads and muffins):
- ROUGH CUT TUNA “NACHOS” with Mango, Habanero Hot Sauce, and Avocado Crema
- TIGER SHRIMP and ROASTED GARLIC CORN TAMALE with Corn – Cilantro Sauce
- NEW MEXICAN SPICE RUBBED PORK TENDERLOIN with a Bourbon – Ancho Chile Sauce and Sweet Potato Tamale with Crushed Pecan Butter (for me)
- GRILLED LAMB PORTERHOUSE CHOPS with Preserved Serrano Chile Vinegar Sauce and a Chorizo – Goat Cheese Tamale with Thyme Butter (my friend)
Unfortunately we didn’t leave any room for dessert but my stomach didn’t need anything else to mask the amazingness from my succulent and spicy Pork Tenderloin!! Everything about Mesa Grill was, well, amazing!
4. Everything Looks Better at Night
The last full day we stepped away from the casino and took in the sites of the Las Vegas Strip. It really is a breathtaking scene. With a little bit of Paris, New York, and dancing fountains, my camera and I fell in love with Sin City. My favorite casino for luxury was definitely the Bellagio with the high-end shops and plush casino. For the young and hip I would definitely say the Cosmopolitan with the fun decor and, supposedly, hottest night-club on the strip. I wouldn’t know of course since my nights were taken by the craps table.
It was a blast walking the strip during the day but nothing was better then taking in the sites at night. Other then NYC I’ve never been to a city that comes alive like Vegas does at night. The lights, the people – I could have walked around for hours if my feet weren’t already revolting against me.
Overall I had an amazing first trip to Vegas. Next time I go back I’m going to relax a bit more, take in some of the scenery at the pools and hit up some of the shows. Until then I’m going to keep my new found love of gaming at bay and recharge my liver.
Until next time Vegas!
I’m doing things a little different for today’s Song of the Day. Last Wednesday I reviewed a local show for GoodBAMMSho in Deep Ellum and was pleasantly surprised by the night’s lineup. Philly foursome Nicos Gun, local Dallas boys The Roomsounds, and Isaac Brock’s (of Modest Mouse fame) pet project, Morning Teleportation were an impressive group of young musicians.
My favorite of the night was headliner Morning Teleportation. Their distinct sound really caught my attention for reasons that you’ll just have to read below (how about that transition). So check out a track off their 2011 release, Expanding Anyway, and read up on the other stellar bands of the night.
Just a Figment:
Wednesday night brought three very different yet seamlessly connected bands to the LaGrange in Deep Ellum. The last few times I’ve ventured down the tattooed streets of the once bustling local music scene, a little bit of hope is restored for music in Dallas. The LaGrange is a quaint and hip music spot perfect enough to fill a herd of music lovers into its sophisticated ambiance. It’s been serving up local tunes and Tex-Mex for a few years now but to me, I’ve found a new spot to check out the hungry and talented (musically speaking of course).
Wednesday’s event was sponsored by the fabulous peeps at Blackbox Presents and GoodBAMMSho. Opening the night was philly foursome Nicos Gun. Permeating the dark streets with their electro infused beats it made for a grand entrance into the club. The crowd was small but it didn’t prevent them from putting on a hell of a good set.