I know this is my blog about music but it was just a matter of time before I wrote about food. I grew up snacking on traditional Italian pizzelles ( ha, my computer says I am spelling pizzelles wrong and it is trying to auto-correct it to Pirellis but no, I didn’t grow up eating car tires. ) Anyways, my Nonnie made light and crispy pizzelles that were anise flavored. Usually around the holidays they would start stacking up on the countertops and the sweet buttery crispy cookies shaped in beautiful designs would be a comfort and delight, and an occasional giggle-fest when someone would mispronounce anise. What flavor?!
So, don’t tell my Nonnie, but this recipe is for gluten-free pizzelles, and you can flavor them however you want.
Mike Caruso’s Wicked Light + Crispy Gluten Free Pizzelle Recipe:
3 eggs ( chicken eggs work best )
3/4 cup sugar ( I use fine organic cane sugar )
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
You need 1 and 3/4 cups : you can use 1 3/4 cups of whatever gluten free flour(s) you want but just make sure to use mostly rice flour. I tried using all coconut before and they were wicked crumbly and tiny crumbs would get stuck in your throat and when you would try and talk to people while eating them you would just end up coughing and your eyes would water and they would ask “ are you ok?” and when you couldn’t respond they would just kinda walk away. I don’t want that to happen to you, that’s not really what we are going for here. Here’s what I like to use:
11/4 Cup of Bob’s Red Mill GF 1to1 Baking Flour ( or something similar )
( it’s a blend of two different rice flours/potato starch,
sorghum flour and tapioca flour and xanthan gum )
1/4 cup of fine coconut flour
1/4 cup of fine almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
10 tablespoons of melted butter
1 extra bit of butter for greasing your Pizzelle iron ( you have a Pizzelle iron right ? )
powdered sugar for dusting
1 teaspoon of flavor ( almond, anise, etc ) extract
melt the butter in a little pan on the stovetop while doing the next step:
Beat the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla until well combined.
Stir in the flour and baking powder, mixing until smooth.
Add any additional flavors ( I like almond extract. there’s always anise, and even lemon perhaps, I may be just imagining it but I think I had some butter-rum flavored ones too that were pretty scrumptious.
Add the melted butter, again mixing until smooth; the batter will be thick and soft.
Heat your pizzelle iron. Take a pad of butter and rub it on your hot pizzelle iron - don’t burn your fingers! especially if you play guitar and have a gig that night.
As the iron heats, the batter will stiffen, and the children will start circling around and dipping their fingers in the powdered sugar.
Cook the pizzelle according to your iron. In general, they'll take somewhere between 45 seconds and 2 minutes cook. Mine has a little light that goes off when they are done. Take them out quick before they get too brown, just a light toasted color is good.
Remove the pizzelle from the iron with a spatula or something, it will be soft and wicked floppy, lay it on a cooling rack and make some more.
fun idea : While they are all bendable you can roll them up and make ice cream cones or cannolli shells.
They cool and harden very quickly and then you can trim the edges to make them all pretty. you can feed the edges to you dog or kids or trash can.
Dust cooled pizzelle with powdered’ sugar
One word that often gets used by people who claim to not know how to speak about music is dissonance so I though I would clarify that term:
Musical Dissonance. You've heard it before, like a baby banging on many keys of a piano at the same time , can be a clashing and harsh sound but also, done well, it can express conflict or tension.
Simply put, Dissonance is a clashing of notes, associated with unpleasantness, whereas Consonance is a harmony, associated with sweetness + pleasantness.
For the purposes of being on the same page when we talk about music for a creative media project I don't think it's necessary to go into the specifics of what notes sound good together to create consonance and what notes clash to create dissonance, you know it when you hear it.
Consonance, in general, refers to a pleasant sound, something that is comfortable to your ears. Dissonance, on the other hand, refers to tension and instability, and also you get the sense that the music needs to go somewhere to be resolved back to consonance.
Can you come up with any examples of dissonance in music?
Your Love Story
Music is always an important part of every story. Your wedding is a celebration of your love story, the pages past and the ones yet to come, so your music should accompany that. Was there a song playing in the background somewhere on your first date? Are there songs that you shared with each other when you first met? What songs have you realized together that you both really like? What songs do you associate with your love? Start writing down that list and hold on to it. As you start to plan the soundtrack to your night's itinerary, notice where each song might fit best. It is important to place the right song at the right time to maximize the emotional support music offers to each moment.
Bridal Party Entrance
The processional is enhanced by beautiful melodies, elegant and joyous songs. You can
choose an uplifting song that represents the family members as they enter and then pause and switch to a song to signify the bride’s entrance. Sometimes even a bit of humor in the music is a great way to help the bridal party and guests relax into the ceremony time a bit.
The ceremony is a very intimate part of a wedding, so you’ll want to choose songs that set the right tone and support the emotions of your ceremony. An acoustic guitarist, vocalist, string section of cello and violin, a singer/acoustic guitarist, perhaps an elegant harpist or a combination of any of those types of musicians will deliver non-obtrusive,heartwarming and pleasing melodies to weave around your vows and officiant’s words. If you have special meaningful songs for your ceremony, you can have a singer/guitarist perform a rendition. Another option, if you want to go without live musicians, is to ask your DJ to arrange a pre-recorded set of your song selections. Often, ceremonies have special moments, like sand ceremonies, where there are no words spoken and music can weave in and out of these to support the moment and fill the silence.
Here's a moment to turn it up a notch, it's time to celebrate! This should be a fun, positive song, meaningful to you as your first song walking forward, hand in hand as a married couple.
Cocktail Hour Music
Often you can use the musicians from your ceremony for this time before dinner. A string quartet makes for nice mingling music and a singer/songwriter is a great way to entertain guests. They often come with their own love song based repertoire to blend in with your requests.
Dinner music is about creating a comfortable ambiance, a soft background soundtrack for social conversations. Find some mellow (but not boring) music and create your own playlist, or have your live musicians or DJ provide this light dinner music. Often this music fades in and out with various stories being told and speeches being made in honor of the newly married couple.
This song should have a special meaning to you as a couple, and be a slower, sweet and intimate song. Perhaps you will have danced to it many times before and have choreographed your moves.
If you can find one that can deliver the right music for your reception’s dancing and celebration, a live band is always a great option. Your other option is recorded music, either you or a family member can have that run a playlist through the PA or you can hire a DJ. DJs arrive on the scene to create a solid beat to keep all the guests moving but the dance floor tunes don’t have to be an hour-long mega-mix, you can pull together your own playlist that the DJ can be inspired from. A week before the ceremony you can jot down a list of your ‘must play’ songs, or even your ‘must not play’ songs. A DJ will only need about 7 tracks here to get an idea of the vibe you’re going for.
What else would you include in this guide to selecting the perfect soundtrack to
your special wedding day?
A third option, which I think looks great, is to order custom made stamps
from a place like rubberstamps.net and a raised pad ink pad
like the ones sold by Yellow Owl Worksop.
Here is a collection of some unique songs for working out, running and fitness motivation.
For someone raised in and around Boston I have always had a strange calling to explore California. With previous visits to San Francisco, I had enlisted a swift take, a first impression that wasn’t so lasting as much as confusing. I am not sure if it was merely being dipped into the whirlpool color bath of the city too fast without steeping in the culture or just a result of particularly muddled convergences of place and time. I did however get tickled with a charm that stuck to my shoes like wet leaves from the park that you find when you get home. So, I was by no means deterred from returning to the city when I was given an opportunity to assist photographer Joseph Linaschke on a job. The locations for his shoot were around the North Beach district. I took it upon myself research the area ahead of time. I booked a room at hotel that appealed to my personal customary taste and jotted a few notes about restaurants near the hotel. I read that the area had a particular orientation to Italian culture which perked my interest and had me saying to myself The North End in Boston is Little Italy too and I started to listen deeper to the language that writers were using about the area. After all, I was using the same set of ears and sensory processing I used for listening to music and perhaps with this awareness I could hear the the genuine tones of my destination’s history.
I often feel like listening to an music album from start to finish is like travelling from one point to another and eventually reaching a physical destination in addition to the obvious emotional and artistic developments. As if, after progressing through the songs, the listener has taken great strides to be transported. While travelling in a car provides the opportunity to listen to long stretches of music it also resets our hearing when we step out of the car in a new place. Cracking open the doorway in a parking garage near Pier 35 in San Francisco’s North Beach district was as potent to hear as the first notes that emerge from the crackling fuzz of a record player.
As I ventured into the residential area I noticed the sound shift from the bright echoless open air of the bayside to a muffled hum softly bouncing around in the tightly packed dwellings. Here this heartwarming homestead reverberation sounded safe and yet carried a mysteriously hushed pulse that undeniably pushed through the pavement like willful grass growing up through the cracks. It is this familiar longing in such vividly voiced areas that makes me curious about hearing into the past. The stories of disappeared days that are told by sounds sustained in the landscape might lack detailed reports but the personification of beats and melodies can inspire the imagination to create the characters and set the stage. I felt a particular familiarity with the sounds as they mirrored the North End of Boston. Why would I want to even explore this cryptic musical language? Will it tell me something just simply fascinating or perhaps deliver an important message?
I carried these questions up a steep street where elements of the audio mix seemed to peel away like flakes of old paint and tumble back down the hill. I stopped halfway up the way to the Coit Tower to look at the view behind me and a lovely couple approached me looking up past me smiling as if to say, without words, we hear it too.. it’s up here. What was it? I continued climbing and reached the lawn at the tower. I sat on the wall that bordered the lawn and hung my gaze upon the spreading horizon out over the bay. There it was, like a giant salad bowl of noise, filled halfway with every single layer of the city’s sound and halfway with an impenetrable silence that hovers over the hill like a lofty blanket. I closed my eyes, dug into this silence and heard a vulnerable dreamlike orchestra. Out of the sound field, like little crackling fire sparks, came some quick notes of gentle animal footsteps on leaves nearby. I opened my eyes to see a coyote, ears forward, staring back at me. In one easy move It’s ears turned outward and it’s eyes looking deep into mine softened with kindness. It seemed to say, hello, I am the Coit Coyote, thanks for listening, have a nice day, before it danced back through the tall grass under the Cypress trees.
As I descended the hill, which seemed so steep that even sound itself couldn’t defy the gravitational pull of the incline, I felt like I had won a prize. I had endured a self-motivated scavenger hunt to discover a secret sound that commonly goes unnoticed to the inhabitants of it’s location and I was determined to find this sound in other places in North Beach. Motivated more by hunger, and less for the prospect of my mission, I went to Molinari’s Deli, where the transparent sound was quite delightfully buried in the patron’s excited voices as they ordered from the menu. Here the sandwich makers laugh and sing while they work. It is a place where sounds of celebrating family and food merge in music so me and my sandwich moved on to the hotel. The most special home on the hunt for the hidden sound of my fascination was at The Historic San Remo Hotel that I stayed at. Standing in the plant lined foyer, with coyote like ears I could swear I heard the faint haunting of romantic voices and laughter. And in my room as I played guitar I could hear sympathetic tones glisten like treasure in the dark gray fog cover that had suddenly hung like curtains in the sky.
I am hollow,
a silence still not yet filled with sounds or sights
just a running blur or a smiling champ to greet the day.
the uncharted hours expand the day’s lungs with crisp air
while the kick drum of my running shoes on the forest trail set the beat for a sprint in the park
then fountain and creek
breeze and birds,
the simple symphony awakens.
thoughts come and go like leaves riding the creek water
some falling into hollow pockets with a bubbling voice
trapped and swirled in the puddling pools before they drop down the next cascade
and soon my own hollowness is inhabited with a memory so thick it coats my heart like fresh paint:
when I was a kid
during the fall, in New England
when leaves swirled around in the air
time would slow down like I was dropped inside a snow globe
or sealed in a strong and secure sound envelope
where I would play, quite seriously, a game
where I would try to catch a falling leaf before it reached the ground,
if I caught the leaf it was good luck,
I would celebrate this victory like I won an Olympic event
and howl at the sky.
so on this morning’s familiar trail run
my empty boat of a heart starts to rock on the waves of this memory,
I hear a shift in my hollow breath
I feel the morning air hint at the familiar scent and temperature of fall’s arrival
and time slows the sound against the tempo of my racing heart,
suddenly a large yellow leaf falls in front of me and wraps around my face like a feisty starfish,
I stop in my tracks
I remove the leaf from my face
tears flood my eyes like the creek’s puddling pools backed up with late summer fallen leaves,
I take in my surroundings through a kaleidoscope of teardrop lenses
first to see if anyone witnessed the leaf attack,
no, I was alone,
secondly, to catch my breath
marveling at the fact that I am standing under a memorable tree,
standing in a memory
sparks shot through my body.
two months prior to this moment
I sat under this tree with you
feeling grateful to be in your presence
a big yellow leaf fell towards us,
I picked it up and twirled it in my hands
we smiled and talked and then
I have carried that moment with me through the months of being without you
it is a memory that shines in the hollow’s shadows
the memory stops me in my tracks like a big yellow leaf in the face
now, as I collapse below the tree, I imagine you there with me
as the salty sting of sweat and tears mix
these memories collide
as I clear my eyes and look up into the hollowed out crest
I mutter thanks and help me to the tree
in the silent core
I see an owl shutter its’ feathers
turn a dreamy eye toward me
then tuck its’ head back in.
It is then when I hear the sound to fill my hollow day like a radio wave
from the tree I receive the medicine code
the owl makes it clear:
you can trust discovering these moments,
the sounds that echo in hollow places,
like you trust the changes in the seasons
after all, the owl had seen it all:
the leaf + the smiles
a trail runner fascinated with what love sounds like,
another leaf + the memory pools
and the ever forward motions to reside in gratitude for the creative way it all comes together.
MAGNETIC WEST MUSIC presents... a LITHIA PARK SESSION with