Kitchen

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Jen's Kitchen Tip: Bag O' Shrimp

Shrimp shows up on the menu fairly frequently in my house (stir-fry, kebab, soups, etc.), and I used to buy what I needed, the day I needed it, from the seafood counter.

But no more! Not since discovering the large bags of shrimp in the nearby freezer case. Now I keep a bag of shrimp in my freezer, always at the ready.

The shrimp is usually cheaper that way (especially if you watch for the $10 off sales), it thaws in a jiffy (I put them in a bowl and run room temp water on them for a few minutes), and they are even partially cleaned and deveined. I find that the quality is usually better, too, probably because they haven’t been sitting around in the seafood case for god-knows-how-long.

So there you have it. A little tip from me to you: Get yerself a big bag of frozen shrimp (if you like that kind of thing).

Cooking with Robyn Hitchcock

I’m especially excited about the recently posted interview (the first in a 2-part series) with my long-time favorite, Robyn Hitchcock. His “Food Pie” recipe is a masterpiece, so I highly recommend giving it a read. I plan on giving it a try soon, so I’ll let you know how it goes.

Some of you young whipper-snappers may not be familiar with his music, but he’s been steadily creating surreal, humorous, and beautiful music since the late ’70s. I first came across him in the mid-80s, fresh off a serious Syd Barrett kick, and it was an easy transition to Fegmania! and I Often Dream of Trains. Through the years, his music has meandered in and out of heavy rotation in my household, but in my book, he’s a legend.

I saw Robyn perform at the SXSW music festival in 2006, and it was there that I handed my card to Robyn and his wife, Michele. When she responded “you know, he just might do this”, I sat tight and hoped for a call. It was actually Emily Bass, a representative Yep Roc Records, who did the real work in making the interview happen.

Robyn could not have been more gracious or more generous with his time. Somewhere in the middle of our conversation, I had a moment where I thought “OMG, I am looking right into the eyes of Robyn Hitchcock… who would have thought 20 years ago that would ever happen?” How wonderfully surreal.

Welcome to the new Cooking with Rockstars!

I'm very excited to be launching a new and improved version of the Cooking with Rockstars web site. It's been a long time in the making.

The most significant improvement is that the videos are bigger and better. When I first started this project back in 2002, there wasn't much going on in the world of Web video. Given technology and bandwidth constraints, about the best you could do was embed postage-stamp videos compressed within an inch of their lives. But no more!

I had to put this project aside for a few years while I tended to some other things (like having a baby and writing 3 books on web design). In that time, web video exploded, and now the options for delivering video online are dizzying. The upshot of it is that now I can provide much larger, nicer videos (
powered by Blip.tv) and you can subscribe to them using iTunes or another RSS reader.

The new site also features more content, such as my Jen's Kitchen page and blog where I have a place to let you know what I'm up to. There is also a new Recipes section that features both my own recipes and those contributed by my guests.

In the near future, I plan on adding a discussion forum so you can chat amongst yourselves about the bands and let us know whether you've tried any of their recipes. I also hope to launch a store to make it easy to pick up music by the guests on the show.

In addition to the facelift, on the backend, the site is now running on Drupal (thanks to my husband, Jeff Robbins of Lullabot), which is very nifty indeed.

Thanks for visiting, and feel free to drop me a line to let me know what you think.