Saturday, March 27, 2010

Eli Young Band at the rodeo

This is a band that I always love to see live. My friend Jessica introduced me to them about three years ago, and I first saw them live when I visited her and my other friends at University of Texas during our sophomore year of college. We saw them at a country club in Austin on a small stage. I immediately bought their album, Level and could not get enough of listening to them. I saw them for the second time on New Years 2009 with the same girls at the House of Blues in Houston; the concert was just as good, if not even better.

Just like their song, Small Town Kid says, Eli Young Band is rock and roll with some honky tonk in the mix. They are not your run of the mill country music band, they have a rock edge, and they are fun. They are a four piece band from Humble, Texas and they bring so much energy to every stage that they set foot on, no matter what size the venue is. The rodeo was no different. Their drummer, Chris, was just as happy as always, and Mike, James, and Jon ran across the stage, on to the catwalks, and even into the crowd for an awesome cover of Tom Petty's American Girl. Mike Eli had been going to the rodeo since he was young (back when it was held in the Astrodome and not Reliant), and playing on that stage for him was legitimately a dream come true.

Their first radio single was When It Rains, which is very catchy, and I like to refer to it as the emo side of country. Their newest single on the radio is Guinevere, which is so beautiful live as well. My favorite songs are Highways and Broken Hearts (a song about life on the road), and Always the Love Songs, though all of their songs are great.

Find them on their official website, myspace, facebook, and youtube.

Here some videos from the show. Be sure to check out my youtube channel for even more videos from this and more concerts.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My Favorite Meal: Vegetarian Chili

My mom has been making this chili for me for years, and it is definitely hands down my favorite meal that she makes. Last winter break, she finally made me make it because she was so sick of me asking for it all the time. This honestly made me really nervous-if I screwed this up, I might screw up the dish for me forever. Thankfully, this recipe is beyond easy to make, and tastes so hearty and delicious.

One summer, my mom, my aunts, and my grandmother went to Canyon Ranch; a health spa in Arizona. They came back with recipe books full of healthy, hearty recipes, which is where this chili recipe came from.

Vegetarian Bean Chili

1/2 cup garbanzo beans
1/2 cup navy beans
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup adzuki beans
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2/3 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
3/4 teaspoon dry basil
Pinch ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
Pinch chipotle pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 3/4 cup tomato sauce
2 cups vegetable stock
4 teaspoons minced green chili
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 teaspoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon sea salt


1. Soak beans overnight. Drain water. Add fresh water. Bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours.
2. In another saucepan, sauté garlic, onion and peppers in olive oil until tender. Add dry spices and sauté briefly. Add tomato products and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Add cooked beans and bring back to a simmer. Add green chiles and cook for 45 minutes.
3. Add cilantro, parsley and molasses and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt.

Serving Information
Makes 10 (1-cup) servings, each containing approximately:
175 calories
32 gm. carbohydrate
2 gm. fat
0 mg. cholesterol
9 gm. protein
189 mg. sodium
7 gm. fiber

This tastes awesome served over brown rice or cous cous. It's also good with some low fat shredded cheddar cheese and crackers. We usually only have salad with the chili, as it really is very filling. Definitely try this one; I really hope you enjoy it!

If you'd like to check out more Canyon Ranch cookbooks, click here to see what Amazon offers. To check out their recipes online, click here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lady Antebellum at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

I had just started hearing Lady Antebellum's single on the radio a few months ago. The sad part is that the only reason they are popular is because their song has been through a pop remix before being played on any mainstream radio stations. This trio belts out amazing harmonies, and their songs are so well written. I would love to hear them play an acoustic set; their voices are great and mesh so well together.

I went with my sister and stepsisters to see them at the rodeo this past Monday. I got to hear a bunch of songs that I had not heard before, since as I said before, all that is played on the radio is the pop remix of Need You Now, and I really loved what I heard. Perfect Day is a great song; one of my favorites that I heard. It reminds me of summer and being natural. I also really loved American Honey. They played a lot of songs off of their album Need You Now, as well as some great covers. For more videos from the concert, check out my youtube channel.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man [Book Review]

My mom gave me this book to read near the end of last year. I never ended up getting around to reading it until January, after I got screwed over by a guy at school. Perfect timing. Steve Harvey's Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man gives women a rare, very honest look into the way a man thinks about things and reacts to things. No, it's not like what is featured in Cosmopolitan or Glamour; this is real. This is what goes through the average man's head at every single step of a relationship, from the moment he starts paying attention to a woman.

He stresses that in order to have a man respect a woman, the woman has to have standards, respect herself, and put off a vibe that entices him without giving it all away.

He also explains what different things that men do and say mean. This helped me see what a guy would say if he was really seeing us going far, or just seeing me as a one time thing. It also helped me understand more clearly about relationships in general and also made me feel better about what had happened to me.

I would recommend this book to all women. Relationships are confusing, and its hard to really see what people are after. This will give you a new perspective on your relationships from your side and the man's side. You will be able to see the image that you are putting off and make changes so that you can put off what you really are trying to convey.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Fab 5, A Tribute the the Beatles

One of my favorite things about living in Houston is all of the events that Miller Outdoor Theatre holds. When the weather is gorgeous, like it has been, its so much fun just to pack a picnic dinner, grab your blanket or your chairs and sit on the hill, enjoying one of the plays or concerts that the venue puts on.

The other night a band called The Fab 5 played a spectacular Beatles tribute concert there. Their set list spanned most of the Beatles hits, though they left out a few songs that I was expecting to hear. They dressed in suits for the first set, playing songs such as I Want to Hold Your Hand, Can't Buy Me Love, We Can Work It Out, and getting the crowd up and dancing for Twist and Shout. After a break, they came back dressed up for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and played Revolution, With a Little Help From My Friends, Come Together, and I am the Walrus.

They definitely put on a great tribute and I hope they put on more shows soon! I'd love to see more of them. Check them out on myspace and on their website. More videos are on my youtube channel, but here is a preview (please excuse the stupid zoom on my camera fast forwarding the songs..i left my flip video at Syracuse)