What season is it?

It is so surreal to travel the world this much in such a short amount of time. Hey, it’s surreal playing with the biggest pop star today too, especially since I never anticipated my career going down this path. Believe it or not, out of all the things the be amazed by in my travels, a big one is the weather. I grew up in New Jersey where we experienced four seasons. Whereas now, I’m traveling the world and will experience the northeast’s fall in South America and Australia (more summer for me, I suppose!) Sounds like a dream to most, (me too!) but I have to say I will miss New York in the fall time. It’s one of my favorite places to be at this time of year. It hit me tonight when we were sound checking in Philly; the sun was going down and it was getting cooler and I finally got that “it’s getting to be fall soon” smell. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s Labor Day weekend and it’ll conclude the summer and begin the new chapter of Fall.

I’m looking forward to being in South America and Australia this “fall”,  especially since I’ve never been. I’m very excited! I know I’ll be in for a rude awakening when I come back to frigid windy New York weather in november after we come back from Australia. (I’ll have to put those Uggs to use!)

10 months ago, I had no idea I’d be where I am now in my career. I thought I’d be starting my second year of my Master’s degree at Juilliard (my 6th year total..whoa) and getting back into the school/shed grind. So much has changed, and what a trip it’s been so far! I am so blessed and grateful. I know it’s not even close to being over, so I will continue to keep you guys posted on all of the exciting things happening! In the meanwhile however, I will continue to pack everything from shorts to warm jackets in my suitcase because this weather will throw me for a loop.

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Happy Labor Day Weekend!

-A

Lee Morgan. Turkey Tacos. Philly with Beyonce.

Before I head out to Philly with Beyonce for the Made In America Festival,  I wanted to dedicate a post to one of my favorite musicians from Philadelphia, trumpeter Lee Morgan. I also wanted to share with you the recipe for my speedy (and yummy) dinner last night.

This is a video with Lee Morgan and the Oscar Peterson Trio playing “Moanin”. “Moanin” was written by pianist Bobby Timmons and was originally recorded and made famous by drummer Art Blakey. For those who are acquainted to jazz, the beginning of Lee’s solo might sound familiar as it is known by almost every jazz trumpet player today. Morgan was born in Philly on July 10, 1938 and one of the many iconic jazz musicians that hailed from here.

The day before I head out on the road is always a little hectic. Since I don’t spend very much time at my place in Manhattan I’m always trying to get everything in order right before I leave. My boyfriend is heading out today to play as well, so yesterday was a little crazy for us. The day slipped by and I realized that we hadn’t eaten dinner, and it was one of those moments that the hunger just hit me. Quick food was in order. I present to you ground turkey tacos.. Power meal for gig.

What you need: 

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed then chopped
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 1/3 lb ground turkey (I like the lean stuff)
  •  1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tbsp cayenne
  • Garnishings: cilantro, avocado, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, black beans, rice, tortilla shells, squeeze of lime. Whatever you want.

In a large saucepan heat olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic and onion. Cook until onion is softened and slightly translucent (3 -4 mins). Add Turkey and brown the edges. Mix in spices and cook until all of the turkey is browned. Season with salt to taste. Scoop into a tortilla shell and garnish however you would like!

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Improvise: 

  • Use ground beef or another protein
  • Switch it up with the garnishments

With all of that being said, I’m lookin’ forward to seeing my Mrs Carter Show crew and fans in Philly!

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-A

Sookk and a clip of my favorite cooking show!

Looking for a great lunch spot on the upper west side, NYC? How’s starting at $7? Meet Sookk!

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So here’s what you get!

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Veggie soup: light and simple, filled with crunchy cabbage, carrots, and onion. Next up:

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An appetizer and entree. Shown on top is the veggie dumplings and thai basil noodles (super spicy!) and below is my favorite salad (not because of iceberg lettuce but for the peanut dressing) and the spicy yaowarat noodles with mok duck! I’m a peanut lover and this dressing is so yummy, I even bought some in a togo container to take home. Some of my other favorite dishes are the massaman curry (with lotus seeds!), pad thai, and kai yud sai! Kai yud sai is an item that they have for brunch.. it’s an egg white omelette filled with minced chicken, pepper, onions, and a delicious brown sauce). Ok, ok I know it looks good so far.. especially for $7, but the best part is coming up!

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One scoop of coconut ice cream with little peanut crunchies on top! That seals the deal for me. For this one, they must have my favorite chef back in the kitchen:

coconurt ice cream anyone? 🙂 I would like everyone to take note of the saxophone playing in the theme song. It really sets the mood for our favorite swedish chef. I forgot to mention the kind of music they play in the restaurant. Think, house music, mixed with midi trombones and baritone saxophones, which makes it kind of comical for my boyfriend and I. But hey, I like to think of it as expanding our musical horizons. :p

Overall, this has been one of my favorite spots for the past 5 years. Sookk is located on Broadway between West 102nd and 103rd st. Next time you’re on the upper west side, be sure check it out!

Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon and Freddie Hubbard

When I think of sweet chili sauce, the first thing that comes to mind is how amazing of a combination sweet and spicy are. Sweet things are always nice in the kitchen and in life, but I think that you need some excitement through spice thrown in there! The key word is balance. Like any great recipe, movie, show, anything.. there’s a balance involved.. Tension and release.

Cue Music: Freddie Hubbard “You’re My Everything” from Hub-tones

For instance,  trumpeter Freddie Hubbard’s  playing is the perfect balance of a sweet tone and exciting rhythmic interjections and nuances sprinkled throughout. He starts out playing the melody of one of my favorite jazz standards, “You’re My Everything” so sweetly, then halfway through he pops a high note out “Bow!” (I’m referring to 0:27) This is just a glimpse of the spiciness he’ll throw into his solo after the melody. He creates a cohesive solo through tasty phrasing and with a swinging band including Herbie Hancock on piano, Reggie Workman on bass, Clifford Jarvis on drums, and James Spaulding on saxophone backing him up, it creates the perfect sense of sweet satisfaction and spicy excitement! On with the sweet chili glazed salmon:

Yield: 4 servings 

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 lb salmon skin on cut into fillets

for the marinade:

  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • juice from 2 limes squeezed
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger

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Whisk all the ingredients together, pour over salmon in either a ziploc bag or container. Let marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Heat 2 tbsp of a “high smoking point” oil (grapeseed or vegetable oil)  in a large frying pan on medium high. Once oil is hot carefully place 2 fillets in the pan skin side down. Let them sear for about 2 minutes so the skin crisps up a little. Flip them and let the top side get golden on the edges (2 minutes). Repeat with the rest of the fillets. Place them on a baking sheet skin side down and finish them off in the oven, maybe 5-7 minutes depending on thickness of fillets. Photo-55

(excuse my iphone photos.. I left my good camera in Sweden by accident on the Mrs Carter Show Tour- being shipped back to the US 🙂 )

 Improvise by:

  • Baking the salmon completely, cooking on stove top, or grilling (yum!)
  • try marinating with different flavors/sauces (teriyaki, hoisin, etc)
  • Using this marinade for other proteins whether it be other fish or chicken, etc.

I prepared my salmon with wilted spinach, that I cooked in the same large pan the salmon was seared in, picking up all the tasty bits left behind. In addition, I roasted cauliflower that I coated with olive oil, salt and pepper in the oven at 425 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes, flipping/stirring occasionally.

Enjoy!

Good morning! Smoothie diaries..

Good morning all!

I’m one of those people that practically rolls out of bed and eats breakfast, which usually consists of a smoothie of some kind. It’s the perfect thing to get me going and take on the day! This morning’s smoothie was very simple.

Yield: 1 serving

What you need:

  • 2 kiwis (skin cut off)
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • *1 tbsp flax seeds

*Flax seeds are a pure and natural source of Omega-3, Lignans, Fiber, Trace vitamins and minerals, and amino acids! They’re great added into smoothies, yogurts, cereal, baking, whatever! They don’t really have a taste at all.

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First things first, since you are getting ready to seize the day, you “Better Go” and play this while you’re preparing your smoothie!

That’s Ben Webster and Sweets Edison from “Ben and Sweets” The track is called “Better Go”. I’m a fan of anything that makes me dance. Between Ben and Sweets and this sweet berry smoothie this day is starting off on the right foot!

Add all of your ingredients into your blender and go! Don’t be afraid to improvise on this one by:

  • substituting your favorite frozen fruit
  • Throwing in an apple
  • subbing OJ or another juice for the coconut water..

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Have a great day!!

A

Groovin’ with my spatula.. and Michael McDonald

Yesterday was the perfect Sunday for me. I’ve been home in New York for the past few days and have a few more days of vacation left! I’m trying to take advantage of every second that I have with my family and of my 3 feetx 3 feet kitchen (the worst… but a kitchen none the less.. it makes you improvise in a whole new way).

It was the kind of day in which my boyfriend and I had nothing to do except spend time with each other so we had a little fun making some turkey wraps for lunch.. (I know it’s not duck confit… but i’ve been off the cookin scene for a minute.. PLUS as the girls in the band would say.. “Don’t make none of that bougie (sp?) food and make something that tastes good and is simple!” Fellow Mrs Carter Bandigans… this one’s for you. 😉

You’re probably thinking.. what does Michael McDonald have to do with this? In ode to school being back in session within the next few days, and me missing the good ole Jailyard.. We put on “What a fool believes”. This song (believe it or not) was a Juilliard staple for me. While not a jazz song, it was still our jam. This simple and soulful song is going along with the simple and soulful turkey wrap.

Anywho, onto the food.

Yield: 2 servings

What you need:

  • 1 ripe avocado sliced
  • 1 Roma tomato sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 sundried tomato wraps
  • 2 slices of swiss cheese
  • Srichara and Mayo
  • Couple slices of smoked turkey
  • handful of spinach
  • salt/pepper

Simple enough, right? As you should… improvise and fill it with your favorite kind of cheese or turkey or whatever you want. This is just what I had at hand. First thing’s first. Prepare your vegetables, so they’re ready to go. Second up, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Next, fry your eggs separately in a small frying pan with a touch of olive oil. I like to leave the yolk a little runny but in this case, this happened:

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Uhh, what? Never before have I had the yolk actually separate from the white part while mid flip! (I’ve got some flipping skills.. all in the wrist 😉 )

Moving on, set separated egg aside. Place the wrap with cheese and place in oven until melted (a little over a minute). Layer egg. Spread some Srichara sauce in a sguiggly line like so (go ahead, release your inner picasso).

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Add some mayo too. Layer turkey and rest of ingredients including a pinch of salt and pepper. Easy on the salt, turkey has high sodium. Wrap and enjoy!

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Now that we made our lunch wrap and took silly pictures with it.. Take it away Michael!

So maybe I need to get some lip syncing lessons, but on a brighter note.. Can i get a spatula endorsement over here?

First Post!

Since this is the first post (yahoo!) of my brand new blog.. I better do a little “who is Adison Evans” for those who don’t know.. Let’s start here:

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…Yeah, maybe not. What a picture though. (Taken over 10 years ago during those awkward teen years..)  Seriously though, I am a professional musician who has been playing the saxophone amongst other instruments since I was about that age (see braces picture above). I am a jazz musician at heart and decided to pursue performing jazz music at this place:

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While at Juilliard, I fell in love with cooking. It really is so similar to jazz music.. since it is an improvised music after all. I decided to attend the French Culinary Institute in Soho part time to refine some of the techniques that I had taught myself (seeing as my family doesn’t include the best cooks in the world..sorry ma).. Anywho, I like to cook and take photos like these:

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yummmm.

After graduating and receiving my BM in jazz performance from the Juilliard school, I decided to return to pursue my Master’s degree.. Well, let’s just say that didn’t last very long, as I got a call from this lady, wanting to give me a job:

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Thanks to Mrs Carter, my world quickly got all flipped around and then I suddenly found myself playing at the Superbowl for millions of people.

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Shortly after, I officially joined the Mrs Carter Band for the Mrs Carter Show World Tour (which we are in the middle of currently) so we stood through lots of rehearsals looking like this:

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Thus began our world tour Serbia on April 15, 2013, playing for many many people and traveling to many places I never thought I would have the opportunity to go to.

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Being in Queen Bey’s band for about 9 months now I have found new family and am extremely grateful for all of the opportunities that have come my way. I wanted to start this blog to share with everyone my adventures on the road, in the kitchen, and on the stage.

-A