Bye South America, Hello New York! (roasted butternut squash soup)

Now that I’ve been home for a day or so, I’ve really been able to reflect on my tour to South America with Beyonce. I have to say, it was really rough! Not a lot of sleep, lots of traveling, the life of a musician. Fortunately, the pros outweighed the cons! Just the people alone that I met in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico were so beautiful and incredibly inspiring! I just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone that I came across! You have a place in my heart forever and I’m so grateful for all of you! Here’s a little video after our last show in Puerto Rico:

One of the things that I was looking forward to most in New York (besides seeing my family of course) was the fall time! These 2 weeks will be the only fall I experience this year since we’ll be heading to Australia and New Zealand next! So the next 2 weeks are all about me making my favorite fall dishes! First one’s up!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Yield: serves 2

What you need:

  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled, deseeded, cubed (the smaller you cube it the faster it roasts)
  • 2 shallots halved
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts toasted
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp plain green yogurt (with extra for garnishing)
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Method:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Season squash and shallots generously with salt and pepper. Toss in olive oil until coated evenly. Spread squash and shallots out evenly on a cookie sheet and bake until tender all the way through (30-45 minutes) flipping every once in a while. Meanwhile,  toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over med heat (watching carefully to not burn the nuts!). Once squash is tender put in a blender with 2 cups chicken stock and blend until it reaches a smooth consistency. Remove from blender and pour into a stock pot over medium heat. Stir in cardamom powder and greek yogurt. Pour into bowls and garnish with toasted pine nuts and a dollop of yogurt. Serve with a toasted baguette.

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Improvise

  • Try toasted almond slices instead of pine nuts
  • You can use heavy cream instead of greek yogurt
  • Try roasting  root vegetables like parsnips or carrots as the soup base

This recipe is so warm and comforting. Perfect for the autumnal season in New York! All we need left is that air outside to get a little colder and crisper! (why does it still feel like summer, NY?!) The perfect song to go with this recipe is none other than, “Autumn in New York” performed by Joe Lovano and the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra (this is a throw back to my Jailyard days.. that’s me on baritone)

Ciao!

A

Projeto de Meninos/Meninas de Rua

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The whole reason that I do what I do lies in this picture. These kids give me the energy and the inspiration to keep on performing and strive to be a better artist. I cannot thank enough the Projeto de Meninos e Meninas de Rua for visiting with the Mrs Carter Show a few nights ago in Sao Paolo.

Most of the time when I get to the venue, I grab my horn and go straight to a place where I can practice. Usually this means practicing in a stairwell, a bathroom, a loading dock with all of the trucks, or in some cases when the crew let me.. the crew room. I remember in Sao Paolo I went to practice and finished just in enough time to take my horn out to the stage when I ran into the kids from this project. Thank goodness I did, because I didn’t realize the amount of joy that they were about to bring me. Our first meeting went a little like this:

This whole trip to South America is a huge affirmation that the simplest things in life can bring the most happiness. Not money, not fame, not material items, not a huge house, not a nice car.. none of that. The majority of people here don’t have that. They are the happiest, most passionate, most grateful people I’ve ever met in my life. Take note, America.
Here’s a few clips from their performance:

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Translation by Daniele Ribiero

Dear Projeto de Meninos/Meninas de Rua,
I know you guys said that you came to see the Mrs Carter Show a few nights ago, but the way I see it, is I came to work that day to see you guys perform. It was one of the most honest, inspiring performances I’ve ever witnessed in my career. Music can change the world, and I am eternally grateful for who you all are and what you do. Thank you. With much love..

From one of your biggest fans,
Adison Evans

To check out more on The Project of boys and girls of Rua go to their website: http://www.pmmr.org.br/

Feijoada and Muqueca in Rio!

As promised, here’s our video from Rio exploring feijoada! It was so yummy.. The absolute ultimate rice and beans dish, with lots of different toppings! My favorite was the salty fried yuca! The Muqueca had such depth to its flavors. It actually reminded me a lot of the bouillabaisse I would make at the French culinary institute minus the Pernod Ricard and the fennel. It’s amazing how stuff works out like that. Check it out.. Here’s Jonathan, Rie, Crystal and I!

See you TONIGHT Sao Paolo! 😀 !

Sao Paolo/Brasilia goodies!

Thank you Sao Paolo for giving us so much energy! I loved all of your signs and yellow/black balloons! What an amazing night. With the exception of watching my boss almost being dragged off of the B stage.. err…it was a blast! One of the main things that got us geared up for the show was all of the yummy sweet treats backstage waiting for us when we got there! They were graciously provided for us by the lovely, Andrea Guimaraes. She had homemade truffles, chocolates, a CAKE, nutella jars, fun feathers, and disco balls all labeled with Beyonce stuff for us! You know, it’s the little things on the road that really make me smile and give me energy (and it’s not the obscene amount of sugar I ingested in 5 minutes I’m talking about..or..maybe it is. But anyways.. Thank you so much Andrea!

She can be found on instagram at andreaguima5 ! check her out!

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Earlier this afternoon we arrived in Brasilia! It’s unfortunately our last city in the country 😦 I will miss you Brazil!! I have never before in my LIFE met so many passionate, beautiful, heartwarming people in one place before. Thank you again for having us! For my last day off here, a bunch of us decided to go to this beautiful lake and take in the scenery.

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We also stopped for a little pre-dinner snack at Devassa. We had fish sticks (I loooooove me some fish sticks 🙂 ) and we had cod balls. They were very yummy but the kid in me giggles every time I say “cod balls” out loud. But that’s really what they are! Balls of cod. Ok.. I digress. Cody got a yummy looking drink that I had to take part in as you can see below..

As you can also see.. I love popsicles. ESPECIALLY when they are coconut popsicles.. oh man, that alone made my day. I now present to you.. sticks of fish and cod balls 😀

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Thanks for a beautiful day off Brasilia, and I’m looking forward to playing for you tomorrow night! It’s the Mrs Carter Show’s last stop in Brazil tomorrow night so let’s make it an amazing one!

See you there!
Adi

Rock in RIO!

Thank you for being showing such love and support, Belo Horizonte! You sent me home smiling after the show. Unfortunately, we had a very early wake up call to go on to our next city, Rio! No matter how little sleep I got, I was still so excited to explore Rio! I was determined to go see the statue of Jesus Cristo but that’s when my little sleep kicked in and deterred me from going to the tippy top of that mountain; ESPECIALLY after I saw those beaches! My goodness, what a beautiful view with the mountains sprinkled with houses in the background!

My day off turned out to be amazing! We went out with Crystal’s old spanish teacher from high school, Johnathan. He moved down here years ago and did an excellent job of showing us around! First stop was Ipanema Beach (of course) Rie and I, the jazz musicians that we are were humming as many bossas on the way over as we could think of. There were stunning views, amazing weather (cooler than I expected.. it is winter), sunshine, and very chilly water!

But out of all these things, take a guess at what I was most excited about… the FOOD that these guys were walking around the beach selling! I couldn’t wait to check it out! Johnathan got us these amazing globo biscotti cookies.. one bag was sweet, and the other salty (perfect!). They were little round airy puffs of crunchy and crackly cookies (not a typical cookie). They were more like an air popped morsel. Of course, we couldn’t just wash these down with water.. that’d be nuts. We had to get the traditional drink, which was lemonade mixed with mate (pr. “maCHa”) tea! These weren’t just Arnold Palmers people.. these were different. The tea was a little spicy. They should be called Adi Palmers. yeah? lol

After the beach and our delectable late afternoon snack we had to go out to dinner for a traditional Brazilian meal. Johnathan hipped us to the dish, feijaoda which black beans (cooked with pork of course) with different kinds of meats that you stir in. It also comes with ribbons of collards, orange slices, fried yuca (could eat those all day) and powdered yuca which looks like sand. It’s the yummiest and the coolest texture! In addition to this we had a huge fish stew and trout with capers. Naturally, I was in a food coma.

I highly recommend where we ate. It’s a place called Casa de Feijaoda in Rio with beautiful people working there and incredible food! Do I dare say quite possibly the best food I’ve had yet this leg? I think I will!

Wanting to explore a little more, (even though our lack of sleep was kicking in big time at this point) we went to downtown Rio and check out Lapa which is where there are a lot of samba clubs and bars. We heard some local live music and learned a little bit of samba moves in the street with Johnathan, Crystal, and Rie!

It was such a blast and I think (I hope!) I got a good dose of what life in Rio is like! For this trip I decided to leave my phone and everything behind, so I’m waiting for Johnathan to email me all of the pictures of the food I took with his phone, and I had to get to a place where I actually had internet. As a matter of fact, I’m backstage right now writing this post. We’re going on in a few hours for Rock in Rio!

I’m excited to share the pictures with you guys in the next post, and looking forward (as always) to partying with you guys tonight at the Mrs Carter Show! We like to partyyyyy.. heyy heyyy heyyyyy

See you in a few RIO!

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Belo Horizonte Adventure!

Today was our day off in Belo Horizonte and it was such a blast! Brazil, you are such a beautiful country with amazing people! At first I didn’t think anything was going to happen outside of the hotel today, since we’re all pretty unfamiliar with Belo Horizonte, but it turned out to be a day full of adventure, thanks to our lovely tour guide, Raquel!
Let’s start at the beginning. First was the Central Market:

My mind goes into overdrive whenever I’m in a market, especially a fun one like this! There were so many colors, scents, shapes and sizes.. I wanted to try everything! (I’m not kidding, our tour guide Raquel was like “wow she really does want to eat everything doesn’t she?!”) Starting with empadas.. the perfect balanced bite of crusty dough, salty beef, and melty creamy cheese. Ah, heaven! Rie wanted to get more to bring home, they were so good! Here’s Rie, Bibi, Raquel, and myself:

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Next up was the Brazilian cachaca, explained to me by Raquel:

We chased our empadas with the sweetest pineapple I’ve ever tasted. yum!

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Not only were there lots of yummy things to eat, but there were lots of babies! Here’s Larry’s new friend:

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Our next stop on the Belo Horizonte Adventure was to hear a little bit of a very happening Brazilian pop band, Jota Quest play in the park!

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Continuing on in our music/food/adventure filled day, we stopped to enjoy acai bowls with granola and banana! Apparently the acai fruit is known in the amazon as the “viagra of the amazon”.. Little fun fact for ya.. 😉 lol!

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The best part about eating this antioxidant packed snack is the color it turns your tongue..

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After that we took a drive with Praca Do Papas in mind as our destination and took in the scenery and happened to take a roller coaster ride! (??) I mean, we drove down the steepest hill I’ve ever seen in my life. The one in the video yelling “we’re all gonna die”.. yeah, that’s me.

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Belo Horizonte, thank you for an amazing adventure packed day filled with food, music, breathtaking views, a rich culture, and lots of love. My heart goes out to you and I cannot wait to play for you all tomorrow night!
Eu amo voce!
Adi

Fortaleza

We made it to South America! What’s up, Fortaleza?! Well, I’ve had a pleasant day and a half so far, since it’s been practically a vacation! We had to get here and wait around for the stage and everything to be built. So i’ve just been getting work done, going to the gym, hangin by the pool, running on these beautiful beaches (I did see a guy get chased down and tasered though on that little adventure) and NETFLIX works here! (I’m in the 5th season of MadMen)

Tonight we had a little rehearsal at the stadium here and it’s HUGE! I think they said it holds 50,000 people or so? I don’t know about you, but when I see a big open space like that, I just really want to run around.. but at the expense of having the crew and everyone think i’m completely nuts I settled for strapping my horn around my neck and walking around while warming up. (After traveling for so long and being away from my horn I start to get that practice itch.. You musicians know what I mean.)

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Yesterday we went out to lunch at Coco Bambu and had the freshed seafood! It was so yummy. Of course, placing the order with the waiter was a little difficult, seeing as I only know one word of Portuguese.. and I guess it’s really nothing like Spanish because Kat even had a difficult time. I really wish I got on video her trying to order honey.. “You know.. miele… bee zzzz zzz zzz” (flutters her hands in the air like a bee) It was a good attempt, and kind of fun playing a real life game of charades.. Meanwhile the waiter looks at us like we’re nuts. Ah well, It was a perfectly balanced lunch with fresh ingredients, that I was so grateful for after the airplane food. (Preservative central, right?)Oh, I left out a key detail.. those mashed potatoes with the crust on top.. bombdotcom!

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The breakfast at the hotel was delicious too! Those little buns with the guava jelly in the middle are dangerous! Guava is one of my favorite flavors. Mmm mmm mmm! They eat fruit like it’s candy here. I can really dig that, however I’ve really been eyeing up that Twix in my mini bar. (aye yaye yayee..) I wonder how long it’s been sitting there.. :/ lol

Here’s some shots from rehearsal:

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Today is also Brazil’s Independence Day. Happy birthday Brazil!! I’m glad I could share it with you, and I’m so looking forward to playing here in Fortaleza tomorrow night!

P.s.- Let me know how you all like my new “Where’s waldo” shirt. I’m enjoying it quite much :).

“Ah Rio” Vinaigrette

I’ve been away for the past few days because I’ve been working on something big for “Adi’s Jazz Kitchen” that’ll be posted by tomorrow! In the meantime though, I made a quick vinaigrette last night to top a crunchy spring mix salad with lots of vegetables from my mom’s garden. I was really in the mood for something light, and it just so happened  my boyfriend was practicing in another room, playing the perfect music to accompany me while in the kitchen, Ron Carter’s “Ah Rio”..

“Ah Rio”‘s got such a playful groove that immediately lifts me up, puts a smile on my face, and makes me want to dance. Ironically enough, I have the same reaction to tasting this vinaigrette. There’s no doubt about it. It’s bold, crisp, and lively.. the perfect ingredients for a great jazz recording.

Yield: Serves 2

What you need: 

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • salt/pepper to taste

Method:

Whisk all the ingredients together. Toss with salad. (Can be refrigerated and saved for a few days)

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Improvise:

  • Try adding honey instead of agave
  • Throw in finely diced garlic or shallots for more flavor
  • Try another type of vinegar, like white wine vinegar, rather than apple cider vinegar

Hey, speaking of Rio, see you on thursday Brazil!