Marina and the Diamonds, Take Two

 

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Have you heard of Marina and the Diamonds? She’s one of my favorite contemporary performers. Marina is a singer from Wales who’s part Greek. She’s beautiful, and has got this gorgeous operatic pop-style voice. My good friend John introduced her to me a few years ago. A group of us geekily bought tickets right away to see her perform when she came to the States for her first tour. She played at the Doug Fir, one of my favorite venues, and I spent the evening sipping vodka and falling in love with her.

Side Note: I misjudged calling my blog post  recap “Sexy-Time Photos of Marina and the Diamonds”. I get so many blog hits from people searching for sexy xxx pics of Marina. They must be disappointed when there’s a few poorly lit photos of Marina on stage and a whole lot of photos of kale and champagne cocktails.

When I found out that she was coming back to the states for her second album release, I immediately bought my ticket. Well, that’s not true at all. I talked about buying a ticket for a few months, but was feeling petulant about Ticketmaster prices being so exorbitant (the price was DOUBLE what was listed in fees), that it took me until the week of to actually bring myself to bite the bullet.

 

Marina Band Group

Headed to the show at The Aladdin after eating Los Gorditos tacos and drinking beer on Apex’s patio. This photo was taken with my friend Reggie’s phone.

 

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Black Currant Framboise from Apex, taken with Instagram

 

The show was fantastic. And she’s adorable and tiny and fashionable and has an amazing voice and and and and I love her.

 

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Sunglasses! So cute!!!!! <3

 

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She mentioned in passing to me (and the sold out Aladdin Theater) that she’s coming back for a longer tour this Fall. Thank God. I can’t get enough.

My current favorites from her  second album Electra Heart are “How To Be A Heartbreaker” and “Primadonna”. My Spotify has been nonstop Marina for the past few weeks.

In which Marina offers fail-proof relationship advice

 

Her first US single

 

 

RATING: 5 out 5 champagne cocktails

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

 

Last night was Valentine’s Day. I celebrated solo by opening a nice bottle of wine from the Willamette Valley, Argyle Pinot Noir and making chocolate peanut butter cups.

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I may or may not have listened to Air Supply and The Dirty Dancing Soundtrack while toiling over the stovetop and flinging chocolate everywhere. Funny story: I didn’t know I had proof of my V Day chocolate-making written on my face until I glanced in bathroom mirror, a few hours after my baking extravaganza. I saw chocolate smears all over my cheeks and chin. Sexy.

Tonight, I’m drinking more wine (I have a whole bottle to drink before it goes bad!

wine This picture is from 4 years ago but aptly conveys my wine-hardcoreness.

I’m throwing my mouth on the Enjoy-the-wine-while-it’s-still-good grenade.) and experimenting with my new laptop (!).  It’s pretty awesome, mainly just because I can capitalize letters, use the @ sign, and scatter punctuation everywhere I go: for example, here’s a whole bouquet of exclamation points: !!!!!!!

(Bonus points for knowing what story that references to, or at least which author. Hint: He’s one of my top three all-time all-time favorite authors.)

I also want to share with you my recipe for mouthwateringly delicious chocolate peanut butter cups. The recipe is inspired by Averie’s raw recipe. I’ve made them raw before and they turned out amazing (Oh baby, turns out I DO like it raw!) but I wanted a more sinful and decadent chocolate peanut butter cup. I was kind of tipsy from the wine (and homemade kahlua that was gifted to me by The Spicy Vegan.  Rumor is there’s a recipe coming soon to her blog; stay tuned!) so sort of made it up the recipe as I went.

Surprisingly, they turned out amazeballs. Or fantastiplums, as my friend Gareth would say.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

vegan * gluten-free * soy-free (if made with soy-free Earth Balance)

Time: 20 minutes, not including freezer time

Ingredients:

  • 1 package vegan dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 T Earth Balance
  • 2 T Coconut Butter (found, expensively, in most grocery stores)

  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 2 T agave sweetener
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 T nutritional yeast (really!)

Combine in a double broiler first four ingredients (chocolate chips, vanilla, earth balance and coconut butter). If you don’t have a double broiler (*raises hand* I don’t, I don’t!) just use two pots. Fill the bottom one with about 1/4 cup water. Place the first four ingredients in the top pot and stir frequently, over medium heat, until melted and liquidy enough to spoon.

Meanwhile, combine last four ingredients. Mix until smooth.

Spoon chocolate into mini cupcake wrappers. If you have mini cupcakes pans this will be easier, but it will work either way. Once the chocolate coats the bottom of the wrapper, drop in a dollop of peanut butter goo. Spoon more chocolate on top, until peanut butter is covered. Repeat this process until ingredients are used up. You might have more peanut butter goo or more melted chocolate, but that’s certainly not a bad thing. You can be like me and smear the rest of the chocolate on your face, or you can save either  for future recipes. I personally had peanut butter goo left over and will incorporate it into my oatmeal for breakfast the next few days.

 

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When finished, you should have about 16 mini chocolate peanut butter cups. Set in freezer to harden, about 15 minutes. Haphazardly stick the dishes in the sink and plan on getting to them after your next glass of wine. Actually get to them the next morning.

Oh. My. Chocolate. These are really good. These are not in any way healthy (unless you want to count the Vitamin B12 in the yeast—booyeah!) but they are very tasty and satisfy one’s dark chocolate tooth.

They are great as party appetizers or tantalizing your coworkers with yummy vegan and gluten-free treats.

Basically, you should give most of them away as otherwise you will eat them all and die from a rich dark chocolate overdose.

To end this chocolate and wine filled post with, I will share a video of an absolutely lovely cover of Romeo and Juliet.

 

 

My heart is beating like a jungle drum

 

Have you guys heard of this cool new band called Weezer?

 

I may not be the best at discovering new music, but I am really good at discovering songs and bands that have been around for years.  When this happens I gleefully assume I’m the first to know, only to, in fact, have the missed the boat by a decade.

So if you want some hot new beats from 2008, check out these two videos. i have listened to each about 2 dozen times in the last eight hours. Quite a feat, considering i was asleep for seven of those.

 

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These two songs are complimented by the delight of their videos, so go ahead and watch, listen, and repeat.

 

In other news, registration for vida vegan con may or may not go live tonight. (aka WHEEEEEEEEEE!)

Sexy-time photos of Marina and the Diamonds

 

You guys, the show last night was so freakin awesome!

I gulped sipped a tall Monopolowa (a Russian potato vodka, da?) and soda, with a splash of peach bitters while waiting for the lovely Marina to come on stage.

The Doug Fir has to be one of my favorite venues in Portland. With a bar, fireplace AND patio upstairs, the downstairs is an intimate little room with a bar in the back and room to stand at the front, eyes glued to the stage.

And my eyes were glued to the stage the whole time last night. Marina puts on a great show. She’s sexy, energetic, and has a powerhouse of a voice. I hope she maintains her rise in popularity, because I would most definitely pay to see her on an American tour again.

 Are you ready for some high-quality photos of the show last night? Well, you won’t get those. (Between my height and little point-and-shoot, concert photos rarely turn out for me!) But you will get….. these:

 

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As you can see, her outfits are a blast—really whimsical and thematic. She’s a natural performer.

I loved this show.

 

RATING: 5 out 5 champagne cocktails

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Rating System:

champagnecocktail I would rather be locked out of my house with gold-plated cookies burning in the oven.

champagnecocktailchampagnecocktail I’d rather be paying bills.

champagnecocktailchampagnecocktailchampagnecocktail I’m having fun, but probably daydreaming about tacos.

champagnecocktailchampagnecocktailchampagnecocktailchampagnecocktail This is so awesome, I can’t wait to tweet about this!

 champagnecocktailchampagnecocktailchampagnecocktailchampagnecocktailchampagnecocktail I am peeing my pants with glee.