Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Stitely music



12
Dec
12

Official Opinions: The food that smothers you in love

Besides family, friends, music and gifts, one of the most important holiday elements is food. The main meal is what ties everything together as we all smile after a great meal, so here’s a big family favorite with a twist. I come from a mainly Irish/Scottish/German family but we’ve recently added a flair of Maltese culture to the family mix. So break out the fork and knife, here’s how you make a Maltese Lasagna.

Enjoy!
~Cassie J. Stewart~

WARNING: This isn’t your average everyday layer by layer lasagna. Oh no, this is the king of lasagnas. Be prepared to have leftovers. It’s the Maltese way.

Maltese Lasagna

Cheese and meat goodness

Supposedly for a 14″ pan that’s 4″ deep

Ingredients:

Parmesan                                         1 big bottle
Shredded   Mozzarella                   1 pounds
Onions                                              6 big onions
Garlic                                                3 big garlic cloves
Tomatoes                                         8 tomatoes
Paprika                                             small Bottle
Parsley                                              A medium fresh bushel
Salt                                                    small bottle
Pepper                                              small bottle
Nutmeg                                            small bottle
Whole milk                                      1  gallon
Flower                                              1 pound, all purpose flower
Butter                                               1 medium sized container-  spreadable
Ground meat- chicken or beef    1 or 2 pounds
Barilla lasagna (pre-boiled)        5 boxes
Canned tomato sauce                   1 big can
Foil                                                   1 box

Directions:
Step 1:
Peal and slice all the onions, tomatoes, parsley and garlic!

Step 2:
(A) Using a deep pot,  put some olive oil or butter with the onions and garlic . Let the onions and garlic cook until they are adequately done. Make sure you stir regularly (but not too much) to prevent the onions from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

(B) In another pot put the ground beef or chicken (Your choice) and cook until it is adequately done.  Remember to stir but don’t over stir.

Step 3:
(A) When the onions and the garlic are ready, add the tomatoes, tomato sauce (not too much sauce, remember the fresh tomatoes have already added some sauce) and the cooked beef/chicken to the deep pot with onions and stir!

(B) Add paprika, parsley (fresh), dashes of salt & pepper and continue stirring.

(C) put the flame on low and let it simmer while you start working on the white sauce. (remember to stir regularly to prevent it from burning)

Step 4:
(A) Put all the milk in a deep pot and  get a whisk.

(B) Put the flame on low/medium and continuously stir without stopping until the milk is hot. (do not stop stirring)

(C) turn the flame off  for the red sauce and let it sit for a while.

(D). When the milk is relatively hot, slowly start adding a spoon of flour at a time and stir.  Every time you add a spoon of flour make sure you  stir until it dissolves before you add another one.

(E) When milk starts to feel adequately thick, stop adding flour.

Remember! Don’t add to much flour!

(F) Add some nutmeg to the mix (not too much). Then turn off the flame and keep stirring for 5 to 10 minutes until  it starts to thicken. Let it simmer with the flame off.

Step 5
(A) Lather the pans you are going to use with butter, don’t be shy about it.

(B) Put the red sauce, white sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella next to the buttered pans in preparation.

(C) Pre-heat the oven at 450

Step 6
The Layering process:

(1) Lasagna sheet
(2) red sauce
(3) white sauce
(4) mozzarella
(5) Parmesan

Repeat until you reach the top of the pan, make sure the  very top is the  mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, not the lasagna sheet.

Also, do not overflow the dish. It is better to put one layer less, that way it will not over flow in the oven.

Step 7
When you are done layering, place a piece of foil on the dish and place it in the oven. Check it every 15 minutes. You will know it is ready by taking a butter knife and putting it through the layers. If it goes through without any pressure then the lasagna is ready.

Remove the foil and put the the flame on broiler. Let the top burn a little, not too much then take out of the oven and let it cool down.

Serve with family and friends, and you probably will still have enough leftovers for 2-3 more nights.

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10
Dec
12

Official Opinions: The Macklemore the merrier

So we’ve come back around to another Monday. Hopefully your weekend was as great as ours! Today, Stitely wanted to share with you a rising hip hop artist named Macklemore and one of his hit songs this year “Same Love”. Macklemore, also known by is real name Ben Haggerty grew up in Seattle, Washington and has been releasing music independently since 2000 but has only recently gained a strong following from the mainstream music world. Since teaming up with producer Ryan Lewis in 2010 the two have gained popularity through the web and have thus far accumulated over 41 million hits on Youtube.

Macklemore

Don’t worry, he can take the heat.

“Same Love” deals with same sex marriage and rejecting homophobia as a norm promoted within the culture and genre of hip hop and life in general. The message to get across from Macklemore’s song is that love is unconditional. Love is everywhere. Love heals the things that we thought were broken. It take’s a lot of courage for a straight rapper to call out his own industry for its irrational fears.

For having that strength to stand for what is right, we salute you Macklemore. Your positive messages in the rest of your music shows that you’re deeper than the average rapper. And you have a sense of humor as well?! (Check out Thrift Shop; it’s awesome.) It’s people like Macklemore that make Stitely proud to be a part of Stand Up.

“We press play/ Don’t press pause/ Progress, march on!”

07
Dec
12

Official Opinions: Docs that Rock Take 2

A few weeks ago Stitely gave you some of the most famous music documentaries and rockumentaries that changed the way we see music. This week, we’re giving you some of our personal favorite music documentaries!

1. When You’re Strange – 2009 by Tom DiCillo

This documentary exploded on to the film festival circuit when it first appeared at Sundance claiming it was going to tell the real story of The Doors which was a direct reference and remark back to the 1991 biopic about the Doors staring Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison.The documentary looks at archived footage from all the band members and brings out a truer sense of how everyone’s minds worked in the The Doors than what was featured in Oliver Stone’s 1991 biopic. Sorry Val, this one got a Grammy and was nominated for an Emmy.

Choose a disc by hairstyle

Choose a disc by hairstyle

2. The Beatles Anthology – 1995 by Geoff Wonfor

This 8 episode disc set features anything and everything you can think of as a Beatles fan. Going chronologically each disc represents a different time in The Beatles life and style choices. It’s a must see for Beatles junkies and relaxing long strokes of pure musical genius for everyone else. The only problem with this documentary of the performances of the Beatles is it’s so long there’s no way to watch all 8 episodes of the band’s life in one sitting. This is a multi-day challenge.

3. Flight 666 – 2009 by Sam Dunn

Metal music is awesome, it’s a known fact that metal fans are some of the most die hard fans out there in the music world. The concerts are gigantic and the band have all kinds of wild dreams to make their fans go crazy. The grandfather of metal rock, Iron Maiden is still in the game of music tours and they are still coming up with new ways to showcase their music. This documentary follows Iron Maiden band mates around as they figure out how to pull off their tour around the world with some concerts on a 747. That’s right, concert, mid-flight, flown by one of the band mates, because why not have a pilot’s license as well as being a metal god? It’s an interesting ride as they prep for their concerts and how they really pull off this stunt.

4. Marley – 2012 by Kevin MacDonald

The most recent of the documentaries on our list is all about Bob Marley, his family and the music he shared with the world. By interviewing his family and retelling the story of Jamaica’s pride hitting the big time in the music business everyone gains a new and better understanding of the man behind the movement of reggae.

Look at these Gods

Look at these Gods

5. This is Spinal Tap – 1984 by Rob Reiner

We saved the best for last. Technically, this isn’t a Rockumentary. Instead it’s a mockumentary of a rockumentary. Meaning it’s fake, but the film runs its show so closely to the real thing it could pass as the real deal. The movie follows rock group Spinal Tap claimed to be ‘the world’s loudest band’ around on an American comeback tour. Like many rockumentaries there is scandal, crisis and of course performances and music. Music so awesome and loud they go to 11.

03
Dec
12

Official Opinions: Thinkin’ Bout who?…You know.

Happy Monday everyone! Happy December! Time has just flown by this year but we wanted to take a moment to think about what’s really important. Yes, we were thinking about you. More specifically Frank Ocean‘s “Thinkin’ Bout You”. To get even more into the nitty gritty we were thinking back to SNL earlier this year where Frank Ocean was the musical guest and John Mayer joined up with the talented R&B singer songwriter to play guitar for both musical numbers. Sigh. What a handsome team.

Frank Ocean

Shh he’s reached Zen

Ocean’s song has been everywhere this year and for good reason, his first debut studio album Channel Orange came out this year in July and has spread like wild fire across the radio, internet and every which way. In addition to being widely successful with his debut album, he is also a member of the hip hop collective OFTGKTA more commonly known as Odd Future.

A soft spoken man with a voice of an angel. We’ll take it. Also it’s been said that Beyonce Knowles cried the first time she listened to this track. True or not, you have to admit you can’t blame her. Here at Stitely we feel the same way. We all agreed, he’s an artist we all love.

30
Nov
12

Official Opinions: Chicago is your home for the holidays

Chicago hosts so many holiday events throughout November and December it’s hard to choose which ones to attend. Here at Stitely we once again combed through tons of seasonal events and recommends these as some of the best.

  • For a fun day appropriate for all ages head over to Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest. This indoor winter playground includes an indoor ice-skating arena, rides, obstacle courses and a huge Ferris wheel. Not your thing? Then hide from the winter winds and watch the festive band performances throughout the day. It’s impossible to be a Scrooge at this indoor winter wonderland. (By the way, did I mention it’s indoors?!)
  • For merry melodies check out the upcoming Voices of the Season at the Garfield Park Conservatory on December 2nd. Celebrate the season by enjoying the melodies of various choral groups throughout the Conservatory. One group stands out from the others though, our very own Rachel sings with the Wicker Park Choral Singers who will happen to be participating in the event and its FREE; you have to love that. Come enjoy the music as well as some refreshments and holiday activities.
  • One of my favorite childhood memories is driving through nearby suburban neighborhoods to “ohhhhh” and “ahhhh” at the colorful lights.  Why not bring this experience to Chicago? Hop on the “Holiday Lights Tour” with the Chicago Trolley and Double Decker Co. to see the beautiful holiday lights of Chicago. Sights include Macy’s holiday windows on State Street, the Daley Plaza tree, Buckingham Fountain and many more.  Make sure to purchase your tickets in advance and check the weather so you know how to stay cozy on the ride!
  • Want to check out some more beautiful lights but don’t want to spend any money to do so? Why don’t you head over to the Lincoln Park Zoo to experience the entire Zoo light up for the holiday season. Check out the animals but also get the mesmerizing lights that make the holiday season memorable. The lights turn on from 5-9pm and Santa is there to take photos with. Besides that though the zoo is offering new 3-D displays, live ice carvings every night and a musical light show. It’s fun for the whole family you won’t want to miss it!
  • While it’s wonderful to be with family during the holidays, there are always those hysterical, awkward, I-CAN’T-BELIEVE-YOU-JUST-DID-THAT moments. This year Second City celebrates these weird holiday experiences with its “Nutcracking Holiday Revue” show. Showcasing a variety of skits along with improv and songs, this show is going to be a hit!  Performances run until December 31st so get your tickets now.

We hope you have a very happy holiday season. Now get out there and enjoy it!

28
Nov
12

Guest Star: The Doctors Durkin know how to party

On June 16, 2012 we were honored to play for Doctors Julianne Ruppel and Michael Durkin’s wedding at the elegant Drake Hotel. After the couple and their guests celebrated the ceremony and cocktail hour, the Stitely Orchestra welcomed the newlyweds into their east-coast celebration with “Just What I Needed” by the Cars, before transitioning into their first dance, “La Vie en Rose.” Once the guests had taken their seats, the Stitely Orchestra serenaded the Drake Hotel staff’s champagne parade with their signature mashup of the “Colonel Bogey March” and “The Night They Invented Champagne.”

Tara Moser of LOLA Event Productions did a great job coordinating the details of an evening filled with special toasts, speeches, and of course dancing throughout! After cutting the cake to “It Had To Be You”, boogie-ing down to a few songs, a sweet speech from the Bride and Groom, and enjoying some post-dinner coffee and cake, we kept dancing going with the special dances. Julie danced with her dad to “My Girl,” Mike danced with his mother to Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World,” and the couple celebrated the longest-married couple in attendance with an anniversary dance set to “In My Life” by the Beatles.

Guests enjoyed photo booth snapshots thanks to Photo Booth Express, and rocked out to lots of Motown, 80s dance hits, and Classic Rock right up until the last dance, “Don’t Stop Believin’”. But the party didn’t end there; DJ Vincent shook things up and took this party into the early hours of the morning! Kudos to Bill McCluskey at the Drake Hotel, Stephanie at Anthony Gowder Design for her beautiful work, and to Dennis Lee for capturing some great photographic memories that will last this loving couple a lifetime!

27
Nov
12

official opinions: Perpetuum Mobile- music inspired by food poisoning

After stuffing our faces with turkey and watching hours of football last week (go Bears!), everyone at Stitely needed a complex instrumental tune to break us out of our food comas. Check out Perpetuum Mobile from Penguin Café Orchestra, a group envisioned and founded by British musician Simon Jeffes as a result of food poisoning! After becoming ill, Jeffes had a strange vision and a poem came to him describing the “Penguin Café”. He began writing about the imagined café, and eventually began writing music that would be played in the café. Check out this  interview with Jeffes about his vision & the beginnings of the Orchestra.




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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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