Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bringing it back home!

Ashley, Kaleigh and I have been eating stir fry a lot.  It is a quick, easy, fast food in our house that is generally packed with some good veggies.  Since it has been being made as a quick food, we have been doing the dirty and using store bought sauces.  They are generally high in salt, expensive, and never enough in the bottle.  This time I decided to make my own.

In the past I have made my own peanut sauces but Kaleigh has been reluctant to eat them.  She said it had too much of a peanut butter flavor.  This sauce she loved though.  It was a nice ginger peanut sauce and came out perfect.  It was also far cheaper than the store bought stuff and only took a few minutes to make.  I think it will be awhile before we go back to buying a peanut sauce at the store!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

More Masala!

Since starting the private chef menu with my new business, Squashed, our Channa Masala has easily been the most popular dish.  I did not expect it to be as popular as it is but considering there are no Indian restaurants within 40 or 50 miles, it makes some sense.  Due to this, I often make extra for us to have for Ashley, Kaleigh and I to have for dinner as well.

We have been eating it so often it has quickly become the main staple meal in our home.  The girls take it in their lunches and we eat it at least weekly for dinner.  I still make each order fresh per order but keep making leftovers for us to eat.  It has been great as it has always been one of our favorite meals.

I can not wait to see where the next step in the Squashed company takes us, it has been a thrilling ride so far!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Apple Picking 2015!

In Georgia, Ashley, Kaleigh, and I had a tradition of going apple picking at a fun festival type place in Northern Georgia.  Last year, we went with my sister and her kids to a local place here in Maine.  This year, I took the girls to a place I grew up going to with my mum.

The orchard was much larger now than when I was a child.  There were also far more people there then when I was young.  Still, it was a lot of fun and we were even surprised when we found pear trees to pick from as well!

We have yet to do anything with the apples and pears we picked but we had such an awesome time at this orchard that we decided it would be our new apple picking spot, until we have so many fruiting trees we can just go into our yard.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Moving to the Orange

Since going to karate for about 9 months, Kaleigh has earned her orange belt.  She is learned the last parts of her first kata and has learned all of her basics.  For the past 9 months, I have take her to the dojo, Mika Randolph, nearly 5 times a week and she has no interest in slowing down.

Kaleigh has an affinity for the intellectual piece while still being challenged by the physical demands.  I am so grateful that we found this amazing dojo, set of instructors, and the activity that has been so rewarding for Kaleigh.

Between sleeping more soundly, better behavior, and increased self esteem, karate has been one of the best things we have done for Kaleigh.  We are so proud of her accomplishments and every day she talks about her next belt and eventually earning her black belt.  Thank you to get sensi, Renchi Glen Fitzmaurice and all the staff that has been so supportive of her!

Monday, September 28, 2015

The mystic

For much of the summer we have been having punk shows at our home under the name, Squashed Warehouse.  It has been a lot of fun but there have been questions about the origin of the name for the space.

Squashed Warehouse artwork thanks to Heather Stewart

Just outside the door of the "warehouse" is out double pallet compost bin.  Over the summer, we had several butternut and acorn squash plants grow out of the compost.  They became quite large plants and nearly surrounded one side of the building.  Yesterday, I harvested them.

With such an impressive amount of unintentional produce, the mystic of the name grows.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

An adventure to Fort Knox!

Saturday there was a punk show in Fort Knox Maine!  It was an awesome place to have a show.  Kaleigh and I rode up to the show with our friends in Cheers to Verona.  We listened to some music I did not know on the ride up and even saw a crazed flying turkey zip out in front of the vehicle!  It was quite a ride.

We got the show early which gave us time to explore.  Fort Knox was pretty cool with lots of places to run around and the view over the water was really nice.  The show was cool but sadly the first two bands that played left when they were done.  They both seemed to give the impression that they were above the show and it was not worth their time.  I could be wrong, maybe they had some urgent business to attend to but that is the way it seemed.

Cupido played a screamo metal post hardcore style that is pretty typical of the bands in the Bangor area.  Jonee Earthquake Band delivered their rock and roll surf set.  Cheers to Verona were just having fun and being goofy but still were great to watch.  Then Uncle Spudd killed it to close the show out.

After this trip, I feel like I want to have some day trips with some of these kids, go and do cool things.  It was really a lot of fun!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A week free of gluten

Ashley has been gluten-free for a little over a week now.  Largely, this means that Kaleigh and I are eating mostly gluten-free as well.  It will take some getting used to, as I have not cooked with the intention of being gluten-free before.  Many dishes I make are gluten-free but not intentionally so.

When making a shopping list, we are trying hard to brainstorm meal ideas, snack ideas, and lunch ideas.  It has been a fun challenge.  Fortunately, Ashley is still eating soy, which means BBQ tofu (one of my new favorites) is still on the menu!

I made some great BBQ tofu and combined it with some mashed potatoes (a house favorite as well) and roasted brussel sprouts!  It was a great meal and no ones missed the gluten!

Monday, September 14, 2015

The benefit!

Our show space was born in June and came with some natural limitations.  The first major limitation was our lack of a PA system.  Fortunately, we have some good friends that have them and as long as we book their bands, we will have an active PA.  The second limitation was the lack of insulation.  With just exterior walls, the space get extremely hot with lots of folks inside.  As the Maine winter rolls, in we will be unable to do shows without solving this issue.  Neither of these are cheap fixes.  We threw a benefit show to help get the space in a better state for weather and sound!

The opener for the long day of music was A Bird Among Men.  I am not sure how often he plays outside of Squashed Warehouse but he is one of my favorite acoustic acts in Maine.  He has really clever lyrics as well as interesting vocal progression.  His confidence has really grown since I saw him play for the first time this summer.  Great guy, great music, a great start to the show!

A Bird Among Men
Second was local "part time" ska band Sticker Incentive.  I believe this was their first official show but they did not let their nerves get to them.  They played their tunes quickly and tight.  They were a lot of fun to watch!

Sticker Incentive

The Underwater Dogs were up next.  I saw them recently at a house show they put on but they were actually much better here.  They are a unique garage punk style.  They somehow engineered an old telephone to act as a distorted microphone which is really awesome and adds to their fuzzy sound.

The Underwater Dogs
Fading Dawn was to followed up with a really unique blend of pop punk and metal.  These folks really played their songs well and seemed to have been very well rehearsed.  These were some of the nicest folks at the show too.

Fading Dawn

One of my personal favorites, QQQQQ played in the 5th time slot.  I have seen these young guys several times and I can easily say that this was far and away the best set they have ever played.  They cracked out all of their songs quickly and kept it simple.  They are some incredibly talented musicians for their age and may have found the perfect way to temper that talent with some simplicity.  Awesome set!


Stokin' the Neighbors are 3 guys who have played in several other bands and have a lot of show experience.  They play punk on the poppy side with some edge.  The drummer is really good and is extremely fun to watch.  They played their first show here several months ago and it is obvious the music has progressed, look for them on tour in a few months!

Stokin' the Nieghbors
Crowd favorite, hard working, nicest punk band in the state, Uncle Spudd played in the middle of the late afternoon.  They are a regular here at the Squashed Warehouse but too often I make them play last so I wanted to give them a great time slot for them to showcase their songs.  They destroyed the place.  Folks were going bonkers, dancing the whole set away.  They stuck to most of the more aggressive songs and it kept the crowd engaged.  This band should have the largest punk draw in the state.

Uncle Spudd

Brunswick ska heroes, Sonic Libido followed got the tough job of following an amazing set and were able to keep the pace without missing a beat!   Folks were dancing and skanking all around the space.  They won some new fans for sure, especially with the covers they ran out.  Perfect picks for the crowd.  Apparently, they are usually surly on stage but they seemed nice to the folks here!

Sonic Libido

Cross-Armed Calculator came up from Rhode Island for the show.  They played a doomy, noisy, garage style with no vocals or bass.  They were a lot of fun and brought their huge record distribution with them!  It was great to see some new styles be introduced to the Maine scene as well as seeing lots of folks thumbing through records!

Cross-Armed Calculator

Jimmy Jacked has played mostly bar shows for the last couple years.  They said it had been almost 2 years since they played an all ages show and I think they were surprised how many folks they played for that were under 21 at our space.  The first half of their set was punchy, fast, angsty, old-school punk.  They second half was a little slower but still loads of fun.  The singer really gets involved and clearly loves to play.  I think the band may have realized that the kids still like punk rock, as long as they can get into the shows!  Can not wait to have these folks back.

Jimmy Jacked

One half of Black Market Pine was able to make it and played a great set!  Honestly, this is quickly becoming my favorite Maine band.  The folk punk unit is talented song writers with the best political lyrics in the scene.  Folks are beginning to learn some of the lyrics and sing along as well, which is awesome.  Maine needs more political punk and this band really hits the spot!

Black Market Pine

Closing out was our good friends, Cheers to Verona!  They played some new tunes as well as the old hits.  They are a crowd pleaser for sure.  They are a little slower than the punk bands that usually play our space but they fit this show perfectly and were a great closer to an amazing night!

Cheers to Verona

We raised just over $200 to start some upgrades to the space.  It was amazingly generous of all the bands to come and play such a great show!  We are proud to be a part of the scene and excited for the future of punk in Maine!  Thank you!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Having friends over

Ashley and I are often home bodies and are not really great at reaching out to folks to get together and have fun.  We always enjoy ourselves when we do but for whatever reason, we do not do it often.  This week, despite the social over load of having 3 shows at the house, we wanted to reach out to our friends Lauren and Nate.  We invited them for dinner.

Nate has a daughter Kaleigh's age and they play great together.  Ashley has been trying the gluten-free diet and Lauren has been on it for a couple weeks.

I made some gluten free tacos with a cauliflower "grounds" mixture.  We had some guacamole, beans, lettuce, onions, cilantro, salsa, on corn tortillas.  I think it was pretty good.  I do not have much experience cooking gluten free stuff but it was a fun challenge!

After dinner we roasted some vegan marshmallows over the fire pit, which Nate is amazing at starting.  It was a great night, lots of fun.  It is really nice to climb out of our shell and spend time with like-minded folks.  We need to do it more often!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

3 shows in one week...

We has a total of three shows at the house this past week with a total of 6 touring bands.  It was a busy week for us.  I did get some fun pictures though!  We have another show this weekend then a break, which will be welcomed.

All Quiet Ire

Bummed Out

Chatterbox and the Latterday Satanist

J.C. & the Pennies

A Bird Among Men