This Monday, I was lucky enough to be in attendance as history was made at Yankee Stadium; it wasn’t a perfect game or another record-setting homerun hit by A-Rod, but the first concert to be held in the new ballpark since it was opened last year. Headlined by Jay-Z and Eminem--two of the biggest names in hip-hop, this was no ordinary concert.
This wasn’t just a big night for Yankee Stadium, but for hip-hop music. With a show that has been compared to do historically what the Beatles did for rock at Shea Stadium in 1965, it is obvious that the genre has come a long way. Performing in the Bronx took on another level of significance being, as Eminem noted to the crowd, “the mother effing birthplace of hip-hop!” The concert was part of the tour titled “Home and Home,” in which the best-selling rappers joined forces to host a couple of shows in each of their hometowns. Two weeks prior, the concert was held at Detroit’s Comerica Park.
I’ve been a big Eminem fan since I was 12 years old. You might not take me as the type, but back in the day when N’SYNC and the Backstreet Boys were hot stuff I was rolling my eyes and plastering the walls of my room with Eminem posters. I was less “I Want it That Way” and more “I Just Don’t Give A F*&#!” I’m going to tone this down a few notches so I don’t sound like a total freak, but I’ve always appreciated Eminem for overcoming adversity to follow a dream that might have seemed ridiculous to a lot of people. He may not seem like the best role model for a teenager, but I never took anything he said too seriously. I just appreciated the music and loved his attitude. I grew up with him as he grew up as an artist. He is truly one of the best at what he does. Plus, I enjoy his face. I’ll always be an Eminem fan.
The minute I heard that this concert was happening, I knew I needed to be there; whatever I had to do, however much I had to pay--I was going. I had to see Eminem live while I knew I had the chance. For me, Jay-Z was just a really awesome bonus. Between the both of them, I knew this was going to be huge. Before tickets even went on sale, a local radio station was holding a contest to call in and win. I knew my odds, but I took a shot anyway. I dialed in every hour laughing at myself, saying “I’m gunna win!” looking past the substantial amount of doubt I felt at every busy signal. Well, guess what? After continuing to try for about three days, I won!
With all of the next-day buzz on the radio and in the newspapers, I still can’t get over that I was a part of that sold-out stadium. The vibe was just ridiculous. After waiting such a long time, it was amazing to finally get to see Eminem in person especially at this point in his career as he makes his comeback following some tough times. Jay-Z is such a strong force in hip-hop and in the music industry in general. He had the crowd going crazy. To top it all off, each artist brought out a number of surprise guests during their performance: D12, 50 Cent and G-Unit, Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Swizz Beats, Memphis Bleek, B.O.B, Drake, Chris Martin from Coldplay, and Beyonce all made an appearance.
My seats weren’t that bad; I wasn’t right next to the stage, but I wasn’t in the nosebleeds either. Truthfully, I could have been sitting on top of a blimp floating above the stadium and I would have been happy just to be around it. It is very possible that I couldn’t have been there at all, so I am just very thankful that I was—and for free! You’ve got to be in it to win it, people!
I really wanted to write about my experience at the concert, but this is a food blog, and I know you come here for the food. I would never forget about you, so I’ve created two sweet recipes inspired by each of the headliners: Big Pimpin’ Pancakes and Slim Shadies. They are my homage to an incredible, historical kind of night. If you’re feeling like a pimp, chocolate pancakes with a little bit of rum, topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream is how you put your mack down. I also suggest adding peanut butter chips or chocolate chips for an extra something. Slim Shadies, chewy white chocolate chip cookies topped with white chocolate lemon icing, are of course, finished with a few M & M's candies! Enjoy.
Big Pimpin’ Pancakes (Chocolate Pancakes with Caramel Sauce):
Yield: 5 large pancakes
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 Tbs Cocoa Powder
- ¾ tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup milk
- 1 Tbs sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbs melted butter
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Whipped cream and confectioner’s sugar to top
- Peanut butter chips or chocolate chips (optional)
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tbs butter
- About ¼ cup of milk or heavy cream, use more as needed
• For pancakes: combine dry ingredient together in one bowl, and wet ingredients in another. Add wet ingredient to dry and whisk together until all elements of your batter are fully incorporated with no lumps. Keep in mind, this is a pourable batter and should be fairly loose. Fold in peanut butter chips or chocolate chips if using.
• Heat a little bit of vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet. Ladle batter into the pan. Air bubbles with start to form at pop at the surface of the pancake; wait until most of the bubbles have stopped or slowed down, and flip. Cook other side of pancakes for a minute or so.
• For caramel sauce: heat sugar and water in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Keep a watchful eye and a low flame. Simmer sugar water mixture until it begins to turn golden; the sugar will quickly begin to caramelize—it is important to stay alert so that it doesn’t burn. Remove pan from heat and quickly whisk in the butter. Wait a few seconds and slowly incorporate the milk, adding a little at a time and whisking. Remove caramel from pan and cool. The sauce should be light brown, slightly thick and pourable.
• Pour caramel sauce over pancakes to serve. Top with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar and whipped cream.
Slim Shadies (White Chocolate Chip Cookies with White Chocolate Lemon Icing):
Cookie Recipe Adapted from: “The Chewy,” Food Network, Alton Brown
Yield: About 1 dozen cookies
- 1 1/8 cups bread flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 cup sugar
- 2/3 cups brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar, plus more to bring to desired consistency
- 1/4 cups white chocolate chips, melted over a double boiler
- 1/4 cup water
- Juice and zest from 1 lemon (taste to see if it needs more)
- Sprinkles and M&M’s for decorating