Archive for July, 2012

High tea sendoff for the Phelps family
July 24, 2012

Really, what better way to bring a little bit of London to Baltimore, and send the Phelps family off London in style,  than to have high tea, Four Seasons style? I mean, if they can’t handle it, who can??

There’s a lot of hand talkin’ going on here, but I’m pretty sure
it wasn’t as serious as it looks. Debbie Phelps on the left…in
case you didn’t know!

Momma Debbie Phelps, who let’s just say it, is always precious….was so excited…I mean, of course she is!  Trip to London, her baby boy Michael’s last Olympics…as he makes another run at the history books. I asked how she gets herself together on a trip …given the fact that she KNOWS all cameras will be on her when her son is in the pool. She admits she is super organized about clothing…all outfits are planned in advance and packed accordingly with lists, etc., so that nothing is forgotten. I like it. I want to be more like that.

Hilary Phelps…in a royal blue dress. She’s funny, smart,
and has a killer smile….

Her daughter Hilary(who has the skin of a two-year old I swear) is also psyched about the trip. Funny story…I got to know Hilary on Twitter, because she likes the same things I do, yoga…healthy eating…and she has a great website called Genuine Joy….you know. Who wouldn’t follow such a cool girl? And then Kate Amara told me that Hilary Phelps was going to the Olympics and would be doing some stories for us. I looked at her, with what have been a confused expression, and I asked her, “So, she is a big Olympics fan? Why is she doing stories for us?” Kate replied, “She’s Michael Phelps sister.” Light dawns on yonder rock. I truly had no idea they were related. Hey, she still invited me to tea….it’s all good.

Hello lover….steamed puddings a la Four Seasons…

And while most people were talking, and not in my opinion paying nearly enough attention to the food…I made time for it. Incredible shortbread, a concord grape macaroon that was seriously one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, and these crazy little steamed puddings that were, just….just…I wanted to grab all of them and stuff them in my bag, ok? But I did not. 

Green tea with pineapple? I’m all in…

Add really interesting teas and coffees from Lamill Coffee Shop …the tea served in beautiful stoneware cups. It was one of those days I was glad to be me, you know?

Advertisements

Sputnik, Clafoutis, and watermelon salad….that’s what been happening in my world!
July 16, 2012

Softshell crabs Linwoods style on creamed corn bed, with béarnaise sauce….

Ok,….I ate this weekend at a restaurant I haven’t been to in several years. Not for any particular reason, but Linwoods just isn’t on my beaten path…and I just haven’t thought about it. How sad for me…had the most amazing meal there Saturday evening…my first soft shell crabs of the year, served on a creamed corn puddle, with pickled green beans.

Watermelon salad…love the composition of it, hated to mess it
up, but I did!!

And a watermelon salad with feta cheese and little scoops of cucumber sorbet on the top. So pretty…so delicious.

It’s a French classic….for a reason.

But you can’t always eat out, and I had a big bowl of fresh cherries from Whole Foods at half price that needed a home….so I made a cherry clafoutis(pronounced kla-foo-tee’). The recipe I use is from an old French cookbook I’ve had for probably 25 years, but there are plenty of other versions around….one of which I will provide below. But it’s a delicious eggy dessert that can accommodate almost any fruit…I added blueberries to the one above. And dead easy. This recipe from Williams-Sonoma is pretty close to mine…

Saved from the trash….now to be recycled. Sigh.

OK, I know some consider me a recycling freak…and maybe that’s true, because I spend part of my time here at work saving bottles and cans from the trash bins, and walking them over to the recycling bins. You know who you are, people.

I know, I know…what was I thinking???

And this Sputnik looking light fixture I won at an auction two years ago at Center Stage…it’s been sitting in their development office ever since. I went down last week, to finally take it home(and do what with it I still don’t know)….but I forgotten how big the damn thing really is. Probably 40-50 inches in diameter. So there I was on a super hot day, struggling with this thing on Calvert Street, trying to get it in the car without damaging it. Guess where it is now? That’s right, back in the development office. I’m coming up with plan B.

Weekend Getaway…Relaxing in Rhode Island!
July 10, 2012

This pic personifies Rhode Island…stone walls and hydrangeas…
I’m in heaven!!

OK, a couple of weeks ago…I attended a wedding in Bristol, Rhode Island, a charming small town on the water. But rather than fly up Saturday morning…go the the wedding and back home Sunday(what a schlog)…decided to make a long weekend of it.

Classic gray shingle cottage right on the bay…(no the big
house on the right was not a part of the deal!)

You know I’m a hopeless fool for VRBO….my go-to website for vacation places to stay. And in Bristol…there was one especially charming choice. I fell in love with this precious cottage a mile out of downtown. The owner lives in a (larger, obvie)house to the left, closer to the street. Big shade trees, private dock….it was amazing inside and out. Take a tour…

Honestly, I think it was this little screened porch that
sold me…look at the view!

Living room to the left, staircase leading to loft bedrooms…
adore the light.

Seaglass blue everywhere…

The owner has such a nice eye for details….

My view reading under the tree….sigh. Heaven.

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea….

Bristol is a town that really does it up for the Fourth of July…they have a huge parade, and the stripe in the road lets you know the parade route.

Classic front porch of a house on High Street, as one neighbor told me,
“the nicest street in town!”….It was pretty sweet…

Blueberry stuffed French toast at a sidewalk cafe….yumsters.

And lobsters galore, naturally….

Keep in mind, you can drive to Bristol in about 8 hours….and Southwest Airlines, bless them, fly nonstop to Providence…so Rhode Island in general is a great weekend getaway…just up the road a ways. All the Rhode Islanders said they’d love to have you!!

Hot and in the dark…..
July 5, 2012

This huge limb is still dangling from this enormous tree in my yard…haven’t found anyone to take it down…yet. I think this past week has been one to remember for many people, and one they’d also like to forget. Friday night when the darn derecho…that’s what the storm was called…moved through….and left such a mess behind, and a heaping helping of misery.

This little device really saved us….we could at least charge phones, computers, Nooks, etc…..in the car(where it was also blissfully cool)…

The Powercup Inverter is something I’ve used more often on long car trips…but in this power outage, it was a lifesaver. It has  two 120-volt AC outlets and a USB port…so you can power three devices at one time….and it fits right into a cup holder! It’s powered by plugging it into your cigarette lighter.

Spagetti and meatballs from Cafe Gia in Little Italy…great food…plus they had AC, power and cooked food!

Like many of you who lost power, we had to find cool places to go. Saturday afternoon…a movie at Harbor East and dinner right down the street at Cafe Gia. Their ac was making thing decently cool, and the food was amazing…it’s like eating at your Nona’s house(if you’re Italian). And I didn’t have to open the refrigerator( a no-no during a power outage). But then Sunday morning at 8….I felt like the angels started singing…

The power is back, the power is back…hallelujah!!!

This is the first thing I had from the frig….

A big glass WITH ICE of Hojicha green tea with vanilla. Yum.

My neighbor’s dogs came over for a “cooling off period”….bless their hearts.
Had to take this from the next room looking through a French door, as my
cats were NOT happy about it.

Ok, this picture has nothing to do with power outages….

A leftover from some plumbing work done in my basement….

The plumber handed this to me as he left….and I’m trying to figure out what kind of art project I can do with it…any ideas? I love the old copper getting the aqua blue tinge….so cool looking. But what? Still pondering.

For those of you out there still sweltering in the heat and the dark….I feel you…and I hope your lights come on very, very soon. Then you’ll hear the angels sing too….