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.

Recreating a Winning Weekend….
January 11, 2010

OK, here’s the deal. I’m really not all that superstitious…but I’m thinking we should all do as close as we can, what we did this past weekend, in hopes of a Ravens’ win this coming weekend in Indianapolis! I understand for those of you who were painting a bathroom or sawing wood, that’s asking a lot, but hey…a little sacrifice could please the football gods, and secure a victory. What does that mean for me?

Great place, On the the Hill!!

Friday night it means takeout..from On the Hill Cafe  next to MICA on John Street in Bolton Hill. They do killer good Cuban sandwiches (called the Mosher)with shredded pork. Try them out…they’re one of my faves.

Let’s see what else…I’ll have to call some friends who just moved to D.C. and tell them we’re coming back for dinner Saturday night. This may surprise them a little, me inviting myself over, but hey, it’s all in the name of a win. On the other hand, maybe the thing to do is exactly what you did last game time….that would not mean a trip to D.C. but the making of chicken wings. We did them a little differently this time…coating in flour and roasting them in  some butter in the over. They needed to cook a lot longer than the directions said, but in the end they were delctable, topped by a Carolina style barbecue sauce I found on sale(of course) at Williams Sonoma.  I’ll have to see if I can pursuade my daughter sleep throughout the game, because that’s exactly what she did Sunday. Maybe she’ll feel like a Saturday night nap. I could certainly wear the same unbelieveable good luck combo…grey sweatpants, t-shirt and grey sweater, hair pulled back in a ponytail, oh I was quite the sight let me tell you…and I’m pretty sure I can recreate that same fetching look this weekend. I could upgrade just a little with yoga pants without doing too much damage to the Ravens’ karma. And we’re all good to go, oui?

A potpourri post…Elegy, Samos and Pork Roast…
May 6, 2009

They still have this price today!!

They still have this price today!!

OK, I never told you how my pork roast turned out last weekend, served at the end of swine flu fever week…. I went to the supermarket down the street and found a 5 pound bone-in loin roast, get this, for $.99 a pound. Crazy. I rubbed it down with crushed garlic, some rosemary and plenty of kosher salt, and followed a different roasting recipe, called Aristos(Greek for “the best”-a sentiment with which I would concur) that I found on Williams Sonoma, that starts the roast out at 475 degrees…for 20 minutes…yikes! Don’t forget to turn on the exhaust or  you will have a smoky kitchen….I didn’t have the figs, but it turned out spectacular anyway. For 5 bucks.



Ever had taramosalata??

Ever had taramosalata??

And perhaps it was prophetic that it was  Greek recipe…on Saturday friends called to see if we wanted to go out for dinner, to Samos, the famous Baltimore Greektown eatery just off Eastern Avenue(my first visit, believe it or not). They don’t take reservations, it’s byob, and be prepared for a wait if you go on a Saturday night. And wait we did…about an hour, but it was a happy wait….the 6 of us stood around and shared a bottle of wine, and had little cocktail catchup hour. Samos has legendary Greek  food, and you can watch the owner and chef Nick, busy, busy busy at the stove. We had some lovely taramosalata(fish roe, potatoes, olive oil)…olive tapenade,grilled lamb chops, moussaka(which I have learned a few years back is pronounced mousse-ah-ka‘, not mousse-ah‘-ka). For dessert, Galatoboureko….don’t ask me how to say it…a rich cream custard in phyllo…unbelievably good. It was just one of those great evenings…with longtime friends, everybody relaxing after a long work week…oh, I didn’t mention, the prices at Samos are extremely gentle on the pocketbook….I think the lambchops are the most expensive dish at $22…most  are much less.

And last but not least, Sunday was such a dreary soggy day(not aristos), a movie in front of the fireplace seemed about right….I watched Elegy on demand on Netflix….starring the always luminous Penelope Cruise(she is gorgeous), and the always powerful Ben Kingsley. About a man who is disconnected with almost everyone, until he meets her. It’s an interesting flick….and the first time I have watched an on demand netflix film….so easy.

What are you putting on YOUR skin?
August 15, 2008

Heres what Im using...

Here's what I'm using...

We had a story on 11 News at Five that honestly set me (an admitted lotion freak) back, and maybe it did you too. A new study from Rutgers University,  that said putting moisturizer on your skin may increase you risk for skin cancer. Whaaaaaat?? Now, keep in mind this study was done on mice, and for those of you who missed it, after exposing hairless mice to UV rays for 20 weeks, they then applied moisturizer to the mice once a day, 5 days a week, for 17 weeks. They found the mice who got the moisturizers had an average 70% increase in production of skin cancer tumors! I did a little more digging into that study and here’s what I found.

Scientists felt that maybe, mineral oil or sodium lauryl sulfate were the culprits…that they may both promote tumors. I took a look around my house to see what’s in lotions I use. Of the four bottles sitting around, two of them….Bliss Lemon Sage Body Butter and Williams-Sonoma lotion don’t contain mineral oil, the Olavie Chardonnay lotion doesn’t list any ingredients (?), and the French Gabriel Couzian body moisturizer lists mineral oil as their third ingredient!(This one I use everyday, and love it.)

So what does it mean? I’m not sure and neither are the scientists…here are the brands they tested….Dermabase, Dermavan, Eucerin Original Cream (its website say its the brand dermatologists trust), and Vanicream(the only I’ve ever heard of is Eucerin)…but here’s the kicker. One of the creams that seemed to cause tumor growth, Vanicream,  had neither ingredient, so they really don’t know what is causing it. Here’s the good news, the skin cancers involved were not melanoma… the most dangerous kind of skin cancer,  but basal cell and non-squamous cell carcinomas. Most people do not die from these and they can easily be treated with surgical removal. I’m not sure that will make any of us feel much better. Oh, and scientists weren’t really looking to find any of these results when they stumbled upon them…they were investigating if caffeine had any effect on skin cancer and were working on skin delivery systems for getting the caffeine to the skin. How about that? I’ll let you know more when I hear it….in the meantime, I’m sticking with my moisturizers….