Happy Sundry Sunday

Weekend adventures in menus, bargain hunting, fashion, and vitamins. Finished book and found some great sayings. Sharing …..

Menus

Each week is more kookadoodledoo than the last so it is necessary for me to cook on Sunday. Here’s what’s on the menu for next week:

  • Portobella mushrooms stuffed with three cheeses and topped with pancetta
  • Collard greens, slightly braised in garlic, lemon olive oil, and chicken stock, topped with prosciutto
  • Chicken fillets, stuffed with pesto cream cheese, then wrapped in turkey bacon
  • Tuna nicoise pasta salad
  • Potato chips, Fritos, Peeps and caffeine (requires no cooking)

Bargain Hunting

Less than $50, including pashmina. Rah!

After donating most of my closet to Goodwill, I was in a bit of a pickle re: upcoming events. But I am a determined lass (long in the tooth for a lass, but determined). Some of bargains above might go with my favorite bargains below:

Maxi colorblock dress, $78, huge scarf/wrap, $6

Needed yet another outfit, so while at work at Cheeky Vintage, I found a severely cool short black top from who knows where. Then I put it with a Chartreuse raw silk tea-length skirt from the closet of a Parisian or it was made in Paris – whatever! It’s smashing! The photo below does not do the skirt color justice – it is outstanding!

Aucon de vos affaires, mes amis

Vitamins

My dad has been having more back issues, bless his bones. Saint ShayShay suggested Pantothenic acid, which is a big fat word for B5. She swears it unclenched her neck and made her dad jump up and dance a jig after a skiing injury. DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN YOUR MOUTH WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR. That being said, the best price for B5 was at Whole Foods!?! There’s also a whole thing going on (so late to this party) about taking collagen in the form of gelatin pills; supposedly, this activity provides good hair, strong nails and less rickety joints/joint pain. Gelatin (see Knox Unflavored Gelatin), by definition, is made from the proteins derived from the bones and skin of animals (not a veggie situation). All the info I could find said no animals were killed for gelatin. Jury’s out, as far as I am concerned. I mean, the animals weren’t alive when the proteins were derived. Need to take ADHD vitamin and keep nose out of this.

Rules of Civility

Finished this and have changed my mind. Maybe. After finishingThe Paris Wife, set in the 1920’s, it was hard for me to jump into Rules‘ Manhattan of 1938. Places so different, themes so similar … jazz, art, and lots of booze. Please put more emphasis on first two; these books are very good.

Favorite New Sayings

Last Friday, OneKingsLane.com featured all sorts of art. One section, Typography & Letterpress, caught my eye. Word art. These were my favorites:

“The only zen you find at the top of the mountain is the zen you bring up there.”

“Breathe in the future, Breathe out the past.”

“I do believe there is time for another adventure.”

“Go and wake up your luck.”

Off to shake up my luck. It’s already awake.

Later.

And One To Grow On…

366 Wishes Candle Set/Red Envelope

Happy New Year! The photo above is part of a candle set I wanted for Christmas. Yes, I do have a new candle company and no, I didn’t make up this idea but I love it anyway. When youngest daughter asked for my Christmas wish list, this was on it. So I taped a picture of it to her forehead, sue me. There is an inspirational word on each of the 366 candles. Burn one a day. LOVE. Anyway, yesterday being last year and all, I chose to burn my “extra” to start the new year off just right. I randomly chose “Laughter“.

Laughter, is there anything better? (Yes, I am well aware of other better things, but let’s just stick with laughter here, ok?).  And that was the perfect word for the last evening of the year. A casual dinner with close friends at home and SO MUCH LAUGHTER. And good food, lots of champagne, and dancing all through the house and out into the backyard. My kind of fun. As a matter of fact, I’ve spent many a New Year’s Eve with these same friends and was reminded of an especially eventful one two decades before.

I was 17 months pregnant with baby #2. Nevertheless, I donned a cocktail tent and high heels and we left all the birthed babies with one  babysitter. When we returned to our friends’ home to fetch baby #1, the sight of the poor woman trying to juggle three very miserable babies (mine was literally tied to her back with a dustrag), made me lose control of myself. We started laughing so hysterically and I was so ridiculously pregnant, well … I had a wee accident. It would have been no biggie but Mick kept shooing me off their Oriental rug like I was a bad poodle. Which made me laugh so hard I channeled a racehorse. Not my most dignified moment nor was the rug ever the same. But it was funny. 

I did mind my manners last night. Or not. But no rug accidents. And I’m not pregnant. Or if I am, it IS a miracle AND the Second Coming. Not to change the subject but my contribution to the dinner was Spinach Gratin, recipe by the Barefoot Contessa.  It is a great recipe and I highly recommend it, but you really must love onions – 4 cups of chopped onions in a recipe that says it serves 8? Good grief … my house still smells like Coney Island.

Sorry I am all over the map as I write this. Main thing is – laugh! I thought of a good way to make myself laugh when I am not feeling it. Watch those crazy laughing baby videos on YouTube. Hilarious!

Dying to know what today’s candle is? Imagination. I don’t know what to think. Have to go light my way and see what pops up.

Later.

*It might seem that I was callous toward the feelings of the babysitter in the incident mentioned above. I was. But she was paid handsomely. And it was a long time ago … just sayin’…

Ha Ha Ho Ho: Friday Mishmash

Cooking up a stew of totally unrelated information. I gotta be me.

Thank God for funny emails. Can’t get enough laughter, especially at this time of year. Don’t you dare slam me if you have PC issues – I didn’t make this one up. Sharing:

“Three men married wives from different countries.  The first man married a woman from China.  He told her she was to do the dishes and clean the house.  It took a couple of days, but on the third day, he came home to a clean house with dishes washed and put away.

The second man married a woman from Italy.  He gave his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning and cooking.  He saw no results the first day.  He saw it was better the second day.  By the third day, the house was clean, the dishes were done and there was a huge dinner on the table.

The third man married a woman from Texas.  He ordered her to keep the house clean, dishes washed, lawn mowed, and hot meals on the table for every meal. The first day he didn’t see anything.  The second day he didn’t see anything.  By the third day, some of the swelling had gone down, he could see a little out of his left eye, and his arm was healed enough that he could fix himself a sandwich and load the dishwasher.” (compliments of KK)

Now that I want them, I can’t seem to find any of the others that made me laugh.  But I will … maybe.

Got a card from my dear Austin Ann the other day. She so “gets” me. And it’s nice to be gotten – non? Written by the Mincing Mockingbird, the front of it said:

“That’s a crazy idea.

Insane.

It doesn’t make sense.”

“You’ll do it?”

“Of course,” I replied.”

And that’s the way we roll ….

Later.

Brain Floats

Have to admit, my brain is floating around more than usual today. Sharing:

My precious -and- very talented – friend, Meg, officially launches lesueur interiors this evening. She has a beautiful website and blog. Check her out at www.lesueurinteriors.com. You won’t be disappointed, you will be inspired! Champagne all around!

Is it just me or should Gleeks be campaigning for Justin Timberlake to appear on Glee? He looks very much like he could be related to Matthew Morrison, “Mr. Schuster”. And he can sing. Just sayin’. (Obviously from photo, I’m not the first to think of these two together; but I saw the photo after I thought this, so there!)

 

I was in Whole Foods the other day when I was struck with a notion. It’s a cool place, I shop there, maybe I should apply for a job. As there are plenty of attractive female employees there, it occurred to me I might be able to cop a job if I grew a beard and had some piercings. Ears already pierced! Beard not a good look. Meh! Before I could wallow in self-pity, a young woman walked in the store. She looked like this:

 

The drawing resembles what would be called the “fat” version of the woman I saw. First, I felt like crying for her as she was beyond anorexic and that is such a horrid disease. If I had to estimate, she might have weighed 75 pounds and stood about 5’6″. As I left, I said a prayer that Whole Foods had heart paddles in case hers said, “I quit” in the vegetable aisle. (Am very familiar with anorexia so no rants, please.) Then I was reminded of my former husband. He could qualify as a manorexic but it’s from extreme exercising. He was a triathelete when we first married and I told him then he looked like Jesus hanging on the cross. A couple of weeks ago, he came by to pick up my youngest daughter and her boyfriend. When I saw him, I said, “Good grief, former husband, eat some food!” Then being the bossy pants I am, I told daughter and beau to take him to the gas station and put the air hose in his mouth until he filled out a bit. Yikes!

Flipping totally over to the other side of the coin, I’ll leave you with a recipe that sounds so gross and is so yummy. I preface this with the fact that I don’t eat anything like this on a yearly basis, but you gotta go crazy sometimes! Really, the mixture of these ingredients will repulse, but the finished product will be gobbled up. Promise!

Tamales and Chicken A La King

12 Johnson’s Colorado tamales

2 cans Swanson’s Chicken A La King

1 12oz can evaporated milk

1 4oz can chopped green chiles

grated cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350-degrees. Grease 9×13 pan. Unwrap tamales and place on bottom of pan. Mix chicken, chiles, and milk. Pour over tamales. Cover top with generous amount of cheddar cheese. Cook for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Hook’em.

Later.

  

 

Randamonium: Lovely Words & Crazy Curves

I’m a sponge. That is my new career of choice, in this interim between paying positions. Each day brings new ideas, different opinions and the notion that I have a whole lot of learning left to do. This “career” is a luxury and will not last forever. Have been reading quite a bit and some powerful words have literally taken my breath away. Three greats and a snark, to be specific.

  • Have not been a fan of Christopher Hitchens. Ever. Until this morning. His column in the current issue of Vanity Fair is true, and brave, exquisite, and terrifying. I read it twice, and I know I will read it again and again, making copies and passing them to friends. “The Topic of Canceris the header; he has been thrown a very ugly curve ball which he describes in a way that is so simple, so human, so beautiful. I’m rooting for you, Hitch!
  • Started Laura Munson’s This Is Not The Story You Think It Is…” last night. After reading the first page, I knew she’d hit it out of the park and into the next county. This is her memoir and it has me entranced, involved, so much of what she has to say is so well communicated, so amazingly thoughtful, well, I’m halfway through (thanks to a three-hour power outage this afternoon) and I have only torn myself away from this treasure to write this post. She’s got a keen sense of humor, always a plus for me. At the moment, there is one line she wrote that I cannot get out of my mind; it made me feel good, “…Sometimes taking care of yourself means letting yourself be misunderstood…” . More later, but borrow or buy this book. ASAP. It is that good.
  • Rooting through one pile of books, I came upon “Labor Day”  by Joyce Maynard. The most memorable lines in this book, for me, describe loneliness perfectly. She writes, “…you are like one of those ceramic hedgehogs with the plants growing on it that the person who bought it forgot to water. You are like a hamster nobody remembered to feed”. Powerful stuff.
  • Snark On: VF also has an excerpt from “True Prep” by Lisa Birnbach. This is the “update” to her book, “The Official Preppy Handbook”. When she was writing the first book, somehow she got me on the phone. She was very persuasive and I was very young. Her book had a section on “prepster hot spots for each night of the week” for a number of cities. She needed the scoop for my city. RIGHT THAT MINUTE. So, I gave it to her. Bought the book when it was published. And there was all the info I gave her. When I write a book, I hope I acknowledge any and everyone who helped me. Just sayin’. And no, I won’t be reading this latest publication.

The curvy randamonium refers to my daily adventure quest and observations. Anything new, different, ironic:

  •  Last night, my Cooking Partner and I grilled Portobello mushrooms (marinated beforehand with olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar and a dash of Worcestershire). Divine.
  • Found 17 gifts today (birthdays, Christmas, layoffs) and didn’t spend $150. These are good gifts, too. Am patting self on back because I’m a great “finder”.  Hey, maybe a new career ……
  • Cooper the dog may get me booted from my home. He is obstinate and determined to do his thing wherever he wants. He always chooses the same place:

Meh!

Later.

Ready, Willing, & Able Do Martha’s Vineyard

Hydrangea Heaven

Several weeks ago, I went on the perfect vacation. It was perfect because I was afforded four amazing days with Cowgirl and Lady Di.  Many years ago, we found that we play very well with one another. We think we are collectively hilarious, therefore, we are. At one point, we all lived in the same city. Today, I am still a city dweller,  Cowgirl lives on the rolling range, and Lady Di is a citizen of the world, our own Carmen Sandiego.  She presented Cowgirl and me with a Most Awesome Invitation back in March, inviting us to her home on Martha’s Vineyard. Oh, my … what a glorious backdrop for our reunion. 

A view from the porch

Another view from the back porch

Looking up from the edge of the water; so beautiful until I lost my balance and fell into swampy sidelines in my flipflops

Our ride for the week, compliments of Little Didi

When we weren’t laughing ourselves silly, we were eating. And laughing ourselves silly. 

Party favor from dinner the first night

First of all, the word “charming” applies to this island. It is lush, it is green, there are no traffic lights. The towns are delightful, the temperature is divine, and when driving around the countryside, you would swear you were in rural England. And the food is FRESH, FRESH, FRESH.  Evening One, we had dinner at Saltwater, 79 Beach Rd., Vineyard Haven. Di and Cowgirl had halibut, I went for fresh corn chowder topped with fried clams (perfection) followed by a fried green tomato with lobster salad. Have never tasted a better bread pudding in my life, and I’ve eaten A LOT of bread pudding. Do stop by. 

Lunch Day Two

Truffle fries at Atlantic

Atlantic,2 Main St., was the perfect lunch spot as we “did” Edgartown on Day Two. The ambience was so great; the restaurant is right on the water. All I remember is the enormous platter of truffle fries that arrived at our table perfectly crispy and hot and divine. I’ll have lobster, again. 

Don’t have a photo for Dinner Evening Two but I promise it was miles past delicious and, of course, charming at State Road, 688 State Rd., West Tisbury.  Didn’t hurt that we were seated next to Amy Brenneman; television does not do her beauty or delicacy justice. But I digress. Fresh snap pea soup, not thick but incredibly savory. And I hate peas. I know the lobster was delicious because that is what I ordered… again. Di had halibut, Cowgirl went for a house made fennel apple seitan imposter sausage something. The desserts were beyond. Upon leaving, we were given a box of muffins left from the morning menu. I told you everything is fresh. 

We’d go to a farmer’s market here and there.  Little flower stands, featuring whatever was picked in the morning, lined the lanes wherever we drove. Did I mention “charming”? I do believe we made it to every little shop on the island. First stop, Midnight Farm in Vineyard Haven; it is a boho-groovy-urban Anthropoligie-On- An- Island sort-of-place; it’s also famous because Carly Simon is a partner. 

Very cool magazine

Picked up the early summer copy of edible VINEYARD; published four times a year, this magazine is full of great articles, information, recipes, and design.  You can check it out at http://www.ediblevineyard.com 

My favorite shop was Nochi in Vineyard Haven where I found great vintage silverplate “reclaimed” from old hotels. 

Flowers like these are in front of most shops

The last evening we went back to Edgartown, with its cobblestone streets and great buildings (promise not to say the “c” word again).

Roadside fence with ROSES

Historic place next to historic church (?) and roses, of course!

Dinner at eight at Alchemy,71 Main St., more good food. The menu was interesting and adventurous in a very Episcopalian way (later about that). Cowgirl found the cocktail of her dreams, a magic lemon gimlet, Di went halibutting again and I had the strangest salad ever. Billed as “The Salad the Chefs Eat”, it was described as having all sorts of great veggies tossed in red wine vinegar with a blob of buttery mashed potatoes on top. What? Yep, and it was the best! Couldn’t face another lobster, but of course, we had to have dessert. Waddled out, stuffed ourselves into the MINI and shot off for home. We were quite sad to think we were leaving this heaven the next day, but of course, once home, we found everything  panty-wetting(?),  pant-wettingly (?)  damn funny. So we had to stay up and laugh more. 

The next day, after great coffee and more laughing, Lady Di, the ultimate hostess, ferried us to the airport. Cape Air runs nine-seater planes up and down the coastline. Cowgirl turned green again (she was green on the way over, too). I jumped in the copilot’s seat. 

It is really hot sitting up front

The view is pretty good

Cowgirl remained green until we hopped onto the tarmac at Logan. We hooked it through terminals to meet our next flight home.  It was a perfect trip, you know the kind, where you don’t want to ever leave but you have to. And the memory stays perfect. 

Lady Di - LOVE YOU, MEAN IT!!!!!!!!

LATER……….

Menu Confusion … Si or Nah?

Just took Coop for a walk and this menu stuck on my gate.

Excuse me?!?

Upon returning home, I put my glasses on to check this out.  Clearly, this joint is trying to be everything to everyone.  See below:

This IS the dessert segment of the confused menu

Confucius say, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

Well, duh.

Later.