Friday, August 28, 2009

A Gem In The Woods of New Hampshire

Mr. SevPrez just completed a half-Ironman in Laconia, New Hampshire called the Timberman. This was our third time at the race and though our accomodations were lacking (I think people actually start booking their rooms 364 days in advance, which leaves slim pickings for those of us who believe reserving a room in June is plenty early), we found the greatest breakfast place in the Northeast, the Heritage Farm Pancake House.

I have to give you some background here. One thing you must know about half-Ironmans is that it takes the pros more than 4 hours to complete them. Many people will take almost twice as long. Luckily Mr. SevPrez is a superstar so I don't have to hang around all that long, but you add gear set up and take down, these suckers eat up the majority of your day. Pun intended, because as a spectator, if you don't think ahead and bring food from the outside world, you are cruising for a bruisin'. The athlete you are rooting for may end up assisting you back to the car instead of the other way around. And even if you manage to eat a sandwich and a banana, by the time you get showered up and ready to go out into the world again, you will be hungry. You will also be going out to eat with a person who just covered 70.3 miles without any help from a gas powered engine. So you will end up consuming a large amount of fatty foods surrounded by senior citizens who are getting their early bird special on. This will be your only meal of the day. You've been up and at 'em since 6 a.m., and your triathlete companion will be more pooped than you are, so you will go to bed ridiculously early.

Therefore you will need to seek out the assistance of a Pancake House the next morning to restore you to normalcy. We'd been eagerly noting the sign for the Heritage Farm Pancake House since we arrived in Laconia, and our high expectations were met by this quaint, old style family restaurant. Located about 4 miles off the main drag down a windy country road, the ambiance and food were exactly what we needed. I am not going out on a limb by saying these were the best pancakes I've ever eaten. They were nearly an inch thick, with your choice of about twelve flavors. They also came with bacon, eggs, home fries, juice, and coffee. For $10 per person. Here's the menu so you don't think I'm just making this up.


And there's a petting zoo in the back with goats, ducks, hens, lambs, cows, and a donkey. Accordingly, this place is very kid friendly. We left with restored spirits and full bellies, prepared for our long journey home. Lucky for Mr. SevPrez, the discovery of the Heritage Farm Pancake House means I will always be up for rooting him on at the Timberman.

Grilled Figs Courtesy Of My Friend In California

Got a hot tip from my dear friend who is currently studying in Nothern California where the dinner parties are plentiful and the produce is always on point: grilled figs with goat cheese and honey. Having never seen figs in my local Stop & Shop, I quickly snapped up some black figs at Delicious Orchards, a great source for high quality produce of both the rare and pedestrian variety.

I cut the figs in half, grilled them skin side down for a few minutes, until they started to look juicy, then spooned a little plain goat cheese on each fig, topped with a lot of fresh black pepper, and drizzled some honey over the whole plate. Delicious, and suitable for an appetizer or dessert!

Next time I'll have to get my friend to tell me more about her mom's specialty, Devils On Horseback -- dates stuffed with almonds and wrapped in bacon. I haven't had the courage to try to make them myself, though I am always available to eat them!

Zinnias = Summer = Happiness

The first thing I would plant in a cutting garden.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Finally! Felt Pillows!

Remember all that felt I bought? And those Hable Construction pillows I kept saying I could make? Well I finally got around to making them, with the help of a $6 plain white Ikea pillow cover and a little inspiration from my favorite building art in New York City.

Actually, I only made one so far, but I plan on making a complimenting pillow with an aqua accent color next week while I'm on vacation. I'll be sure to post the finished product on my new couch cover in my newly painted room as soon as it's all together!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Truly Easy As Pie

A great recipe just came my way from The Genius who pioneered the Cereal Bar: Frozen Lemon Yogurt Pie. One of her go-to recipes, she rattled it off to me at a moment's notice in a quick email exchange. I love the ease of it. And now we are even, as I had just dashed off the components of my (well, really I believe it belongs to Mark Bittman) Watermelon-Tomato-Feta salad in a text message, which she was inspired to make when she ran into some watermelon on her way to the yogurt aisle of the grocery store. She threw the salad together, ate some for dinner, and brought it for lunch the next day. No consternation necessary. That's what I'm talking about. All cooking should be that carefree.

As per my directions, the Lemon Pie could actually be a chocolate or any other kind of flavor that you can find in a yogurt. But we all know I love lemons (who doesn't, really?), and that's what The Genius recommended, so there you go. Three small containers of yogurt, 1 container of Cool Whip, and a graham cracker pie crust (I didn't make it myself this time. We are going for easy-breezy this time.) Mix it up, add a little fresh lemon juice and the rind of a lemon, pop it in the freezer, wait, and eat.*

An excellent frozen alternative to ice cream, and all anyone should ask of us in the month of August. When you eat it, it will taste way more complicated. Two thumbs up!

*Don't forget your Lactaid pill.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rug Love

Put it in the category of things I really can't afford: the Vivienne Westwood designer collection by The Rug Company. Holy smokes this rug would look amazing under my yellow Trina Turk chairs.

You know it's out of your league when they don't even list prices on the website.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Anatomy of Deliciousness

Fig. 1 Cross-section of my Plum-Crumb Pie, alias My Favorite Pie In The Whole Entire World.

Stick your thumb in that, Jack Horner.

Song Of Summer

This poem is getting me going on this Monday morning. But just for the record, I would never squoosh a firefly. They are one bug I am not afraid to touch and as a result have never killed. Luckily for other bugs in my vicinity, my husband doesn't believe in insecticide and catches and releases them into the wild .


by Cecilia Woloch

And these are my vices:

impatience, bad temper, wine,

the more than occasional cigarette,

an almost unquenchable thirst to be kissed,

a hunger that isn't hunger

but something like fear, a staunching of dread

and a taste for bitter gossip

of those who've wronged me—for bitterness—

and flirting with strangers and saying sweetheart

to children whose names I don't even know

and driving too fast and not being Buddhist

enough to let insects live in my house

or those cute little toylike mice

whose soft grey bodies in sticky traps

I carry, lifeless, out to the trash

and that I sometimes prefer the company of a book

to a human being, and humming

and living inside my head

and how as a girl I trailed a slow-hipped aunt

at twilight across the lawn

and learned to catch fireflies in my hands,

to smear their sticky, still-pulsing flickering

onto my fingers and earlobes like jewels.

from Carpathia. © BOA Editions, Ltd., 2009.