Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Great Weekend!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  We had some friends over and did a little bit of a cookout.  Not a ton of photos, just to give a sense of how things were over in Silver Spring, Maryland.  I hope you had a great time wherever you were...

Friday, May 27, 2011

herbs from my garden

The garden is looking pretty good!!

Especially the herbs...

Would like to spend a moment in tribute to herbs...

I love them.

All of them....

There isn't one I don't like...

I particularly like them, cut fresh and chopped fined--sprinkled on slices of goat cheese with a little olive oil, grated lemon peel, and hot pepper flakes...spread on sliced baguette.  


Enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cocktail: Sherry Spritzers

Have I got a summer-time drink for you!!  For your next get-together, hand your guests one of these sparkling refreshments and I guarantee they will be delighted!  I know I was when I first tried it...I love trying new things and this aperitif/cocktail will definitely be a summer star!! 

Looking around on the internet, I am finding this lovely has a few names: a sherry spritzer is one. a REBUJITO--the other, it's what they are called in Spain--I am curious: would love if any of our Spanish friends would post a comment and let us know their thoughts on this Spanish drink...just so you know: Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the town of JerezSpain. In Spanish, it is called vino de Jerez.

These are great cocktails for guests when they first arrive and go perfectly with olives or small appetizing bites.  To start, grab a bottle of Spanish Sherry.  I don't really know Spanish Sherries but the recipe I came across called for Fino or Manzanilla.  (Fino means Fine-this refers to the paler, dryer types of sherry.  Manzanilla is an especially light variety of fino Sherry made around the port of SanlĂșcar de Barrameda)....I think all you need to keep in mind is that whatever you get should be a dry sherry not a cooking or dessert sherry.  I chose this lovely $10 bottle of Savory & James (practically with eyes closed) from the shelves of my liquor store.  It worked just fine...

(a sherry spritzer--serves four)

Bottle of Sherry--look for dry FINO or MANZANILLA type
lemon, cut 4 thin slices
orange, cut 4 thin slices
natural lemon-lime soda

Take four tumbler type glasses.  
Add ice; mix in half glass full of sherry and half glass full of soda.
Garnish with orange & lemon slices.
Hand to guests and watch them smile wide...

Really wide....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Random: More Tins

The whole tin planter thing got me thinking and I remembered these cute chinese tea tins I have had for, ahem, 12 years now...I bought them in Chinatown, NYC when I lived in Brooklyn and have been hauling them around ever since...but I love them and I thought in the spirit of all things tin, it would be fun to do a photo shoot with them, so here a few shots from the shoot...

Monday, May 23, 2011

DIY: Tins for Planting

Greg routinely cooks oatmeal for the kids during the week, (while I get ready for work)--one morning we had run out of our usual bulk variety of oats but the kids really wanted oatmeal so he dug deep into the pantry and finished off the emergency stash of the steel cut oats that we had on hand.  

As the empty tin sat on the counter top...I was thinking to myself..wow...that is a good looking tin--it would look even better with a little plant in it, sitting on our window sill...because you can never have enough fresh herbs on hand...so, about 2 seconds later...voila--it was done!  

The tin.

The tin, again.

Punched holes in bottom of tin with hammer and nail.
Tin will probably collapse in a rusty mess, but it will look good until then!

Aaahhh, a lovely bit of thyme planted in the tin...so sweet--so simple!

Done!  and note to self: you are almost out of soap!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011


You may know I have a 6 year old daughter who, currently, is coming to the end of her year in kindergarten.  She attends a public elementary school (K-5th grade) and there was much excitement, among her and her friends, about the upcoming ART SHOW at school...I don't think my husband and I gave it too much thought.  Its just been so drummed in me (over the last how many years?) that the arts were slowly being thrown out the window...she has art once a week for an hour--it wasn't that we had low expectations...I don't think we had any expectations at all--we hadn't seen much of her work up until this point, so it was more like we just had no idea what to expect...

I rushed home from work, inhaled dinner--forced Luca to eat his dinner...we piled in the car, raced to school...walked in the door and proceeded to be TOTALLY BLOWN AWAY by what we saw...just amazing, amazing work.  Impressive and complex--not your standard arts & crafts fare--no way!

These were some challenging concepts.

The art work was all well-executed, thoughtful and intelligent.  Just really damn good.  Super huge thanks to Ms. Leighton, the super star art teacher--she is really gifted at what she does.  
Wonderful and total score for the public schools!! : )

Here are some highlights.

Detail from self-portraits by the KINDERGARTEN class

That BOLD THREE means the third graders did it...THIRD GRADERS!!!


Looking at the main front entrance of the school.



1st GRADERS!!!


4th Graders!!

Fourth Graders

3rd graders...I just love these so much...

3rd Graders

5th Graders

5th Graders

Second graders!! I could not even do this NOW!!!


Look one way and you see one scene; look the other way and see something totally different.

Love the gold pasta frames...genius!