Monthly Archives: April 2012

Cornbread Madeleines

I just adored this picture of cornbread madeleines in the March 2012 issue of Southern Living.

madeleines

Part of it, of course, was the beautiful packaging, but I also knew that this little treat would appeal to my husband’s love of cornbread while allowing me to serve something pretty & dainty.

So, on a whim today, we walked to our nearest Williams-Sonoma, purchased a non-stick madeleine pan (I’d prefer a regular old-fashioned one, but I wanted to cook these today), a few ingredients, and I made my first madeleines.

The blueberry ones tasted wonderful, but were an ugly sight to behold. The jalapeño cheddar variety was delicious!

plate

madeleine tray

(Note the messy blueberry variety at the top of the picture. The jalapeño cheddar ones are towards the bottom.)

cornbread mix

Here’s the mix I used for the jalapeño cheddar madeleines. For both recipes, I used buttermilk instead of regular milk and omitted any oil.

How to slice a mango for mango salsa

Step 1: holding the mango upright, thinly slice pieces from around the pit.

Step 2: standing over the sink, nibble the rest of the mango, exclaiming loudly that you had NO IDEA that there was so much fruit left on this one.

Step 3: repeat.

All kidding aside, the pork loin is currently marinating in hoisin, teriyaki, & a splash of demi sec champagne. The mango salsa is “cooking” nicely in the refrigerator. I roughly followed this recipe from Taste of Home. (Photo credit)

Image

I also found these instructions for slicing mango helpful. Looking forward to a yummy dinner this evening!

Time Traveling

This weekend was so summery and wonderful that I found myself sifting through my jewelry box for forgotten spring-like gold pieces that I haven’t worn in ages.

I have already blogged before about how much I love wearing Mama Chris’ Movado watch. I also wear her amethyst ring given to me in high school, but not appreciated until very recently. Both of these pieces make me feel close to my grandmother, though I don’t have memories of her wearing either of these.

Saturday, however, I found my mother’s gold sanddollar charm, hung on a gold box chain from decades ago. I vividly recall her wearing this with her gold-rimmed Ray-Bans and a navy blue bandeau bikini.

sanddollar

I put it on and INSTANTLY…

…it was 1982 on St. Simon’s Island, GA…

…we were on Brad’s Hobie-cat…

…then on the beach listening to Dire Straits’ Communiqué album…

…reapplying our Bain de Soleil…

…enjoying summer.

Revisiting Santa Fe

Nearly ten years ago, my new husband and I honeymooned for a few nights in Santa Fe before braving the long, rugged trek to Chaco Canyon’s adobe ruins. We sadly took very few pictures during our trip, but I kept in my memory a beautifully tiled oasis of a restaurant with skylights that provided such a lovely respite from New Mexico’s searing July heat.

During a quick get-away to New Mexico this past weekend to tour Gruet winery, we decided to make the short 50-minute drive up to Santa Fe. We wandered for a while, trying to remember sites we had seen. Just as we were heading towards the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (a gorgeous Southwestern structure), we passed a hotel sign that looked vaguely familiar – that of La Fonda on the Plaza. Ducking inside, we headed towards the center of a busy collection of shops and hotel lobby areas before standing right in front of the very restaurant for which we had been looking.

laPlazuela

(Image from La Plazuela)

While La Plazuela has undergone substantial renovations in the past decade, the ambiance is still that of a startlingly quiet oasis away from the noise and bustle of Santa Fe’s tourist section. The wonderful hostess (whose name I wish I could remember) gave us detailed information about the modifications and even brought out pictures from before the renovation which assured us that this was indeed the same place.

The food and service was elegant and unhurried. (The tortilla soup perfectly light & spicy.) I would place La Plazuela top of the list for anyone visiting Santa Fe!

Gruet Winery

Tattered Cover Cherry CreekDenverites may well remember The Fourth Story, that cozy, bookish, foodie haven atop Cherry Creek’s Tattered Cover bookstore before they moved Uptown. I would often go up to their gorgeous mahogany bar with a new book and a glass of wine as a single girl in Denver. My husband and I enjoyed some of our first dates here and I celebrated my first brunch as a bride in one of their oversize booths. (Image from Tattered Cover.)

It was here one evening that I was perusing their list of sparkling wines and came across one from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I admit…I chuckled and doubted how good it could really be. The bartender encouraged me to try it, though, and I’m so glad that I did.

And so, for the past ten years, I have been enjoying Gruet sparkling wine, always wondering what it would be like to go to Albuquerque and tour the winery. A recent business trip provided the perfect excuse and I flew my husband out to meet me on Friday.

wineThe winery’s location is less than spectacular, nestled on a frontage road between an RV seller and a Tuff-shed store. The wines, however, make you soon forget your surroundings. My new favorites are the Sauvage (bone dry, low dosage) and the Blanc de Blancs 2007 (toasty, yeasty). We enjoyed the wines and atmosphere so much (thank you, Shelby!), that we joined their wine club. The Club is very reasonably-priced and even includes a few magnums (magna?) during the holidays.

(Image from Gruet)

Nautical Rope Bracelets

Perhaps it’s because my husband and I are starting sailing lessons next month or the fact that I unfailingly return to my coastal Georgia fashion roots every spring, but I have lately been eyeing some of the cutest nautical rope bracelets.

Some of the nicer ones include The ROPES (from Maine), Kiel James Patrick’s Turk Head Knot Sailor Rope bracelets, and Tory Burch.

I also found some cute ones on Etsy for a fraction of the price:

Source: etsy.com via Elizabeth on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Elizabeth on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Elizabeth on Pinterest

Where I Shopped Today

red caprisI had heard rumors, mostly from Monograms and Manicures and other bloggers, that JCPenney was undergoing a huge rebranding. I kept seeing the cutest clothes in magazines from their new stores, all at unbelievably low prices. I had to wrestle with the idea for a while, though. I suppose my recurring flashbacks of back-to-school shopping at JCPenney (as opposed to trendier Belk, where all the cool kids shopped) and the fourth-grade torment of having to wear Bug-Off jeans with embroidered designs on the back pocket made me wary of crossing their threshold.

And yet…

With summer temperatures just around the corner and a loooooong wishlist of cute warm-weather threads, I at last innocently asked my husband this morning if he would like to check out JCPenney. (Oh, to have a picture of the look he gave me.)

$200 later, hubby has five new dress shirts and I have 2 pairs of cropped skinny jeans, a summery white pencil skirt (lined, thank goodness), and the cutest stretch denim skirt with a tie belt.

skirtThough we live too far from the suburbs for regular trips, I can see us stocking up on basics when the seasons change.