Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Randomness


Gelato from Gnam Gnam in Greensboro, NC

1.   Whole Foods.  It just opened in Greensboro a few of weeks ago. THANK YOU Corporate Director of Marketing and Demographics for seeing the potential, opportunity and need here in Greensboro! Amazing croissants. Liked their olive bar. The bright green olives are my favorite I will get the name of them next visit. Cheese counter was smaller than expected BUT they had nice variety and carry types you cannot find anywhere else in Greensboro. And they carry Bailey Hazen Blue! Their Bakery cakes were pretty and unique. Floral department rocked. Loved all the tulips. First time I’ve seen a Granola bar. They even had Gelato. Sorry, not impressed with their Gelato. I think we’ll stick to Gnam Gnam.   Now if the Demographics and Marketing Gods could just see their way to bringing a Trader Joes here, I would be a happy girl.

image image

2.  If I was having a Cinco de Mayo Party today, and I’m not, I would have thought ahead and ordered these decorations.  ($11.99 for all 6 from!)   Instead, I am thinking about trying a new recipe for these Margaritas.  

3.  I think it’s very strange, ironic, and unsettling that when you boil a pot of eggs for hard boiled eggs they make a chirping sound. 


4.  Mad Men.   Zou Bisou Bisou. 

5.   Wedding in Chicago this summer at Navy Pier. Looking forward to it.

6.  I was listening to NPR on the radio in my car the other day and Marilu Henner from Taxi was the guest.  She is one of 12 people in the world who has something called HSAM: Highly Superior Auto-biographical Memory.  It is the rare and incredible ability that allows her to vividly recall every detail of her life since childhood.  She even remembers what day of the week her memories took place.   To listen to her was fascinating.  She has a new book out called Total Memory Makeover where she talks about her incredible memory and how you can enhance your recollection of the events in your own life.  Might be fun to pick this one up.

7.  Husband snores.  Becoming a problem.  Can you help?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Flower Urns and Happy Dogs

Urn with flowers 006

Today I found a pair of urns at Tuesday Morning that I just love.  I first saw them in a sale flyer they sent to me in the mail.  I knew I wanted them right then.  So,  I went to my local Tuesday Morning and there were no urns to be seen.  I asked the store clerk and she told me they wouldn’t be in until the following Tuesday on May 1st.  Hmm…so that’s why it’s called Tuesday Morning.  :)  Well, I forgot all about them and then today as I stopped at a sandwich shop I noticed a Tuesday Morning right next door to the shop.  In I went and out I came with two of these beautiful gold urns.  The sales flyer showed three colors; gold, red, and a bright green.  I wanted the green.  They were a bright lime/French green but the store I was in only had the gold and one red one.  The red was a VERY dark burgundy color.  So, I picked up the more practical gold urns and now that I have them home I am happy I did.  And if I decide I want to got the French green route someday, there’s always spray paint.    These are a great buy at $24.99 each and they are huge.  And they are made of fiberglass so they are  extremely light. 

After I got home with them, I changed out of my work clothes and headed to A&A Plants and picked up some red geraniums, lobelia,  ivy, and some spikes.  (Do spike plants have name?)  Each urn took almost a whole bag of Miracle Grow Potting Soil.  I was going to put one of each side of my front door but they are so tall and large it was almost too much.  So, I placed one on my deck and kept one next to the front door.  I like the look. 

Urn with flowers 004

It’s only May 3rd and I hate to complain about the heat already but lord it was hot today!  Even Oakley needed to be hosed down to cool her off.  That dog loves nothing better than to be hosed down with the icy cold water from the hose.    And after her cool down, she did a the Happy Dance on her back.

Urn with flowers 021 Urn with flowers 022 

One of my favorite flowers is blue Lobelia.  Each year I plant it in my planters and by the end of June they are cooked.  So this year the nice people out at A&A Plants suggested I try a new variety of Lobelia that they had that is more heat tolerant.  So I brought 4 pots of the new Lobelia home with me and I am hoping I can get them through the summer.  I’ll let you know how it goes. 

 Urn with flowers 015

Lobelia has the prettiest color blue.  So delicate looking and I love it when they spill out of a flower pot.  All of my pots are finally planted.  Feels good to have that done!  How about you?  Have you finished all your planting yet?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Greek Salad

 Greek Salad 015
This Greek Salad takes me back to my high school days in Michigan every time I eat it.  There was a restaurant on Cass Elizabeth Lake Road  called Mitch’s and their Greek salad has both ruined me and put me on a quest.  Ruined because no Greek salad tastes like I remember their Greek salad did and ever since I have been searching for a substitute.  But like a Porsche...there is no substitute.  And the sad thing is,  Mitch’s is gone.  It think someone told me it burned down and they never rebuilt it.  Tragic.
My girlfriend’s and I would make Mitch’s a destination once we all got our driver’s licenses.     Sometimes a whole group of us would get a table and munch down on their breadsticks and salad.   They had good pizza too but the highlight for me was always the salad.   Other times we would get carry out and sit outside on a hot, summer, muggy, Michigan night and happily pick around the bright red beets and inhale the rest of that salad.  It was especially near and dear to my friend Karen A’s and my heart.  More than once we sat in her car Meyer (yes, we used to name our cars) eating that salad.  It was a destination when we came home on break from college (she from Michigan State and me from Central Michigan) to get our Mitch’s Greek Salad fix, balancing the round foil container on our knees, laughing and catching  up with each other about all the crazy things that we were doing at school.   I remember feeling a wee bit jealous when our friend Meghan actually got a summer job there.  Why couldn’t I find a job with a built in perk like that? 
Greek Salad 017 
I make mental notes every time I see a Greek salad on a menu. Does the menu list beets? What about the olives? What kind are they? I insist on real Kalamata olives. I’m a bit of an olive snob now too. Should I try it? Do I risk disappointment once again?  No restaurant has ever come close.  So instead, when I am feeling the Greek salad urge and sometimes when I am feeling a bit nostalgic, I’ll get the ingredients together and make my own salad.  Minus the beets.  They just don’t taste the same as I remember when I put them in.  Give this salad a try.  It really is delicious and the beets are optional.
Greek Salad
Salad Ingredients:  (All of these quantities are flexible.  Use more or less of the ingredients you like.)
1 head of ice burg lettuce ( a mixture of Romaine and ice burg is nice too.)
3 tomatoes diced
1/2 cucumber, diced.  (I like English cucumbers when cucumbers are not in season.)
1/2 red onion, sliced very thinly.
1/4 cup of Kalamata olives (whole or sliced)
4 oz. feta cheese
Chop up the lettuce and put it on a large platter.  Top the lettuce with the tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion.  Add the feta cheese and the Kalamata Olives.   Add the dressing a few minutes before serving. 
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, pressed
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. salt
a couple of shakes of ground black pepper
I usually mix my dressing up in a Pyrex measuring cup.  Start with the olive oil, add the garlic using a garlic press.  Add the juice of the lemon careful to catch any of the seeds.  Add the sugar and whisk together.  Add the oregano, salt, and pepper and whisk again till well combined.  Taste it.  If it is still too sour from the lemon juice, carefully add a bit more sugar till the sharp sour taste is gone.  I like to then put it in a Mason Jar and keep it in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve. 
Greek Salad 014
It’s not the same as Mitch’s but it’s darn close and I will continue on my quest for finding it’s clone.  Something tells me I’m not going to find it down here.   Ooops!  Did I just say that?!  Well, shut my mouth!