Happy Memorial Day!

A few weeks ago, the family hit up a flea market and saw this display:

It epitomizes the significance of this weekend and shows the yin and yang of what America is about; having fun on the first weekend of summer, and honoring those we have lost.

Make sure you do lots of both this weekend.



Oh God, She’s a Chef!

Every month, Meg looks forward to receiving her Bon Appetit magazine. When she sees a gorgeously photographed filet of beef or a chocolate brownie peering from behind the plastic wrap, her mouth starts to water and she can’t wait to find a corner to curl up in. And don’t talk to her either, she’s busy with the food porn and can’t be disturbed.

So when she received her June edition in the mail, she expected the bounties of early summer to be featured, say like strawberries or a mango margarita. Instead, she got this:

Well, it’s here at long last. After three years of hard work, my cookbook is finished, and in stores! To celebrate the release, I made dinner for 60 friends and foodies on Monday.

Surely you want to know more about her new cookbook and that Gwyneth is standing barefoot in her kitchen in a crisp pair of white shorts, whipping up Duck ragu for dozens of people, right?

For years, or what seems like it, I’ve heard about G.P.’s vegan diet, her rice cookers, and how Vegenaise tastes great; and Meg needs to digress here why oh why on earth do we need a vegan mayonnaise? Meg can barely understand regular mayo, don’t get her started on some gross substitute.

Well, it turns out Gwyneth is no longer a vegetarian, because she decided her precious brood needs eggs and butter and protein.

Here’s some more of her sage advice:

A cook is only as good as their knives, I only use Global knives. If I cook at someone’s house I always cut myself. Does she travel with a set just in case?

You need a Vitamix blender, cause it makes things so creamy. OK, this a $400.00 blender, people. Four Benjamin Franklins for a blender?

Use anchovies a lot. I would say be sparing with them, but that’s just me.

That last pinch of salt can be the most important step.

Lastly, she offers a recipe for strawberry sliders, which we in real life would recognize as a strawberry shortcake biscuit with a top on it.

Meg has plenty of good cookbooks already in her house; she has Ina and Bobby and Lydia. She also has her bloggy friends Zadge, Dawn, Susan and Mrs. Tuna that are always sharing good recipes and photos, she’ll stick to them, thanks.

OK, there is one piece of GP advice Meg will take, and that’s “drink while you cook“. Bottoms up, Gwynnie!


I Can’t Help Myself Friday. The Shakespeare Edition.

Shakespeare had it right when he said “Lord, what fools these mortals be” . I guess you all know where this is going, right?

And thus I clothe my naked villany” seems to sum things for those locked up in Ryker’s Island:

Dominique Strauss Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund and thought to be a contender for President of France, no longer has “the world as his oyster“. Maybe France will change their attitude about serial womanizers and jerks like him? I’m sure they are collectively thinking “we have seen better days“. Please, may we send Le Perv back to you ASAP?

Asses are made to bear, and so are you!”

Oh Arnold, I think it’s a “foregone conclusion” those “salad days” are over. I wait with “bated breath” on that divorce settlement, it should lead Maria to say “good riddance“.

What a piece of work is a man“! And there is no bigger piece than Donald Trump:

You know, he’s just been a gift for so many weeks, on so many levels. The hair, the orange glow, the pursed lips are just in “one fell swoop“, gone. I’m can understand Jon Stewart’s pain about this; we now both “come crying hither“. And yon, too.

Neither rhyme nor reason” can explain the Real Housewives of New Jersey, where every single male is named Joey, baby Joey, Joe, toddler Joey, or Joe Junior. Pay special attention to the glistening crystal cross which is the ultimate symbol of irony and symbolism during a christening celebration:

I hate to be “Cruel to be kind” but these people are crazy. And yet, I am sucked into their vortex ever week. I guess “what’s done is done” on that one.

Meg hopes she’s made your Friday an experience in culture and good taste, as well as an amusing one. In the meantime, she is going to contemplate the rapture, which to her means what kind of cool drink she’ll be whipping up for Friday evening cocktails.


Top New Food Trends!

Meg loves to cook and stay on top of all the latest food and drink trends, and she uncovered a few interesting ones that you all might want to know about. Shall we?

Vodka.

Meg loves a nice high quality vodka, and she recently discovered Absolut Tea Vodka, which combined with fresh squeezed lemon and St. Germain makes a fabulous drink. While perusing a magazine in her doctor’s office, she spied yet another intriguing vodka must have:

Here’s the quote from the Belvedere web site:

Belvedere has launched a bloody-mary vodka, made by combining batches that are bathed separately in seven ingredients, including tomato, horseradish, black pepper and lemon, creating a spicy vodka that only requires the addition of tomato juice for a Bloody Mary.

I kind of love the image of all of these ingredients together:

She would love to picture herself on her deck on a Sunday morning sipping that beverage and flipping through her paper, should the sun ever decide to shine again on the East Coast.

Cotton Candy.

Apparently this is a new trend in restaurants in Boston and around the country. Local chef Lydia Shire has a dessert that consists of brown sugar angel food cake, topped with caramel ice cream and a puff of maple cotton candy on finish. Meg would be on board with that because of the cake and ice cream components, they make complete sense.

On the other hand, celebrity chef Jose Andres decided to take it one step further, and offers up cotton candy foie gras and eel as specials in his restaurant. Meg thinks that’s wrong on every level.

Her conclusion about cotton candy it’s that it’s air, people, and if we are going to order dessert and throw caution to the wind, Meg wants more than 100 calories worth of sugared air to eat.

Brownies.

Lazy Cakes are brownies laced with melatonin, all in an effort to give folks a mellow kind of feel during their afternoon break. Meg has a mental picture of Cheech and Chong’s “Up in Smoke” in her head, she thinks additives to snacks are best done as the homemade version of her long ago youth.

Meg thinks her food trend is going to be growing some heirloom tomatoes this summer and hitting the farmer’s market for some fresh food. But she does think indulging in that Bloody Mary is spot on, she’ll let you know her Belvedere review very soon!


How We Bought the Lincoln Tunnel

This past weekend the family took a field trip to Brimfield, which is a tiny town on the Connecticut border that swells by the thousands on several select weekends in May, July and September.

Twenty different shows set up in various fields, with dealer’s displaying their fine wares and assorted shlock, and then await as I heard one person put it, “for the Mongolian hoardes” to descend. Some things baffle the mind, such as these refugees; perhaps from a Chinese restaurant?

Others stage their booths with a decorator’s touch:

Meg and her husband love to pick through antique shops, flea markets and shows. From a young age, Meg was shaped and molded into kid of impeccable taste by her parents, as they put their progeny into the old wooden station wagon and headed for parts unknown every weekend in search of a plum find. Almost weekly, Meg and her mother would head to the next town over and haunt a place called “The Owl Shop”. It had three stories of nooks, crannies, rickety stairs and dust. It also had hidden treasure behind every stack of furniture and books, and this is where Meg honed her craft of finding goodies.

In fact, young Meg started her collection of vintage beaded purses on one of those very trips:

She paid $1.00 for that black and white beaded purse from Paris. Let’s just say she knew a find when she saw it.

Needless to say, Meg’s DNA awakened as soon as she hit the parking lot for Saturday’s show. Senses were heightened, and she was armed with cash, and ready to deal baby, deal.

Here’s how Meg rolls. Once upon a time she used to just get stuff that was a bargain. Then Meg wised up and pared her stuff down, and she and her husband settled into collecting very specific things they like, keeping their collections simple and tastefully displayed.

She purchased these fine items for her cozy kitchen area!

This apple green French enamel coffee pot.

This handpainted oil can by folk artist Peter Ompir made her heart sing!

This rustic Quimper plate fits right in with Meg’s pottery collection:

Meg husband likes to collect old tin toys and banks, and he spied what he thought was the perfect toy for his collection:

The Lincoln Tunnel. Little cars run back and forth to New Jersey complete with a cop directing traffic!

All in all the family had a fun day of browsing, people watching (I so regret not being quick enough with my camera to snap the baby leopard cub tattooed on one woman’s arm) and discovering little gems. And next time we go, I am seriously considering purchasing the Brooklyn Bridge.