Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day

The weekend we've all been waiting for...

Even though spring can be vaguely menacing with this on again off again fantasy of warmer climes, Memorial Day weekend is this essential defining point that our wish is finally true. Summer is here. Rain or shine.

Out comes the summer frocks, wicker lawn furniture, pink lemonade, beach picnics!

Even that rusting BBQ holds astonishing new hopes.

A slider from Keller's Boucheron in New York

Here is one of the best burgers you'll ever taste, a recipe adapted from Thomas Keller of the fabled French Laundry in Napa. BTW: Keller's burgers have been known to have a list price of a $60 with no condiments included- so let's say this recipe has some meat to it. Big tip of the day. Buy the highest quality meat available and have the butcher grind it at the market. We have spared you the gory details of Keller's recommended home grinding ritual. But if you are a carnivore of the purest form, you've mostly likely got the tools.

1-1/2 lbs. beef sirloin

12 oz. beef brisket

12 oz. beef chuck

1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Divide the meat into 6 portions. Handling it gently, form it into 3/4″ to 1″ burgers. Do not squeeze, mash, or overwork the meat.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for two-temperature cooking, with one area for medium-high heat and the other for medium heat.

Put the hamburgers over medium-high heat and cook, without moving for 2 minutes, or until they are well marked. (Do not move them too early; they need to cook long enough to prevent sticking to the grate).

Turn the hamburgers 90 degrees to make a crosshatch pattern and grill for 2 minutes. Flip the hamburgers over, move to the medium heat, and grill, without moving them, for 5 minutes.

Turn the hamburgers 90 degrees and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a platter, and let rest in a warm spot for about 10 minutes for medium-rare.

If you are looking for a BIG Cape Cod event , it's the Figawi Regatta, May 27 - May 30, when 250 boats set sail from Hyannis to Nantucket in this internationally recognized sailing competition.

Or if the mood is a good old fashion parade there are plenty of those around, too. The annual Sandwich Memorial Day Parade will be held on Monday at 10 a.m.

This is a huge shopping weekend on the Cape. IRRESISTIBLES, 25 Wianno Ave. in Osterville has alot of beautiful clothing along the lines of Trina Turk and sparkling assessories.

Besides having gorgeous clothes, MIDSUMMER in Chatham has its new line of Verellen furniture which just came in today and is absolutely to die for.

Seriously....have a great weekend. It's summer whoopie time.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bathing Beauties

Beach season doesn't usually hit Cape Cod until late June...sometimes even July 4th weekend. Although, we have been known to grin and bear a little wind for the glimpse of a tan. But goosebumps really don't look good on anybody. Until then, I like to hang my bathing suit in plain sight - a reminder that summer days are a coming. Whether that brings solace or dread, finding that perfect swim suit is motivation to a) get through deceivingly sunny yet chilly spring and/or b) revamp our eating and exercise routines. Besides, picking out that new summer suit is half the fun - and you don't have to wear it quite yet!

Here are a few of my favorites this season:

A classic Cape Cod stripped number:


For something a little more modest, this shapely one piece comes in a variety of colors. I personally love the vivid poppy, but red bathing suits are easily admired and not so easily worn. The side ruching, underwire cups and thick halter of this navy number is pretty and flattering.

How pretty these nautical one piece's? I love the rope detailing and vintage feel of the first one. The second one is swim-wears equivalent of a wrap dress...the key word here being flattering. I'm also obsessed with the third bikini -I can't resist a little ruffle! (However, heels on the beach? Not here on Cape Cod...) If you like these suits, check out Kushcush's website. They have some really unique styles.

I came across this lobster detailed bikini on Anthropologie - an obvious choice.

I realize spending 100+ on a bathing suit seems a tad frivolous. However, I have to say, quality makes a huge difference - nothing's more uncomplimentary than a bathing suit falling apart and scattered with pills and balls. Plus, finding a winning bathing suit guarantees an extra boost of beach-side confidence. That being said, I've had some great luck at TJ Maxx. Just recently, I discovered an array of Marc Jacob's and Trina Turk swimwear at the TJ's in Hyannis. I nabbed a great MJ bikini for 30 bucks! Granted, this took a bit of digging and suffering through TJ's dressing rooms (distorted mirrors, florescent lightening, dust bunnies trolling the floor...). Well worth it!

Let the search begin! Summer is fast approaching!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

SPLASH: White Marlie

White Marlie in Chatham has officially kicked off its 2011 season. You can’t help to love this laid back everyday look. And it’s so easy slipping into White Marlie gear; it speaks summer, effortless, simple with just the right touch of nautical. Matter fact just walking into the store makes you feel like you’ve quit your day job and ....welcome aboard.

The dark wood floors and crisp white walls showcase rustic baskets and wooded bins full of multi-colored accessories and comfy flip – flops.

More than ever, this year there is something for the whole family. We love the chic mix of swimsuits and shimmering cover-ups that come in silver and gold.

Super sophisticated bikinis

Summer must-have: the coolest UV protected coverup shirts for HIM, HER, and KIDS.

Red boy-short bikini bottoms for your toddler! How cute is that?

Top it off with a la retro White Marlie hat

and eyepopping Maui Jim shades

And in one fell swoop you can do a complete summer make-over.

Next time you are there, meet the delightful owners Jess and Dirk.

By the time you leave the shop, you'll be hallucinating palm trees and turquoise jeweled waters.
Of course when reality sets in and you step outside on 459A Main Street, it won't be hard to admit that Chatham hasn’t quite lost its appeal either.

White Marlie is located at 459A Main Street Chatham, MA 02633-2460(508) 945-0877 or visit them on Facebook or their website

Saturday, May 21, 2011


On any old weekend, there's nothing like a big fat breakfast and our choice de jour is a pile of oozing pancakes from a one our favorite food blogs, The Sprouted Kitchen. Check out this recipe and Sara Norris’ visually beautiful site.

PEAR + BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES // Makes 12Adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

1 Cup Buckwheat Flour
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/2 Cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
3 Tbsp. Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Spice Blend
3/4 tsp. Sea Salt
2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Large Egg
2 Firm Pears
1/2 Cup Honey
2 oz. (1/2 stick) Unsalted Butter

1. Sift all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, making sure everything is evenly distributed.
2. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk/milk, and butter until combined. If you don’t have buttermilk, all milk will be just fine.
3. Peel the pears, and grate them in the large holes of a box grater. Add the pears and their juices to the buttermilk mixture.
4. Gently add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir ’til just combined. It should be fairly thick – Boyce recommends letting it sit for a little while, or overnight in the fridge. If you let it rest, you will need to thin it out with milk, 1 Tbsp. at a time. Adjust to your pancake thickness preference.
5. Melt the honey and 2oz. of butter together, and keep warm to pour over the pancakes later.
6. Heat a cast iron pan, or griddle over medium heat. Add batter in 1/4 cup mounds to the pan, once the tops start to bubble, check that the bottoms are golden brown and flip to the other side. Cook about 5 minutes total.
7. Wipe the pan between batches, and rub a little butter in between.Serve the pancakes hot from the skillet, with a splash of honey butter on top.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


If you are in need of a little urban hit...

The legendary Bill Cunningham, a rather shy, somewhat eccentric, often elusive octogenarian and Harvard drop-out is one of the most famous NYC "on the street" fashion photographers. He lives in a hobbit size studio, he eats most meals for under 5 bucks and this iconic fashion connoisseur seems to have no more than one pair of clothes which I swear is a U.S. postal uniform.
He is always seen with his camera and often on his bike precariously cycling through the chaotic cab infested streets of Manhattan. Meet Bill in the 2010 film, BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK, by Richard Press and Philip Gefter. Playing now through May 19 at Cape Cinema in Dennis. You'll be sure to be inspired and thoroughly entertained.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rain Dance

If you haven't heard is promising five more days of rain this week. Make peace with these perfunctory predictions, put on a floppy brim hat and go eat your heart out.

It’s Spring Restaurant Week on Cape Cod, Monday, May 16th - Sunday, May 22nd and the cost of fine dining is less than a new umbrella. For $25- $35 (tax & gratuity not included), you can sit center stage at The Blue Moon Bistro in Dennis, the fabled Chillingworth in Brewster or about 45 other "promise not to disappoint" cozy dry restaurants throughout the Cape.

Our top pick is The Cape Sea Grille in Harwich Port. The very thought of Chef Doug Ramler's exquisite seasonal creations is like eating a huge sliver of sunshine.

Go Eat. Be Happy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Remedy to a White Wall

Take a look at these great nautical inspired artworks. The artist, Jean Cody of Etsy, places prints upon salvaged dictionary pages. You're sure to receive an original piece of art as no two vintage book pages are alike. Priced at $10 dollars each, these prints are a beautiful way to spruce up a bare wall.

The artists suggests clustering prints together in mis-matched frames. I love the contrast between this modern headboard and the eclectic artwork that hangs above.

Looking for frames? Check out West Elm (picture below) or why not spend a Saturday morning scouring some of the Capes yard sales - check out CapeCodTimes for listings. Either way - I'd recommend something simple - these unique pieces of art speak for themselves.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lands End

Land's End exudes "classic Americana" - having a certain New England-y appeal. It's practical. Simple. Cotton. However, I've always found their clothing a bit lackluster...dare I say dowdy? (No offense.)But the new Heritage collection combines practicality into effortless "Cape Cod" style-cue the nautical stripes, crisp button downs, and rope inspired shoes (espadrilles included).

Another added bonus - this line is very moderately priced. Everything pictured above is $20-50 dollars. So shop on!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mashpee Commons Sidewalk Sale

Mashpee Commons will host an annual Spring Sidewalk Sale on May 13, 14, 15. Showcasing an array of chain ( Vineyard Vines, In the Pink, etc) and local independent retailers - this is a good chance to stock up some summer clothes for the family!

Check out the Lili Pad - a tiny home accessories shop. They have a selection of faux David Yurman jewelry that looks pretty darn similar to the real thing. At $20 versus $600, I think I can settle. In high school, I actually broke a $200 dollar tea pot in this shop. The china shattered across the wood floor, breaking into ten million pieces. I wanted to curl up and die. We've all had this feeling, you know, that indescribable feeling of complete dread. I didn't dare step foot in the store for years. Thankfully, I've since recovered from the humiliation, and can once again enjoy the offerings of this great local shop.

After you hit up the sale, try one of Mashpee Common's numerous lunch spots. Bleu is really delicious but on the expensive side. I highly recommend Siena; they have great great great brick oven pizza and a nice outdoor patio. Honestly, I've only ever had the "Pesto"- a white pizza with basil pesto, mozzarella, roasted red peppers and caramelized onions. Yum. But decide for yourself and take a look at the menu. After lunch, perhaps grab a bite of dessert at Cupcake Charlie's. I think we're experiencing a bit of a cupcake craze here in the US right now, but hey, I'm not complaining.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011


It's a darn shame that this cold rainy weather won't let up. For a little cheer me up, I planted my spring garden right inside my living room today. I am sucker for succulants. I love the way these babies look in shallow ceramic pots or tall stone containers. You need absolutely no apparatus, but your own bare hands. Put them in a sunny window and water every 7 to 10 days. How easy is that?

1) Fill a shallow garden container with cactus soil leaving a 1" lip to the top.

2) Collect a bunch of your favorite succulents. Hyannis Country Garden at 380 West Main Street has a great selection and abundant coaching on pampering your new little youngsters-- like which plants adore hair frizzing humidity and which ones thrive on complete deprivation. I chose the later. For me, gold fish and plants come under the same category, "Great to look at, but don't make me lift a finger to take care of you."

3) Dig a little hole with your fingers and pop 'em in. Cover the hole with soil. If you don't like your first attempt, try your artistic talents again. These little guys are toughies and can handle even the most uncoordinated-like me.

4) My next suggestion would be to collect some Monomoy river rocks and layer the entire surface. But, given the frigid climes, I'll take a walk out to my driveway and see what I can find.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Procrastination and Coffee

Procrastination. I think this video by Johnny Kelly pretty much sums it up.

" Procrastination is making a cup of's checking your emails, writing your emails, procrastination is thesaurusizing words in your email. Procrastination is staring out the window." Yep, that's pretty much describes the last hour.

One method of procrastination I've chosen to optimize this morning is mastering the art of a French Press. In theory, this relatively simple mechanism is easy to use. Ground beans. Put in press. Pour hot water. Wait. Press. Pour. It's the ratio's that gets me every time. I always end up with black sludge so strong it could raise the dead or murky water that barely tastes of coffee. I must find that middle ground. One of our favorite foodie blogs (one that will be referenced time and time again), The Sprouted Kitchen, has the answer. A clear set of step-by-step instructions that guarantees a perfect pot of java.

But for those of you who have little patience, "time," lack a french press, recently ran out of coffee beans, etc etc, the Lower Cape has some unique coffee shops that will suffice.

The Hot Chocolate Sparrow of Orleans is a great spot to grab a cup of coffee (or one of those super fancy drinks like a frozen double mocha coconut latte) . I often see people staked out at a table, laptop armed and in ready position. I always wonder what they're doing. I like to think someone's sitting there writing the world's next "it" novel...but from experience, whenever I bring my laptop to a coffee shop, I procrastinate. I check my emails every 2 minutes, just in case my blackberry fails to update instantaneously.

Monomoy Coffee, a tiny shop on Main Street in Chatham, is the perfect place to grab a quick cup to go. Or not-t0-go, they have outdoor seating that's perfect for people watching. Their muffins always look really good too.

Unless you live in Ptown, this may be a bit of a trek. But it's also the perfect excuse to take a fun day trip. In the name of coffee- of course! Whenever we venture to P-town, especially in the spring when the weathers still nippy, we always grab a cup of joe (or a cup of tea) at The Wired Puppy . They are winners of Cape Cod Life Magazine's Best of Cape Cod, 'Best Coffee Shop' for 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. Honestly, I don't know who chooses these "Best Of" winners, but I have to agree, this shop is really that good.

For a more expansive list, check out urbanspoon . I wish I could review every coffee shop on Cape Cod. But it's time to end this bout of procrastination.