Wednesday, June 29, 2011

July 4th on Cape Cod

It's technically impossible not to love this day on Cape Cod. It's got that open ended beach party vibe. Our most comprehensive guide we can offer has five simple ingredients:
1. A few good friends or fellas...

2. Light Up
Here's the day for fearless grilling on the beach or backyard, try one or all these 21 blissful burgers. Or for a more exotic twist these grilled lobster are beyond imagination fabulous.

3. A variety of festive beverages....some that make you tipsy(mojitos are always a top pick) and some that give you a quick boost and make you feel good all over. This
Rosewater-flavored strawberry almond milk smoothie from Have Cake Will is divine.

DIY Recipe: Cover strawberries with unsweetened almond milk, add a little amaretto-flavored agave, and a drop or two of rosewater. Voila. Sip up. (These ingredients are easier to find than you think. Try your local super market or health food store. Of course, we like Chatham Natural Foods and Dennisport Natural Market.)

4. For a touch of nostalgia, don't forget about the classic icebox cake. This dessert is a destination in itself. It's like being home when you were 5 years old.

The Smitten Kitchen

Icebox Cake
Adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook

3 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 (9-ounce) packages chocolate wafer cookies [or, make your own!]
Unsweetened cocoa (or chocolate shavings)

In a large bowl, beat cream, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.

On a flat serving plate, arrange 7 cookies side by side in a circle, keeping 1 cookie in the center.

Spread with 1/2 cup whipped cream, making a 7-inch circle. Repeat with remaining cookies and cream, making 11 layers of cookies and ending with a layer of cream (there will be a few cookies left over). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, dust top lightly with cocoa powder or chocolate shavings.

5. Lastly, Fourth of July just wouldn't be.... without a funny parade and flat out fireworks. Check out this link for the local happenings. Cape Cod Fireworks and Parades

Happy 4th!

(photos courtesy of, hulton/getty,, the

Monday, June 27, 2011

Paletas por favor

I tasted my first true paleta in Nashville, the city of my alma mater. One lick and I was hooked. Las Paletas , a venture run by the Paz sisters, is a small shop dedicated to the sale of Mexican popsicles. The store is like a frozen candy store, each freezer case displaying a rainbow of icy treats. Please note, paletas aren't your standard popsicle. No, no, no - these babies are homemade from fresh fruit or dairy and come in a variety of standard and exotic flavors.

My personal favorite is the strawberry/banana. Forever and always. However, for those with a daring palette or exotic urge, one could try flavors like basil, hot chocolate with peppers, hibiscus, avocado, ... etc.

Now that I've moved back east, I'm suffering from paletas withdrawls. Freeze pops just won't do. But there's nothing more refreshing on a scorching day than a ice cold fruity pop. So what's a girl to do?

D.I.Y. Making authentic paletas takes a bit more time but the payoff is well worth it. Plus, you can invent your own popsicle creations. There's no rule book for these treats. That's part of the fun. So feel free to drizzle, dabble, plop, and pour to your hearts desire. The key is fresh ingredients.

Mint and ginger? guava? strawberry rhubarb? cilantro and lime? nectarine? watermelon?

Here are a few recipes for inspiration:

pineapple chili paletas
cantaloupe and cucumber
avocado ice pops and greek yogurt pops with berries

For those of you short on patience, look at this cool kitchen gadget: the zoku quick pop maker. If just absolutely can't wait, this little machine promises to mold and freeze your paleta in under 7 minutes!

For the rest, any standard popsicle mold will do. Something like this is all you need.

Actually, these aren't even real popsicles. This is a painting by artist Joel Penkman from his collection of fine art foods. The multi-stripe effect may be a bit beyond my skill level but hey, stars the limit.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Chatham East End Merchants Summer Soiree

Chatham's East End Merchants are throwing a summer bash tonight. Take the opportunity to explore some of Chatham's unique stores while enjoying refreshments, tastings, and entertainment. Some stores will even be hosting trunk shows and special merchandise previews. Chatham has really upped its game in terms of retail and we're really excited about this showcase!

Where: The East End of Main Street, Chatham
When: June 25 from 6 - 9 o'clock
Chatham Beach Dog
Forest Beach Design
Frances Johnston
Gustare Oils and Vinegars
Mermaids on Main
Midsummer Nights
Mimi Outsiders
M. Smith and Company
Odell Studio Gallery
Simpler Pleasures
The Artful Hand Gallery
Where the Sidewalk Ends Bookstore

for further information please visit

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Provincetown Portuguese Festival

The annual Portuguese Festival is hitting the shores of Provincetown Thursday June 23 to Sunday the 26th. Provincetown is always lively - so you can imagine the celebratory hoopla that evades the streets during this special event. Each day is jam packed with activities and entertainment. Here's what caught our eye:

We have a long list of Ptown restaurants we'd like to visit. Unfortunately, there is never enough time in the day or room in our stomachs to try them all. Thursday night offers a solution to our culinary woes as Compartilhe Na Nossa Mesa, meaning "Share Our Table," kicks of the festival with a showcase of Provincetown's best restaurants. Accompanied by a cash bar and a night of dancing, this opening ceremony is sure to be wild! Dinner reservations are required. Call the Portuguese Festival Hotline 508-246-9080

Friday morning, shake the kids out of bed and grab your bait and tackle for Capt. Manny Phillip's Fishing Derby (for 10-12 am.) Who knows, maybe you'll catch that larger than life tuna! Stay for lunch (12-3pm) and check out the Portuguese Soup Tasting with entertainment by the Dory Bar Blues Band. This tasty soup, comprised of kale and chorizo is one of my favorites. If you don't make it to Ptown, you can always honor the Portuguese culture at home by making your own batch. Try this savory recipe from Gourmet magazine.
If you're trying to decide when to saunter up to Ptown, Saturday might be day. The day is chalk full of events including the 1:00 pm Judging of decorated boats and the
Portuguese Festival Parade (On Commercial St. from Cape Inn to Franklin St. at 3 pm). There's sure to be a lot of dancing in the streets!

And Sunday is yet another day full of food sampling, music and fun. It's hard to choose. Visit the Portuguese Festival website for a full schedule of events and more information.

pictures courtsey of Narragansett Beer Company, South Coast Today, this flickr, Portuguese Festival website, Wellfleetian

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer is here!

Summer Solstice! The first authentic day of summer and it just so happens to be a beautiful BEACH DAY. We're still trying to piece together our perfect dash to the beach set up. Gotta have those beach bags readily packed for any and all beach-side urges.

I'm a sucker for a great straw bag. Here a few of favorite beach bags from around the web.

Beach Bags 2

Beach Bags 2 featuring summer totes

Enjoy this beautiful day!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Om Again

Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape. -Anonymous

Now this sounds like an easy fix to life's daily tussles? I am not re-ally a control freak, but I'm the first to admit that I could use some improvement in the all around flexibility department. I just bought a season's pass to Power Yoga of Cape Cod. What better time than summer to start working on the inner garden.

Jill Abraham Owner of Power Yoga of Cape Cod

I have my suspicions about mastering this pose anytime soon, yet I will say I stepped out of my first 6 pm class and it was like walking on another planet. Every cell in my body felt like a soapsud. I truly felt wired for harmony and unity.

There is no shortage of amazing yoga studios on Cape Cod. The Quiet Mind Studio in Wellfleet probably has one of the most beautiful setting of all studios perched on the edge of Wellfleet Harbor.

Yoga with Zack is known to be a blissful experience. The proof is Zack's website photo.

In this same neck of the woods, Wendy Putterman offers an incredibly unique and calming experience through her Svaroopa® yoga practice. She also has a Yoga B&B serving an organic breakfast, with yoga and meditation room on site as well as private instruction, therapy/Ayurvedic facials available as well. One of my favorites is Chatham Beach Yoga with Valerie Twomey. Valerie is wonderful! Every summer day (except rain) at 7:30 am you can enjoy yoga at Chatham Lighthouseand fill your whole body with sunshine. Free Yoga for Dad's on Father's Day!

The Dharma Connection in Merchant's Square in Sandwich is a fabulous studio owned by Donna Pagliarani. Class styles include hatha, vinyasa flow, kundalini, hot power, and lots of special workshops. Here's another impossibly irresistable flex pose taken from Dharma's web site. That's enough inspiration to sign up right now. Get Flexible at:

Power Yoga of Cape Cod is located at 1 Auston Road, Harwich, MA, 02645. Email: Phone: 774.237.2773

Quiet Mind Studio and yoga with Zack is at 95 Commercial Street in Wellfleet, info@quietmindstudio.com508.349.2429Wendy Putterman, Svaroopa Yoga in Wellfleet is at or 508.214-0113

Chatham Lighthouse Beach Yoga with Valerie Twomey, 70 Main Street in Chatham, (508) 945-7643. Every morning at Lighthouse Beach in Chatham at 7:30 to 8:45am, $10

morning at Lighthouse Beach in Chatham at 7:30 to 8:45am, $10

The Dharma Connection, 71 Route 6A, Merchants Square,(508) 296-3619

Monday, June 13, 2011

Quinoa for Breakfast

What is with this chilly weather? Just as I packed away all my winter clothes, I now find myself digging through a woolly pile for my flannel. While there may be too many rain clouds in the five day forecast for my liking, the weekend forecast is looking up! But I wont jinx it.
Days like these call for a warm breakfast. Yesterday a tried a recipe for warm and nutty cinnamon was a hit! I substituted the blackberries for blueberries and the pecans for almonds and drizzled the resulting mix wit a bit of agave nectar. Delicious! The resulting breakfast porridge was a bit lighter than oatmeal but filling and healthy nonetheless.

The recipe: borrowed from fantastic foodie blogger Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks. Check out her great blog!

1 cup organic 1% low fat milk
1 cup water
1 cup organic quinoa, (hs note: rinse quinoa)
2 cups fresh blackberries, organic preferred
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
4 teaspoons organic agave nectar, such as Madhava brand

Combine milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat; let stand covered 5 minutes. Stir in blackberries and cinnamon; transfer to four bowls and top with pecans. Drizzle 1 teaspoon agave nectar over each serving.

Serves 4.

*While the quinoa cooks, roast the pecans in a 350F degree toaster oven for 5 to 6 minutes or in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes.


Saturday, June 11, 2011


Peonies are the drama queen of all flowers. Voluptuous. Dreamy. Excessive. Not to mention...episodic and fleeting! One morning they are a sunburst of exurberance and with the first summer storm they droop into that ridiculous but destined gloom.

Why do peonies make our hearts flutter? Like anything...they are drop dead gorgeous

They go with everything

Photo Jerry Yoon Not Just flower

Especially weddings

We love this fabulous print on a dress as seen by Giambattista Valli
Peony Dress at Barneys New York. Priceless. Actually, $2,230.00.

If you're thrifty, why not make your own with this Joel Dewbury Fabric.

Or here is something for your cutie pie at Royal Baby

These beautiful hand stamped bookplates. Buy them at $6 for eight plates, buy at Etsy.

They are fairly easy to grow on Cape Cod or chilly climates.

Most happy in direct sun but can tolerate a little less. Best to get inspired by their beauty in the spring but wait to plant in the fall. Some good local sources

  • Hart Farm in Dennisport located at 21 Upper County Rd. in Dennisport. 508-394-2693

  • Agway in Chatham, 1105 Main Street. 508-945-1555

  • Mahoney's in East Falmouth and Osterville, 508-548-4842/508-420-4428

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Buzz Worthy

Today's Cape Cod Times is all about the black and yellow. The Bruins and the Bee's. Being the fair weather fan that I am, I must congratulate the Bruins for their comeback. Who doesn't enjoy an under-dog triumph? However, the Bruins' win didn't merit front page coverage. Rather, today's top story was all about the bees.

Back in the days of elementary school, we all learned of the bee's dutiful responsibility to the planet: the notorious pollinator. According the news article, "Bee's alone polinate 71 percent out of 100 crops that provide 90 percent of food worldwide"(Cape Cod Times 6/9/11). However, somethings gone a rye in our ecosystem, causing a decline in the bee population. Why? Scientists speculate a reduction in species bio-diversity, habitat loss, and pesticides and climate change. Since 1950, we've lost over 3 million honey producing hives. Yikes.

Local Cape Codder's are trying to fix that. Many have adopted a unique hobby of sorts - back yard bee keeping. Think of all the honey hunny! Some even grant bee keeping with meditative qualities... could this be the next yoga craze? I guess it's a don't-knock-it-until-you-try-it sorta thing.

So if you're ready to don a bee keeper ensemble (it's very en vouge ), the Barnstable County Beekeepers Association offers a Basics of Beekeeping course - or as they say, Bee School. A $50 tuition includes a textbook, handouts, instruction, a mentoring program, and a one-year family membership (a $15 value) in the BCBA.

For the rest, here's a few buzz worthy, bee - friendly Cape Cod attractions:

Visit the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History and check out the Honey Bee Observation Hive - a good rainy day activity with the kids!

Afterward, venture over to the Beehive Tavern in Sandwich and sample some creative culinary uses of local honey!

Like these breakfast, lunch, and dinner offerings:

New England Sour Dough Stuffed French Toast 6.99
With Sun Dried Cranberry Cream Cheese
Topped with Local Honey & Raspberry Sauce

The Honey Bee 8.99
Fresh Roast Chicken (all white meat), Cranberry Relish & Honey Sage Stuffing in a Wrap Sandwich

Roast Duck with Honey Guava Passion Sauce 21.99

Or pick up some local honey of your own at a near by farm stand. Check out this site for listings. They say a spoon full of local honey is holistic remedy for allergies...if not, it definitely serves as inspiration for whipping up this flourless honey almond cake or spiced honey cake with carmalized figs..

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

TOMS: Take Two

I love the idea of TOMS shoes. I'm sure you've all heard, but for every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need. One for one. I'm a big fan of this type of social entrepreneurship.

The guy, Blake Mycoskie, is just the cutest and his story is pretty inspiring. To get the gist, here's a direct copy and paste from a Bloomberg article titled, "America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs."

"A serial entrepreneur who once launched a college laundry service and competed on the CBS television show The Amazing Race, Mycoskie traveled to Argentina in January 2006 to learn how to play polo, practice tango, and do some community service work. While there, he was struck by the country's health and poverty problems and discovered that numerous children did not have proper footwear. Soon after, he came up with the idea to create a shoe for the U.S. market based on the traditional Argentine alpargataa slip-on—in lightweight fabrics and vibrant colors and prints. Five months later he launched TOMS with $300,000 of his own money. Available at such retailers as Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom's, IT sold 10,000 pairs during its first year in business"

As I said, I love the idea of TOMS shoes. I have some friends who can really rock them. In fact, a certain somebody I know struts her stuff in a fabulous pair of glittering gold ones all the time - and she looks so cool. As for me? Not so much. I tried, I really did. But I am sad to report, my feet were not made for TOMS.

There is hope for me yet! Fresh onto, TOMS is now making sunglasses! And great ones at that! The same one for one policy carries over. With every pair you purchase, TOMS will help give sight to one person in need - be that medical treatment, prescription eye glasses or sight-saving surgery.

Since the recent demise of my Ray Ban aviators (RIP), I've been in the market for a new pair of sunglasses. Maybe I'll never be able to pull off a pair of TOMS slip ons - but these? I think I've found my match!

For some TOMS retailers on Cape check out:

Island Pursuit on Main Street, Chatham
If the Shoe Fits on Main Street, Orleans
Mass Bay Company on Main Street, Hyannis